Tuesday, June 22News Written in the Stars

Dante's cosmology

Dante's cosmology

Written between 1308 and 1320, Dante’s Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) represents the peak in medieval cosmology, blending the Ptolemaic geographical and astronomical systems with Christian theology and philosophy. A motionless spherical Earth at the center of the universe is surrounded by the spheres of the seven classical planets, the stars, and the Primum Mobile. The afterworld is divided into three sections: Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). Hell is found inside the Earth, divided into nine circles for increasing levels of sin. Purgatory, divided into two ante-purgatory ledges, seven terraces, and the Earthly Paradise, lies opposite Jerusalem, between the Earth’s surface and the sphere of the Moon. Above are the nine spheres of Heaven, surmounted by the nonphysical Empyrean containing the Rose of the Blessed, the Angelic Choirs, and God.

Alessandro Cavagna (italian)
Alessandro Magnabosco

Emanuela Scicchitano & Alessandro Magnabosco

Paolo Maraner
 Wolfram Demonstrations Project, December 2, 2015

Divine Comedy English text: