Dante,Vergil, and Cato
From Purgatorio I;
"To the right hand I turn'd, and fix'd my mindOn the' other pole attentive, where I saw
Four stars ne'er seen before save by the ken
Of our first parents. Heaven of their rays
Seem'd joyous. O thou northern site, bereft
Indeed, and widow'd, since of these depriv'd!
As from this view I had desisted, straight
Turning a little tow'rds the other pole,
There from whence now the wain had disappear'd,
I saw an old man standing by my side
Alone, so worthy of rev'rence in his look,
That ne'er from son to father more was ow'd.
Low down his beard and mix'd with hoary white
Descended, like his locks, which parting fell
Upon his breast in double fold. The beams
Of those four luminaries on his face
So brightly shone, and with such radiance clear
Deck'd it, that I beheld him as the sun.
"Say who are ye, that stemming the blind stream,
Forth from th' eternal prison-house have fled?"
He spoke and moved those venerable plumes.
"Who hath conducted, or with lantern sure
Lights you emerging from the depth of night,
That makes the infernal valley ever black?
Are the firm statutes of the dread abyss
Broken, or in high heaven new laws ordain'd,
That thus, condemn'd, ye to my caves approach?"
|William Blake Illusrations of Dante|
Acquired directly from Blake by John Linnell, who commissioned the designs;
In Dante's The Divine Comedy, Cato is portrayed as the guardian of the mount ofpurgatory. In Canto I, Dante writes of Cato:
He is one of the two pagans presented by Dante as saved souls encountered in Purgatorio, the other being Statius (Cantos XX-XXII). Cato appears in the Purgatorio not as a "saved" soul, but as one who will receive special compensation on the Day of Judgment. He is not "in" Purgatory, but on the shores of "The High Mount", or part of ante-purgatory. Statius, on the other hand, was baptised in a secretive ceremony and remained a "closet-Christian", for which lukewarmness he remained in ante-Purgatory for a prescribed time before he could enter Purgatory proper: As he made God wait, so God made him wait.
Publius Vergilius Maro (Classical Latin: [ˈpuː.blɪ.ʊs wɛrˈgɪ.lɪ.ʊs ˈma.roː]; October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil // in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him.
Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, theAeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante's Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through hell and purgatory.
Durante degli Alighieri (Italian: [duˈrante ˈdeʎʎi aliˈɡjɛːri]), simply called Dante(Italian: [ˈdante], UK //, US //; c. 1265–1321 CE), was a majorItalian poet of the late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian languageand a masterpiece of world literature.