DANTE ALIGHIERIThe life of Dante Alighieri is closely tied to the events of Florentine political life. At her birth, Florence was about to become the most powerful city in central Italy. Starting from 1250, a municipal government composed of burghers and artisans had put an end to the supremacy of the nobility, and two years later were minted the first gold florins which would become the “dollars” mercantile Europe. The conflict between the Guelphs, faithful to temporal authority of the popes, and the Ghibellines, defenders of the political primacy of the emperors, it became more and more a war between nobles and bourgeois like the wars of supremacy between neighboring cities or rivals. At the birth of Dante, after the expulsion of Guelph, the city was now more than five years in the hands of the Ghibellines. In 1266, Florence returned to the hands of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines were expelled in turn. At this point, the party of the Guelphs divided into two factions, blacks and whites.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence May 29, 1265 into a family of minor nobility. In 1274, according to the Vita Nuova, Beatrice sees for the first time (Bice di Folco Portinari) which immediately falls in love with her. Dante was about ten years old when his mother died Gabriella, the ‘beautiful mother’. In 1283 his father Alighiero of Bellincione, merchant, and Dante dies at age 17 becomes the breadwinner.
The young Alighieri follows the teachings of philosophy and theology at the Franciscan School (Santa Croce) and Dominican (Santa Maria Novella). In this period he became friends and began a correspondence with the young poets who call themselves “stilnovisti.” In the Rime is the set of the poem of Dante, from his youth in Florence, in the course of his long literary career, which are not included in any other work. It is in this context that we can find traces of the detachment aware that followed the first draft of ‘”Inferno” and “Purgatorio”, which would lead to false philosophical Dante, temptations of the flesh and vulgar pleasures.
At 20 he married Gemma Donati Manetto Of, belonging to a sub-branch of a great noble family, with whom he had four sons, Jacopo, Pietro, Giovanni and Antonia.
In 1292, two years after the death of Beatrice, he began to write the “New Life”. Dante devotes himself entirely to poetry so very soon studying philosophy and theology, in particular Aristotle and St. Thomas. Will be fascinated by the political struggle characteristic of that period and build all his work around the figure of the Emperor, the myth of an impossible unity. However in 1293, following a decree which excluded the nobility from the Florentine political life, the young Dante is forced to follow the care of his intellectual interests.
In 1295 an ordinance decreed that the noble riottengano civic rights, provided that they belong to a guild. Dante subscribes to that of doctors and pharmacists, the same librarians, with the mention of “poet”. When the struggle between the Guelphs and the White Guelphs Blacks becomes stronger, Dante sided with the party of the Whites who try to defend the independence of the city opposing the hegemonic tendencies of Boniface VIII Caetani, Pope since December 1294 to 1303.
In 1300, Dante was elected one of the six “Priori” – guardians of the executive power, the government’s most senior judges who composed the Signoria – that, to mitigate the bias of political struggle, take the difficult decision to arrest the leaders of the most vicious two sides. In 1301, just as in Florence came Charles de Valois and the party of the Blacks took over (supported by the papacy), Dante is called to Rome at the court of Boniface VIII. Begin the political process: Dante, who is accused of corruption, is suspended from holding public office and sentenced to pay a heavy fine. Because Dante is not lowered, like his friends, to appear before the courts, Dante was sentenced to confiscation of property and “the Executioner” If you ever did find on the territory of the Municipality of Florence. And ‘thus forced to leave his city with the consciousness of being mocked by Boniface VIII, who had held in Rome while the Blacks took power in Florence; Boniface VIII so you will gain a prominent place in the group stage of ‘”Hell” of the “Divine Comedy.”
From 1304 to Dante begins the long exile. Since the death of Beatrice to Dante’s exile years he devoted himself to the study of philosophy (for him all the secular sciences) and composed love poems where the style of praise as well as the memory of Beatrice are absent. The center of the discourse is not Beatrice but “the kind woman,” allegorical description of the philosophy that traces the inner journey of Dante towards wisdom. Prepares the Convivio (1304-1307), the unfinished treatise composed in the vernacular that becomes an encyclopedic compendium of practical knowledge. This work is a synthesis of essays, intended for those who, because of their education or social status, they do not have direct access to knowledge. Courts will roam the city and according to the opportunities that will be offered and will not cease to deepen its culture through the different experiences living.