Vie’He who casts off from shore to fish for truth
without the necessary skill does not return the same
as he sets out, but worse, and all in vain.
St. Thomas Aquinas speaks again, and explains the relation of the wisdom of Solomon to that of Adam and of Christ, and declares the vanity of human judgment.
The two circles of wise spirits that appeared in the Sphere of the Sun dance around Dante and Beatrice, while raising a hymn of praise to the Holy Trinity. St. Thomas starts speaking again and responds to Dante’s second question, on how he presented the blessed spirit of Solomon: “To see so much there never rose a second” (X, 114). When he spoke about Solomon’s “matchless wisdom”, St. Thomas was thinking of Solomon’s ability to guide and govern his people with justice. He saw him as a king and not as a man. In Fact, only in Adam and in Christ was infused all the knowledge that human nature can possess. To explain himself better, St. Thomas clarifies that only the creatures God himself created are perfect – e.g. Adam and Christ. St. Thomas ends his speech with an observation: those who are surprised at the salvation of Solomon, after he was harshly reproached for his sins in the Bible, make a big mistake, because they think they can replace God’s judgment. The Saint warns men not to judge too quickly, because no matter what things look like, only God knows what’s hidden in everyone’s heart. Only him can decide on the eternal salvation or damnation of his creatures.
The fishermen corporation, which would eventually develop into the Order of Casa Matha, had been operating here since the 10th century. The building was the continuation of the 11th century “Scola piscatorum de civitate Ravennae” and the older “Scola piscatorum Patoreno” (the ancient Badareno), which was first mentioned in a fishing licence dating back to 943 and known as “Carta Piscatoria”.
Petrus de Zardinis Notarius was one of its members – as the list of names of 1304 shows. His life was linked to Dante’s. In fact, the great Italian writer and poet Giovanni Boccaccio mentioned Pietro or Pier Gardini in two different tales. He first spoke about Dante asking the notary to trace his date of birth. He then mentioned Pietro Gardini in the 26th chapter of his “Trattarello in laude di Dante”, when he told the story of Jacopo, Dante’s son, who had dreamt about his father showing him where the last 13 cantos of the Divine Comedy had been hidden. In the latter text Boccaccio quickly but effectively portrayed our Pietro Gardini as the eyewitness of this extraordinary recovery. Briefly, he spoke about “Piero Gardino”’s tale and his being both a worthy man from Ravenna and a long-time disciple of Dante. Deemed as imaginary for many years, these two stories were said to have been created by Boccaccio himself. That’s why some scholars went as far as to doubt and deny the existence of Pietro Gardini.
In 1342 Pietro Gardini was the Cimeliarch (a kind of churchwarden) of the Church of San Francesco – formerly San Pietro Maggiore. Within that role he may have tended to Dante’s Tomb, still faithful to his friend and maestro. He was last mentioned in 1348, the year the plague broke out.
Traduzione a cura della classe 5aC A.S.20/21 del Liceo Scientifico A. Oriani di Ravenna
Canto adopted by Società degli Uomini della Casa Matha