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Figurative Texts Illustrating Certain Passages of Dante's Commedia Author(s): Erich Auerbach Source: Speculum, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Oct., 1946), pp. 474-489 Published by: Medieval Academy of America Stable URL:

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BY ERICH AUERBACH IN an earlier article' I tried to analyse the structure of the figurative or typological interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and to prove its influence during the first centuries of Christianity and the Middle Ages upon the conception of all earthly events; and especially I endeavoured to show by some examples important for the general composition of the Commedia (Cato, Vergil, Beatrice) how deeply Dante was involved in typological ideas. Here I intend to discuss some more particular passages, the understanding of which may be advanced in the light of figurative texts. The figurative interpretation of the Bible created a world of interrelations, a world in which mediaeval theologians moved quite naturally and which was familiar even to laymen through sermons, religious representations and art; from this material a poet like Bernard de Clairvaux produced his most beautiful creations. During the fourteenth century this world began to decay; the eighteenth century destroyed it almost completely, and for us it has vanished; even distinguished modern theologians are not always able to perceive and to understand figurative allusions. Since I am writing in Istanbul (1945) where very few publications on Dante are available, I cannot always be sure whether some of my observations may not have been made by others. I. AQUILAVOLANSAD ESCAM We begin with the prophetic dream Purg. 9, 13-33: Ne l'ora che comincia i tristi lai la rondinella presso a la mattina, forse a memoria de' suoi primi guai, e che la mente nostra, peregrina piui da la carne e men da' pensier presa a le sue vision quasi e divina, in sogno mi parea veder sospesa un'aguglia nel ciel con penne d'oro, con l'ali aperte e a calar intesa; ed esser mi parea la dove fuoro abbandonati i suoi da Ganimede, quando fu ratto al sommo consistoro. Fra me pensava: "Forse questa fiede pur qui per uso, e forse d'altro loco disdegna di portarne suso in piede." Poi mi parea che, poi rotata un poco terribil come folgor discendesse, e mi rapisse suso infino al foco. Ivi parea che ella e io ardesse....
1 "Figura," Archivum Romanicum, xxI (1938), 436, reprinted with some additions in my Neue Dantestudien (Istanbul, 1944), also Europaverlag, ZUrich and New York. 474

Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia


The diving and the rising of the eagle recall not only Ganymede but also an old figurative tradition which occurs first, as far as I know, in Gregory the Great. It originates from the exposition, inspired by the Physiologus, of the verse Job 9, 26 ('sicut aquila volans ad escam') combined with other biblical passages (Job 29, 37; Is. 40, 31; Exod. 19, 4), and it is based upon the interpretation of the contrast between the soaring flight of the eagle towards the sun and his diving to earth. 'Moris quippe est aquilae,' says Gregory in his commentary to Job,2 'ut irreverberata acie radios solis aspiciat; sed cum refectionis indigentia urgetur, eandem oculorum aciem, quam radiis solis infixerat, ad respectum cadaveris inclinat; et quamvis ad alta evolet, pro sumendis carnibus terram petit.' The most important and widespread interpretation of this contrast connects it with Christ's divine nature, his incarnation and ascension: 'incarnatus dominus ima celeriter transvolans et mox summa repetens' (Gregory on Job 39, 27; Patr. Lat., LXXVI, 625). There are variants: sometimes the eagle is conceived not as Christ, but as the faithful soul contemplating his incarnation and ascension. Anyway, the re-rising is a separation from the flesh ('peregrina piu da la carne'), and thus it is for the rapt soul the contemplative ecstasy which leads to the joining with Christ in the fervor of the unio mystica ('ivi parea che io e ella ardesse').3 That we have to deal with contemplative ecstasy could also have been proved by the figurative interpretation of the sleep,4 and the word ratto evokes for a typologically trained ear the rapture of St Paul, 2 Cor. 12, 4, which is one of the Leitmotifs of the Commedia. In this way, Dante's eagle would become here figura Christi.4E This does not imply that other interpretations are necessarily false. The principle of 'polysemy,' which Dante claims for his poem in the Letter of Cangrande,6had already been established for the figurative exposition of the Bible by Agustine, De Doctrina
2 Migne, Patr. lat. Lxxv, 884. 3 For the tradition I may quote: Gregory on Is. 40, 31 ('Qui autem sperant in Domino, mutabunt

fortitudinem, assument pennas sicut aquilae'): Mutant fortitudinem, quia fortes student esse in spiritali opere qui dudum fuerant fortes in carne; assumunt autem pennas ut aquilae, quia contemplando volant (Patr. Lat. LxxvI, 131). Rupert of Deutz, early twelfth century, on Job 9, 26: ad escam, id est, et erecta mente creatoris lucem contemplantes more aquilae solis radios aspectantes, more eiusdem aquilae de supremis ad ima avide volantis ad escam' (Patr. Lat., CLXVIII, 1009). Diaeta salutis, thirteenth century, on Exod. 19, 4 (quomodoportaverimvos super alas aquilarum): in pennis contemplationis angelicae vos elevavi ad speculandum adventum meum et omnia mysteria gratiae (Turin edition of Bonaventura, publ. by Peltier, 8, 343). 4 Cf. Petrus Comestor, on Gen. 2, 21-24, Pair. Lat., cxcviii, 1067-71; Richard of St Victor, Adnot. in Psalm. xxx, Patr. Lat., cxcvi, 273; Bernard. Clarav., In Septuag. Sermo ii, Pair. Lat., cLxxIII, 166; or the different commentaries on Cant. Cant. 2, 7 and 5, 2, for example Bern. Clar. Patr. Lat.,
CLXXXIII, 1631-62.

4a For the eagle as figura Christi compare the explanation given by H. Flanders Dunbar in her very interesting book Symbolism in medieval thought and its consummation in the Divine Comedy (New Haven, 1929), p. 216. 5 What he claims in this passage is not exactly the principle of manifold typological interpretation, but the 'polysemy' of the fourfold method in general; anyway, he claims 'polysemous' interpretation of his work. Many doctors of the Church claim the right of multiple meanings for the Holy Scriptures only, in explicit contrast to all human literature; this should be considered in explaining the special mission Dante attributes to himself.


Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia

Christiana3, 25 et seq., and the later commentators almost always give for difficult passages several typological interpretations, sometimes alternative, more often cumulative,6 on condition that they do not contradict the faith (sententia ... , quae fidei rectae non refragatur,' Augustine, loc. cit., 3, 27). Nor is it altogether certain that everything which applies to the eagle applies also to Lucia; I am inclined to think that the prophetic dream has a wider implication than Lucia's intervention. At any rate the imperial-political meaning which is certainly present at least in the dream,7 is not touched by our exposition; nor have we dealt with the problem why the eagle of Jove seizes its prey only from Mount Ida. But now we will add some hints on this subject. Mount Ida, where Ganymede was stolen, is the divine mountain of Troy, the origin 'dell'alma Roma e di suo impero' (Inf. 2, 20); it stands here for the valley of the princes on the slopes of the mountain of the Purgatorio, a place of dilettoand bel soggiorno (Purg. 7, 45; 48; 63; 73 et seq.), covered with flowers like the earthly Paradise or Elysium; but it is also vallis lacrimarum, still subject to timores nocturni,8where among the princes dwells Rudolf von Habsburg, 'che piui siede alto e fa sembiante d'aver negletto cio che far dovea' (Purg. 7, 91-92); both Mount Ida and the valley of the princes9 obviously represent the Saturnian age, peaceful, imperial, golden, but lost. And only from that place does the eagle take his prey to carry it towards the unio mystica! Corresponding to this is Dante's mystical sleep in the earthly Paradise which immediately precedes the vision of the nova Beatrice (Purg. 32, 64 et seq.) explicitly connected with the vision in Luke 9, 28-36;10 corresponding to this above all is Jacob's ladder which also signifies contemplation leading to the highest vision,l and which rises from the heaven of Saturn, immediately after the following description: ... cristalloche '1vocabolporta, cerchiandoil mondo, del suo caro duce,
sotto cui giacque ogni malizia morta. (Par. 21, 25-27) II. HUMILIS PSALMISTA

The dance of David before the Ark of the Covenant and the following scene
with Saul's daughter Michal

Sam. 6, 1-23 and I Paral. 13-16), which Dante

uses as a second example of humility (Purg. 10, 55-69), had a considerable influence upon the mediaeval idea of David; the interpretation of this episode led, or at least greatly contributed, to the fact that David was principally praised for
6 The samepersonor objector event may even represent things,as for ex. serpens,leo, contrasting somnus,lignum. 7 'Sublimisaquilafulgurisinstardescendens,' writesDante about HeinrichVII., Epist. 5, 4.
8 Vallis lacrimarum results from the text of Salve regina, Purg. 7, 82 ('... ad te suspiramus ... in hac lacrimarum valle'); the timores nocturni (Ps. 91, 5; Cant. 3, 8) are referred to in the Hymnus ad Completorium Te lucis ante terminum, Purg. 8, 13. 9 In the same way as the other Saturnian Ida on Crete, Inf. 14, 97; for identity of name has real meaning in the figurative interpretation. 10Cf. in this connection Ambrosius. Patr. Lat., xv, 1704, or Beda Ven., Patr. Lat., XCII, 455. 1 The degrees of contemplation are designated by the names of Jacob's sons in mediaeval mysticism, especially by Richard of St Victor.

Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia


his humilitas. The self-humiliation of the great king and hero offered a welcome opportunity for developing the basic Christian antithesis humilitas-sublimitas, fundamental for the redemption through Christ's incarnation; in this way David easily became figura Christi (just as the Ark was figura Ecclesiae). Gregory the Great (Moral., Patr. Lat., LXXV, 444) writes on this theme: 'Coram Deo egit vilia et extrema, ut illa ex humilitate solidaret quae coram hominibus gesserat fortia. Quid de eius factis ab aliis sentiatur ignoro; ego David plus saltantem stupeo quam pugnantem ....' He compares his dancing with that of a buffoon (scurra); and he explains the verse II Sam. 6, 22 ('et vilior fiam plus quam factus sum, et humilis ero in oculis meis') with regard to the voluntary self-humiliation of Christ.l2 The mention of David in the eye of the eagle (Par. 20, 37-41) also contains the theme of humilitas: because the migration of the Ark from place to place was considered as the humility of the Church during the epoch of persecution. I have found the motif di villa in villa in Honorius of Autun (Patr. Lat., CLXXIII, 369): 'Ecclesia siquidem olim a contribulis suis tanto odio est habita, ut nullus ei locus manendi tutus esset, sed semper de civitate in civitatem fugiens migraret, unde multi scandalizati sunt, qui Christianos miserabiliores omnibus hominibus reputaverunt.'

Shortly before Beatrice's appearance in the earthly Paradise (Purg. 30) the procession of the Church stops; the 24 seniori symbolizing the books of the Old Testament turn towards the chariot 'as to their peace':13
e un di loro, quasi dal ciel messo

'Veni sponsade Libano'cantando grido tre volte, e tutti li altri appresso. Qualii beati al novissimobando
surgeran presti ognun di sua caverna, la revestita carne alleluiando, cotali in su la divina basterna si levar cento, ad vocem tanti senis, ministri e messaggier di vita eterna. 'Manibus o date lilia plenis!' Io vidi gia nel cominciar del giorno la parte oriental tuta rosata e l'altro ciel di bel sereno adorno; e la faccia del sol nascere ombrata, si che per temperanza di vapori l'occhio la sostenea lunga fiata: cosi dentro una nuvola di fiori che da le mani angeliche saliva e ricadeva in gifudentro e di f6ri sovra candido vel cinta d'uliva donna m'apparve....

Tutti dicean:'Benedictusqui venis!', e fior gittando di soprae dintorno,

12 The tradition continued Walafrid is in

Strabo,RabanusMaurus(Patr. Lat., cix, 83) and others. This meansthat the Churchfulfillswhat the Old Testamentprefigured. 1"


Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia

Almost without exception - and of course correctly - the commentators have recognized the 'senior' who shouts as Solomon, that is, as a symbol of the Canticles; he shouts three times, just as in the text (Cant. 4, 8) it is three times repeated: 'Veni de Libano sponsa mea, veni de Libano, veni, coronaberis . . .' The shout itself has been understood, so far as I can see, by all modern interpreters as an invitation to Beatrice to appear; their argument is as follows: since Dante interprets the beloved of the Canticles in his Convivio II, 14, in the often quoted passage concerning the hierarchy of the sciences, as the scienza divina14 and since Beatrice is, once for all, scienza divina - the invitation is addressed to her. The ancient commentators were more cautious, Benvenuto da Imola writes:15 . . et primo quidem introducitunum senem cantantem laudes ipsius ecclesiae. Et ad litterae debes scire, quod hic erat Salomonqui inter alios fecit librumqui intelligentiam intitulaturCanticumCanticorum, quo sub typo describitstatumecclesiae introducens in sponsumet sponsam,id est Christumet ecclesiam,ad loquendummutuo.... Ista verba libroCanticorum sunt verbasponsi,id est Christi,qui dicit ad sponsam scriptain praedicto idest ecclesiam:Veni sponsamea odorifera. Libanumenim est monsArabiae,ubi nascitur thus quod etiam dicitur olibanum,sicut patet per Bernardum,qui pulcre scripsit super istum librum... This passage is a precious testimony for two reasons: Bernard of Clairvaux, whom it mentions, had a deep, lasting and widespread influence, particularly through his cycle of Sermons on the Canticles; above all, it shows the spontaneous reaction of every mediaeval Christian to the words sponsus and sponsa: they meant for him Christ and the Church; for the Church you may sometimes put Christianity or every faithful soul.16These meanings had become current and familiar from thousands of sermons, from liturgical and "semiliturgical" representations. In view of the great liberty of interpretation which I have already mentioned, it was certainly possible occasionally to use one of these words in another sense; but then it was indispensable to say so explicitly, as Dante did in the above quoted passage of the Convivio. Otherwise the words sponsus and sponsa were just as fixed as the words President and Congress are now in the United States. In the same way it would have seemed very strange and astonishing to the mediaeval reader to see the verses veni sponsa de Libano and benedictusqui venis applied to the same person. He knew, on the contrary, from many sermons and from the liturgy, that the first refers to the Church, or Christianity, or the faithful soul, the other to the Saviour. Therefore it is, if not impossible, at least very unlikely, that Dante intended the words veni sponsa de Libano as an invitation to Beatrice.
14 For the verse Cant. 6, 7-8: 'sexaginta sunt reginae, et octoginta concubinae, et adulescentularum non est numerus: una est columba mea, perfecta mea...' 15Florentae, 1887, iv, 206. 16 Bernardus Clarav., Domin, Prima post Oct. Epiph. Sermo II, Patr. Lat., CLXXXIII, 158: 'Sponsa vero nos ipsi sumus, si non vobis videtur incredibile, et omnes simul una sponsa, et animae singulorum quasi singulae sponsae.'

Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia


The whole scene is unmistakably composed as a figure of the appearance of Christ.l7 First comes the magnificent comparison with the resurrection of the flesh in the last judgment where Christ is to appear as judge of the world; then the hundred18sing ad vocem tanti senis (who has thus compelled them to arise) the words of the crowd at Christ's Entrance into Jerusalem (Matth. 21, 9, etc.): benedictusqui venis in nomine domini; every mediaeval theologian and most of the laymen knew, and felt immediately, on hearing these words, that the Entrance into Jerusalem figures the appearance or the reappearance of the Saviour when the eternal day begins, and when the earthly Jerusalem becomes definitely the eternal and true one. Concerning the flowers, I begin by quoting some sentences from Bernard's sermons on the Canticles: he says, explaining 2, 12 (flores apparuerunt in terra nostra, tempus putationis adventi): ... Quaerisquandohoc fuit? quandoputas, nisi cum refloruitcaro Christi in resurrectione? Et hic primus et maximusflos qui apparuitin terra nostra. Nam primitiaedormientium Christus (I Cor. 15, 20). Ipse, inquam,flos campi et lilium convallium Jesus flos. (Cant. 2, 1), ut putabaturfilius Joseph a Nazareth (Luc. 3, 23), quod interpretatur Is ergoflosapparuitprimus,non solus.Nam et multa corporasanctorum,qui dormierant, in paritersurrexerunt, veluti quidamlucidissimifloressimulapparuerunt terranostra. qui
... (Patr Lat.,


Therefore, flos is caro Christi, and flores,18a plural, are the arisen bodies of the Saints: the figure of reappearance and resurrection is thus continued by the scattering of flowers; and one may even imagine, if one reads Bernard's quotation ego sum flos campi et lilium convallium, why Dante employed the beautiful verse from Vergil (Aen. vi, 883), so welcome for the rhyme. It has presumably not much to do, as Dante here uses it, with the death of Marcellus;'1 it is an allusion to the symbolical meaning of the lily, arising from certain passages of Scripture. The speculation about the lily is very rich and multifarious ('spiritualis haec tam pulchra varietas,' says Bernard on another occasion); I can give only a rough and inadequate indication by saying that it figures on the one hand Christ, on the other the souls of the righteous or their virtues; to Christ refers Cant. 2, 1, 'ego flos campi et lilium convallium,' often combined with Gen. 27, 27, 'ecce odor filii mei sicut odor agri pleni cui benedixit dominus'; to the righteous Cant. 2, 16-17, 'Dilectus meus mihi, et ego illi, qui pascitur inter lilia, donec aspiret dies et inclinentur umbrae' (these words refer to the Last Day), combined with other passages, especially with the liturgical paraphrase of Hosea, 14, 6, 'lustus germinabit sicut lilium et florebit in aeternum ante Dominum.'20 I give in the
18'et ponit finitumpro infinito,'says Benevenutoon cento. 18a floresresurrectionis also BernardusClarav.,De diligendo For see Deo III, Patr. Lat., cLxxxI, de 979, and Par. 22, 48. Cf. also Bedier,La Chanson Roland,ii, 305. 19Somecommentators have suggested,that Marcelluscan herebe regarded a type of Christ.I as am not of this opinion,becausein Vergil'sverses there is no allusionto be found to resurrection. Cf. Petri Allegherii... Commentarium... curanteV. Nannucci,Florence(1845), p. 511. He too is of quotesCant.2, 1, but his interpretation pedanticand withoutknowledge the tradition. 20Alleluiafromthe Missa de Doctoribus.
17Cf. H. FlandersDunbar,loc. cit. 319. p.


Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia

note21some extracts from texts, where the figurative themes 'arrival of Christ,' 'resurrection' and 'Last Day' are indicated - without however limiting myself strictly to these themes. For lilia as the souls of the Saints or the righteous one
may also quote Dante himself, Par. 23, 74-75: ... quivi son li gigli al cui odor si prese il buon cammino. With the flower- or lily-figure Dante combined another, well known in the tradition: that of the cloud tempering the splendor of the appearing sun, so that
21 Texts on lilium:

a) referring to Christ: Bernardus Clarav., Sermones in Cant. Lxx, 5; Patr. Lat., CLXXXIII, 1118: 'Bonum autem lilium veritas, candore conspicuum, odore praecipuum; denique candor est lucis aeternae, splendor et figura substantiae Dei [Sap. 7, 26 with Hebr. 1, 3]. Lilium plane, quod ad novam benedictionem terra nostra produxit, et paravit ante faciem omnium populorum, lumen ad revelationem gentium [Luc. 2, 31-32]. Donec sub maledicto fuit terra, spinas et tribulos germinavit. Ad nunc Veritas de terra orta est Domino benedicente [Ps. 84, 12-13], speciosus omnino flos campi et lilium convallium .. . Leva etiam oculos nunc in ipsam personam Domini, qui in Evangelio loquitur: Ego sum Veritas [Ioan. 14, 6]. Et vide quam competenter veritas lilio comparetur. Si non advertisti, adverte de medio floris huius quasi virgulas aureas prodeuntes, et cinctas candidissimo flore, pulchre ac decenter disposito in coronam: et agnosce auream in Christo divinitatem, humanae coronatam puritate naturae [I find this motif already in Isidorus of Seville], id est Christum in diademate, quo coronavit eum mater sua. Nam in quo coronavit eum Pater suus, lucem habitat inaccessibilem, nec posses in ea illum interim adhuc videre.... ' In connexion with Gen. 27, 27 ibid., Sermo XLVII, 3; Patr. Lat., cixxxIII, 1009. b) referring to the righteous: Gregor., M. Super Cant., on Cant. 2, 16; Patr. Lat., LxxIv, 501: ... quid per lilia nisi animae designantur? Quae dum castitatis odorem retinent, per bonae famae opinionem proximis quibusque suaviter olent. Inter lilia sponsus ergo pascitur, quia procul dubio animarum castitate delectatur ... '; Honorius Augustod., Patr. Lat., CLXXII, 382, 414, and passim; Riccardus de St Victor, Explic. in Cant. 4, 5, Patr. Lat., cxcvI, 474: 'Per lilia quae nitent et odorem habent [this motif recurs again and again] munditiam bene viventium et odorem virtutum accepimus . . . ' He explains the words donec aspiret etc. as eternal beatitude ('donec ... luceat dies aeternitatis et divinae cognitionis'), as Gregory, loc. cit., had already done. Among the texts of Bernard on this subject, which are numerous and lengthy, I have made this brief selection: 1117: '(Sponsa) ... autem non ignorat unum esse, Sermo in Cant. LXX,2; Patr. Lat., CLXXXIII, et qui pascitur et qui pascit; inter lilia commorantem, et regnantem super sidera. At libentius humilia dilecti memorat, propter humilitatem quidem ... ; magis autem quod exinde coepit esse dilectus, ex quo et pasci. Nec modo exinde, sed inde. Nam qui in altissimis est Dominus, in imis est dilectus; super sidera regnans, et inter lilia amans. Amabat et super sidera, quia nusquam et numquam potuit non amare, quia amor est; sed donec ad lilia descendit, et pasci inter lilia compertus est, nec amatus est, nec factus dilectus. Quid? non est amatus a patriarchis et prophetis? Est: sed non priusquam visus est et ab ipsis inter lilia pasci. Neque enim non viderunt quem praeviderunt ... ' Ibid. 4, p. 1118, referring to the virtues of the righteous: 'Lilia sunt, lilia, inquam, orta de terra, nitentia super terram, eminentia in floribus terrae, fragrantia super odorem aromatum. Ergo inter haec lilia sponsus, et omnino ex his speciosus et pulcher ... ' Finally Bernard too, like Gregory and Richard of St Victor, referred the sentence 'donec aspiret etc.' to the Last Day. Cf. Sermo LxxII, especially 4 ('Novissima hora est; nox praecessit, dies autem appropinquavit. Aspirabit dies, et expirabit nox') and 11 ('Et si vultis scire, dies aspirans ipse est Salvator quem expectamus... '), Patr. Lat. cxcIII, 1181 and 1134.

Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia

De adventu Domini, 8 (Patr. Lat.,


a human eye may endure it.22 Bernard writes about this cloud in his first sermon

Attamenvelim nosse, quid sibi voluerit,quod ad nos venit ille, aut quare non magis ivimus nos ad illum. Nostra enim erat necessitas:sed nec est consuetudodivitum ut ad pauperesveniant, nec si praestarevoluerint.Ita est, fratres, nos magis ad illum venire dignumfuit; sed duplex erat impedimentum.Nam et caligabantoculi nostri: ille vero lucem habitat inaccessibilem(1 Tim. 6, 16); et jacentes paralytici in grabato divinam illamnon poteramusattingerecelsitudinem. Salvatoret medicus Proptereabenignissimus animarumdescendit ab altitudine sua, et claritatem suam infirmisoculis temperavit. Induit se laternaquadam,illo utiquegloriosoet ab omnilabe purissimo corporequod suscepit. Haec est enim illa levissima plane et praefulgidanubes, supra quam ascensurum eum prophetapraedixerat, descenderet Aegyptum(Is. 19, 1). ut in This motif signifies here, that Christ-Beatrice does not yet appear in her true and unveiled form; this form develops, as one knows, gradually during the ascension to the highest heaven (Par. 30, 16-33). Whatever, therefore, Beatrice's general symbolical value may be, here her appearance is a figure of the appearance of Christ23in the midst of the angels and the resurrected; and the cry veni sponsa is an appeal to arise (si levar; saliva), addressed to the angels and the souls of the righteous. It may be understood in an eschatological way, as the words of Christ (Solomon, quasi dal ciel messo, as a type of the Saviour) at the last judgment (novissimo bando), or in a more mystical sense, as an appeal to inner devotion and contemplation of Christ. In fact, the verse veni sponsa, with the following coronaberis,has always been interpreted as an appeal to the Church or Christianity. To prove this I shall quote some texts
beginning again with Gregory (Super Cant. expos., Patr. Lat., LXXIX, 511):

