"And more they shall be still, until the Greyhound Comes, who shall make her perish in her pain"

(Canto 1, line 101-102)

The "Greyhound" is one of the famous "riddles" in the poem. One reading interprets the Greyhound asĀ Emperor Henry VII, who Dante was a supporter of; Dante would then express his hope here that Henry might save Italy from the chaos caused by the corrupt church. Another interpretation understands the Greyhound as either Cangrande della Scala, ruler of Verona, or Ugoccione della Faggioula, ruler of Lucca, who received Dante during his years of banishment. These two figures both belonged to the anti-Pope Ghibellines. A third interpretation stresses that Dante's political beliefs were not yet fully formed by this time and that he still was a moderate Guelf who hoped that someone within the church would stand up to correct its faults. According to this interpretation, the Greyhound refers to Pope Benedict XI. In any case, the Greyhound stands for a figure with saviour-like properties.