There is this quote I have heard, supposedly from Dante's inferno, that says "The hottest corner of hell is resolved for those who, in time of greatest moral crisis, maintain their neutrality". Now I have read Dantes Inferno and it does not appear anywhere in it. Further, this isnt even true in Dante's Inferno as the neutrals are not in hell at all but really in the vestibule. Does anyone know who really said this and why it is attributed to Dante. I have heard Thomas Aquinas some places but no proof of when or if he said it.
-------------------- All that exists is atoms and empty space, everything else is just opinion -Democratus Posts: 20 | From: California | Registered: Nov 2003
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When I googled it, it was consistently attributed to Dante, but was usually quoted as "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."
You may have already seen William Waterhouse's post to alt.quotations, Hammerhead. He agrees with you and attempts to blame JFK for misquotation,
quote:This statment does not occur there (or anywhere in Dante, as far as anyone knows). It first appeared (with a reference to Dante) in a speech by J.F. Kennedy, and people have speculated that it was a paraphrase based on a memory of Canto 3. What Dante sees there are "those who lived without disgrace and without praise [che visser sanza infamia e sanza lodo]" and the "angels who were neither rebellious nor loyal to God [angeli che non furon rebelli / ne' fur fedeli a Dio]" They are in a "vestibule" of Hell.
I now see that The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum records him as saying,
quote:Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.
and attributes the quote to his "'Remarks on the establishment of a West German Peace Corps, Bonn, West Germany,' June 24, 1963, Public Papers of the Presidents: 1963, p. 503."
Speaking of misquotations,
[From "Random notes in Washington: 'Myrtle Dante' quoted by 'Kelly,'" The New York Times, 31 October 1960, p. 12. The subtitle of that piece reads "Improbable campaign items -- Vorhees will direct Cuban refugee aid." It was printed nine days before the presidential election took place.]
quote:Senator Kennedy sprinkled his speeches with lofty quotes from the literati -- so lofty that when he quoted "the immortal Dante" in Indiana, a local newspaper attributed it to "Myrtle Dante."
-------------------- Se non è vero, è ben trovato. Posts: -99014 | From: Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2000
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