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Bad Math and Poor Eyesight: Reconfiguring Dante’s Hellscape

Bad Math and Poor Eyesight: Reconfiguring Dante’s Hellscape

March 31, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

Arnaud Zimmern
Dante's imagery in the Inferno is haunting. But, for all the care he took in crafting his canti, recent scholarship has revealed errors of scale and proportion in his descriptions of the infernal environs. Was he just a lousy arithmetician? Was he deliberately undermining his narrative with a bit of ironic miscalculation? Or are Dante's apparent mistakes in fact occasions for him to explore a fundamental question about man's redemption?