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Worldview of the Western World II


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Title: Worldview of the Western World II

Worldview of the Western World II
Dont Panic
  • This is a help, not a requirement
  • For Dante read Sayers book, comments, perhaps.
  • This follows the same format as Quines book.
    There are many notes on the slide in the note
    section, these are extra for explanation e.g. in
    PowerPoint click L. lower corner for notes.

(Sayers, 62)

Marco Lombardo
Guido del Duca Rinieri da Calboli Sapia of Siena
Omberto Aldobrandeschi Oderisi da Gubbio
Provenzan Salvani
Sordello La Pia. Buonconte da Montefeltro
Belacqua Manfred Casella Cato of Utica
Pierre de la Brosse German Albert Rudolph
  • Summary -- Carved into the side of the mountain
    on the first terrace are exemplary images of
  • from the Gospels (Luke 126-38). The angel
    Gabriel (sent by God to Nazareth) announces to
    Mary, a young woman engaged to Joseph, that she
    will give birth to a son, to be named Jesus, who
    "shall be great and shall be called the Son of
    the Most High" (Luke 132). When Mary asks how
    she, a virgin, will conceive, Gabriel explains
    the "Holy Ghost shall come upon thee" (Luke
    135). Declaring herself the "handmaid of the
    Lord" (10.44 Luke 138),
  • 2 Kings 61-23, portrays David, king of Israel
    and "humble psalmist," dancing uninhibitedly
    before the ark of God as it is brought into
    Jerusalem (10.55-69). Michol accuses David of
    sullying his regal status by celebrating
    uncovered before even the "handmaids of his
    servants," to which David responds "And I will
    be little in my own eyes and with the handmaids
    of whom thou speakest, I shall appear more
    glorious" (2 Kings 620-22).
  • The third and final example is the Roman emperor
    Trajan (10.73-93), who fulfilled the duties of
    justice and mercy by delaying a military campaign
    to avenge the murder of a poor widow's son.
  • Notorious examples of pride, serving to rein in
    the sinful disposition of the shades, are carved
    into the floor of the terrace (12.13-69),
  • Lucifer, the giant Briareus, Nimrod, Saul,
    Rehoboam, Sennacherib, and Holofernes and (from
    classical sources) other giants, Niobe, Arachne,
    Eriphyle, and Cyrus of Persia. The entire series
    concludes with an image of Troy, the ancient city
    which Dante, echoing Virgil (Aen. 3.2-3),
    elsewhere calls "proud Ilium" (Inf. 1.75).

  • Cornice I The Sinners of Pride
  • The Penance large boulders causing them to bend
    down and not to be able to look up with pride.
    The whip of pride is humility.
  • The Meditation as the Virgin Mary and her
    humility in subjecting herself to the will of
    God, or the example of David and the Ark.
  • The Prayer Lords Prayer, Matt 69-13
  • The Benediction Beati pauperes spiritu, Mat 53,
    from the lips of the penitents.
  • The Angel the angel of humility

  • Read Psalm 6 -- Psalm 61-10 NAS Psalm 61 For
    the choir director with stringed instruments,
    upon an eight-string lyre. A Psalm of David. O
    Lord, do not rebuke me in Thine anger, Nor
    chasten me in Thy wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O
    LORD, for I am pining away Heal me, O LORD, for
    my bones are dismayed. 3 And my soul is greatly
    dismayed But Thou, O LORD-- how long? 4 Return,
    O LORD, rescue my soul Save me because of Thy
    lovingkindness. 5 For there is no mention of
    Thee in death In Sheol who will give Thee
    thanks? 6 I am weary with my sighing Every
    night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch
    with my tears. 7 My eye has wasted away with
    grief It has become old because of all my
    adversaries. 8 Depart from me, all you who do
    iniquity, For the LORD has heard the voice of my
    weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my supplication,
    The LORD receives my prayer. 10 All my enemies
    shall be ashamed and greatly dismayed They shall
    turn back, they shall suddenly be ashamed.

  • Commentaries
  • X16 needles eye Matthew 1924 (NASB95)24
    Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to
    go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich
    man to enter the kingdom of God.
  • X34 We come now to the 'scourge' or 'whip' of
    Pride -- the great examples of Humility which
    urge the penitents on in pursuit of that virtue.
    As on every Terrace, the first and supreme
    example is drawn from the life of the Virgin
    Mary, who represents the highest reach and
    perfection of human virtue. . . The scene which
    meets Dante the moment he emerges from the
    needle's eye is the Annunciation, carved on the
    wall of the embankment so livingly that Gabriel
    seemed to be saying Ave, and Ecce ancilla Dei
    behold the handmaid of God, Lk. 138 was
    impressed on the Virgin's attitude as plainly as
    a seal on wax. . .. It is not, however, the
    personal humility of the Virgin alone of which
    Dante is thinking the thought beneath is the
    profounder humility of the Incarnation. In other
    words, the great rebuke of human pride is the
    humility of God in becoming man. The first thing
    the Proud have to learn is that it is this Divine
    lowliness which makes their salvation possible.
    Hence Gabriel who announced the Incarnation is
  • The Angel who came to earth with the decree
  • Of the many years wept for peace,
  • Which opened Heaven from its long interdict
  • and Mary, through whose humility the Divine
    Humility became incarnate, is she 'who turned the
    key to open the high love. (Carroll)

  • X56 David and Michal (2 Sam. vi. 14)
  • X57 Uzzah and the Ark (2 Sam vi. 6-7)
  • X 74 the great Roman prince Of those whom
    Dante depicts as being saved to whom all or most
    Christians would deny, or at least question, that
    status (Cato Purg. I.75, Statius Purg.
    XXII.73, Trajan Par. XX.44, and Ripheus Par.
    XX.68), only for Trajan does there exist a
    tradition that considered him saved. This result
    of St. Gregory's prayers is even allowed as
    possible by St. Thomas, in what seems an
    unusually latitudinarian gesture, recorded in the
    Summa theologica (as was perhaps first noted by
    Lombardi 1791, comm. to vv. 74-75) ST III,
    Suppl., quaest. 71, art. 5, obj. 5 for the text
    in English see Singleton's note to verse 75).
    That what seems to modern ears an unbelievable
    story should have had the support of so rigorous
    a thinker as Thomas still astounds readers. Yet,
    if one looks closely, one sees that Thomas does
    hedge his bet Trajan's salvation by Gregory's
    intervention is 'probable' (potest probabiliter
    aestimari) further, according to Thomas, 'as
    others say' (secundum quosdam), Trajan may have
    only had his punishment put back until Judgment
    Day. Dante betrays no such hesitation the
    salvation of Trajan is Gregory's 'great victory'
    (verse 75). Dante is in an enviable position,
    both possessing Thomas's support and being able
    to outdo him in enthusiasm (Hollander, notes).
  • X 93 reverence Dante's word is pieta - not
    here, I think, "pity", as it is usually
    translated, but "piety" (Lat. pietas) the
    religious reverence which dictates a sense of
    duty. The line is thus an echo of Cicero's
    phrase, "pietas et justitia.

