Inferno Canto XXI

Inferno 21

they swarmed on him from underneath the bridge
with threatening hooks. But he cried out:
‘Wait! Let none of you do harm!

vv. 70-72

Eighth Circle: fifth pit: Barrators. – A magistrate of Lucca. – The Malebranche. – Parley with them.

The next valley held a pool of boiling tar, which reminded Dante of the pitch the Venetians used to patch up their ships. While Dante was watching the tar, Virgil warned him to look out. Turning around, he saw a black demon racing up, carrying a sinner which he cast into the pool, calling out to the other deomns, the Malebranche, that it was an elder of Saint Zita. He said he was going back for more, and that there were plenty of grafters in that city. The sinner tried to get out of the pitch, but other demons thrust him down with long hooks, taunting him all the while. Virgil told Dante not to be afraid of the demons, and went over to speak with them. At first they looked menacing, but when Virgil told them that they were there by divine will, the head demon, Malacoda, gave them an escort made up of the demons Alichino, Calcabrina, Cagnazzo, Barbariccia, Libicocco, Draghignazzo, Circiatto, Graffiacane, Farafrello and Rubicante. Dante was not pleased to have an escort, but Virgil again told him not to be frightened: the demons’ growling faces were meant to scare the sinners. As a signal to begin, the leader, Barbariccia, “made a trumpet of his ass.”Riassunto in inglese tratto da

Canto adopted by Ordo Saraghinae

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