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Pain and its management: Dante’s Divine Comedy

Abstract

Dante Alighieri died in 1321; therefore, 2021 is the 700th anniversary of his death. His best known work is the Divine Comedy, which explores Dante’s journey through the three realms of the underworld. Each realm is associated with three different sensations: Inferno, bodily (pain); Purgatorio, acoustic (music); and Paradiso, visual (light). The progression of the painful experiences and the resolution through music and light mirror the modern understanding of pain and its management. Music has both direct and indirect benefits and can help with coping. Sunlight promotes well-being and self-awareness.

  • medical history
  • medical education & training
  • pain management

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