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The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
On the surface, the poem describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents, allegorically, the soul's journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse".
The work was originally simply titled Comedža and was later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio. The first printed edition to add the word divina to the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari.
About the author
Durante degli Alighieri (Italian: [du'rante 'de??i ali'gj??ri]), simply called Dante (Italian: ['dante], UK /'dśnti/, US c. 1265Ė1321), was a major Italian poet of the late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedža (modern Italian: Commedia) and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
In Italy he is called il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet") and il Poeta. He, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called "the three fountains" and "the three crowns". Dante is also called "the Father of the Italian language".