Peter Armour

By Everson, Jane E. | Annali d'Italianistica, Annual 2002 | Go to article overview

Peter Armour


Everson, Jane E., Annali d'Italianistica


Peter Armour, Professor of Italian at Royal Holloway University of London, died of cancer last June at the age of 61. One of the leading Dante scholars of his generation, his research interests also embraced the work of Michelangelo and Galileo. On Dante, Peter Armour's publications, though most closely associated with the Divine Comedy, and especially the Purgatorio, ranged over all of Dante's works and addressed not only literary topics, but also contemporary culture, medieval thought, the history of ideas and even the Tartars.

Peter Armour gained his first degree at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he completed the Licentiate in Philosophy before returning to England to take his BA Honours in Italian at the University of Manchester. The training in philosophy and theology that Peter received in Rome constituted the invaluable foundation of his scholarly work. His effortless recall of details of biblical exegesis and Christian doctrine allowed him repeatedly to challenge existing interpretations, whether of Dante's Matelda or Michelangelo's Moses, and to propose new and convincing analyses.

After posts in the universities of Sheffield and Leicester, Peter Armour moved in 1979 to London, becoming Professor of Italian in 1989. At Royal Holloway Peter built up the Department to become one of the largest and most prestigious in the UK. …

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