Dante's Divine Comedy


  • Intro

    Dante’s poem, The Divine Comedy, is one of the most important works of medieval literature. An imaginary journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, the work explores ideas of the afterlife in medieval Christian belief. This manuscript illustration from the early 1300s shows the three-headed dog Cerberus, who appears in the poem guarding the entrance to the third circle of Hell, greeting those who have succumbed to gluttony.


    Art, music and literature blossomed in the Middle Ages, producing some of the most important, original and enduring works in the history of Western culture. As an ever-more wealthy, literate and largely urban population developed, so too did the audience for entertaining and educational literature. Books told of the exotic adventures of noblemen and women; of ancient battles and love stories; of the crimes of sinners and villains, and of the deeds of saints and heroes. This growing interest in literature is also reflected in the emergence of vernacular texts - texts written in Italian, French, English and so on.


    Shelfmark: Egerton 943 f.10v

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