Canto XXVII By Nicholas Dewhurst English 230-02
The opening of Canto XVII begins with Virgil allowing the flame of Ulysses and Diomede to depart, and he turns his attention to another flame that wishes to tell his tale.
This flame contains the soul of Count Guido da Montefeltro, who wants to know news from the upper world about his native city, Romagna.
Dante tells him that Romagna is never with-out war and goes on to give him details of the recent past.
Dante’s wishes to know this shade’s name, and mistaking Dante for a spirit as well, the shade answers with a bit of his history.
He was a man of arms who hoped to make amends for his connection with arms by joining the Franciscans and becoming a friar.
The “Great Priest” (Pope Boniface VIII), however, asked him for counsel about how to destroy his enemies. Thus, the shade was thrust back into his old sins.
After he died, St. Francis came to retrieve him, but a devil said that this shade’s name was written in his book because the shade resolved to give false counsel.
After hearing the spirit’s story, Virgil and Dante move to the ninth pit, where the Sowers of Discord reside.