"Merchant banker of Florence who was denounced as a heretic for his atheist beliefs. He resides with the other Heretics among the fiery tombs."
The real-life Cavalcante de' Cavalcanti was a Florentine banker and a member of the Guelph faction (Dante Alighieri's own political alignment). Cavalcanti's son Guido was even a close friend of Dante. However, Cavalcanti lent money at extreme rates during the Crusades, and despite his alliance with the Guelphs he was considered a heretic; it was implied that he was an atheist, like his son. He died in the year 1280.
"Where is my son? Why is he not with you?"
"Does he not still live?"
"Does the sweet light not strike his eyes?"
"If the soul exists, I've lost mine a thousand times for my son..."
"The soul and the body are mortal..."
"Have you brought my son's poems?"
"His sonnets merely question Church doctrine!"
"Passionate words are not danger to any person..."
"Why should my son be exiled for his words?"
"How am I guilty of unbelief by defending my son?"
"I hold no one in disdain but God!"
"All of Florence recites my son's verses..."
"Please, my sons words are all I have to remember him by..."
"His poems are sublime! Lovely works of art..."
*Absolved by Dante* "Serenity, sweet serenity..."
- In The Inferno, Dante and Virgil behold and speak with the shade of Cavalcante de Cavalcanti as they travel through the fiery tombs of the sixth circle.
- The game implies that Cavalcanti is in Hell for defending his son's poetry, which questioned God's existence. The historic Cavalcante de Cavalcanti's son, Guido, was confirmed to have been an atheist, though it is unknown if Cavalcanti himself was.
- Cavalcanti's son was also married to Beatrice degli Uberti, the daughter of a fellow damned soul,Farinata degli Uberti. According to the original epic, the burning tombs of Cavalcanti and Farinata are right next to each others', though they do not interact.
- It is interesting to note that the son Cavalcanti mourns was exiled by Dante along with a panel of judges for his part in the wars between the White and Black Guelphs, where he died of malaria upon attempting to return to Florence. Thus, it could be said that Dante is the indirect cause of Cavalcanti's consequent anguish and weeping.