Speculum Finalis Retributionis
tam bonorum operum quam malorum

The Mirror of the Final

for both good works and evil ones

egregii sacre theologie doctoris

Fratris Petri Reginaldeti

de ordine fratrum minorum

by the outstanding Doctor of Sacred Theology,

Friar Peter Reginaldette

of the Order of Friars Minor

In quo speculo diffuse elucidatur contemplatio penarum
et gaudiorum eternalium

In which mirror there is copiously elucidated
the contemplation of eternal punishments and joys





Transcriptus ex pp. 7-11 de manuscripto
conservato in Biblioteca Nationali Franciae
diffuso in forma PDF per Gallicam

Transcribed from pp. 7-11 of the manuscript
conserved in the National Library of France
and distributed in PDF format by Gallica

Editio 1495/Paris
Stephan Jehanot pro Claudio Jaumar

Stephan Jehanot for Claudio Jaumar





Quia Deo teste, Ps. lxi: « Reddet unicuique iuxta opera sua »,1 expediens et utile valde videtur dicere aliquid de gaudiis paradisi, et de poenis inferni. Ideoque intelligere valemus de hiis duobus ex sacra scriptura et dictis sanctorum et doctorum. Utile unquam propter tria, videlicet:

Since God has given witness in Psalm 61 that « He shall render to each one according to his own works »,1 it seems expedient and very useful to say something of the joys of Paradise and of the punishments of Hell. And for that reason we do well to understand these two from Sacred Scripture and the sayings of the Saints and doctors (of sacred theology). (This kind of consideration is) always useful on account of three (things), namely:

  • Propter concupiscentiam fugiendam,
  • Propter paenitentiam peragendam, et
  • Propter vitam iustam conservandam.
  • On account of fleeing concupiscence,
  • On account of accomplishing penance, and
  • On account of keeping a just life.

Dies enim mali sunt immo videbit nunc hi dies esse de quibus ait Christus. « Abundabit et iniquitas: refrigescet charitas multorum », Math. xxiiii.2 Quapropter sicut mater ostendit filio pomum ut ad eam veniat, et res patibulum homini ne furtum faciat, et rector scholarium virgas discipulo ut lectionem addiscat. Sic dominus Iesus tanquam mater nobis insinuavit multa de gaudiis paradisi: ut illos sequamur, et multa de poenis inferni: ut peccatos caveamus. Et virgas quibus in perpetuum punientur damnati ut bene agere discamus. Primo igitur dicendum est de poenis inferni. Secundo de gaudiis paradisi.3 Juxta illud psalmum, « Transivimus per ignem et aquam et eduxisti nos in refrigerium ».4 Thema igitur sit istud:

For the (present) days are evil, nay rather now one sees that these days belong to those of which Christ spoke, « Iniquity shall also abound: the charity of the many shall grow cold »: Mt. 24:12.2 On which account just as a mother shows her son an apple so that he may come to her, and when a man the pillory [res patibulum], lest he thieve [furtum faciat], and a school's rector his rods to a student, that he may learn the lesson, so the Lord Jesus, as a mother, hints to us much of the joys of Paradise: so that we may seek them; and much of the punishments of Hell: so that we may beware of sins. And the rods with which the damned are punished in perpetuity: so that we may learn to act well. Therefore first one must speak of the punishments of Hell. Second, of the joys of Paradise.3 According to that Psalm: « We have passed over through fire and water and Thou has lead us forth into refreshment ».4 Therefore let this (verse of the psalm) be the theme:

« Convertantur in infernum omnes gentes quae obliviscuntur Deum »: Ps. ix.5

« Let them be completely turned unto Hell all the nations which are forgetful of God », Ps. 9:18.5