  • X111 1 this woe cannot, at worst, outlive the
    Judgement Day Purgatory is temporal, and its
    pains end when time ends (though for most souls
    they will, of course, end long before that).
  • X 124-9 that we are worms, etc. "we have
    nothing in this world to be proud about, since we
    are but half-finished beings - grubs existing
    only to produce the butterfly (emblem of the
    soul), which, when it leaves the body, must fly
    to stand naked and defenceless before the
    judgement-seat (Sayers, 149).

  • THE IMAGES (XI). The Proud (1) Pride of Race
    Humbert Aldobrandesco the aristocrat (2) Pride
    of Achievement Oderisi the artist (3) Pride of
    Domination Provenzano Salvani the despot.
  • XI 1-24 Our Father, etc. this is the Prayer of
    the Proud the Paternoster, expanded by a brief
    meditation upon each clause, directed throughout
    to the virtue of Humility.
  • XI13 Clause 4. our daily manna the spiritual
    bread which is Christ (John vi. 31-3 and cf. the
    "supersubstantial bread" of Vulg. Matt. vi. I),
    without which our own efforts are self-defeating.
    (A petition for material bread would be
    meaningless in Purgatory.)

  • XI 22-4 this last prayer, etc. the petition
    against temptation and the assaults of the devil
    is unnecessary for those in Purgatory, who are no
    longer able to sin but the Proud, who in their
    lifetime cared for nobody but themselves, now
    learn to pray for those they have left behind on
    earth (and possibly also in Ante-Purgatory, see
    Canto viii and Images).
  • XI. 31 sqq. if a good word, etc. The bond of
    prayer and charity between the Church on earth
    and the Church Expectant should be mutual the
    souls in Purgatory pray for us and we for them,
    as the Saints in Heaven pray for all and further
    the petitions of all (Sayers, 155).

  • .XI. 79 Oderisi of Gubbio (or Agobbio) in
    Umbria a celebrated illuminator of manuscripts.
  • XI 90 while power to sin was mine i.e. "while
    I was still alive and well". Had he delayed
    repentance till his death-bed, he "would not yet
    be here", but would have been detained in
  • XI. 97 Guido from Guido The two poets who are
    thus said to contest the glory of the Italian
    tongue are usually thought to be Guido Guinicelli
    of Bologna (c. 1230-c. 1276), whom we shall
    presently meet on the 7th Cornice (Purg. xxvi. 16
    sqq.), and Dante's friend, Guido Cavalcanti
    (mentioned in Inf. x. 63 and Glossary) of
    Florence (c. 1256-1300). Some, however, identify
    the first Guido with Guittone d'Arezzo (see Canto
    xxvi. 124 and note) and the second with
    Guinicelli (Sayers,156).
  • XI108 Heaven's tardiest sphere the outermost
    sphere, that of the Fixed Stars "the almost
    imperceptible movement which it makes from west
    to east, at the rate of a degree in a hundred
    years" - Dante, Convivio, ii. 15. (Note that in
    its daily motion from east to west the outermost
    sphere is, of course, the swiftest but in its
    proper motion from west to east, the slowest. The
    motion of the Primum Mobile is incalculable, and
    the Empyrean, being beyond space, cannot be said
    to have motion at all.) (See Dante's Universe,
    Inf. p. 292. see notes below)

  • XI. 121 Provenzan (o) Salvani a powerful
    Sienese nobleman, leader of the Tuscan
    Ghibellines after Montaperti, when he was one of
    those who urged the destruction of Florence (see
    Inf. x. 92 and note). He was killed in 1269, when
    the Sienese were defeated at Colle di Valterra
    (see Canto xiii. 115-19).
  • XI. 127 the soul who takes no care Dante,
    knowing (no doubt from public report) that
    Provenzan had remained arrogant to the day of his
    death, asks how it is that he has been in
    Purgatory, "ever since he died", and was not
    detained with the other Late Repentant on the
    Terrace below. Oderisi tells him how one heroic
    act of humility done for a friend's sake availed
    to "undo the ban". This is Dante's only instance
    of a sinner's being released from the "place of
    waiting" as a consequence of his own conduct - in
    every other case he has to depend upon the
    charity of others. Charity is the operative word
    the tune is redeemed only by charity, bestowed or
    received (cf. vi. 37).

  • XII I so, step for step In xi. 78 Dante
    mentions that in order to converse with the
    burdened spirits he "paced with them, bent double
    toward the ground", and he continues to share
    their stooping posture until summoned by Virgil
    to desist (1. 7). Only on three of the Cornices
    does Dante thus associate himself with the
    punishment of the spirits, viz. on those of
    Pride, Wrath, and Lust. Since these are precisely
    the three failings of which Dante has always been
    accused, one may perhaps infer that he knew his
    own weaknesses as well as anybody. He says
    himself (xiii. 133-8) that though he dreads the
    punishment of Pride, he believes himself fairly
    free from the sin of Envy we know from Boccaccio
    that he was an abstemious man and not given to
    Gluttony Avarice he particularly hates, and
    nothing in his history suggests that he was
    either a hoarder or a spendthrift and the last
    sin anybody would lay to his charge is Sloth on
    these four Cornices he remains, therefore, merely
    a spectator (Sayers, 162).
  • XII 25-63 Mine eyes beheld, etc. The images
    carved upon the pavement constitute the "Bridle"
    of Pride (see Introduction, pp. 67-8), and, like
    the "Whip", are drawn partly from sacred and
    partly from classical sources. They are divided
    into three groups of four examples (each group
    providing a contrast to the corresponding image
    in the "Whip"), followed by a concluding example.
  • Each example occupies one terzain each terzain
    of the first group begins with the word Vedea I
    saw each terzain of the second group begins with
    the word 0 and each terzain of the third group
    begins with the word Mostrava showed while the
    three lines of the final terzain begin with
    Vedea, 0, Mostrava respectively. Thus the initial
    letters of the three groups, as also of the
    concluding terzain, if read as an acrostic,
    display the word VOM or (since V and U in
    medieval script are the same letter) UOM, which
    is the Italian for MAN. This may, of course, be
    an accident but such an acrostic would be
    entirely in the taste of the period, and the
    probability is that the poet did it deliberately.
    Sayers, 162, see 159).

