v. 68. The heav’n.] The influence of the planetary bodies.
v. 77. The clay.] Adam.
v. 88. Who ask’d.] “He did not desire to know the number of the stars, or to pry into the subtleties of metaphysical and mathematical science: but asked for that wisdom which might fit him for his kingly office.”
v. 120. —Parmenides Melissus Bryso.] For the singular opinions entertained by the two former of these heathen philosophers, see Diogenes Laertius, 1. ix. and Aristot. de Caelo, 1. iii. c. 1 and Phys. l. i. c. 2. The last is also twice adduced by 2. Aristotle (Anal Post. 1. i. c. 9. and Rhet. 1. iii. c. 2.) as 3. affording instances of false reasoning.
v. 123. Sabellius, Arius.] Well-known heretics.
v. 124. Scymitars.] A passage in the travels of Bertradon de la Brocquiere, translated by Mr. Johnes, will explain this allusion, which has given some trouble to the commentators. That traveler, who wrote before Dante, informs us, p. 138, that the wandering Arabs used their scymitars as mirrors.
v. 126. Let not.] “Let not short-sighted mortals presume to decide on the future doom of any man, from a consideration of his present character and actions.”
v. 5. Such was the image.] The voice of Thomas Aquinas proceeding, from the circle to the centre and that of Beatrice from the centre to the circle.
v. 26. Him.] Literally translated by Chaucer, Troilus and Cresseide.
Thou one two, and three eterne on live
That raignest aie in three, two and one
Uncircumscript, and all maist circonscrive,
v. 81. The goodliest light.] Solomon.
v. 78. To more lofty bliss.] To the planet Mars.
v. 94. The venerable sign.] The cross.
v. 125. He.] “He who considers that the eyes of Beatrice became more radiant the higher we ascended, must not wonder that I do not except even them as I had not yet beheld them since our entrance into this planet.”
v. 24. Our greater Muse.] Virgil Aen. 1. vi. 684. v. 84. I am thy root.] Cacciaguida, father to Alighieri, of whom our Poet was the great-grandson.
v. 89. The mountain.] Purgatory.
v. 92. Florence.] See G. Villani, l. iii. c. 2.
v. 93. Which calls her still.] The public clock being still within the circuit of the ancient walls.
v. 98. When.] When the women were not married at too early an age, and did not expect too large a portion.
v. 101. Void.] Through the civil wars.
v. 102 Sardanapalus.] The luxurious monarch of Assyria Juvenal is here imitated, who uses his name for an instance of effeminacy. Sat.
v. 103. Montemalo ] Either an elevated spot between Rome and Viterbo, or Monte Mario, the site of the villa Mellini, commanding a view of Rome.