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Dante Alighieri (–1321)

Author of The Inferno

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About the Author

Born Dante Alighieri in the spring of 1265 in Florence, Italy, he was known familiarly as Dante. His family was noble, but not wealthy, and Dante received the education accorded to gentlemen, studying poetry, philosophy, and theology. His first major work was Il Vita Nuova, The New Life. This brief show more collection of 31 poems, held together by a narrative sequence, celebrates the virtue and honor of Beatrice, Dante's ideal of beauty and purity. Beatrice was modeled after Bice di Folco Portinari, a beautiful woman Dante had met when he was nine years old and had worshipped from afar in spite of his own arranged marriage to Gemma Donati. Il Vita Nuova has a secure place in literary history: its vernacular language and mix of poetry with prose were new; and it serves as an introduction to Dante's masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice figures prominently. The Divine Comedy is Dante's vision of the afterlife, broken into a trilogy of the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante is given a guided tour of hell and purgatory by Virgil, the pagan Roman poet whom Dante greatly admired and imitated, and of heaven by Beatrice. The Inferno shows the souls who have been condemned to eternal torment, and included here are not only mythical and historical evil-doers, but Dante's enemies. The Purgatory reveals how souls who are not irreversibly sinful learn to be good through a spiritual purification. And The Paradise depicts further development of the just as they approach God. The Divine Comedy has been influential from Dante's day into modern times. The poem has endured not just because of its beauty and significance, but also because of its richness and piety as well as its occasionally humorous and vulgar treatment of the afterlife. In addition to his writing, Dante was active in politics. In 1302, after two years as a priore, or governor of Florence, he was exiled because of his support for the white guelfi, a moderate political party of which he was a member. After extensive travels, he stayed in Ravenna in 1319, completing The Divine Comedy there, until his death in 1321. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Since there are other authors called Dante, the works of Dante Alighieri on that author page are now aliased here, instead of the pages being combined.

Image credit: Painting by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1495)


