Observations placeholder

Dante - Inferno [bribery, extortion and swindling]



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Dante – The Divine Comedy INFERNO I

When we halted to see the next cleft
I saw that it was preternaturally dark
Now down there boiled an inspissated pitch
Which stuck onto the bank on both sides

I saw it, but I could see nothing in it
Except the bubbles which the boiling sent up
The rising of the whole and its subsistence


While I looked down upon it fixedly
My escort calling 'Look out there, look out!'
Drew me to him from the place where I was standing

I saw there was a black devil behind us
And he was running in our direction up the crag
Ah and how ferocious was his appearance!

And in his bearing, how much cruelty
With his wings open, and his light footedness

His shoulders which were pointed and seemed proud
Were burdened with the two legs of a sinner
And in each hand he grasped the nerve of a foot

From our bridge he called out 'O Malebranche
Here is one of the Santa Zita council
Put him under, while I go back for more

He threw him down and over the hard rock
Went back again, and never was a guard dog loosed
With such speed to follow up a thief

The sinner plunged, and came up again convulsed;
But the demons who were in cover under the bridge
Shouted; 'The Volto Santo has no place here!

Here it is not like swimming in the Serchio!
So, unless you want to feel our hooks
Better not come up out of that pitch!'

Then they bit at him with a hundred prongs
And said 'You'd better dance there underneath
If you can sneak a look out, you can have it!

Exactly so a cook might make his underlings
Plunge meat into the middle of a cauldron
With long forks, so that it does not float

The source of the experience

Dante Alighieri

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps