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Dante Alighieri (1265–1321): an “infernal” endocrinological observation

Abstract

The year 2021 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. Is it appropriate to celebrate this anniversary in a journal of endocrinology? The answer is yes—the motivation for this being found in the giants that Dante, in his Divine Comedy, places around the well that divides Circle 8 from Circle 9 of Hell. The “Supreme Poet” describes one of the giants (Nimrod, a Biblical character) as having a large and elongated face with a body of gargantuan proportions. Such a description immediately calls to mind the characteristics of acromegalic prognathism, the huge stature being the most pathognomonic aspect. Is it possible that the sharp eye of Dante had observed such a feature in people affected by actual gigantism?

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Correspondence to Emanuele Armocida.

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Mandarano, P., Masciangelo, G. & Armocida, E. Dante Alighieri (1265–1321): an “infernal” endocrinological observation. Hormones (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-021-00336-9

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Keywords

  • Dante
  • Giants
  • Proganitsm
  • Gigantism
  • Divine Comedy
  • Nimrod