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Faculty Seminar in the Liberal Arts: Dante (Divine Comedy): Home

This guide was developed for the 2016 Faculty Seminar in the Liberal Arts

Comencia la Comedia, 1472

Alighieri, Dante - Available in the BEIC digital library and uploaded in partnership with BEIC Foundation.

Historic notes

Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 and lived until 1321.

The Divine Comedy (La Commedia) was begun c.1308 and completed in 1320.

The Divine Comedy was written in three parts:  Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.

The Divine Comedy was originally written in the vernacular Italian rather than Latin or Greek.

The first English translation was in 1782 and since then, it has been translated more times than in any other language (Cunningham, Gilbert, The Divine Comedy in English: a Critical Biography 1782-1966).

Primary Sources influencing Dante's work

Virgil, Aeneid (ebook)

Aquinas, Summa Theologica (Theology (BX1749 .T5 1981) plus 4 more )

Ovid, Metamorphosis (ebook)

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (ebook)

Boccaccio, The Decameron (ECampus PQ4267 .A2 1972)


Where to begin

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri (a WordPress Study Guide), created by "Guy P. Raffa: project director and editor Suloni Robertson: artist and graphic designer Gary Dickerson: site designer and programmer Mark Garrison, Esmeralda Moscatelli, Gianvi Figari: oral rendering of selected verses Michael Heidenreich: audio recording and editing Tara Wenger: library research Carrie Wells and Jamie Ward: scans music for the Inferno flash movie by Suloni Robertson; recorded by Joe Robertson; mixed by Gary Dickerson Acknowledgements In addition to students in his Dante classes, Professor Raffa gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following individuals to the conception of Danteworlds: Olin Bjork, Elissa Fineman, Dan Gutierrez, Coco Kishi, Laura Kramarsky, Helene Meyers, Stefan Smagula, and Joe TenBarge."

Dante in Translation, Open Yale Courses, Professor Giuseppe Mazaotta, Yale University

The Princeton Dante Project, (PDP) Princeton University

Treasures of the Bodleian: Dante, The Divine Comedy, YouTube, Bodleian Library, Oxford University

Digital Dante, Columbia University in the City of New York

Dartmouth Dante Project, Darmouth College

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University

APU Databases for secondary sources on Dante and Medieval History

Academic Search Premier, (a database that indexes journals with a wide span of subjects)

Past Masters, (A database containing works by major philosophers and theologians)

Project Muse  (Digital Humanities and Social Science content, including Literature)

Cambridge Companions to Philosophy, Religion and Culture, (A database of essays addressing philosophical topics and figures from Kant to Habermas)

JSTOR Arts & Sciences Collection, (Core scholarly journals dating back to the 1600's)

ProQuest Literature Online (Includes author content from 8th century to the present day and Cambridge Companions)

MLA International Bibliography, (Languages and Literature)

ATLA Religion Database with ATLAS Plus (Religion resources)

ArtStor (Images of Dante's, The Divine Comedy)

Philosopher's Index, Authoritative bibliographic database for philosophy studies (electronic resource)

New Testament Abstracts, Article and book review abstracts related to New Testament Studies with coverage dating back to 1985

Old Testament Abstracts, Article and book review abstracts related to Old Testament Studies.

APU Reference Resources

The Dante Encyclopedia, Richard Lansing (editor), Garland Publishers 2000, ECampus Ref (PQ4333 .D36 2000)

The Cambridge Companion to Dante, Rachel Jacoff,(editor), Cambridge University Press, 1993 (Sierra Ref PQ4335 .C36 1993)

The Cambridge Companion to Allegory, Rita Copeland and Peter T. Struck, 2010, ECampus (PN56.A5 C35 2010

The Cambridge Companion to Virgil, Charles Martindale (editor), Cambridge University Press, 1997, ECampus Ref (PA6825 .C35 1997)

The Rise of the Medieval World: 500 - 1300, a Biographical Dictionary, Jana K. Shulman (editor), Greenwood Press, 2002 (ebook)

The Divine Comedy and the Encyclopedia of Arts and Sciences: Acta of the International Dante Symposium, 13-16 November, Hunter College, New York, Giuseppe Di Sciopio and Aldo Scaglione (editors), 1988 (ebook)

Secondary Resources

A Modern Reader's Guide to Dante's The Divine Comedy, Joseph Gallagher, Ligouri Publications, 1999.

The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the Divine Comedy, Guy P. Raffa, University of Chicago Press, 2009

How Dante Can Save Your Life:  The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem, Rod Dreher, Simon & Schuster, 2015

Petrarch and Dante: Anti-Dantism, Metaphysics, Tradition. Edited by Zygmunt G. Baranski and Theodore J. Cachey, Jr., Notre Dame Press, 2009

Reading Dante: from Here to Eternity, Prue Shaw, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2015 (E Campus PQ4390 .S54 2015)

Dante Alighieri:  Divine Comedy, Divine Spirituality, Robert Royal, 1999 (Stamps Theology Library PQ4416 .R69 1999)

Vernacular Theology: Dominican Sermons and Audience in Late Medieval Italy, Walter de Gruyter 2013 (ebook) 


Librarian & Curator

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Luba Zakharov
Azusa Pacific University
Hugh and Hazel Darling Library
701 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa, CA 91702
626.815.6000, ext. 5938


Dante Alighieri by Sandro Botticelli (public domain)

Digital Libraries

BEIC Digital Library, Fondazione Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC), Milan 2004

Project Gutenberg: a project to digitize cultural works into e-book format, founded in 1971 and now known as the oldest digital library

Hathi Trust Digital Library: a digital preservation repository

World Digital Library:  a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world