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Encyclopedia > The Divine Comedy
For other uses see The Divine Comedy (disambiguation), Dante's Inferno (disambiguation), and The Inferno (disambiguation)
Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelino's fresco.
Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelino's fresco.

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened "Divina" by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the Christian afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard. Divine Comedy may refer to: The Divine Comedy, the epic poem by Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy (band), a band from Northern Ireland The Divine Comedy (album), a record by Milla Jovovich Divine Comedy (performing group), a performing group at Brigham Young University Category: ... Dantes Inferno may refer to: The first canticle of Dantes The Divine Comedy. ... The Inferno can refer to: The Inferno, book 1 of Dantes The Divine Comedy. ... Domenico di Michelino Dante and His Poem (1465) fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (Florences cathedral). ... Domenico di Michelino Dante and His Poem (1465) fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (Florences cathedral). ... Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ... Michelinos fresco Dante and his Work in the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poetry in the vernacular. ... Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ... Events Henry VII is elected as king of the Holy Roman Empire. ... Events Births September 29 - John of Artois, Count of Eu, French soldier (d. ... In mathematics, see epic morphism. ... Italian literature is literature written in the Italian language, particularly by citizens of Italy. ... World literature refers to literature from all over the world, including American literature, European literature, Latin American literature, Asian literature, African literature, Arabic literature and so on. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... The Tuscan dialect is a dialect spoken in Tuscany, Italy. ...

Contents

Structure and story

Gustave Doré engravings illustrated The Divine Comedy (1861-1868), here Dante is lost in Canto 1.
Gustave Doré engravings illustrated The Divine Comedy (1861-1868), here Dante is lost in Canto 1.

The Divine Comedy is composed of three canticas (or "cantiche") — Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) — composed each of 33 cantos (or "canti"). An initial canto serves as an introduction to the poem and is generally not considered to be part of the first cantica, bringing the total number of cantos to 100. The number 3 is prominent in the work, represented here by the length of each cantica. The verse scheme used, terza rima, is the hendecasyllable (line of eleven syllables), with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme ABA, BCB, CDC ... DED. Download high resolution version (720x1088, 271 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (720x1088, 271 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Doré photographed by Felix Nadar. ... A canticle is a hymn (strictly excluding the Psalms) taken from the Bible. ... The Inferno redirects here. ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... A canto is a significant section of a long poem or the highest part in a piece of choral music. ... A canticle is a hymn (strictly excluding the Psalms) taken from the Bible. ... Terza rima is a rhyming verse stanza form that was first used by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. ... Hendecasyllable verse (in Italian endecasillabo) is a kind of verse used mostly in Italian poetry, defined by its having the last stress on the tenth syllable. ... A tercet is three lines of poetry forming a stanza or complete poem. ... A rhyme scheme is like the pattern of rhyming like lines in a poem or in like lyrics for music. ... Terza rima is a rhyming verse stanza form that was first used by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. ...


The poet tells in the first person his travel through the three realms of the dead, lasting during the Easter Triduum in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman, guides him through Heaven. Beatrice was a real Florentine woman whom he met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable courtly love tradition which is highlighted in Dante's earlier work La Vita Nuova. Easter Triduum, or Holy Triduum, or Paschal Triduum is a term used by some Christian churches, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, and many Anglicans, to denote, collectively, the three days from the evening of Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday) to the evening of Easter Sunday. ... Events February 22 - Jubilee of Pope Boniface VIII. March 10 - Wardrobe accounts of King Edward I of Englanddo (aka Edward Longshanks) include a reference to a game called creag being played at the town of Newenden in Kent. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... Although the details surrounding the life of Beatrice Portinari, pronounced bay-a-treech-eh, (1266-1290) are subject to much dispute, there is little doubt she was a major influence in Dante Alighieris life, influencing particularly his works of La Vita Nuova and La Divina Commedia. ... Court of Love in Provence in the 14th Century (after a manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris). ... La Vita Nuova (English: New Life) is a book of verse written by Dante Alighieri, roughly around the year of 1293. ...


In Northern Italy's political struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines, Dante was part of the Guelphs, who in general favored the Papacy over the Holy Roman Emperor. Florence's Guelphs split into factions around 1300: the White Guelphs, who opposed secular rule by Pope Boniface VIII and who wished to preserve Florence's independence, and the Black Guelphs, who favored the Pope's control of Florence. Dante was among the White Guelphs who were exiled in 1302 by the Lord-Mayor Cante de' Gabrielli di Gubbio, after troops under Charles of Valois entered the city, at the request of Boniface and in alliance with the Blacks. The Pope said if he had returned he would be burned at the stake. This exile, which lasted the rest of Dante's life, shows its influence in many parts of the Comedy, from prophecies of Dante's exile to Dante's views of politics to the eternal damnation of some of his opponents. The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting, respectively, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries. ... The Pope is the Catholic Bishop and patriarch of Rome, and head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches. ... The Holy Roman Emperor was, with some variation, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, the predecessor of modern Germany, during its existence from the 10th century until its collapse in 1806. ... Pope Boniface VIII (c. ... The Gabrielli are an Italian feudal family from Gubbio, in Umbria. ... Gubbio is a town and comune in the far northeastern part of the Italian province of Perugia, (Umbria), . At 522 m (1713 ft) above sea-level, it clings to the first slope of Mt. ... Charles III of Valois (March 12, 1270 – December 16, 1325) was the third son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon. ...


In Hell and Purgatory, Dante shares in the sin and the penitence respectively. The last word in each of the three parts of The Divine Comedy is "stars." The Inferno redirects here. ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ...


Inferno

The poem begins on Good Friday of the year 1300, "In the middle of our life's journey" (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita), and so opens in medias res. Dante is thirty-five years old, half of the biblically allotted age of 70 (Psalm 90:10), lost in a dark wood (perhaps, allegorically, contemplating suicide—as "wood" is figured in Canto XIII, and also the mention of suicide is made in Canto I of Purgatorio with "This man has not yet seen his last evening; But, through his madness, was so close to it, That there was hardly time to turn about" implying that when Virgil came to him he was on the verge of suicide or morally passing the point of no return), assailed by beasts (a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf; allegorical depictions of temptations towards sin) he cannot evade, and unable to find the "straight way" (diritta via) to salvation (symbolized by the sun behind the mountain). Conscious that he is ruining himself, that he is falling into a "deep place" (basso loco) where the sun is silent ('l sol tace), Dante is at last rescued by Virgil after his beloved Beatrice intercedes on his behalf (Canto II), and he and Virgil begin their journey to the underworld. Each sin's punishment in Inferno is a symbolic instance of poetic justice; for example, the fortune-tellers have to walk backwards with their heads turned around, unable to see what is ahead, because they tried to see what had not yet come. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter (Easter always falls on a Sunday). ... Events February 22 - Jubilee of Pope Boniface VIII. March 10 - Wardrobe accounts of King Edward I of Englanddo (aka Edward Longshanks) include a reference to a game called creag being played at the town of Newenden in Kent. ... In medias res, also medias in res (Latin for into the middle of things) is a literary and artistic technique where the narrative starts in the middle of the story instead of from its beginning (ab ovo or ab initio). ... Psalms (from the Greek: Psalmoi) (originally meaning songs sung to a harp, from psallein play on a stringed instrument, Ψαλμοί; Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or praises) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh or Old Testament. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Lion (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Leopard (disambiguation). ... Gray Wolves redirects here. ... Poetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King and Joe Torry. ...

