Dante’s final resting place

This year, in Italy, and around the world, we’ve been marking 700 years since the death of Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321). Dante is considered the Father of the Italian language and litearture, with his masterpiece The Divine Comedy written in (vulgar) Italian, rather than in (erudite) Latin – thereby ushering in a rich…

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Abdicating the papacy in literature

When, on 11 February, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be abdicating the papacy, a modest 13th century Italian monk became an unlikely feature bar in newspapers worldwide. That’s because, before Pope Benedict’s surprising news,  the last Pope to have resigned from his office was Pope Celestine V, way back in 1294. Pope Celestine’s…

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