Works by Dante Alighieri

The Inferno (1314) — Author — 24,280 copies, 211 reviews
The Divine Comedy (1308) 22,097 copies, 186 reviews
Purgatorio (-0001) 7,326 copies, 50 reviews
Paradiso (1316) 6,239 copies, 45 reviews
La Vita Nuova (1292) — Author — 2,204 copies, 23 reviews
The Portable Dante (1321) 1,363 copies, 8 reviews
Monarchy (1957) 382 copies, 2 reviews
Dante's Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adaptation (2010) — Original work — 281 copies, 32 reviews
Circles of Hell (1600) 228 copies, 3 reviews
Complete Works (1950) 215 copies, 3 reviews
Convivio (1304) 197 copies, 5 reviews
De vulgari eloquentia (1981) 157 copies
Rime (1946) — Autore in relazione — 148 copies, 1 review
The First Three Circles of Hell (1996) — Author — 129 copies, 1 review
The Descent into Hell (Penguin Epics) (2006) 72 copies, 1 review
100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 1 (2017) — Contributor — 61 copies
The Divine Comedy and The New Life (1897) 45 copies, 1 review
Vita Nuova Rime (1965) 35 copies
The Vita Nuova and Canzoniere (1863) 33 copies, 1 review
Dante Alighieri (1993) 24 copies, 1 review
Epistole (1966) 20 copies
Opere minori (1984) 15 copies
Il fiore e il detto d'amore (1995) 14 copies, 1 review
Dante and Giovanni del Virgilio (1970) — Author — 14 copies
Strumenti (1999) 8 copies
Rime giovanili e della Vita nuova (2009) — Author — 8 copies
The Medieval Mind (2017) 7 copies
La Consolation (1996) 6 copies
Love poems (2014) 6 copies
The Inferno 6 copies
Epistole ; Egloge ; Questio de aqua et terra (2016) — Author — 5 copies
Divina comedia V. II (1995) 5 copies
Boska komedia : (wybór) (1986) 5 copies
Fiore (2010) 4 copies
Cantos from Dante's Inferno (1999) 4 copies, 1 review
Epistola a Cangrande (1995) — Author — 4 copies
The Inferno: 2 4 copies
Herderszangen (2021) 3 copies, 1 review
Divina Comedia. tomo II (2014) 3 copies
Dama kamenog srca (1997) 3 copies
The Indispensable Dante (1949) — Author — 3 copies
Vingt poèmes (1997) 3 copies
Yeni Hayat (2000) 3 copies
De la monarquia (2005) 3 copies
Opere 1 — Author — 3 copies
Commedia multimediale (2011) 3 copies
Commedia / Giorgio Inglese (2021) — Author — 2 copies
Le terze rime 2 copies
Detto d' amore 2 copies
Purgatorio. Canti scelti (1997) 2 copies
Macht der Toten (2007) 2 copies
Le opere latine (2005) 2 copies
Vida Nova (2021) 2 copies
Dante. Tutte le opere (2021) 2 copies
Rimes (2021) 2 copies
Dante Alighieri (Scrittori di Dio) (2001) 2 copies, 1 review
Lírica 2 copies
Satira. Da Aristofane a Corrado Guzzanti (2013) — Author — 2 copies
Divina comèdia. (T.2) (1901) 2 copies
Κόλαση (2020) 2 copies
The selected works (1972) 2 copies
La falsa tenzone di Dante con Forese Donati (1995) — Author — 2 copies
Pokol (2012) 1 copy
Jaunā dzīve (2016) 1 copy
Boska komedia. T. 1-2 (1984) 1 copy
Ziyafet;(Convivio) (2022) 1 copy
Komedia Hyjnore 1 copy, 1 review
Dantes Verse (2021) 1 copy
12 sonnetti 1 copy
Divine comédie I, Enfer 1 copy, 1 review
Opere 1 copy
Vita Nuova 1 copy
Vita Nuova 1 copy
la vita Nuova (2016) 1 copy
Dante's Rime (2016) 1 copy
Poesía 1 copy
Bozanstvena komedija (2016) 1 copy
PARAJSA 1 copy
FERRI 1 copy
La divina commedia 132/23N 1 copy, 1 review
La Cumégia 1 copy
Pekel 1 copy
Vida Nova | Rimas (2020) 1 copy
Le Banquet (2019) 1 copy
Impyerno (2017) 1 copy
Brev (2022) 1 copy
Opere Scelte 1 copy
Opere minori. 6 voll. (1980) 1 copy
Dante's Poems (1883) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Doré Illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy (1976) — Contributor — 557 copies, 5 reviews
World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time (1998) — Contributor — 452 copies, 1 review
Critical Theory Since Plato (1971) — Contributor, some editions — 403 copies, 1 review
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (1992) — Contributor — 394 copies, 3 reviews
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (1983) — Contributor — 240 copies, 2 reviews
Criticism: Major Statements (1964) — Contributor — 224 copies
The Penguin Book of Hell (2018) — Contributor — 189 copies, 3 reviews
The Faber Book of Beasts (1997) — Contributor — 142 copies, 1 review
The Norton Book of Friendship (1991) — Contributor — 96 copies
Utopian literature; a selection, edited, with introductions (1968) — Author — 60 copies, 2 reviews
The Young Inferno (2009) — Contributor — 42 copies, 1 review
Poems and Translations (1912) — Contributor — 32 copies
The Best of the World's Classics: Volume VIII Continental Europe II (1909) — Contributor, some editions — 27 copies
The Middle Ages to the 17th Century: Literature of the Western World (1961) — Contributor, some editions — 23 copies
Lost Souls Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2018) — Contributor — 18 copies
Art Young's Inferno (2020) — Author — 18 copies
Sunlight on the River: Poems About Paintings, Paintings About Poems (2015) — Contributor — 10 copies, 2 reviews
Dante per immagini: dalle miniature trecentesche ai giorni nostri (2018) — Autore in relazione — 5 copies
New World Writing : 15 (1959) — Contributor — 4 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume Five, Number Eighteen) (1955) — Contributor — 4 copies
Rajna 7-t3 - Codice diplomatico dantesco (2016) — Autore in relazione — 4 copies
To Shiver the Sky (2020) — Composer — 4 copies
Dante's Inferno [2007 film] (2007) — Original book — 4 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume Two, Number Five) (1952) — Contributor — 2 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume Five, Number Twenty) (1955) — Contributor — 2 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume One, Number Two) (1951) — Contributor — 2 copies
Agrā renesanse (1981) 1 copy


