The Ancient Flame
Dante and the Poets
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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About the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante Studies
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The William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame supports rare book acquisitions in the university’s John A. Zahm Dante collections, funds an annual visiting professorship in Dante studies, and supports electronic and print publication of scholarly research in the field. ...
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When a lifelong amateur Dantista tries in his golden years to make a contribution to Dante studies he is bound to need a lot of help. The friends who have sat through trial versions of my ideas or stimulated me with theirs are many, ...
1 Introduction: Dante and Classical Poetry
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In the Old French Eneas there is an elaborate account of the tomb of the beautiful warrior Camille, Vergil’s Camilla, slain while seeking to defend Italy against the Trojans. Suspended over the bier by a golden chain is a lamp filled with a rare oil, which, if undisturbed, will burn forever. ...
2 Vergil in the Inferno
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The power of poetic language, and the language of Vergil in particular, plays a crucial role in our introduction to Dante’s underworld. Canto 3 of the Inferno has rightly been called the “canto virgiliano per eccellenza”1 for it not only inaugurates the descent into hell, ...
3 Lucan and Vergil: Judgment and Poetic Authority in Dis
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As suggested by Lucan’s fleeting appearance as the last of the “bella scola” in Limbo and the dismissive naming of him in Inferno 25, Dante’s appropriation of Lucan differs fundamentally from his use of Vergil, but Lucan plays an important role in his imagining of hell. ...
4 Cato's Grotto
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Lucan is not a significant presence in the last cantos of the Inferno, and it is obvious that he must cease to play a major role once Dante has left the underworld, as befits a poet for whom hope is a delusion and spiritual aspiration virtually unimaginable. In saying this I am aware that Dante’s most sustained ...
5 Ovid and Vergil in Purgatory
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Typically Dantisti treat the relationship of Ovid and Dante as the medieval schools approached the Metamorphoses, by a process of segmentation, dealing separately with Dante’s reworkings of particular myths without attempting to characterize his response to the larger movement, ...
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The long speech of Hugh Capet in Canto 20 brings to a climax the Purgatorio’s concern with history and politics. The major themes will reemerge in the powerful symbolism of the pageant at the summit of the mountain, but in the meantime Dante will shift his attention to questions of individual virtue, ...
7 Lust, Poetry, and the Earthly Paradise
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Despite his seeming neglect of Vergil and Statius in Cantos 23 and 24, his striking declaration to Bonagiunta that he is guided by the inner voice of love, and the clear signs of his growing independence, Dante remains close to the ancient poets as they proceed, and identifies his experience with theirs. ...
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In the Paradiso the world of classical poetry remains significantly present. In this realm where all is “transhuman,” and much is beyond Dante’s power to comprehend or represent, the discourse of the saints and soldiers of the heavenly city is nonetheless focused to a remarkable degree on the human world. ...
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Index of Passages Discussed
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2008