s a glance into Dante's library.
We find Aristotle (whom he calls the philosopher, the master) cited seventysix times; Cicero, eighteen; Albertus Magnus, seven; Boethius, six; Plato (at second-hand), four; Aquinas, Avicenna, Ptolemy, the Digest, Lucan, and Ovid, three each; Virgil, Juvenal, Statius, Seneca, and Horace, twice each; and Algazzali, Alfrogan, Augustine, Livy, Orosius, and Homer (at second-hand), once.
Of Greek he seems to have understood little; of Hebrew and Arabic, a few words.fied Idea to its allegorical teaching, and this Dante understood perfectly well.
How Dante himself could allegorize even historical personages may be seen in a curious passage of the Convito (Tr.
c. 28), where, commenting on a passage of Lucan, he treats Martia and Cato as mere figures of speech. Take her out of the poem, and the heart of it goes with her; take out her ideal, and it is emptied of its soul.
She is the menstruum in which letter and spirit dissolve and mingle into unity.