v. 88. A new Jason.] See Maccabees, b. ii. c. iv. 7,8.
v. 97. Nor Peter.] Acts of the Apostles, c.i. 26.
v. 100. The condemned soul.] Judas.
v. 103. Against Charles.] Nicholas iii. was enraged against Charles I, King of Sicily, because he rejected with scorn a proposition made by that Pope for an alliance between their families. See G. Villani, Hist. l. vii. c. liv.
v. 109. Th’ Evangelist.] Rev. c. xvii. 1, 2, 3. Compare Petrarch. Opera fol. ed. Basil. 1551. Epist. sine titulo liber. ep. xvi. p. 729.
v. 118. Ah, Constantine.] He alludes to the
pretended gift of the Lateran by Constantine to Silvester,
of which Dante himself seems to imply a doubt, in
his treatise “De Monarchia.” — “Ergo
scindere Imperium, Imperatori non licet. Si ergo
aliquae, dignitates per Constantinum essent alienatae,
(ut dicunt) ab Imperio,” &c. l. iii. The
gift is by Ariosto very humorously placed in the moon,
among the things lost or abused on earth.
Di varj fiori, &c.
O. F. c. xxxiv. st. 80.
Milton has translated both this passage and that in the text. Prose works, vol. i. p. 11. ed. 1753.
v. 11. Revers’d.] Compare Spenser, F. Q. b. i. c. viii. st. 31
v. 30. Before whose eyes.] Amphiaraus, one
of the seven kings who besieged Thebes. He is
said to have been swallowed up by an opening of the
earth. See Lidgate’s Storie of Thebes,
Part iii where it is told how the “Bishop
Amphiaraus” fell down to hell.
And thus the devill for his outrages,
Like his desert payed him his wages.
A different reason for his being doomed thus to perish is assigned by Pindar. [Greek here]
thee, Amphiaraus, earth,
By Jove’s all-riving thunder cleft
Her mighty bosom open’d wide,
Thee and thy plunging steeds to hide,
Or ever on thy back the spear
Of Periclymenus impress’d
A wound to shame thy warlike breast
For struck with panic fear
The gods’ own children flee.
v. 37. Tiresias.]
Duo magnorum viridi coeuntia sylva
Corpora serpentum baculi violaverat ictu, &c.
Ovid. Met. iii.
v. 43. Aruns.] Aruns is said to have dwelt in the mountains of Luni (from whence that territory is still called Lunigiana), above Carrara, celebrated for its marble. Lucan. Phars. l. i. 575. So Boccaccio in the Fiammetta, l. iii. “Quale Arunte,” &c.
“Like Aruns, who amidst the white marbles of Luni, contemplated the celestial bodies and their motions.”
v. 50. Manto.] The daughter of Tiresias of Thebes, a city dedicated to Bacchus. From Manto Mantua, the country of Virgil derives its name. The Poet proceeds to describe the situation of that place.