(...) Through me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye. Justice the founder of my fabric moved: To rear me was the task of power divine, Supremest wisdom, and primeval love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I shall endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here. (...) -From Canto III
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is a wonderful allegory about human ethics.
Dante, the supreme storyteller takes us into a medieval view of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Love and light will be found in Paradise but first we journey with him and the Roman writer Virgil to the nine circles of the Inferno, the nine levels of Purgatory, and the nine heavens within Paradise where Virgil leaves Dante to be with his true love Beatrice.
Far more than simply a consideration of the state of souls after death; it is an allegory about human ethics. To fully “take in” the wonder of this work you may wish to devote a daily set amount of time to read as much as possible out loud!
The langue spoken is Italian not Latin. Well, technically it is a Tuscan/Florentine dialect (that forms the basis of modern day Italian).
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's translation follows:
Wonderful Lectures from Yale:
About the Course [via oyc.yale.edu/]
The next parts:
Alternative text version: digitaldante.columbia.edu
Gustave Doré’s (1832-1883) illustrations
SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY CHILDREN!
(THE IMAGES ARE VERY SCARY).
See also: William Blake's illustrations
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