Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies: Volume 3, Issue 1

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  • Publication
    Unnoticed Fragments of Dante’s 'Monarchia' with the Commentary Attributed to Cola di Rienzo
    (2020-12-09) Holford, Matthew
    This note draws attention to and briefly describes fragments in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, which preserve a previously unknown copy of Dante’s Monarchia with the commentary on that text attributed to Cola di Rienzo. The fragments survive in fifteenth-century bindings from Erfurt but seem to have been written in Central Europe around the middle of the fourteenth century by a combination of Central European and Italian scribes. In their layout, decoration, text, corrections and annotations the fragments provide significant new evidence for the circulation both of the Monarchia and of the commentary. They are also important for the possibility that they originated in the milieu of mid-fourteenth-century Bohemia where Rienzo’s commentary is believed to have been composed.
  • Publication
    Dante's Political Life
    (2020-12-09) Raffa, Guy P
    The approach of the seven-hundredth anniversary of Dante's death is a propitious time to recall the events that drove him from his native Florence and marked his life in various Italian cities before he found his final refuge in Ravenna, where he died and was buried in 1321. Drawing on early chronicles and biographies, modern historical research and biographical criticism, and the poet's own writings, I construct this narrative of “Dante's Political Life” for the milestone commemoration of his death. The poet’s politically-motivated exile, this biographical essay shows, was destined to become one of the world’s most fortunate misfortunes.
  • Publication
    Teaching Dante's 'Divine Comedy' in 21st-century America: A conversation with Kristina Marie Olson
    (2020-12-09) Olson, Kristina Marie; Sassi, Mario
    Kristina Marie Olson is Associate Professor of Italian at George Mason University in Virginia. She is a member of the editorial board of Bibliotheca Dantesca and the President of the American Boccaccio Association. Together with Christopher Kleinhenz, she edited the volume Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy, which follows a first edition in 1982, edited by Carole Slade.
  • Publication
    Books Received
    (2020-12-09) Bibliotheca Dantesca, Editor
  • Publication
    Reviews Full
    (2020-12-09) Bibliotheca Dantesca, Editor
  • Publication
    Why is Pampinea 28? Pythagoras meets Aquinas in the 'Decameron'
    (2020-12-09) Kirkham, Victoria
    Boccaccio tells us little about the Decameron frame narrators except their pseudonyms and ages. Eldest of the seven ladies, Pampinea is in her twenty-eighth year, while the youngest is 18. The three men, ready to serve female reliance on male guidance, are young, but none is under 25. Commentators, caught up by riddles of nomenclature, have all but ignored the numerals. Spelled out so carefully, 28th-18 and 25 tease our curiosity. Why should the Author express his ladies’ ages as a ten-year span, while for the gentlemen a single anchoring number suffices? If the seven women allude to the Virtues, as I have argued, and Pampinea chief among them personifies Prudence, what logic connects her to 28? And if the men point to the tricameral soul, in which Reason (Panfilo) controls the lower appetites of wrath (Filostrato) and lust (Dioneo), why does it matter that all three be over 25? Why is Pampinea, solicitous of orderly activity and happiness, the one to suggest a daily rotation of rulers in their rustic sojourn? Answers lie in medieval protocols for expressing age and its peak on the parabola of human life, lore that Boccaccio well knew. His own practices reflect fascination with Pythagorean numerology, immersion in Aristotle as transmitted by Aquinas, and a man trained in the law whose poetic North Star was Dante. The ages of the seven women and three men in the brigata, incidental details to modern readers, stand tall from a medieval outlook. They are sign posts in a philosophical system that perfects the novella portante (master novella) as an ideal allegorical realm, hovering in a hierarchical relationship over the tales it carries.
  • Publication
    'Purgatorio' 2019: A Response to the Work of Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari
    (2020-12-09) Webb, Heather
    This brief report discusses Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari’s Purgatorio 2019 at Ravenna’s Teatro delle Albe. The report sets out three aspects of the political remediation of Dante’s Purgatorio that the Teatro delle Albe has offered: first, a plurilingual, pluricultural vision of Italy; second, an emphasis on denouncing domestic violence; and third, an environmentalist impulse that reads the tropes of care and cultivation in Dante’s canticle in the light of the notable engagement of today’s youth to protest our current state of environment crisis.