HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poem by
Dante Alighieri Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian people, Italian Italian poetry, poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origin ...
, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of
world literature World literature is used to refer to the total of the world's national literature and the circulation of works into the wider world beyond their country of origin. In the past, it primarily referred to the masterpieces of European literature, ...
. The poem's imaginative vision of the
afterlife The afterlife (also referred to as life after death) is a purported existence in which the essence, essential part of an Individual, individual's Personal identity, identity or their Stream of consciousness (psychology), stream of consciousness ...
is representative of the medieval worldview as it existed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized
Italian language Italian (''italiano'' or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαί ...
. It is divided into three parts: '' Inferno'', ''
Purgatorio ''Purgatorio'' (; Italian for "Purgatory") is the second part of Dante's ''Divine Comedy'', following the ''Inferno (Dante), Inferno'' and preceding the ''Paradiso (Dante), Paradiso''. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an a ...
'', and '' Paradiso''. The narrative takes as its literal subject the state of the soul after death and presents an image of divine justice meted out as due punishment or reward, and describes Dante's travels through
Hell In religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that ...
,
Purgatory Purgatory (, borrowed into English language, English via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christian denominations (mostly Catholic), an intermediate state after physical death ...
, and
Heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common Religious cosmology, religious cosmological or transcendence (religion), transcendent supernatural place where beings such as deity, deities, angels, souls, saints, or Veneration of the dead, venerated ancest ...
. Allegorically, the poem represents the soul's journey towards God, beginning with the recognition and rejection of sin (''Inferno''), followed by the penitent Christian life (''Purgatorio''), which is then followed by the soul's ascent to God (''Paradiso''). Dante draws on medieval
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy derived from the ''
Summa Theologica The ''Summa Theologiae'' or ''Summa Theologica'' (), often referred to simply as the ''Summa'', is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), a scholasticism, scholastic theologian and Doctor of the Church. It is a compendium of all ...
'' of
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Order, OP (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar and Catholic priest, priest who was an influential List of Catholic philo ...
. Consequently, the ''Divine Comedy'' has been called "the ''Summa'' in verse". In the poem, the pilgrim Dante is accompanied by three guides:
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...
(who represents human reason, and who guides him for all of ''Inferno'' and most of ''Purgatorio''); Beatrice (who represents
divine revelation In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of Religious views on truth, truth or Knowledge#Religious meaning of knowledge, knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entiti ...
,
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the ...
,
faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often ...
, and grace, guiding him at the end of ''Purgatorio'' and for most of ''Paradiso''); and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (who represents contemplative mysticism and devotion to Mary the Mother, guiding him in the final cantos of ''Paradiso''). The work was originally simply titled ''Comedìa'' (, Tuscan for "
Comedy Comedy is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, television, radio, books, Entertainment, or any other entertainment medium. T ...
") – so also in the first printed edition, published in 1472 – later adjusted to the modern Italian . The adjective was added by
Giovanni Boccaccio Giovanni Boccaccio (, , ; 16 June 1313 – 21 December 1375) was an Italian writer, poet, correspondent of Petrarch Francesco Petrarca (; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (), was a scholar and poet ...
, owing to its subject matter and lofty style, and the first edition to name the poem ''Divina Comedia'' in the title was that of the Venetian
humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philo ...
Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari. Erich Auerbach said Dante was the first writer to depict human beings as the products of a specific time, place and circumstance, as opposed to mythic archetypes or a collection of vices and virtues, concluding that this, along with the fully imagined world of the ''Divine Comedy'', suggests that the ''Divine Comedy'' inaugurated realism and self-portraiture in modern fiction.


