Paradiso Canto VI

Paradiso 6

‘Caesar I was and am Justinian,
who, by will of the Primal Love I feel,
pruned from the laws what was superfluous and vain.

vv. 10-12

Justinian tells of his own life.—The story of the Roman Eagle.—Spirits in the planet Mercury.—Romeo.

The soul speaking to Dante now identifies himself as the 6th-century Byzantine emperor Justinian. He recounts his conversion from monophysitism, the belief Christ was entirely divine and “not truly man,” under the teaching of Pope Agapetus I. Purged of this error, Justinian says, he went on to do great things in God’s name. He then recounts Rome’s glorious history, from its mythological origins through the days of the Republic and the Western Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus—the first Roman emperor, widely considered the greatest—contrasts, in Justinian’s view, with the dismal and fractious state of Dante’s Italy. Justinian is disdainful of the constant fighting over who will control Rome. The present-day political factions, he suggests, are engaged in dishonorable squabbling over the mere “Sign” of imperial rule.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

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