At some point during his exile, he conceived of the Comedy , but the date is uncertain. The work is much more assured and on a larger scale than anything he had produced in Florence; it is likely he would have undertaken such a work only after he realized his political ambitions, which had been central to him up to his banishment, had been halted for some time, possibly forever.
It is also noticeable that Beatrice has returned to his imagination with renewed force and with a wider meaning than in the Vita Nuova ; in Convivio written c. An early outside indication that the poem was underway is a notice by Francesco da Barberino, tucked into his Documenti d'Amore Lessons of Love , written probably in or early Speaking of Virgil, Francesco notes in appreciative words that Dante followed the Roman classic in a poem called "Comedy" and that the setting of this poem or part of it was the underworld; i.
It has been suggested that a knowledge of Dante's work also underlies some of the illuminations in Francesco da Barberino's earlier Officiolum [c. Paradiso seems to have been published posthumously. In Florence, Baldo d'Aguglione pardoned most of the White Guelphs in exile and allowed them to return. In Henry assaulted Florence and defeated the Black Guelphs, but there is no evidence that Dante was involved.
Some say he refused to participate in the assault on his city by a foreigner; others suggest that he had become unpopular with the White Guelphs, too, and that any trace of his passage had carefully been removed.
He returned to Verona, where Cangrande I della Scala allowed him to live in certain security and, presumably, in a fair degree of prosperity. During the period of his exile Dante corresponded with Dominican theologian Fr. In , Florence was forced by Uguccione della Faggiuola the military officer controlling the town to grant an amnesty to those in exile, including Dante. But for this, Florence required public penance in addition to a heavy fine. Dante refused, preferring to remain in exile. When Uguccione defeated Florence, Dante's death sentence was commuted to house arrest on condition that he go to Florence to swear he would never enter the town again.
He refused to go, and his death sentence was confirmed and extended to his sons. He still hoped late in life that he might be invited back to Florence on honorable terms. For Dante, exile was nearly a form of death, stripping him of much of his identity and his heritage. He addressed the pain of exile in Paradiso , XVII 55—60 , where Cacciaguida, his great-great-grandfather, warns him what to expect:. You shall leave everything you love most: this is the arrow that the bow of exile shoots first.
You are to know the bitter taste of others' bread, how salty it is, and know how hard a path it is for one who goes ascending and descending others' stairs As for the hope of returning to Florence, he describes it as if he had already accepted its impossibility in Paradiso , XXV, 1—9 :.
If it ever comes to pass that the sacred poem to which both heaven and earth have set their hand so as to have made me lean for many years should overcome the cruelty that bars me from the fair sheepfold where I slept as a lamb, an enemy to the wolves that make war on it, with another voice now and other fleece I shall return a poet and at the font of my baptism take the laurel crown He finished Paradiso and died in aged 56 while returning to Ravenna from a diplomatic mission to Venice, possibly of malaria contracted there.
Bernardo Bembo, praetor of Venice , erected a tomb for him in On the grave, a verse of Bernardo Canaccio , a friend of Dante, is dedicated to Florence:. The first formal biography of Dante was the Vita di Dante also known as Trattatello in laude di Dante , written after by Giovanni Boccaccio. Florence eventually came to regret Dante's exile, and the city made repeated requests for the return of his remains.
The custodians of the body in Ravenna refused, at one point going so far as to conceal the bones in a false wall of the monastery. Nonetheless, a tomb was built for him in Florence in , in the Basilica of Santa Croce. That tomb has been empty ever since, with Dante's body remaining in Ravenna, far from the land he had loved so dearly. The front of his tomb in Florence reads Onorate l'altissimo poeta —which roughly translates as "Honor the most exalted poet".
The phrase is a quote from the fourth canto of the Inferno, depicting Virgil's welcome as he returns among the great ancient poets spending eternity in limbo. The ensuing line, L'ombra sua torna, ch'era dipartita "his spirit, which had left us, returns" , is poignantly absent from the empty tomb. A copy of Dante's so-called death mask has been displayed since in the Palazzo Vecchio ; scholars today believe it is not a true death mask and was probably carved in , perhaps by Pietro and Tullio Lombardo.
Italy's first dreadnought battleship was completed in and named Dante Alighieri in honor of him. On April 30, , in honor of the th anniversary of Dante's death, Pope Benedict XV promulgated an encyclical named In praeclara summorum , calling him one "of the many celebrated geniuses of whom the Catholic faith can boast" and the "pride and glory of humanity". In , a reconstruction of Dante's face was undertaken in a collaborative project. In , the Municipality of Florence officially apologized for expelling Dante years earlier.
