Author. Born Durante Alighieri in Florence, Italy the son of Alighiero di Bellincione Alighieri, a notary, and his first wife. His studies included rhetoric, grammar, philosophy, literature , theology, philosophy, and theology. In 1293 he joined the guild of physicians and apothecaries in order to gain entry into the political life of the city. About that same year he published 'Vita Nuova' a combination of lyrical verse and poetic prose telling the story of his love for Beatrice. About 1295 he married Gemma di Manetto Donati, with whom he had at least four children. His political career culminated in his taking the office of priore in 1300. Unfortunately, his ruling party split into two factions known as Bianchi and Neri, and his Bianchi faction represented opposition to the papal legate. He faced a charge of hostility to the Church and corrupt practices as a result and he was sentenced to pay a heavy fine and to perpetual exclusion from office in 1302. At the beginning of April that year, the whole of the Bianchi faction were driven out of Florence. He withdrew from active participation in politics the following year after appeals failed. In 1304 he apparently traveled to Bologna where he began, but left unfinished, a treatise, 'De Vulgari Eloquentia.' In 1306, the was expelled from Bologna and he moved on to Padua where he began the 'Convivio.' It was probably in 1309 that he wrote his famous work on the monarchy, 'De Monarchia.' In 1312 he moved on to Pisa and then to Lucca and then Ravenna where he completed his most famous work, 'La Commedia,' later known as 'La Divina Commedia,' sometime between 1319 and 1321. He died shortly after its completion and was interred in Ravenna. There is a cenotaph in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence. He has been lauded as the patriarch of Italian poetry and literature. His influence upon English literature can be seen in Chaucer, Shelley, Byron, Browning, and Tennyson among others. Numerous Dante societies can be found throughout the world.
Bio by: Iola