Structure and story

The ''Divine Comedy'' is composed of 14,233 lines that are divided into three ''cantiche'' (singular ''cantica'') – ''Inferno'' (
Hell In religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that ...
), ''Purgatorio'' (
Purgatory Purgatory (, borrowed into English language, English via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christian denominations (mostly Catholic), an intermediate state after physical death ...
), and ''Paradiso'' (
Paradise In religion, paradise is a place of exceptional happiness and delight. Paradisiacal notions are often laden with pastoral imagery, and may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both, often compared to the miseries of human civilization: in paradis ...
) – each consisting of 33
canto The canto () is a principal form of division in medieval and modern long poem, long poetry. Etymology and equivalent terms The word ''canto'' is derived from the Italian language, Italian word for "song" or "singing", which comes from the Latin ...
s (Italian plural ''canti''). An initial canto, serving as an introduction to the poem and generally considered to be part of the first ''cantica'', brings the total number of cantos to 100. It is generally accepted, however, that the first two cantos serve as a unitary prologue to the entire epic, and that the opening two cantos of each ''cantica'' serve as prologues to each of the three ''cantiche''. The number three is prominent in the work, represented in part by the number of ''cantiche'' and their lengths. Additionally, the verse scheme used, '' terza rima'', is hendecasyllabic (lines of eleven syllables), with the lines composing
tercet A tercet is composed of three lines of poetry, forming a stanza or a complete poem. Examples of tercet forms Haiku in English, English-language haiku is an example of an unrhymed tercet poem. A poetic triplet is a tercet in which all three lines ...
s according to the
rhyme scheme A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line of a poem or song. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme; lines designated with the same letter all rhyme with each other. An example of the ABAB rh ...
''aba, bcb, cdc, ded, ...''. The total number of syllables in each tercet is thus 33, the same as the number of cantos in each ''cantica''. Written in the first person, the poem tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before
Good Friday Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (also Holy ...
to the Wednesday after
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'') and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel ...
in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...
guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman, guides him through Heaven. Beatrice was a Florentine woman he had met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable
courtly love Courtly love ( oc, fin'amor ; french: amour courtois ) was a medieval European literary conception of love that emphasized nobility and chivalry. Medieval literature is filled with examples of knights setting out on adventures and performing vari ...
tradition, which is highlighted in Dante's earlier work '' La Vita Nuova''. The structure of the three realms follows a common numerical pattern of 9 plus 1, for a total of 10: 9 circles of the Inferno, followed by Lucifer contained at its bottom; 9 rings of Mount Purgatory, followed by the
Garden of Eden In Abrahamic religions, the Garden of Eden ( he, גַּן־עֵדֶן, ) or Garden of God (, and גַן־אֱלֹהִים ''gan-Elohim''), also called the Terrestrial Paradise, is the Bible, biblical paradise described in Book of Genesis, Genes ...
crowning its summit; and the 9 celestial bodies of Paradiso, followed by the Empyrean containing the very essence of God. Within each group of 9, 7 elements correspond to a specific moral scheme, subdivided into three subcategories, while 2 others of greater particularity are added to total nine. For example, the
seven deadly sins The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are parallels with the seven things ...
of the Catholic Church that are cleansed in Purgatory are joined by special realms for the late repentant and the
excommunicated Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the Koinonia, communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The ...
by the church. The core seven sins within Purgatory correspond to a moral scheme of love perverted, subdivided into three groups corresponding to excessive love ( Lust,
Gluttony Gluttony ( la, gula, derived from the Latin ''gluttire'' meaning "to gulp down or swallow") means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or luxury items, wealth items, particularly as status symbols. In Christianity, it is consid ...
, Greed), deficient love ( Sloth), and malicious love ( Wrath, Envy,
Pride Pride is defined by Merriam-Webster as "reasonable self-esteem" or "confidence and satisfaction in oneself". A healthy amount of pride is good, however, pride sometimes is used interchangeably with "conceit" or "arrogance" (among other words) wh ...
). In central Italy's political struggle between
Guelphs and Ghibellines The Guelphs and Ghibellines (, , ; it, guelfi e ghibellini ) were Political faction, factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, respectively, in the Italian city-states of Central Italy and Northern Italy. During the 12th and 13t ...
, Dante was part of the Guelphs, who in general favored the
Papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
over the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as the Roman-German Emperor since the early modern period ( la, Imperator ...
. Florence's Guelphs split into factions around 1300the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. 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 Charles of Valois (12 March 1270 – 16 December 1325), the fourth son of King Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France, Isabella of Aragon, was a member of the House of Capet and founder of the House of Valois, whose ...
entered the city, at the request of Pope Boniface VIII, who supported the Black Guelphs. 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 last word in each of the three ''cantiche'' is ''stelle'' ("stars").