... Potest ... intelligiquodter diciturveni. Venit enim sponsasanctaad Christum, dum in hoc mundo vivens, bona quae potest operatur.Venit quando in hora mortis anima, ipsa videlicet sponsa, a carne exuitur.Venit tertio, quandoin die iudicii ultimi carnem resumit, et cum Christo thalamum coelestem ingreditur.Ibi quippe omnium laborum suorum praemia consequitur;ibi, iam omnino prostratis et exclusis hostibus, gloriose coronatur... (therefollow speculationson the names Amana,Sanir,etc.) Much more mystical is the conception of Richard of St Victor (Explic. in Cant. xxv, Patr. Lat., cxcvI, 478): Libanusmons est, in quo crescuntmyrrhaet thus. Dicitur autem Libanuscandidatioet dealbatio.Vocat ergo Christussponsamde Libano,cum per mortificationem peccatorum et carnalitatiset devotionemorationismundatamet candidataminvitat ad supernam remunerationem. Quodautem non solum duplicatavoce, sed etiam triplicatahortaturut veniat, immensitatemdesideriiet amoris quem habet ad eam insinuat,et ut trina repetitio immensitatiset firmitatis sit attestatio; funiculus enim triplex difficile rumpitur. Item multiplicatarepetitio vocationis et gratulationemindicat, qua liberationieius de
Thus, this cloud has nothingto do with the other, much better known,from Matth. 24, 30 or 26, 64 or the corresponding passages. 23 The field of signification Beatriceallowsher easily to become of figuraChristi.As scienzadivina she is closelyconnected with the Verbum, secondPersonof the Trinity,and as Rahel-contemplatio the she reflectshis doublenature. Cf. the last pages of my above quotedarticle'figura.'


Figurative Texts Illustrating Dante's Commedia

praesentimiseria congaudet.Innuit quoque quanto desideriohanc celerius fieri optet. Iterumenim atque iterumrepetita vocatio accelerantis pariteret gaudentisaffectumexprimit. Ideo etiam eam toties vocat, ut iterata vocatione magnitudinemfelicitatis ad quam vocatur insinuet;ut etiam trina vocatio Trinitatis indicat fruitionem,quam percepturaest post laborem,quae fruitio est aeterna beatitudo. Et cum eam vocat, etiam ei de quibusremuneranda praenuntiat:coronaberis.... sit Very similar, sometimes using the same words (funiculus triplex), is the comment of Bernard's disciple Gilbert of Holland, who continued the Sermons on the Canticles;23ahe identifies those coming from Lebanon with those clothed in
white robes of the Revelation (Ibid.,


Perhaps our method of demonstration, with its great number and variety of figurative texts, may seem too laborious to the reader, and he may ask if Dante really remembered all these complicated interrelations. But it is only to us that the figurative system seems laborious, complicated and sometimes absurd; for the Christians of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it was daily bread, as every sermon of that period shows. However, already in Dante's time, and even more shortly afterwards, there appear signs of decay, at least in Italy; Humanism introduces heterogeneous elements, and the liberty and finesse of the figurative method lose their creative powers. The ancient commentators on the Comedy give many figurative explanations; but most of them are comparatively crude or pedantic, without the sense of nuances and without Dante's large knowledge of the tradition. Again I must insist upon the fact that within the limits of the tradition, within the limits of certain established customs of combination, there was much liberty of interpretation. These limits, however, seem to me to be transgressed, if one understands the cry veni sponsa as an invitation to Beatrice.

More than fifty years ago Paget Toynbee discovered that Rahab, the harlot in Joshua, chs. 2 and 6, who holds a very distinguished place in the heaven of Venus (Par. 9, 115-126), is to be considered as a type of the Church. He published his discovery, based on passages from Isidorus and Petrus Comestor, in The Academy of September 12, 1894, p. 216; he also stressed the fact that Rahab is one of the ancestors of Christ (Matth. 1, 5). E. Rostagno gave an account of Toynbee's article in Bullettino, II, 94; this account only is available to me at the moment. There cannot be the slightest doubt that Toynbee was right, and that his discovery is indispensable for the understanding of Dante's verses. Nevertheless, it does not seem to have penetrated into all of the important commentaries and commented editions. Zingarelli (Dante, 3a ed., p. 1205) and H. Flanders Dunbar (Symbolism, p. 54) developed it further, and it is recorded in the edition CasiniBarbi; but the ninth edition of Scartazzini-Vandelli (1932) still ignores it. The verses in question are the following: Tu vuo' saperchi e in questa lumera che qui appressome cosi scintilla, come raggiodi sole in acqua mera.
He 23a too died beforeachievingthis work.

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Or sappi che la entro si tranquilla Raab; e a nostr' ordine congiunta, di lei nel sommo grado si sigilla. Da questo cielo, in cui l'ombra s'appunta che'l vostro mondo face, pria ch'altr'alma del triunfo di Cristo fu assunta. Ben si convenne lei lasciar per palma in alcun cielo de l'alta vittoria che s'acquisto con l'una e l'altra palma, perch'ella favor6 la prima gloria di Josue in su la Terra Santa che poco tocca al papa la memoria.


The book of Joshua, especially its first chapters, has been interpreted from the very earliest times of Christianity as a figure of the appearance of Christ; all the details of the passing over the Jordan and of the conquest of Jericho have entered into the framework of this 'figura,' one of the most famous and popular of Christian Antiquity and the Middle Ages. We even possess an illuminated manuscript, the Joshua Roll of the Vatican, executed in the sixth century, probably a copy of the earlier original, which unmistakably shows Joshua as a type of Christ. But already to Tertullian this figurative relation was quite familiar: he explains it in the treatise Adv. Marcionem (3, 16), emphasizing the identity of the names Joshua and Jesus (cf. our note 9). Isidorus gives a full description of the details, and his passage concerning Rahab,24quoted by Toynbee and Rostagno, was reproduced or paraphrased many times during the Middle Ages, not only by Petrus Comestor in his Historia Scholastica, but also by another author familiar to Dante, Petrus Damiani,24awho plays a prominent part in the heaven of Saturn (Par. 21). All these ancient commentators say, with slight variations, that the house of Rahab alone with all its inhabitants escaped destruction just as the Church will alone be saved; and that she was freed from the 'fornication of the world' by the window of confession, in which she bound the scarlet thread, sanguinis Christi signum. Thus, she becamefigura ecclesiae, and the scarlet thread (just like the posts struck with the blood of the Lamb, Exod. 12) became a symbol of Christ's redeeming sacrifice. The conception of Jericho as eternal perdition was supported by the parable from Luke 10, 30 ('homo quidam descendebat ab Ierusalem in Iericho, et incidit in latrones ... '), generally interpreted as a figure of the fall of man. In the same way, the victory gained con l'una e l'altera palma seems to allude to the victory of Joshua won with outstretched hands (Exod. 17 with Jos. 8; cf. Sir. 46, 1-3), as a figure of the victory of Christ, whose hands were outstretched on the cross. It has been asked many times whether the alta vittoria for which Rahab stands as a sign is that of Joshua or that of Christ, and the commentators have decided for one or the other possibility. But she stands for both: for the victory of Joshua inasmuch as Joshua figures Christ, for that of Christ inasmuch as Christ 'fulfills'


