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Let My Home Be My Gallows (Zimmer Hans)

Because of his avarice... and betrayal of the Emperor's trust... Pier Della Vigna was disgraced,blinded and imprisoned. Dante's pilgrim finds Pier Della Vigna... on the seventh level of the Inferno... and like Judas Iscariot... he died by hanging. So Judas and Pier Della Vigna are linked in Dante... by the avarice he saw in them. In fact, avarice and hanging are linked in the medieval mind. This was the earliest known depiction of the crucifixion... carved on an ivory box in Gaul about A.D. 400. It includes the death by hanging of Judas... his face upturned to the branch that suspends him. Here he is again on the doors of the Benevento Cathedral... this time with his bowels falling out. In this plate... from the 15th Century edition|of the "Inferno"... Pier Della Vigna's body hangs from a bleeding tree. I will not belabor the obvious parallel... with Judas Iscariot... but Dante Alighieri needed no drawn illustration. It was his genius to make Pier Della Vigna... now in hell... speak in strained hisses and coughing sibilants... as though he is hanging still. Avarice... hanging, self-destruction. "I make my own home..." "be my gallows".