Paradiso Canto XVI

Paradiso 16

‘But it was destined that, to the shattered stone
that guards the bridge, Florence should offer
a sacrificial victim in her final days of peace.

vv. 145-147

The boast of blood.—Cacciaguida continues his discourse concerning the old and the new Florence.

Dante continues his interview with the soul of Cacciaguida, his great-great-grandfather. Full of pride in his family, he speaks to Cacciaguida in noble but somewhat archaic Italian and asks about Cacciaguida’s own youth and ancestry. Of his forefathers Cacciaguida says little except that all were Florentines. He then nostalgically describes the Florence of his boyhood as “pure in blood”; that is, uncorrupted by peasant stock from the surrounding countryside. “Miscegenation,” he says, is the source of “all ills” in a city, as the examples of other Italian city-states show. Many Florentine families since “destroyed / by their own pride” were still thriving in Cacciaguida’s day, he further reports. Moreover, the ranks of the Church had not yet been as corrupted as they are in Dante’s time..

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

Canto adopted by Antica Trattoria “Al Gallo 1909”

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