The above are the gruesome interpretations of Paul Cadmus’ The Seven Deadly Sins. They have become iconic and to my eyes, they are fascinating to look at.
Wikipedia: Between 1945 and 1949, the American painter Paul Cadmus created a series of vivid, powerful, and gruesome paintings of each of the seven deadly sins.
The sins are a staple of modern mythology. Seen in various anime like Full Metal Alchemist or the similarly named Seven Deadly Sins (The Japanese seem to absolutely love them,) they have influenced a lot of stories. As I was researching them I found out that initially they were more, 8 in total:
Origin of the currently recognized Seven Deadly Sins.
The modern concept of the seven deadly sins is linked to the works of the fourth-century monk Evagrius Ponticus, who listed eight evil thoughts in Greek as follows:
- Γαστριμαργία (gastrimargia) gluttony
- Πορνεία (porneia) prostitution, fornication
- Φιλαργυρία (philargyria) avarice
- Ὑπερηφανία (hyperēphania) pride – sometimes rendered as self-overestimation
- Λύπη (lypē) sadness – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as envy, sadness at another’s good fortune
- Ὀργή (orgē) wrath
- Κενοδοξία (kenodoxia) boasting
- Ἀκηδία (akēdia) acedia – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as dejection
We can see how Kenodoxia can easily be folded into Pride and end up with the seven sins we are familiar with.
Initially, I wanted to go with the Greek names for the characters. Naturally that was my first impulse. But they ended up being unwieldy in the English text, so I decided to go with the Latin names:
- Gula (gluttony)
- Luxuria/Fornicatio (lust, fornication)
- Avaritia (avarice/greed)
- Superbia (pride, hubris)
- Ira (wrath)
- Acedia (sloth)
I folded Vanagloria into Pride (but it still is such a gorgeous name,) and chose the sin of Envy in the place of Tristitia, ending up with:
- Luxuria / Lust
- Gula / Gluttony
- Avaritia / Greed
- Acedia / Sloth
- Ira / Wrath
- Invidia / Envy
- Superbia / Pride
These are the seven divine meanies that will crash into Horace’s life and upend it completely, pushing him along the way into evil thoughts and deeds.
I’m not sure how well this story will be received, but I want to believe that it is much deeper in meaning than what its naughty surface shows. It is a story about finding your way in life, about love, about lust, greed, all those nasty emotions one feels along the way. It’s about regrettable decisions and the drive to move forward, to get more, to conquer.
It’s sprinkled with GameLit elements, as in a phone app that the girls can reward Horace with tokens. The idea ended up being something like a dating sim. I believe it works well and I have had lots of fun writing this, which I hope you’ll appreciate.
7 Deadly Roommates page on Mythography