The name of Dante inspires the same awed reverence as that of his Florentine brother Sandro Botticelli - the arcane, neo-platonist painter beloved of the Victorians. They were separated by two-hundred years and different vocations, yet their paths were to cross - fused together by the obsessive mind of the young Botticelli.


This paper examines this extraordinary moment in history. Botticelli's second encounter with Dante's Divine Comedy through the medium of manuscript illumination. However, it also takes into consideration another important social and economic development - the buzzing Florentine map industry. Balancing the demands of Ptolemy on the one hand, and Dante on the other, this paper tells the story of one of Botticelli's greatest secrets - his translation of the great epic into pictures.