"The Barque of Dante" by Eugène Delacroix
"The Barque of Dante" by Eugène Delacroix

Dante passes through the gate of hell, on which is inscribed the famous phrase "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate", or "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"[1] Before entering Hell completely, Dante and his guide see the Opportunists, souls of people who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil (among these Dante recognizes either Pope Celestine V, or Pontius Pilate; the text is ambiguous). Mixed with them are the outcasts, who took no side in the Rebellion of Angels. These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores of the Acheron, their punishment to eternally pursue a banner, and be pursued by wasps and hornets that continually sting them while maggots and other such insects drink their blood and tears. This symbolizes the sting of their conscience and the repugnance of sin. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x720, 118 KB) Eugène Delacroix, The Barque of Dante, 1822, (oil on canvas, 189 x 246 cm), Louvre, Paris Background notes: Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix Edit Info:Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix File links The following pages on the... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x720, 118 KB) Eugène Delacroix, The Barque of Dante, 1822, (oil on canvas, 189 x 246 cm), Louvre, Paris Background notes: Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix Edit Info:Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix File links The following pages on the... Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (April 26, 1798 – August 13, 1863) was one of the most important of the French Romantic painters. ... Pope Celestine V (c. ... Ecce Homo (Behold the Man!), Antonio Ciseris depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Jesus to the people of Jerusalem. ... Combatants Rebel angels Loyalist angels Commanders Lucifer Michael the Archangel Strength 133,306,668 (disputed) 266,613,336(disputed) Casualties uncertain uncertain According to Christian mythology, the War in Heaven was a defining moment in the universe, when the cherub angel Lucifer led a third of the Angels in an... The Inferno redirects here. ... Acheron river near the village of Glyki. ... For other uses, see Wasp (disambiguation). ... This article refers collectively to all true hornets. ... Look up maggot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... François Chifflart (1825-1901), La Conscience (daprès Victor Hugo) Conscience is an ability or faculty or sense that leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, or which informs our moral judgment before performing such an action. ...


Then Dante and Virgil reach the ferry that will take them across the river Acheron and to Hell proper. The ferry is piloted by Charon, who does not want to let Dante enter, for he is a living being. Virgil forces Charon to take them, but their passage across is undescribed since Dante faints and does not awake until he is on the other side. Michelangelos rendering of Charon. ...


The Circles of Hell

Virgil guides Dante through the nine circles of Hell. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness, and culminating at the center of the earth, where Satan is held in bondage. Each circle's sin is punished in a fashion fitting their crime: the sinner is afflicted by the chief sin he committed for all of eternity. People who die in God's grace but are still somehow impure are found in Purgatory, not in Hell. Those in Hell are people who justify their sin and are unrepentant. Furthermore, those in hell have knowledge of the past and future, but not of the present. This is a joke on them in Dante's mind because after the Final Judgment, time ends; those in hell would then know nothing. The nine circles are: This article is about the concept of Satan. ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... In Christian eschatology, the Last Judgment or Judgement Day is the ethical-judicial trial, judgment, and punishment/reward of individual humans (assignment to heaven or to hell) by a divine tribunal at the end of time, following the destruction of humans present earthly existence. ...

Sandro Botticelli's Chart of Hell c. 1490
Sandro Botticelli's Chart of Hell c. 1490
  • First Circle (Limbo). Here reside the unbaptized and the virtuous pagans, who, though not sinful, did not accept Christ. Here also reside those who, if they lived before the coming of Christ, did not pay fitting homage to their respective deity. They are not punished in an active sense, but rather grieve only their separation from God, without hope of reconciliation. The chief irony in this circle is that Limbo shares many characteristics with Elysian Fields, thus the guiltless damned are punished by living in their deficient form of heaven. Their fault was that they lacked faith — the hope for something greater than rational minds can conceive. Limbo includes green fields and a castle, the dwelling place of the wisest men of antiquity, including Virgil himself, as well as the Islamic philosophers Averroes and Avicenna. In the castle Dante meets the poets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan and the philosophers Socrates and Plato. Interestingly, he also sees Saladin in Limbo. (Canto IV) Dante implies that all virtuous pagans find themselves here, although he later encounters two in heaven and one in purgatory.

Beyond the first circle, all of those condemned for active, deliberately willed sin are judged by Minos, who sentences each soul to one of the lower eight circles. These are structured according to the classical (Aristotelian) conception of virtue and vice, so that they are grouped into the sins of incontinence, violence, and fraud (which for many commentators are represented by the leopard, lion, and she-wolf[2]). The sins of incontinence — weakness in controlling one's desires and natural urges — are the mildest among them, and, correspondingly, appear first: Sandro Botticelli Chart of Hell ca. ... Sandro Botticelli Chart of Hell ca. ... Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (little barrel) (March 1, 1445 – May 17, 1510) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school during the Early Renaissance (Quattrocento). ... Events Tirant Lo Blanc by Joanot Martorell, Martí Joan De Galba is published. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... This article is about the Christian religious act of Baptism. ... Virtuous paganism is a concept of Christian theology parallel to the Righteous Among the Nations in Judaism. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... For other uses, see Elysium (disambiguation). ... Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... (Persian: ابن سينا) (c. ... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... For other uses, see Ovid (disambiguation) Publius Ovidius Naso (March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD) was a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid who wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (November 3, AD 39-April 30, 65), better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, and is one of the outstanding figures of the Silver Latin period. ... This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Saladin, properly known as Salah al-DÄ«n Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Arabic: , Kurdish: ) (c. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... Front face of the MINOS far detector. ...

"Gianciotto Discovers Paolo and Francesca" by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
"Gianciotto Discovers Paolo and Francesca" by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
  • Second Circle. Those overcome by lust are punished in this circle. They are the first ones to be truly punished in Hell. These souls are blown about to and for by a violent storm, without hope of rest. This symbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly. Francesca da Rimini informs Dante of how she and her husband's brother Paolo committed adultery and died a violent death at the hands of her husband. (Canto V)
  • Third Circle. Cerberus guards the gluttons, forced to lie in the mud under continual cold rain and hail. Dante converses with a Florentine contemporary identified as Ciacco ("Hog" — probably a nickname) regarding strife in Florence and the fate of prominent Florentines. (Canto VI)
  • Fourth Circle. Those whose concern for material goods deviated from the desired mean are punished in this circle. They include the avaricious or miserly, who hoarded possessions, and the prodigal, who squandered them. Guarded by Plutus, each group pushes a great weight against the heavy weight of the other group. After the weights crash together the process starts over again. (In Gustave Doré's illustrations for this scene, the damned push huge money bags.) (Canto VII)
  • Fifth Circle. In the swamp-like water of the river Styx, the wrathful fight each other on the surface, and the sullen or slothful lie gurgling beneath the water. Phlegyas reluctantly transports Dante and Virgil across the Styx in his skiff. On the way they are accosted by Filippo Argenti, a Black Guelph from a prominent family. (Cantos VII and VIII)

