"Excepting one, who sat upright as soon"
Ciacco stopping Dante in Hell
Public DomainCiacco stopping Dante in Hell - Credit: Gustave Doré

(Canto 6, line 38)

This one is Ciacco, according to older commentators a name for a pig, known as such for his gluttonous character. He does not figure in historical writings, but is said to have been Florentian. Some have guessed his identity as the poet Ciacco dell'Anguillaia, others as a certain banker, who ate and drank so much that he went blind. The "anonymous commentator" of Florence says that he was a social climber and parasite, while Boccaccio disputes this and says that he was a man of meagre means but unlimited appetite, with a glib tongue and an obsequious manner, who made friends with the upper classes and sought out any occasion for a free meal, which made him notorious among his contemporaries. Most interesting among the comments made concerning him is perhaps grouping him with poet Forese Donati and Dante himself as the three most notorious revellers of Florence! As Sapegno points out, Dante does not treat him with contempt, but seems to pity him.