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Wikipedia Summary for Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri (Italian: [ˈdante aliˈɡjɛːri]), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to simply as Dante (, also US: ; c. 1265 – 14 September 1321), was a Florentine poet, writer and philosopher. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is widely considered one of the most important poems of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.

Dante is known for establishing the use of the vernacular in literature at a time when most poetry was written in Latin, which was accessible only to the most educated readers. His De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular) was one of the first scholarly defenses of the vernacular. His use of the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life (1295) and Divine Comedy helped establish the modern-day standardized Italian language. His work set a precedent that important Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would later follow.

Dante was instrumental in establishing the literature of Italy. His depictions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven provided inspiration for the larger body of Western art and literature. He is cited as an influence on such English writers as Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton 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 ("the Supreme Poet"). Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called the tre corone ("three crowns") of Italian literature.

The only fit reply to a fit request is silence and the fact.

--Dante Alighieri

In that book which is my memory, On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first day when I met you, Appear the words, ˜Here begins a new life.

--Dante Alighieri

The human race is in the best condition when it has the greatest degree of liberty.

--Dante Alighieri

A man's renown is like the hue of grass, Which comes and goes.

--Dante Alighieri

Be steadfast as a tower that doth not bend its stately summit to the tempest's shock.

--Dante Alighieri

What is it to thee what they whisper there? Come after me and let the people talk.

--Dante Alighieri

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality.

--Dante Alighieri

Follow your path, and let the people talk.

--Dante Alighieri

As fall the light autumnal leaves, one still the other following, till the bough strews all its honors on the earth below.

--Dante Alighieri

Fashions change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come.

--Dante Alighieri

We are but a day in this world, and in that day the fashion is changed a thousand times: all seek liberty, yet all deprive themselves of it.

--Dante Alighieri

O faithful conscience, delicately pure,
How doth a little failing wound thee sore!

--Dante Alighieri

You did thirst for blood, and with blood I fill you.

--Dante Alighieri

All indistinctly apprehend a bliss,
On which the soul may rest; the hearts of all
Yearn after it.

--Dante Alighieri

The vesper bell from far,
That seems to mourn for the expiring day.

--Dante Alighieri

That heavenly food, which gives new appetite.

--Dante Alighieri

Affection bends the judgment to her ply.

--Dante Alighieri

Before me things created were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here.

--Dante Alighieri

Love with delight discourses in my mindUpon my lady's admirable gifts...Beyond the range of human intellect.

--Dante Alighieri

My soul tasted that heavenly food, which gives new appetite while it satiates.

--Dante Alighieri

Fate's arrow, when expected, travels slow.

--Dante Alighieri

Many have justice in their hearts, but slowly it is let fly, for it comes not without council to the bow.

--Dante Alighieri

Haste denies all acts their dignity.

--Dante Alighieri

The infernal storm, eternal in its rage, sweeps and drives the spirits with its blast; it whirls them, lashing them with punishment. When they are swept back past their place of judgment then come the shrieks, laments, and anguished cries; there they blaspheme God's almighty power.

--Dante Alighieri

We have no hope and yet we live in longing.

--Dante Alighieri

The loser, when a game of dice is done,

remains behind reviewing every roll

sadly, and sadly wiser, and alone.

--Dante Alighieri

Lady, you who are so great, so powerful,
that who seeks grace without recourse to you
would have his wish fly upward without wings.

--Dante Alighieri

Unity in wills cannot be unless there is one will dominating and ruling all the rest to oneness... wills of mortals have need of a directive principle... therefore for the well-being of the world, there should be a monarchy.

--Dante Alighieri

High justice would in no way be debased
if ardent love should cancel instantly
the debts these penitents must satisfy.

--Dante Alighieri

Nothing which is harmonized by the bond of the Muse can be changed from its own to another language without destroying its sweetness.

--Dante Alighieri

It is necessity and not pleasure that compels us.
Italian: Necessita c'induce, e non diletto.

--Dante Alighieri

Justice does not descend from its own pinnacle.

