The loose way in which many Italian scholars write history is as amazing as it is perplexing.
For example: Count Balbo's Life of Dante was published originally at Turin, in 1839.
In a note (Lib.
I. Cap. X.) he expresses a doubt whether the date of Dante's banishment should not be 1303, and inclines to think it should be. Meanwhile, it seems never to have occurred to him to employ some one to look at the original decree, still existing in the archives.
Stranger still, Le Monnier,reprinting the work at Florence in 1853, within a stone'sthrow of the document itself, and with full permission from Balbo to make corrections, leaves the matter just where it was. After his banishment we find some definite trace of him first at Arezzo with Uguccione della Faggiuola; then at Siena; then at Verona with the Scaligeri.
He himself says: Through almost all parts where this language [Italian] is spoken, a wanderer, wellnigh a beggar, I have gone, showing against my will the wo