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Hunting the Griffin in Dante's Purgatorio

Drina Oldroyd


The Griffin in Dante's Purgatorio has no literary precedents as a symbol of Christ. The passages of Isidore often cited do not link Christ with the Griffin. There are problems with linking the eagle body of the Griffin with the Roman Eagle. The idea of the Griffin-Christ having connotations of Church and Empire is not alien to Dante's thought. The climax of the story of the Griffin in Purgatorio 32 when the chariot is bound to the Tree represents the crucifixion, as all commentators agree.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.