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A biography of the life and poetry of dante alighieri

While we know that Bellincione took part in the Councils of the commune, the Alighieri were not important enough among the Guelphs to be sent into exile after the battle of Montaperti, won by the Ghibellines. Studies As a young child he studied grammar and rhetoric and was familiar with the work of the major Latin authors.

Even though sporadic, the instruction he received in rhetoric, literature, politics and civics under the great Brunetto Latini, magistrate, ambassador and official notary in 1267 of the Florentine Republic who died in 1294 and is buried in Santa Maria Maggiore, was fundamental. Latini belonged politically to the Guelph party and, as a militant Guelph, he was sentenced to exile after their defeat at Montaperti. He took refuge in France, where he lived from 1260 to 1266 and wrote in French some of the most important works of his time.

In the meantime, starting with the Sicilian School, the writing of poetry in the vernacular was spreading.

If we look at the composition of this collection of thirteenth-century poets, obviously excluding the poems that would later be called the dolce stil nuovo, we see that of almost all the works only a very small percentage is not by Florentine or at least Tuscan poets. But he soon broke away from these models and, with his mastery of the dolce stil nuovo and the poems in praise of Beatrice later commented in the Vita Nuovahe became aware of the distance between him and the ranks of vernacular poets of earlier generations.

  1. In following years, his name is frequently found recorded as speaking or voting in the various councils of the republic. But Florence required that, as well as paying a steep sum of money, these exiles would do public penance.
  2. His first book was the Vita Nuova The New Life , published in 1294, in which he relates how he fell in love with a young girl Beatrice.
  3. Extant correspondence shows that the first and second parts of The Divine Comedy, the "Inferno" and the "Purgatario" were generally known around 1319.
  4. It was probably there that news reached him of the rise to the imperial throne of Henry VII of Luxembourg in 1308 his name became Arrigo for the Florentines.

The Guelphs supported the politics of the papacy and the communes and in various ways opposed the supremacy of the emperor. In 1215 Frederick II of Swabia was crowned king of Germany and five years later was proclaimed emperor. In Florence at the time, internal discord had already arisen between the long-standing and still powerful representatives of the urban landowning nobility and the vigorously expanding merchant class, flanked by the artisans and, for economic reasons, the working class popolo minuto.

The Angevin intervention in southern Italy dashed the hopes of the imperial side.

Museo Casa di Dante, Firenze

Manfredi was defeated and died in battle at Benevento on 26 February 1266. The return to Florence in April 1267 of the Guelph exiles with the support of the Angevin knights led to the definitive expulsion of the Ghibellines and the formation of a government by the Guelphs, who would rule Florence until the peace of Cardinal Latino and the assumption of power in 1282 of the common people of Florence through the Priory of the Guilds.

This new organism, by means of the Ordinances of Justice in 1293, excluded from government the group of landowning aristocrats who, despite adjustments in 1295, remained to a large extent out of power. They initiated trials and sentences against their adversaries, and in early 1302 the White side was eliminated. Against this dramatic backdrop the personal fate of Dante played out; besides belonging to the Whites, he strongly opposed the expansionistic aims of Boniface VIII. In keeping with the Ordinances of Justice, also the noblemen who were not knights could hold public office as long as they were enrolled, even if only nominally, in a guild.

From November 1295 to April 1296 he served on the special council of the Captain of the People. As a member of the White faction, Dante was appointed ambassador to San Gimignano on 7 May 1300 and elected a prior from 15 June to 15 August of that same year.

During his time in office he devoted his efforts above all to having the commune pursue a policy of independence from the hegemonic aims of Pope Boniface VIII. He left for Rome in the second half of October 1301, never to return to Florence. As Dante was absent and thus considered in default, on 10 March his punishment was changed to a death sentence.

Biography of Dante Alighieri

On 8 June 1302 we find him as one of the signers, at San Godenzo, of an agreement which committed them, in exchange for substantial aid, to repay the Ubaldini for damages incurred because of the war against Florence.

In the name of the White Guelphs, Dante wrote him a conciliatory letter aimed at negotiating the reentry of the exiles into Florence. But when the intransigence of the Blacks wrecked their hopes, the exiles took recourse to arms; however, the disastrous day 20 June 1304 at Lastra a Signa on the outskirts of Florence marked the end of any concrete possibility of going back home.

In all probability he was in Bologna between 1304 and 1306. In that city he started writing two works dense with doctrine: Both texts reveal a further broadening of his literary, cultural, civic, and political perspectives.

With them Dante wanted to increase his reputation as a scholar, with the aim of having his sentence revoked; his nostalgia for his distant homeland and hopes for return imbue both works, in heartfelt accents, even if Dante now proclaims himself in ringing tones to be a citizen of the world.

The two treatises were interrupted both because of the expulsion of the Florentine exiles from Bologna in 1306 and because he was now applying himself to his vaster plan for a major work of poetry. It was probably there that news reached him of the rise to the imperial throne of Henry VII of Luxembourg in 1308 his name became Arrigo for the Florentines.

Dante Alighieri

After staying for some time in Tuscany, perhaps with Uguccione della Faggiuola in Lucca, towards 1316 Dante returned to Verona as a guest of Cangrande della Scala who, as imperial vicar, was implementing his bold plan to create in northern Italy an extensive and powerful Ghibelline State. The last three epistles were written in 1314-1316: Epistle XI addressed to the Italian cardinals gathered in a conclave after the death of Clement V June 1314 ; number XII to a Florentine friend, in which he refuses the amnesty granted to the exiles but with humiliating conditions attached May 1315 ; and number XIII, written in 1316, in which the poet dedicates to Cangrande della Scala the canticle of Paradise, which he had just begun, and offers him a sample and a commentary, together with a very important general plan for the Comedy.

Leaving Verona around 1318, Dante spent the last period of his life in Ravenna, in serene and undisturbed quiet, as the guest of Guido Novello da Polenta.

Here he finished his major masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, begun around 1308 as a vast fresco presenting, in poetic images, the most secret adventures of his soul, his pains and hopes, the violent, lasting hates but also the loving and confident certainties of a poet and a believer, and at the same time affirming, in an exemplary manner, through the continuous judging of the men of his time and human events and endeavors, a precise moral and political conception of the world within the sphere of the ends for which God made mankind, in the dual order of Nature and Grace.

A brief sojourn in Verona is testified by the Quaestio de Aqua et Terra, a scholastic debate on a favorite topic among academics if water in some places could be higher than the landdiscussed in that city in January 1320. In Ravenna, finally, he composed two responsive eclogues in Latin to Giovanni del Virgilio, who exhorted the poet to write a work in Latin verse on a historical topic and invited him to Bologna, promising him the laurel crown of poets.

Sent by Guido da Polenta as an ambassador to Venice to settle a dispute with their powerful neighbor, on his way home he came down with malarial fever. The poet who had only recently finished writing the canticle of Paradise died during the night between 13 and 14 September 1321, leaving Italy and the world his Comedy, which those who came after him judged to be divine.