  • XII25-7 "I beheld Satan fall as lightning from
    Heaven," Luke x. 18.
  • XII. 28-30 Briareus a giant who attempted to
    overthrow the Gods of Olympus (see Inf. xxxi. 99
    and note) a profane parallel to Lucifer. See
    notes below.
  • XII. 34-6 Nimrod, who endeavoured to scale
    heaven by building the Tower of Babel in the
    plain of Shinar (Gen. x. 8, xi. 1-9 and cf. Inf.
    xxxi. 46-81), is the sacred parallel to the

  • XII 37-48 Ah! The second group, which
    contrasts with David's joyful humility in the
    presence of the Ark of God, shows that arrogance
    in the face of Heaven which in Greek is called
    hubris, and in English presumption or
  • XII 55-7Cyrus the Persian tyrant (56o-529 B.C.)
    murdered the son of Tomyris Queen of Scythia she
    defeated and slew him, and throwing his head into
    a vessel of blood said mockingly "Drink thy fill
    of the blood for which thou hast insatiably
    thirsted these thirty years."
  • 11. 58-60 Holofernes, captain of the army of
    Nebuchadnezzar, was contemptuous of the Jews and
    of their God, and, disregarding the advice of
    Achior, went up to besiege them at Bethulia. But
    he was outwitted and slain by the beautiful widow
    Judith, who cut off his head and had it displayed
    on the walls of the town ("the grisly relics of
    his slaying" Judith vi, viii-xiv).
  • 11. 61-3 Troy Town the series is summed up in
    the image of Troy ("proud Ilium" Aen. iii. 2-3),
    whose ruin was the great classical example of the
    fall of pride.
  • 1. 79 the angel this is the Angel of Humility.
    This virtue is so little prized to-day, and
    interpreted in so negative a sense, that to
    understand the shimmering radiance of its angel
    one needs to study all the contexts in which
    Dante uses the words umile, umilta, especially,
    perhaps, in the Vita Nuova. "When I beheld
    Beatrice there smote into me a flame of charity
    so that if anyone had asked me about anything
    whatsoever, my reply would have been simply,
    Love, with a countenance clothed in umiltà" (V.N.
    xi). "She bore about her so true an umiltà, that
    she seemed to say, I am in peace" (V.N. xxiii).
    "She goes upon her way, hearing herself praised,
    benignly clothed with umiltà, and seems a thing
    come from heaven to earth to show forth a
    miracle" (V.N. xxvi). "Therefore, when love so
    deprives me of power that my spirits seem to
    desert me, my frail soul tastes such sweetness
    that my cheeks grow pale. Then my sighs beseech
    my lady to grant me yet further salute
    (salutation, salvation). This happens every time
    she looks upon me, and is a thing so umil that it
    passes belief" (V.N. xxviii). The connotation is
    always of peace, sweetness, and a kind of
    suspension of the heart in a delighted

  • XII110 Beati pauperes spiritu "Blessed are the
    poor in spirit" This, taken from the Beatitudes,
    Matt. v. 3, is the Benediction of the First
  • Pride -- note the rebellion of the most beautiful
    angel (Lucifer), disobedience of the first human
    beings (Adam and Eve), overreaching of the mighty
    Nimrod (Tower of Babel)--the biblical history of
    pride more than warrants its identification in
    Ecclesiasticus as "the beginning of all sin"
    (1015). This dubious distinction is repeated and
    reinforced throughout the Middle Ages. For
    Gregory the Great, pride is the "queen of vices"
    (Moralia in Job 31.45), while Thomas Aquinas
    declares that "the mark of human sin is that it
    flows from pride" (Summa Theologiae 3a.1.5) he
    variously discusses pride in relation to other
    sins as the "gravest," the "first," and the most
    "sovereign" (2a2ae.162.6-8).

The guide for the answers covering Cornice
VII,81-86 of Quine,
Terrace of Envy
  • Cornice II
  • The Sinners of Envy whipped by cords of love
  • The first of two spoken allusions to envy,
    "whoever captures me will kill me" (14.133),
    repeats the lament of Cain to God (Genesis 414)
    after God has cast him out as a "fugitive and
    vagabond" for having killed his brother, Abel.
  • "Caina," derived from Cain's name, designates the
    area of the ninth circle of Hell in which
    traitors to family are punished.
  • The second voice, crying "I am Aglauros who
    became stone" (14.138), belongs to one of the
    daughters of Cecrops, an Athenian ruler.
    Aglauros, according to Ovid's account, crosses
    Minerva when she disobeys the goddess and opens a
    chest concealing a baby (Met. 2.552-61). After
    Mercury falls in love with Aglauros' beautiful
    sister Herse, Minerva exacts revenge by calling
    on Envy to make Aglauros sick with jealousy over
    her sister's good fortune. When Mercury comes to
    visit Herse, Aglauros attempts to bar the
    entrance to the god, who promptly transforms her
    into a mute, lifeless statue (Met. 2.708-832).
  • The Penance Generosity and eyes blind-folded,
    plain clothes

  • The Meditation Mary informs her son Jesus,
    present with his disciples at a wedding
    celebration in Cana, that there is no wine for
    the guests, vinum non habent ("they have no
    wine") (13.28-30). Performing his first miracle,
    Jesus then changes into wine the water contained
    in six large pots (John 21-11).
  • The second echoing voice, "I am Orestes"
    (13.31-3), alludes to a double act of love from
    the classical tradition condemned to death for
    the murder of his mother Clytemnestra (who had
    killed his father, Agamemnon), Orestes insists on
    revealing his true identity (and accepting the
    consequences) after Pylades tried to spare
    Orestes' life by dying in his place each friend
    proclaimed "I am Orestes" to save the life of the
    other (Cicero, On Friendship 7.24).
  • The Prayer Mary pray for us sinners, Litany of
    the Saints

  • The Benediction blessed are the merciful Matt.
    57 Rev 27 see allusion to Matt 544, XV82.
  • The Angel of generosity
  • Read Psalm 32 1 A Psalm of David. A Maskil. How
    blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
    Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to
    whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in
    whose spirit there is no deceit! 3 When I kept
    silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through
    my groaning all day long.4 For day and night Your
    hand was heavy upon me My vitality was drained
    away as with the fever heat of summer.Selah.5 I
    acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did
    not hide I said, I will confess my
    transgressions to the Lord And You forgave the
    guilt of my sin.Selah.6 Therefore, let everyone
    who is godly pray to You in a time when You may
    be found Surely in a flood of great waters they
    will not reach him.7 You are my hiding place You
    preserve me from trouble You surround me with
    songs of deliverance.Selah.8 I will instruct you
    and teach you in the way which you should go I
    will counsel you with My eye upon you.9 Do not be
    as the horse or as the mule which have no
    understanding, Whose trappings include bit and
    bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will
    not come near to you.10 Many are the sorrows of
    the wicked, But he who trusts in the Lord,
    lovingkindness shall surround him.11 Be glad in
    the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones And
    shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

  • Dante's Pride. Cantos 13.133-8, 14.21  On the
    terrace of envy, Dante admits that he already
    feels the weight of rocks used to flatten the
    pride of penitents on the first terrace (13.138),
    and he perhaps confirms the likely realization of
    this fear when he remarks that his name is not
    yet well known (14.21). Such frank self-awareness
    encourages us to consider possible illustrations
    of Dante's pride thus far in the poem / journey
    his self-inclusion among the great poets in
    Limbo, "so that I was sixth among such intellect"
    (4.102) his claim to superiority over the
    classical authors Lucan and Ovid in the
    presentation of the thieves and his close
    identification with the Greek hero Ulysses (UT).