Consideremus igitur charissimi et attendamus diligenter

Therefore let us consider, dearest ones, and let us attend diligently to

1 Locus, vero, est Vulg. Ro. 2,6; Ps. 61,13b secundum vulgatam legit reddes pro reddet et secundum opus suum pro iuxta opera sua. In his notis inferioribus editio Vulgatae citatur est Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgatam versionem, 1969, diffusa per BibleGateway.Com; et pro libris catholicis testamentis veteris, ista editio de www.perseus.tufts.edu transcripta ex "Bible Foundation and On-Line Book Initiative": ftp.std.com/obi/Religion/Vulgate. Divisiones textus superius additae sunt a interprete pro facilitate lectoris: non existant in editione 1495; licet secundum ordinem auctoris explicatam in textum ipsum. Mos editionis 1495 est citare textum sacrarum Scripturarum iuxta capitula sola.
2 V. 12, in quo Vulg. legit et quoniam abundabit iniquitas etc..
3 Unde ratio pro divisione librorum in primum et secundum.
4 Ps. 65,12.
5 V. 18. Hic est themata libri primi. Separatio thematae a textu non est in ed. 1495.

1 V. 13b. However the citation is from the Vulgate of Rom. 2:6. The Psalm reads slightly different: because Thou shall render to each one according to his work. In this translation, the edition of the Vulgate which will be cited in these footnotes is the Biblia Sacra juxta vulgatam versionem, 4th Edition: 1969, available in a searchable database at BibleGateway.com; For the Catholics Books of the Old Testament the edition cited is that available at www.perseus.tufts.edu, which is taken from Bible Foundation and On-Line Book Initiative: ftp.std.com/obi/Religion/Vulgate. It is the custom of the edition of 1495, however, to cite scripture texts by chapter only. The English translation of scriptural passages shall follow the text of the edition of 1495. In this translation the divisions of the text into Books, Parts, Chapters, Foreword, Introduction, etc. have been inserted for the facility of the reader; though based on the author's statements in the text, they do not appear in the Latin edition of 1495.
2 The Vulgate reads and since iniquity shall abound, the charity of the many shall grow cold.
3 Whence the basis for the division of this work into Book I and Book II.
4 Ps. 65:12.
5 This is the theme of Book I. The indentation of this text is not found in the edition of 1495.

p. 8

quot et quanti dolores sunt in inferno sic ut a peccatis nostris resiliemus et si non amore Dei, saltem poenarum timore quia « timor expellit peccatum », Ecclesiastici i.1 Unde in libro de Oculo Morali: « Hic aspectus sic poenarum inferni utilis est et ut culpa vitetur et ut poena presens facilis reputetur ». Unde dicit Isidorus I. Soliloquiorus: « Praepone tibi adversus carnis ardores futuri supplicii2 ignes ». Memoria ardoris Gehennae ardorem extinguit luxuriae. Videmusque quando digitus est adustus applicatur ad ignem ut minor calor possit extrahi per maiorem, sic et peccator inflammatus igne peccati si per considerationem applicet se igni infernali minor calor extrahi poterit a maiore. Ecclesiasticus vii: « Memorare novissima tua et in aeternum non peccabis ».3

how many and how great the pains [dolores] are in Hell so that we may shrink from our sins, and if not from the love of God, at least from the fear of punishments, because « fear expels sin », Ecclesiasticus 1:27.1 Whence in the book On the Moral Eye (it is written): « Here the sight of the punishments of Hell in this manner is useful both so that fault be avoided and so that the present punishment be reputed easy ». Whence (St.) Isidore, (in his) Soliloquies, (Book) I (says): « Place before yourself, against the ardors of the flesh, the fires of the punishment [supplicii]2 to come ». The memory of the ardor of Gehenna extinguishes the ardor of lust [luxuriae]. And we see that when a finger is burnt it is applied to a fire so that the lesser heat may be extracted by the greater, so also a sinner inflamed by the fire of sin, if he apply himself by a consideration of the fire of Hell, the lesser heat can be extracted by the greater. Ecclesiasticus 7:40b (says): « remember your last (days) and in eternity you shall not sin ».3

Facit secundo ut poena presens facilis reputetur. Unde dicebat Bernardus: "Vigilias times et ieiunia manuumque labores sed haec levia sunt flammas perpetuas meditanti." Narrat Beda in Gestis Anglorum: "Quod tempore Constantini minoris imperatoris quidam paterfamilias cum decessisset in Anglia eius anima aeterni iudicis ante tribunal est adducta ubi tandem obtinuit Dei Genitricis intercessionibus ut prius inspectis poenis infernalibus post haec rediret ad corpus. Revertit igitur qui erat mortuus et ennaratis de poenis inferni mirabilibus et rebus suis erogatis pauperibus profectus est ad quandam insulam ut lingua simul et opere ostenderet quanta tormenta4 vidisset. Et in maxima hyeme se mergebat in flumen, et cum eum super hoc amici

