Inferno Canto XII

Inferno 12

As we drew near those swift wild beasts,
Chiron took an arrow and with its nock
pulled back his beard along his jaw.

vv. 76-78

First round of the Seventh Circle: those who do violence to others. – Tyrants and Homicides. – The Minotaur. – The Centaurs. – Chiron. – Nessus. – The River of Boiling Blood, and the Sinners in it.

Dante and Virgil descended into the seventh circle on a rocky mass of fallen stones which had collapsed, according to Virgil, when Hell had been robbed of its most treasured possessions. They passed the Minotaur, who bit himself in fury and ran berserk, but was unable to reach them.

They came to a river of boiling blood, the Phlegethon, where Virgil said those who injure others violently are forced to burn. They were challenged by centaurs armed with bows and arrows, including Nessus, Chiron, and Pholus. Their duty was to shoot any soul who came to far out of the river of blood. Virgil explained to Chiron the circumstances of Dante’s journey, and he gave them Nessus as an additional guide. Along the river’s banks Dante saw some souls who were up to their heads in blood; these, according to Nessus, were bloody tyrants like Alexander and Dionysius, Ezzelino and Obizzo of Este. Further upstream they came to others whose throats and heads were clear of the blood; one of these was the one who impaled the heart that drips blood upon the Thames. The river became shallower and shallower, but Nessus explained that it would again deepen in its circular path to the deepest part where the tyrants were punished, including Attila, Pyrrhus, Sextus and Rinier of Corneto and Rinier Pazzo, as well as those already mentioned. They forded the river at the shallowest point.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

Canto adopted by Mariani s.r.l.

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