The Terrace of Avarice & Prodigality

In this terrace, I found a few things to be of particular interest to me.  The first being, this terrace is the first, and only, where two sins are purged in one area.  Secondly, the vision of those guilty of prodigality and avarice are required to lie down, face down, reciting examples of avarice and prodigality, and vice versa, depending on the sin they are there for.

On thing in particular I find interesting is in this terrace, Dante encounters the second pope during his journey, Adrian V.  I was particularly amazed with Dante’s treatment of Adrian, as opposed to Nicholas III in the inferno where he was guilty of simony.  Adrian wouldn’t even allow Dante to treat him as if he was the pope, but wanted to be treated as an equal brother in the eyes of God.

Finally, in these three cantos, Dante and Virgil meet another poet, Statius.  This meeting is significant for a couple of reasons.  The first being, it’s the first case of a penitent being purged of his sins and being allowed to move to paradise.  Secondly, I feel it’s important because I learned how much of an impact Virgil had on Statius.  Statius became a Christian believer because of Virgil, and as such, doesn’t reside in limbo in the inferno, like the other pagan poets, such as Virgil, Ovid, etc.  Even though Virgil is sentenced to eternity in limbo, he may feel a little jealousy, but pride at the same time, that his example spared someone a sentence in limbo.  Because of this connection, Virgil and Statius become fast friends, and Dante seems to feel like the “third wheel.”


About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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