Dante Alighieri: Science and poetry in The Divine Comedy
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Dante’s comedy is one of the most widely-translated and published works of all time. Written in 1300, it deals with themes which are still relevant today, and which makes today’s generations feel closer «to that love that moves the sun and other stars.
This course looks at the poetry in the journey that the poet-character Dante takes his readers on from the human to the “divine”. It will focus on the scientific aspects, which have, in general, received less interest on the part of critics. Although largely ignored by literary critics, Dante has been widely studied by scientists both past and present.
You will be escorted on your journey through Dante’s comedy by characters like Beatrice, Pier delle Vigne and Ulysses, but also by some of the most famous scientists, like Albert Einstein, to see how Dante Alighieri’s description of the cosmos in 1300 was later verified by modern science.
In this way, the Comedy succeeds in conveying how precious Dante's thoughts are and shows 21st century readers that science and poetry do not have to be separated but constitute the unity of universal knowledge.