Talk:List of cultural references in the Divine Comedy

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This list is more or less complete through Inferno, Canto XXIX (plus scattered later entries). Paul August 06:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)[]


Should we use en dashes (–) for date ranges and em dashes (—) instead of hyphens (see dash)? So we would have:

I know it is more work but it looks better I think. But don't mind me I'm just a silly perfectionist. Paul August 15:39, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

Fine by me. Filiocht | Blarneyman 08:15, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Every proper name?[edit]

Do we want to have every proper name referenced? For example I recently added "Camilla", Is this important enough to include? Do we then also want entries for "Nisus", "Turnus" and "Euryalus" referred to in the same passage (Inf. 108)?

Given the lack of proper classical education these days, why not? Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:16, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

Some changes, and more questions[edit]

  • I've made some changes for the sake of consistency (subject to the "Hobgoblin" of my "little mind").
  • I also expanded Troy. Should we perhaps have an entry for "Ilium" which says "see Troy below"?
Added. Paul August 16:47, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)
  • Should we begin a sublist under Virgil with more specific line references? Say:
  • Sudden appearance. Inf. I, 61—63
  • The "light and honor of all other poets" (Mandelbaum). Inf. I, 82
  • Dante's inspiration. Inf. I, 85—87
  • Offers to be Dante's guide. Inf. I, 112—114
Added. Paul August 17:13, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure if all these are worth listing, especially say the "light and honor" one, but I listed it partially by way of asking another question:
  • How should we handle quotes with regard to translation? Do we want to use a particular translation, which we mention in the lead above? Or use various translations, saying which one as we go?
  • Finally, should we include Augustus, Inf. I, 70, and Saint Peter, Inf I, 133?
  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. I've been kind of doing my own translations up to now. If we go with one, I'd propose the Temple Classics version: prose and reasonably literal. Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:41, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

Pagan Virgil[edit]

Ryan (in Jacoff) notes that the appearance of the pagan Virgil as a guide to the afterworld would have come as a surprise to Dante's medieval (Christian) readership. Worth mentioning? --Theo (Talk) 20:38, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Maybe, although Ryan may be wrong: as mentioned in the list already, Virgil was seen in Dante's day as prefiguring Xtianity and he wrote a poetic account of a descent into hell himself. Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:40, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)
I think that I will take this as a 'no'. --Theo (Talk) 13:17, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
More of a 'maybe', really. Something along the lines of, "Dante's choice of the pagan Virgil as a guide on his voyage of Christian discovery may seem somewhat surprising. However, ..." What do you think? Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:23, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)
Oops ... so "maybe" means … "maybe"; that makes sense! I think that it is significant that Dante's contemporary readers may also have been surprised. And I would lose the somewhat. --Theo (Talk) 20:58, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


As we seem to have some momentum going, I'm moving the list into the main article namespace. Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:56, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)


I think that it would be a good plan to move to a span approach to each list entity so that we can cross reference with internal links. For example:
;<span id=Abel style="font-weight: bold">Abel</span>
would allow us to use [[#Abel]] as an internal link from the Cain entry. --Theo (Talk) 20:58, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I wish I knew what you meant. Could you do a demo? Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:32, Jun 14, 2005 (UTC)
Check out Wikipedia:Glossary for a fine example. --Theo (Talk) 11:33, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The "id=xyz" would allows for internal links from any other entry to the "xyz" entry by specifying [[#xyz]] as the link. As an example I've edited the "Troy" entry to have a linkable id, and used it in the "Ilium" entry. I specified it differently than Theo did above, I simple placed <nowiki><span id=Troy></span> in front of "Troy", leaving out the bolding, not sure if we need that. I think this would be useful. But I don't know how many entries would need it, for now I think we should just add link ids as needed. Also I would propose using the link as I did in "Ilium", with a <nowiki> "see xyz [[#xyz|below]]" or ("see xyz [[#xyz|above]]" as appropriate), instead of say "see [[#xyz|xyz]]" , since the reader might naturally think that clicking on "xyz" will go to the "xyz" article, not the "xyz" entry. Paul August 13:42, Jun 14, 2005 (UTC)

Consistent line numbers[edit]

