Portal:Dante Alighieri

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Introduction

head-and-chest side portrait of Dante in red and white coat and cowl
Profile portrait in tempera
by Sandro Botticelli, 1495

Durante degli Alighieri (Italian: [duˈrante deʎʎ aliˈɡjɛːri]), commonly known by his short name Dante Alighieri or simply as Dante (Italian: [ˈdante]; English: /ˈdɑːnt/, UK also /ˈdænti, -t/; c. 1265 – 1321), was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is widely considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.

In the late Middle Ages, most poetry was written in Latin, accessible only to the most educated readers. In De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular), however, Dante defended the use of the vernacular in literature. He would even write in the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life (1295) and the Divine Comedy; this highly unorthodox choice set a precedent that important later Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would follow.

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