Dante’s PARADISE, Canto 20: MOTIVES AND CONSEQUENCES

sculpture-70620_1280

https://pixabay.com/en/sculpture-constantine-york-history-70620/

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MOTIVES AND CONSEQUENCES

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Bad consequences

Donation of Constantine

But a good motive

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NOTE: The Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east to Constantinople in 330 CE. This left the Popes in charge of Rome. Dante believed that the Donation of Constantine was disastrous because it made the Popes greedy, although Constantine himself had good motives when he made his donation. The Donation of Constantine is a document giving the Popes authority in the West, including Rome, Italy, Greece, Judea, and Africa, while Constantine would hold power in the West, in Byzantium. In historical fact, the Donation of Constantine turned out to be a forgery, although Dante was not alive when the forgery was discovered. Constantine’s Donation may have had very bad consequences, but his motive was good when he made the Donation, and so he is in Paradise. From this we learn that our good motives will get us into Paradise, and that the bad consequences of actions that we do with a good motive will not keep us out of Paradise.

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Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs) (Includes Discussion Guides for Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise)

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PARADISE: CANTO 20 RETELLING

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