I've just realized that I have been using line numbers from my translation (Mandelbaum), which for the most part does a line-by-line translation, but sometimes includes the reference in a slightly different line than in the Italian, (fortunately my translation gives the Italian). I've made some edits in the past where I've "corrected" the line numbers which I now realize may have been based on such discrepancies. And of course, other versions may have different line structure as well. The line numbers, to be meaningful, have to refer to a specific line numbering. I presume that there is a standard numbering of the original Italian and we should use that numbering, yes? If so then we should say something about that in the intro. Paul August 15:06, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

I've been using the Italian line numbering and will add a comment to that effect now. Filiocht | Blarneyman 15:12, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

Reality check: how big will this list be?[edit]

Has anybody given any thought to the eventual size of this list? We have completed a bit more than the first four of the 34 cantos of the Inferno, and the article is already 24K bytes in size. We are not writing an article, we are writing a tome! Paul August 18:26, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

Not wanting to sound silly, but I hope it will get to be as big as it needs. The custom is not to impose size limits on lists, and we look likely to push that custom. Filiocht | Talk 07:21, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

I'm not so much worried about customs, rather about technical constraints, are there any? Paul August 14:22, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

No. If the list gets too long for one article, it gets split into two articles; and so on. A master article can serve as the parent of the child articles. --Tagishsimon (talk)

Be aware, that splitting the article will break the internal links scheme we have been using (spans with id parameters). Considerations of custom and style aside, what (if any) is the maximum physical size of an article? If we are going to be forced to split the article, then it might be good if we considered how we are going to do that (alphabetically? by book and canto?). Paul August 17:26, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

I favour division by book, initially. —Theo (Talk) 23:23, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I favour not splitting. As well as the spans being broken, a number of figures (Virgil, for instance), run across books. Lets just wait and see how big it gets, first. Filiocht | Talk June 28, 2005 07:25 (UTC)
Er… Toynbee's Concise Dante Dictionary runs to 568 pages! I recognise that Comedia is only part of Dante's work but… —Theo (Talk) 28 June 2005 11:08 (UTC)

Get rid of "see above" and "see below"?[edit]

I was wondering if we should handle the inter-page (i.e. the span id ) links differently. Now we do something like:

I think it would be more concise and look and read better if we did the following instead:

  • A: Precedes the letter "B" in the alphabet.
  • B: Follows the letter "A".

The convention would be that the links would point to an entry in the list — if one exists — (e.g. the "B" in the entry for A), otherwise it would point to a WP article (e.g. "alphabet"), with the exception, of course, that the link of entry itself (e.g. the "B" in the entry for B), points to an article.

The only downside I can see is that without the above 's and below 's, it will be less clear whether a link is an inter-page link or an intra-page link. Thoughts? Paul August 18:29, 22 September 2005 (UTC)[]

P.S. If we think this is a good idea, I will take care of making all the necessary changes ;-)
I thin it's best to differentiate in some way between inter- page and intra-page links. If not this way, how? Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:40, 23 September 2005 (UTC)[]
How about if we make inter-page (I mean intra-page) links bold? And we could include a note to the reader to that affect somewhere? Paul August 14:23, 23 September 2005 (UTC)[]
And you are volunteering to do this? Brave man. But in pinciple I have no problem with this idea. I'm leaving now, but will finish Inf XI on Monday. Filiocht | The kettle's on 14:29, 23 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Yes I am (volunteering that is, I don't know about brave). I think it will be worth the effort. But since you seem only lukewarm at best concerning this, I think I will ask Theo to opine. Paul August 16:12, 23 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Go for it, say I. Assuming you mean that links to other pages are bold, I'm going to start with a couple of new entries. Filiocht | The kettle's on 12:10, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
No, Sorry for the confusion, but I miswrote above. I meant to write that intra-page links would be bold, and inter-page links would not. I think this is better since there will be fewer intra-page links, and those are the "special" ones. Would you prefer it the other way round? Or were you just trying to be agreeable ;-) Paul August 15:13, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Agreeable? Me? Actually, if you look at B, which I did yesterday, I like it like that. If you're happy, we could do it letter by letter as stuff is added. Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:17, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Sorry to be such a fuss-budget, about this, but are you sure that is what you want? I would prefer to have it the other way round. Here are my reasons:

  1. The "normal" links on a page are the extra-page (i.e. to another page) ones. These should be displayed normally (i.e not bold). Having these be bold I think, will tend to be confusing to other readers and editors.
  2. The "special" links, are the inter-page ones. These are the ones I think that we want to to standout, so as to alert the reader that they are unusual, and that they are links to an entry in the list. This is a common practice in glossaries, and such, where terms used in an entry which are themselves entries are typeset differently to indicate that.
  3. There will also be fewer inter-page links, so it will be less work, and will contribute to the "specialness" related to 2 above.

