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The life and times of dante alighieri

Il Sommo Poeta: Dante Alighieri’s Life and Times

Ritratto di Dante, Angelo Bronzino, circa 1530, via Wikimedia Commons Anyone who reads the Divine Comedy from start to finish is forced to confront the most important questions surrounding the nature of God, justice, sin, the afterlife, and love. Researchers now know for a fact that Dante was born in Florence in the year 1265. All that we know about his parents is that his mother died when Dante was rather young and that his father remarried soon afterwards.

Guelf writer At the time Dante was growing up, Florence was undergoing a period of intellectual foment and political turmoil. The main political issue of the day was between the Guelfs and the Ghibellines.

Put simply, the Guelfs believed in the primacy of the papacy, whereas the Ghibellines believed in giving power to the Holy Roman Emperor. Since Latini was a Guelf, he had lived in exile in France before the Guelfs took back power in 1266.

Latini based his ideas of political philosophy and how a citizen should conduct himself from both ancient philosophers and the Bible.

Poet and teacher The first poem Dante ever wrote was probably in his late teens.

The Life and Times of Dante Alighieri

He sent his sonnet to all the prominent intellectuals at the time, which attracted the attention of a poet named Guido Cavalcanti. Dante credits Cavalcanti with inspiring him to write his poems in the vernacular, and Dante even dedicates his first book, La Vita Nuova, to Cavalcanti.

Dante writes extremely significant cantos in The Inferno where he meets both Cavalcanti and Latini in hell. Although he notes his indebtedness to both these great men, Dante felt the need to abandon their teachings in his quest for ultimate truth.

The Life & Times of Dante

Beautiful Beatrice and La Vita Nuova Although Latini and Cavalcanti were extremely important influences on Dante, the most significant person Dante met during his youth was a girl by the name of Beatrice Portinari. Scholars believe that Beatrice was the daughter of a local banker by the name of Folco Portinari.

Dante was 9 and Beatrice was 8 years old. Beatrice, on the other hand, married a banker. Both of these marriages were arranged, as was customary at the time. Published in 1293, the work is a mixture of poems and prose called a prosimetrum.

Dante’s political life and eventual exile

Many of the sonnets in this work were deeply indebted to a poet by the name of Guido Guinizelli. This new kind of poetry focused on the virtues a lady can bring out in her lover. It was also a reaction against the more fashionable municipal poetry at the time. A few key authors that influenced Dante at this time were Boethius and Cicero. Dante sided with the Whites in this struggle and became a public voice for White Guelf causes.

  • Dante was 9 and Beatrice was 8 years old;
  • Dante credits Cavalcanti with inspiring him to write his poems in the vernacular, and Dante even dedicates his first book, La Vita Nuova, to Cavalcanti;
  • Inferno Purgatory Paradise The protagonist of this epic journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven is none other than Dante himself.

Sadly, this allegiance would eventually lead to his exile from Florence. Dante was in Rome at the time as an emissary to the Pope. In 1302, the new government condemned Dante to be burned at the stake.

  • The main political issue of the day was between the Guelfs and the Ghibellines;
  • This new kind of poetry focused on the virtues a lady can bring out in her lover;
  • Dante sided with the Whites in this struggle and became a public voice for White Guelf causes;
  • All that we know about his parents is that his mother died when Dante was rather young and that his father remarried soon afterwards;
  • The main political issue of the day was between the Guelfs and the Ghibellines;
  • Sadly, this allegiance would eventually lead to his exile from Florence.

Luckily for Dante, he was able to escape with fellow White Guelf supporters. He would never set foot on his native Florence again. Dante in Exile, Domenico Peterlini attributedcirca 1860, via Wikimedia Commons At the beginning of this period of exile, Dante composed a few polemical works such as De Monarchia, De vulgari eloquentia, and the Convivio.

  1. Dante sided with the Whites in this struggle and became a public voice for White Guelf causes. All that we know about his parents is that his mother died when Dante was rather young and that his father remarried soon afterwards.
  2. Although he notes his indebtedness to both these great men, Dante felt the need to abandon their teachings in his quest for ultimate truth. Philosophers, theologians, artists, mystics, occultists, scholars, and poets have been studying this work in detail ever since it was written.
  3. Inferno by Dante Alighieri, via Wikimedia Commons Taking place between Good Friday and Easter in the year 1300, the work is divided into three main sections. The only other writer in the West that has had as significant impact on world literature would probably have to be Shakespeare.
  4. He would continue working on this text while traveling around Italy and possibly France till his death in 1321. A few key authors that influenced Dante at this time were Boethius and Cicero.

Many scholars see these works as laying the groundwork for what would become his greatest achievement: He would continue working on this text while traveling around Italy and possibly France till his death in 1321. Inferno by Dante Alighieri, via Wikimedia Commons Taking place between Good Friday and Easter in the year 1300, the work is divided into three main sections: Inferno Purgatory Paradise The protagonist of this epic journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven is none other than Dante himself.

The great Roman poet Virgil leads Dante through hell and purgatory, encountering the souls of popes, former friends, mythic beings, legendary men and women from history, and even the Devil along the way. When he reaches the summit of Mount Purgatory, Beatrice greets Dante and leads him through the celestial realms.

This poem is often compared to a perfectly constructed cathedral due to both its structural perfection and its divine message. There are 33 cantos in each of the three sections, which plus an introductory canto in Inferno make a total of 100.

Philosophers, theologians, artists, mystics, occultists, scholars, and poets have been studying this work in detail ever since it was written. Instead of dealing with the epic struggles of mythic heroes as Virgil and Homer did, Dante made himself the subject of the epic and placed people he knew whether they were Popes or peasants in heaven, hell, or purgatory as he saw fit.

The only other writer in the West that has had as significant impact on world literature would probably have to be Shakespeare.

Check out just a few great writers who have been directly inspired by Dante:

  • Researchers now know for a fact that Dante was born in Florence in the year 1265;
  • It was also a reaction against the more fashionable municipal poetry at the time;
  • He sent his sonnet to all the prominent intellectuals at the time, which attracted the attention of a poet named Guido Cavalcanti;
  • He sent his sonnet to all the prominent intellectuals at the time, which attracted the attention of a poet named Guido Cavalcanti;
  • Instead of dealing with the epic struggles of mythic heroes as Virgil and Homer did, Dante made himself the subject of the epic and placed people he knew whether they were Popes or peasants in heaven, hell, or purgatory as he saw fit;
  • Published in 1293, the work is a mixture of poems and prose called a prosimetrum.