GORGON E VIS LAPIDIFICATIVA. ELEMENTI DI MINERALOGIA TRA ALBERTO MAGNO E DANTE
Parole chiave:History of Italian Literature, Dante, Albertus Magnus, Gorgon, mineralogy
AbstractIn his Mineralogy (I, ii, 8) Albertus Magnus writes that the virtus fortis mineralium or vis lapidificativa is called Gorgon. Possibly Dante builds up a correspondence between petrification of natural elements as it can be seen in the infernal landscape and persistency in the fault, which is the petrification of the sinner’s Hearth, as suggested by the Speculum morale. The threat of petrifying the poet rapped out by the Furies is, in a sense, the ostentation of the power of transforming spirit and matter. Perhaps Dante is alluding to alchemy by this episode. In this way the poet strengthens his accusation to the human presumptuous self-confidence and underlines the value of the Lord’s grace. The resemblance between Mercury and the messo from Heaven, who descends to help Dante and Virgil, and the natural phenomena that surround him are coherent with this interpretation. Alchemy is probably involved in the retrospective vision of the whole poem.
SAGGI E STUDI