Journey through the Dante Urbinate: Canto XXXIII, Lucifer

Here, finally, the upper half of Lucifer emerges from the frozen lake. We are at the Judecca, reserved for traitors against religious and political authority.

The demon Lucifer has three faces, colored red, black, and yellow, with six eyes, three enormous mouths with sharp fangs, and great wings like those of a bat. With its two side mouths, Lucifer is gnawing on Brutus and Cassius, while the middle mouth is chewing on another of the damned, Judas, the worst of the traitors.

Dante and Virgil are seen here climbing down the body of Lucifer as they finally leave the Inferno. Virgil is holding onto the demon’s fur while Dante is hanging onto Virgil’s neck.

Source: Ambrogio M. Piazzoni, Una nuova lettura della Commedia, La Divina Commedia di Federico da Montefeltro. Il Dante Urbinate. Commentario.

Illumination from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia, Ms. Urb. lat. 365, f. 93r, 1478-1482, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

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