Inferno Canto 15




Phillip Cary is a Professor of Philosophy in the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. He researches Augustine and Luther and is the author of Augustine and Philosophy and Augustine’s Invention of the Inner Self: The Legacy of a Christian Platonist.

Questions for Reflection

  • In this canto we meet Brunetto Latini, a significant figure in the highbrow culture of Dante’s Italy, and indeed in Dante’s own intellectual life. But what is Latini’s sin and why is most of their discussion about art and poetry?
  • What did Dante learn from Brunetto Latini about how “man makes himself eternal” (15.85)? Is this ‘eternity’ the right kind? (See also lines 118-119).
  • Brunetto Latini advises Dante to “follow your star and you will not fail to reach your port of glory” (15.55-57). Is this good advice?
  • Latini’s influential work Tresoretto opens with him waking in a dark wood, returning to conscious mind, and attempting to scale a mountain. Note how similar this is to canto 1 of Inferno. Why would Dante recapitulate his previous master’s work in this way?
  • How does the physical landscape of this canto fit the moral landscape of Latini’s teaching?


  • Dr. Phillip Cary
  • Templeton Honors College
  • Run Time 9:03