The lower parts of hell are contained within the walls of the city of Dis, which is itself surrounded by the Stygian marsh. Punished within Dis are active (rather than passive) sins. The walls of Dis are guarded by fallen angels. Virgil is unable to convince them to let Dante and him enter, and the Furies and Medusa threaten Dante. An angel sent from Heaven secures entry for the poets. (Cantos VIII and IX) Image File history File links Gianciotto_Discovers_Paolo_and_Francesca_Jean_Auguste_Dominique_Ingres. ... Image File history File links Gianciotto_Discovers_Paolo_and_Francesca_Jean_Auguste_Dominique_Ingres. ... Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (pronounced (Ang, rhymes with bang, with a hint of the r, but the final es is not pronounced) (August 29, 1780 - January 14, 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. ... Lust is any intense desire or craving for self gratification. ... Gianciotto Discovers Paolo and Francesca by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Francesca da Rimini or Francesca da Polenta (died 1285) was the beautiful daughter of Guido da Polenta of Ravenna. ... Heracles and threatened Cerberus, Attic black-figure neck-amphora, ca. ... Gluttony can also refer to a character named Gluttony - a homonculus from the anime series Full Metal Alchemist Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. ... Ciacco is one of the characters in the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri that were not yet well defined by historians. ... In Greek mythology, Plutus (wealth Πλοῦτος) was a son of Demeter and the Titan Iasion and was the personification and god of wealth and money. ... In Greek mythology, Styx (Στυξ) is the name of a river which formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld, Hades. ... Phlegyas, son of Ares and Chryse, King of the Lapiths in Greek mythology was father of Ixion and Coronis, one of Apollos lovers. ... Filippo Argenti (13th century), a citizen of Florence, was a member of the Cavicciuoli branch of the Adimari family. ... The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting, respectively, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries. ... This page may meet Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... It has been suggested that Evil Angels be merged into this article or section. ... Two Furies, from an ancient vase. ... Medusa, by Arnold Böcklin (1878) In Greek mythology, Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα, guardian, protectress[1]) was a monstrous chthonic female character, essentially an extension of an apotropaic mask, gazing upon whom could turn onlookers to stone. ... This article is about the supernatural being. ...

  • Sixth Circle. Heretics are trapped in flaming tombs. Dante holds discourse with a pair of Florentines in one of the tombs: Farinata degli Uberti, a Ghibelline; and Cavalcante de' Cavalcanti, a Guelph who was the father of Dante's friend, fellow poet Guido Cavalcanti. (Cantos X and XI)
  • Seventh Circle. This circle houses the violent. Its entry is guarded by the Minotaur, and it is divided into three rings:
    • Outer ring, housing the violent against people and property, who are immersed in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood, to a level commensurate with their sins. The Centaurs, commanded by Chiron, patrol the ring. The centaur Nessus guides the poets along Phlegethon and across a ford in the river. (Canto XII)
    • Middle ring: In this ring are the suicides, who are transformed into gnarled thorny bushes and trees. They are torn at by the Harpies. Unique among the dead, the suicides will not be bodily resurrected after the final judgment. Instead they will maintain their bushy form, with their own corpses hanging from the limbs. Dante breaks a twig off of one of the bushes and hears the tale of Pier delle Vigne, who committed suicide after falling out of favor with Emperor Frederick II. The other residents of this ring are the profligates, who destroyed their lives by destroying the means by which life is sustained (i.e. money and property). They are perpetually chased by ferocious dogs through the thorny undergrowth. (Canto XIII) The trees are a metaphor; in life the only way of the relief of suffering was through pain (i.e. suicide) and in Hell, the only form of relief of the suffering is through pain (breaking of the limbs to bleed).
    • Inner ring: The violent against God (blasphemers), the violent against nature (sodomites), and the violent against art (usurers), all reside in a desert of flaming sand with fiery flakes raining from the sky. The blasphemers lie on the sand, the usurers sit, and the sodomites wander about in groups. Dante converses with two Florentine sodomites from different groups: Brunetto Latini, a poet; and Iacopo Rusticucci, a politician. (Cantos XIV through XVI) Those punished here for usury include Florentines Catello di Rosso Gianfigliazzi, Ciappo Ubriachi, and Giovanni di Buiamonte, and Paduans Reginaldo degli Scrovegni and Vitaliano di Iacopo Vitaliani.

The last two circles of Hell punish sins that involve conscious fraud or treachery. The circles can be reached only by descending a vast cliff, which Dante and Virgil do on the back of Geryon, a winged monster represented by Dante as having the face of an honest man and a body that ends in a scorpion-like stinger. (Canto XVII) Heresy, as a blanket term, describes a practice or belief that is labeled as unorthodox. ... Painting by Andrea del Castagno depicting Farinata degli Uberti Farinata degli Uberti (died Nov 11, 1264) was an Italian aristocrat and military leader, considered by some to be a heretic, who appears in Dantes Inferno and is mentioned in C.S. Lewiss short sequel to The Screwtape Letters... The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting, respectively, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries. ... Cavalcante de Cavalcanti (born c. ... The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting, respectively, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries. ... Cavalcanti and Dante Guido Cavalcanti (c. ... This article is about the mythological monster. ... In Greek mythology, the river Phlegethon (lake of fire) was one of the five rivers of the underworld, along with the rivers Styx, Lethe, Cocytus, and Acheron. ... This article is about the mythological creatures. ... Chiron and Achilles In Greek mythology, Chiron (hand) — sometimes transliterated Cheiron or rarely Kiron — was held as the superlative centaur among his brethren. ... Guido Reni, Abduction of Deianira, 1620-21, Louvre Museum. ... Harpy (from Latin: Harpyia, Greek: Άρπυια, Harpuia, pl. ... Pietro della Vigna, or Pier delle Vigne [Petrus de Vineas or de Vineis] (c. ... Frederick II (December 26, 1194 – December 13, 1250), of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was a pretender to the title of King of the Romans from 1212 and unopposed holder of that monarchy from 1215. ... For the black metal band, see Blasphemy (band). ... François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ... Look up usury in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Brunetto Latini (c. ... Iacopo Rusticucci was a 13th century Florentine politician. ... This article is about the city in Italy. ... Catello di Rosso Gianfigliazzi was a Florentine nobleman who lived in the late 1200s around the time of Giotto and Dante. ... Ciappo Ubriachi was a Florentine nobleman who lived in the late 1200s around the time of Giotto and Dante. ... Giovanni di Buiamonte was a Florentine nobleman who lived in the late 1200s around the time of Giotto and Dante. ... Padua, Italy, (Italian: IPA: , Latin: Patavium, Venetian: ) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, the economic and communications hub of the region. ... Reginaldo degli Scrovegni was a Paduan nobleman who lived in the early 1300s around the time of Giotto and Dante. ... Vitaliano di Iacopo Vitaliani was a Paduan nobleman who lived in the late 1200s around the time of Giotto and Dante. ... Heracles fighting Geryon, amphora by the E Group, ca. ...

