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han those of all other works, ancient and modern, made during the same period. Between the invention of printing and the year 1500 more than twenty editions were published in Italy, the earliest in 1472. During the sixteenth century there were forty editions; during the seventeenth,—a period, for Italy, of sceptical dilettanteism,—only three; during the eighteenth, thirty-four; and already, during the first half of the nineteenth, at least eighty. The first translation was into Spanish, in 1428. St. Rene Taillandier, in Revue des Deux Mondes, December 1, 1856. M. St. Rene Taillandier says that the Commedia was condemned by the inquisition in Spain; but this seems too general a statement, for, according to Foscolo, Dante, Vol. IV. p. 116. it was the commentary of Landino and Vellutello, and a few verses in the Inferno and Paradiso, which were condemned. The first French translation was that of Grangier, 1596, but the study of Dante struck no root there till the present centur
great Khan Voltaire's blunder has been made part of a serious theory by Mons. E. Aroux, who gravely assures us that, during the Middle Ages, Tartar was only a cryptonym by which heretics knew each other, and adds: Il n'y a done pas trop à s'etonner des noms bizarres de Mastino et de Cane donnes d ces Della Scala. (Dante, heretique, revolutionnaire, et socialiste, Paris, 1854, pp. 118-120.) of Verona, or the length of his stay with him, may have been, it is certain that he was in Ravenna in 1320, and that, on his return thither from an embassy to Venice (concerning which a curious letter, forged probably by Doni, is extant), he died on September 14, 1321 (13th, according to others). He was buried at Ravenna under a monument built by his friend, Guido Novello. If no monument at all was built by Guido, as is asserted by Balbo (Vita, I. Lib. II. Cap. XVII.), whom De Vericour copies without question, we are at a loss to account for the preservation of the original epitaph replaced by
eatrice, married to Simone dei Bardi, precisely when is uncertain, but before 1287, as appears by a mention of her in her father's will, bearing date January 15 of that year. Dante's own marriage is assigned to various years, ranging from 1291 to 1294; but the earlier date seems the more probable, as he was the father of seven children (the youngest, a daughter, named Beatrice) in 1301. His wife was Gemma dei Donati, and through her Dante, whose family, though noble, was of the lesser nobilityhave been assigned to the composition of the Vita Nuova. The earliest limit is fixed by the death of Beatrice in 1290 (though some of the poems are of even earlier date), and the book is commonly assumed to have been finished by 1295; Foscolo says 1294. But Professor Karl Witte, a high authority, extends the term as far as 1300. Dante Alighieri's lyrische Gedichte, Leipzig, 1842, Theil II. pp. 4-9. The title of the book also, Vita Nuova, has been diversely interpreted. Mr. Garrow, who publi
the first piece of Italian prose, and there are parts of it which still stand unmatched for eloquence and pathos. The Italians (even such a man as Cantu among the rest) find in it and a few passages of the Commedia the proof that Dante, as a natural philosopher was wholly in advance of his age,— that he had, among other things, anticipated Newton in the theory of gravitation. But this is as idle as the claim that Shakespeare had discovered the circulation of the blood before Harvey, See Field's Theory of Colors. and one might as well attempt to dethrone Newton because Chaucer speaks of the love which draws the apple to the earth. The truth is, that it was only as a poet that Dante was great and original (glory enough, surely, to have not more than two competitors), and in matters of science, as did all his contemporaries, sought the guiding hand of Aristotle like a child. Dante is assumed by many to have been a Platonist, but this is not true, in the strict sense of the word.