''Inferno''

The poem begins on the night before Good Friday in the year 1300, "halfway along our life's path" (''Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita''). Dante is thirty-five years old, half of the biblical lifespan of 70 (
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived ...
89:10, Vulgate), lost in a dark
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and emb ...
(understood as sin), assailed by beasts (a
lion The lion (''Panthera leo'') is a large Felidae, cat of the genus ''Panthera'' native to Africa and India. It has a muscular, broad-chested body; short, rounded head; round ears; and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphi ...
, a
leopard The leopard (''Panthera pardus'') is one of the five extant species in the Genus (biology), genus ''Panthera'', a member of the cat family (biology), family, Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in some parts of Western As ...
, and a she-wolf) he cannot evade and unable to find the "straight way" (''diritta via'') – also translatable as "right way" – to salvation (symbolized by the sun behind the mountain). Conscious that he is ruining himself and that he is falling into a "low place" (''basso loco'') where the sun is silent (l sol tace''), Dante is at last rescued by Virgil, and the two of them begin their journey to the underworld. Each sin's punishment in ''Inferno'' is a '' contrapasso'', a symbolic instance of poetic justice; for example, in Canto XX, fortune-tellers and soothsayers must walk with their heads on backwards, unable to see what is ahead, because that was what they had tried to do in life: Allegorically, the ''Inferno'' represents the Christian soul seeing sin for what it really is, and the three beasts represent three types of sin: the self-indulgent, the violent, and the malicious. These three types of sin also provide the three main divisions of Dante's Hell: Upper Hell, outside the city of Dis, for the four sins of indulgence ( lust,
gluttony Gluttony ( la, gula, derived from the Latin ''gluttire'' meaning "to gulp down or swallow") means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or luxury items, wealth items, particularly as status symbols. In Christianity, it is consid ...
, avarice,
anger Anger, also known as wrath or Rage (emotion), rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. A person experiencing anger will often experience physi ...
); Circle 7 for the sins of violence; and Circles 8 and 9 for the sins of fraud and treachery. Added to these are two unlike categories that are specifically spiritual: Limbo, in Circle 1, contains the virtuous pagans who were not sinful but were ignorant of Christ, and Circle 6 contains the heretics who contradicted the doctrine and confused the spirit of Christ.


''Purgatorio''

Having survived the depths of Hell, Dante and Virgil ascend out of the undergloom to the Mountain of
Purgatory Purgatory (, borrowed into English language, English via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christian denominations (mostly Catholic), an intermediate state after physical death ...
on the far side of the world. The Mountain is on an island, the only land in the Southern Hemisphere, created by the displacement of rock which resulted when Satan's fall created Hell (which Dante portrays as existing underneath
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
). The mountain has seven terraces, corresponding to the
seven deadly sins The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are parallels with the seven things ...
or "seven roots of sinfulness." The classification of sin here is more psychological than that of the ''Inferno'', being based on motives, rather than actions. It is also drawn primarily from Christian theology, rather than from classical sources. However, Dante's illustrative examples of sin and virtue draw on classical sources as well as on the Bible and on contemporary events. Love, a theme throughout the ''Divine Comedy'', is particularly important for the framing of sin on the Mountain of Purgatory. While the love that flows from God is pure, it can become sinful as it flows through humanity. Humans can sin by using love towards improper or malicious ends ( Wrath, Envy,
Pride Pride is defined by Merriam-Webster as "reasonable self-esteem" or "confidence and satisfaction in oneself". A healthy amount of pride is good, however, pride sometimes is used interchangeably with "conceit" or "arrogance" (among other words) wh ...
), or using it to proper ends but with love that is either not strong enough ( Sloth) or love that is too strong ( Lust,
Gluttony Gluttony ( la, gula, derived from the Latin ''gluttire'' meaning "to gulp down or swallow") means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or luxury items, wealth items, particularly as status symbols. In Christianity, it is consid ...
, Greed). Below the seven purges of the soul is the Ante-Purgatory, containing the Excommunicated from the church and the Late repentant who died, often violently, before receiving rites. Thus the total comes to nine, with the addition of the Garden of Eden at the summit, equaling ten. Allegorically, the ''Purgatorio'' represents the Christian life. Christian souls arrive escorted by an angel, singing '' In exitu Israel de Aegypto''. In his ''Letter to Cangrande'', Dante explains that this reference to Israel leaving Egypt refers both to the redemption of
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
and to "the conversion of the soul from the sorrow and misery of sin to the state of grace." Appropriately, therefore, it is Easter Sunday when Dante and Virgil arrive. The ''Purgatorio'' is notable for demonstrating the medieval knowledge of a
spherical Earth Spherical Earth or Earth's curvature refers to the approximation of figure of the Earth as a sphere. The earliest documented mention of the concept dates from around the 5th century BC, when it appears in the writings of Ancient Greek philoso ...
. During the poem, Dante discusses the different stars visible in the southern hemisphere, the altered position of the sun, and the various
time zone A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, Commerce, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between Country, countries and their Administrative division, subdivisions instead of ...
s of the Earth. At this stage it is, Dante says, sunset at Jerusalem, midnight on the River
Ganges The Ganges ( ) (in India: Ganga ( ); in Bangladesh: Padma ( )). "The Ganges Basin, known in India as the Ganga and in Bangladesh as the Padma, is an international river to which India, Bangladesh, Nepal and China are the riparian states." is ...
, and sunrise in Purgatory.


