Dante Alighieri

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Durante degi Alighieri more commonly know has Dante. Dante is considered to be the greatest Italian literature writer mainly due to his work ‘La divina commida’ also know has ‘The Divine Comedy.’. He was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, along with being a political thinker. Though the poet has many works his most well known work is ‘The Divine Comedy’ which depicts his journey through hell. Though his work is well known who was Dante the man?

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Dante was born in Florence, Italy. The exact date is unknown however many believe it to be around 1265c. Dante’s father, Alaghiero or Alighiero di Dellinciom, was a White Guelph who suffered no loss after the Ghibellines won the Battle of Montaperti in the middle of the 13th century. Dante’s family like his father had loyalties to the Gueplhs, a political alliance that supported the Papacy and which was involved in a complex opposition to the Ghibellnes, who were backed by the Holy Roman Emperor. Not only did his father have loyalties to the Guelphs his mother, Bella did also however she died before Dante was even ten years old. Soon after Alighiero married again to Lapi de Chiarissimo Cialutt. She bore two children to him. Dante’s half-brother, Francasco and his half-sister, Tana(Gaetana). Their relation to one another was quite normal for the time frame also for the time frame it was a norm for young marriage which Dante took part in. By the age of twelve Dante was promised to marry Gemma di Manetto Donati however claimed already to be in love with Beatice Portinari(Also known as Bice) whom he first met at the age of nine. Years after Dante’s marriage he claimed that he saw Beatice again. She became a muse for many of Dante’s writings though he wrote Beatice several sonnets he never mentioned his wife Gemma.

Though Dante’s writings were fluid and very good there is not much known of his education. It is thought that he studied at home or at a chapter school. However it is known that Dante studied Tuscan poetry which in turn could have affected his work. Dante’s writings were always held in high regard however like I stated before Beatice was the muse for many of his writings. Even though he never knew Beatice that well he still claimed to be in love with her. Thus love for Beatice would be his reason for poetry and for living. In many of his poems he depicted her has semi-divine. After Beatice died, Dante sought refuge in Latian literature. In turn also affecting his writing.

At the time Dante and many others were involved in a great political problem. Which led to his exile from Florence. Pope Boniface had asked Dante to remain in Rome. At the same time Charles of Valois entered Florence with the Black Guelhp, who in the next six days destroyed much of the city and killed many of their enemies. Once Charles had control over much of Florence, Dante was condemned to exile for two years also he was to pay a large fine. Dante was still in Rome where the Pope had suggested he stay therefore he was considered an absconder. However Dante refused to pay the fine in part because he had lost all of his assets during the raid on Florence also in part because he believe he was not guilty of the crime. Thus he was condemned t perpetral exile, if he returned to Florence without paying the fine he would be killed on sight. During his exile he wrote ‘Commdia’ although the exact date and location is unknown. Because during his exile he went to many places staying with many people. Meanwhile in Florence Bulda d’Aguglione pardoned most of the White Guelhps in exile and allowed most of them to return to Florence however Dante had gone to far in his angry letters thus is exile was not lifted.

Though Dante hoped to return to Florence once more before he died, this never happened. Dante finished the Paradiso( A part of La Divina Commida) and died in 1321, at the age of 56. Dante’s body was buried in Ravenna at the Church now known has San Francaso. On his grave, some verses of Bernado Canaicco a friend of Dante were engrave to this tombstone. ‘Florence, mother of little love.’. Though Dante died in 1321 he greatly affected many people in history some were Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, along with Aristole.

There is much much more about Dante’s life and work ‘La Divina Commida’ that by no means am I able to fully explain however here are some sites that could better help your understanding.




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Dante Alighieri, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.