This paper argues that Dante was familiar with the imagery of getting drunk with blood as employed by Statius in Thebaid 8 and that he revised the motif influenced by his encounter with Platonism and Neoplatonism. Although in Statius drinking blood signified the reversal of life, now overcome by the powers of the Underworld, Dante employed the motif in the Divine Comedy claiming that from this utter situation of decadence spiritual progress can be achieved. The utter moral decay portrayed in Statius’ Thebaid can transform pace Dante the individual who, moved with pity for the human condition, comes to realize God’s glory and embrace piety. Statius, however, was responding to the Platonic motif of inebriation, described in the Phaedrus (244a-b) as a hyper-rational state where divine/philosophical truth is revealed, a state also experienced by poets, initiates, and prophets. Dante’s attempt to reconcile the differing Statian and Platonic types of inebriation will be analyzed.
In Dante’s Inferno landscapes are often inspired by locations that were visited by Dante himself, or mediated through his knowledge of Latin authors. Identifying the locations can be difficult as Dante sometimes gives scarce indications. Yet, these descriptions offer an useful tool to get information about contemporary science, and its diffusion. Some of the Infernal landscapes are clearly inspired by sites characterized by heavy air and soil pollution. Dante’s descriptions are examined in the light of Authors he knew, such as Virgil and Albert the Great.
The paper aims to present the different ways of outlining the passage between the living world and the Afterlife. The field of my research is the Franco-Italian literature or the texts composed by Italian authors in French. In order to highlight the way of describing the border of the Afterlife world, I am going to focus on three texts: 1) The chanson de geste of Huon d’Auvergne where Huon goes to Hell; 2) The Eschiele Mahomet, or the eschatological journey of Mahomet; 3) The Anthécrist, the tale of the Apocalypse. My aim is to analyze the way of depicting the border (and the structure of the Beyond), in relation with the most famous description of the Afterlife: The Divina Commedia.