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Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in the year of 1265. He is regarded as one of the most significant Italian poets and also one of the most brilliant writers of ancient European medieval times. Unfortunately, very little is known of his life. He went to the Franciscan school at the Convent of Santa Croce and later attended the Dominican School of Santa Maria Novella. According to records, it is certified that he was coached in Florence by Brunetto Latini, a very noteworthy orator and philosopher.

Dante resided in Bologna till 1285 and studied law at the university over there. During this time, he came out with his first and most crucial work, La Vita Nuova (“New Life”), which is frequently cited as one of the most exquisitely written examples of Dolce Stil Nuovo, which is a modern and conventional Florentine poetic style of writing in Volgare, known as an informal dialect. The potency which this style of writing exudes makes it a classical example of European poetry.

From 1285 until 1301, Dante is said to have held various crucial political offices in his hometown of Florence although he was later banned in 1302. The later part of his life was spent in exile with Bartolomeo della Scala in Verona amongst several others. During 1304-5, Dante created the “De vulgari eloquentia libri duo”, which consisted of two volumes on the benefits of Italian language. From 1303-1308, he also worked extensively on the fragment “Ill Convivio”, which contained 15 essays. They gave a very holistic view of the knowledge of that time period and also the knowledge of the writer.

Roughly around 1307, Dante began to work on his most ambitious masterpiece, “La divina Commedia” (“The Divine Comedy”), which he managed to finish in 1321, a short time before his death. The poem explains the journey of a first person narrator through hell and heaven, where he comes into an encounter with the souls of ancient historical figures.

This complex yet outstanding piece of work can only be understood by a person, if they have thorough knowledge of the scientific, philosophical and political situation of Dante’s time.

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