Domenico Agostini, Encountering a Beautiful Maiden: On the Zoroastrian dēn in comparison with Dante's Beatrice



In the Zoroastrian tradition, a beautiful maiden, called dēn representing one's own good deeds, greets and helps the soul of the dead to cross the test bridge that leads to paradise or to hell. In Dante's writings, Beatrice embodies the lady-as-angel who guide the soul of the poet to God as well as his own celestial side. In comparing these different literary accounts, this article aims to stress the similar phenomenological features of these two figures and to show how they share the same role of otherworldly guide and celestial counterpart in the context of individual eschatology.