''Paradiso''

After an initial ascension, Beatrice guides Dante through the nine
celestial spheres The celestial spheres, or celestial orbs, were the fundamental entities of the cosmological models developed by Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philo ...
of
Heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common Religious cosmology, religious cosmological or transcendence (religion), transcendent supernatural place where beings such as deity, deities, angels, souls, saints, or Veneration of the dead, venerated ancest ...
. These are concentric and spherical, as in Aristotelian and Ptolemaic cosmology. While the structures of the ''Inferno'' and ''Purgatorio'' were based on different classifications of sin, the structure of the ''Paradiso'' is based on the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues. The seven lowest spheres of Heaven deal solely with the cardinal virtues of
Prudence Prudence ( la, prudentia, Contraction (grammar), contracted from meaning "seeing ahead, sagacity") is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. It is classically considered to be a virtue, and in particular one of th ...
, Fortitude,
Justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspective ...
and Temperance. The first three spheres involve a deficiency of one of the cardinal virtues – the
Moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. It is the List of natural satellites, fifth largest satellite in the Solar System and the largest and most massive relative to its parent planet, with a diameter about one-quarter that of Earth ( ...
, containing the inconstant, whose vows to God waned as the moon and thus lack fortitude; Mercury, containing the ambitious, who were virtuous for glory and thus lacked justice; and Venus, containing the lovers, whose love was directed towards another than God and thus lacked Temperance. The final four incidentally are positive examples of the cardinal virtues, all led on by the Sun, containing the prudent, whose wisdom lighted the way for the other virtues, to which the others are bound (constituting a category on its own).
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, only being larger than Mercury. In the English language, Mars is named for the Roman god of war. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosph ...
contains the men of fortitude who died in the cause of Christianity;
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...
contains the kings of Justice; and
Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest in the Solar System, after Jupiter. It is a gas giant with an average radius of about nine and a half times that of Earth. It has only one-eighth the average density of Earth; h ...
contains the temperate, the monks who abided by the contemplative lifestyle. The seven subdivided into three are raised further by two more categories: the eighth sphere of the fixed stars that contain those who achieved the theological virtues of
faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often ...
,
hope Hope is an Optimism, optimistic state of mind that is based on an wikt:expectation, expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with ...
and
love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of ...
, and represent the Church Triumphant – the total perfection of humanity, cleansed of all the sins and carrying all the virtues of heaven; and the ninth circle, or Primum Mobile (corresponding to the Geocentricism of Medieval astronomy), which contains the angels, creatures never poisoned by original sin. Topping them all is the Empyrean, which contains the essence of God, completing the 9-fold division to 10. Dante meets and converses with several great saints of the Church, including
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Order, OP (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar and Catholic priest, priest who was an influential List of Catholic philo ...
, Bonaventure,
Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham'un ...
, and St. John. The ''Paradiso'' is consequently more theological in nature than the ''Inferno'' and the ''
Purgatorio ''Purgatorio'' (; Italian for "Purgatory") is the second part of Dante's ''Divine Comedy'', following the ''Inferno (Dante), Inferno'' and preceding the ''Paradiso (Dante), Paradiso''. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an a ...
''. However, Dante admits that the vision of heaven he receives is merely the one his human eyes permit him to see, and thus the vision of heaven found in the Cantos is Dante's personal vision. The ''Divine Comedy'' finishes with Dante seeing the Triune God. In a flash of understanding that he cannot express, Dante finally understands the mystery of
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
's divinity and humanity, and his soul becomes aligned with God's love: Dorothy L. Sayers, ''Paradise'', notes on Canto XXXIII.


History


Manuscripts

According to the Italian Dante Society, no original manuscript written by Dante has survived, although there are many manuscript copies from the 14th and 15th centuries – some 800 are listed on their site.


