The Pit of Disease: The Falsifiers

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Dante and Virgil stand on a stone arch as below, two men scratch their backs on cluttered bodies
... Then two I mark'd, that sat
Propp'd against each other...
(Hell; Canto XXIX, line 71.)
(Plate 6.)

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McGill University Library, the Internet Archive

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Description

Copper-plate engraving showing a scene from the tenth ditch in the eighth circle of Hell: Dante and Virgil stand side by side on a ledge cut into a stone arch at the right of the picture. Opposite them, the leg of another arch rises, in which petrified human figures seem to be embedded. Sinners guilty of forgery suffer their punishment in the foreground, some lying in a clutter upon which two men are sitting, vigorously scratching their backs. Further to the left, another group sprawls and crawls at the foot of the arch while in the background, more rock formations can be seen.

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