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Dante and Governance$
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John Woodhouse

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159117.001.0001

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Monarchia and Dante's Attitude to the Popes

Monarchia and Dante's Attitude to the Popes

(p.46) 4 Monarchia and Dante's Attitude to the Popes
Dante and Governance

George Holmes

Oxford University Press

Dante's relationship with the papacy runs throughout his life from the 1290s to the end and is an important theme. But this chapter suggests that Inferno XIX, which implies a denunciation of the simonist Pope Clement V was written later than most of Inferno, after 1312, and that Dante became interested in the papacy from the point of view expressed in the Monarchia only at a subsequent stage. This was partly the result of Clement's betrayal of Dante's potential saviour, the Emperor Henry VII in 1312, which made Dante both an imperialist and an anti-papalist. Dante never questioned the spiritual power of the papacy, but he became a severe critic of its claims to temporal power, most strongly in Monarchia III. At an even later stage, however, in Paradiso, this chapter argues that Dante abandoned the extreme criticism of the papacy.

Keywords:   Inferno XIX, Pope Clement, Emperor Henry VII, Paradiso, papacy, Monarchia III

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