Monday, December 12, 2005

Dante, "thinker and poet"

As I work on my Dante & Vergil paper for my Reception course, I find I won't be able to work in this great quotation, so I'm going to share it here. Domenico Comparetti (VMA pg. 199) presents Dante as a poet of the Middle Ages, yet distinguishes what sets him apart from his contemporaries:

"[Dante] has a high opinion of the human intellect, and though he considers its powers as limited, yet he feels a great respect for those of its representatives who were independent of and anterior to the mission of Christ; hence he is not merely acquainted with the ancients through the medium of the schools of grammar, nor does he confine his study of them to what is barely necessary, but he devotes himself directly to them, not as a grammarian or a philologist, still less as a humanist, but as a thinker and a poet."

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