Second, work so that the present punishment be reputed easy. Whence (St.) Bernard used to say: « You fear vigils and fasts and the works of the hands, but these are light to the one meditating on the perpetual flames ». (St.) Bede narrates in his History of the English: that in the time of Constantine, the junior emperor, after a certain head of his household had died in England, his soul was lead before the tribunal of the eternal Judge where at length he obtained the intercessions of the Theotokos [Dei Genitricis], so that first having inspected the punishments of Hell he returned to his body. Therefore, there returned him who had died and having told of the wonderful punishments of Hell and having paid out from his own things to the poor, he set out to a certain (solitary) island, so that might show simultaneously by tongue and work how great (were) the torments4 he had seen. And in the height of winter he use to submerge himself in a river, and when his friends, who knew of this [noti],

1 V. 27. Hic Vulg. legit timor Dei expellit peccatum.
2 Supplicium est poena ex sententia iudicis.
3 V. 40b. Divisione secunda quae sequitur comprehendit secundam et tertiam divisionem praemissas in Prooemium.
4 Vide nota quarta opposita.

1 Here the Vulgate reads the fear of God expels sin.
2 Here the Latin word supplicium refers to a period of punishment which is imposed by a judicial sentence, as opposed to poena, which is any specific punishment. In this translation, supplicium will be translated with the English punishment followed by the note [supplicium].
3 In Latin there are a number of words regarding torture and torments which are linguistically similar, and other which are not. Friar Reginaldette uses four Latin words tormentum, tortor, torqueo and crucio; the first two can readily be translated into English as a torment, a torturer. The last two have no exact equivalent in English: torqueo is the linguistic root in Latin of both tormentum and tortor, whereas crucio originally meant to torture on a cross. However, throughout the text Friar Reginaldette seems to habitually employ crucio, -are for the action of torturing, whereas he uses torqueo, -ere for the action of tormenting. To avoid confusion, in this translation, crucio, -are will always be translated as to torture, and torqueo, -ere as to torment. The following paragraph comprises the second and third divisions mentioned in the Foreword.

p. 9

arguerent noti, respondit, Sinite me, nam malorum vidi etc.. Sunt enim ibi tot et tantae miseriae quae si eas homo cognosceret per aliquam experientiam nullam posset in hoc mundo cogitare miseriam quam non potis sustineret quam illas poenas sufferre vellet. Dicamus igitur hic de tribus.1

argued with him over it, he responded, "Leave me alone, for I have seen the (punishments) of the wicked" etc.. For there are so many and so great miseries there that if a man would be cognizant of them through some experience he could think of no misery in this world which he could not endure rather than wanting to suffer those punishments. Let us speak, therefore, of these three:1

  • Primo de loco infernali et eius qualitate.
  • Secundo de damnatorum poena corporali et eius multiplicitate.
  • Tertio de poena spirituali et eius varietate.
  • First, of the place of Hell and its quality.
  • Second, of the corporal punishment of the damned and its multiplicity.
  • Third, of the spiritual punishment and its variety.





Primo igitur videndum est de loco infernali et eius qualitate. Unde dicit Richardus et tenent quasi omnes doctores, quia infernus est in medio terrae, quia iste locus est remotissimus a caelo,2 quia centrum summe distat a circumferentia. Nam sicut Deus ordinat corpora in suis locis secundum exigentiam suorum naturalium ponderum. Sic ordinat creaturas rationales in locis secundum exigentiam suorum amorum. Et ideo sicut electi sunt in caelo, quia in suo amore caelestia terrenis praeposuerunt, ita reprobi per divinam iustitiam sunt et erunt in loco infimo, quia in suo amore infima et terrena superioribus et caelestibus praeposuerunt. Haec ille. Ex quo patet ubi sit infernus: quia secundum astronomos et spheras mensurantes, distat a superfuicie terrae per duo milia, cc. quinquaginta miliaria, quia est in medio diametri.3 Est igitur infernus velut fossa sive carcer in medio terrae, terra ipsa circumquaque conclusus. Sed qualis est ille carcer: Dico quod secundum doctores sanctos ibi sunt quattuor elementa, scilicet ignis in suo supremo calore inclusus, ut in clibano qui undique esset firmiter clausus. Item est ibi aqua in suo summo frigore.

