Friday, July 17, 2015

Dante 26

From Dante's Inferno IX:
Inferno: Canto IX

Soon as I was within, cast round mine eye,
  And see on every hand an ample plain,
  Full of distress and torment terrible.

Even as at Arles, where stagnant grows the Rhone,
  Even as at Pola near to the Quarnaro,
  That shuts in Italy and bathes its borders,

The sepulchres make all the place uneven;
  So likewise did they there on every side,
  Saving that there the manner was more bitter;

For flames between the sepulchres were scattered,
  By which they so intensely heated were,
  That iron more so asks not any art.

All of their coverings uplifted were,
  And from them issued forth such dire laments,
  Sooth seemed they of the wretched and tormented.

And I: "My Master, what are all those people
  Who, having sepulture within those tombs,
  Make themselves audible by doleful sighs?"

And he to me: "Here are the Heresiarchs,
  With their disciples of all sects, and much
  More than thou thinkest laden are the tombs.

Here like together with its like is buried;
  And more and less the monuments are heated."
  And when he to the right had turned, we passed

Between the torments and high parapets.

Blake Dante Hell  Farinata.jpg
Blake's Illustrations of Dante's Inferno
Dante Conversing with Farinata Degli Uberti

This from Wikipedia:

Farinata belonged to one of the most ancient and prominent noble families of Florence. He was the leader of the Ghibelline faction in his city during the power struggles of the time. He led the Ghibellines from 1239, but after the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, in 1250, the Guelphs were able to reassert power in Florence, securing his exile from the city, along with his supporters. The exiles sought refuge inSiena, a Ghibelline stronghold. In response to the exile, Farinata allied himself with Frederick's illegitimate son, Manfred of Sicily, who was seeking to expand his alliances in order to secure himself on the throne of Sicily. In September 1260 Farinata led the Ghibelline forces to victory over the rival Guelphs at the Battle of Montaperti. As a result he was able to capture Florence. The leading Guelph families were banished and the government of Florence was radically restructured to ensure Ghibelline dominance. Farinata's allies wanted to ensure that Florence would never again rise to threaten them. Following the example of Roman ruthlessness towards its enemy Carthage, they voted to raze Florence utterly to the ground. Only Farinata stood out against them, declaring himself to be a Florentine first and a Ghibelline second, and vowing that he would defend his native city with his own sword. The Ghibellines thereupon took the lesser course of destroying the city's defences and the homes of the leading Guelphs, knocking down 103 palaces, 580 houses, and 85 towers.

  The description of the meaning

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