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Dante in Translation - Video

By Giuseppe Mazzotta

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(ITAL 310) The course is an introduction to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of the Divine Comedy and selected minor works (Vita nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, Epistle to Cangrande). An analysis of Dante's autobiography, the Vita nuova establishes the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's composition. Readings of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise seek to situate Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages, with special attention paid to political, philosophical and theological concerns. Topics in the Divine Comedy explored over the course of the semester include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics; love and knowledge; and exile and history. This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

Customer Reviews


I was thoroughly captivated by the depth of knowledge promised by this book, which was so rivetingly portrayed by the professor. I was filled with excitement at reaching a point in my life where I am ready and eager to learn from wisdom that has stood for 700 years as one of humanity’s pinnacles. By the end of this introduction, my sense of reverie and gratitude for this accumulation and accessibility of human knowledge was so great, that I was yanked out of my state of mind when the first student question was when the first paper was due or something. The professor handled it marvelously, treating it as a reasonable question. It was as if a preacher, full of the Spirit, had finished an hour-long impassioned sermon, and the parishioners first question in response was “what time is the potluck?”

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