  • Cornice III
  • The Sinners wrathful
  • The Penance a thick cloud of darkness covers
    the third terrace. The instructive cases of the
    virtue contrary to wrath (gentleness,
    forbearance) and the vice itself are experienced
    by the spirits--and now by Dante--as "ecstatic
    visions" (15.85-6), "non false errors" (15.117)
    insofar as they convey truth even though they
    occur only in the mind of the person seeing them.
    It is not perceived by Virgil, as these things
    are matters of faith.
  • The Meditation In the first example of gentleness
    (15.85-93), Mary displays remarkable restraint
    upon finding Jesus, her twelve-year old son, in
    the temple of Jerusalem conversing with learned
    adults. (Luke 241-8). In response to Mary's
    gentle rebuke, cited verbatim by Dante ("Why have
    you done this to us?"), the young Jesus asks,
    "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know
    that I must be about my father's business?" (Luke

  • Dante's second case of gentleness (15.94-105),
    from the classical tradition, is recounted by
    Valerius Maximus (Factorum et dictorum
    memorabilium 5.1.2) Pisistratus, a tyrannical
    ruler of ancient Athens (560-527 B.C.E.),
    counters his wife's wish for vengeance with a
    calm, accepting attitude toward the young man
    who, in love, had kissed their daughter in
    public. If they kill those who love them,
    Pisistratus asks, what should they do to their
  • Stephen, whose martyrdom is recounted in the
    Bible (Acts 6-7), causes a stir with his
    preaching in the name of Jesus and is brought
    before the council to defend himself against
    charges of blasphemy. He concludes a long speech
    by accusing the council members of betraying and
    murdering the "Just One," much as, he claims,
    their fathers persecuted the prophets (Acts
    752). Enraged, they cast Stephen out of the city
    and stone him to death as he dies, Stephen asks
    the Lord to "lay not this sin to their charge"
    (Acts 757-9), the scene Dante now includes as
    the final instance of exemplary gentleness

  • Procne, Dante's first example of wrath
    (17.19-21), kills her small son Itys and feeds
    his cooked flesh to her husband Tereus, King of
    Thrace, upon learning that he raped Philomela
    (Procne's sister) and cut out her tongue to
    prevent her from telling what had happened.
    Philomela ingeniously managed to inform Procne of
    the crime by weaving a tapestry that told the
    story in pictures. Dante here singles out the
    cruel vengeance wrought by Procne (with help from
    her sister). Made aware that he has eaten his
    son, an enraged Tereus, his sword drawn, chases
    the two sisters but before he can catch them all
    three are transformed into birds Tereus into a
    hoopoe (a crested bird with a long beak), Procne
    into a nightingale, and Philomela into a swallow
    (in some versions Philomela is the nightingale
    and Procne the swallow). The gruesome story is
    told by Ovid (Met. 6.424-674).
  • Dante chooses as his second example of wrath
    (17.25-30) the biblical figure Haman, whose
    cruelty is recounted in the Book of Esther. The
    most favored prince of King Assuerus, ruler of an
    empire stretching from Ethiopia to India, Haman
    takes offense at Mordecai, a Jew who refuses to
    bow down to him. Haman's anger is such that he
    calls for the killing of not only Mordecai but
    all Jews throughout the kingdom, "both young and
    old, little children and women, in one day . . .
    and to make a spoil of their goods" (Esther
    3.13). Haman's genocidal plan turns against him
    when Mordecai, called "just" by Dante (17.29),
    convinces Queen Esther to intervene. Esther,
    herself a Jew who is also the niece and adopted
    daughter of Mordecai, reveals Haman's plot to
    King Assuerus (he was previously unaware of his
    wife's background) Assuerus promptly has Haman
    hanged on the same gallows he (Haman) had
    prepared for Mordecai. (Haman is "crucified"
    instead of "hanged" in Purgatorio 17.26 because
    the gallows are described as a cross, "crux," in
    the Vulgate, the Latin Bible familiar to Dante
    Esther 514 87.) The king also reverses
    Haman's orders, so that the Jews in his realm are
    spared and their persecutors killed instead, and
    he elevates Mordecai (already honored for having
    foiled a plot to assassinate Assuerus) to a
    position of power.
  • Queen Amata, whose story is told in Virgil's
    Aeneid (7.45-106, 249-73, 341-405 12.1-80,
    593-611), inspires the third and final vision of
    wrath on the third terrace of Purgatory
    (17.34-9). Wife of King Latinus, Amata sought the
    marriage of her daughter Lavinia to Turnus (ruler
    of the Rutulians, Italian allies), but Latinus
    accepted the oracle's demand that she marry a
    foreigner, namely, the Trojan hero Aeneas. While,
    due to machinations of the gods, resolution of
    this matter is delayed and war rages, Amata
    mistakenly believes Turnus has been killed in
    battle (Aeneas will kill him at a later point).
    Acting on her furious despair, the queen takes
    her own life, thus depriving Lavinia of her
    mother (UT).

  • The Prayer Agnus Dei, from the Canon of the Mass,
    from John 129 behold the Lamb of God who takes
    away the sins of the world.
  • The Benediction blessed are the peacemakers,
    Matt 59
  • The Angel of meekness
  • Read Psalm 38


