9781458803818 / 1458803813

Aids to the study of Dante


Publisher:General Books LLC, 2012



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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1903 Excerpt: ... SOURCES OF OUR KNOWLEDGE OF DANTE Our best knowledge of Dante we gain from his published works. Beginning with the quaint sonnet which he wrote when a youth of eighteen, after Beatrice had saluted him with such ineffable courtesy, and closing with the visio Dei, we have a marvelous self-revelation of the mind of the great Florentine. We must remember, however, that Dante is fashioning his works after poetical ideals, and we reach reliable historical data only by the patient stripping off of symbol and allegory. The historical and poetical are so intermingled that the creations of the imagination must not be mistaken for accurate statements of fact. Next in importance to Dante's self-disclosure in his works is our knowledge of him derived from his early biographers. We are exceedingly fortunate in possessing a reliable account of the impression the poet made upon his contemporaries. Pope Boniface VEIL proclaimed a jubilee lasting through the year 1300. Among the throngs which went to Rome was a young man whose mind was stirred to its depths by the sights and associations of the sacred city. "And I," writes Giovanni Villani,1 "finding myself on that blessed pilgrimage in the holy city of Rome, beholding the great and ancient things therein, and reading the stories and the great doings of the Romans, written by Virgil, and by Sallust, and by Lucan, and Titus Livius, and Valerius, and Paulus Orosius, and other masters of history, which wrote alike of small things as of great, of the deeds and actions of the Romans, and also of foreign nations throughout the 1 Selections from the Croniche Florentine of Villani, trans, by Selfe and Wioksteed, p. 321. world--considering that our city of Florence, the daughter and creature of Rome, was rising, whilst Rome was decli...

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