| Quote #1
[Dante to the Late-Repentant who died of Violence]: “…if there’s anything within
By swearing an oath, Dante performs one of the most meaningful tasks with language: he asserts his honor by putting the truth of his words to the test. The Late-Repentant accepts his oath and trust that – out of the goodness of his heart – Dante will bring word of them back to earth.
| Quote #2
…in an age
A common theme throughout this text is the degeneration of man’s virtue over time. Because Dante sees truth as intrinsically tied up with language, he vents his frustration here with a reference to the decay of language. He claims that in the old days, when man properly worshipped God, man’s use of language was similarly honest and accurate. Thus, in the past, “record books and measures could be trusted.”
| Quote #3
The other [Rinieri da Calboli] said to him [Guido del Duca]: “Why did he [Dante] hide
This passage follows the concept of taboo: certain things are so evil that even naming them can bring about bad luck. Here, the river Arno remains unnamed because it provides a vital stream of water to Italian regions where – according to Dante – men run most corrupt.