--Dante Alighieri

Behave like men, and not like witless sheep.

--Dante Alighieri

If a thief helps a poor man out of the spoils of his thieving, we must not call that charity.

--Dante Alighieri

Remember, this day will never dawn again.

--Dante Alighieri

Go forth and preach impostures to the world, But give them truth to build on.

--Dante Alighieri

Often a retrospect delights the mind.

--Dante Alighieri

He who awaits the call, but sees the need, Already sets his spirit to refuse it.

--Dante Alighieri

Open thy mind; take in what I explain and keep it there; because to understand is not to know, if thou dost not retain.

--Dante Alighieri

O power of fantasy that steals our minds from things outside, to leave us unaware, although a thousand trumpets may blow loud -- what stirs you if the senses show you nothing? Light stirs you, formed in Heaven, by itself, or by His will Who sends it down to us.

--Dante Alighieri

Less shame a greater fault would palliate.

--Dante Alighieri

Hope not ever to see heaven. I come to lead you to the other shore; into the eternal darkness; into fire and ice.

--Dante Alighieri

From a small spark, Great flame has risen.

--Dante Alighieri

It may be that a more subtle person would find for this thing a reason of greater subtlety: but such is the reason that I find, and that liketh me best.

--Dante Alighieri

Be like a solid tower whose brave height remains unmoved by all the winds that blow; the man who lets his thoughts be turned aside by one thing or another, will lose sight of his true goal, his mind sapped of its strength.

--Dante Alighieri

I am more than tricky when there's a chance to see my friends in greater misery.

--Dante Alighieri

Not one drop of blood is left inside my veins that does not throb: I recognize signs of the ancient flame.

--Dante Alighieri

Blessed are the peacemakers, For they have freed themselves from sinful wrath.

--Dante Alighieri

Perceive ye not that we are worms, designed To form the angelic butterfly, that goes To judgment, leaving all defence behind? Why doth your mind take such exalted pose, Since ye, disabled, are as insects, mean As worm which never transformation knows?

--Dante Alighieri

Through the waters spilled by the spring, I was remade. Forth I fared, a new plant with new leaves in a new time. The stars were there, and I was set to climb.

--Dante Alighieri

This mountain is so formed that it is always wearisome when one begins the ascent, but becomes easier the higher one climbs.

--Dante Alighieri

In judgement be ye not too confident, Even as a man who will appraise his corn When standing in a field, ere it is ripe.

--Dante Alighieri

The moon, with midnight now behind us, made the stars seem scarcer to us; it was shaped just like a copper basin, gleaming, new.

--Dante Alighieri

It was that hour that turns seafarers' longings homeward- the hour that makes their hearts grow tender upon the day they big sweet friends farewell.

--Dante Alighieri

In that part of the young year when the sun begins to warm its locks beneath Aquarius and nights grow shorter.

--Dante Alighieri

Because there is no man who can be true and just judge of himself, so much will self-love deceive him.

--Dante Alighieri

Thy wretchedness weighs upon me, so that it to weep invites me.

--Dante Alighieri

All things created have an order in themselves, and this begets the form that lets the universe resemble God.

--Dante Alighieri

If you follow your natural bent;you will definitely go to heaven.

--Dante Alighieri

There, pride, avarice, and envy are the tongues men know and heed, a Babel of depsair.

--Dante Alighieri

The greatest gift that God in His bounty made in creation, and the most conformable to His goodness, and that which He prizes the most, was the freedom of will, with which the creatures with intelligence, they all and they alone, were and are endowed.

--Dante Alighieri

Curb your talent lest it speed where virtue does not guide.

--Dante Alighieri

No man may be so cursed by priest or pope but what the Eternal Love may still return while any thread of green lives on in hope.

--Dante Alighieri

Eternal love made me.

--Dante Alighieri

Of my sowing such straw I reap. O human folk, why set the heart there where exclusion of partnership is necessary.

--Dante Alighieri

The whole universe is but the footprint of the Divine goodness.

