One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
‘The descent into Avernus is easy’: easy is the descent into hell. Chiefly figurative: it is easy to slip into evil or immoral ways.
Mid 16th century. From classical Latin facilis dēscensus Avernī (Virgil Aeneid 6. 126, in some MSS; the preferred reading is Avernō), lit. the descent of (or to) Avernus (is) easy from facilis + dēscensus + Avernī (or Avernō), genitive (or dative) of Avernus.
facilis descensus Averni/ˈfakɪlɪs dɛˈskɛnsəs əˈvəːnʌɪ//ˈfasɪlɪs dɛˈsɛnsəs əˈvəːnʌɪ/
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