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Dante's year and connection with the Celts.

Navigatio Sancti Brendani and Geneva and Lancelot

San Brandano in chapters 36 and 37 of Navigatio Sancti Brendani, meets a siren, and always the same two chapters describe the island of the blessed, with the landing, and the 38th tells of the return to his homeland and the peaceful death of the saint.

 

The work is considered one of the sources of inspiration for Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, so much so that some scholars think that Dante's demonology may have been drawn also, if not entirely, from this ancient legend (in it we speaks of fallen angels that the protagonist finds under the guise of candid birds, perched on a tree in Paradise, since fallen spirits yes, but not evil, nor proud, sins for which, for example, in the Divine Comedy, Dante li poses as neutral).

 

But that is not all.

 

Dante has another “Celtic” aspect, which literary critics have ignored. If you take the Divine Comedy in your hand, you can easily realize that he was very familiar with the poems of the Breton cycle and was probably an enthusiastic reader of them; certainly the latter were a source of inspiration not of secondary importance for the Comedy.

One of the most touching episodes, that of Paolo and Francesca, is the reading of the love story of Lancelot and Guinevere. “Galeotto was the book and who wrote it”. "Galeotto" or Galhaut, is the squire who acts as an accomplice to the adulterous relationship between the queen and the knight.

 

Moreover, the entire episode is modeled on the narration of the Arthurian story: Paolo Malatesta had represented his brother Gianciotto in the marriage by proxy with Francesca da Rimini, with a clear parallelism with the story of Lancelot sent by Arthur to take Guinevere from his father's house.

 

In another episode, Dante recalls the tragic conclusion of the Arthurian saga, the final battle between Arthur and Mordred, the incestuous son of his half-sister Morgana. In this fight, Arthur kills Mordred and is himself mortally wounded. In it, Dante collects a tradition according to which Excalibur would have lodged itself in the body of Mordred in such a devastating way, that it would have opened a gash so wide that a ray of light would have crossed it, so that the same shadow of the rebellious son she would have been pierced.

 

In the translation of the motto of the Pendragon association "Skianz, Nerz, Karantez", which identifies the meaning of the three cosmic principles of the triad represented by the symbol of the triskell, "strength, courage, love", the word "courage" should be translated into " wisdom".

 

In fact, Dante in the Comedy imagined engraved on the architrave of the door of the city of Say: “I made me the Divine Potestate, the Supreme Wisdom, the First Love”. Three cosmic principles rather than three persons; the same symbolized in the Triskell (from an extract by Fabio Calabrese).

Ginevra and Lancillotto

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Paolo and Francesca