Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265, sometime between 21 May and 20 June, into a family of minor nobility. He lost his mother at an early age and his father died in his teens. Not much is known about his upbringing, but later research has revealed a scholarship that is far superior to that of his generation.
Dante was a Florentine poet, philosopher, politician, and representative European writer of the Middle Ages. He is the author of the monumental work “The Divine Comedy”, a masterpiece of universal literature with a significant impact on both literature and theology. Dante Alighieri was also the first great Italian-language poet, the main promoter of the new literary style “Dolce Stil Novo”, a literary movement that emerged in the 13th century, and promoted philosophical love poetry.
His novelty lay in the elaboration of a complete doctrine of love. Dante was a disciple of Brunetto Latini, an important representative of medieval encyclopaedism, who opened his cultural horizons and who later appears as an important figure in the ‘Divine Comedy’.
Biography of Dante Alighieri
Full name: Dante Alighieri
Year of birth: 1265 AD
Year of death: 1321 AD
Place of birth: Revenna, Italy
Spouse: Gemma Di Manetto Donati
Death cause: Natural Causes.
What is Dante’s most famous work about?
In 1274, when he was only nine years old, he met Beatrice, the daughter of the gentleman Folco Portinari, with whom he fell in love and who became the symbol of divine grace in his works “La Vita Nuova” and, later, in the “Divine Comedy”. He saw her again nine years later, in 1283 when they barely exchanged a few words. Nevertheless, his love for her grew ever greater.
Dante was devastated by the news of the death of his childhood sweetheart at the age of just 24, and would later publish his most famous work “La Vita Nuova” a work in verse and prose inspired by his love for her, in which the poet describes all the feelings he went through since he first saw her, the memory of his first greeting to which she did not respond, how he tried to hide his love for her, and then the foreshadowing and death of her.
At the age of 20, Dante married Gemma Di Manetto Donati, with whom he had four children: Giovanni, Pietro, Jacopo, and Antonia, a, and Beatrice, his lifelong love, became the wife of the Florentine banker Simone de Bardi.
Why did Dante write Dante’s Inferno?
First of all, it must be clarified why two commentators on a literary work, which, after all, is a poem, have taken pains to reconstruct geometrically, with exact measurements, Dante’s Inferno, i.e. an imaginary place. The explanation is to be found in Dante himself. Recent literature in the fantasy genre, such as Tolkien’s or science fiction, has accustomed us to describing imaginary worlds as if they were real; they fascinate and convince precisely because they are based on coherent and perfectly plausible physics and geography.
Dante wrote Inferno to heal his soul and restore his own and humanity’s values, he undertakes a journey to the three realms of the moon beyond, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise: it is a journey of knowledge, of finding the truth, but also of moral purification and the passion of man and humanity to God.
The story of this journey, which is a personal story of Dante and all humanity, contains not only Dante’s human, social and political experience, but also the entire scientific, literary, philosophical, moral, and theological knowledge of his time, and is therefore also considered a wonderful representation of the European Middle Ages.
What was Dante’s philosophy?
Anyone who has read Dante Alighieri’s Comedy (and not just the Inferno, as has been the fashion for a couple of hundred years now) understands that he is in the presence of a poet who defies many of the ideas we have about poetic art, artistic destiny, content, genre, etc. All the more so because we, today’s readers, look at these things through a system of lenses inherited from the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Modernism.
Dante begins to flirt with philosophy, and in Il Convivio (“The Banquet”) he tries to answer the question “What is happiness?”, and this is where his philosophy of happiness begins, dating from the same period, it is the first European treatise on linguistics. The comedy – called “divine” by commentators after Dante’s death – is the pinnacle of the author’s creativity, the supernova that crowns his literary work with the greatest brilliance.
Dante, fortunately, avoids these schemes, positioning himself beyond the cultural matrix that allows us today to dialogue, affectively and critically, with works of art. And this “fortunately” is what allows me to speak now about Dante’s radicalism.
What did Dante do?
In addition to poetry, Dante wrote important theoretical works, ranging from discussions of rhetoric to moral philosophy and meditations on political issues. He was well versed in the classical tradition, studying for his own pleasure such writers as Vergilius, Cicero and Boethius. But, unusually for a layman, he had an impressive command of scholastic philosophy and theology.
