As Virgil and Dante descend into the seventh pocket of the Eighth Circle of Hell, they arrive at a collapsed bridge that forces Virgil and Dante to navigate through a steep slope littered with crags and rocks. On the way up the rigorous terrain, Dante loses his breath, becomes fatigued, and flops to the ground. Virgil scolds Dante's indolence, and urges him onward, stating that a long and steep climb still awaits him. Once they arrive in the Seventh Pocket, Dante and Virgil come across an arch which forms a wide span across the pocket. Dante moves to the edge of the cliff, to gaze downward into the deep abyss but is unable to see anything. He asks Virgil to take him deeper so that he may understand the sounds he hears coming from beneath. Virgil takes Dante down into the gorge. Once there, Dante witnesses the seventh pocket: The pocket of thieves. Dante watches as the sinful thieves are punished by masses serpents that chase and attack them. First, they coil like ropes around the hands and legs of the naked sinners, binding them completely. Once the hands are bound, another snake emerges to bite the bound sinner on the nape of his neck, the sinner then explodes into flame dissolves into a pile of ash. However, their punishment does not end there. From the ashes, the sinner re-forms and must endure the same torment again and again. Virgil spots one soul, a Tuscan named Johnny (Vanni) Fucci, whom Dante in fact knew back on the surface of Earth. Johnny, reluctantly, tells his story of how he was placed in the seventh pocket. Johnny explains that he robbed a sacristy, and blamed it on another soul, thereby earning his divine justice in the pocket of thieves.
In Canto 24, Dante introduces the political antagonist, Johnny Fucci, who's particular crime was stealing silver ornaments from the sacristy of Pistoia, only to lay the blame on someone else. Johnny Fucci was the bastard son of Fuccio de' Lazzari, and a militant leader of the Blacks in Pistoia. His infamy as a...
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