t. One has the other quenched, and to the crosier The sword is joined, and ill beseemeth it, Because, being joined one feareth not the other. Purgatorio, XVI. 106-112. Both powers held their authority directly from God, not so, however, that the Roman Prince is not in some things subject to the Roman Pontiff, since that human felicity [to be attained only by peace, justice, and good government, possible only under a single ruler] is in some sort ordained to the end of immortal felicity. Let Caesar use that reverence toward Peter which a first-born son ought to use toward a father; that, shone upon by the light of paternal grace, he may more powerfully illumine the orb of earth over which he is set by him alone who is the ruler of all things spiritual and temporal. De Monarchia, § ult. As to the fatal gift of Constantine, Dante demonstrates that an Emperor could not alienate what he held only in trust; but if he made the gift, the Pope should hold it as a feudatory of the Empire, f
o, sul fine.)), are to be noted as of probable influence on the career of his pupil. Of the order of Dante's studies nothing can be certainly affirmed. His biographers send him to Bologna, Padua, Paris, Naples, and even Oxford. All are doubtful, Paris and Oxford most of all, and the dates utterly undeterminable. Yet all are possible, nay, perhaps probable. Bologna and Padua we should be inclined to place before his exile; Paris and Oxford, if at all, after it. If no argument in favor of Paris is to be drawn from his Pape Satant Inferno, Canto VII. and the corresponding paix, paix, Sathan, in the autobiography of Cellini, nor from the very definite allusion to Doctor Siger, Paradiso, Canto X. we may yet infer from some passages in the Commedia that his wanderings had extended even farther; See especially Inferno, IX. 112 et seq.; XII. 120; XV. 4 et seq.; XXXII. 25-30. for it would not be hard to show that his comparisons and illustrations from outward things are almost in
r prince, but so as freemen preserving their own constitutional forms. He says also expressly: Aninmadvertendum sane, quod cum dicitur humanum genus potest regi per unum supremum principem, non sic intelligendum est ut ab illo uno prodire possint municipia et leges municipales. Habent namque nationes, regna, et civitates inter se proprietates quas legibus differentibus regulari oportet. Schlosser the historian compares Dante's system with that of the United States. Dante, Studien, etc., 1855, p. 144. It in some respects resembled more the constitution of the Netherlands under the supreme stadtholder, but parallels between ideal and actual institutions are always unsatisfactory. Compare also Spinoza, Tractat. polit., Cap. VI. The second book is very curious. In it Dante endeavors to demonstrate the divine right of the Roman Empire to universal sovereignty. One of his arguments is, that Christ consented to be born under the reign of Augustus; another, that he assented to
al sovereignty. One of his arguments is, that Christ consented to be born under the reign of Augustince all mankind was typified in the person of Christ, the court must have been one having jurisdictlegorical, it signifies our redemption through Christ; if at the moral, it signifies the conversion mpyrean, the city of our God, the Rome whereof Christ is a Roman, Purgatorio, XXXII. 100. the citake Science, our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith (Gal. IIsoners there with the rest till the descent of Christ into hell. Dante's Limbo, of course, is theee was nailed. But look thou, many crying are, Christ, Christ! Who at the judgment shall be far lChrist! Who at the judgment shall be far less near To him than some shall be who knew not Christ. There is, then, some hope for the man born Christ. There is, then, some hope for the man born on the bank of Indus who has never heard of Christ? Dante is still cautious, but answers the questip of sorrow in which all are communicants with Christ. He who should do this would indeed achieve t[8 more...]
October 3rd (search for this): chapter 1
the tomb of a Mohammedan saint, and is now the chief magnet which draws foreigners and their gold to Ravenna. The valet de place says that Dante is not buried under it, but beneath the pavement of the street in front of it, where also, he says, he saw my Lord Byron kneel and weep. Like everything in Ravenna, it is dirty and neglected. In 1373 (August 9) Florence instituted a hair of the Divina Commedia, and Boccaccio was named first professor. He accordingly began his lectures on Sunday, October 3, following, but his comment was broken off abruptly at the 17th verse of the 17th canto of the Inferno by the illness which ended in his death, December 21, 1375. Among his successors were Filippo Villani and Filelfo. Bologna was the first to follow the example of Florence, Benvenuto da Imola having begun his lectures, according to Tiraboschi, so early as 1375. Chairs were established also at Pisa, Venice, Piacenza, and Milan before the close of the century. The lectures were deli
s the feet in it. With Dante God is always the sun, which leadeth others right by every road. (Inferno, I. 18.) The spiritual and unintelligible Sun, which is God. (Convito, Tr. III. c. 12.) His light enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, but his dwelling is in the heavens. He who wilfully deprives himself of this light is spiritually dead in sin. So when in Mars he beholds the glorified spirits of the martyrs he exclaims, O Elios, who so arrayest them! (Paradiso, XIV. 96.) Blanc (Vocabolario, sub voce) rejects this interpretation. But Dante, entering the abode of the Blessed, invokes the good Apollo, and shortly after calls him divina virtu. We shall have more to say of this hereafter.), partaking of the divine essence by a kind of eternal marriage, while with other intelligences she is united in a less measure as a mistress of whom no lover takes complete joy. Convito, Tr. III. c. 12. The eyes of this lady are her demonstrations, and her smile is her persuasi
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