There's a special place in hell...

Lately I have been reading Dante. (Let's just leave that there by itself for a moment since it looks so literary and highly-educated and self-improving and all.) Actually, I'm reading Dante under duress because I was obliged to enroll in a class called something like "Dante, Dante, Dante." Who knows? Maybe I'll grow to love the Divine Comedy. I don't love it yet, mind you, but I'm only four cantos in, so there's time. Lots and lots of time.

However, this translator's explanation from the end of Canto I is already worth mentioning:
The gay Leopard is the image of the self-indulgent sins--Incontinence; the fierce Lion, of the violent sins--Bestiality; the She-Wolf of the malicious sins, which involve Fraud.

All right, I think I can agree that bestiality counts as a sin, but incontinence? Surely not. Messy, yes. Humiliating, yes, but not a sin. Even to call it "self indulgent" seems a trifle harsh.




[Okay, okay. If you really want to know, incontinent can mean "unchaste," but I'll be that's not the first thing you thought of either.]