Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

Thumbnail Image
Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture
Italian Language and Literature
Medieval History
Bibliotheca Dantesca is an international peer-reviewed open-access journal dedicated to Dante studies. The journal represents the result of a productive collaboration between the students of Penn's Italian Studies doctoral program, who were its first promoters, the faculty in the program, the Center for Italian Studies, and the Penn Libraries. The journal's purpose is to produce scholarship that investigates the work of Dante and its reception with a widely interdisciplinary perspective. At Penn, the Italian Studies program and the Center actively collaborate in organizing events devoted to Dante, such as Lecturae Dantis, talks, conferences, concerts, films, and theatrical performances. The Department of Romance Languages, of which the Italian Studies program is a section, regularly offers courses devoted to Dante and his world, in conjunction with the interdisciplinary program in Global Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Bibliotheca Dantesca thus consolidates the strong commitment of Penn and its Italian Studies community to Dante's scholarship in a timely way. Eva Del Soldato and Mauro Calcagno Call for Articles: We welcome submissions for our sixth volume (December 2023). The deadline is June 30, 2023. The journal welcomes contributions that investigate the works of Dante and its reception from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. Bibliotheca Dantesca invites essays related to Dante and Dante's reception through the centuries, from the late Middle Ages to modern times, and from a variety of perspectives, including Mediterranean studies, gender studies, history of emotion, African-American studies, material text, influence on nationalism, "Italianity", digital humanities, environmental studies, to mention a few. Submissions should be in English (preferred) or Italian. The journal publishes ARTICLES (double-blind peer-review, between 6000 and 15000 words) and NOTES (single-blind peer-review, maximum 6000 words). For information and inquiries contact: All publications are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0): See the Guidelines here:

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 117
  • Publication
    Dante as Orpheus: Georgics 4 and Inferno 5
    (2021-12-12) West, Kevin R.
    Critics have long struggled to explain the apparent contradiction between Inferno 5.31, where the violent winds of the second circle of hell are said never to rest, and Inferno 5.96, where the wind is calm while Dante speaks with Francesca da Rimini. I argue that the winds calm specifically because they also calm when Orpheus visits the underworld in search of Eurydice in Georgics 4. With this briefest of allusions Dante fashions himself as another Orpheus, a poet whose art can soothe hell itself, into which he has dared (as a character) to descend.
  • Publication
    The Global Popularity of Dante's 'Divina Commedia': Translations, Libraries, Wikipedia
    (2022-12-13) Blakesley, Jacob
    Studies of the translation and reception history of Dante’s Divina Commedia have rarely included the use of either distant reading (aka large-scale literary analysis) or Digital Humanities, much less both. However, using both these methods allows innovative research questions to be pursued and answered with regard to Dante’s fortuna, as I have shown in four previous articles regarding Dante and other writers. This contribution draws on three new datasets that I constructed myself in order to study canons of world literature, using Dante’s Divine Comedy as a case study: a comprehensive catalogue of all the worldwide complete translations of the Commedia (or single canticles such as Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso), published from the 16th century until 2021; readership data pertaining to all the Wikipedia entries dedicated to Dante’s biographical entry and his works; and Commedia holdings, in both Italian and translation, in all national libraries with online searchable catalogues. The aim is to see where Dante’s text is translated and circulates the most, and whether his work is globally popular.
  • Publication
    (2018-12-10) Tyre, Jess
    Tchaikovsky completed his tone poem Francesca da Rimini in 1876, during the period he was attending the premiere of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Bayreuth. Critics of the work drew comparisons with the Tetralogy and faulted what seemed to be Tchaikovsky’s derivative inspiration. Indeed, the composer him-self acknowledged Wagner’s influence. In this paper, I set aside influence to consider intertextual dialogues between Tchaikovsky’s work and others by Liszt, Zandonai, Rachmaninov, and not Wagner’s Ring, but Tristan und Isolde. Drawing upon theories by Klein and Peirce, I examine parallelisms of topic, melodic contour, tonal motion, and timbral signifiers to establish a “conversation” between Francesca’s tale and King Marke’s speech at the conclusion of Act 2 of Tristan. The results reveal an interactive field of narration and symbolization that projects both stories’ themes of desire, betrayal, guilt, and love.
  • Publication
    (2018-12-10) Peterson, Thomas E.
    The essay draws an arc between the episodes of Casella and Cacciaguida under the sign of music. It explores the symmetry between the brief encounter with the minstrel who sings lines from Dante’s poetry, and the extended episode with Dante’s ancestor, who instructs him about his destiny. The symmetry is at once biographical, as the two scenes are among the most personal in the Commedia, theoretical, as they exemplify the relations between poetry and music expounded on in De vulgari eloquentia and Convivio, and theological, in a sense consistent with the writings of Augustine and Boethius. If Mars is a mimetic presence in the Casella scene, that heaven aligned with music is the realm where Dante will learn from Cacciaguida of the absolute relativity of earthly matters, a realization that frees him to progress toward the innocence of the final heavens.
  • Publication