Dante Alighieri quotes

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Dante Alighieri

Birthdate: 30. May 1265
Date of death: 14. September 1321

Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri , commonly known by his pen name Dante Alighieri or simply as Dante , was an Italian poet. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa 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, making it accessible only to the most educated readers. In De vulgari eloquentia , 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 and the Divine Comedy; this highly unorthodox choice set a precedent that important later Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would follow.

Dante was instrumental in establishing the literature of Italy, and his depictions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven provided inspiration for the larger body of Western art. He is cited as an influence on John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Tennyson, among many others. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, or the terza rima, is attributed to him. He is described as the "father" of the Italian language, and in Italy, he is often referred to as il Sommo Poeta . Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called the tre corone of Italian literature.

Works

Inferno
Dante Alighieri
Purgatorio
Purgatorio
Dante Alighieri
Paradiso
Paradiso
Dante Alighieri
Vita Nuova
Dante Alighieri

„Ye keep your watch in the eternal day.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Purgatorio

Canto XXX, line 103 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Purgatorio
Original: (la) Voi vigilate ne l'etterno die.

„From that point
Dependent is the heaven and nature all.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Paradiso

Canto XXVIII, lines 41–42 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Paradiso
Original: (rm) Da quel punto
depende il cielo e tutta la natura.

„The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Paradiso

Canto XXXIII, closing lines, as translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Paradiso
Context: p>As the geometrician, who endeavours
To square the circle, and discovers not,
By taking thought, the principle he wants,Even such was I at that new apparition;
I wished to see how the image to the circle
Conformed itself, and how it there finds place;But my own wings were not enough for this,
Had it not been that then my mind there smote
A flash of lightning, wherein came its wish. Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy:
But now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel that equally is moved,The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.</p

„Do you not know that we are worms and born
To form the angelic butterfly that soars,
Without defenses, to confront His judgment?“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Purgatorio

Canto X, lines 121–129 (tr. Mandelbaum).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Purgatorio
Context: O Christians, arrogant, exhausted, wretched,
Whose intellects are sick and cannot see,
Who place your confidence in backward steps,
Do you not know that we are worms and born
To form the angelic butterfly that soars,
Without defenses, to confront His judgment?
Why does your mind presume to flight when you
Are still like the imperfect grub, the worm
Before it has attained its final form?

„But now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel that equally is moved,“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Paradiso

Canto XXXIII, closing lines, as translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Paradiso
Context: p>As the geometrician, who endeavours
To square the circle, and discovers not,
By taking thought, the principle he wants,Even such was I at that new apparition;
I wished to see how the image to the circle
Conformed itself, and how it there finds place;But my own wings were not enough for this,
Had it not been that then my mind there smote
A flash of lightning, wherein came its wish. Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy:
But now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel that equally is moved,The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.</p

„To her perfection all of beauty tends.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Vita Nuova

Source: La Vita Nuova (1293), Chapter XIV, lines 49–50 (tr. Barbara Reynolds)
Context: She is the sum of nature's universe.
To her perfection all of beauty tends.

„Morality is the beauty of Philosophy.“

—  Dante Alighieri

Trattato Terzo, Ch. 15.
Il Convivio (1304–1307)

„Not only thy benignity gives succour
To him who asketh it, but oftentimes
Forerunneth of its own accord the asking.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Paradiso

Canto XXXIII, lines 16–18 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Paradiso

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„It hither, thither, downward, upward, drives them.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Inferno

Canto V, line 43 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Inferno

„When we understand this we see clearly that the subject round which the alternative senses play must be twofold. And we must therefore consider the subject of this work [the Divine Comedy] as literally understood, and then its subject as allegorically intended. The subject of the whole work, then, taken in the literal sense only is "the state of souls after death" without qualification, for the whole progress of the work hinges on it and about it. Whereas if the work be taken allegorically, the subject is "man as by good or ill deserts, in the exercise of the freedom of his choice, he becomes liable to rewarding or punishing justice."“

—  Dante Alighieri

Letter to Can Grande (Epistle XIII, 23–25), as translated by Charles Singleton in his essay "Two Kinds of Allegory" published in Dante Studies 1 (Harvard University Press, 1954), p. 87.
Epistolae (Letters)
Original: (la) Hiis visis, manifestum est quod duplex oportet esse subiectum circa quod currant alterni sensus. Et ideo videndum est de subiecto huius operis, prout ad litteram accipitur; deinde de subiecto, prout allegorice sententiatur. Est ergo subiectum totius operis, litteraliter tantum accepti, status animarum post mortem simpliciter sumptus. Nam de illo et circa illum totius operis versatur processus. Si vero accipiatur opus allegorice, subiectum est homo, prout merendo et demerendo per arbitrii libertatem iustitie premiandi et puniendi obnoxius est.

„The night that hides things from us.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Paradiso

Canto XXIII, line 3 (tr. Sinclair).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Paradiso

„Now the kind of philosophy under which we proceed in the whole and in the part is moral philosophy or ethics; because the whole was undertaken not for speculation but for practice.“

—  Dante Alighieri

Letter to Can Grande (Epistle XIII, 40), as translated by Charles Latham in A Translation of Dante's Eleven Letters (1891), Letter XI, §16, p. 199.
Epistolae (Letters)
Original: (la) Genus vero philosophie, sub quo hic in toto et parte proceditur, est morale negotium, sive ethica; quia non ad speculandum, sed ad opus inventum est totum et pars.

„For to lose time irks him most who most knows.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Purgatorio

Canto III, line 78 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Purgatorio

„The use of men is like a leaf
On bough, which goeth and another cometh.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Paradiso

Canto XXVI, lines 137–138 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Paradiso

„My maker was divine authority.“

—  Dante Alighieri, book Inferno

Canto III, line 5 (tr. Mandelbaum).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Inferno
Original: (la) Fecemi la divina potestate.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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