Canto XXII Notes from The Inferno

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The Inferno Canto XXII

The poets move on with a hideous regiment of demons along the side of the chasm holding the barrators. One who pauses too long above the surface of the pitch is caught and hauled up by one of the demons. He is from Navara and confesses to practicing barratry in the court of king Thibault, which prompts one of the demons, Ciriatto, to rip him with his tusks. Another demon, Barbariccia, holds the soul away from the others and allows Virgil to continue the interrogation. Virgil asks him if there are any Latians in the pitch, and he affirms that Friar Gomita a infamous barrator lies nearby and that he could summon him with a whistle if he was let down near the pitch. The demons distrust the wily sinner but agree to set him down on the ledge of the chasm, believing that the height will dissuade him from escaping. However, immediately when he is set down he flings himself into the pitch, and though the winged demons swoop after him they do not succeed in catching him. Angered two of the demons turn upon each other and clawing each other fall into the pitch. Covered in the thick tar they can no longer fly and the leader of the troupe sends some others to rescue them. At this juncture, Dante and Virgil leave their escort and continue on alone.

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