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See the fact file below for more information on Dante Alighieri or alternatively, you can download our 22 page Dante Alighieri worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Early Life and Interests
- Dante Alighieri was born in 1265, in Florence, Italy, to Alighiero di Bellincione and Bella degli Abati, both with modest means and political connections. When Dante was seven years old, his mother died and his father remarried.
- At the age of 12, he was betrothed to Gemma Donati, daughter of a family friend, who became his wife around 1285 and they had four children together namely, Jacopo, Pietro, Giovanni and Antonia.
- Despite his marriage, Dante was in love with Beatrice Portinari, a girl he met when he was nine years old. Beatrice became Dante’s inspiration and featured in his works.
- Young Dante studied Tuscan art including poetry, painting and music. He familiarized himself with Occitan and Latin poetry and the works of Virgil and Homer.
- When he was 18, Dante met poets Guido Cavalcanti, Lapo Gianni, Cino da Pistoia and Brunetto Latini, who would lead Dolce Stil Novo (The Sweet New Style), a literary movement in Italy during the 13th century.
- In 1290, after the death of Beatrice, he studied philosophy and immersed himself in Florentine politics. He also became a pharmacist in order to hold public posts. During those times, Florence’s political scene was complicated due to opposing factions between the papacy and the empire. In order to initiate Florence’s constitutional reformation, Dante fought with the Guelphs and defeated Ghibellines.
- Soon after, the victorious Guelphs divided into two factions, Dante’s party, the White Guelphs, who questioned the political power of the pope, and the Black Guelphs, who remained loyal to the papacy.
- In 1302, Dante was exiled for life from Florence.
Dante’s Literary Career
- In 1304, presumably in Bologna, he attempted to unite Italian territories through a unifying Italian language using the Latin treatise, De Vulgari Eloquentia or The Eloquent Vernacular. Although left unfinished, it became influential.
- In late 1306, Dante stayed in Padua after the expulsion of Florentine exiles to Bologna.
- In 1308, after the election of Henry of Luxembourg as emperor Henry VII, Dante wrote three books of Da Monarchia. He described how the emperor’s power should not be based on the pope, rather, descended directly from God. Sometime later, members of Florentine government threatened the throne and permanently banned Dante in Florence.
- It was believed that he started writing The Divine Comedy during his time of exile. In 1312, Henry VII survived the threats and was named the Holy Roman Emperor.
- By 1314, he completed the Inferno, set in hell. In general, The Divine Comedy was an allegory of human life, giving warning to corrupt members of society as they got to see the journey of Christians to the afterlife.
- It was believed that Dante’s first two journeys in the poem (hell and purgatory) were influenced by Virgil, while the way through heaven (Paradiso) was inspired by his love for Beatrice. Many are certain that Dante started writing The Divine Comedy the moment he was sent into exile. It was set from the night of Good Friday until the Wednesday after Easter.
- The poem consists of 100 cantos in terza rima measurement and composed of 14,233 lines. Dante’s work was distinct from Homer and Virgil as he wrote his own journey to salvation with real people living during his time.
Death and Legacy
- Some of Dante’s famous works include Convivio and La Vita Nuova, which tell the story of Dante’s love for Beatrice.
- He was credited with inventing terza rima, which was also used by other Italian poets like Giovanni Boccaccio and Francesco Petrarch.
- The Divine Comedy was written in vernacular Italian language, instead of the commonly used Greek or Latin.
- In 1315, Florentine exiles were granted amnesty in exchange for a large fine and public penance. Dante refused, and by 1318, Prince Guido Novello da Polenta invited him to Ravenna.
- Three years later, he finished the final part of his The Divine Comedy – Paradiso.
- On his way back to Ravenna, Dante contracted malaria in Venice. He died at the age of 56, in 1321.
- In 1373, Giovanni Boccaccio wrote a biography of him. In addition, T.S. Eliot considered Dante as one of the two literary geniuses that could divide the modern world of poetry into two, the other was Shakespeare.
- In 1865, Italian sculptor Enrico Pazzi built the Statue of Dante Alighieri at the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Italy.
Dante Alighieri Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about poet Dante Alighieri across 22 wonderful pages. These are ready-to-use Dante Alighieri worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Dante Alighieri was a Medieval Italian poet, philosopher and political thinker best known for his poetic trilogy, The Divine Comedy, which encompasses the field of literature and theology.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Dante Alighieri Facts
- The Supreme Poet
- Mapping Poets
- Tre Corone
- Words of Dante
- Italian Travelogue
- Proto-Renaissance Period
- The Divine Comedy
- Pieces of Dante
- Dante and Michelangelo
- Our Politics
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Link will appear as Dante Alighieri Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 14, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.