Early translations

Coluccio Salutati translated some quotations from the ''Comedy'' into
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
for his ''De fato et fortuna'' in 1396–1397. The first complete translation of the ''Comedy'' was made into Latin prose by Giovanni da Serravalle in 1416 for two English bishops, Robert Hallam and Nicholas Bubwith, and an Italian cardinal, Amedeo di Saluzzo. It was made during the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418 in the Bishopric of Constance in present-day Germany. The council ended the Western Schism by deposing or accepting the res ...
. The first verse translation, into Latin
hexameter Hexameter is a metrical Line (poetry), line of verses consisting of six metrical foot, feet (a "foot" here is the pulse, or major accent, of words in an English line of poetry; in Greek and Latin a "foot" is not an accent, but describes various com ...
s, was made in 1427–1431 by . The first translation of the ''Comedy'' into another vernacular was the prose translation into Castilian completed by Enrique de Villena in 1428. The first vernacular verse translation was that of Andreu Febrer into Catalan in 1429.


Early printed editions

The first printed edition was published in
Foligno Foligno (; Southern Umbrian: ''Fuligno'') is an ancient town of Italy in the province of Perugia in east central Umbria, on the Topino river where it leaves the Apennines and enters the wide plain of the Clitunno river system. It is locate ...
, Italy, by Johann Numeister and Evangelista Angelini da Trevi on 1472. Of the 300 copies printed, fourteen still survive. The original printing press is on display in the ''Oratorio della Nunziatella'' in Foligno.


Thematic concerns

The ''Divine Comedy'' can be described simply as an
allegory As a Literature, literary device or art, artistic form, an allegory is a narrative or visual representation in which a character, place, or event can be interpreted to represent a hidden meaning with moral or political significance. Authors have ...
: each canto, and the episodes therein, can contain many alternative meanings. Dante's allegory, however, is more complex, and, in explaining how to read the poem (see the ''Letter to Cangrande'') he outlines other levels of meaning besides the allegory: the historical, the moral, the literal, and the anagogical. The structure of the poem is also quite complex, with mathematical and numerological patterns distributed 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 the ''Inferno'', allows Dante the freedom of not having to involve the reader in description, and allows him to " akeroom in his poem for the discussion of a great many subjects of the utmost importance, thus widening its range and increasing its variety." Dante called the poem "Comedy" (the adjective "Divine" was added later, in the 16th century) because poems in the ancient world were classified as High ("Tragedy") or Low ("Comedy"). Low poems had happy endings and were written in everyday language, whereas High poems treated more serious matters and were written in an elevated style. Dante was one of the first in the Middle Ages to write of a serious subject, the Redemption of humanity, in the low and "vulgar" Italian language and not the Latin one might expect for such a serious topic.
Boccaccio Giovanni Boccaccio (, , ; 16 June 1313 – 21 December 1375) was an Italian people, Italian writer, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and an important Renaissance humanism, Renaissance humanist. Born in the town of Certaldo, he became so we ...
's account that an early version of the poem was begun by Dante in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
is still controversial.


Scientific themes

Although the ''Divine Comedy'' is primarily a religious poem, discussing sin, virtue, and theology, Dante also discusses several elements of the science of his day (this mixture of science with poetry has received both praise and criticism over the centuries). The ''Purgatorio'' repeatedly refers to the implications of a
spherical Earth Spherical Earth or Earth's curvature refers to the approximation of figure of the Earth as a sphere. The earliest documented mention of the concept dates from around the 5th century BC, when it appears in the writings of Ancient Greek philoso ...
, such as the different stars visible in the southern hemisphere, the altered position of the sun, and the various
time zone A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, Commerce, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between Country, countries and their Administrative division, subdivisions instead of ...
s of the Earth. For example, at sunset in Purgatory it is midnight at the Ebro, dawn in Jerusalem, and noon on the River Ganges: Dante travels through the centre of the Earth in the ''Inferno'', and comments on the resulting change in the direction of
gravity In physics, gravity () is a fundamental interaction which causes mutual attraction between all things with mass or energy. Gravity is, by far, the weakest of the four fundamental interactions, approximately 1038 times weaker than the strong ...
in Canto XXXIV (lines 76–120). A little earlier (XXXIII, 102–105), he queries the existence of wind in the frozen inner circle of hell, since it has no temperature differentials. Inevitably, given its setting, the ''Paradiso'' discusses
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
extensively, but in the Ptolemaic sense. The ''Paradiso'' also discusses the importance of the experimental method in science, with a detailed example in lines 94–105 of Canto II: A briefer example occurs in Canto XV of the ''Purgatorio'' (lines 16–21), where Dante points out that both theory and experiment confirm that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. Other references to science in the ''Paradiso'' include descriptions of
clock A clock or a timepiece is a device used to Measurement, measure and indicate time. The clock is one of the oldest Invention, human inventions, meeting the need to measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units such as the day, t ...
work in Canto XXIV (lines 13–18), and Thales' theorem about triangles in Canto XIII (lines 101–102).
Galileo Galilei Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced (, ). He was ...
is known to have lectured on the ''Inferno'', and it has been suggested that the poem may have influenced some of Galileo's own ideas regarding mechanics.


