The Divine comedy

Dante Alighieri (1265–1321)
La commedia, with the commentary of Iacopo della Lana
Lombardy (Venice?), fourteenth or fifteenth century

The Divine comedy tells the story of Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead and is widely recognised as one of the greatest works of imaginative literature. Dante peopled the three sections of his epic poem, Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, with a variety of mythical, biblical, legendary, historical and near-contemporary figures, among them kings, emperors and warriors, and his narrative encompasses numerous retellings of the deeds, whether sinful or virtuous, which led to their being allotted places in Hell, Purgatory or Paradise. This page shows the start of Paradiso, and is from another manuscript in the remarkable Royal Library given by King George I in 1715.

MS Mm.2.3(2), f. 171r