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Dante

Dante

C038/7343

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bronze bust by Augusto Rivalta of Durante degli Alighieri, simply known as Dante (1265-1321), Italian poet and author of one of the greatest European epic poems the 'Divine Comedy', a comprehensive survey of medieval theology, thought and literature. He created a new, non-dialect poetic language which was to become the basis of modern Italian. Born in Florence, he became involved in the conflict between the Florentine Guelphs (supporters of Pope Boniface VIII) and the Ghibellines (supporters of the Holy Roman Empire). He was appointed one of the priors of the city in 1300, but his political life ended in 1302 when he was put into life exile by the Black Guelphs, a situation from where he was able to write more freely in the Tuscan dialect rather than Latin, and from where he produced the greatest work in Italian literature, the 'Divine Comedy'.

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