(220) 13th century (163) 14th century (753) allegory (262) anthology (193) Christianity (643) classic (1,531) classic literature (318) classics (2,312) Dante Alighieri (2,020) Divine Comedy (485) ebook (164) epic (588) epic poetry (466) fantasy (183) fiction (2,883) heaven (212) hell (597) history (153) Italian (1,736) Italian literature (2,096) Italian poetry (406) Italy (971) literature (2,502) medieval (1,190) medieval literature (599) Middle Ages (353) non-fiction (185) own (233) philosophy (423) poetry (7,823) Purgatory (282) read (408) religion (1,251) Renaissance (322) Theology (273) to-read (1,856) translated (205) translation (603) unread (339)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Alighieri, Dante
Legal name
Alighieri, Durante degli
Other names
n. 1265-05
Date of death
Burial location
Piazza San Francesco, Ravenna, Italia
Country (for map)
Florence, Italy
Place of death
Ravenna, Italy
Places of residence
Verona, Italy
soldier (cavalry)
Pietro di Dante Alighieri (zoon)
Short biography
Dante Alighieri, (May 14/June 13, 1265 – September 13/14[1], 1321), was a Florentine Italian poet. Like many in the Florence of his day, he became involved in the conflict between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions. He fought in the Battle of Campaldino (1289) and held several political offices over the years. His central work, the Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy, originally called "Comedìa"), is composed of three parts: the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante was exiled from the city he loved, and addressed the pain of his loss in his work.
Disambiguation notice
Since there are other authors called Dante, the works of Dante Alighieri on that author page are now aliased here, instead of the pages being combined.



LE: Dante's The Divine Comedy in Folio Society Devotees (July 2023)
La Vita Nuova in Fine Press Forum (May 2023)
Divine Comedy in Folio Society Devotees (September 2021)
Paris Review Challenge : The Divine Comedy, Season 1 in Dante's Sitting Room (October 2013)
Crambo's word rhymes with "vice" in Crambo! (June 2012)
Best Translation of The Divine Comedy? in Geeks who love the Classics (December 2010)
Dante's Divine Comedy in 1001 Books to read before you die (November 2008)


A little more esoteric than the previous parts, but a fitting conclusion. The reverence which permeates throughout, especially the final cantos, is beautiful.
Library_Guard | 44 other reviews | Jun 17, 2024 |
Having read this long enough ago to have largely forgotten it's contents, it was time to go through it again. However, listening to it as an audio book while doing something else reduced the attention that I gave to it and it was less meaningful to me. Perhaps the translation also made a difference

Still, as I passed being 20% of the way through the book it became more meaningful to me. I also thought about the reaction of offended contemporaries; what kind of person was Dante to write with such chance of causing enemies? I began to notice that nearly all of the people mentioned seemed to be Italian. What reaction was there to the book?… (more)
bread2u | 210 other reviews | May 15, 2024 |
Can I pick out a favorite canto? How about canto 14, the division of the blasphemers in circle 7. Some surprises here even as the reader has been growing accustomed to Dante's blending of Classical culture and Christianity. Capaneus, one of the seven mythological heroes who attacked the city of Thebes in support of Polynices, son of Oedipus, as told by Aeschylus in [b:The Seven Against Thebes|752713|The Seven Against Thebes (Dover Thrift Editions)|Aeschylus|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1328866074l/752713._SY75_.jpg|2474147] and Statius in [b:The Thebaid: Seven Against Thebes|677893|The Thebaid Seven Against Thebes|Publius Papinius Statius|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348522460l/677893._SY75_.jpg|663891], is here for his blasphemy against Jupiter/Zeus. Dante thus treats blasphemy against a pagan god in mythology as equal to blasphemy against his Christian God! One might think that theologically you can't end up in the Christian Hell for defying a pagan god, but here you can, as Dante incorporates the Classical period into his Christian universe that takes in all of human history.

