The ghost that led the search

Durante degli Alighieri, or simply called Dante , was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages.

His The Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa and later christened Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language. It is now regarded as a masterpiece of world literature.

However, when Dante died in 1321, parts of the manuscript were missing.

His sons, Jacopo and Piero, searched their house for months but to no avail.

They eventually gave up on their quest to recover their father’s masterpiece.

Shortly afterwards, Jacopo is said to have had a dream where he saw his father dressed in white and bathed in eternal light. He asked the vision if the poem had indeed been completed, to which Dante’s figure nodded in affirmation, and allegedly showed Jacopo a secret place in his old chamber.

So Jacopo, along with Dante’s friend lawyer as a witness, went to the place indicated in the dream. There was a small blind fixed to the wall. Lifting it they found a small window.

Inside were some papers covered with mould. They lifted them out carefully, brushed off the mould, read the words of Dante-and The Divine Comedy was complete! The condition of the recovered cantos*, 13 to be exact, was such that they were close to rotting if they had stayed there much longer.

*-one of the sections into which certain long poems are divided.

Reference and source: A Traveler’s Guide to the Afterlife: Traditions and Beliefs on Death, Dying, and What Lies Beyond, by Mark Mirabello, Ph.D

 

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