Arnaut Daniel Guido Guinizzelli
Bonagiunta da Lucca Forese Donati
Pope Adrian V Statius
Abbot in San Zero
Marco Lombardo
Guido del Duca Rinieri da Calboli Sapia of Siena
Omberto Aldobrandeschi Oderisi da Gubbio
Provenzan Salvani
Marco Lombardo, the terrace of the wrathful
(No Transcript)
  • Dantes view on worldly powers
  • Dante's model of "two suns," each deriving its
    authority directly from God, challenges the
    medieval Christian notion of the pope as "sun"
    and the emperor as "moon" (based on Genesis
    116), with the lesser sphere wholly dependent on
    the greater sphere for its authority and
    influence. Dante later writes a treatise dealing
    specifically with this issue of spiritual and
    political power he argues in Monarchia that even
    the sun-moon analogy fails to prove papal
    dominion over temporal matters because the two
    spheres possess their own powers, including
    (Dante believed) their own light (3.16). Although
    he concedes that the emperor must show reverence
    to the pope, like a son to a father, Dante
    believes strongly in their independence as
    divinely sanctioned guides for humanity "one is
    the Supreme Pontiff, to lead humankind to eternal
    life, according to the things revealed to us and
    the other is the Emperor, to guide humankind to
    happiness in this world, in accordance with the
    teaching of philosophy" (Monarchia 3.16). A
    measure of the daring (and risk) in Dante's
    political philosophy is readily seen from a
    comparison of his ideas with sentiments expressed
    by Pope Boniface VIII in a papal bull of 1302
    ("Unam Sanctam"). Adopting the common metaphor of
    "two swords," one each for spiritual and temporal
    authority, Boniface declares that they both "are
    in the power of the Church" and "one sword ought
    to be under the other and the temporal authority
    subject to the spiritual power." He continues by
    proclaiming a sort of papal infallibility, a
    highly ironic notion in light of Dante's
    treatment of the papacy, particularly under
    Boniface, in the Divine Comedy "Therefore, if
    the earthly power errs, it shall be judged by the
    spiritual power, if a lesser spiritual power errs
    it shall be judged by its superior, but if the
    supreme spiritual power errs it can be judged
    only by God not by man." Later Church leaders
    evidently felt much as Boniface did, for they
    condemned Dante's contrary ideas as heretical and
    repeatedly censored his Monarchia in 1329 a
    prominent cardinal ordered all copies of the work
    to be burned, and in the sixteenth century the
    book was included in the Church's Index of banned
    books. It wasn't until 1881 that Dante's book was
    removed from the list.  Dante views Marco's
    condemnation of the Church's claim to both
    worldly and spiritual authority as a modern
    confirmation of the biblical injunction to Levi's
    sons (16.130-2) God instructs Aaron that he and
    his descendents (of the tribe of Levi), chosen to
    perform priestly functions in the tabernacle,
    have rights to only what is required for "for
    their uses and necessities" and "shall not
    possess any other thing" (Numbers 1820-4) (UT).

  • Summary of a key section
  • Robert Hollander (2000-2007), Purgatorio
  • Marco's speech, the only object of possible
    attention in the darkness, twenty-one terzine of
    moral philosophy, may be paraphrased as follows
    If the heavens moved all things, there would be
    no free will even if they did, you would still
    have the power to resist and conquer (67-78) to
    a greater power and better nature than the
    celestial heavens you, free, are subject, and
    that creates the mind the rational soul in you,
    which has nothing to do with those revolving
    spheres (79-83) let me expand God lovingly
    created the (rational) soul in each of you at
    its birth, since it was made by Him, even if it
    is a tabula rasa, it loves and it loves anything
    at all if it is not guided or restrained
    therefore, a leader and laws are necessary
    (84-96) laws exist, but who administers them? no
    one, because the pope is involved in temporal
    affairs and thus gives the wrong example that is
    much imitated (97-102) thus you can see that bad
    guidance and not corrupt human nature accounts
    for the wickedness of the world Rome, which once
    made the world good, used then to have two suns
    which lit each path, secular and sacred
    (103-108) now, since the regal and pastoral
    functions have been conjoined, ill ensues -- by
    their fruits shall you know them (109-114) in
    northern Italy, which once was the home of
    courtesy and valor before the Church opposed
    Frederick II, there are now but three good men,
    all of them old (115-126) thus you must make it
    known that the Church of Rome is befouled and
    befouling, arrogating unto itself both
    governments (127-129).

  • Thoughts on Freewill
  • Boëthius, Cons. Phil., V. Prosa 3, Ridpath's
    Tr.-- But I shall now endeavor to demonstrate,
    that, in whatever way the chain of causes is
    disposed, the event of things which are foreseen
    is necessary although prescience may not appear
    to be the necessitating cause of their befalling.
    For example, if a person sits, the opinion formed
    of him that he is seated is of necessity true
    but by inverting the phrase, if the opinion is
    true that he is seated, he must necessarily sit.
    In both cases, then, there is a necessity in the
    latter, that the person sits in the former, that
    the opinion concerning him is true but the
    person doth not sit, because the opinion of his
    sitting is true, but the opinion is rather true
    because the action of his being seated was
    antecedent in time. Thus, though the truth of the
    opinion may be the effect of the person taking a
    seat, there is, nevertheless, a necessity common
    to both. The same method of reasoning, I think,
    should be employed with regard to the prescience
    of God, and future contingencies for, allowing
    it to be true that events are foreseen because
    they are to happen, and that they do not befall
    because they are foreseen, it is still necessary
    that what is to happen must be foreseen by God,
    and that what is foreseen must take place. This
    then is of itself sufficient to destroy all idea
    of human liberty.
  • Dante later again picks up the freewill
    discussion in XVIII43-9, and states that if
    everything is moved by love, either to good or
    bad results, then how does one reconcile
    freewill. How is it not blind determinism? This
    is a matter of Faith.

  • Thoughts on the Soul
  • John S. Carroll (1904), Purgatorio 16.82-93The
    cause, then, of the general corruption is not in
    the heavens but in men themselves, and Marco
    proceeds to trace it specifically to the evil
    guidance of the Papacy. He begins with a passage
    of great beauty descriptive of the innocent joy
    with which the human soul passes direct from God
    into the earthly lifeForth from the hand of Him
    who with joy beholds it Before it is, in fashion
    of a little maid Weeping and laughing in her
    childish sport, Issues the simple soul, that
    nothing knows, Save that, set in motion by a
    joyous Maker, Willingly it turns to that which
    gives it Pleasure.' Never, surely, was the
    doctrine of the human soul expressed with greater
    beauty. It reminds us of Vaughan's
    'angell-infancy' with its 'white celestiall
    thoughts,' and Wordsworth's'trailing clouds of
    glory do we come From God, who is our home.' The
    simple unknowing joy of the unborn soul is the
    joy of its Maker. Before its creation it exists
    in the Divine idea, and there God contemplates it
    with delight. When it passes forth from His hand
    into the earthly existence, His joy goes with it
    and makes it turn willingly to whatever gives it
    pleasure. But in its childish ignorance it runs
    after every trivial and delusive good, the object
    of desire ever changing as life passes from stage
    to stage. 'Whence,' as he says in the Convito,
    'we see little children desire above all things
    an apple and then, proceeding further on, desire
    a little bird and then, further on, desire a
    beautiful garment and then a horse, and then a
    wife and then riches, not great, then great, and
    then very great' (Conv. iv. 12. For the joy and
    happiness of God in Himself and in all good, see
    Aquinas, Contra Gentiles, Bk. i, chaps. 90, 100-
    102. The doctrine of the soul here advocated is
    that of Creationism its direct creation by the
    hand of God, against Traducianism its
    transmission by natural generation. Dante
    follows Aquinas Summa, i, q. xc Contra
    Gentiles, ii. 87-89 see Purg. XXV. 61-78 Par.
    VII. 142-144.)

  • Charles S. Singleton (1970-75), Purgatorio 16.88
  • che sa nulla I.e., the mind is tabula rasa. See
    Thomas Aquinas (Summa theol. I, q. 79, a. 2,
    resp.), who, quoting Aristotle's De anima, says
  • But the human intellect, which is the lowest in
    the order of intelligence and most remote from
    the perfection of the Divine intellect, is in
    potentiality with regard to things intelligible,
    and is at first like a clean tablet on which
    nothing is written, as the Philosopher says (De
    Anima iii. 4429b-430a). This is made clear from
    the fact that at first we are only in
    potentiality to understand, and afterwards we are
    made to understand actually. And so it is evident
    that with us to understand is in a way to be
    passive taking passion in the third sense. And
    consequently the intellect is a passive power.

