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Picture of Dante as Political Theorist

Dante as Political Theorist

Reading Monarchia

Editor(s): Maria Luisa Ardizzone

Book Description

Dante’s Latin treatise Monarchia inscribes itself within the long medieval conflict between Pope and Emperor and the debate that opposed the theorists of theocracy to the supporters of the empire. The Monarchia, traditionally assumed to be a subversive work as its tormented reception testifies – it remained listed in the Index of Prohibited Books from 1559 to the end of the 19th century – results from the strong connection Dante emphasized between politics and ethics. The bene esse of human beings is the crucial issue that the treatise discusses since its very beginning. More than focusing on power and sovereignty, the Monarchia aims to demonstrate that the government of a single universal ruler guarantees the achievement of the natural goal of human life. The central role assigned to the Emperor discloses, in fact, the importance the poet gives to earthly happiness and to the temporal dimension of humanitas.

The essays in this volume are the result of the first International Symposium of the Global Dante Project of New York, a scholarly initiative committed to the systematic study of the whole of Dante’s opus. Held in 2015 and devoted to the Monarchia, this inaugural event saw the participation of scholars from Europe and the USA who investigated Dante’s political treatise addressing diverse issues and from multiple and innovative methodological perspectives. The fertile discussion generated on that occasion and the insights it produced animate this book.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-1651-9
ISBN-10: 1-5275-1651-2
Date of Publication: 01/12/2018
Pages / Size: 280 / A5
Price: £61.99


Maria Luisa Ardizzone is Professor of Italian Literature at New York University. Her principal areas of interest are the Middle Ages, poetry, intellectual history, medieval philosophy, science, and 20th century poetry. Her publications include Reading as the Angels Read. Speculation and Politics in Dante’s Banquet (2016); Dante: il paradigma Intellettuale. Un’inventio degli anni fiorentini (2011); Guido Cavalcanti: The Other Middle Ages (2002); Guido Cavalcanti. L’altro medioevo (2006); Ezra Pound, Machine Art and Other Writings: The Lost Thought of the Italian Years (1996); (German translation, 2005; Polish translation, 2003); and Ezra Pound e la scienza. Scritti inediti o rari (1987).