"Behold there Farinata who has risen"

Farinata in Circle 6
Public DomainFarinata in Circle 6 - Credit: Gustave Doré

(Canto 10, line 32)

On the somewhat controversial condemnation of Farinata as an "heretic", lumping him together with the Epicureans, commentators have held many opinions. Suffice it here to say that his "heresy" was a rather complicated matter: the mere fact that he was sentenced for the crime only nineteen years after his death suggests that there were political reasons involved. On the other hand, the concept of heresy was often interpreted rather freely in Dante's time, and the Ghibelline position of opposing papal interference in secular politics would certainly in some degree have coincided with the ideas of so-called heretical sects.