Capital Vice in the Midwest: The Spatial Distribution of the Seven Deadly Sins

Mitchell Stimers, Ryan Bergstrom, Tom Vought, Michael Dulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Capital vices, or cardinal sins, have been discussed and debated since at least the 4th century, when Evagrius Ponticus, a Roman born monk who relished praise from his peers and married women, first wrote of the eight evil thoughts from which all sinful behavior was based. These evil thoughts - gluttony, fornication, avarice, sorry, anger, discouragement, vainglory, and pride - were later revised in the 6th century by Pope Gregory I to constitute the seven deadly sins: Luxuria (Lust), Gula (Gluttony), Avaritia (Greed), Acedia (Sloth), Ira (Wrath), Invidia (Envy), and Superbia (Pride). From the 14th century onwards, the deadly sins have been popularized by texts, including Dante Alaghieri's 14th century masterpiece The Divine Comedy (Alagherii, 2010), and they have continued to be a prominent focus in contemporary art, music, television, film, comic books and, most recently, video games. The authors undertook the task of statistically representing the seven deadly sins at the county level within the Midwest region of the United States to determine what, if any, spatial coincidence occurred. Each of the seven deadly sins was given separate treatment based on sociological and economic characteristics and available data. Pride, the "greatest and "root of all sins, was determined to be the aggregation of each sin and represents the total sinfulness of a given county or region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Maps
StatePublished - 2011


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