Dante's guide rebuffs Malacoda and his fiends between bolgia five and six in the Eighth Circle of Hell, Inferno, Canto 21.
Dante's guide rebuffs Malacoda and his fiends between bolgia five and six in the Eighth Circle of Hell, Inferno, Canto 21.
Dante climbs the flinty steps in bolgia seven in the Eighth Circle of Hell, Inferno, Canto 26.
Dante climbs the flinty steps in bolgia seven in the Eighth Circle of Hell, Inferno, Canto 26.
  • Eighth Circle. The fraudulent—those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil—are located in a circle named Malebolge ("Evil Pockets"), divided into ten bolgie, or ditches of stone, with bridges spanning the ditches:
    • Bolgia 1: Panderers and seducers walk in separate lines in opposite directions, whipped by demons. In the group of panderers the poets notice Venedico Caccianemico, and in the group of seducers Virgil points out Jason.(Canto XVIII)
    • Bolgia 2: Flatterers are steeped in human excrement. (Canto XVIII)
    • Bolgia 3: Those who committed simony are placed head-first in holes in the rock, with flames burning on the soles of their feet. One of them, Pope Nicholas III, denounces as simonists two of his successors, Pope Boniface VIII and Pope Clement V. (Canto XIX)
    • Bolgia 4: Sorcerers and false prophets have their heads twisted around on their bodies backward, so they can only see what is behind them and not into the future.(Canto XX)
    • Bolgia 5: Corrupt politicians (barrators) are immersed in a lake of boiling pitch, guarded by devils, the Malebranche ("Evil Claws"). Their leader, Malacoda ("Evil Tail"), assigns a troop to escort Virgil and Dante to the next bridge. The troop hook and torment Ciampolo, who identifies some Italian grafters and then tricks the Malebranche in order to escape back into the pitch. (Cantos XXI through XXIII)
    • Bolgia 6: The bridge over this bolgia is broken: the poets climb down into it and find the Hypocrites listlessly walking along wearing gold-gilded lead cloaks. Dante speaks with Catalano and Loderingo, members of the Jovial Friars. It is also ironic in this canto that whilst in the company of hypocrites, the poets also discover that the guardians of the fraudulent (the malebranche) are hypocrites themselves, as they find that they have lied to them, giving false directions, when at the same time they are punishing liars for similar sins. (Canto XXIII)
    • Bolgia 7: Thieves, guarded by the centaur (as Dante describes him) Cacus, are pursued and bitten by snakes. The snake bites make them undergo various transformations, with some resurrected after being turned to ashes, some mutating into new creatures, and still others exchanging natures with the snakes, becoming snakes themselves that chase the other thieves in turn. (Cantos XXIV and XXV)
    • Bolgia 8: Fraudulent advisors are encased in individual flames. Dante includes Ulysses and Diomedes together here for their role in the Trojan War. Ulysses tells the tale of his fatal final voyage, where he left his home and family to sail to the end of the Earth. He equated life as a pursuit of knowledge that humanity can attain through effort, and in his search God sank his ship outside of Mount Purgatory. This symbolizes the inability of the individual to carve out one's own salvation. Instead, one must be totally subservient to the will of God and realize the inability of one to be a God unto oneself. Guido da Montefeltro recounts how his advice to Pope Boniface VIII resulted in his damnation, despite Boniface's promise of absolution. (Cantos XXVI and XXVII)
    • Bolgia 9: A sword-wielding demon hacks at the sowers of discord. As they make their rounds the wounds heal, only to have the demon tear apart their bodies again. Muhammad tells Dante to warn the schismatic and heretic Fra Dolcino. (Cantos XXVIII and XXIX)
    • Bolgia 10: Groups of various sorts of falsifiers (alchemists, counterfeiters, perjurers, and impersonators) are afflicted with different types of diseases. (Cantos XXIX and XXX)
Satan is trapped in the frozen central zone in the Ninth Circle of Hell, Inferno, Canto 34.
Satan is trapped in the frozen central zone in the Ninth Circle of Hell, Inferno, Canto 34.

The Ninth Circle is ringed by classical and Biblical giants. The giants are standing either on, or on a ledge above, the ninth circle of Hell, and are visible from the waist up at the ninth circle of the Malebolge. The giant Antaeus lowers Dante and Virgil into the pit that forms the ninth circle of Hell. (Canto XXXI) Download high resolution version (979x797, 227 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (979x797, 227 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Malacoda is the Leader of the fiends in Bolgia Five, the name (Malacoda) in Italian is roughly equivalent to bad tail or evil tail. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Malebolge is the eighth circle of Hell. ... // In sociology, seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person into an act. ... This article is about the hero from Greek mythology. ... Look up simony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... . Nicholas III, né Giovanni Gaetano Orsini (Rome, ca. ... Pope Boniface VIII (c. ... Clement V, born Bertrand de Goth (also occasionally spelled Gouth and Got) (1264 – April 20, 1314), was Pope from 1305 to his death. ... John Dee and Edward Kelley evoking a spirit: Elizabethans who claimed magical knowledge A magician is a person skilled in the mysterious and hidden art of magic, which can be described as either the act of entertaining with tricks that are in apparent violation of natural law, such as those... False prophet is a label given to a person who is viewed as illegitimately claiming charismatic authority within a religious group. ... Two legal concepts go by the name barratry: one in criminal and civil law, the other in admiralty law. ... Ciampolo is the accepted name of a character in Dantes Divine Comedy. ... Loderingo Andalò (1210-1293) was an Italian nobleman from a Bolognese Ghibelline family. ... The Knights of Saint Mary were a Dominican monastic order founded by Loderingo Andalò and other members of his family at Ronzano near Bologna, Italy in 1233. ... This article is about the mythological creatures. ... In Roman mythology, Cacus was a fire-breathing monster and the son of Hephaestus. ... For other meanings, see Odysseus (disambiguation) Ulysses redirects here. ... Diomēdēs or Diomed (Gk:Διομήδης - God-like cunning or advised by Zeus) is a hero in Greek mythology, mostly known for his participation in the Trojan War. ... The fall of Troy, by Johann Georg Trautmann (1713–1769). ... Guido da Montefeltro (1223 - September 29, 1298) was an Italian military strategist and lord of Urbino. ... Pope Boniface VIII (c. ... Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ... A counterfeit is an imitation that is made with the intent to deceptively represent its content or origins. ... Perjury is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law or in any of various sworn statements in writing. ... This article is about the medical term. ... The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Jack the Giant-Killer by Arthur Rackham. ... Hercules and Antaeus. ...

  • Ninth Circle. Traitors, distinguished from the "merely" fraudulent in that their acts involve betraying one in a special relationship to the betrayer, are frozen in a lake of ice known as Cocytus. Each group of traitors is encased in ice to a different depth, ranging from only the waist down to complete immersion. The circle is divided into four concentric zones:
    • Zone 1: Caïna, named for Cain, is home to traitors to their kindred. The souls here are immersed in the ice up to their necks. (Canto XXXII)
    • Zone 2: Antenora is named for Antenor of Troy, who according to medieval tradition betrayed his city to the Greeks. Traitors to political entities, such as party, city, or country, are located here. Count Ugolino pauses from gnawing on the head of his rival Archbishop Ruggieri to describe how Ruggieri imprisoned and starved him and his children. The souls here are immersed at almost the same level as those in Caïna, except they are unable to bend their necks. (Cantos XXXII and XXXIII)
    • Zone 3: Ptolomæa is probably named for Ptolemy, the captain of Jericho, who invited Simon Maccabaeus and his sons to a banquet and there killed them. Traitors to their guests are punished here. Fra Alberigo explains that sometimes a soul falls here before the time that Atropos (the Fate who cuts the thread of life) should send it. Their bodies on Earth are immediately possessed by a fiend. The souls here are immersed so much that only half of their faces are visible. As they cry, their tears freeze and seal their eyes shut- they are denied even the comfort of tears. (Canto XXXIII)
    • Zone 4: Judecca, named for Judas the Iscariot, Biblical betrayer of Christ, is for traitors to their lords and benefactors. All of the sinners punished within are completely encapsulated in ice, distorted to all conceivable positions. Dante and Virgil, with no one to talk to, quickly move on to the center of hell. Condemned to the very center of hell for committing the ultimate sin (treachery against God) is Satan, who has three faces, one red, one black, and one a pale yellow, each having a mouth that chews on a prominent traitor. Satan himself is represented as a giant, terrifying beast, weeping tears from his six eyes, which mix with the traitors' blood sickeningly. He is waist deep in ice, and beats his six wings as if trying to escape, but the icy wind that emanates only further ensures his imprisonment (as well as that of the others in the ring). The sinners in the mouths of Satan are Brutus and Cassius in the left and right mouths, respectively, who were involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar (an act which, to Dante, represented the destruction of a unified Italy), and Judas Iscariot (the namesake of this zone) in the central, most vicious mouth, who betrayed Jesus. Judas is being administered the most horrifying torture of the three traitors, his head in the mouth of Lucifer, and his back being forever skinned by the claws of Lucifer. (Canto XXXIV) What is seen here is a perverted trinity. Satan is impotent, ignorant, and evil while God can be attributed as the opposite: all powerful, all knowing, and good.

