the Imperialist can alike quote him for their purpose.
's ardent conviction would not let him see that both Church and Empire were on the wane.
If an ugly suspicion of this would force itself upon him, perhaps he only clung to both the more tenaciously; but he was no blind theorist.
He would reform the Church
through the Church
, and is less anxious for Italian
independence than for Italian
good government under an Emperor from Germany
rather than from Utopia.
The Papacy was a necessary part of Dante
's system, as a supplement to the Empire
, which we strongly incline to believe was always foremost in his mind.
In a passage already quoted, he says that ‘the soil where Rome
sits is worthy beyond what men preach and admit,’ that is, as the birthplace of the Empire
Both in the Convito
and the De Monarchia
he affirms that the course of Roman history was providentially guided from the first.
was founded in the same year that brought into the world David
, ancestor of the Redeemer after the flesh.
said that ‘God showed in the most opulent and illustrious Empire of the Romans how much the civil virtues might avail even without true religion, that it might be understood how, this added, men became citizens of another city whose king is truth, whose law charity, and whose measure eternity.’
goes further than this.
He makes the Romans as well as the Jews a chosen people, the one as founders of civil society, the other as depositaries of the true faith.1
One side of Dante