Purgatorio Image As Dante explains in the opening lines of the canticle, Purgatory is the place in which "the human spirit purges himself, and climbing to Heaven makes himself worthy." Dante's Purgatory consists of an island mountain, the only piece of land in the southern hemisphere. Divided into three sections, Antepurgatory, Purgatory proper, and the Earthly Paradise, the lower slopes are reserved for souls whose penance was delayed. The upper part of the mountain consists of seven terraces, each of which corresponds to one of the seven capital sins. Atop the mountain Dante locates, Eden, the Earthly Paradise, the place where the pilgrim is reunited with Beatrice, the woman who inspired the poem.

Above the Italian and English texts of Purgatorio readers will find additional information on all the terms listed (Creatures, Deities, Images, People, Places, and Structures). Every canto of Purgatory contains visual material, keyed to specific passages. Click on Images to view a list of the visual material available for each canto. Go to Maps for depictions of Purgatory. Readers will also find recordings of all the liturgical pieces and hymns mentioned in this canticle. Click on the Music link to hear the songs. This feature is intended to enhance readers' understanding of the very different dynamics which obtain in the realm of the saved.

Purgatory Text:

Select Canto