Divine Comedy

 The greatest work of Dante Alighieri is the Divine Comedy, made up of three parts, giving a vision of Hell, of Purgatory and of Heaven. In it Dante gives a complete view of the highest culture and knowledge of the age on philosophy, history, classical literature, physical science, morals, and religion; all this is expressed in the noblest and most exquisite poetry. This work really made the Italian language, which before was rude and unformed. No work in the world probably, except the Bible, has given rise to so much literature. It was copied in 600 different manuscripts, and about 300 printed editions have been issued; it has been more than 300 times translated into foreign languages; and unnumbered introductions, essays and commentaries have been written on or about it. Dante had not been in his grave 20 years before Italy instinctively recognized that this was her great man. About 50 years after Dante's death, a public lectureship on the Divine Comedy was established at Florence, to which Boccaccio was first appointed. Another of Dante's works is the Banquet. Dante, as Boccaccio relates, was of moderate stature, stooping when he walked, slow and dignified both in gait and speech, reserved and silent in habit; but, when he spoke, keen and eloquent. He was devoted to music and painting. Boccaccio calls him 'that singular splendour of the Italian race'.









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