Quaestionesin Vetus Testamentum,in Josue, cap. II and VII, Patr. Lat., LxxxIII, 371-374. Sermo 57, ibid., CXLVI, 1074. 825, or Collectaneain Vet. Test., ibid., CXLV,


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Joshua; figuram implere is the term used by the Fathers of the Church. Of course, it is the figurative sense which gives to the literal sense its importance and only by the former can the prominent position of Rahab be explained. But both terms of a figurative relation are equally true, equally real, equally present: the figurative sense does not destroy the literal, and the literal does not deprive the figurative of its quality of a real historical event. I have tried to explain this in my above quoted article 'figura.' Obviously, the last sentence too, che poco tocca al papa la memoria, is to be understood in a twofold and figurative manner. It is not only the Holy Land in its concrete terrestrial sense, terrena Jerusalem, which the Pope has forgotten by fighting against Christians instead of liberating it; he also, for the sake of the maledetto fiore, has lost all memory of our city to come, aeterna Jerusalem.

In the 13th Canto of the Paradiso Thomas Aquinas speaks of the two persons who were created immediately by the Trinity, and in whom therefore human nature reached its highest perfection: Pero se '1caldo amorla chiaravista de la primavirtu disponee segna tutta la perfezionquivi s'acquista Cosi fu fatta gia la terra degna di tutta l'animalperfezione; cosi fu fatta la Verginepregna: Si ch'io commendola tua opinione che l'umananaturamai non fue
ne fia qual fu in quelle due persone. (vv. 79-87)

These two persons are Adam and Christ; this is evident, and has been almost universally acknowledged.25We have to deal here with Christ the man, 'l'uom che nacque e visse senza pecca' (Inf. 34, 115). It may be interesting to note that Dante not only followed the general tradition in his treatment of the theme Adam-Christ, but that he even had models for the special development of the figure terra-Maria. On this matter, there is the following statement in the Allegoriae in Vetus Testamentum,cap. vII (Appendix to Opera Hugonis de Sancto Victore,
Patr. Lat., CLXXV,639): est: virgo terra, virgo Maria. Sicut de terra divina operatione factus est corpus humanum sic de Virgine divina operatione Verbum creditur incarnatum. Sine macula fuit corpus Adae sumptum de terra ("di tutta l'animal perfezione"), et immaculatum corpus Christi animatum de Maria. Adam factus est in sexta seaculi die, Christus natus est in sextae aetate, et passus est in sexta hora diei, sexta feria hebdomadae. Adam obdormivit ut de

Terrade qua primushomo natus est, significatVirginem,de qua secundushomo natus

25 I still find a mistakeon this subjectin Etienne Gilson'sotherwisevery usefulbook Danteet la as (Paris,1939),253;this is the moreremarkable, Gilsonis an experton the medievalinterphilosophie raisonnements usitesau Moyen Age,' pretationof the Bible; see his article'De quelques scripturaires

in Les Id&eset les Lettres (Paris 1932).

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costa eius fieret Eva, Christus sopitus est ut de sanguine eius redimeretur Ecclesia. Adam sponsus et Eva de ipso facta sponsa, Christus sponsus et sponsa ab ipso redempta Ecclesia. Adam debuit praeesse et regere Evam, Christus praeest et regit Ecclesiam. Terra ergo Maria; sexta feria, sexta aetas, vel sexta dies, vel sexta hora. Adam Christus; dormitio Adae, passio Christi; conditio Evae, redemptio Ecclesiae. Ad similitudinem quoque Adae et Evae, Christi et Ecclesiae, est Deus sponsus cuiuslibet fidelis animae. All these motifs are traditional, though I have not found the figure terraMaria ('virgin soil') anywhere else except in Dante and in this passage from the Dubia of Hugo of St Victor. But it too must belong to the tradition, since the Allegoriae are nothing else than a compendium of traditional typology. More widespread is the figure Eva-Ecclesia, in connexion with the lateral wounds26 and the relation between Adam's sleep and Christ's Passion; it was familiar already to Tertullian who writes (De Anima, 43): 'Si enim Adam de Christo figuram dabat, somnus Adae mors erat Christi dormituri in mortem, ut de iniuria lateris eius vera mater viventium figuraretur Ecclesia.' As for the figure Eva-Maria, it has been, I think, most beautifully presented by Bernard of Clairvaux; the following passage comes from the once famous Sermo de aquaeductu (In nativitate B. Mariae Virginis, 6, Patr. Lat., CLXXXIII,441), which we will have to quote

again afterwards: 'Ne dixeris ultra, o Adam: mulier quam dedisti mihi dedit
mihi de ligno vetito; dic potius: mulier quam dedisti mihi me cibavit fructu

benedicto.' VI. PELLES SALOMONIS For the verses Par. 27, 136-138:
Cosi si fa la pella bianca nera nel primo aspetto de la bella figlia di quel ch'apporta mane e lascia sera,

the interpretation of the daughter of the sun ('di quel ch'apporta mane e lascia sera') as Circe, given first by Filomusi-Guelfi, seems to me not an ideal solution, in spite of Michele Barbi's approval and in spite of the fact that some earlier passages27may be alleged to support it. Neither am I inclined to accept the explanation of filia solis as humanity by referring to Par. 22, 116, where the sun is called padre d'ogni mortal vita. Indeed, I too believe that humanity or at least Christianity is meant, but that cannot be established in this way, and if for no other reason than that mortal vita is not humanity alone. I think that those are on the right track who have referred to the Canticles for an explanation. But they base themselves, as far as I know, only on Cant. 7, 1 in connexion with Psalm 44, 14, where filia principis or regis is mentioned; this was sometimes interpreted, in the Middle Ages, as the Church. But it is a rather weak support; for principis or regis is not solis; and every expert in the figurative tradition will agree with me that the Church (or Christianity or the faith26 With this is connected the legend of Longinus' lance and the Graal. Unfortunately, I have not yet seen Burdach's posthumous book on the Graal. 27 Purg, 4, 40-42; 19, 22-24; cf. Vergil, Ven. 7, 11 and Ivid, Met. 14, 346.


