He Has Accused Himself (After Dante)

Raphel Mai Ameche

He Has Accused Himself (After Dante) | 2014 | Copper Wire and Rosewood

In Dante’s Inferno the giant Nimrod, who guards the 9th circle of Hell, shouts out, “Raphèl maí amèche zabí almi.” This phrase has no translation, as it is nonsense even in the original Italian. Virgil explains to Dante in the text that, “every language is to him the same / as his to others—no one knows his tongue.” It is often interpreted as the confusion of languages after the fall of the Tower of Babel, although for me it seems to symbolise the impossibility of relating meaning with language. Virgil goes on to say, “He hath himself accused.” This suggests his confusion is his damnation.

The font is based on one of the earliest humanist typefaces by the Venetian Nicolas Jenson in the 15th Century. This font was based on the needs and philosophies of scholars of the Renaissance who were remining Latin for lost knowledge.

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