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Paradise, Dante

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Paradise, Dante

  1. 1. Paradiso
  2. 2. Dante’s model of the universe was geocentric. In this model, the earth, at the center, does not move, while the planets and the stars, each in their own sphere, revolve around the earth.
  3. 3. God resides in the Empyrean, beyond the spheres. The movement of the outer sphere, the Primum Mobile, provides motion to all of the other spheres.
  4. 4. Order of the spheres: 1. Moon 2. Mercury 3. Venus 4. Sun 5. Mars 6. Jupiter 7. Saturn 8. Fixed stars (the zodiac) 9. Primum mobile Empyrian
  5. 5. Dante imagines that each sphere is a level of heaven. In Paradiso, he flies with Beatrice from heaven to heaven, ascending to higher levels of perfection.
  6. 6. The Spheres of Heaven (Cantos 1-9) 1. Moon: the inconstant (those who made unstable vows) 2. Mercury: the ambitious (those who did right chiefly for glory) 3. Venus: the lovers (those deficient in temperance)
  7. 7. The Spheres of Heaven (Cantos 10-29) 4. Sun: the wise (wisdom) 5. Mars: the warriors (fortitude) 6. Jupiter: the just (justice) 7. Saturn: the contemplatives (temperance) 8. The Fixed Stars (faith, hope, and love) 9. Primum Mobile: the angels
  8. 8. Paradise, Canto 10 Dante and Beatrice meet twelve wise men in the Sphere of the Sun (miniature by Giovanni di Paolo) c. 1450
  9. 9. The Empyrean (Cantos 30-33) The abode of God
  10. 10. Paradise, Canto 30 Artist unknown (mid-fourteenth century) Dante and Beatrice by the River of Light The British Library, London, UK The pilgrim, guided by Beatrice, is now entering the Empyrean, which is the realm of pure mind, and leaves the world of matter behind. So powerful is the light as he travels from the primum mobile to the Empyrean that he temporarily loses his sight. When sight is restored, he is overwhelmed by the vision of a huge river of light. Next, he sees souls like beautiful flowers along the banks of the stream which flit like sparks. All of a sudden, a transformation occurs: the river gathers into a sea of light and the flowers are arranged into a many-tiered theatre which, cup- shaped, appears in the form of a giant rose.
  11. 11. Canto 30 The River of Light William Blake (1824-27)
  12. 12. Paradise, Canto 32 The White Rose Gustave Dore 1867 Dante and St. Bernard contemplate the image of the white rose, a symbol of divine love in which the faithful are enthroned.
  13. 13. The White Rose Illustrated manuscript 14th c. Canto 32
  14. 14. Canto 33 Trinitarian Circles John Flaxman Late 18th c.

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