Academic journal article Medium Aevum

War and Peace in Dante

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

War and Peace in Dante

Article excerpt

War and Peace in Dante, ed. John C. Barnes and Daragh O'Connell (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015). 264 pp. ISBN 978-1-84682-420-3. £50.00. This collection of fine essays provides a comprehensive analysis, unattended so far, of Dante's complex views on war and peace. Like most at the time, Dante had direct experience of warfare and learned to accept violence and armed combat as an inevitable consequence of human nature, as well as, sometimes, a necessary evil to impart justice and establish peace. The first four chapters by John Barnes (who authors chapters 1 and 4), Joseph Canning, and Hannah Skoda explore these concepts, dealing with Dante's philosophical justification of war (e.g. the 'just wars' wielded by imperial authority) and with its literary representation in the Commedia. Two central chapters by Stephen Milner and Spencer Pearce take readers closer to Dante's historical and literary biography, the first by contrasting Dante and Brunetto Latini on law, justice, and classical rhetoric, the second examining Dante's psychological conflict in Purgatorio. …

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