Summary Assignment

Circle Eight (Continued) (Cantos 24-31)

Bolgia  (Pouch/Trench) VII. Thieves

Bolgia VIII. Evil Counselors

Bolgia  IX. Sowers of Discord

Bolgia X. Falsifiers


Summarize the section of study Canto by Canto. Summaries must clearly explain the “crime and

punishment” of the Circle of Hell examined. Explain the “sin” and fully describe the punishment and its

“appropriateness” as it relates to the sin. Be sure to address Dante’s concepts of “contrapasso”, how the punishment  either resembles or contrasts with the sin itself, and identify all relevant symbols.  Identify all residents. This is not just a list—explain who they are and their sin/connection to Dante’s world. Remember to include mythological creatures as well. For this section, you must use a minimum of TWO integrated quotes for EACH canto.


Also include a visual or piece of artwork inspired by this section.  I have included some suggested sources here:


Art Related to the Inferno: images





Canto XXIV (24)

Circle 8: Bolgia 7


pit full of montrous reptiles who coil themselves around the sinners, binding each sinner’s hands behind his back, and knotting themselves through the loins

a reptile pierces a sinner in the jugular vein who burst into flames until ashes remained, then sinner reformed painfully

retribution of sin:

thievery is reptilian in its secrecy- therefore punished by reptiles

hands of the thieves are the agents of the crime, therefore they are bound forever

as the theif destroys his fellowmen by making his substance disappear, he is painfully destroyed and made to appear over and over

the sinner who rises from his own ashes is Vanni Fucci

bastard son of Fuccio de Lazzeri, a nobleman (Black) of Pistoia who stole the treasure of San Jacopo in the Duomo of San Zeno with 2accomplices

others were accused and jailed before they were discovered

Fucci escaped but accomplices convicted

tells Dante prophecy: Whites of Florence and Pistoia join to expel Blacks of Pistoia and their houses, who then joined forces with the Florentinian Blacks, Blacks drive out whites in florence

Canto XXV

Circle 8: Bolgia 7


Vanni shouts angrily at God and the serpents swarm him, driving him in great pain

Cacus- centaur- covered in serpents also punished him

thief, son of Vulcan, lived in a cave and raided the cattle below, Hercules clubbed him to death for his thievery

5 nobles thieves of Florence- no importance besides were thieves

more retribution of sin: people change painfully from humans to reptiles

Agnello changes to 6 legged lizard merged with Cianfa

Buoso changes with Francesco to a tiny reptile

only Puccio Sciancato remains unchanged, but he will

“in life they took the substances of others, transforming it into their own. So in Hell their very bodies are constantly being taken from them, and they are left to steal back a human form from some other sinner”

Canto XXVI

Circle 8 Bolgia 8

The Evil Counselors

Dante sarcastically shares his love for Florence, prophesying the war with rival cities, such as Prato and he’s excited for that day

We discover more about Dante’s exile by men he considered thieves and evil counselors, so this is why he is so harsh on these groups

moral symbolism: “all men of gift who abused their genius, perverting it to wiles and stratagems.”

makes Dante realize he must take another road- not deception

evil counselors hidden from view inside flames

symbolic retribution: abused the gifts of the Almighty, to steal HIS virtues for low purposes

stole from god in their lives and worked by hidden ways, so they are stolen from sight and hidden in the great flames (which are their own guilty consciences)

sinned by the glibness of tongue- flames made into fiery travesty of tongues

Ulysses and Diomede- inside a doubleheaded flame

one flame for joint guilt

1st sin- stratagem of the Wooden Horse- resulted in troy falling and Aeneas founded the Roman line

Deidamia died of grief when Ulysses persuaded Achilles (her lover) to sail for Troy

Ulysses stole statue of Pallas from the Palladium- believed depended fate of Troy- Troy’s downfall would come

Ulysses explains his death through the ship being shot and sunk when they saw land


Circle 8 Bolgia 8

the double flame departs when Virgil speaks

another contains Count Guido Da Montefeltro

a Lord of Romagna, head of the Ghibellines of Roamgna

wisest and cunningest man in Italy

overheard Dante speaking Italian and is eager to hear recent news of his wartorn country

Dante sums up how things stand in the cities of Romagna

“O hidden soul, your sad Romagna is not and never was without war in her tyrants’ raging blood.”

sums up all the modern affairs and news

asks Guido for his story

Boniface VIII persuaded him to sin

“I absolve your guilt beforehand; and now teach me how to smash Penestrino to the ground.”

said he holds keys to gates of heaven and hell


Circle 8 Bolgia 9

The Sowers of Discord

symbolic retribution: rend asunder (break apart) what God had meant to be united- hacked and torn through all eternity by a great demon with a bloody sword

after each mutilation, the souls are compelled to drag their broken bodies around the pit and return to the demon

their wounds knit in time to be inflicted anew. Thus is the law of retribution observed, each sinner suffering according to his degree

Dante distinguishes 3 classes:

Sowers of Religious Discord

1st appears Mahomet (chief of them) and next is son in law Ali, both in pieces dragging along

Dante feels sum up the total schism between Christianity and Mohammedanism.

