Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Date of The Publication of La Divina Commedia

Of the different sources I have read, the general consesus seems to be that Dante did not finalize his publication of La Divina Commedia until right before he died of malaria in 1321. However, different sources claim that he began public readings of his poem in 1312, and one source claims that he actually began releasing pieces of it as early as 1308, about the same time as his publication of De Monarchia.


Chloe said...

Steven, thanks for posting the dates. I think it's important for us to understand the relative time period in which Dante wrote The Divine Comedy, considering the Guelph and Ghibelline tensions of that time period. We can also tie in Pope Boniface VIII's and other papal corruptions, and thus draw conclusions from Dante's descriptions of avaricious popes who commit sins of bribery and simony.

Steven said...

Dante's fickle political philosophy definitely also factors in to how important the relative dates as to when Dante completed each cantica is. Although the actual dates of each cantica's completion will likely never be known, it is easy for an analyst to conceive the changes of his philosophy over time as the population of each of the three realms changes over the time he wrote the three canticas. For example, Mrs. Quinet mentioned in class that there are actually some Ghibellines in purgatory. Maybe this is because his political views changed after he completed the Inferno, which is why some Ghibellines remain in hell on the principle that they are Ghibellines?

C-Sted said...

Steven, you raise a good point about the significance of each cantica's completion date. This time frame would be particularly important if Dante was indeed publishing portions of the Comedy episodically. Would he have published an entire cantica at a time? This would explain the subtle shifts in political philosophy Steven mentioned previously. However, it is also possible that Dante could have released individual in a short story fashion. Such a method would demand profound changes to our understanding of how Dante created and ordered the Comedy (based on balance, degree of severity, etc).