Course Detail

195:315: Journey to Hell and Beyond: Dante and Medieval Culture

  • SAS Core Requirement: AHp, AHo

Dante’s Divine Comedy incorporates philosophy, theology, history, art, mythology, spirituality, mysticism, and theatrics—while giving the account of a journey through the afterworld. Despite being the foundational masterpiece of the Italian language, the poem reaches out to numerous other cultures in the Mediterranean area and beyond, to create a diverse, rich story, something we might call an “international” epic. Judaism, Islam, Provençal poetry, Scholastic philosophy from Paris, and constant references to Roman and Greek culture are some of the topics it presents. As narration of an afterlife experience, the poem closely scrutinizes moral issues and their consequences, which are applicable to any era and any place. Students will be required to “translate” such concepts into contemporary issues.

Fulfills SAS Core Requirement AHo and AHp.  Course Cross-listing: 560:315:01

Required Texts:

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Inferno. A Verse Translation by Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Bantam Books ISBN 055321344X

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Purgatorio. A Verse Translation by Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Bantam Books

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Paradiso. A Verse Translation by Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Bantam Books