Quotes of the Day for 14 May 2009 – Dante
Durante degli Alighieri was born at Florence, the date is a stab in the dark. Nothing is known of his early life or education. He met the love of his life, Beatrice, at nine, and was contracted to marry Gemma at twelve. He had five children with Gemma, but made Beatrice important in his poetry. He became an apothecary when the law required membership in one of the guilds for political participation, and was on the wrong side in the politics of Florence. When his side lost in 1301, he was staying in the Vatican and was sentenced to death in absentia. Dante began the Divine Comedy, his best-known work, in 1308, which established the vernacular of Tuscany as the Italian language. Before that time, published works in any language other than Latin were rare and treated with little respect. His hometown had a change of heart about their most famous son and created a tomb for him in 1829. They even overturned his death sentence last June. The people of Ravenna, where he lived after his exile, have refused to part with his remains.
You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.
For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?
Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild.
Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.
We must overact our part in some measure, in order to produce any effect at all.
Lying in a featherbed will bring you no fame, nor staying beneath the quilt, and he who uses up his life without achieving fame leaves no more vestige of himself on Earth than smoke in the air or foam upon the water.
To run over better waters the little vessel of my genius now hoists her sails, as she leaves behind her a sea so cruel.
All from Dante Alighieri, 1265 - 1321
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