The two poets escape by climbing down the ragged fur of Lucifer, passing through the center of the earth, emerging in the other hemisphere just before dawn on Easter Sunday beneath a sky studded with stars. Cocytus, meaning the river of wailing (from the Greek κωκυτός, lamentation), is a river in the underworld in Greek mythology. ... In stories common to the Abrahamic religions, Cain or Káyin (קַיִן / קָיִן spear Standard Hebrew Qáyin, Tiberian Hebrew Qáyin / Qāyin; Arabic قايين QāyÄ«n in the Arabic Bible; قابيل QābÄ«l in Islam) is the eldest son of Adam and Eve, and the first man born in creation... In Greek mythology, Antenor was a son of the Dardanian noble Aesyetes by Cleomestra. ... Ugolino della Gherardesca (c. ... Simon Maccabaeus (died 134 BC) was a member of the Maccabees family. ... Fra Alberigo (?? - c. ... Atropos is also a British entomological journal - see Atropos (journal). ... In Greek mythology, the white-robed Moirae or Moerae (Greek Μοίραι – the Apportioners, often called the Fates) were the personifications of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, sparing ones, or Fatae; also equivalent to the Germanic Norns). ... This article is about the concept of Satan. ... Marcus Junius Brutus (85 –42 BC), or Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, was a Roman senator of the late Roman Republic. ... Caius Cassius Longinus featured on a denarius (42 BC). ... For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      For other... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Easter (also called Pascha) is generally accounted the most important holiday of the Christian year, observed March or April each year to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead (after his death by crucifixion; see Good Friday), which Christians believe happened at about this time of year, almost two...


Purgatorio

Dante gazes at Mount Purgatory in an allegorical portrait by Agnolo Bronzino, painted circa 1530.
Dante gazes at Mount Purgatory in an allegorical portrait by Agnolo Bronzino, painted circa 1530.

Having survived the depths of Hell, Dante and Virgil ascend out of the undergloom, to the Mountain of Purgatory on the far side of the world (in Dante's time, it was believed that Hell existed underneath Jerusalem). The Mountain is on an island, the only land in the Southern Hemisphere. At the shores of Purgatory, Dante and Virgil are attracted by a musical performance by Casella, but are reprimanded by Cato, a pagan who has been placed by God as the general guardian of the approach to the mountain. The text gives no indication whether or not Cato's soul is destined for heaven: his symbolic significance has been much debated. (Cantos I and II). Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (844x900, 82 KB) Alegorical portrait of Dante, 1530. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (844x900, 82 KB) Alegorical portrait of Dante, 1530. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... Country Italy Region Liguria Province Province of Genoa (GE) Mayor Elevation 410 m Area 7. ... Marcus Porcius Catō Uticensis (95 BC–46 BC), known as Cato the Younger (Cato Minor) to distinguish him from his great-grandfather Cato the Elder), was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy. ...


Dante starts the ascent on Mount Purgatory. On the lower slopes (designated as "ante-Purgatory" by commentators) Dante meets first a group of excommunicates, detained for a period thirty times as long as their period of contumacy. Ascending higher, he encounters those too lazy to repent until shortly before death, and those who suffered violent deaths (often due to leading extremely sinful lives). These souls will be admitted to Purgatory thanks to their genuine repentance, but must wait outside for an amount of time equal to their lives on earth (Cantos III through VI). Finally, Dante is shown a beautiful valley where he sees the lately-deceased monarchs of the great nations of Europe, and a number of other persons whose devotion to public and private duties hampered their faith (Cantos VII and VIII). From this valley Dante is carried (while asleep) up to the gates of Purgatory proper (Canto IX). Contumacy, in ecclesiastical law, is contempt of the authority of an ecclesiastical court and is dealt with by the issue of a writ from the Court of Chancery at the instance of the judge of the ecclesiastical court. ...


The gate of Purgatory is guarded by an angel who uses the point of his sword to draw the letter "P" (signifying peccatum, sin) seven times on Dante's forehead, abjuring him to "wash you those wounds within." The angel uses two keys, gold and silver, to open the gate and warns Dante not to look back, lest he should find himself outside the gate again, symbolizing Dante having to overcome and rise above the hell that he has just left and thusly leaving his sinning ways behind him.


From there, Virgil guides the pilgrim Dante through the seven terraces of Purgatory. These correspond to the seven deadly sins, each terrace purging a particular sin in an appropriate manner. Those in purgatory can leave their circle whenever they like, but essentially there is an honor system where no one leaves until they have corrected the nature within themselves that caused them to commit that sin. Souls can only move upwards and never backwards, since the intent of Purgatory is for souls to ascend towards God in Heaven, and can ascend only during daylight hours, since the light of God is the only true guidance. Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... For other uses, see Cardinal sin (disambiguation). ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ...


The Terraces of Purgatory

On the first three terraces of Purgatory are purified those whose sins were caused by perverted love, love directed toward vice instead of God.

Dante's meeting with Matelda, lithograph by Cairoli (1889)
Dante's meeting with Matelda, lithograph by Cairoli (1889)
  • First Terrace. The proud are purged by carrying giant stones on their backs, unable to stand up straight (Cantos X through XII). This teaches the sinner that pride puts weight on the soul and it is better to throw it off. Furthermore, there are carvings of historical and mythological examples of pride to learn from. With the weight on one's back, one cannot help but see this carved pavement and learn from it. At the ascent to the next terrace, an angel clears a letter P from Dante's head. This process is repeated on each terrace. Each time a P is removed, Dante's body feels lighter, because he becomes less and less weighed down from sin.
  • Second Terrace. The envious are purged by having their eyes sewn shut and wearing clothing that makes the soul indistinguishable from the ground (Cantos XIII through XV). This is akin to a falconer's sewing the eyes of a falcon shut in order to train it. God is the falconer and is training the souls not to envy others and to direct their love towards Him.
  • Third Terrace. The wrathful are purged by walking around in acrid smoke (Cantos XV through XVII). Souls correct themselves by learning how wrath has blinded their vision, impeding their judgment.

On the fourth terrace we find sinners whose sin was that of deficient love—that is, sloth or acedia. Image File history File links Cairoli,_Dante_incontra_Matelda_(1889). ... Image File history File links Cairoli,_Dante_incontra_Matelda_(1889). ... Pride is the name of an emotion which refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, nation or object that one identifies with. ... For other uses, see Envy (disambiguation). ... Flying a Saker Falcon Falconry or hawking is an art or sport which involves the use of trained raptors (birds of prey) to hunt or pursue game for humans. ... Look up Anger in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Anger is a term for the emotional aspect of aggression, as a basic aspect of the stress response in animals in which a perceived aggravating stimulus provokes a counterresponse which is likewise aggravating and threatening of violence. ... Acedia is a Greek word, literally meaning caringfree. ...

  • Fourth Terrace. The slothful are purged by continually running (Cantos XVIII and XIX). Those who were slothful in life can only purge this sin by being zealous in their desire for penance.