Is there some consideration I'm missing? Why do you like it the other way? Anyway If you really want it that way I will be happy to go along, since I am agreeable ;-) — Paul August 03:51, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

P.S. By the way does "Filiocht" mean poetry in Irish? How do you pronounce it? I was at a Boston Wikipedia meetup last night, when I realized I didn't have the first idea how the last syllable might go ;-)
Paul, I'm perfectly happy to go with your preferences as your reasoning is so sound. See your talk page re my name. Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:27, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Nice work for a vandal like you. Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Thanks, but I prefer to think of myself as a Visigoth. Paul August 15:50, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

"Christ" vs "Jesus"?[edit]

We have an entry for "Christ", and we refer to both "Christ" and "Jesus" in various entries, I think this is potentially confusing. Since "Jesus" was his name and "Christ" is a title. I would propose changing the entry from "Christ" to "Jesus", with perhaps a mention of the title. And change all the occurrences of "Christ" to "Jesus", unless there is some particular reason to use the title somewhere. Comments? Paul August 20:05, October 7, 2005 (UTC)

Fine by me. Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:21, 10 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Some doubts[edit]

Should we put an entry for Florence? While I think it would be nice, I'm a bit scared for the amount of work this would mean (Florence is mentioned literally everywhere in Dante) Aldux 12:55, 23 November 2005 (UTC)[]

It would be nice, we could reference it as passim. Filiocht | The kettle's on 13:22, 23 November 2005 (UTC)[]
Another possibility would be that I could limit the entry on Florence only with the really important references, that is where Dante's explicitly puts Florence in the center. But to do this I would need to cancel "Guelphs and Ghibellines" so to subsume its entries under "Florence". What do you say of the idea? Aldux 15:12, 25 November 2005 (UTC)[]

Inf. XVII[edit]

There are a number of Italian usurers (individuals and families) referred to in this canto: Gianfigliazzi, Ubbriachi, Rinaldo de' Scrovigni, Vitaliano de' Vitaliani, Giovanni Buiamonte de' Bicci. Only Vitaliano is (half) named. Do we need to include these people? Knowing who they were adds nothing to the understanding of the poem. Filiocht | The kettle's on 15:53, 24 November 2005 (UTC)[]

If they are at all famous in there own right (I didn't find any of them on Wikipedia), then we should probably include them, otherwise I don't think they are necessary. Especially as I am worried about the length of the list, (this also explains my editing for concision ;-). I'd be interested to know what Aldux thinks. Paul August 16:27, 24 November 2005 (UTC)[]
In my opinion the last three should be included, since they were eminent members of key families of Florentine and Paduan bankers and politicians. Especially Reginaldo Scrovegni should be remembered if only for being the father of Enrico Scrovegni, the comissioner of the undisputed peak of 14th century art, the Scrovegni chapel (1304-06) Aldux 18:03, 24 November 2005 (UTC)[]
I suppose the real question is about the ones who are not actually named. I'll add Vitaliano de' Vitaliani now, but the others seem a bit much. Filiocht | The kettle's on 12:34, 25 November 2005 (UTC)[]
I can add them, if no one's against. Aldux 11:48, 26 November 2005 (UTC)[]

The links[edit]

The links need to direct the reader to the appropriate Wikipedia article, for more information. Many of the "L' links, for instance, are circular within this page. No use to the reader. Minor figures only remembered through their appearance in the Commedia shouldn't be redlinked, but bolded and treated fully right here in a brief paragraph. Perhaps with a redirect List of cultural references in The Divine Comedy#Appropriate letter. If more is eventually required, then a separate article can always be made. --Wetman 10:05, 24 December 2005 (UTC)[]

