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Italian Renaissance, Dante, Latin, vernacular


The subject of this essay concerns Dante only indirectly and in part. Nevertheless I hope to be able, among other things, to explain Dante's historical position and his influence on the Italian Renaissance. I cannot avoid partially repeating what I wrote in some of my previous studies, especially in my early article on the Italian prose language. Some of my prior observations, which seemed new to me at the time, have since been widely accepted; but some new sources and literature have been added in the meantime, and on some points I have changed my opinion or paid attention to new points of view. The subject is too broad and complex for one essay. But while many studies may pertain to my topic, no comprehensive reference works or bibliographies could serve as a firm basis or starting point. I must, therefore, select and emphasize a few facts, not all of which are generally known, and refer occasionally to manuscripts or rare editions.