The idea that Hell is really a hell of one's own making is presented here as well. Capaneus continues to lash out at Jupiter: "let him hurl his bolts at me, no joy of satisfaction would I give him!" He is still the same person, unchanged, as he was in life, which is a condition of the shades in Hell: they will not ever change, their pride will never allow them to repent. Virgil speaks back to him that "no torment other than your rage itself could punish your gnawing pride more perfectly." This psychologically astute envisioning of Hell is not one I was expecting to encounter; I had been underestimating Dante.

In the second half of the canto we get a fascinatingly allegorical and resonant description of the Man of Crete. This is a colossus representing humankind that lies underneath Mt. Ida and whose tears, representing humanity's tears, are the source of Hell's rivers. Dante takes the idea of such a figure from the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and combines it with Ovid's description of the fall of man from the Golden Age down through silver and bronze and finally to the Iron Age that he presents in [b:Metamorphoses|1715|Metamorphoses|Ovid|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1622739150l/1715._SY75_.jpg|2870411]; the colossus is fashioned of gold at the head, silver at the chest, brass to his legs, and then iron - except for a right foot made of terra cotta that he places more weight on, which represents the modern Roman Church. Only the gold portion is unbroken, as the tears carve a fissure down the rest of him.

The idea of Hell's rivers being fed by human tears symbolically falling down a figure representing the fall and decay of man is a powerful poetic image. Also very interesting in that it shows how people in every age and every generation think that theirs is a uniquely bad time in history, going all the way back to Ovid! This is nothing new at all; likely in a thousand years people will think that their time is a uniquely bad time, as humanity continues on its way.

And then on a lighter note, we have the pilgrim, perhaps unconsciously, getting a little jab in at Virgil, who could not get them past the gates of the infernal city of Dis separating Upper from Lower Hell that was guarded by devils - Virgil can handle Classical monsters, but Christian devils are beyond his powers and they had to wait on an angel from Heaven to continue their journey. Here Dante most unnecessarily reminds Virgil of his past failure in introducing a question about their current position: "My master, you who overcome all opposition (except for those tough demons who came to meet us at the gate of Dis), who is that mighty one that seems unbothered...". Petty!

Finally found a translation, Mark Musa’s, that I really get on with. Also watched and read the lectures and notes from Columbia University’s course on the Commedia alongside reading each canto, which are available for free at digitaldante.columbia.edu, an amazing gift. I would have understood a mere fraction of the context, richness, and literary techniques of this work without those.
… (more)
lelandleslie | 210 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |


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Gianfranco Contini Editor, Introduction
William Blake Illustrator
Franz Joseph Bayer Introduction
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Translator, Translator.
Laurence Binyon Translator
Giorgio Petrocchi Editor, Introduction
Enrico Malato Editor, Introduction
Anna Amari-Parker Editor, Editor and Introduction
Ike Cialona Translator
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Manuele Gragnolati Contributor
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Rosanna Bettarini Contributor
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Sandro Botticelli Illustrator
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Cristoforo Landino Contributor
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A. de Beer Editor
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Franz Scheck Graphische Bearbeitung
Jhumpa Lahiri Introduction
Burton Raffel Translator
Carla Poma Editor
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Wolf D. Zimmermann Cover designer
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Ernest H. Wilkins Bibliography
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Gérard Luciani Translator
C. H. Sisson Translator
Kurt Flasch Translator
Hans Weigel Introduction
David H. Higgins Introduction
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Giancarlo Savino Commentaar verzorgt door
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George Grosz Illustrator
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