Dante's Italy



Spring 2013

HIEU 3215 / ITTR 3215

Dante's Italy

Duane J. Osheim, Deborah Parker

This course investigates Italian history and culture through the prism of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, one of the most important works in European literature. The three books of the Comedy offer a meditation on the social and political life of the Italian city-states, a critique of contemporary Christianity, and a commentary on art and literature at the end of the Middle Ages. The format of the course will be lectures on historical and cultural issues critical to the Comedy and discussions of selected cantos of the great poem. We will also take advantage of the information available through “The World of Dante” website being constructed by Deborah Parker at the university’s Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities. There will be a midterm, a final and a paper based on a study of issues raised by the poem itself.

Readings for the course will include:

  • Dante, The Divine Comedy
  • Rachael Jacoff, The Cambridge Companion to Dante
  • And selected articles available on  Collab


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904



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