I took a philosophy course on The Divine Comedy in college, and four years later I'm still obsessed. Lately I've been thinking about getting the opening lines of Inferno (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, che la diritta via era smarrita) tattooed in the form/style of 14th century middle Italian. I've run into a few problems so far, and since none of my friends have any idea what I'm talking about, I thought someone on here might.
1) I can't seem to find any images of an early Divine Comedy manuscript that clearly show the opening lines of Inferno. I have seen this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:MS_Trivulziano_1080_incipit.jpg but the lines are all in caps and broken up to fit around the decorative first letter. I got really excited when the Bodlien library posted images of their manuscript online, only to discover that they only showed a partial image of it: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/medieval/jpegs/holkham/misc/48/500/04800374.jpg. All the later prints and manuscripts I've found lack the decorative font of the early ones, and the spelling/spacing of words differ.
Since this is a lifetime commitment--and my first tattoo-- I'm pretty rigid about the font and lettering. Does anyone have any advice about how to go about doing this?