A celebration was held in at Italy's Senate of the Republic for the th anniversary of Dante's birth. It included a commemoration from Pope Francis. Of the books, Purgatorio is arguably the most lyrical of the three, referring to more contemporary poets and artists than Inferno ; Paradiso is the most heavily theological, and the one in which, many scholars have argued, the Divine Comedy' s most beautiful and mystic passages appear e.
With its seriousness of purpose, its literary stature and the range—both stylistic and thematic—of its content, the Comedy soon became a cornerstone in the evolution of Italian as an established literary language. Dante was more aware than most early Italian writers of the variety of Italian dialects and of the need to create a literature and a unified literary language beyond the limits of Latin writing at the time; in that sense, he is a forerunner of the Renaissance, with its effort to create vernacular literature in competition with earlier classical writers.
Dante's in-depth knowledge within the limits of his time of Roman antiquity, and his evident admiration for some aspects of pagan Rome, also point forward to the 15th century. Ironically, while he was widely honored in the centuries after his death, the Comedy slipped out of fashion among men of letters: too medieval, too rough and tragic, and not stylistically refined in the respects that the high and late Renaissance came to demand of literature. He wrote the Comedy in a language he called "Italian", in some sense an amalgamated literary language mostly based on the regional dialect of Tuscany, but with some elements of Latin and other regional dialects.
By creating a poem of epic structure and philosophic purpose, he established that the Italian language was suitable for the highest sort of expression.
In French, Italian is sometimes nicknamed la langue de Dante. Publishing in the vernacular language marked Dante as one of the first in Roman Catholic Western Europe among others such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boccaccio to break free from standards of publishing in only Latin the language of liturgy , history and scholarship in general, but often also of lyric poetry. This break set a precedent and allowed more literature to be published for a wider audience, setting the stage for greater levels of literacy in the future. However, unlike Boccaccio, Milton or Ariosto , Dante did not really become an author read all over Europe until the Romantic era.
To the Romantics, Dante, like Homer and Shakespeare , was a prime example of the "original genius" who sets his own rules, creates persons of overpowering stature and depth, and goes far beyond any imitation of the patterns of earlier masters; and who, in turn, cannot truly be imitated. Throughout the 19th century, Dante's reputation grew and solidified; and by , the th anniversary of his birth, he had become established as one of the greatest literary icons of the Western world. New readers often wonder how such a serious work may be called a "comedy". In the classical sense the word comedy refers to works which reflect belief in an ordered universe, in which events tend toward not only a happy or amusing ending but one influenced by a Providential will that orders all things to an ultimate good.
In Plain Sight Alexandra Socarides. God Further reading Index. In Plain Sight Alexandra Socarides. Also of Interest. Virgil explains that he has been "hired" to guide Dante through the terrors of both the Inferno and the Purgatorio. Vossler, Karl. ISBN:
By this meaning of the word, as Dante himself wrote in a letter to Cangrande I della Scala , the progression of the pilgrimage from Hell to Paradise is the paradigmatic expression of comedy, since the work begins with the pilgrim's moral confusion and ends with the vision of God.
Dante's other works include Convivio "The Banquet" ,  a collection of his longest poems with an unfinished allegorical commentary; De Monarchia ,  a summary treatise of political philosophy in Latin which was condemned and burned after Dante's death   by the Papal Legate Bertrando del Poggetto , which argues for the necessity of a universal or global monarchy in order to establish universal peace in this life, and this monarchy's relationship to the Roman Catholic Church as guide to eternal peace; De vulgari eloquentia "On the Eloquence of Vernacular" ,  on vernacular literature, partly inspired by the Razos de trobar of Raimon Vidal de Bezaudun ; and La Vita Nuova "The New Life" ,  the story of his love for Beatrice Portinari , who also served as the ultimate symbol of salvation in the Comedy.
The Vita Nuova contains many of Dante's love poems in Tuscan, which was not unprecedented; the vernacular had been regularly used for lyric works before, during all the thirteenth century. However, Dante's commentary on his own work is also in the vernacular—both in the Vita Nuova and in the Convivio —instead of the Latin that was almost universally used. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Dante disambiguation. Italian poet. Posthumous portrait in tempera by Sandro Botticelli , This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Further information: Guelphs and Ghibellines.
Dante's tomb exterior and interior in Ravenna, built in See also: Category:Works by Dante Alighieri. Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved May 20, Oxford University Press. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The Western Canon. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription. Please subscribe or login to access full text content. If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.
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