Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Day in History January 27, 1302

This is Dante Alighieri (born May 1265) was a medieval Florentine poet who is probably known mostly for The Divine Comedy.  He wrote his poetry in the Italian vernacular rather than Latin--a novel idea back then.    His adoration of "Beatrice" also figures prominently into his poetry.

It was on this date in 1302 that Dante had something pretty serious happen.  There was much turmoil in his beloved Italy, and he was deeply involved in politics.  The Black Guelfs took over Rome (his beloved White Guelfs had been in power previously). He was called to appear before this new government, and he chose not to.  As a result, they accused him of crimes he did not commit.  They exiled him, and when he refused to appear before them again (in March), they sentenced him to be burned to death should he ever return to Florence.

While in exile, he wrote The Divine Comedy.  He was invivted to return to Florence in 1316, but the terms were those that were often used for pardoned criminals.  He refused and never returned to his beloved Florence.  He died in exile in the fall of 1321.

I will admit that I have never in my life read any of his works.  Maybe I perused them one time in school, but nothing ever stuck with me.  I know of him, but I have yet to read his works.  I probably should, but I will admit I probably never will.

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  1. Interesting information about Dante. I am with you- I haven't read his work, but I feel like I should!


    1. Maybe we should both try to read him before we die!


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