Canto 12 Summary

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Last Updated March 1, 2023.

As the pair continue along, they notice the site of a massive landslide, resulting in a massive crevice in the rock face, from which the Minotaur has emerged.Virgil is startled, explaining that this had not happened when he last visited this part of Dis.

Gazing downward, Dante and Virgil watch the roiling Phlegethon, a boiling-hot river that houses those souls who were violent in their lives. On the banks of the river, Dante notices centaurs galloping through the woods with bows and quivers, ensuring that the violent do not escape from the river of boiling blood by shooting arrows at them. 

In the river, Dante and Virgil catch sight of several tyrants including Alexander, Dionysius, Azzolino, and Obizzo d’Este. A centaur then shows them other famous figures, such as Pyrrhus, Sextus, Attila, and the Pazzian and Cornetan Riniers. The centaur departs, returning to the river’s far banks, and leaves Dante and Virgil once more alone.

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Canto 11 Summary


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