Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dante's record to be expunged.

Per the Telegraph, the city council of Florence has voted to clear Dante Alighieri's record and revoke the death sentence that awaited him if he ever went back there.

Whew. Thank good ness we got this cleared up. It's only been about 700 years now, so knowing that we can finally put this whole nasty business behind us is quite comforting. I'm sure Dante gives a crap.

If you want to see some good stuff about Dante, check Pope Benedict XV's encyclical In Praeclara Summorum.

What We have said above suffices to show how opportune it is that on the occasion of this world centenary each should intensify his zeal for the preservation of that Faith shown by Dante pre-eminently as support of learning and the arts. For We admire in him not only supreme height of genius but also the immensity of the subject which holy religion put to his hand. If his genius was refined by meditation and long study of the great classics it was tempered even more gloriously, as We have said, by the writings of the Doctors and the Fathers which gave him the wings on which to rise to a higher atmosphere than that of restricted nature. And thus it comes that, though he is separated from us by centuries, he has still the freshness of a poet of our times: certainly more modern than some of those of recent days who have exhumed the Paganism banished forever by Christ's triumph on the Cross. There breathes in Alighieri the piety that we too feel; the Faith has the same meaning for us; it is covered with the same veil, "the truth given to us from on high, by which we are lifted so high." That is his great glory, to be the Christian poet, to have sung with Divine accents those Christian ideals which he so passionately loved in all the splendour of their beauty, feeling them intimately and making them his life. Such as dare to deny to Dante this award and reduce all the religious content of the Divina Commedia to a vague ideology without basis of truth fail to see the real characteristic of the poet, the foundation of all his other merits.

Now go better yourself and read The Divine Comedy.

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