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Reviews 273 clearly stated. The last section of the book seemed most clearly to deal with the 'emblematic structures' to which the title alluded, and might have been developed further, given the influence Russell proposes these structures had on the epistemological forms of the period. Nevertheless, these points do not detract from the evident scholarship of the work, hi fact it is exactly this detaU and precision of research that make the work a difficult starting point for a reader wishing to gain an insight into the Renaissance emblematic tradition. RusseU's treatment of a wide range of texts maintains interest and the extensive bibUography wUl provide a reader with further sources of information. The work is a valuable and insightful addition to the specialist emblematic field and more generaUy, French Renaissance literature and art, as well as to the study of epistemological processes in sixteenth-century France. Susan BroomhaU School of European Languages University of Western Australia Scott, John A., Dante's Political Purgatory (Middle Ages Series), Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996; cloth; pp. xi, 295; R.R.P. US$42.95. In Dante's time, the word 'poUtical' referred specifically to the civic government (regimen politicum) ot the communes or city-states characteristic of northern Italy, as opposed to the system of government by a king (regimen regale) in Naples, SicUy, and beyond the Alps. W h e n the word in its modern sense is appUed to Dante's thought and writings, it embraces not only the cities, such as his o w n Florence, but also the European kingdoms and, above them in his hierarchy of h u m a n social organization, the Germanic R o m a n Empire, together with the relationship of all these to the universal spiritual jurisdiction and authority of the Pope, hi this book, John Scott examines this extensive range of issues as the poet came to experience and evaluate them in his life and as he presents them in the central cantica ot his Comedy, the Purgatorio. Part I furnishes one of the best contextualised accounts available 274 Reviews in English of Dante's poUtical life and writings. Following his service in the government of Florence at a critical time in its dealings with Pope Boniface VIII, the exUed poet turned towards the Empire as the solution to the problems of earthly government in early fourteenthcentury Italy and Europe. In the Convivio, the political Epistles, the Monorchia, and the Comedy, he expresses his doctrine of the universal Roman Empire as founded not by the violence of armed conquest but by God in his plan for the redemption of the h u m a n race from the consequences of the sin of A d a m and Eve. For Dante, Virgil's Aeneid became 'the "Bible of the Empire", [ . . . ] not only a true record of history but also the revelation of God's workings in pagan history' (p. 40); the world-Monarchy of Augustus was established by God through the Roman people, and its medieval heir—the elected King of the Germans, the regnum italicum, and the R o m a n s — w a s thus the supreme holder of the sword of temporal power, the executor of Roman L a w and guarantor of Justice in the world. Independently, but ideally in collaboration with the supreme holder of the sword of spiritual jurisdiction, the Pope, the Emperor would be the guide of the universal human community to happiness in this life, as figured by the earthly Paradise. Indeed, Professor Scott argues—justifiably though not, of course, conclusively—that the Purgatorio was 'inspired in large measure by the lesson drawn by the poet from Henry VH's attempts (1310-1313) to restore imperial power and authority in Italy' (p. ix), and that the greater part of it was composed at that time (pp. 48, 212). In fact, however, Dante ended up as neither Guelph nor truly Ghibelline; his poUtical ideal was no Utopian vision but a para-edenic state that could be realized on earth' (p. ix); and, within this ideal, poUtics and ethics did not have separate and sometimes conflicting goals (as MachiavelU was to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 273-276
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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