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Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–c.

1321)
Bibliographical Note
Dante Alighieri was born in the year 1265, in Italy, to a fairly wealthy family who was
involved in the Florentine political scene. This involvement and the whole political setting
became a part of his book The Divine Comedy years later. His mother passed away shortly after
his birth, and at around the age of 12 it was arranged that he should marry Gemma Donati,
daughter of a family friend. They did so around the year 1285, but the truth was that Dante was
in love with another person—Beatrice Portinari, who proved to be of influence on him and play a
part in his masterpiece Divine Comedy. They met when she was still nine years old, so they were
acquainted for years. She died in 1290 and five years later Dante wrote Vita Nuova (The New
Life), which tells us of his tragic love for Beatrice.

Dante studied philosophy and was involved in politics. During his time, Florence was
very tumultuous, with political parties that represented the papacy (Guibellines) and the empire
(Guelfs). Dante held a variety important public posts, being affiliated with the Guelfs, who
wanted the political autonomy of Florence. They struggled against the other party who defended
the pope as the ultimate leader of both the church and the state.

In 1302, the leaders of the Black Guelfs (one of them being a relative of his wife) exiled
Dante for life. Some may see this as something sad, but the truth is that Dante’s exile marked the
beginning of his incredible writing period. A good number of those political figures, including
the people, eventually find their way into Dante’s very unpleasant Inferno. Dante never played
any political role again, but was still interested in it, as shown in his De Monarchia, which was

hoping that the new emperor would bring peace and rest to the political distress and spiritual matters in Italy.written while in exile. Purgatorio and Paradiso. work for which he is most known for. . The new emperor was not very lucky. His writings resemble a powerful thinker. In addition. Inferno. It is divided in three parts. however. St. and at first sight the poem may seems just that: a descritption of Dante’s travels. While in exile. very influenced by the views of Aristotle. though. and cannot be seen separately. Dante wrote extensively. and the scholastic debate of his time. Albert the Great. It was in that period that he wrote The Divine Comedy. theology and politics. Thomas Aquinas. it teachers us allegorically about the journey that will lead one’s soul to God. Dante is guided by the poet Virgil and then by his beloved Beatrice into those three scenarios. Dante also played an important role in unifying the Italian language. Besides his contributions to philosophy. Dante made sure he wrote against those members of the government and that led the poet to be completely banned from the city. In such he showed his passionate interest for Italy’s politics and that only a strong central authority could bring order to his beloved country. it is given to him directly from God. rather. in which he defends that the authority of the emperor is not dependent on the pope. his philosophy goes along inseparably with his literature. perhaps with the intent of also unifying the divided Italian territories. and soon member of the Florentine government weakened Henry VII’s image. It was then that Dante to write his political book De Monarchia. Dante was full of excitement. At a deeper level. When Henry of Luxembourg became the emperor in 1308.

(Cesare Vasoli). Philip Henry Wickstool (Translator). Charles. List of Works Editions of Italian Texts Contini. 1960. 1970–75. Princeton: {Princeton University Press. Ulan Press. ed. Veritatis Splendor Publications. Ricciardi. Translations into English The Divine Comedy (The Inferno. The Divine Comedy. 1979-88. and The Paradiso) by Dante Alighieri (Author). Dante. 2 volumes. Aurelia Henry (Translator). Opere minori. John Ciardi (Translator). Includes copiously annotated editions of the Vita nuova. (Domenico de Robertis). where he finished the Paradiso part of The Divine Comedy. The Purgatorio. 2 volumes. Poeti del duecento. along with commentary volumes that quote generously from Thomas Aquinas and others. Milan and Naples: R. (Bruno Nardi). Ricciardi.Dante passed away in Ravenna. Gianfranco. 6 volumes. Paul A Boer Sr (Editor). 2003. Monarchia. Clear prose facing-page translation. The De Monarchia Kindle Edition. Volume II contains the poetry of Guido Guinizzelli and Guido Cavalcanti. Convivio. Singleton. New American Library. ed. and where he died in 1321. 2011.. 2012. Milan and Naples. The Convivio of Dante Alighieri by 1265-1321 Dante Alighieri (Author).. . by Dante Alighieri (Author). R.

a legitimate authority. 2014.La Vita Nuova: The New by Dante Alighieri (Author). Dante argues vividly that the empire is sovereign of the Roman Empire. Dante was also very influenced by Albert the Great so it is difficult to define precisely whether Dante agreed with Aquians or Albert. He declares that the goal of  civilization is to help humans achieve happiness. Kline (Translator) CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Key Ideas  Distinguished philosophy from theology. he says that the desire for knowledge is a natural trait of human  beings and points out that by loving wisdom one will love God. The Roman Empire sought the public benefit by subjecting the world to itself. A. . At the same time. In his book Convivio. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Illustrator). therefore. he tried separating those two and did not believe the former was submitted to the latter. or that knowledge seeks understanding. which comes from self-realization. Only “temporal monarchy” can achieve universal piece. he is with Albert in that natural understanding is of its own importance. In the Paradiso his thinking echoes that of Aquinas in that philosophy prepares the mind to theology. and allows human mind to  experience or participate in the divine. It is hard. and in earlier writings considers philosophy almost as a beatitude. As much as he admired Aquinas. comes straight from God and not because of the pope. The imperial authority of the Emperor. S. Dante believes that Love is a means to reach self-fulfillment. to precisely point out where he stood as it comes to the harmony between reason and  revelation. The universe comes from the “substantial light” of the divine intellect through a  hierarchical process of lesser intelligences. or Jesus himself would not have chosen to be born within it.

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