Antica mappa dell'Istria

In the IX Canto of Dante’s Inferno the tombs of an ancient burial ground of Pola (Pula) and the Roman tombs of Arles are compared to the many fiery graves of the sixth ring, where the heretics lie. The comparison provides the poet with the occasion of defining the boundaries of the Italian region lapped by the waters of the Kvarner Gulf. Here are quoted the original verses and the translation in Istrian by Bruno Crevato-Selvaggi (Hell, IX, 112-117).

Sì come ad Arli, ove Rodano stagna,
sì com’a Pola, presso del Carnaro
ch’Italia chiude e suoi termini bagna,
fanno i sepulcri tutt’il loco varo,
così facevan quivi d’ogne parte,
salvo che ’l modo v’era più amaro…

 Cussì anca ad Arli, andò ‘l Rodàno stagna,
cussì anca a Pola, tacada a ‘l Carnaro
c’Italia sera e i su’ tèrmini bagna,
duto el teren fa i sepulcri desparo;
cussì fazeva là quel arche sparse,
salvo el vivo dolor sinsa riparo…

Here are the same lines in the English version of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Even as at Arles, where stagnant grows the Rhone,
Even as at Pola near to the Quarnaro,
That shuts in Italy and bathes its borders,
The sepulchres make all the place uneven;
So likewise did they there on every side,
Saving that there the manner was more bitter…