Wetman: The linking scheme that has been adopted by the editors of this article (see Span and Get rid of "see above" and "see below"? above), is as follows. Each list entry, which has its own article is (of course) linked to. Any reference to that entry in another entry is made a boldface (to distinguish it from normal inter page links) intra-page link (what I think you are calling "circular") to that entry. I think this is actually quite helpful to the reader, since the information contained for that entry on this page is particularly relevant. So for example, the entry for "Abel" mentions "Limbo", which is a boldface link, which indicates that there is also an entry for "Limbo" in the list. Following that link will take the reader to the entry for "Limbo" on this page which has specific information pertaining to The Divine Comedy. If the reader wants more general information, then following the "Limbo" link at the "Limbo" entry will take the reader to the "Limbo" article. Does this make sense? Paul August 19:36, 24 December 2005 (UTC)[]
I think I'm getting it... --Wetman 07:14, 4 January 2006 (UTC)[]
Wetman's suggestion that: minor figures only remembered through their appearance in the Commedia shouldn't be redlinked, but bolded and treated fully right here in a brief paragraph, makes a lot of sense to me, especially for those for whom there is nothing more (than what is written here) to be said about them. Paul August 19:36, 24 December 2005 (UTC)[]
Each such minor figure might have a redirect to [[List of cultural references in The Divine Comedy#alphabet letter]] in order to forward them here. Might such figures be bolded where they occur alphabetically in the list, to indicate that a redirect redirects there? In most browsers that gives them an equivalent prominence, though black not blue. --Wetman 07:14, 4 January 2006 (UTC)[]

Good job deleting that category, guys[edit]

Well, that was really well done deleting that category. I notice that Rudolph I of Germany was in the category, but isn't listed here. Who knows how much other similar information may have been lost. I would add that being mentioned in the Divine Comedy is traditionally considered quite a significant attribute. It is usually mentioned in encyclopedia entries about people, and the light Dante throws on the person is usually discussed. But apparently a category on this subject needs to be deleted because it's just like having a category about people mentioned on The Simpsons. Good job, everyone. john k 17:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)[]


I am preparing an University exam about Dante's Inferno and making quite deep studies on that. On the books I have (La Divina Commedia by Bosco-Reggio, Le Monnier 1988, and Inferno di Dante by Vittorio Sermonti, Rizzoli 2001 and these two books list an extensive bibliography each) that is not mentioned. Moreover it says that some critics tried to combine names of Black hguelphs families to the names of the devils. The only correspondence was Rubicante to Cante Gabrielli da Gubbio, the podestà of Florence who signed the exhile act for Dante. I can go on and on... I just wrote a pege on italian wikipedia it:I Malebranche where all those names where analized, they are quite funny. Some times they are similar to some family names (Malebrance, Raffacani, Rubaconte) but these are florentine or Tuscan families, not just from Lucca, and this can apply only to some devils, other are taken fro popular devil-characters (Alichino from French Hallequin, Farfarello from a kind on follet), others are invented by Dante. Sometimes also books gets wrong, but comparing as many as possible we can try to get a more valid idea. Cheers --Sailko 13:48, 6 January 2007 (UTC)[]

I agree with the removal of the reference to Lucca. Paul August 19:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC)[]

Image reorganization[edit]

Before I go ahead and do this for the rest of the sections, I'd like some input. Would it be a Good Idea to move the images to the right of the subject they depict? I've already done it for "C". Frotz 06:56, 6 July 2007 (UTC)[]

No, the spacing is better otherwise. Paul August 20:40, 13 November 2007 (UTC)[]

Islam & Judaism[edit]

I'm trying to remember where adherents of other religions generally fit into Dante's scheme. Moses among the virtuous pagans and Mohammed among the heretics has a certain logic (but Saladin is with the former...) but where do later Jews end up? Sparafucil (talk) 06:57, 6 May 2009 (UTC)[]

Untranslated Italian phrases[edit]

There are quotes in Italian from the original text here and there in the article that go untranslated. Sometimes they are apparently quite important to the reference and sometimes makes up most of the text. "<reference> Dante tells him that <long quote in italian>." I don't speak Italian myself, so am unable to translate. --Mickel (talk) 09:44, 29 January 2010 (UTC)[]

I don't see any untranslated Italian in this article. I also don't find "Dante tells ..." anywhere either. Can you please give specific locations? Paul August 15:21, 29 January 2010 (UTC)[]

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Arnaut Daniel ?[edit]

No entry for the troubadour Arnaut Daniel ? In Purgatorio XXVI Guido Guinicelli describes Arnaut as the "miglior fabbro". Similar praise is found in Ezra Pound's criticism. Seems to me he merits inclusion. (talk) 13:22, 4 August 2021 (UTC)[]

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