--Dante Alighieri

As one who sees in dreams and wakes to find the emotional impression of his vision still powerful while its parts fade from his mind -- Just such am I, having lost nearly all the vision itself, while in my heart I feel the sweetness of it yet distill and fall.

--Dante Alighieri

So may heaven's grace clear away the foam from the conscience, that the river of thy thoughts may roll limpid thenceforth.

--Dante Alighieri

Thus you may understand that love alone is the true seed of every merit in you, and of all acts for which you must atone.

--Dante Alighieri

For where the instrument of intelligence is added to brute power and evil will, mankind is powerless in its own defense.

--Dante Alighieri

Consider the sea's listless chime: Time's self it is, made audible.

--Dante Alighieri

Come on, shake off the covers of this sloth, for sitting softly cushioned, or tucked in bed, is no way to win fame.

--Dante Alighieri

I found myself within a forest dark.

--Dante Alighieri

Longer Version:

I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightfoward pathway had been lost. Ah me! How hard a thing is to say, what was this forest savage, rough, and stern, which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more.


The devil is not as black as he is painted.

--Dante Alighieri

Longer Version:

The devil is not as black as he is painted." -Dante.


Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice.

--Dante Alighieri

For she doth make my veins and pulses tremble.

--Dante Alighieri

I saw within Its depth how It conceives

All things in a single volume bound by Love

of which the universe is the scattered leaves.

--Dante Alighieri

O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?

--Dante Alighieri

Deed done is well begun.

--Dante Alighieri

The heaven that rolls around cries aloud to you while it displays its eternal beauties, and yet your eyes are fixed upon the earth alone.

--Dante Alighieri

I presumed to fix my look on the eternal light so long that I consumed my sight thereon.

--Dante Alighieri

Conscience, that boon companion who sets a man free under the strong breastplate of innocence, that bids him on and fear not.

--Dante Alighieri

I saw a point that shone with light so keen, the eye that sees it cannot bear its blazing; the star that is for us the smallest one would seem a moon if placed beside this point.

--Dante Alighieri

If you're asking for a date, forget it. 'Cause I make it a point not to go out with women who shoot me in the head!

--Dante Alighieri

Come, follow me, and leave the world to its babblings.

--Dante Alighieri

I made my own house be my gallows.

--Dante Alighieri

Those ancients who in poetry presented
the golden age, who sang its happy state,
perhaps, in their Parnassus, dreamt this place.
Here, mankind's root was innocent; and here
were every fruit and never-ending spring;
these streams -- the nectar of which poets sing.

--Dante Alighieri

Ah! Justice of our God! Who else could stow

Such travails new and pains as met my glance!

--Dante Alighieri

Love kindled by virtue always kindles another, provided that its flame appear outwardly.

--Dante Alighieri

At the midpoint on the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest, for the clear path was lost.

--Dante Alighieri

Like the lark that soars in the air, first singing, then silent, content with the last sweetness that satiates it, such seemed to me that image, the imprint of the Eternal Pleasure.

--Dante Alighieri

Await no further word or sign from me: your will is free, erect, and whole--to act against that will would be to err: therefore I crown and miter you over yourself.

--Dante Alighieri

I care not where my body may take me as long as my soul is embarked on a meaningful journey.

--Dante Alighieri

Here let dead poetry rise once more to life.

--Dante Alighieri

When we encountered a band of souls coming along the barrier, and each was gazing at us in the evening people gaze at one another under the new moon.

--Dante Alighieri

Within her presence, I had once been used
to feeling--trembling--wonder, dissolution;
but that was long ago. Still, though my soul,
now she was veiled, could not see her directly,
by way of hidden force that she could move,
I felt the mighty power of old love.

--Dante Alighieri

Imagination, there on high--
To high to breathe free, after such a climb--
Had lost its power; but now, just like a wheel
That spins so evenly it measures time
By space, the deepest wish that I could feel
And all my will, were turning with the love
That moves the sun and all the stars above.

--Dante Alighieri

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