In the last years of his life Dante left Verona for Ravenna, where he completed the Paradiso and died in 1321. In 1319-1320 a young master of classics belonging to the University of Bologna, Giovanni del Virgilio, wrote a poetical letter to Dante and reproached him for his use of Italian – the language of the people – in the Divine Comedy instead of Latin, even though he admired Dante’s poetical skills. He offered Dante to be crowned as a poeta laureatus at the University of Bologna if only he had written an epic poem in Latin. Dante’s reply to Giovanni was a bucolic Latin poem in Vergil’s fashion, adopting a model which was barely used during the Middle Ages. Even though Dante refused to write an epic poem, he showed Giovanni how great was his literary skill in using the hexameter and imitating perfectly the classical model.
Once again, Giovanni del Virgilio wrote an eclogue to invite Dante to reach him in Bologna in a metaphorical cave whose beauty he described, and once again, in a bucolic poem written just before his death, Dante refused, playing with the mythological image of the mysterious and dreadful Polypheme who settled in Giovanni’s country.

Arrangör/Organiser: Latin och italienska vid RomKlass
Kontakt/Contact: Maria Plaza
Ingen föranmälan krävs/No registration require