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Dante. 'A Man of the Middle Ages Immersed in His Time'
Dante. 'A Man of the Middle Ages Immersed in His Time'

Mon, 25 Mar


Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts

Dante. 'A Man of the Middle Ages Immersed in His Time'

Get your FREE ticket to this hybrid (in-person and Zoom) event on Monday, 25 March, at 6:30 pm with Prof. Alessandro Barbero, one of the most original Italian writers and historians. Zoom Link in the event description.

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Time & Location

25 Mar 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEDT

Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia


About the event

To commemorate Dantedì on Monday, 25th March, we are honoured to host esteemed Italian medievalist, Professor Alessandro Barbero. In his 2020 work Dante (Laterza), Professor Barbero delivers a profoundly captivating biography of the 'Sommo Poeta', portraying him as 'a man deeply immersed in his time'. This event will be conducted in Italian and has received the endorsement of the Italian Cultural Institute of Sydney. Zoom Link below.

Dante arguably stands as a figure of great notoriety from his time, his widespread acclaim granting us unparalleled insight compared to his contemporaries. Yet, Dante’s studies still grapple with several enigmas: Did the poet venture to Paris during his exile? What was Dante’s socio-economic standing? Did Dante conceive the project that would evolve into his Comedy before his exile in Florence? Does his Divine Comedy contain elements that seem prophetic, foretelling events or embodying timeless truths?

Barbero meticulously reconstructs a narrative filled with gaps and uncertainties, scrutinising archival materials and literary references that resonate throughout Dante's life. The result is a portrait of a man navigating the complexities of love, friendship, politics and authority within his era.

In an interview, Professor Barbero reveals: 'It is not certain whether Dante would have authored the Divine Comedy had he resided in Florence, possibly in a position of influence. For us, Dante's exile proved to be a stroke of immense fortune'.

Barbero underlines how Dante crafted the Commedia amid his exile and profound resentments, reflecting the anguish of a man who abruptly lost all ties to his familiar surroundings: his home, lands, kin, friends, spouse and offspring.

Within Barbero's Dante, readers are led through Dante's formative years as the son of a usurer, yearning for acceptance among the elite and intellectuals. Barbero explores the complexities of politics, where lofty ideals clash with the harsh realities of factional rivalries and widespread corruption. He accompanies the exiled Dante as he traverses the diverse landscape of 14th-century Italy, from bustling commercial towns to knightly courts. The book delves into the enigmatic periods of Dante's life, presenting arguments both for and against various interpretations, allowing readers to form their own conclusions.


A Q&A session will be included. It will be an enlightening afternoon with plenty of food for thought. 

We look forward to welcoming many of you!

Zoom Link:


  • Standard Free Ticket




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