  • The divisions of Purgatory Sayers
  • No one really hates himself or God, so there
    remains (restat) only the love of harm to one's
    neighbour. This is the object of Love Perverted,
    and the only means by which "the work can seek to
    work against the Workman" i.e. by "the harming
    of an image or images given to one for due love"
    (Charles Williams, op. cit. p. 164).
  • The lower part of Purgatory is made up of sins
    against your neighbor
  • Pride the intolerance of any rivalry.
  • Envy the fear of loss through competition.
  • Wrath the love of revenge for injury.
  • Virgil explains Mid-Purgatory (4th Cornice) as
    one of defect -- There is a true and satisfying
    Good (which "the heart may rest on"), of which
    everybody has at least some kind of nostalgic
    glimmering. This is the love of God failure to
    pursue it with one's whole will is called Sloth
  • There is a love which though good as far as it
    goes, cannot of itself bring one to Heaven (it
    "is not bliss") because it is not the love of God
    (the essential Good and source of all contingent
    goods). This love is threefold, and purged on the
    three Cornices of Upper Purgatory.
  • Covetous
  • Gluttonous
  • Lustful

  • Cornice IV
  • The Sinners - Slothful
  • The Penance hurried pace
  • The Meditation -- Mary rushes to the mountain
    village of Judah, home to Elizabeth and Zachary.
    Elizabeth is herself pregnant, this conception at
    an advanced age also having been announced by
    Gabriel, and her child, the future John the
    Baptist, leaps in his mother's womb as she is
    greeted by Mary (Luke 139-42). Julius Caesar is
    the second figure praised here for his fervor
    eager to move on to the next battle, Caesar
    accelerates his progress westward into Spain
    (Ilerda, today known as Lérida, in Catalonia) by
    leaving behind forces under Brutus' command to
    complete the military operations in Marseille
    (Lucan, Pharsalia 3.453-5). Lucan, whose poem
    recounts the civil war between Caesar and Pompey,
    compares Caesar to a thunderbolt (1.151-4). As
    seen in his damnation of Caesar's assassins,
    Dante clearly approves of Caesar's military
    campaigns and eventual dictatorship as part of
    providential history (UT).

  •  The balancing examples of sloth, or
    insufficient commitment and determination, are
    announced by two penitents at the back of the
    pack (18.130-8). They first lament that many of
    Moses' followers, beneficiaries of divine
    intervention in their exodus from Egypt (e.g.,
    parting the waters of the Red Sea Exodus
    1421-31), nonetheless later perish at God's hand
    and thus fail to reach the promised land due to
    various manifestations of incredulity,
    resistance, and transgression (Exodus 327-35
    Numbers 14, 16, 20-1). Moses, who summarizes many
    of these instances in Deuteronomy 126-46, is
    himself shown by God the final destination but
    also prevented from arriving there (Deut.
  • The second example of sloth is recounted in
    Virgil's Aeneid (5.700-54) Trojans who stayed
    behind in Sicily, to settle there and found a
    city, rather than endure additional hardships
    with Aeneas on his fated voyage to Italy, where
    he will lay the foundation for the Roman empire.
    On the counsel of his aged friend Nautes and the
    spirit of Anchises, his dead father, Aeneas
    allows those who have lost their ships, men and
    women weary of the journey, and others weak and
    afraid of new dangers to put an end to their
    wandering (seven years since the fall of Troy).
    Dante here concurs with Virgil's judgment that
    these individuals lack the will and courage
    required to achieve fame and glory (Aen. 5.751
    Purg. 18.138).
  • The Prayer none
  • The Benediction Matt 55, blessed are they that
  • The Angel of zeal
  • Read Psalm 51

  • John S. Carroll (1904), Purgatorio 19.37-69
  • The qui lugent refers, of course, to the Vulgate
    of the Beatitude, 'Blessed are they that mourn
    for they shall be comforted' (Matt. v. 4, 'Beati
    qui lugent, quoniam ipsi consolabuntur'). At
    first glance, this Beatitude seems to have almost
    no moral appropriateness to this Terrace but on
    looking closer the connection is found to be
    peculiarly deep and intimate. Sloth, we have
    seen, involves a profound element of sadness, --
    'sadness,' as Aquinas says, 'at spiritual good,
    inasmuch as it is divine good' (Summa, ii-ii, q.
    xxxv, a. 3). It is that low-spirited state of
    soul which shrinks away sorrowfully from the pain
    and exertion which the struggle to attain
    spiritual good involves. And the Beatitude is, --
    Blessed are they that mourn over this sadness
    which makes divine good seem not worthy of the
    effort to gain it. We shall miss much of the
    meaning if we fail to see that it is just this
    blessed sorrow which was bending Dante himself
    into 'the half arch of a bridge,' as his
    conversation with Virgil, when they have passed
    the Angel, proves. Virgil asks what ails him that
    he gazes only at the ground and Dante replies
    that the strange vision he has had is bending him
    to itself and filling him with a misgiving of
    fear -- fear, evidently, that he will never be
    strong enough to cast off the power of the Siren,
    to break the spell of fleshly sin. It is just as
    he comes forward bending languidly under the load
    of this misgiving that the Angel meets him with
    the declaration that such sorrow is blessed,
    because it carries in its bosom treasures of
    consolation. What those treasures are, Dante
    discovers almost immediately. Virgil asks him if
    he had seen how man is set loose from 'that
    ancient witch.' The meaning is that, in his
    dream, he found no release from her until the
    grace of heaven intervened. To teach him this was
    the very purpose of the vision, -- that a lower
    love can be conquered only by a higher, the Siren
    by 'a lady holy and alert,' the flesh by the
    Spirit, earth by heaven. This, therefore, is the
    comfort promised in the Beatitude -- that, as the
    attraction of the heavens above lays hold of him,
    that of the earth beneath is broken, and he can
    tread it underfoot

