Dante’s description of Heaven has no terrestrial references and is the product of fertile imagination. Heaven consists of nine concentric spheres inside the Empyrean, which is the permanent seat of the blessed and God. Systematically arranged in the ranks of a white rose, a vast amphitheatre, they behold God.

Dante sees the blessed souls in the heaven corresponding to their earthly virtue, which accounts for the influence that heaven exerts on them. However, their seat is the white rose. With a few exceptions, Dante sees the blessed souls not in their earthly semblance but as pure light. The heavens move through the nine orders of angels according to God’s will, one for each of them. The speed of rotation is directly proportional to the proximity to the Creator. Therefore, Paradise is movement, it is dance and music, utterly pure and pervasive. Perfect eternal harmony. The pattern is the following:

1st Heaven: the Sphere of the Moon Breakers of Vows Angels
2nd Heaven: the Sphere of Mercury Lovers of Glory Princedoms
3rd Heaven: the Sphere of Venus The Lovers Podestà
4th Heaven: the Sphere of the Sun The Wise Virtues
5th Heaven: the Sphere of Mars The Warriors of the Faith Dominations
6th Heaven: the Sphere of Jupiter The Just Rulers Thrones
7th Heaven: the Sphere of Saturn The Contemplatives Archangels
8th Heaven: the Sphere of Fixed Start The Triumph of Christ Cherubs
9th Heaven: the Primum Mobile The Nine Orders of Angels Seraphs
10th: the Empyrean The White Rose God, the angels, the blessed

Traduzione a cura della classe 5aC A.S.20/21 del Liceo Scientifico A. Oriani di Ravenna

Viaggio di Dante nel Paradiso