First, therefore, there must be a vision [videndum est] of the place of Hell and its quality. Whence Richard (of St. Victor) says, and nearly all the doctors hold, that "Hell is in the midst of the Earth, that its place is the most remote from Heaven [caelo],2 that the center is distant in the highest (degree) from the circumference. For just as God orders bodies in their places according to the exigencies of their natural weights, so He orders rational creatures in places according to the exigencies of their loves. And for that reason, just as the elect are in Heaven, because in love they put heavenly (things) before earthly ones, so the reprobate through Divine Justice are and shall be in the lowest place [loco infimo], because in love they have put the lowest and earthly (things) before superior and heavenly ones." These things (does) he (say). From which it is clear where Hell is: because according to astronomers and those measuring the spheres, it is distant from the surface of the Earth by two thousand, two hundred (and) fifty milestones [miliaria], because it is in the middle of the diameter.3 Therefore Hell is as a ditch or prison in the midst of the Earth, with the Earth herself closed in all around it. But what kind of prison is it? I say that according to the holy doctors there are four elements there, namely, a fire obstructed in it its supreme heat, which, as an oven [in clibano], has been shut-in on all sides. Likewise there is a water there, (obstructed) in the deepest cold.

1 Unde partes libri primi.
2 Hic Richardus utitur caelo pro loco Dei ac Sanctorum.
3 Hic ed. 1495 legit cc. pro duo centi. Hac mensura radii orbis Terrae est minor quam etiam Poseidonii Apamensis, quem Strabo Geographia, lib. II, c. 2, n. 2, citat tenentem 180,000 stadiarum circumferentiam istam, i. e. 5300 km in radio, non 2250 milaria (3325 km) hic citatur; revera est circa 6378 Km ad aequatorem.

1 Whence the three parts of Book I.
2 Here Richard of St. Victor uses caelum to stand for Heaven. Throughout this work different senses of the Latin caelum and caela, the plural form, are employed. In general, following the Greek, quotes from Sacred Scripture employ the former in reference to the sky and the latter to Heaven. Later authors often use caelum in reference to Heaven and caela for the material heavens. Some authors, however, make no distinction, the sense having to be taken from the context.
3 Here the edition reads .cc. for two hundred. This estimate of the radius of the Earth is beneath even that of Poseidonius of Apamea, whom Strabo cites in his Geography, Bk. II, ch. 2, n. 2, as one who estimated the world smaller than all his contemporaries, at 180,000 stadia in circumference, which is equivalent to 3293 miles in radius, not the 2250 roman miles (2066 miles) cited here; the Earth's radius is in fact approx. 3963 miles at the equator. Even Christopher Columbus, SFO, in his copy of Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly's Imago Mundi (written in 1410 A.D.; printed in 1480 A.D.) had wrongly estimated the globe of such a size that its radius would be only 2981 miles [Bjorn Landrom, Columbus, Machmilland, New York: 1966, pp. 28-30]. The Cardinal's work was in turn based on the Opuus Maius of the Franciscan Friar Roger Bacon [ibid., p. 15]; who like the Franciscan tertiary, Bl. Raymond Lull, SFO, held there to be lands to the west, not far from Europe [ibid. p. 14]. Perhaps this very low estimate in this edition of 1495 was influenced by the euphoria resulting from the recent news of Columbus's discoveries; on the other hand the author or editor may have mistaken the figure quoted him for the diameter, rather than for the radius, and hence divided it by two unnecessarily: for 2158 roman miles is half the true radius of the Earth at its equator.

