Saturday, August 08, 2015

Dante 37

Fom Dante's Inferno XXXIII
Then by the scalp behind I seized upon him,
  And said: "It must needs be thou name thyself,
  Or not a hair remain upon thee here."

Whence he to me: "Though thou strip off my hair,
  I will not tell thee who I am, nor show thee,
  If on my head a thousand times thou fall."

I had his hair in hand already twisted,
  And more than one shock of it had pulled out,
  He barking, with his eyes held firmly down,

When cried another: "What doth ail thee, Bocca?
  Is't not enough to clatter with thy jaws,
  But thou must bark? what devil touches thee?"

"Now," said I, "I care not to have thee speak,
  Accursed traitor; for unto thy shame
  I will report of thee veracious news."

"Begone," replied he, "and tell what thou wilt,
  But be not silent, if thou issue hence,
  Of him who had just now his tongue so prompt;

He weepeth here the silver of the French;
  'I saw,' thus canst thou phrase it, 'him of Duera
  There where the sinners stand out in the cold.'

If thou shouldst questioned be who else was there,
  Thou hast beside thee him of Beccaria,
  Of whom the gorget Florence slit asunder;

Gianni del Soldanier, I think, may be
  Yonder with Ganellon, and Tebaldello
  Who oped Faenza when the people slep."

Already we had gone away from him,
  When I beheld two frozen in one hole,
  So that one head a hood was to the other;

And even as bread through hunger is devoured,
  The uppermost on the other set his teeth,
  There where the brain is to the nape united.

Dante Tugging at Bocca's Hair
William Blake's Illstrations of Dante
Wiki Common
Bocca was a Florentine noble of faction Ghibelline who lived in the thirteenth century .

Dante meets Bocca degli Abati, engraving byGustave Doré
He fought between the Guelphs in the Battle of Montaperti ( 1260 ) and during the onslaught of the German troops of Manfredi he was in the ranks of cavalry near Guelph Jacopo de 'Pazzi who was holding the banner guiding the host. When someone cut off his hand to drop the flag he was among those suspected of treason: the act with the Guelph cavalry remained in disarray and dismayed to have lost direction the Guelph retreat, being defeated.
Mouth of the Abbots, Guelph before the battle, was then after the battle between the victorious Ghibellines who returned to Florence; but after the revenge of the Guelph he was simply banished (1266 ), a sign that there was enough evidence to accuse him of betrayal banner.
Dante Alighieri instead accuses him openly in one of the episodes of the crudest ' Inferno : through the ' Antenora , the second zone of the ninth circle where the traitors are punished, Dante slams his foot on a head protruding from the ice (he writes that if he can not explain to his will, to fate or divine will), which curses and makes a fleeting reference to the vengeance of Montaperti . Then Dante has a suspicion and asks Virgilio to wait for a moment; back from the damn invites him to say his name, but when he refuses decisively (the two have a real spat), Dante becomes violent and grabs the damned by the collar and threatened to tear his hair and yet another rejection him He took more than a lock .
Then another damn betrays Mouth, revealing to Dante his name, but before the poet go away happy to have solved the riddle of the traitor of Montaperti, the same mouth starts screaming as many possible names of his companions penalty ( Buoso from Duera , Tesauro of Beccheria , Gianni de 'Soldanieri ,Ganelon and Tebaldello Zambrasi ), so they also drag infamy of being in the lowest point of hell.

1 comment:

Susan J. said...

Boy. This one unpleasant canto, innit?

I hope you're planning on sticking with Dante on through the Purgatorio and Paradiso -- Lord knows we need some relief!


Susan J.