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The Negligent Princes: Corrado Malaspina

In the valley of the negligent princes, Dante meets rulers and lords, who, in their lives, neglected their spiritual duties and political mission towards their subjects because of their lust for power and earthly things. They sing "Hail Holy Queen" in a single voice awaiting purification. Corrado Malaspina predicts that Dante will be acquainted with his family's fame directly at his former Court in Lunigiana. In fact, during his exile, Dante was hosted by the Malaspinas in October 1306, an event that was celebrated in a 19th-century fresco still on view in the Castle of Fosdinovo.

"So may the light that leadeth thee on high
Find in thine own free-will as much of wax
As needful is up to the highest azure,"
Began it, "if some true intelligence
Of Valdimagra or its neighbourhood
Thou knowest, tell it me, who once was great there.
Currado Malaspina was I called;
I'm not the elder, but from him descended;
To mine I bore the love which here refineth.


Now go; for the sun shall not lie
Seven times upon the pillow which the Ram
With all his four feet covers and bestrides,
Before that such a courteous opinion
Shall in the middle of thy head be nailed
With greater nails than of another's speech,
Unless the course of justice standeth still."

Purgatory, VIII, 112-20; 133-39.

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