Mahomet’s condition implies Dante’s disapproval

Mahomet issues an ironic warning to another schismatic, FRA DOLCINO

Sowers of Political Discord

Pier Da Medicina, Curio, and Mosca Dei Lamberti, each mutilated according to nature of his sins.

Curio banished from Rome by Pompey and joined Caesar’s forces, advising him to cross the Rubicon, which constituted invasion and began Roman Civil War

LAmberti advised the Amidei to murder a man who broke his engagement with one women for another.  from that murder sprang the bloody feud between the Guelphs and Ghibellines of Florence.

Sowers of Discord Between Kinsmen

Bertrand De Born- seperated father from son therefore holds head by hair seperate from body

lifts head to arms length to speak

instigated a quarrel between Henry II of England and his son Prince Henry

Canto XXIX

Circle 8 Bolgia 10- last bolgia of 8th

The Falsifiers

Dante expected to see one of his kinsmen, Geri De Bello in Bolgia 9 but Virgil hurries him on then explains he saw Geri making threatening gestures at Dante

cousin of Dantes father qho quarrel with the Sacchetti of Florence and was murdered

symbolic retribution: in life they corrupted society by their falsifications, so in death these sinners are subjected to a sum of corruptions

some run around tearing others to pieces

falsification deceives the senses- punished by afflictions of every sense: by darkness, stench, thirst, filth, loathsome diseases, and a shrieking din

meet 1st of the 4 classes of Falsifiers- The Alchemists- The Falsifiers of Things

Griffolino Darezzo and Capocchio

G- extracted large sums of money from Alberto da Siena on the promise of teaching him to fly like Daedalus

when realized tricked, had his uncle (Bishop of Siena) bum him a sorcerer

not sin punished for- falsifaication of silver and gold through alchemy

C- Florentine friend of Dante’s student days

burned at the stake at Siena for practiving alchemy(magic process of transformation)

Canto XXX

Circle 8 Bolgia 10

remaing 3 classes of falsifiers

Evil Impersonators- Falsifiers of Persons

Capocchio finishes speaking and a ravenous spirit bites neck and drags away

Griffolino identifies as Gianni Schicchi and Myrrha

Gianni- When Buoso di Donati died, his son Simone persuaded Gianni to take his place on the death bed and change the will.  he took advantage and gave things to himself as well

m- daughter of Cinyras, King of Cyprus. Moved by an incestuous passion for her father, she disguised herself and slipped into his bed. After he had mated with her, the king discovered who she was and threatened to kill her but she ran away and was changed into a myrtle. Adonis was born from her trunk

In life they seized upon the appearance of others, and in death they must run with never a pause, seizing upon the infernal apparition of these souls, while they in turn are preyed upon by their own furies

Falsifiers of Money- ex. counterfeit

punished by a loathsome disease and he cannot move from where he lies, but his disease is compounded by other afflictions, including an eternity of unbearable thirst

Master Adam- identifies the 2 spirits laying beside him

under order counterfeited Florentine florins of 21 rather than 24 carat gold- currency crisis arose in Northern Italy, burned at stake

The False Witness- ex Falsifiers of Words

Potiphar’s wife and Sinon the Greek

p- false witness against Joseph

s- The Greek who glibly talked the Trojans into taking the Horse inside the city walls

Sinon, angry at identification, strikes Adam across belly w the one arm he is able to move

Adam strikes back and they continue

Dante stands staring fascinated until Virgil turns on him in great anger, but immediatley forgives due to Dante’s genuine repentance

“Now keep on looking a little longer and I quarrel with you”

Canto XXXI

The Central Pit of Malebolge- The Giants

at bottom lies Cocytus- 9th/last circle

Dante thinks sees towers- Giants and Titans who stand perpetual guard inside the well-pit with the upper halves of their bodies rising above the rim

virgil identifies NIMROD, builder of the Tower of Babel; EPHIALTES and BRIAREUS, who warred against the Gods; and TITYOS and TYPHON, who insulted Jupiter

ANTAEUS,no sin, his presence makes it clear that the Giants are placed here less for their particular sins than for their general natures

“observe Antaeus who is able to speak to us, and is not bound”

sons of earth, embodiments of elemental forces unbalanced by love, desire without restraint and without acknowledgment of moral and theological law

At Virgil ‘s persuasion, Antaeus takes the Poets in his huge palm and lowers them gently to the final floor of Hell.



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