bonæ litteræ: occasional writing from David Rundle, Renaissance scholar

Virtual Dante

The intention of this page is to guide the viewer to medieval texts on-line. Its aim is to be not a comprehensive listing of available resources but  a critical overview.

The starting point for Dante studies is Dante on-line, the website constructed by the Società Dantesca italiana. It includes the original texts of all Dante’s works, taken from the editions published under the auspices of the Society itself. For the Commedia, it also provides listings of manuscripts, some with images. In addition, there is a set of links to the major Dante websites.

Of the other transcriptions of the Commedia available on-line, two stand out, both of which are based the same edition by Petrocchi as Dante on-line: that compiled by Deborah Parker supplements with Allen Mandelbaum’s translation and provides some annotation; the Princeton Dante Project, with a new English version by Robert Hollander, also includes commentary by the translator. A range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century translations in English, German and Finnish are usefully available on one visually unappealing website.

There are other important resources for the Commedia available. The medieval catalan translation by Andreu Febrer (1429) is transcribed, with monochrome images of the Escorial manuscript.  Another valuable resource is the searchable collection of commentaries hosted by Dartmouth College, including 23 composed before 1500. There is also an on-line exhibition of early printed editions of the Commedia, hosted by Notre Dame.

Both the Princeton and Columbia Dante websites, like Dante on-line, include texts of minor works by Dante.  One addition should be noted: the subscription website of Prue Shaw’s important edition of the Monarchia.

December 2008

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