Infernopedia
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“I was...a good man. A nobleman, a poet - faithful and virtuous. I took my life to protect my pride, and now I am confined to these malevolent woods.” — Pietro Della Vigna


Pietro della Vigna was one of the Damned which Dante must punish or absolve for "The Damned" achievement/trophy. He was encountered in the circle of Violence within the Wood of the Suicides.

Description[]

"Chancellor to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, he failed to defend the honor of his master. Imprisoned and ruined, he took his own life."

Background[]

The historic Pietro della Vigna was an Italian lawyer whose skill gained the attention of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II. The emperor made Vigna his Chancellor as well as his representative abroad. Vigna was an excellent diplomat to Frederick, handling negotiations with the Pope as well as arranging the emperor's marriage to an English princess. However, Vigna's fall from grace began when he designated another jurist to defend Frederick against the accusations of Pope Innocent IV, which failed. After an assassination attempt against Frederick, Vigna was falsely accused of the crime and imprisoned. When Frederick later confronted his former chancellor on charges of attempted murder, heresy and offending the dignity of his sovereign, Vigna was unable to defend himself against the accusation. In response, the emperor had the lawyer's eyes gouged out. Unwilling to take this disgrace any longer, Vigna committed suicide by smashing his head repeatedly against a stone wall of his prison, crushing his skull.

Dialogue[]

"I hold the keys to Emperor Fredericks's heart."

"...withholding his secrets from all men..."

"Bearing my office in dignity and glory..."

"So great is my fidelity to Frederick, I am losing my sleep and strength."

"All the other men of court are inflamed against me..."

"The court physician bore the Emperor a poisoned drink..."

"I was named by the court as a conspirator..."

"My honors turned to dismal mourning's."

"They put out my eyes and imprisoned me..."

"I will be unjust against myself, the just."

"Let me die by my own hand to escape disdain..."

"I will dash out my brains against the prison wall..."

"Let my good memory comfort his Highness."

"I swear to you I never broke my faith unto my Lord."

"I am ever faithful to the Lord's command..."

Trivia[]

  • In The Inferno, as they went through the Suicide Woods, Dante and Virgil behold the tree that houses the soul of Pietro della Vigna. He then speaks with Dante, telling the poet his sad tale. Dante placing Vigna in this circle rather than in a lower one suggests that he believed the accusations against the former chancellor to have been false.
Condemned Souls
Pontius Pilate ·  Orpheus ·  Electra ·  Francesca da Polenta ·  Paolo Malatesta ·  Semiramis ·  Ciacco ·  Clodia
Tarpeia ·  Gessius Florus ·  Fulvia ·  Boudica ·  Hecuba ·  Filippo Argenti ·  Emperor Frederick II
Cavalcante de Cavalcanti ·  Farinata degli Uberti ·  Attila the Hun ·  Pietro della Vigna ·  Brunetto Latini
Guido Guerra ·  Thaïs ·  Tiresias ·  Myrrha ·  Fra Alberigo ·  Mordred ·  Count Ugolino
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