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The Divine Comedy

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1895Dante

Front cover of an 1895 edition of the works of Dante.

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is a long poem by the medieval Italian writerDante Alighieri. It describes a journey through the afterlife. The poem is divided into three cantos: Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio) and Heaven (Paradio).

The poem starts when Dante finds himself lost in the woods and meets the ancient Roman poet Virgil. Virgil guides Dante through the nine circles of Hell. The two travel through the Earth and emerge on the other side of the planet. The only land mass there is Purgatoty, which is in the form of a mountain leading up to heaven. Virgil accompanies Dante through Purgatory but can not accompany him to Heaven because he was not a Christian. Dante is guided through heaven by Beatrice, his platonic love.

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