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ful soul) is very often symbolized as sponsa Christi, but scarcely as his daughter28 -and there is no doubt that the sun, in the typological tradition, can mean nothing else but Christ, sol iustitiae and oriens ex alto. It is very likely that Dante was in difficulties for a rhyme, and thus he may have combined the unusual image filia principis with sponsa solis; or even, the difficulty of the rhyme may have induced him to a somewhat violent and ambiguous order of words: so that di quel ch'apporta mane e lascia sera would depend not on figlia, but on primo aspetto; thus, the problem filia solis would disappear, and the sentence, in normal word-order, would run: Cosi si fa la pelle bianca della bella But although I personally am very figlia nera, nel primo aspetto di quel.... much inclined to adopt this solution, I have no means of proving it. Anyway, the motifs bella figlia, pelle bianca, nera, sole contain for the mediaeval reader a reference to another passage of the Canticles, namely 1, 4-5: 'nigra sum sed formosa, filiae Jerusalem, sicut tabernaculum Cedar, sicut pelles Salomonis; nolite me considerare quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me sol.' The allusion is the more evident (not for us, but for the mediaeval reader), since before in the entire 27th canto the theme of the corruption of the Church (or anger and shame about it) had constantly been connected with change or loss of colour (v. 13-15; 19-21; 28-36; see also Par. 22, 91-93). The interpretation of Cant. 1, 4-5 has produced such rich and varied speculation that the explanation of Dante's verses is not immediately facilitated by this reference; one thing at least is evident, that the filia or sponsa of the Canticles is the Church or Christianity, that therefore we have to deal with its corruption. Moreover, I shall quote some commentaries on the Canticles which may perhaps help to a more accurate understanding of Dante's intention. I begin by adducing a characteristic passage from Bernard of Clairvaux' Sermons. At this point he refers nigra only to tabernaculum Cedar, formosa only to pelles Salomonis, and he thus begins the exposition of this second comparison: Quid est ergo quod dicit: formosa sum sicut pelles Salomonis? Magnum et mirabile quiddam, ut ego aestimo: sed tamen non hunc, sed illum attendamus de quo dicitur: Ecce plus quam Salomo hie (Matth. 19, 49). Nam usque adeo is meus Salomon est, ut non modo pacificus (quod quidem Salomon interpretatur), sed et pax ipsa vocatur, Paulo perhibente quia ipse est pax nostra [Ephes. 2, 14]. Apud istum Salomonem non dubito posse inveniri, quod decori sponsae omnino comparare non dubitem. Et praesertim de pellibus eius adverte in Psalmo: Extendens, ait, coelum sicut pellem [Ps. 103, 2]. Non ille profecto Salomon, etsi multum sapiens, multumque potens, extendit coelum sicut pellem; sed is potius, qui non tam sapiens quam ipsa Sapientia est, ipse prorsus extendit et condidit. Istius siquidem, et non illius illa vox est: Quando praeparabat coelos, haud dubium quin Deus Pulcherrima pellis, quae in modum magni cuiusdam Pater, et ego aderam [Prov. 8, 27]..... tentorii universam operiens faciem terrae, solis, lunae atque stellarum varietate tam spectabili humanos oblectat aspectus. Quid hac pelle formosius? Quod ornatius coelo? Minime tamen vel ipsum ullatenus conferendum gloriae et decori sponsae, eo ipso sucbut of Daughter, filia, appearsvery often as daughterof Sionordaughter Jerusalem, scarcely,in the meaning'Church,' with a genitive indicatingthe father. Jeromewrites (Epist. 54, 3, 3): 'anima and as quaeDei filianuncupatur;' hereandthereonefindsfiliaPharaonis interpreted eccle8iabut these are scatteredpassages.I nowherefindfilia solis or Christi.

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cumbens, quod praeterit et haec figura ipsius, utpote corporea, et corporeis subjacens sensibus ... [Then follows the interpretation of pellis not as coelum visibile et corporeum, but as coelum intellectuale et spirituale]. Patr. Lat., CLXXXIII,913-914. Solomon thus becomes a type of Christ, and pelles, by combination with extendit coelum sicut pellem, becomes heaven.29 Spontaneously the idea presents itself: perhaps Dante really meant pellis as heaven, so that the passage would have to be interpreted: therefore heaven becomes obscured - a thing which has just happened, shortly before, during Peter's speech, in the same canto? It is not impossible that Dante had such an idea in mind; but the tradition offers still other less complex interpretations of Cant. 1, 4-5.30 Gregory writes in his Expositio super Cantica (ibid., LXXIX, 486): . .. Quomodo formosa sicut pelles Salomonis? Fertur Salomo quando templum aedificavit omnia illa vasa templi factis pellibus cooperuisse. Sed nimirum pelles Salomonis decorae esse potuerunt in obsequium regis. Sed quia Salomon interpretatur pacificus, nos ipsum verum Salomonem intelligamus; quia omnes animae adhaerentes Deo pelles Salomonis sunt ... He thus regards pelles as the souls of the faithful; and Honorius of Autun, with a reference to the arca Dei posita in medio pellium (2 Sam. 7, 2), explains pelles as ecclesia (ibid., cLxxII, 368). Even by the detour coelum we may return to ecclesia, as is shown by a text of Adam Scotus which I wish to quote also because it demonstrates the relation of figural speculations on pellis and decoloratio with political themes familiar and important to Dante. In Sermo XXX in die S. Stephani Protomartyris, describing Stephan's vision of Heaven while being stoned, he refers to the passage extendit coelum sicut pellem and gives a sevenfold explanation of coelum: the first is Sancta Ecclesia: 'Nonne tibi videtur sancta Ecclesia esse coelum, in qua velut sol fulget sacerdotium, ut luna lucet, regnum et quot sanctos viros quasi tot praeclaras habet stellas?' But these heavenly lights are already darkened, the corruption has begun, a fact which he corroborates by many scriptural passages, above all Joel 2, 31: 'Sol convertetur in tenebras, et luna in sanguinem.' Afterwards sol and luna are discussed separately; a great number of themes appear which Dante used later in the same context, for ex. the dragon's tail (Apoc. 12, 4; Purg. 32, 130-135). Finally he quotes Apoc. 6, 12-13: 'sol factus est niger tamquam saccus cilicinus, et luna tota facta est sicut sanguis, et stellae ceciderunt super terram: pro eo quod sacerdotium asperitas iniquitatis denigrat, imperium furor crudelitatis cruentat, alii vero sancti relicta altitudine contemplationis coelestis devolvuntur in terrenis.... ' (Patr. Lat., cxciii, 272)
29 Behindthis is hiddenthe Oriental and Greekconception 'mantleof the universeandtent of the of und sky (Weltenmantel Himmelszelt),'the title of RobertEisler'swell-knownbook. Bernardrefers to this by the wordsmagnicuiusdam tentoriietc. Prof. W. Kranz calls my attention to the Greek the versionin Pherekydes Syros (Diels, Vorsokratiker,ed. [Berlin,1934],I, 48), concerning mar5 of riagebetweenthe highestgod of Heavenand Earth. 30'Non enim sine causa sane multiplexspiritusa Sapientedescribitur, nisi quod sub uno litterae cortice diversosplerumquesapientiaeintellectus tegereconsuevit' (BernardusClarav. Patr. Lat.,

CLXXXIIJ, 1009).


