At the conclusion of his words, the thief Lifted his hands aloft with both the figs, Crying: "Take that, God, for at thee I aim them." From that time forth the serpents were my friends; For one entwined itself about his neck As if it said: "I will not thou speak more;" And round his arms another, and rebound him, Clinching itself together so in front, That with them he could not a motion make. Pistoia, ah, Pistoia! why resolve not To burn thyself to ashes and so perish, Since in ill-doing thou thy seed excellest? Through all the sombre circles of this Hell, Spirit I saw not against God so proud, Not he who fell at Thebes down from the walls! He fled away, and spake no further word; And I beheld a Centaur full of rage Come crying out: "Where is, where is the scoffer?" I do not think Maremma has so many Serpents as he had all along his back, As far as where our countenance begins. Upon the shoulders, just behind the nape, With wings wide open was a dragon lying, And he sets fire to all that he encounters. -
|The Six footed Serpent Attacking Agnolo Brunellechi|
Locale of Dante's post
This from Vanni Fucci di Pistoia:
Vanni Fucci di Pistoia is a minor character in Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri's epic poem the Divine Comedy, appearing in Cantos 24 and 25. He was a thief who lived in Pistoia, as his name ("di Pistoia" meaning "of Pistoia") indicates; when he died, he was sent to the eighth circle of Hell in the seventh bolgia (round; in Italian, "ditch" or "pouch"), where thieves are punished. In that bolgia his punishment was to be stung by a serpent, reduced to ashes, and then restored to his former shape for more torturing. Dante and Virgil meet him and ask him why he was there. He replied that he stole a treasure from the ChurcCacush of St. James in his hometown; he had accused an innocent man, Vanni della Nona, with the crime, for which della Nona was executed. Fucci says he was not caught but he still went to Hell. He then predicts the overthrow of the Florentine Whites to spite Dante and then insults God by making obscene gestures at him, and is attacked by numerous nearby serpents and by the monster Cacus, who was put in the bolgia for stealing Hercules' cattle.