Dante Alighieri - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Dante Alighieri, author of The Inferno (Dante's Inferno); Italian Renaissance writer; Renaissance Literature; Italian Literature
Dante Alighieri   (1265 - 1321)
Category:  Italian Literature
Born: 1265
Florence, Italy
Died: 1321
Related authors:
Francesco Petrarch, Saint Augustine
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Dante Alighieri - LIFE STORIES
6/15/1300     Divine Payback
On this day in 1300 Dante was made one of the six Priors of Florence, the top political office in the city-state. Though only a two-month term -- the legal limit, so suspicious were the citizenry of corruption and power-plays -- Dante's appointment set in motion the series of events that would eventually cause his permanent banishment, and inspire some of the most memorable lines in the Divine Comedy.
6/1/1321     Dante, Florence and the Divine Comedy
Dante's lifelong hope was that his Commedia would sway the ruling powers of Florence to grant him a reprieve from his twenty years' exile. This did not happen -- he died just days after writing the last lines of the Paradiso -- but the poem was immediately popular; fifty years after his death it was being given official public readings at home, and on its way to the status of a classic everywhere.
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Divine Comedy
La Vita Nuova: Poems of Youth
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Dante: A Life in Works
by Robert Hollander
Sandro Botticelli: The Picture Cycle for Dante's Divine Comedy
by Hein-Th Schulze Altcappenberg
The Cambridge Companion to Dante
by Rachel Jacoff (Editor)
The Dore Illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy
by Gustave Dore
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Dante Alighieri: A Guide to Online Resources
Extensive collection of links to biographies, bibliographies, images and illustrations, online collections and exhibitions, discussion groups, and electronic texts.
Digital Dante
Online academic resource on Dante developed by the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University. Its centerpiece is a bilingual edition of The Divine Comedy, and a large collection of nineteenth century Gustave Doré illustrations. Also features a concise biography, timeline of life events, links to a variety of excellent Dante- and Medieval-studies web sites.

"The Divine Comedy, a vernacular poem in 100 cantos (more than 14,000 lines), was composed in exile. It is the tale of the poet's journey through Hell and Purgatory (guided by Vergil) and through Heaven (guided by Beatrice, to whom the poem is a memorial.) Written in a complex pentameter form, terza rima, it is a magnificent synthesis of the medieval outlook, picturing a changeless universe ordered by God. Through it Dante established Tuscan as the literary language of Italy and gave rise to a vast literature."
John Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
Find a scholarly essay which presents Dante as the father of modern literary criticism, and considers the writer's interest in history, ethics, poetry, critical self-reflection, and the use of vernacular language.

"The De vulgari eloquentia takes the positions of the previous two works to their logical conclusion: not only can poetae vulgares talk about the same things the poets of antiquity talked about but they can actually do this in a language that is 'nobler' than Latin, since it is older, universal, and natural. Ostensibly a rhetorical manual giving instruction on how to compose in the vulgar tongue, in reality the treatise is an 'encyclopedic' survey of language that touches, inter alia, on linguistic history, the lessons of the genera dicendi (whose efficacy Dante strongly supports), metrics, the Italian dialects, and ethics. In particular, it continues the analysis of the romance literary tradition begun in the Vita Nuova and attempts to establish that the 'illustrious vernacular,' the refined supraregional form of Italian that had primarily been used by Dante himself, was the most effective language for the writing of vernacular verse."
Renaissance Dante in Print, 1472-1629
Exhibition of over 20 Renaissance editions of Dante's Divine Comedy. Also features a short biography, information about the influence of Cicero, and concordances in literature and the movie Hannibal.

"Dante's literal models in his writing the Commedia, were the Bible and the VI canto of Virgil's Aeneid. There's also a certain influence by some Cicero's works (see the Cicero and Dante page for more info on this). Basically, Dante modified Virgil's pagan vision of after-life, according it to the religious dogmas of the Bible. Moreover, he used Aristotle's physical vision of Universe and Thomistic philosophy. The result is a typical medieval vision of the cosmos, based mainly on religious ideals, but considering also classical culture."
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February 19, 2018
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