  • 'Suffice it thee, and strike on earth thy heels,
  • Thine eyes turn back to the lure, which whirleth
  • The King Eternal with the mighty wheels.
  • Even as the falcon, which at his feet first
  • Then turns to the call, and stretches forward
  • Through the desire of the food which draws him
  • Such I made me, and such, as far as is cleft
  • The rock to give a way to him who mounts,
  • I went, even to the point where circling is
  • (Purg. XIX. 61-69. For the same allurement of
    the Heavens, compare Canto XIV. 148-150.) The
    whole figure is very striking. Falconry is the
    sport of kings ('Falcons and hawks were allotted
    to degrees and orders of men according to rank
    and station, -- for instance, to royalty the
    jerfalcons, to an earl the peregrine, to a yeoman
    the goshawk, to a priest the sparrowhawk, and to
    a knave or servant the useless kestrel'
    Encyclopaedia Britannica, Art. 'Falconry'), and
    the great Falconer is the King Eternal. As the
    human falconer gives his peculiar call, and
    swings his 'lure' in the air -- a contrivance of
    birds' feathers and food at the end of a long
    thong -- even so God whirls above man's life the
    lure of 'the mighty wheels,' the vast circlings
    of the Nine Heavens, that he may draw the soul to
    Himself by hunger for its proper food, the bread
    of angels. Dante confesses that he is not yet
    ready for the vast flight. He compares himself to
    a falcon which hears its master's cry, and first
    looks down at its feet which are restrained by
    the jesses. So Dante looks down at the earth
    which forms his jesses, and feels that all he can
    meantime do is to turn to the great Falconer's
    call, and stretch himself towards the heavenly
    lure -- not, as Ruskin thinks, the 'Fortuna
    Major' of the geomants, but of God. It is not
    much perhaps, but it is at least the beginning of
    the comfort promised by the Beatitude it carries
    him with uplifted head up the entire length of
    the passage between the two walls of hard rock
    which at last open out upon the Fifth Cornice.

(No Transcript)
  • Cornice V
  • The Sinners The Covetous
  • The Penance - Prostration
  • The Meditation - The penitents on the fifth
    terrace, Hugh Capet explains, recite examples of
    avarice during the night and examples of the
    contrary virtue (poverty, contentment with
    little) during the day (20.97-102). Because Dante
    and Virgil arrive on the terrace in the morning,
    they first hear the exemplary cases of poverty,
    beginning as always with a biblical scene from
    the life of Mary (20.19-24). Her poverty is
    evident, the spirits proclaim, from the extremely
    modest circumstances in which she gave birth to
    Jesus, as described in Luke 27 "And she brought
    forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in
    swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger,
    because there was no room for them in the inn."
    "Good Fabricius," a classical figure, is the
    second virtuous example (20.25-7). Gaius
    Fabricius Luscinus was a prominent Roman
    leader--he served the Republic twice as consul
    (282 and 278 B.C.E.) and once as censor
    (275)--legendary for his integrity and contempt
    for material wealth. So strong was Fabricius'
    loyalty to the state that he could not be bought
    off with lavish gifts, preferring instead "to
    remain in poverty as an ordinary citizen"
    (Augustine, City of God 5.18). Dante elsewhere
    presents Fabricius as a model of Roman civic
    virtue based on this impressive austerity
    (Convivio 4.5.13 Monarchia 2.5.11), which Virgil
    succinctly praises in the Aeneid "Fabricius,
    strong with so little" (6.843-4). Nicholas, whose
    generosity enabled the young women to maintain
    honor (20.31-3), is the third individual praised
    on the terrace of avarice. St. Nicholas,
    venerated by both the Greek and Roman Churches,
    was the fourth-century bishop of Myra (in Asia
    Minor) whose remains were brought to Bari, Italy
    in the eleventh century (he is also known as
    Nicholas of Bari). The episode recited by the
    penitents was well known from The Golden Legend
    or Lives of the Saints, compiled by Jacobus de
    Voragine in the thirteenth century. Born to a
    wealthy family, Nicholas resolved to distribute
    his riches "not to the praising of the world but
    to the honor and glory of God." He acted on this
    promise upon learning that a neighbor, an
    impoverished nobleman, intended to keep the
    family afloat by prostituting his three
    daughters. Nicholas, horrified by this
    proposition, stealthily threw a bundle of gold
    into the man's house during the night. Thanking
    God, the neighbor used the gold to marry his
    oldest daughter. Nicholas repeated the procedure
    two more times, thus providing a dowry for all
    three daughters. The patron saint of sailors,
    virgins, merchants, and thieves (among others),
    Nicholas is most widely recognized as Santa
    Claus, patron saint of children.

  • During the night, the penitents recite, in rapid
    succession, seven infamous cases of avarice
    (20.103-17). Pygmalion, a traitor, thief, and
    parricide (20.103-5), was King of Tyre and
    brother of Dido. "Blinded by his love of gold"
    (Aen. 1.349), he brutally murdered Dido's wealthy
    husband Sychaeus (who was Pygmalion's uncle) and
    tried to keep the crime from his sister. Dido
    learned of the murder from Sychaeus' spirit, who
    also revealed the location of gold and silver to
    his sister and warned her to flee their homeland
    at once. Dido and her companions escaped with the
    treasure of rapacious Pygmalion, and they
    eventually founded a new city, Carthage (Aen.
    1.335-68). Midas, a Phrygian king, was granted a
    wish by Bacchus for having returned the satyr
    Silenus to the god he asked that whatever he
    touched be turned to gold. This was indeed an
    unwise choice, for now Midas could neither eat
    nor drink even the solids and liquids that
    passed his lips turn to metal. Bacchus answered
    Midas' plea for forgiveness and cancelled the
    unwelcome gift (Ovid, Met. 11.85-145).
  • The next three examples are biblical. Achan was
    stoned to death, his family and possessions
    consumed by fire, for having disobeyed Joshua's
    command that the treasures of the conquered city
    of Jericho be consecrated to God (Jos. 618-19).
    Because Achan took precious items from the spoils
    for himself, the Israelites were defeated and
    they suffered heavy losses in a subsequent
    battle God's wrath was averted with the
    punishment of Achan's crime (Jos. 71-26). The
    avarice of two early Christian followers,
    Sapphira and her husband Ananias, was also
    punished by death. While other members of the
    community sold their property and gave all
    proceeds to the apostles for distribution
    according to need, Ananias (with the complicity
    of Sapphira) kept part of the sale for himself.
    Confronted by Peter for the fraud, first Ananias
    and then Sapphira immediately dropped dead (Acts
    432-7 51-10). King Seleucus of Asia sent
    Heliodorus to the temple in Jerusalem to bring
    back money, which the king, acting on false
    information, believed was his. The temple
    members, because the funds actually belonged to
    them and were used for charity, were distraught
    until their prayers were answered as Heliodorus
    prepared to take away the money, there appeared a
    knight in golden armor whose horse delivered the
    kicks now praised by the penitents in Purgatory
    (20.113 2 Mach. 325).

