He is said to have been the pupil of Cimabue, and was certainly the friend of Giotto, the designs for some of whose frescos at Assisi and elsewhere have been wrongly attributed to him, though we may safely believe in his helpful comment and suggestion.
To prove his love of music, the episode of Casella were enough, even without Boccaccio
The range of Dante
's study and acquirement would be encyclopedic in any age, but at that time it was literally possible to master the omne scibile
, and he seems to have accomplished it. How lofty his theory of science was, is plain from this passage in the Convito
: ‘He is not to be called a true lover of wisdom (filosofo
) who loves it for the sake of gain, as do lawyers, physicians, and almost all churchmen (LI religiosi
), who study, not in order to know, but to acquire riches or advancement, and who would not persevere in study should you give them what they desire to gain by it. . . . And it may be said that (as true friendship between men consists in each wholly loving the other) the true philosopher loves every part of wisdom, and wisdom every part of the philosopher, inasmuch as she draws all to herself, and allows no one of his thoughts to wander to other things.’1
gives us a glance into Dante
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
, and Horace, twice each; and Algazzali, Alfrogan, Augustine, Livy, Orosius
, and Homer
(at second-hand), once.
he seems to have understood little; of Hebrew and Arabic, a few words.
But it was not only in the closet and from books that Dante
received his education.