Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Monitoring the Minataurs

Victorian era porn.
There are those who aspire to live amongst the gods in the clouds. There are those whose aspirations are more grounded. Then there are those who dig a great big hole so we can join them.=
The third ring--inside the first two--is a barren plain of sand ignited by flakes of fire that torment three separate groups of violent offenders against God: those who offend God directly (blasphemers: Inferno 14); those who violate nature, God's offspring (sodomites: Inferno 15-16); and those who harm industry and the economy, offspring of nature and therefore grandchild of God (usurers: Inferno 17).

Usury was similarly condemned, particularly after it was equated with heresy (and therefore punishable by the Inquisition) at the Council of Vienne in 1311. Based on biblical passages--fallen man must live "by the sweat of his brow" (Genesis 3:19), Jesus' appeal to his followers to "lend, expecting nothing in return" (Luke 6:35)--medieval theologians considered the lending of money at interest to be sinful. Thomas Aquinas, based on Aristotle, considered usury--like sodomy--to be contrary to nature because "it is in accordance with nature that money should increase from natural goods and not from money itself." Forese Donati, a Florentine friend of Dante who appears in Purgatory 23-4, insinuated--in an exchange of insulting sonnets with the poet--that Dante's father was himself a usurer or moneychanger.

The Seventh circle of Hell, Dante's Inferno
Image Wiklicommons user: Fae

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