“Ella sen va notando lenta lenta:
rota e discende, ma non me n’accorgo
se non ch’al viso e di sotto mi venta.”

“Slowly, slowly, swimming, he moves on;
he wheels and he descends, but I feel only
the wind upon my face and the wind rising.”

Botticelli, Sandro. The Violent and Geryon. 1495.

Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.
Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.
Botticelli, Sandro. The Violent and Geryon. 1495.

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Botticelli, Sandro. Violent against others. 1495.

“Non ti rimembra di quelle parole
con le quai la tua Etica pertratta
le tre disposizion che il ciel non vuole,
incontinenza, malizia, e la matta
bestialitade?”

“Have you forgotten, then, the words with which
your Ethics treats of those three dispositions
that strike at Heaven’s will: incontinence
and malice and mad bestiality?”

“‘Filosofia’, mi disse, ‘a chi la intende,
nota, non pure in una sola parte,
come natura lo suo corso prende
dal divino intelletto e da sua arte:
e se tu ben la tua Fisica note,
tu troverai, non dopo molte carte,
che l’arte vostra quella, quanto puote,
segue, come il maestro fa il discente:
sì che vostr’arte a Dio quasi è nepote.
Da queste due, se tu ti rechi a mente
lo Genesì dal principio, conviene
prender sua vita ed avanzar la gente;
e perché l’usuriere altra via tiene,
per sé natura e per la sua seguace
dispregia, poi che in altro pon la spene.”

“‘Philosophy, for one who understands,
points out, and not in just one place,’ he said,
‘how nature follows—as she takes her course–
the Divine Intellect and Divine Art;
and if you read your Physics carefully,
not many pages from the start, you’ll see
that when it can, your art would follow nature,
just as a pupil imitates his master;
so that your art is almost God’s grandchild.
From these two, art and nature, it is fitting,
if you recall how Genesis begins,
for men to make their way, to gain their living;
and since the usurer prefers another
pathway, he scorns both nature in herself
and art, her follower; his hope is elsewhere.”

“God creates nature, and human art springs from and imitates nature [Aristotle]. Usury thus offends both nature (God’s ‘child’) and art (His ‘grandchild’).”

“And to the man he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, “You shall not eat of it,” cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’”

3.17.19.png

1. Botticelli, Sandro. Violent against others. 1495.
2. Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.
3. Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.
4. Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.
5. Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.
6. Notes by Peter Armour
7. Genesis 3:17-19 (NRSV).
8. Crumb, Robert, and Robert Alter. The Book of Genesis Illustrated.

“e quivi, per l’orribile soperchio
del puzzo che il profondo abisso gitta,
ci raccostammo dietro ad un coperchio
d’un grand’avello, ov’io vidi una scritta
che diceva: ‘Anastasio papa guardo,
lo qual trasse Fotin della via dritta’.”
– Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.

“And here, because of the outrageous stench
thrown up in excess by that deep abyss,
we drew back till we were behind the lid
of a great tomb, on which i made out this,
inscribed: ‘I hold Pope Anastasius,
enticed to leave the true path by Photinus.'”
– Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.

“Anastasius II, Pope from 496-8, at a time when the doctrine of Christ’s two natures, as God and man, was the subject of a growing rift between the Western (Latin) and Eastern (Greek) Churches. By showing favor to the Greek cleric Photinus, who had been sent to negotiate with him, Anastasius revealed his support for the heretic Acacius of Constantinople (died 481), who had denied Christ’s divinity.” – Notes by Peter Armour

Botticelli, Sandro. The punishment of the heretics. 1495.
Botticelli, Sandro. The punishment of the heretics. 1495.

“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.”
– Dante Alighieri. La Divina Commedia. BUR Rizzoli, 2016.

“When I had journey half of our life’s way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.”
– Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Translator Allen Mandelbaum.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
you rod and your staff-
they comfort me.”
– Psalms 23:4 (NRSV)

“The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.”
– Psalms 90:10 (NRSV)

“Therefore a lion from the forest shall kill them,
a wolf from the desert shall destroy them.
A leopard is watching against their cities;
everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces—
because their transgressions are many,
their apostasies are great.”
– Jeremiah 5:6 (NRSV)

Botticelli, Sandro. Dante and the Three Beasts. 1481.
Botticelli, Sandro. Dante and the Three Beasts.