“On the 14th of September, 1321, Dante Alighieri died in exile. He was called a lot of things —poet, artist, philosopher —but at the time his most prominent label was heretic. He was such a threat to the church that, eight years after his burial, Cardinal Bertrand du Pouget demanded the man’s bones be dug up and burned at the stake.
Ask any historian how he died and they’ll answer malaria, but his story is written by the victors, and arsenic poisoning wasn’t quite as easy to spot in the fourteenth century.
I’ve never read Dante’s Inferno, which is strictly banned in the Darling household, but after spending the last two weeks researching all things hellish with Saul, I know the poem pretty well.
In this early epic poem, the bottom layer of hell is described as freezing cold, an icy lake where Satan dwells.
This characterization didn’t stick around, and look where it got Dante.” —Chuck Tingle, Camp Damascus (July 18, 2023)
To read more or to purchase the book, visit Macmillan Publishers.
Contributed by Zoe D’Alessandro, Florida State University ’21