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Dante Alighieri, Italian Poet

Durante degli Alighieri (1265 - 1321) was an Italian poet and moral philosopher best known for the epic poem The Divine Comedy, which comprises sections representing the three tiers of the Christian afterlife: purgatory, heaven, and hell. This poem, a great work of medieval literature and considered the greatest work of literature composed in Italian, is a philosophical Christian vision of mankind's eternal fate. Dante is seen as the father of modern Italian. Dante held a number of important public posts. In 1302, however, he fell out of favor and was exiled for life by the leaders of the Black Guelphs, the political faction in power at the time and who were in league with Pope Boniface VIII. In his exile, Dante traveled and wrote, conceiving The Divine Comedy, and withdrew from all political activities. The Divine Comedy is an allegory of human life presented as a visionary trip through the Christian afterlife, written as a warning to a corrupt society to steer itself to the path of righteousness.

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