Dante and Aquinas

Miles, Dudley Howe

One of the recurrent problems in the Divina Commedia has been the system that underlies Dante's treatment of sins and sinners in the Purgatorio, and especially in the Inferno. Dante himself, to be sure, explained very clearly that love is the foundation principle of his whole poem. But in the punishment of the various sins which transgress or destroy this principle many difficulties of interpretation arise. The arrangement of Purgatory offers little trouble by itself, for it is based on the seven deadly sins or capital vices dealt with in various ways by the fathers of the church from Cassian down. But the arrangement of the Inferno is not so easy to understand. Some similarities between it and the Purgatorio, such as that each is conical in shape with the sinners grouped on ledges or cornices, have led commentators to expect that the same sins would be punished in each region.

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Also Published In

Romanic Review

More About This Work

Academic Units
French and Romance Philology
Columbia University Press
Published Here
July 31, 2015


Source: / Bibliothèque nationale de France