Purgatory is the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy. We find the Poet, with his guide Virgil, ascending the terraces of the Mount of Purgatory inhabited by those doing penance to expiate their sins on earth. There are the proud forced to circle their terrace for aeons bent double in humility; the slothful—running around crying out examples of zeal and sloth; while the lustful are purged by fire.
About the Author
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 into a family of the city’s lesser nobility in reduced circumstances. They were Guelphs, a party originally identified with the claims of papal authority and opposed by the Ghibellines, who offered allegiance to the German Emperors in Italy. By Dante’s time both parties had developed into vehicles for feud and private interest. In 1302 control of Florence fell to ‘Black’ Guelphs and Dante was exiled by the faction. It was during this permanent exile from Florence that The Divine Comedy was written, completed in the year of Dante’s death in Ravenna, 1321.