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Dante Alighieri biography

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May 29, 1265 September 14, 1321

Who is Dante Alighieri?


The life of Dante Alighieri is closely linked to the events of the political life of Florence. At its birth, Florence was about to become the most powerful cities of Central Italy. Starting from 1250, a municipal government consisting of burghers and artisans had put an end to the rule of nobility and two years later were minted the first gold florins that would become the "dollars" of Europe. The conflict between the Guelphs, faithful to the temporal authority of the popes, and the Ghibellines, defenders of the political supremacy of the emperors, became more and more a war between nobles and burghers similar to supremacy wars between neighboring cities or rivals. The birth of Dante, after the expulsion of the Guelphs, the city was now more than five years in the hands of the Ghibellines. In 1266, Florence returned into the hands of the guelfs and the Ghibellines were expelled in turn. At this point, the party of the Guelphs, split into two factions: whites and blacks.

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence on May 29, 1265 (the date is presumed, however between May and June) from a family of minor nobility. In 1274, according to the new life, for the first time sees Beatrice (Bice di Folco Portinari) which falls madly for. Dante has about ten when his mother dies, the mother Gabriella ' bella '. In 1283 his father, Alighiero di Bellincione, merchant, and dies giving 17 years becomes the breadwinner.

The young Abbad follows philosophical and theological teachings of Franciscan school (Holy Cross) and Dominicans (Santa Maria Novella). This period starts and squeezes a correspondence with the young poets who call themselves «» stilnovisti. In Rhymes is the collection of the poetry of Dante, from fiorentina, youth in the course of his long literary career, which are not included in any other work. It is in this context that we can find traces of conscious detachment that followed the first draft of "Hell" and "purgatory", which would lead to Dante's false philosophical conceptions, temptations of the flesh and vulgar pleasures.

At 20 years old bride Gemma Di Manetto Donati, a member of a secondary branch of a great noble family, with whom he had four sons, Jacopo, Pietro, Giovanni and Antonia.

In 1292, two years after the death of Beatrice, he began to write the "new life". Dante is consecrated so very soon completely to poetry by studying philosophy and theology, especially Aristotle and St. Thomas. Will remain fascinated by the political struggle characteristic of that period and will build all its work around the figure of the Emperor, the myth of a failed drive. However in 1293, following a decree which excluded nobles from the Florentine political life, the young Dante is forced to follow the care of his intellectual interests.

In 1295 an Ordinance decrees that the noble riottengano the civic rights, provided that they belong to a Guild. Dante joins that of physicians and pharmacists, the same of librarians, with the mention of "poet". When the fight between the White Guelphs and Black Guelphs became more bitter, Dante takes sides with the party of whites who try to defend the independence of the city opposing hegemonic trends of Boniface VIII Caetani, Pope from 1294 to 1303 December.

In 1300 Dante is elected from among the six ' Priori»-guardians of the Executive power, the highest Government magistrates composing the Dominion-that, to mitigate the partisanship of the political struggle, take the difficult decision to stop the fiercest leaders of the two sides. In 1301, while in Florence coming Charles de Valois and the party of blacks taking over (supported by the papacy), Dante is called in Rome at the Court of Boniface VIII. Begin the political processes: Dante, accused of corruption, is suspended from public office and sentenced to pay a heavy fine. As Dante drops, like his friends, to appear before the judges, Dante is sentenced to confiscation of property and "the hangman" If you didn't find on the territory of the commune of Florence. It is thus forced to leave his city with the consciousness of being mocked by Boniface VIII, who had been detained in Rome while blacks took power in Florence; Boniface VIII you will gain a prominent place in the group stage of the "Hell" of the "Divine Comedy".

Starting from 1304 begins with Dante long exile. After the death of Beatrice to Dante's exile years he devoted himself to the study of philosophy (for him all the profane sciences) and composed the lyrics of love where the style of praise as well as the memory of Beatrice are absent. The center of the speech is no longer but "Beatrice kind woman", an allegorical description of the philosophy that traces the route of Dante to wisdom. Prepares the Convivio (1304-1307), the unfulfilled Treaty composed in the vernacular that becomes a summation of encyclopedic practical knowledge. This work is a synthesis of essays for those who, because of their social status or education, do not have direct access to knowledge. He wanders through cities and courts according to the opportunities that will be offered and will not cease to deepen its culture through the different living experiences.

In 1306, he undertook the drafting of the "Divine Comedy" which will work for all your life. When it starts "part for himself", giving up attempts to forcibly return to Florence with his friends, becomes aware of his solitude and detaches from the contemporary reality that is believed dominated by Vice, injustice, corruption and inequality. In 1308 he composed a treatise in Latin on the language and style: the "De vulgari eloquentia" which passes in review the different Italian dialects and proclaims he didn't find "the Panther of odorant» medieval bestiaries that sought, including Florence and its imperfections. Think you have picked up "the insatiable beast that vulgar that in every city exhales its odor and none finds its lair". He founded a vernacular theory that calls «illustrious», which cannot be a local Italian dialect but a language cleanup work carried out collectively by Italian writers. Is the first poster for the creation of an Italian national literary language.

In 1310 with the arrival in Italy of Henry VII of Luxembourg, Holy Roman Emperor, Dante Alighieri hopes the restoration of imperial power, which would enable him to return to Florence, but Henry dies. Dante composed "the monarchy", in Latin, where it states that the universal monarchy is essential to the happiness of mankind and Earth that the imperial power should not be submissive to the Church. Debate on relations between the papacy and the Empire: the Pope has the spiritual power, the Emperor time. Toward 1315, he was offered to return to Florence. His pride considers too humiliating conditions: decline in words that remain a testimony to his human dignity: "this is not my father, my return home, but if you first and then others don't if you find another that does not derogate to the honor and dignity of Dante, accept to walk slow and not if no such will enter in Florence in Florence I will not go never. Nor certainly will miss the bread ".

In 1319 Dante is invited to Ravenna from Guido Novello da Polenta, Lord of the city; two years later sent him as Ambassador to Venice. Returning from Venice Dante is struck by an attack of malaria: dies at 56 years in the night between 13 and September 14, 1321 in Ravenna, where today his grave yet.

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