Described variously as the greatest poem of the European Middle Ages and, because of the author's evangelical purpose, the fifth Gospel, "the Divine Comedy" is central to the culture of the west. The poem is a spiritual autobiography in the form of a journey - the poet travels from the dark circles of the Inferno, up the mountain of Purgatory where Virgil, his guide, leaves him to encounter Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise. Dante conceived the poem as the new epic of Christendom, and he creates a world in which reason and faith have transformed moral and social chaos into order. The work has been translated by Charles Sisson and the introduction, diagrams, maps, and notes by David Higgins provide the reader with guidance. It should be of interest to general readers, poets, students at sixth-form, undergraduate and postgraduate level studying Italian, comparative literature, comparative religion, theology, medieval European literature, medieval European history, English literature, history of art, or creative writing.