Dante was endowed with a remarkable intellectual and aesthetic self-assurance. By the time he was 18, as he himself says in Vita nuova, he had taught himself the art of writing verse (Chapter III). He sent one of his first sonnets, which was to become the first poem in the Vita nuova, to the best-known poets of the time. He received several replies, but the most important came from Cavalcanti, and this was the beginning of a great friendship.
His studies and personal involvement in the heated political controversies of the time led to the writing of On Monarchy (De monarchia), one of the major treatises of medieval political philosophy.
What is Dante’s Divine Comedy?
On a more general level,l this book can also be read as an allegory, in the form of a journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The poem is notable for its range of teachings, its penetrating and comprehensive analysis of contemporary issues, and its inventiveness of language and imagery.
Dante’s Divine Comedy, a masterpiece of medieval literature, is a profoundly Christian vision of man’s temporal and eternal destiny. On a personal level, it is based on the poet’s experience of exile far from his native Florence.
By choosing to write this poem in Italian rather than Latin, Dante decisively influenced the course of literary development. Not only did he give voice to the nascent secular culture of his country, but he succeeded in making Italian the literary language of Western Europe for centuries.
What was the relationship between Dante and Cavalcanti?
In the Convivio, written in Italian, and De vulgari eloquentia, written in Latin, Dante was to offer one of the most convincing Renaissance defenses of national languages
As in all encounters between two brilliant minds, the relationship between Dante and Cavalcanti was complicated. In chapter XXX of the Vita Nuova, Dante says that he wrote, at Cavalcanti’s urging, his first work in Italian, not Latin.
The supreme poet was exiled from Florence in January 1302 following a bloody confrontation between the two great rival political groups in the city: the ”white Guelfs”, who demanded that the pope’s powers be limited to the spiritual realm and to which Dante belonged, and the ”black Guelfs”, who favored the exercise of papal authority over the city’s affairs.
Where is Dante buried?
The summer of 1321 finds him in Ravenna. This city appeals to his diplomatic skills in a conflict with Venice. On his return from the northeastern republic, in the lagoon area, he falls ill with malaria. On the night of 13 to 14 September, at the age of fifty-six years and four months, Italy’s greatest poet, one of the highest spirits known to mankind over 6000 years of history, dies in Ravenna. His coffin is carried on the shoulders of Ravenna’s most prominent inhabitants and he is buried in a chapel of Franciscan monks.
The tomb of the great poet Dante Alighieri is located at the bottom of Via Dante. Ravenna was once the capital and boasts some of the most sensational Byzantine mosaics in Western Europe, which it has preserved as Italians know how to care for art.
Dante Alighieri’s mortal remains could be moved to Florenc after the mayor of the city began negotiations with the mayor of Ravenna, which for centuries has been home to the tomb of the “father of the Italian language”.
- Dante Alighieri’s best-known portrait was painted by Tuscan Renaissance painter Andrea del Castagno and housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Has regained the youth it had lost through successive interventions, thanks to new restoration work recently unveiled on the 700th anniversary of the Italian poet’s death.
- The portrait reveals a serene and peaceful image of Alighieri, very different from what was seen before, a symbol of Italian culture and spirit.
- Dante thus describes an imaginary journey in these three dimensions. In which he meets both mythological or historical figures and his contemporaries. Each of whom symbolizes a virtue or, conversely, a vice.
In 1265, on an unspecified day in the second half of May, Dante Alighieri, the greatest poet of the neolithic age, was born in Florence. The future new Athens of the world. In 1273 he began his first limited studies of grammar, logic, rhetoric. And also reading various texts, especially sacred ones.
If in Hell and Purgatory Dante is guided by the poet Vergilius, as a symbol of wisdom, in Paradise he is guided by Beatrice, the being he loved to the point of adoration and who symbolizes divine grace, helping him to find his way to God. “The Divine Comedy synthesizes the artist’s philosophical, scientific and political views while dramatizing medieval Christian theology.
Trivia about Dante Alighieri
- Alighieri, D. So. (1784). Dante Alighieri (Vol. 1). presso Antonio Zatta, e figli.
- Alighieri, D. Therefore. (1850). The Comedy of Dante Alighieri indeed author.
- D. Alighieri, But. (1912). The Convivio of Dante Alighieri. JM Dent.
- So Alighieri, D. (2007). Indeed Inferno. Inferno, 1000-1114.