Influences


Classical

Without access to the works of Homer, Dante used Virgil, Lucan,
Ovid Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō (; 20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known in English as Ovid ( ), was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is often ranked as one of the ...
, and
Statius Publius Papinius Statius (Greek language, Greek: Πόπλιος Παπίνιος Στάτιος; ; ) was a Greco-Roman world, Greco-Roman poet of the 1st century CE. His surviving Latin poetry includes an epic in twelve books, the ''Thebaid (La ...
as the models for the style, history, and mythology of the ''Comedy''. This is most obvious in the case of Virgil, who appears as a mentor character throughout the first two canticles and who has his epic '' The Aeneid'' praised with language Dante reserves elsewhere for Scripture. Ovid is given less explicit praise in the poem, but besides Virgil, Dante uses Ovid as a source more than any other poet, mostly through metaphors and fantastical episodes based on those in '' The Metamorphoses''. Less influential than either of the two are Statius and Lucan, the latter of whom has only been given proper recognition as a source in the ''Divine Comedy'' in the twentieth century. Besides Dante's fellow poets, the classical figure that most influenced the ''Comedy'' is
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
. Dante built up the philosophy of the ''Comedy'' with the works of Aristotle as a foundation, just as the scholastics used Aristotle as the basis for their thinking. Dante knew Aristotle directly from Latin translations of his works and indirectly quotations in the works of
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – 15 November 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German Dominican Order, Dominican friar, philosopher, scientist, and Bishop in the Catholic Church, bishop. Later Canonization ...
. Dante even acknowledges Aristotle's influence explicitly in the poem, specifically when Virgil justifies the Inferno's structure by citing the ''
Nicomachean Ethics The ''Nicomachean Ethics'' (; ; grc, Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, ) is Aristotle's best-known work on ethics, the science of the good for human life, which is Teleology, the goal or end at which all our actions aim. (I§2) The aim of the i ...
''. In the same canto, Virgil draws on
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and Academic skepticism, academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...
's '' De Officiis'' to explain why sins of the intellect are worse than sins of violence, a key point that would be explored from canto XVIII to the end of the ''Inferno''.


Christian

The ''Divine Comedy''s language is often derived from the phraseology of the
Vulgate The Vulgate (; also called (Bible in common tongue), ) is a late-4th-century Bible translations into Latin, Latin translation of the Bible. The Vulgate is largely the work of Jerome who, in 382, had been commissioned by Pope Damasus&nbs ...
. This was the only translation of the Bible Dante had access to, as it was one the vast majority of
scribes A scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of Printing press, automatic printing. The profession of the scribe, previously widespread across cultures, lost mos ...
were willing to copy during the Middle Ages. This includes five hundred or so direct quotes and references Dante derives from the Bible (or his memory of it). Dante also treats the Bible as a final authority on any matter, including on subjects scripture only approaches allegorically. The ''Divine Comedy'' is also a product of
Scholasticism Scholasticism was a medieval school of philosophy that employed a Organon, critical organic method of philosophical analysis predicated upon the Aristotelianism, Aristotelian categories (Aristotle), 10 Categories. Christian scholasticism eme ...
, especially as expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas. This influence is most pronounced in the ''Paradiso'', where the text's portrayals of God, the beatific vision, and substantial forms all align with scholastic doctrine. It is also in the ''Paradiso'' that Aquinas and fellow scholastic St. Bonaventure appear as characters, introducing Dante to all of Heaven's wisest souls. Despite all this, there are issues on which Dante diverges from the scholastic doctrine, such as in his unbridled praise for poetry.


