Dante Alighieri Facts

Dante Alighieri Facts
Dante Alighieri was an Italian 11th and 12th century's poet best known for his epic poem The Divine Comedy, considered by most to be the greatest Italian piece of literature ever written. He was born in Florence, Italy, in approximately 1265 to Alaghiero and Bella. Bella died before Dante turned 10 years old, and he soon had a new stepmother, and subsequently two new siblings from the new union. At 12 Dante was promised in marriage to Gemma di Manetto, whom he later married. Not much is known about Dante's education but he studied poetry and had an interest in culture, politics, and literature, which inspired him in his own writing career.
Interesting Dante Alighieri Facts:
Dante's true love was Beatrice Portinari, and she was mentioned in several of Dante's sonnets and influenced his writing.
Dante and Gemma had four children together during their marriage including Jacopo, Pietro, Giovanni, and Antonia.
When Dante was 18 he met four people who would form, along with himself, the leaders of dolce stil novo (the most notable literary movement in Italy during the 13th century). These other four people were Guido Cavalcanti, Lapo Gianni, Cino da Pistoia, and Brunetto Latini.
Dante became a pharmacist in order to help further his political career. He could not become a member of public office without holding such a position.
Beatrice died in 1290 and Dante was heartbroken.
In 1302 Dante was exiled from Florence for life by the Black Guelphs, the political leaders at the time.
While in exile Dante traveled. During his travels he wrote several works, including The Eloquent Vernacular, which was an attempt to unify the Italian territories through aspects of every Italian spoken dialect to establish the language as a serious literary language. Despite not finishing the work it was still influential in the purpose it was intended.
Dante lived in Bologna for a few years until Florentine exiles were banished and he moved on to Padua. The next few years of his life are undocumented.
Dante wrote a diatribe against members of the Florentine government in approximately 1308 and was permanently exiled from Florence.
Following his permanent exile Dante wrote The Divine Comedy. It was an epic three-part poem that he began writing in 1308 and completed in 1321.
The Divine Comedy is divided into Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. In simple terms the poem journeys through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but it holds much deeper meaning representing the journey of the soul towards God. The Divine Comedy is made up of 14,233 lines.
Dante also wrote Convivio (The Banquet), Monarchia, De vulgari eloquentia (On the Eloquence of Vernacular), La Vita Nuova (The New Life), which was the story of Dante's love for Beatrice.
Dante was invited to Ravenna in 1318 by Prince Guido Novello da Polenta, after learning he would never be allowed back in Florence. There he finished the final third of The Divine Comedy - Paradiso, in 1321.
Dante Alighieri died on the way back to Ravenna from Venice in 1321, at the age of 56. It was believed he had contracted malaria in Venice.

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