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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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The French Dimension in Dante's Politics

The French Dimension in Dante's Politics

(p.58) 5 The French Dimension in Dante's Politics
Dante and Governance

Richard Cooper

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the French dimension of Dante's thoughts on government. Here, one of Dante's particular and legitimate concerns, the political conspiracy between a French king and a puppet French pope, is seen as part of the poet's failure to come to terms with a new Europe where France was the major political, military, and trading power, the Ghibelline cause having been lost at Benevento and Tagliacozzo, and the Angevins having redrawn the map of Italy. In France, too, Dante's critique of both Capetians and Angevins earned him a poor press, which extended as far as the High Renaissance; his political judgements condemning him there to a reputation as a second-rate, obscure, and derivative poet, a monster of ingratitude to the nation and the king who, so it was believed, had welcomed him to Paris and given him a proper education.

Keywords:   papacy, High Renaissance, France, Dante's politics, Roman de la Rose

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