Islamic

Dante lived in a Europe of substantial literary and philosophical contact with the Muslim world, encouraged by such factors as Averroism ("Averrois, che'l gran comento feo" Commedia, Inferno, IV, 144, meaning "Averrois, who wrote the great comment") and the patronage of Alfonso X of Castile. Of the twelve wise men Dante meets in Canto X of the ''Paradiso'',
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Order, OP (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar and Catholic priest, priest who was an influential List of Catholic philo ...
and, even more so, Siger of Brabant were strongly influenced by Arabic commentators on
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
. Medieval Christian mysticism also shared the
Neoplatonic Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as a chain of ...
influence of Sufis such as Ibn Arabi. Philosopher Frederick Copleston argued in 1950 that Dante's respectful treatment of
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
,
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
, and Siger of Brabant indicates his acknowledgement of a "considerable debt" to Islamic philosophy. In 1919, Miguel Asín Palacios, a Spanish scholar and a Catholic priest, published ''La Escatología musulmana en la Divina Comedia'' (''Islamic
Eschatology Eschatology (; ) concerns expectations of the end of the Contemporary era, present age, human history, or of the world itself. The end of the world or end times is predicted by several world religions (both Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic and ...
in the Divine Comedy''), an account of parallels between early Islamic philosophy and the ''Divine Comedy''. Palacios argued that Dante derived many features of and episodes about the hereafter from the spiritual writings of Ibn Arabi and from the Isra and Mi'raj or night journey of
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
to heaven. The latter is described in the '' ahadith'' and the '' Kitab al Miraj'' (translated into Latin in 1264 or shortly beforeI. 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. as '' Liber scalae Machometi'', "The Book of Muhammad's Ladder"), and has significant similarities to the ''Paradiso'', such as a sevenfold division of Paradise, although this is not unique to the ''Kitab al Miraj'' or Islamic cosmology. Many scholars have not been satisfied that Dante was influenced by the ''Kitab al Miraj''. The 20th century Orientalist Francesco Gabrieli expressed skepticism regarding the claimed similarities, and the lack of evidence of a vehicle through which it could have been transmitted to Dante. Even so, while dismissing the probability of some influences posited in Palacios' work, Gabrieli conceded 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". 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 de Siena, a Tuscan who had translated the ''Kitab al Miraj'' from Arabic into Latin. Corti speculates that Brunetto may have provided a copy of that work to Dante. René Guénon, a Sufi convert and scholar of Ibn Arabi, rejected in ''The Esoterism of Dante'' the theory of his influence (direct or indirect) on Dante. Palacios' theory that Dante was influenced by Ibn Arabi was satirized by the Turkish academic Orhan Pamuk in his novel ''The Black Book''. In addition to that, it has been claimed that '' Risālat al-Ghufrān'' ("The Epistle of Forgiveness"), a satirical work mixing Arabic poetry and
prose Prose is a form of written or spoken language that follows the natural speech, natural flow of speech, uses a language's ordinary Grammar, grammatical structures, or follows the conventions of formal academic writing. It differs from most traditio ...
written by Abu al-ʿAlaʾ al-Maʿarri around 1033 CE, had an influence on, or even inspired, Dante's ''Divine Comedy''.


Literary influence in the English-speaking world and beyond

The ''Divine Comedy'' was not always as well-regarded as it is today. Although recognized as a
masterpiece A masterpiece, ''magnum opus'' (), or ''chef-d’œuvre'' (; ; ) in modern use is a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or a work of outstanding creativity, ...
in the centuries immediately following its publication, the work was largely ignored during the Enlightenment, with some notable exceptions such as Vittorio Alfieri; Antoine de Rivarol, who translated the ''Inferno'' into French; and Giambattista Vico, who in the ''Scienza nuova'' and in the ''Giudizio su Dante'' inaugurated what would later become the romantic reappraisal of Dante, juxtaposing him to Homer. The ''Comedy'' was "rediscovered" in the English-speaking world by
William Blake William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his life, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the Romantic poetry, poetry and visual art of t ...
 – who illustrated several passages of the epic – and the Romantic writers of the 19th century. Later authors such as T. S. Eliot,
Ezra Pound Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a Fascism, fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works ...
,
Samuel Beckett Samuel Barclay Beckett (; 13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish novelist, dramatist, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. His literary and theatrical work features bleak, impersonal and Tragicomedy, tr ...
, C. S. Lewis and
James Joyce James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, poet, and literary critic. He contributed to the Modernism, modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important ...
have drawn on it for inspiration. The poet
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator. His original works include "Paul Revere's Ride", ''The Song of Hiawatha'', and ''Evangeline''. He was the first American to completely transl ...
was its first American translator, and modern poets, including
Seamus Heaney Seamus Justin Heaney (; 13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013) was an Irish poet, playwright and translator. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.
, Robert Pinsky, John Ciardi, W. S. Merwin, and Stanley Lombardo, have also produced translations of all or parts of the book. In Russia, beyond
Pushkin Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (; rus, links=no, Александр Сергеевич ПушкинIn Reforms of Russian orthography, pre-Revolutionary script, his name was written ., r=Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, p=ɐlʲɪkˈsandr sʲɪrˈ ...
's translation of a few tercets, Osip Mandelstam's late poetry has been said to bear the mark of a "tormented meditation" on the ''Comedy''. In 1934, Mandelstam gave a modern reading of the poem in his labyrinthine "Conversation on Dante". In T. S. Eliot's estimation, "Dante and
Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's nation ...
divide the world between them. There is no third." For
Jorge Luis Borges Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (; ; 24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, as well as a key figure in Spanish literature, Spanish-language and international literatur ...
the ''Divine Comedy'' was "the best book literature has achieved".


