The Ditch of the Corrupt Officials: Devils Tormenting Ciampolo

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Ciampolo stands against a background of waves and flames as a devil tears at his arm with a hook
Then, darting forth a prong, seized on his arm,
And mangled bore away the sinewy part.
(Hell; Canto XXII, line 70.)
(Plate 2.)

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McGill University Library, the Internet Archive

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Description

Copper-plate engraving showing a scene from the eighth circle of Hell: the character traditionally known as Ciampolo the Barrator stands in the fifth ditch, naked against a background of waves and flames and tormented by a group of four devils, one of which tears at his arm with a sharp hook. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines barratry as the purchase or sale of office or preferment in church or state, which Ciampolo committed while in the service of King Theobald II of Navarre.

The caption was taken from Rev. Henry Francis Cary’s translation of Dante’s Inferno. New York, London, and Paris: Cassel, Petter, Galpin & Co., n.d.

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