The unspeakable acts he witnessed—cannibalism, live burnings, evisceration, crucifixion, and dozens more—became the basis of all the horrors described in Inferno.
Afraid to be labeled a madman, Dante made the terrors he experienced into a more "believable" account of an otherworldly adventure filled with demons and mythological monsters. But at last, the real story can finally be told. See All Customer Reviews.
Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD 9. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Usually ships within 6 days. Overview Working from Dante's Inferno to draw out the reality behind the fantasy, author Kim Paffenroth unfolds the horrifying true events that led Dante to fictionalize the account of his lost years. Product Details. Average Review. That other, who seems so robust, is Cassius.
But night is come again, and it is time for us to leave; we have seen everything. Just as he asked, I clasped him round the neck; and he watched for the chance of time and place, and when the wings were open wide enough,. When we had reached the point at which the thigh revolves, just at the swelling of the hip, my guide, with heavy strain and rugged work,.
Then he slipped through a crevice in a rock and placed me on the edge of it, to sit; that done, he climbed toward me with steady steps. I raised my eyes, believing I should see the half of Lucifer that I had left; instead I saw him with his legs turned up;. It was no palace hall, the place in which we found ourselves, but with its rough—hewn floor and scanty light, a dungeon built by nature. Where is the ice? And how is he so placed head downward?
Tell me, too, how has the sun in so few hours gone from night to morning? And now you stand beneath the hemisphere opposing that which cloaks the great dry lands and underneath whose zenith died the Man. Your feet are placed upon a little sphere that forms the other face of the Judecca. This was the side on which he fell from Heaven; for fear of him, the land that once loomed here made of the sea a veil and rose into.
There is a place below, the limit of that cave, its farthest point from Beelzebub, a place one cannot see: it is discovered.
My guide and I came on that hidden road to make our way back into the bright world; and with no care for any rest, we climbed—. It was from there. As, when there breathes a heavy fog, or when Our hemisphere is darkening into night, Appears far off a mill the wind is turning,.
Methought that such a building then I saw; And, for the wind, I drew myself behind My Guide, because there was no other shelter. Now was I, and with fear in verse I put it, There where the shades were wholly covered up, And glimmered through like unto straws in glass. Some prone are Iying, others stand erect, This with the head, and that one with the soles; Another, bow—like, face to feet inverts.
When in advance so far we had proceeded, That it my Master pleased to show to me The creature who once had the beauteous semblance,. How frozen I became and powerless then, Ask it not, Reader, for I write it not, Because all language would be insufficient. I did not die, and I alive remained not; Think for thyself now, hast thou aught of wit, What I became, being of both deprived.
The Emperor of the kingdom dolorous From his mid—breast forth issued from the ice, And better with a giant I compare. Than do the giants with those arms of his; Consider now how great must be that whole, Which unto such a part conforms itself.
Were he as fair once, as he now is foul, And lifted up his brow against his Maker, Well may proceed from him all tribulation. O, what a marvel it appeared to me, When I beheld three faces on his head! The one in front, and that vermilion was;. Two were the others, that were joined with this Above the middle part of either shoulder, And they were joined together at the crest;.
Underneath each came forth two mighty wings, Such as befitting were so great a bird; Sails of the sea I never saw so large. No feathers had they, but as of a bat Their fashion was; and he was waving them, So that three winds proceeded forth therefrom. Thereby Cocytus wholly was congealed. With six eyes did he weep, and down three chins Trickled the tear—drops and the bloody drivel.
At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching A sinner, in the manner of a brake, So that he three of them tormented thus. To him in front the biting was as naught Unto the clawing, for sometimes the spine Utterly stripped of all the skin remained. Of the two others, who head downward are, The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus; See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.
And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius. As seemed him good, I clasped him round the neck, And he the vantage seized of time and place, And when the wings were opened wide apart,. He laid fast hold upon the shaggy sides; From fell to fell descended downward then Between the thick hair and the frozen crust. When we were come to where the thigh revolves Exactly on the thickness of the haunch, The Guide. Turned round his head where he had had his legs, And grappled to the hair, as one who mounts, So that to Hell I thought we were returning.
I lifted up mine eyes and thought to see Lucifer in the same way I had left him; And I beheld him upward hold his legs. And if I then became disquieted, Let stolid people think who do not see What the point is beyond which I had passed. It was not any palace corridor There where we were, but dungeon natural, With floor uneven and unease of light. That side thou wast, so long as I descended; When round I turned me, thou didst pass the point To which things heavy draw from every side,. The Man who without sin was born and lived.
Thou hast thy feet upon the little sphere Which makes the other face of the Judecca. Here it is morn when it is evening there; And he who with his hair a stairway made us Still fixed remaineth as he was before. Upon this side he fell down out of heaven; And all the land, that whilom here emerged, For fear of him made of the sea a veil,. A place there is below, from Beelzebub As far receding as the tomb extends, Which not by sight is known, but by the sound. Of a small rivulet, that there descendeth Through chasm within the stone, which it has gnawed With course that winds about and slightly falls.
The Guide and I into that hidden road Now entered, to return to the bright world; And without care of having any rest.
We mounted up, he first and I the second, Till I beheld through a round aperture Some of the beauteous things that Heaven doth bear;. All of the other traitorous sinners in this ring are completely encased in ice but Lucifer is gigantic and his heads, arms, and massive wings are free of the ice.
He has a black head, a red head, and a yellow head, and in each of the three mouths he is chewing a sinner to a bloody pulp: Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ, Brutus and Cassius, who betrayed Julius Caesar. Lucifer flaps his six wings, attempting to escape, but only produces a freezing wind. Virgilio and Dante follow Lethe to exit Hell and find themselves once again under a starry sky. Inferno Most of all, the giants differ from Lucifer in that they are not yet devoid of all cognition.
Oh quanto parve a me gran maraviglia quand'io vidi tre facce a la sua testa!
Recommended Citation Barolini, Teodolinda. If he was once as handsome as he now is ugly and, despite that, raised his brows against his Maker, one can understand how every sorrow has its source in him! I marveled when I saw that, on his head, he had three faces: one—in front-bloodred; and then another two that, just above the midpoint of each shoulder, joined the first; and at the crown, all three were reattached; the right looked somewhat yellow, somewhat white; the left in its appearance was like those who come from where the Nile, descending, flows.
When we had reached the point at which the thigh revolves, just at the swelling of the hip, my guide, with heavy strain and rugged work, reversed his head to where his legs had been and grappled on the hair, as one who climbs— I thought that we were going back to Hell. I raised my eyes, believing I should see the half of Lucifer that I had left; instead I saw him with his legs turned up; and if I then became perplexed, do let the ignorant be judges—those who can not understand what point I had just crossed.
And now you stand beneath the hemisphere opposing that which cloaks the great dry lands and underneath whose zenith died the Man whose birth and life were sinless in this world. This was the side on which he fell from Heaven; for fear of him, the land that once loomed here made of the sea a veil and rose into our hemisphere; and that land which appears upon this side—perhaps to flee from him— left here this hollow space and hurried upward.
My guide and I came on that hidden road to make our way back into the bright world; and with no care for any rest, we climbed— he first, I following—until I saw, through a round opening, some of those things of beauty Heaven bears.
It was from there that we emerged, to see—once more—the stars. The Emperor of the kingdom dolorous From his mid—breast forth issued from the ice, And better with a giant I compare Than do the giants with those arms of his; Consider now how great must be that whole, Which unto such a part conforms itself. Thou hast thy feet upon the little sphere Which makes the other face of the Judecca Here it is morn when it is evening there; And he who with his hair a stairway made us Still fixed remaineth as he was before.