English translations

The ''Divine Comedy'' has been translated into English more times than any other language, and new English translations of the ''Divine Comedy'' continue to be published regularly. Notable English translations of the complete poem include the following.A comprehensive listing and criticism, covering the period 1782–1966, of English translations of at least one of the three ''cantiche'' is given by Gilbert F. Cunningham, ''The Divine Comedy in English: A Critical Bibliography'', 2 vols. (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1965–67), esp. vol. 2, pp. 5–9. A number of other translators, such as Robert Pinsky, have translated the ''Inferno'' only.


In the arts

The ''Divine Comedy'' has been a source of inspiration for countless artists for almost seven centuries. There are many references to Dante's work in
literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
. In
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...
,
Franz Liszt Franz Liszt, in modern usage ''Liszt Ferenc'' . Liszt's Hungarian passport spelled his given name as "Ferencz". An orthographic reform of the Hungarian language in 1922 (which was 36 years after Liszt's death) changed the letter "cz" to simpl ...
was one of many composers to write works based on the ''Divine Comedy''. In
sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the three-dimensional art work which is physically presented in the dimensions of height, width and depth. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sc ...
, the work of
Auguste Rodin François Auguste René Rodin (12 November 184017 November 1917) was a French Sculpture, sculptor, generally considered the founder of modern sculpture. He was schooled traditionally and took a craftsman-like approach to his work. Rodin posses ...
includes themes from Dante. Sculptor Timothy Schmalz created a series of 100 sculptures, one for each canto, on the 700th anniversary of the date of Dante’s death, and many
visual artists The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as ...
have illustrated Dante's work, as shown by the examples above. There have also been many references to the ''Divine Comedy'' in cinema,
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of Transmission (telecommunications), television transmission. Television ...
, comics and video games. In 2021, The Royal Ballet danced ''The Dante Project'', its three parts representing the three books of the ''Divine Comedy''. It was choreographed by Wayne McGregor to new music by Thomas Adès, with set and costumes by Tacita Dean.


See also

* Allegory in the Middle Ages * Book of Arda Viraf * List of cultural references in ''Divine Comedy'' * ''
Paradise Lost ''Paradise Lost'' is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consists of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse (poetry), verse. A second edition fo ...
'' * Seven Heavens * Theological fiction


Citations


Bibliography

* * *


Further reading

* Ziolkowski, Jan M. (2015).
Dante and Islam
'. Fordham University Press, New York. .


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. *
Full text of the ''Commedia''

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)
''A Dictionary of the Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante''
by Paget Toynbee, London, The Clarendon Press (1898). *
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of Trinity ...
'
Digital Dante
features the full text in Italian alongside English translations from
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator. His original works include "Paul Revere's Ride", ''The Song of Hiawatha'', and ''Evangeline''. He was the first American to completely transl ...
and Allen Mandelbaum. Includes English commentary from Teodolinda Barolini as well as multimedia resources relating to the Divine Comedy. * {{Authority control
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Christian art about death Christian poetry Fiction about the Devil Allegory Fiction about God Fiction about purgatory
Divine Comedy The ''Divine Comedy'' ( it, Divina Commedia ) is an Italian narrative poetry, narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun 1308 and completed in around 1321, shortly before the author's death. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Ital ...
Works by Dante Alighieri