| Quote #1
[Justinian]: "Before I grew attentive to this labor,
Here, Justinian shows the didactic quality of language. The 'true' words of the Christian canon teach its readers to see truth, and thus to convert to the true faith of Christianity.
| Quote #2
[St. Thomas]: "From this hillside, where it abates its rise,
Dante puns on the name of St. Francis' birthplace, Assisi. Because Dante's metaphor compares St. Francis to a "sun," he transforms Assisi to Ascesi, which means "I rise" in Italian. But he has so much respect for St. Francis that he says even Ascesi is too humble a name for his birthplace; one "would name it [more] rightly" if he called it "Orient," which means "east." The eastern horizon is, of course, the exact place where one sees the rising sun.
| Quote #3
[St. Bonaventure on St. Dominic]: "And that his name might echo what he was,
Dante spins another pun, this time on St. Dominic's name. He calls "Dominic" the "possessive of the One by whom / he was possessed completely," referring to God, called Dominus in liturgical Latin. Churchgoers would understand "Dominic," then, as "God's [one]".