Critical Appraisal: The Landscape of Hell

The representation of Hell as a cartographic region has its origins in Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Dante adapted the imagery already present in medieval painting and sculpture to comment on his political situation and his own scientific and theological beliefs.  He populated it with real people, including political heroes and villains, good popes and bad popes, adulterous princesses, and monsters human and mythological.  On Dante’s spiritual journey, he traveled with the Roman poet Vergil down the various circles of Hell and then up Mount Purgatory.  Finally, led by his beloved Beatrice, he journeyed through the heavenly spheres until he was in … Continue reading Critical Appraisal: The Landscape of Hell

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