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Dante. An essay. To which is added a translation of De Monarchia.   By: (1815-1890)

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[Transcriber's Note: Spelling and punctuation have been retained as they appear in the original, but obvious printer errors have been corrected without note. Printer errors in Italian passages from The Divine Comedy have been corrected using the Italian English Princeton University Press edition (trans. Charles S. Singleton, 1973).

A Table of Contents has been added for the reader's convenience. The original contains a separate Contents of De Monarchia at the end of De Monarchia.]

DANTE

AND

DE MONARCHIA.

[Illustration]

DANTE.

An Essay.

BY

R. W. CHURCH, M.A., D.C.L.

DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S, AND HONORARY FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.

To which is added

A TRANSLATION OF

DE MONARCHIA.

BY F. J. CHURCH.

London: MACMILLAN AND CO. 1879.

CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS, CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS.

CONTENTS

NOTICE DANTE DE MONARCHIA CONTENTS OF DE MONARCHIA PUBLISHER'S CATALOGUE

NOTICE.

The following Essay first appeared in the "Christian Remembrancer" of January, 1850, and it was reprinted in a volume of "Essays and Reviews," published in 1854.

It was written before the appearance in Germany and England of the abundant recent literature on the subject. With the exception of a few trifling corrections, it is republished without change.

By the desire of Mr. Macmillan, a translation of the De Monarchia is subjoined. I am indebted for it to my son, Mr. F.J. Church, late Scholar of New College. It is made from the text of Witte's second edition of the De Monarchia , 1874. The De Monarchia has been more than once translated into Italian and German, in earlier or later times. But I do not know that any English translation has yet appeared. It is analysed in the fifteenth chapter of Mr. Bryce's "Holy Roman Empire."

Witte, with much probability, I think, places the composition of the work in the first part of Dante's life, before his exile in 1301, while the pretensions and arguments of Boniface VIII. (1294 1303) were being discussed by Guelf and Ghibelline partisans, but before they were formally embodied in the famous Bull Unam Sanctam , 1302. The character of the composition, for the most part, formal, general, and scholastic, sanguine in tone and with little personal allusion, is in strong contrast with the passionate and despairing language of resentment and disappointment which marks his later writings. As an example of the political speculation of the time, it should be compared with the " De Regimine Principum ," ascribed to Thomas Aquinas. The whole subject of the mediƦval idea of the Empire is admirably discussed in Mr. Bryce's book referred to above.

R.W.C.

ST. PAUL'S, November , 1878.

DANTE.[1]

[JAN. 1850.]

[Footnote 1: Dante's Divine Comedy, the Inferno; a literal Prose Translation, with the Text of the Original. By J.A. CARLYLE, M.D., London: 1849. I have never quite forgiven myself for not having said more of the unpretending but honest and most useful volume which stood at the head of this essay when it first appeared as an article. It was placed there, according to what was then a custom of article writers, as a peg to hang remarks upon which might or might not be criticisms of the particular book so noticed. It did not offer itself specially to my use, and my attention was busy with my own work. But this was no excuse for availing myself of a good book, and not giving it the notice which it deserved. To an English student beginning Dante, and wishing to study him in a scholarly manner, it is really more useful than a verse translation can be; and I have always greatly regretted that the plan of translating the whole work was dropped for want of the appreciation which the first instalment ought to have had. (1878.)]

The Divina Commedia is one of the landmarks of history. More than a magnificent poem, more than the beginning of a language and the opening of a national literature, more than the inspirer of art, and the glory of a great people, it is one of those rare and solemn monuments of the mind's power, which measure and test what it can reach to, which rise up ineffaceably and for ever as time goes on, marking out its advance by grander divisions than its centuries, and adopted as epochs by the consent of all who come after... Continue reading book >>




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