Purgatorio, Canto 10




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

  • Why is the first vice purged pride? Why does the contrapasso here involve carrying a boulder on one’s back? How does this purification cultivate the virtue of humility?
  • How does Dante illuminate the nature of pride and humility through his comparison of Eve and Mary (10.40-45)?
  • What is the role of the carvings in stone? How does Dante seem to be putting the arts and the imagination to moral work?
  • Who is Uzzah and why include him on the terrace of pride (10.56-57)?
  • What is Dante doing with the image of Emperor Trajan (10.73-93)? Why do you think Dante consciously points out that Virgil is looking at Trajan’s image?
  • Who does Dante talk to on the terrace of Pride? Given what we know about Dante so far, why do you think his primary focus on the terrace of the proud is art?


  • Dr. Phillip Cary
  • Templeton Honors College
  • Run Time 11:32