I have heard that Mandelbaum's prose translation of Divine Comedy is probably the most reliable and safe choice (outside of Pinsky's version of Inferno...but he never completed the rest of the trilogy, so I am not considering that). I have also heard that it's good to read this poem in a facing-page version, where you have the Italian on one side of the page and the English translation on the other. I don't speak any Italian, but I am willing to try this out. I haven't seen any Mandelbaum versions that have this feature, however. Do you guys know of any? If you had to narrow it down to one version of the Divine Comedy for a beginner, what would it be? Something else other than Mandelbaum? As I said, I'm a novice and I would like something with footnotes (since this makes the going a lot easier, correct?). I am assuming Mandelbaum's version has footnotes. I'm going to read the Odyssey and Aeneid before I try out the DC (I have the Lattimore and Mandelbaum translations of these works, respectively). Anyways, any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking to get a version for Christmas. I wonder what other book I should ask for? I'm trying to get through the most essential works of Western literature before I move onto more obscure stuff...I just got the complete Shakespeare. Perhaps the complete Milton or Chaucer? What else would you guys recommend for rookies to get them hooked on the classics tradition?