niously to death.
Dante evidently was not satisfied with the narrow conception which limits the interest of the Deity to the affairs of Jews and Christians.
That saying of Saint Paul, Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you, had perhaps influenced him, but his belief in the divine mission of the Roman people probably was conclusive.
The Roman Empire had the help of miracles in perfecting itself, he says, and then enumerates some of them.
The first is that under Numa Pompilius, the second king of the Romans, when he was sacrificing according to the rite of the Gentiles, a shield fell from heaven into the city chosen of God.
De Monarchia, Lib. II. § 4. In the Convito we find Virgil speaking in the person of God, and Aeacus wisely having recourse to God, the god being Jupiter.
Convito, Tr. IV.
c. 4; Ib., c. 27; Aeneid, I. 178, 179; Ovid's Met., VII. Ephialtes is punished in hell for rebellion against the Supreme Jove,
Inferno, XXXI. 92. and, that there