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The denigratio of the Sacerdotium leads us back to the decoloratioin Cant. 1, 4-5. Most of the explanations given by mediaeval commentators are not suitable for our purpose; they consider it mostly either as an effect of the persecution (the Church is 'black' because she is persecuted by the evil powers of the world,31 but pure, white, beautiful32within because of her virtues) - or as an effect of the burning grace of Christ. But only discoloration through moral corruption would suit our purpose; this is suggested by some passages of Gregory and of one may also quote Bernard's words concerning Sir. 13, 1 ('qui tangit Honorius;33
picem' etc., ibid., CLXXXIII,1178).

None of the explanations of Cant. 1, 4-5 which I know is altogether suitable for our Dante passage; but that could not be otherwise. For Dante's sequence of ideas is his peculiar property; no other, before him, would have said that the corruption of the Church in his time had led to a darkening of heaven comparable to that following the Passion of Christ; or that the sviare of human society was due to the lack of imperial power; these ideas were his own, and so he had to use the motifs figlia, pelle, decolorareas they suited his purpose. Thus, he gave a variant or new combination of the traditional interpretations: human society (sponsa Christi, la bella figlia) loses her colour in the sight of the bridegroom or (in the sight of Christ, nel primo aspetto),34 even, if my conjecture concerning the syntactical structure is correct, 'nel primo aspetto di quel ch'apportamane e lascia sera' - just as in his sight, ne la presenza del Figliuol di Dio (v. 24), the throne of Peter is vacant. It is not very important whether one understands pellis as coelum, or simply as an image of the Church or Christianity used by the sponsa of the Canticles as a comparison with herself. The interpretation resulting from our observations is not new; many scholars have been convinced that the corruption of the Church or of Christianity was meant. It is, however, not our principal purpose to give new interpretations, but to contribute to the understanding of the poetical and symbolical world in which Dante lived.

In the verses of the prayer to Mary (Par. 33) Qui sei per noi meridianaluce di caritade;e giuso, intra i mortali sei di speranzafontana vivace Dante uses the images meridianaface and fontana for the contrast 'here in heaven' and 'down on earth.' It is Bernard of Clairvaux whom Dante makes speak thus, and the same images are to be found, in the same contrast, in Bernard's aboveinterpretation is supported by the following verse: 'filii matris meae p ugnaverunt contra me.' It is, I think, well known that candidum and formosum are morally equivalent. a3 Gregory: 'qui se in Christo peccatorem invenit, in sole se decoloratum invenit.' Honorius: 'nigra in peccatis, formosa quia exemplo Christi ornata sum virtutibus.'-To the same figurative connexion belongs the "Aethiopissa" (Num. 12, 1); cf. Patr. Lat., cLXXIII, 159. 34 Cf. Thesaurus linguae latinae, s. v. aspectus ('de praesentia et conversatione,' II 805); see also the articles conspectusand facies, and L. Spitzer, Modern Philology, XLII,184-185.

31 This

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quoted sermon de aquaeductu (In Nativ. B. Mariae Virg. Sermo, 2-4, Patr. Lat., cL xIII, 439-440); however they there refer not to Mary, but to Christ. In Bernard's sermon Christ is fons indeficiens, fons hortorum,fons vitae, but Mary is the aqueduct which leads the water to us: . . Descenditper aquaeductum vena illa coelestis,non tamenfontis exhibenscopiam,sed stillicidia gratiae arentibus cordibus nostris infundens, aliis quidem plus, aliis minus. Plenus equidemaquaeductus,ut accipiant caeteri de plenitudine,sed non plenitudinem ipsam. Advertistis iam, ni fallor, quem velim dicere aquaeductum,qui plenitudinem fontis ipsius de corde Patris excipiens,nobis edidit illum, si non prout est, saltem prout caperepoteramus.Nostis enim cui dictum est: Ave gratiaplena.... The image meridiana face comes from Bernard's interpretation of Cant. 1, 6, 'indica mihi quem diligit anima mea, ubi pascas, ubi cubes in meridie.' It cannot be clearly gathered from the brief allusions of the sermon de aquaeductu,but is fully explained in the commentary to the quoted verse of the Canticles (Sermones
in Cant. XXXIII, Patr. Lat., CLXXXIII,951). That noon which the bride searches

for, while she still walks in the flesh, while she only through faith possesses a shadow of the truth, is eternal beatitude: 'etenim illa meridies tota est dies, et ipse nesciens vesperam;' or a little later: . . . sane extunc (after Christ'sascension)elevatus est sol, et sensimdemumdiffundens suos radios super terram coepit paulatim ubique clarior apparerefervidiorquesentiri. Verumquantumlibetincalescatet invalescat..., non tamen ad meridianum perveniet lumen,nec in illa sui plenitudinevidebiturmodo, in qua videndusest postea, ab his dumtaxat, quos hac visione ipse dignabitur.O vere meridies, plenitudo fervoris et lucis, solis statio, umbarumexterminatio, desiccatio paludum, fetorum depulsio! O perenne solstitium,quandoiam non inclinabiturdies! O lumen meridianum.... ['Showme that spot, as Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, still in the flesh, saw God face to face:'] vel etiam quomodoPaulus raptus in paradisumaudivit verba ineffabilia,et Dominum suum Jesum Christumvidit oculis suis; ita ego quoquete in luminetuo et in decoretuo per mentis excessum merear contemplari,pascentem uberius, quiescentem securius. Nam et hic pascis, sed non in saturitate;nec cubarelicet, sed stare et vigilarepropter timoresnocturnos.Heu! nec claralux, nec plena refectio,nec mansiotuta: et ideo indica mihi ubi pascas, ubi cubes in meridie... '
* * *

I should like to express my sincere thanks to my colleague Prof. W. Kranz for his many valuable observations, and to Mr. H. S. Boyd for his kind help in translating this article into English.