Dante's Inferno, suicides and the Harpies

Dante's Inferno, suicides and the Harpies

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dante's Inferno. Canto XIII, line 11: 'Here [suicide tree] the brute Harpies make their nest' (at right: Dante and Virgil). Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) wrote his epic poem 'Divina Commedia' (The Divine Comedy) between 1308 and his death in 1321. Totalling 14,233 lines, and divided into three parts (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso), it is considered the greatest literary work in the Italian language and a world masterpiece. It is a comprehensive survey of medieval theology, literature and thought. Artwork by French artist Gustave Dore (1832-1883); engraving from 'The Vision of Hell' (1868), Henry Francis Cary's English translation of the Inferno.

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