Abstract

We can now establish that Phillis Wheatley actually knew Dante’s La Divina Commedia in a Latin translation. While a complete English translation of the Commedia did not appear until after 1800, Father Carlo d’Aquino’s Latin translation was published in 1728. Also, Wheatley had access to d’Aquino’s Latin version, as is demonstrable in her borrowings from this Latin version as they appear in her extant œuvre. Whereas others have written insistently that Wheatley only knew classical myths from the few English mythology handbooks of her period, I believe that this investigation proves unquestionably that Wheatley knew Latin rather well.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-6182
Print ISSN
1062-4783
Pages
pp. 17-31
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-17
Open Access
No
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