Skip navigation
"Through me the way into the suffering city, / through me the way to the eternal pain, / through me the way that runs among the lost. / Justice urged on my high artificer; / my maker was divine authority, / the highest wisdom, and the primal love. / Before me nothing but eternal things / were made, and I endure eternally. / Abandon every hope, who enter here" (Dante, Inferno, 3.1-9).

The Divine Comedy



1265 CE – 1321 CE

Dante Alighieri, poet, politician, and intellectual, was born in Florence under the sign of Gemini in 1265.  While much of his early life remains a mystery, we know from Dante’s autobiographical Vita nuova (New Life) that he encountered Beatrice, his poetic muse, when he was only 9 years old.  Her early death in 1290 had a profound impact on Dante, and would play a key role in the writing of the Divine Comedy.


Explorations labeled “Licensed for Private Use” are available only to members of the Columbia community.