On the fifth through seventh terraces are those who sinned by loving good things, but loving them in a disordered way. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

  • Fifth Terrace. The avaricious and prodigal are purged by lying face-down on the ground, unable to move (Cantos XIX through XXI). Excessive concern for earthly goods—whether in the form of greed or extravagance—is punished and purified. The sinner learns to turn his desire from possessions, power or position to God. It is here that the poets meet the soul of Statius, who has completed his purgation and joins them on their ascent to paradise.
  • Sixth Terrace. The gluttonous are purged by abstaining from any food or drink (Cantos XXII through XXIV). Here, the soul's desire to eat a forbidden fruit causes its shade to starve. To sharpen the pains of hunger, the former gluttons on this terrace are forced to pass by cascades of cool water without stopping to drink. (Considering Dante's use of Greek myth, this may be inspired by Tantalus.)
  • Seventh Terrace. The lustful are purged by burning in an immense wall of flames (Cantos XXV through XXVII). All of those who committed sexual sins, both heterosexual and homosexual, are purified by the fire. Excessive sexual desire misdirects one's love from God and this terrace is meant to correct that. In addition, perhaps because all sin has its roots in misguided love, every soul who has completed his penance on the lower six cornices must pass through the wall of flame before ascending to the Earthly Paradise. Here Dante, too, must share the penance of the redeemed as the last "P" is removed from his forehead.
Dante's meeting with Beatrice, by John William Waterhouse
Dante's meeting with Beatrice, by John William Waterhouse

The ascent of the mountain culminates at the summit, which is in fact the Garden of Eden (Cantos XXVIII through XXXIII). This place is meant to return one to a state of innocence that existed before the sin of Adam and Eve caused the fall from grace. Here Dante meets Matelda, a woman of grace and beauty who prepares souls for their ascent to heaven. With her Dante witnesses a highly symbolic procession that may be read as an allegorical masque of the Church and the Sacrament. One participant in the procession is Beatrice, whom Dante loved in childhood, and at whose request Virgil was commissioned to bring Dante on his journey. Greed is often associated with death and disease. ... Publius Papinius Statius, (c. ... Gluttony can also refer to a character named Gluttony - a homonculus from the anime series Full Metal Alchemist Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. ... In the Bible, the forbidden fruit is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. ... Tantalos, by Goya In Greek mythology Tantalus (Greek Τάνταλος) was a son of Zeus[1] and the nymph Plouto (riches)[2] Thus he was a king in the primordial world, the father of a son Broteas whose very name signifies mortals (brotoi)[3] Other versions name his father as Tmolus wreathed... Lust is any intense desire or craving for self gratification. ... Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex or gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1030x800, 217 KB) [edit] Summary Dante and Beatrice, 1915. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1030x800, 217 KB) [edit] Summary Dante and Beatrice, 1915. ... John William Waterhouse. ... For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Adam (disambiguation). ... Michelangelos The Creation of Eve, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Eve from the side of Adam. ... Although the details surrounding the life of Beatrice Portinari, pronounced bay-a-treech-eh, (1266-1290) are subject to much dispute, there is little doubt she was a major influence in Dante Alighieris life, influencing particularly his works of La Vita Nuova and La Divina Commedia. ...


Virgil, as a pagan, is a permanent denizen of Limbo, the first circle of Hell, and may not enter Paradise; he vanishes. Beatrice then becomes the second guide (accompanied by an extravagant procession), and will accompany Dante in his vision of Heaven. Pagan and heathen redirect here. ... This article is about the theological concept. ...


Dante drinks from the River Lethe, which causes the soul to forget past sins, and then from the River Eunoë, which effects the renewal of memories of good deeds. Thus purified, souls can direct their love fully towards God to the best of their inherent capability to do so. They are then ready to leave Mount Purgatory for Paradise. Being totally purged of sin, Purgatorio ends with Dante's vision aimed at the stars, anticipating his ascent to heaven. In Classical Greek, Lethe (LEE-thee) literally means forgetfulness or concealment. The Greek word for truth is a-lethe-ia, meaning un-forgetfulness or un-concealment. In Greek mythology, Lethe is one of the several rivers of Hades. ...


Paradiso

Illustration of Dante's Paradiso, by Giovanni di Paolo, (between 1442 and c.1450)
Illustration of Dante's Paradiso, by Giovanni di Paolo, (between 1442 and c.1450)

After an initial ascension (Canto I), Beatrice guides Dante through the nine spheres of Heaven. These are concentric and spherical, similar to Aristotelian and Ptolemaic cosmology. Dante admits that the vision of heaven he receives is the one that his human eyes permit him to see. Thus, the vision of heaven found in the Cantos is Dante's own personal vision, ambiguous in its true construction. The addition of a moral dimension means that a soul that has reached Paradise stops at the level applicable to it. Souls are allotted to the point of heaven that fits with their human ability to love God. Thus, there is a heavenly hierarchy. All parts of heaven are accessible to the heavenly soul. That is to say all experience God but there is a hierarchy in the sense that some souls are more spiritually developed than others. This is not determined by time or learning as such but by their proximity to God (how much they allow themselves to experience Him above other things). It must be remembered in Dante's schema that all souls in Heaven are on some level always in contact with God. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1298x606, 847 KB) [edit] Summary Subject: Illustration of Dantes Paradiso, canto X, first circle of the 12 teachers of wisdom led by Thomas Aquinas Manuscript Manuscript: British Library, Yates Thompson 36, fol. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1298x606, 847 KB) [edit] Summary Subject: Illustration of Dantes Paradiso, canto X, first circle of the 12 teachers of wisdom led by Thomas Aquinas Manuscript Manuscript: British Library, Yates Thompson 36, fol. ... Giovanni di Paolo is an Italian painter of the Sienese School 1395-1482. ... Although the details surrounding the life of Beatrice Portinari, pronounced bay-a-treech-eh, (1266-1290) are subject to much dispute, there is little doubt she was a major influence in Dante Alighieris life, influencing particularly his works of La Vita Nuova and La Divina Commedia. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This article is about the geographer, mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy. ...


The Spheres of Heaven

The nine spheres are:

  • First Sphere. The sphere of the Moon is that of souls who abandoned their vows (Cantos II through V). Dante meets Piccarda, sister of Dante's friend Forese Donati, who died shortly after being forcibly removed from her convent. Beatrice discourses on the freedom of the will, and the inviolability of sacred vows.
  • Second Sphere. The sphere of Mercury is that of souls who did good out of a desire for fame (Cantos V through VII). Justinian recounts the history of the Roman Empire. Beatrice explains to Dante the atonement of Christ for the sins of humanity.
Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven; from Gustave Doré's illustrations for the Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto 31
Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven; from Gustave Doré's illustrations for the Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto 31
  • Third Sphere. The sphere of Venus is that of souls who did good out of love (Cantos VIII and IX). Dante meets Charles Martel of Anjou, who decries those who adopt inappropriate vocations, and Cunizza da Romano. Folquet de Marseilles points out Rahab, the brightest soul among those of this sphere.
  • Fourth Sphere. The sphere of the Sun is that of souls of the wise (Cantos X through XIV). Dante is addressed by St. Thomas Aquinas, who recounts the life of St. Francis of Assisi and laments the corruption of his own Dominican Order. Dante is then met by St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan, who recounts the life of St. Dominic, and laments the corruption of the Franciscan Order. Finally, Aquinas introduces King Solomon, who answers Dante's question about the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.
  • Fifth Sphere. The sphere of Mars is that of souls who fought for Christianity (Cantos XIV through XVIII). The souls in this sphere form an enormous cross. Dante speaks with the soul of his ancestor Cacciaguida, who praises the former virtues of the residents of Florence, recounts the rise and fall of Florentine families and foretells Dante's exile from Florence, before finally introducing some notable warrior souls (among them Joshua, Roland, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon).
  • Sixth Sphere. The sphere of Jupiter is that of souls who personified justice (Cantos XVIII through XX).
  • Seventh Sphere. The sphere of Saturn is that of the contemplative (Cantos XXI and XXII). For example, monks are found here.
  • Eighth Sphere. The sphere of fixed stars is the abode of all the blessed (Cantos XXII through XXVII). Here, Dante is tested on faith by Saint Peter, hope by Saint James, and love by Saint John the Evangelist. Dante justifies his medieval belief in astrology, that the power of the constellations is drawn from God.
  • Ninth Sphere. The Primum Mobile ("first moved" sphere) is the abode of angels (Cantos XXVII through XXIX).

