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DANTE, ALIGHIERI:

Florentine poet; born 1265; died at Ravenna Sept. 14, 1321. Dante took an active part in the political feuds then distracting his native city, and in 1302 was banished. From that time on he lived in exile, enjoying from time to time the hospitality of several princes of northern Italy, such as Can Grande della Scala of Verona and Guido Polenta of Ravenna. Dante's principal work is the "Divina Commedia." A few Hebrew words ("Hosanna," "Sabaoth": "Paradiso," vii. 1; "EL," "Eli," "Malacoth": ib. xxvi. 134; "De Vulgari Eloquentia," i. 4), and the two hitherto unexplained and perhaps inexplicable passages ("Inferno," vii. 1—"Pape Satan, Pape Satan, aleppe"; and xxxi. 67—"Raphel maï amech, zabì almì"), have led to the assumption that Dante understood Hebrew; which, however, is contradicted by his own testimony ("Paradiso," xii. 73). Dante's "Divine Comedy" served as a model for his contemporary Immanuel ben Solomon in the closing (twenty-eighth) chapter, "Tofet we-'Eden" (Hell and Paradise), of his "Divan." Mose de Rieti's "Miḳdash Me'aṭ"(Little Sanctuary) can not unreservedly be considered an imitation of Dante's "Paradiso."

In spite of Kraus's objections (see his "Dante, Sein Leben und Sein Werk," p. 146), it seems certain that Dante entertained friendly relations with Immanuel ben Solomon. Whether the two poets became acquainted at the court of Can Grande in Verona, where Immanuel also stayed for a while, or at the house of their common friend Bosone in Gubbio, can not be ascertained. Their friendship is shown by an exchange of sonnets between Bosone and the Jew Manoello (i.e., Immanuel), in which Dante's death is bewailed. An alleged exchange of sonnets between Cino da Pistoja and Bosone, in which Cino transfers Dante and Manoello to the Inferno, while Bosone defends both, is spurious. From this it appears that the close personal relations between thetwo poets was a matter of common knowledge to their contemporaries. Concerning the question as to whether Dante is alluded to in the character of Daniel in the 28th chapter of Immanuel's "Divan," in which the poet is led through the Inferno and Paradise, see Immanuel ben Solomon.

Bibliography:
  • F. X. Kraus, Dante, Sein Leben und Sein Werk, Berlin, 1897. The sonnet of Bosone was first published by Allacci, Poeti Antichi Raccolti da Codici MSS. della Bibliotheca Vaticana e Barberina, p. 112, Naples, 1661.
  • The sonnet ascribed to Cino was first edited by Ciampi, Rime de Messer Cino da Pistria, p. 114, note 108, Pisa, 1813. All four sonnets were edited by Mercuri, Lezione XI. in Forma di Lettera . . . Nella Quale è Trattato se Dante Veramente Fosse Morto Nel 1321, Naples, 1853.
  • Compare Soave, Breve Notizie del Poeta Emmanuele di Roma, in L'Educatore Israelita, 1862;
  • D'Ancona, in Rivista di Scienze Lettere ed Arti. . . Anno IV. 1863;
  • Garofalo, Litteratura ej Filosofia, pp. xviii., xlii., Naples, 1872;
  • Mazzatinti, in Studj di Filologia Romanza, i. 330 et seq.;
  • Modona, Rime Volgari di Immanuele Romano, Parma, 1898;
  • German translation in Fürst, Illustrirte Monatshefte für Israeliten, 1865;
  • Geiger, Jüdische Zeitschrift, v. 293 et seq.;
  • Güdemann, Gesch. des Erziehungswesens der Juden in Italien, pp. 137 et seq.;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, i. 430 et seq.;
  • see also Grätz, Gesch. vii. 265;
  • Delitzsch, Zwei Kleine Dantestudien;
  • Geiger, in Oẓar Neḥmad, iii. 123 et seq.;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. xi. 52 et seq.;
  • Paur, Jahrb. der Deutschen Dantegesellschaft, iii. 423 et seq.;
  • Carducci, Studi Litterari, pp. 260 et seq., 275 = opere viii. 157 et seq., 174 et seq.;
  • Servi, Dante Egli Ebrei, 1893;
  • Kaufmann, in Rev. Et.Juives, xxxvii. 252 et seq.;
  • idem, Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1898, pp. 330 et seq.
G. H. V.
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