Dante Alighieri

Article

May 17, 2022

Dante Alighieri, full name Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri (born May / June 1265, died September 14, 1321), was an Italian writer and poet of the Middle Ages, known for the Divine Comedy, the foremost literary work in Italian. language and one of the highlights of world literature. In Italy, Dante is called il Sommo Poeta ("The Highest Poet") or simply il Poeta ("The Poet"). Together with Petrarca and Boccaccio, Dante constitutes "the three sources" and "the three crowns". He has also been called "the father of the Italian language". The divine comedy was the beginning of the repression of Latin in favor of the vernacular Italian as a literary language, and its action renewed the art of storytelling. For posterity, the work also provides insight into the worldview of the time. Dante Alighieri is considered the original source of inspiration for Auguste Rodin when he created his famous sculpture "The Thinker".

Life and work

Earliest year and background

Dante Alighieri was born in the San Pier Maggiore district of Florence in 1265. The date of birth is uncertain, but it is believed to have occurred sometime around 1265. This can be deduced from autobiographical allusions in The Divine Comedy. In its first section, in Inferno, which begins Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita ("Halfway through the journey of life"), suggesting that Dante was around 35 years old since the average life course in the Bible (Book of Psalms, 89:10, Vulgate) is 70 years old; and since his imaginary journey to the underworld takes place in 1300, he was most likely born around 1265. Some verses in the Paradiso section (XXII 151–154) also give possible indications that he was born in the sign of the twins. In 1265 the sun was in the sign of the twins approximately May 11 and June 11. The father was a notary. Both parents died early, while the stepmother survived Dante. His one sister married a public announcer, another sister a money lender, a profession Dante had nothing left for. In Paradiso, XV, 135 he tells of his great-great-grandfather who was knighted by the emperor and fell in the second crusade, Cacciaguida degli Elisei (ca. 1098 - ca. 1148 in Palestine). Dante claimed that his family descended from the ancient Romans (Inferno, XV, 76). His father, Alaghiero or Alighiero di Bellincione, was a white guelfer who did not experience reprisals after the Ghibellines won the Battle of Montaperti in the mid-13th century. This suggests that Alighiero and his family had a prestige and status that protected them. Dante's family was loyal to the Guelphs, a political alliance that supported the papacy and was involved in a complex opposition to the Ghibellines, backed by the German-Roman emperor. His mother was Berta or Bella, probably a member of the Abati family. She died before Dante was ten, and Alighiero soon remarried, as a widower was socially disabled. The new wife gave birth to two children, Dante's half-brother Francesco and half-sister Tana (Gaetana). He was named Durante after his grandfather, Durante degli Abati, Dante was a nickname he himself adopted. At the age of twelve, he was promised away in marriage to Gemma di Manetto Donati, the daughter of Manetto Donati, a member of the powerful Donati family. Contract marriage at an early age was very common and involved a formal ceremony, including contracts signed with a notary. But by this time, Dante had fallen in love with another, Beatrice Portinari (also known as Bice), whom he had first met when he was only nine years old. The year after he married Gemma, he claimed to have met Beatrice again; he wrote several sonnets for Beatrice, but never mentioned Gemma in any of his poems. The exact date of his marriage is not known; the only reliable information is that before his exile in 1301 he had three children: Pietro, Jacopo and Antonia.Dante fought with the cavalry cavalry at the Battle of Campaldino on June 11, 1289. This victory