Beatrice leaves Dante with Saint Bernard who prays to Mary on behalf of Dante and Dante is allowed to see both Jesus and Mary. From the Primum Mobile, Dante ascends to a region beyond physical existence, called the Empyrean (Cantos XXX through XXXIII). Here he comes face-to-face with God Himself, and is granted understanding of the Divine and of human nature. His vision is improved beyond that of human comprehension. God appears as three equally large circles within each other representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with the essence of each part of God, separate yet one. The book ends with Dante trying to understand how the circles fit together, how the Son is separate yet one with the Father but as Dante put it "that was not a flight for my wings" and the vision of God becomes equally inimitable and inexplicable that no word or intellectual exercise can come close to explaining what he saw. Dante's soul, through God's absolute love, experiences a unification with itself and all things "but already my desire and my will were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed by the Love that turns the sun and all the other stars." This article is about Earths moon. ... A vow (Lat. ... [[Link titleBold text // ]] This article is about the planet. ... This article is about the Roman emperor. ... For other uses, see Atonement (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (858x952, 205 KB) Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven (The Empyrean); from Gustave Dorés illustrations to the Divine Comedy, Paradiso Canto 31. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (858x952, 205 KB) Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven (The Empyrean); from Gustave Dorés illustrations to the Divine Comedy, Paradiso Canto 31. ... Doré photographed by Felix Nadar. ... (*min temperature refers to cloud tops only) Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 9. ... Charles Martel (September 8, 1271 – August 12, 1295, Naples) of the Angevin dynasty, also known as Charles I Martel, Charles Martel dAnjou, and (in Italian) Carlo Martello was the eldest son of king Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary, the daughter of King Stephen V of Hungary. ... Cunizza da Romano (born c. ... Folquet de Marselha, alternatively Folquet de Marseille, Foulques de Toulouse, Fulk of Toulouse (b. ... For the video game character from Legacy of Kain Series, see Rahab (Legacy of Kain). ... Sol redirects here. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Saint Francis of Assisi (born in Assisi, Italy, ca. ... “Dominicans” redirects here. ... Saint Bonaventura, John of Fidanza, Franciscan theologian, was born in 1221 at Bagnarea in Tuscany. ... The Order of Friars Minor and other Franciscan movements are disciples of Saint Francis of Assisi. ... St Dominic presiding over an auto de fe, Spanish, 1475 Saint Dominic (born at Calaruega, Spain, around 1170; died August 6, 1221, at Bologna, Italy) founded the Dominican Order. ... It has been suggested that Sulayman be merged into this article or section. ... Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system, named after the Roman god of war (the counterpart of the Greek Ares), on account of its blood red color as viewed in the night sky. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Cacciaguida degli Elisei (1091? - c. ... This article is about the city in Italy. ... Joshua, Jehoshuah or Yehoshua. ... This article is about the legendary figure. ... Charlemagne (left) and Pippin the Hunchback. ... Godfrey of Bouillon, from a tapestry painted in 1420 Godfrey of Bouillon (c. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 70 kPa Hydrogen ~86% Helium ~14% Methane 0. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 140 kPa Hydrogen >93% Helium >5% Methane 0. ... 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Earliest manuscripts

Detail of a manuscript in Milan's Biblioteca Trivulziana (MS 1080), written in 1337 by Francesco di ser Nardo da Barberino, showing the beginning of Dante's Comedy.
Detail of a manuscript in Milan's Biblioteca Trivulziana (MS 1080), written in 1337 by Francesco di ser Nardo da Barberino, showing the beginning of Dante's Comedy.

According to the Società Dantesca Italiana, no original manuscript written by Dante has survived, though there are many manuscript copies from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (more than 825 are listed on their site [2]). The oldest belongs to the 1330s, almost a decade after Dante's death. The most precious ones are the three full copies made by Giovanni Boccaccio (1360s), who himself did not have the original manuscript as a source. Image File history File links MS_Trivulziano_1080_incipit. ... Image File history File links MS_Trivulziano_1080_incipit. ... // March 16 - Edward, the Black Prince is created Duke of Cornwall. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poetry in the vernacular. ...


Thematic concerns

The Divine Comedy can be described simply as an allegory: Each canto, and the episodes therein, can contain many alternate meanings. Dante's allegory, however, is more complex, and, in explaining how to read the poem (see the "Letter to Can Grande della Scala"), he outlines other levels of meaning besides the allegory (the historical, the moral, the literal, and the anagogical). Allegory of Music by Filippino Lippi. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...


The structure of the poem, likewise, is quite complex, with mathematical and numerological patterns arching throughout the work, particularly threes and nines. The poem is often lauded for its particularly human qualities: Dante's skillful delineation of the characters he encounters in Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise; his bitter denunciations of Florentine and Italian politics; and his powerful poetic imagination. Dante's use of real characters, according to Dorothy Sayers in her introduction to her translation of "L'Inferno", allows Dante the freedom of not having to involve the reader in description, and allows him to "[make] room in his poem for the discussion of a great many subjects of the utmost importance, thus widening its range and increasing its variety." This article is about the city in Italy. ... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) was a British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist. ...


Dante called the poem "Comedy" (the adjective "Divine" added later in the 14th century) because poems in the ancient world were classified as High ("Tragedy") or Low ("Comedy"). Low poems had happy endings and were of everyday or vulgar subjects, while High poems were for more serious matters. Dante was one of the first in the Middle Ages to write of a serious subject, the Redemption of man, in the low and vulgar Italian language and not the Latin language as one might expect for such a serious topic.


The Divine Comedy and Islamic philosophy

In 1919 Professor Miguel Asín Palacios, a Spanish scholar and a Catholic priest, published La Escatología musulmana en la Divina Comedia ("Islamic Eschatology and the Divine Comedy"), an account of parallels between Islamic works and the Divine Comedy. Asín Palacios argued that Dante derived many features of and episodes about the hereafter directly or indirectly from various versions of Islamic works: the Hadith and the Kitab al Miraj (translated into Latin in 1264 or shortly before[3] as Liber Scale Machometi, "The Book of Muhammad's Ladder") concerning Muhammad's ascension to Heaven, and the spiritual writings of Ibn Arabi. Miguel Asin Y Palacios (1871-1944) was a Spanish scholar and a Roman Catholic priest. ... Hadith ( transliteration: ) are oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of Prophet Muhammad. ... The Kitab al Miraj (Arabic: کﺗﺎب المعراج) is a Muslim holy book concerned with Mohammads ascension into the Heavens (known as the Miraj), following his miraculous one-night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem (the Isra). ... Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... For the Maliki scholar, see Ibn al-Arabi. ...


The work of Professor Asín Palacios was criticized by many groups, including nationalist Italians, the Roman Catholic clergy and other European Christians. [3]. He responded by enumerating the possible sources from which Dante could have obtained the salient features of Islamic eschatology.


