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Dante

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Celebaelin
45976.  Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:56 am Reply with quote

Q. What is the title of Dante's most famous poem?

Inferno - uh uuuh
The Divine Comedy - noooooo!

Dante was, of course, Italian so the title was

Quote:
The Divine Comedy (in Italian "Comedia" or "Commedia", later christened "Divina" by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Divine_Comedy

and it was divided into three parts Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradisio containing a total of 100 cantos (34,33,33) each of the three sections or canticas (cantiche) ends in the word "stars".

I think I am on fairly safe ground when I say that Comedia is a satire. Healthy chunks of irony litter the landscape of Inferno like so much volcanic debris. Having had a copy in Italian thrust under my nose at University I found that it's also fairly easy to read, even without a knowledge of the language (best get a dictionary and an English copy as well I think but at a bet you'd get the gist).

 
samivel
46268.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:13 am Reply with quote

I'd always believed that Dante, rather like Chaucer, originally wrote in dialect, and it was through the influence of their work that the modern languages English and Italian took on the form that they subsequently did.
That Dante was a formative influence on the development of the modern Italian language is suggested by the fact that, in France, Italian is also known as 'la langue de Dante'.

 
Celebaelin
46283.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:34 am Reply with quote

Certainly I leant heavily on French (and some Latin) when challenged to 'read that then' after jokingly suggesting that Arts Degrees were easy, (y'know all that free time lounging around, all that oh so stressful lying in bed till lunchtime). I'd always imagined that Dante was from Northern Italy but without doing anything so constructive as to actually check on it

 
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46287.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:35 am Reply with quote

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samivel
46358.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
jokingly suggesting that Arts Degrees were easy, (y'know all that free time lounging around, all that oh so stressful lying in bed till lunchtime


I thought that was true of all degrees ;)

 
samivel
46362.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:16 pm Reply with quote

Garrick - I've found a reference to Pietro having this dream, but the article does claim Dante was born in 1268, rather than 1265, so I don't know how trustworthy it is.

 
DELETED
46364.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:19 pm Reply with quote

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Celebaelin
46783.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:45 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
I'd always believed that Dante, rather like Chaucer, originally wrote in dialect, and it was through the influence of their work that the modern languages English and Italian took on the form that they subsequently did.
That Dante was a formative influence on the development of the modern Italian language is suggested by the fact that, in France, Italian is also known as 'la langue de Dante'.


It seems that there was a considerable French influence in Italy at the time.

Quote:
Dante was born in Florence, Italy, in 1265. Heir of a poor but noble family, he was one of the seven elected officials in charge of the government of Florence. Civil war was common in Florence at the time and the issues were further complicated by the question of Papal influence. In 1300, Dante along with his fellow magistrates confirmed anti-papal measures. When in 1302, the French prince acting under orders from the Pope captured power in Florence, Dante was sentenced on charges of corruption and opposition to the Church and exiled from Florence on pain of execution by burning if he ever returned.. He spent the rest of his life in exile, pining for his native city. He withdrew from active politics to a large extent and concentrated on his literary creations.


http://www.online-literature.com/dante/

 
dr.bob
46806.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:38 am Reply with quote

My Italian teacher tells me that Dante is extremely highly regarded in Italy for being the first author to write in Italian.

Prior to him, all scholerly works were written in Latin, which meant a large proportion of the population simply couldn't understand them. With Dante's great works, though, you had the Italian language written down for the first time.

She also tells me that Dante's italian is quite close to modern italian. A rather different situation to Chaucer and english :)

How much of this is actually true, and how much simply legend passed down through the years, I couldn't tell you.

 
samivel
46811.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:02 am Reply with quote

Well, yes, Chaucer's English is further from modern English than Dante's Italian, but it's still closer than other forms of English spoken in the fourteenth century.

 
Jenny
46926.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:54 pm Reply with quote

Actually, Chaucer's English isn't that hard to understand once you attune yourself to it.

 
samivel
46935.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:53 pm Reply with quote

That's what I'm saying - the language Chaucer used is closer to modern English than the other forms of English used in the fourteenth century, but the language Dante used is even closer to modern Italian than Chaucer's language is to modern English

 

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