Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's up with Dante's laurel wreath?

When finishing the Inferno, I realized that I really hadn't known what Dante looked like and that I had only envisioned him in the Inferno through imagination. So, I decided to search up ole Dante Alighieri and see what Google gave me.

Wow, those are lots of laurel wreaths. 

I began to wonder the significance of the laurel wreath. Maybe some of y'all knew this, but I certainly had no clue; therefore, I decided to look it up. The laurel wreath, is a symbol of a masters degree. Laureato is a term in Italy used to describe and graduate student. Laureate, in poet laureate, basically means being signified by the laurel wreath. Basically, it just means that Dante is a scholar and a graduate student. We already knew that, especially since he predicts his own future and is semi self idolizing in the Inferno.  Just a little information about the garb that our pal Dante is often pictured wearing. He's quite the stoic guy isn't he?


Sri Korrapati said...

That's really interesting considering the whole "Dante the Pilgrim" vs. "Dante the Poet." I would expect the laurel wreath to be worn by Dante the Poet, but if you're saying that he had it during the events of the novel then Dante the Pilgrim wears it. Dante the Pilgrim must then be a scholar, yet we see him learn in a different way in the Inferno. I prefer to imagine the laurel wreath symbolizing more after the journey, for Dante the Poet, as he has achieved the highest education. Then again, I don't know if Dante the Pilgrim had a laurel wreath at all. The post never specified which Dante was in those pictures, if there even is a distinction in that sense.

edita georgevna said...

Was just looking at this, and found this info: Apparently, in the Divine Comedy, Dante articulates a hope that he will be welcomed back to Florence (he is in exile) and honored as a poet by receiving the laurel wreath in the church where he was baptized:

"... I shall return as a poet, and at the very font where I was baptized I shall be crowned with laurel."