The issue is still divisive. Dante lived in a Europe of growing literary and philosophical contacts with the Muslim world, encouraged by such factors as Averroism and the patronage of Alfonso X of Castile. Still, some scholars have not been satisfied with explanations of how Dante would have gained knowledge of particular Islamic texts. The twentieth century Orientalist Francesco Gabrieli, a strenuous opponent of the Arabic theory, expressed skepticism regarding some claimed similarities, and the lack of evidence of the vehicle through which Islamic descriptions of the other world could have been transmitted to Dante. Even so, while dismissing the probability of some influences posited in Palacios's work, Gabrieli recognized that it was "at least possible, if not probable, that Dante may have known the Liber scalae and have taken from it certain images and concepts of Muslim eschatology". More recently, Giorgio Battistoni has brought to light further evidence: the role that commissioned Jewish translators working at the time in European circles played in making Arabic texts available to Christendom[4]. Shortly before her death the Italian philologist Maria Corti pointed out that, during his stay at the court of Alfonso X, Dante's mentor Brunetto Latini met Bonaventura da Siena, a Tuscan who had translated the Liber scalae from Arabic into Latin. According to Corti, It appears likely that Brunetto played a crucial role in providing Dante with Arab sources [5]. Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century, the first of which was based on the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd interpretations of Aristotle and the resolution of various conflicts between the writings of Aristotle and the Muslim... Alfonso X and his court. ... The Kitab al Miraj (Arabic: کﺗﺎب المعراج) is a Muslim holy book concerned with Mohammads ascension into the Heavens (known as the Miraj), following his miraculous one-night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem (the Isra). ... Alfonso X and his court. ... Brunetto Latini (c. ... The Kitab al Miraj (Arabic: کﺗﺎب المعراج) is a Muslim holy book concerned with Mohammads ascension into the Heavens (known as the Miraj), following his miraculous one-night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem (the Isra). ...


Literary influence in the English-speaking world

The work was not always so well regarded. After being recognized as a masterpiece in the first centuries after its publication, the work was largely ignored during the Enlightenment, only to be "rediscovered" by William Blake and the romantic writers of the 19th century. Later authors such as T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Samuel Beckett, and James Joyce have drawn on it for inspiration. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was its first American translator, and modern poets, including Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky, and William Merwin, have also given translations of all or parts of the book. ... William Blake (November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827) was an English poet, visionary, painter, and printmaker. ... Romantics redirects here. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965), was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. ... Ezra Pound in 1913. ... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... This article is about the writer and poet. ... Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet whose works include Paul Reveres Ride, A Psalm of Life, The Song of Hiawatha and Evangeline. He also wrote the first American translation of Dante Alighieris Divine Comedy and was one of the five members... Seamus Justin Heaney (IPA: ) (born 13 April 1939) is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. ... Robert Pinsky (born October 20, 1940) is an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator who served in the post of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (known popularly as the Poet Laureate of the United States) from 1997 to 2000. ... William Stanley (W.S.) Merwin was born on September 30, 1927 in New York City and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. ...


The Divine Comedy in the arts

The Divine Comedy has been a source of inspiration for countless artists for almost seven centuries — as one of the most well known and greatest artistic works in the Western tradition, its influence on culture cannot be overstated. Dante Alighieri and his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, have been a source of inspiration for countless artists for almost seven centuries. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
The Divine Comedy
Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Noah and the baptismal flood of the Old Testament (top panel) is typographically linked (prefigured) by the baptism of Jesus in the New Testament (bottom panel). ... Bangsian fantasy is the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife. ... Dante, Andrea del Castagno, ca. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ There are many English translations of this famous line. Some examples include
    • All hope abandon, ye who enter here - Henry Francis Cary (1805–1844)
    • All hope abandon, ye who enter in! - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1882)
    • Leave every hope, ye who enter! - Charles Eliot Norton (1891)
    • Leave all hope, ye that enter - Carlyle-Wicksteed (1932)
    • Lay down all hope, you that go in by me. - Dorothy L. Sayers (1949)
    • Abandon every hope, you who enter. - Charles S. Singleton (1970)
    • Abandon all hope, ye who enter here - John Ciardi (1977)
    • No room for hope, when you enter this place - C. H. Sisson (1980)
    • Abandon every hope, who enter here. - Allen Mandelbaum (1982)
    • Abandon all hope, you who enter here - Robert Pinsky (1993)
    • Abandon every hope, all you who enter - Mark Musa (1995)
    • Abandon every hope, you who enter. - Robert M. Durling (1996)
    • All hope abandon, you who enter here. - James Finn Cotter (2000) [1]
    • Abandon all hope upon entering here! - Marcus Saunders (2004)

    Verbatim, the line translates as "Leave (lasciate) every (ogne) hope (speranza), ye (voi) that (ch') enter (intrate)." Henry Francis Cary (December 6, 1772 - August 14, 1844) was an English author and translator. ... Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet whose works include Paul Reveres Ride, A Psalm of Life, The Song of Hiawatha and Evangeline. He also wrote the first American translation of Dante Alighieris Divine Comedy and was one of the five members... The brothers Charles Benjamin Norton, Frank Henry Norton, and Charles Eliot Norton, between 1853-1855. ... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist. ... John Anthony Ciardi (June 24, 1916 - March 30, 1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. ... Charles Hubert Sisson (1914-2003) was a British writer, best known as a poet and translator. ... Allen Mandelbaum (born 1926 in American professor of Italian literature, a poet, and a prolific translator. ... Robert Pinsky (born October 20, 1940) is an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator who served in the post of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (known popularly as the Poet Laureate of the United States) from 1997 to 2000. ... Mark Musa is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.A., 1956), the University of Florence (Fullbright, 1956-1958), and the Johns Hopkins University (M.A., 1959; Ph. ...

  2. ^ There is no general agreement on which animals represent the sins incontinence, violence, and fraud. Some see it as the she-wolf, lion, and leopard respectively, while others see it as the leopard, lion, and she-wolf respectively.
  3. ^ I. Heullant-Donat and M.-A. Polo de Beaulieu, "Histoire d'une traduction," in Le Livre de l'échelle de Mahomet, Latin edition and French translation by Gisèle Besson and Michèle Brossard-Dandré, Collection Lettres Gothiques, Le Livre de Poche, 1991, p. 22 with note 37.

External links

  • Princeton Dante Project Website that offers the complete text of The Divine Comedy (and Dante's other works) in Italian and English along with audio accompaniment in both languages. Includes historical and interpretive annotation.
  • Dante Dartmouth Project: Full text of more than 70 Italian, Latin, and English commentaries on the Commedia, ranging in date from 1322 (Iacopo Alighieri) to the 2000s (Robert Hollander)
  • The Comedy in English: trans. Cary (with Doré's illustrations) (HTML), trans. Cary (with Doré's illustrations) (zipped HTML downloadable from Project Gutenberg), Cary/Longfellow/Mandelbaum parallel edition
  • Concordances of The Divine Comedy
  • Audiobooks: Public domain recordings from LibriVox (in Italian, Longfellow translation); some additional recordings
  • Danteworlds, multimedia presentation of the Divine Comedy for students by Guy Raffa of the University of Texas

Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Divine Comedy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5445 words)
Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelino's fresco.
The Divine Comedy is composed of three canticas (or "cantiche"), Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise), composed respectively of 34, 33, and 33 cantos.
William Blake illustrated the Comedy and the engravings of Gustave Doré are widely used in modern editions.
The Classic Text: Dante Alighieri (368 words)
In 1555, a fine edition of his Commedia was published in Venice with the adjective divine applied to the poem's title for the first time, resulting in the title still in use today, The Divine Comedy.
Dante's literal journeyis also an allegory of the progress of the individual soul toward God and the progress of political and social mankind toward peace on earth; it is a compassionate, although moral, evaluation of human nature and a mystic vision of the Absolute toward which it strives.
he Divine Comedy is also important for its place in the history of the development of the Italian language.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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