Divine Comedy: Purgatorio

Background

As described in the Inferno, the first twenty-four hours of Dante's journey took place on earth and started on the evening of Maundy Thursday, 24 March (or 7 April) 1300 (Inf. I and II), and the next full day (Good Friday) was spent exploring the depths of Hell with Virgil as a guide (Inf. III-XXXIV.69). Dante and Virgil spent the next day ascending from Hell to see the stars (Inf. XXXIV.70-139). They arrive at the shore of the Mountain of Purgatory—the only land in the Southern Hemisphere—at 6 AM on the morning of Easter Sunday,[2] which is 6 PM on Sunday evening in Jerusalem, since the two points are antipodal. Dante describes Hell as existing underneath Jerusalem, having been created by the impact of Lucifer's fall; the Mountain of Purgatory was created by a displacement of rock caused by the same event.[3] The Purgatorio picks up where the Inferno left off, describing Dante's three-and-one-day trip up the mountain that ends with Dante in the Earthly Paradise at the time of noon on Wednesday, March 30 (or April 13).


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