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December 14 – Cerberus

Cerberus by Gustave Doré, 1866 (rf PQ4315.2C33)

Cerberus, the ‘hound of Hades’, is a three headed dog with the tail of a serpent, which according to mythology, guards the gates of the underworld. Cerberus appears in many works of classical literature by Homer, Hesiod and Virgil and later in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno.

This illustration is by the French artist Gustave Doré, showing Virgil feeding Cerberus at the Third Circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. This edition of Dante’s work was published in 1866, the text having been translated into English by Revd Henry Francis Cary.

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