Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), Italy’s greatest poet, was born in Florence and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. He first met Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, in 1274; she inspired his most famous poetry, including the Vita Nuova, which he wrote to console himself when she died in 1290, and The Divine Comedy, which he began seventeen years after her death.
Virginia Jewiss (translator/introducer) is a Dante scholar and a translator with a Ph.D. in Italian literature from Yale, where she taught for many years before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins. Her translations include works by Luigi Pirandello, Roberto Saviano, Melania Mazzucco, Paolo Sorrentino, and Matteo Garrone. Jewiss lives in Rome and Washington, DC.
The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened "Divina" by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the last great work of literature of t...[SEE MORE]