p. 10

Similiter aer et terra infectore maximo. Unde et magnificentia regalis requirit quia non solus habeat palatia propter bonos sed etiam carceres propter malos. Rex autem gloriae qui magnificatus est super omnes reges terrae, cur non haberet carcerem sicut habet palatium? Unde Augustinus in libro de triplici habitaculo, "Tria sunt sub omnipotentis manu habitacula summum, medium et minimum" Quorum summum regnum Dei vel regnum caelorum dicitur, minimum vocatur infernus medium pons mundus vel orbis terrarum appellatur, quorum extrema omnino invicem sibi sunt extranea et nulla societate coniunta. « Quae enim . . . societas possit esse luci ad tenebras, et . . . Christi ad Belial », ii Cor. vi.1 Medium autem nonnullas habet similitudines ad extrema. Unde lucem habet et tenebras, frigus et calorem, dolorem et sanitatem, laetitiam et maerores, odium et amorem, bonos et malos, iustos et iniustos, regnum et subiectiones, famem et satietatem, mortem et vitam, et huiusmodi innumera, quorum omnino pars una imagines habet regni Dei, pars altera inferni. Commixtio enim malorum simul et bonorum in hoc mundo est. In regno autem Dei nulli mali, sed omnes boni, et in inferno nulli boni, sed omnes mali, uterque locus ex medio suppletur, hominum enim huius mundi alii elevantur ad caelum--alii trahuntur ad infernum. Similes quippe similibus coniunguntur. Bona autem regni caelestis dicere aut cogitare vel intelligere ut sunt nullus potest carne vestitus, multo maiora sunt et meliora quam cogitentur aut intelligantur. Unde i Cor. ii scriptum est quia « oculus non vidit nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit quae praeparavit Deus diligentibus se ».2 Mala autem inferni dicere aut cogitare ut sunt nemo potest, peiora sunt quippe valde quam cogitentur. Haec

Similarly, (there is) air and earth (there obstructed) with the greatest infection. Whence even royal magnificence requires that not only it have palaces for the sake of the good, but also prisons for the sake of the wicked. Moreover the King of glory, who is magnified above all the kings of the earth, why would He not have a prison, just as He has a palace? Whence (St.) Augustine in the book On the Threefold Dwelling (says): "There are three dwellings under the Hand of the Omnipotent, the highest, the middle, and the least. The highest of which is said to be the "Kingdom of God" and/or the "Kingdom of Heaven", the least is called "Hell", the middle one, (as) a bridge (between the two), is named the "world" and/or the "orb of lands", the extremes of which (three) are entirely foreign to one another and conjoined by no society. « For what . . . society could there be of light toward darkness, and . . . of Christ toward Belial? »: 2 Cor. 6:14-15.1 Moreover, the middle one has not a few similitudes with the extremes. Whence it has light and darkness, cold and heat, pain and health, gladness and morning, hatred and love, the good and the wicked, the just and the unjust, a kingdom and subjections, famine and satiety, death and life, and an innumerable (quantity) of this kind, of which one part has entirely the images of the Kingdom of God, the other part of Hell. For there is a commingling together of the wicked and the good in this world. But in the Kingdom of Heaven there are no wicked, but all (are) good, and in Hell none are good, but all are wicked, and each place is supplied from the middle one, for of the men of this world some are elevated unto Heaven -- others are dragged down into Hell. Like, indeed, conjoined to like. But to say or think and/or understand the good things of the heavenly Kingdom as they are, no one can, clothed with the flesh; they are much greater and better than they think or understand. Whence in 1 Cor. 2:9 it is written that « eye has not seen nor has the ear heard, nor has it ascended into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those loving Him ».2 But to speak or think of the evils of Hell as they are, no one can; indeed they are much worse than they think." These (things does)

1 Vv. 14b-15, in quo Vulg. legit quae enim participatio iustitiae cum iniquitate aut quae societas luci ad tenebras; quae autem conventio Christi ad Belial etc.
2 V. 9, in quo Vulg. legit his qui diligunt illum pro diligentibus se, quae lectio est secundum Breviarium Romanum.

