v. 27. Of that.] Plato’s opinion.
v. 34. The first circle.] The empyrean.
v. 48. Him who made Tobias whole.]
Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign’d
To travel with Tobias, and secur’d
His marriage with the sev’n times wedded maid,
Milton, P. L. b. v. 223.
v. 67. That to the eye of man.] “That the ways of divine justice are often inscrutable to man, ought rather to be a motive to faith than an inducement to heresy.” Such appears to me the most satisfactory explanation of the passage.
v. 82. Laurence.] Who suffered martyrdom in the third century.
v. 82. Scaevola.] See Liv. Hist. D. 1. 1. ii. 12.
v. 100. Alcmaeon.] Ovid, Met. 1. ix. f. 10.
—Ultusque parente parentem
Natus, erit facto pius et sceleratus eodem.
v. 107. Of will.] “What Piccarda asserts of Constance, that she retained her affection to the monastic life, is said absolutely and without relation to circumstances; and that which I affirm is spoken of the will conditionally and respectively: so that our apparent difference is without any disagreement.” v. 119. That truth.] The light of divine truth.
v. 43. Two things.] The one, the substance of the vow; the other, the compact, or form of it.
v. 48. It was enjoin’d the Israelites.] See Lev. e. xii, and xxvii.
v. 56. Either key.] Purgatory, Canto ix. 108.
v. 86. That region.] As some explain it, the east, according to others the equinoctial line.
v. 124. This sphere.] The planet Mercury, which, being nearest to the sun, is oftenest hidden by that luminary
v. 1. After that Constantine the eagle turn’d.] Constantine, in transferring the seat of empire from Rome to Byzantium, carried the eagle, the Imperial ensign, from the west to the east. Aeneas, on the contrary had moved along with the sun’s course, when he passed from Troy to Italy.
v. 5. A hundred years twice told and more.] The Emperor Constantine entered Byzantium in 324, and Justinian began his reign in 527.
v. 6. At Europe’s extreme point.] Constantinople being situated at the extreme of Europe, and on the borders of Asia, near those mountains in the neighbourhood of Troy, from whence the first founders of Rome had emigrated.
v. 13. To clear th’ incumber’d laws.] The code of laws was abridged and reformed by Justinian.
v. 15. Christ’s nature merely human.] Justinian is said to have been a follower of the heretical Opinions held by Eutyches,” who taught that in Christ there was but one nature, viz. that of the incarnate word.” Maclaine’s Mosheim, t. ii. Cent. v. p. ii. c. v. 13.
v. 16. Agapete.] Agapetus, Bishop of Rome, whose Scheda Regia, addressed to the Emperor Justinian, procured him a place among the wisest and most judicious writers of this century.” Ibid. Cent. vi. p. ii c. ii. 8.