Dante's Divine Comedy is a political work as much as it is a religious one. Amongst the imprecations against Florence, the Papacy, and the French monarchy, there is a dominant political philosophy that shapes how Dante characterizes the political bodies that threaten his vision of universal imperial power. He believes that the goal of humanity is to attain its full intellectual potential. This is only possible if mankind lives in a state of order and peace, or buon comune. In the Commedia as well as his other works he argues that the only way to establish this buon comune, which is the will of God, is through the intervention of the Holy Roman Emperor. Neither the pope nor other strong secular rulers such as the French kings could fulfill the precise role ascribed to the emperor to Dante, only empire was the way to peace.
[...] Rather than risk the papacy turning to others, such as the Ghibellines or the Emperor, the giant beats the harlot (echoing the beating and death of Boniface) and drags it off into the woods (the transfer of the papal seat to Avignon and further under the French monarch's control). Dante believes it is the responsibility of the Empire to control the power of France and free the Church from the overwhelming influence of the French monarchs. Dante denounces Florence throughout the Commedia as the ultimate corrupt city, symbolized by the sinfulness of the Inferno. The factionalism and party politics that plagued Florence, causing it to violently turn against itself, destroyed any potential for buon comune. These self-destructive actions, Dante decried in an open letter to his native city, were against both God and nature. Tyrants had taken away the rights of the citizens. [...]
[...] Dante and the Empire, Peter Lang, New York Davis, Charles Till, Dante and the Idea of Rome, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, London Alghieri, Dante. Monarchy, xi Ferrante Alghieri, Dante. Monarchy, II, x Alghieri, Dante. Three Political Letters Ferrante Mancusi-Ungaro Ibid Ferrante Alghieri, Dante. Monarchy, III, iii Alghieri, Dante. Three Political Letters Davis, Charles Till, Dante and the Idea of Rome, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, London Ibid. Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam Alghieri, Dante. Monarchy, III, iii Benfell, V. [...]
[...] This was necessary in order for God's plan of buon comune to come to fruition in Tuscany and Italy. Dante's dreams that the Holy Roman Emperor would come down from Germany to save Italy proved fruitless. Civil unrest caused cities to rescind their support of Henry VII, and Pope Clement V's support of Henry's opposition of the French Charles of Valois was tepid at best. at that time the prefect of God's Court will be a man who publicly agrees to tread his path, but not so secretly.” (Paradiso XXX, 1145-147). [...]
[...] Heaven-like conditions of universal peace are needed for mankind to achieve happiness and fulfill God's will, and these conditions can only be created under the rule of a universal empire. The Commedia is rife with examples of how the power of the papacy is destroying buon comune in Florence, and throughout Italy and the whole of Europe. In assuming temporal authority the papacy has abrogated its role as the spiritual shepherd of the people, for Pope and the Cardinals heed nothing else; their thoughts do not go out to Nazareth where Gabriel once opened wide his wings,” (Paradiso IX, 136-138). [...]
[...] (Jan, 1995), pp 145-163 Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam Davis, Charles Till, Dante and the Idea of Rome, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, London Ferrante, Joan M., The Political Vision of the Divine Comedy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey Hendrix, Scott H. Quest of the “Vera Ecclesia:” The Crisis of Late Medieval Ecclesiology,” Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol (1976), pp 347- 378 Hughes, Phillip. The Church in Crisis: A History of the General Councils, 325-1870, Hanover House, Garden City, New York Josselyn, FM, Jr. [...]
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