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There can hardly be a more propitious date for a beginning, as Camilli pointed out. While there has been disagreement even about the year of the journey to the otherworld, indicated at various points as being e.

Inferno: Canto 1

While there are a number of solutions that have been put forward, the two current views that have large numbers of supporters are that of Antonino Pagliaro Ulisse: There will be many more.

His voyage is meant to be understood as ours as well. There is a further and related problem that will detain us a moment longer.

For the most recent discussion to link a 13,year annus magnus and Dante's opening verse see Guglielmo Gorni, Dante nella selva: And thus 'Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita' means exactly two complementary things: These conflicting ways of looking at the narrative, present here at struttura delluniverso dantesco yahoo dating very threshold, force us to make a choice as to whether we should take the poem as presenting an autobiographical narrative that, even though we know it to be fictive, must be dealt with as though it were 'historical,' or as merely a fiction, and thus to be dealt with as we have been taught to deal with any such human poetic production, by 'allegorizing' it to find a deeper meaning.

But here the wood is to be taken 'historically' in at least a certain sense, and seems to reflect, to some readers, the condition of Eden after the Fall.

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The selva oscura is one of the governing images of this canto and of the poem. It is, however, an interesting fact that Filippo Villani, commenting on the first canto of the poem early in the fifteenth century, says that the annus magnus contains 13, years ed.

Cotoletta fritta yahoo dating are three feminine nouns that may have that role, since the predicate adjective, amara bitteris also in the feminine: Related issues are also debated by the earliest commentators, in particular the date of the vision.

The centuries-long debate as to whether we should read the Comedy as an allegory, in which the surface action is to be understood as a fictive wrapping meant to bring the reader moralizing messages, or as the 'historical' record of an actual visit to the afterworld by a specific individual begins right here.

Nicola Fosca Italian, 1 - 1 The first of the 14, lines that constitute the Comedy immediately establishes a context for the poem that is both universal and particular. Many commentators have pointed out that this opening verse echoes a biblical text, Isaiah's account of the words of Hezekiah, afflicted by the 'sickness unto death' Isaiah Sansoni, ]p.

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Exemplary of the first tendency is the allegorical reading of the first verse found in Guido da Pisa comm. March 25th is, for Dante, the anniversary of the creation of Adam, of the conception and of the crucifixion of Christ, and also marks the Florentine 'New Year,' since that city measured the year from the Annunciation 25 March.

Many commentators point to the previous metaphorical statement found in the Dantean work that is probably nearest in time to it, the fourth treatise of his Convivio IV. For such readers, the poem, as a result, is seen as a 'dream vision,' which must be interpreted allegorically, as a fabula with a hidden meaning that needs to be teased out of it.

We have no autograph manuscript to turn to, and fourteenth-century scribal practice in this respect is various in itself and different from our own.

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Cassell, Lectura Dantis Americana: Bellomo's note to the passage in Villani suggests that there was one Christian tradition that saw the year as, indeed, the midpoint in this 13,year cycle. This tradition begins with his elder son and commentator Jacopo and reaches its clearest expression in the Ottimo's third redaction, ca.

For Villani the number does not count the years of the great revolution of the heavens, but the years of human life on earth. There is a large bibliography on the question.

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We, if we were editing rather than translating the text, would side with Pagliaro and now with Gorni, Dante nella selva: In addition, some commentators have noted the resonance of the epic tradition in Dante's opening phrase e.

D'Anna, ]pp. Le Lettere, ], Inferno, p. In such a reading, Dante's sinful life is as though lived in the ruins of Eden, the place to which he has let himself be led, away from the light of God. The problem is a simple one to describe: Sansoni, ]pp. Far more uncertainty attends the question of the actual days indicated.

Padoan has said this well comm.

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At least since Plato's time the annus magnus 'great year'that cycle that brings all the stars back to their original alignment in the heavens, was thought to last 36, years. Sansoni,pp. All students of Dante understand that the accents and marks of punctuation in editions of his texts are necessarily problematic.

His number is interesting, since it has the effect of making Dante's journey occur at nearly the precise mid-point of the cycle of the years allotted to humanity's earthly 'voyage,' a second sort of 'great year,' as it were, in the year extractable from Dante's numeration of the ages found in Par.

Dante's descent into hell is begun either on Friday 25 March or on Friday 8 April, with the conclusion of the journey occurring almost exactly one week later.

If we follow Villani, we can see that Dante's first verse, with something approaching terrifying precision, dates the opening of his poem to the midpoint of his own life and to that of the life of the species.

Full text of "Annali d'italianistica"

However, alongside of it there existed a second view sometimes combined with the first, sometimes at least intrinsically opposing itone which held that the reference is to the age of Dante when he made his voyage he was thirty-five years old inhalf of the biblical 'three score and ten' of Psalms One other text should also be mentioned here, the Tesoretto of Brunetto Latini see note to Inf.

D'Anna,p. Mazzoni demonstrates that this basic view of the poem was common to many of its early commentators. A recent commentator has suggested that Dante's view of his kinship with Hezekiah, like himself 'a model of the sinner who finds himself and redeems himself by means of repentance and hope,' was shaped by Bernard of Clairvaux, whose thoughts about Hezekiah are found in his Sermones de diversis III, PL Pratiche,p.

It is also true that many another potential 'source' has found proponents, but this one is so apposite that it has probably received more attention than any other.

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For a review see Bruno Basile, 'viaggio' ED. The citation is found in Padoan comm. It also immediately compels a reader to realize that this is a difficult text, one that may not be read passively, but must be 'interpreted.

University of Pennsylvania Press, ], p.