The women who appear in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ are finally getting their due, 700 years later

Sep 10, 2021 318

When Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago, on Sept. 14, 1321, he had just put his final flourishes on the “Divine Comedy,” a monumental poem that would inspire readers for centuries. The “Divine Comedy” follows the journey of a pilgrim across the three realms of the Christian afterlife – hell, purgatory and paradise. There, he encounters a variety of characters, many of whom are based on real people Dante had met or heard of during his life.

One of them is a woman named Sapia Salvani. Sapia meets Dante and his first guide, Virgil, on the second terrace of purgatory. She tells the two how her fate in the afterlife was sealed – how she stood at the window of her family’s castle and, with troops gathering in the distance, prayed for her own city, Siena, to fall. Despite their advantage, the Sienese were slaughtered – including Sapia’s nephew, whose head was paraded around Siena on a pike.

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SOURCE: https://theconversation.com

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