1 In which the Vulgate reads for what participation of justice (can there be) with iniquity, or what society of light toward iniquity; moreover what convention of Christ toward Belial etc..
2 In which the Vulg. reads for those who love Him [hiis qui diligunt illum] instead of for those loving Him [diligentibus se], which reading follows the text of the Roman Breviary.

p. 11

Augustinus. Unde Isaias, xxx: « Praeparata est ab heri Tophet a rege: praeparata profunda et dilatata, nutrimenta eis [eius] ignis et ligna multa, flatus Domini sicut torrens sulphuris succedens eam »1 « praeparata est ab heri » id est ab initio, sicut tu dices, "semper habent patibulum in terra ad reos puniendos", « Tophet » in vallis gehennae, « a rege » omnipotente qui solus possit facere quicquod vult, « profunda » ut nullus possit exire, « dilatata » ut omnes possit capere. Iuxta hoc locus iste pluribus appellatur nomibus. Primo dicitur infernus ab infero dictus quo animae in peccato mortali morientium ante diem iudicii et post animae cum corporibus ibi inferuntur ad aeternaliter patiendum. Job. vii, « Qui descendet ad infernum non ascendet nec revertetur ultra ad domum suam ».2 Dicitur secundo tartarus, id est secundum Papiam turbatus, quia ibi erit magna tribulatio et magna afflictio sicut infra dicetur. Dicitur tertio avernus quasi sine vere in temperie quia poenae non sunt ibi temperatae sed nimiae excessivae. Quarto dicitur acheron ab a quod est sine et cheron guadium quasi sine gaudio. Aliisque nominibus appellatur de quibus pertranseo. Sunt enim haec nomines scilicet stix flegeton, icihes cocchitus quae a quibusdam dicuuntur fluvii infernales Patet igitur quia locus sit infernalis habitatio et qualis, sed adhuc magis patebit in sequentibus.

(St.) Augustine say. Whence Isaiah, ch. 30:33 (says), « . . . Topheth is prepared, prepared from yesterday by the king, prepared profound and widened; its nourishment fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord as a torrent of sulfur kindling it »;1 « prepared from yesterday », that is, "from the beginning" -- just as you say, "They will always have a pillory in the land to punish the guilty" -- « is Topheth » in the valley of Gehenna, « by the King », the Almighty, who alone can do whatever He wants, « profound » so that no one can go forth, « widened » so that it can seize all. According to this (passage), that place is called [appelatur] by very many names. First, it is called [dicitur] "Hell", said from the lowest (place), to which the souls of those dying in mortal sin before the Day of Judgment and afterwards (to which) souls with bodies, are borne, there to be eternally punished. Job 7:9-10 (says): « He who shall descend to Hell, shall not ascend nor shall he return from the beyond to his own house ».2 Second, it is called "Tartarus", that is, according to Papias, the Troubled [Tribulatus], because There there shall be a great tribulation and a great affliction, just as shall be said below. Third, it is called "Avernus", as if without truth in temperateness [sine vere in temperie], because there the punishments are not tempered, but (are) exceedingly excessive. Fourth, it is called "Acheron", from "a-" which is "without", and "-cheron", "joy", as if "without joy". And it is named with other names, some of which I shall mention in passing [de quibus pertranseo]. For these names are "Stix", "Flegethon", "Icihes", "Cocchitus", which are said by some to be the rivers of Hell. It is clear, therefore, that the place is an infernal habitation and what kind it is, but still more shall be clear in the following.

1 V. 33, in quo Vulg. legit enim post est, et Thofet pro Tophet.
2 Vv. 9-10, in quo Vulg. legit descenderit pro descendet et inferos pro infernum.

1 In which the Vulg. reads For [enim].
2 In which the Vulg. reads will have descended [descenderit] instead of shall descend [descendet], and the lower regions [inferos] instead of Hell [infernum].

The Latin text is the most coherent reading of the 1495 typography. Spelling as been conformed, as rarely as possible, to standard lexicography. Punctuation is retained as much as possible. Capitalization is occasionally altered for names and proper nouns. Paragraph divisions and chapter headings have been retained. This new Latin text is hereby released to the public domain by its editor.

The English translation here has been released to the public domain by its author. The / symbol is used to indicate that the text which follows appears on the subsequent page of the 1495 Edition. Items in square [ ] brackets contain Latin terms corresponding to the previous English word(s), or notes added by the English translator. Items in round ( ) brackets are terms implicit in the Latin syntax or which are required for clarity in English.