  • Two classical figures round out the exemplary
    cases of avarice. Polymnestor lives in infamy all
    around the mountain (20.114-15). The king of
    Thrace, he was entrusted with the safety of
    Polydorus, youngest son of Priam and Hecuba.
    Driven by his insatiable greed, Polymnestor
    instead killed Polydorus to take for himself the
    considerable wealth the boy brought for safe
    keeping from the besieged city of Troy (Aen.
    3.19-68 Met. 13.429-38). Hecuba avenges this
    crime pretending to believe that Polydorus is
    still alive, she tells Polymnestor that she has a
    secret store of gold for him to give her son
    when the murderer, greedier than ever, asks for
    the gold and promises to fulfill Hecuba's
    request, she grabs him and, assisted by other
    Trojan women, gouges out his eyes and--through
    the empty sockets--his brain as well (Met.
    13.527-64). Marcus Licinius Crassus, part of the
    triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey (60 B.C.E.)
    and twice consul with Pompey (70, 55 B.C.E.),
    also suffers a gruesome death due to his avarice.
    Nicknamed Dives ("the wealthy one" Cicero, On
    Duties 2.57), Crassus comes to know the taste of
    gold, as the avaricious spirits mockingly put it
    (20.117), when greed leads to his death--and the
    massacre of eleven Roman legions--at the hands of
    the Parthians. Crassus' head and right hand are
    brought before the Parthian king, who has melted
    gold poured into the open mouth so that "as the
    living man burned with lust for gold, now even
    his dead body feels the heat of gold" (Florus,
    Epitoma 1.46). (See Sayers note p. 232-3)
  • The Prayer Ps. 11925 my soul cleaveth to the
  • The Benediction Matt 56 hunger for
  • The Angel of Liberality
  • Read Psalm 102

  • The souls on the fifth terrace purify themselves
    of their vice (avarice or its sinful opposite,
    prodigality) by lying face-down on the hard rock
    floor. Weeping and praying, they themselves call
    out the examples of greed and its opposing virtue
    (generosity). Pope Adrian V, who lived only a
    little more than a month after his election to
    the papacy in 1276 (19.103-5), explains how this
    prostrate position is fitting punishment for
    their neglect of spiritual matters and excessive
    attachment to worldly goods. This pope, the first
    saved pope encountered by the journeying Dante,
    tells his visitor not to kneel because they are
    now equals before God (19.133-5).
  • 137 Neque nubent "They neither marry nor are
    given in marriage" (Matt. xxii. 23-30 Mark xii.
    18-25 Luke xx. 27-35) Every bishop, including
    the Pope, is ceremonially wedded to his see
    (which is why he wears a ring and changes his
    name to that of his diocese). But this marriage,
    like any earthly marriage, is dissolved in
    Heaven, together with all legal and official ties
    and all earthly rank and privilege (cf. v. 88 and
    note). This holds good, despite the sacramental
    nature of the ties of marriage, orders, and
    unction for in Heaven there is no longer any
    need of sacraments (Sayers).

  • John S. Carroll (1904), Purgatorio 19.127-138
  • If one form of Avarice is as dust and another as
    mire, there is a third of which Dante chooses the
    rock as symbol. It is in the Moat of the
    Simoniacs in the Eighth Circle of Hell and his
    attitude here as he stoops over this prostrate
    Pope cannot but recall his form as he bends lower
    still over another who is worse than prostrate.
    For if common Avarice casts a man to the ground,
    Simony sinks him into it, buries him alive in the
    hard rock of his own merciless greed. As Dante
    stoops over Nicholas III. and the long
    non-apostolic succession of simoniacal Popes in
    the rock beneath him, he regards them as
    assassins of the Church, and breaks into a
    passion of indignant denunciation (Inf. XIX. 31-
    133). Here, on the contrary, before a Pope who,
    whatever his sins, strove at least to save 'the
    great mantle' from the mire of base avarice, he
    cannot refrain from sinking on his knees in
    reverence. So far as it is reverence for himself
    as Pope, it is rebuked by Adrian the moment he
    discovers by the nearness of Dante's voice that
    he is kneeling
  • 'Make straight thy legs, and rise up, brother,
  • He answered 'err not fellowservant am I
  • With thee and with the others to one Power.
  • If thous didst ever that holy Gospel sound
  • Which sayeth Neque nubent understand,
  • Well canst thou see why I thus speak.'

  • The use of the word 'brother' instead of 'son,'
    indicates the renunciation of his superiority as
    spiritual Father. 'I am thy fellow-servant,'
    taken from Rev. xix. 10 and xxii. 9, has a double
    edge it repudiates at once the exaggerated
    humility of the 'Servus servorum,' Servant of
    servants, which, since Gregory the Great, was one
    of the official styles of the Popes (in Inf. XV.
    112, the title is used sarcastically of Boniface
    VIII) and that Papal grasping at spiritual and
    temporal power which sought to make all men serve
    it. This Pope has learnt that there is a higher
    world of equality of service of the one same
    Power. The 'holy Gospel sound,' 'Neque nubent,'
    is Christ's statement that the bond of marriage
    is dissolved in the world to come 'In the
    resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in
    marriage' (Matt. xxii. 30 for the figure of the
    Pope as the Church's spouse, see Inf. XIX. 56,
    and Purg. XXIV. 22). The first reference is to
    the ties of flesh and blood, and Dante here
    extends it to the Pope as the spouse of the
    Church. It is uncertain whether he meant it to
    cover holy orders. These, according to the
    Church, impress a 'character,' which is defined
    as 'a certain spiritual and indelible sign,' and
    it might be argued that this being indelible, a
    priest is a priest for ever, in the next world as
    in this. As a matter of fact, Adrian, as already
    stated, was never ordained to the priesthood, and
    therefore the question does not arise. What Dante
    really wishes to do is to bring the office of
    Pope into line in this matter with that of
    Emperor. Both offices are ordained by God for
    certain earthly ends, and therefore lapse with
    the earthly life. 'Caesar I was, and am
    Justinian,' says the great Emperor in Paradise
    (Par. VI. 10). It is a law which holds good of
    every earthly rank the Count of Montefeltro, for
    example, disclaims his title 'I was of
    Montefeltro, I am Buonconte.' Pope, Emperor,
    Count -- all at death lapse back into the primal
    manhood, the naked personality, in which all men
    are equal before God.

  • Robert Hollander (2000-2007), Purgatorio 21.16-18
  • Virgil's wish for Statius is touching, in part
    because it has been accomplished, since Statius
    is already substantially one of the blessed, only
    awaiting a change in his accidental state, which
    will be accomplished in less than a day. While
    the poem does not show him there, its givens make
    it plain that, had Dante chosen to do so, Statius
    could have been observed seated in the rose in
    Paradiso XXXII he is there by the time Dante
    ascends into the heavens at the beginning of the
    next cantica, or so we may assume.
  • Virgil's insistence on his own eternal home is a
    moving reminder of his tragic situation in this
    comic poem. Statius's salvation comes closer than
    anyone else's in showing how near Virgil himself
    came to eternal blessedness, as the next canto
    will make clear. And, once we learn (Purg.
    XXII.67-73) that it was Virgil who was
    responsible, by means of his fourth Eclogue, for
    the conversion of Statius, we consider these
    lines with a still more troubled heart. For
    remarks in a similar vein see Stephany (Biblical
    Allusions to Conversion in Purgatorio XXI,
    Stanford Italian Review 3 1983), p. 158n.

Statius, a Roman poet from the first century
(45-96 C.E.), is the author of two epic La
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