Dante Alighieri Quotes

Dante (Durante degli Alighieri), 1265 – 1312

Born: 14 May 1265, Florence
Died: 14 September 1321, Ravenna

Dante was born at Florence, the date is a stab in the dark. Nothing is known of his early life or education. He met the love of his life, Beatrice, at nine, and was contracted to marry Gemma at twelve. He had five children with Gemma, but made Beatrice important in his poetry. He became an apothecary when the law required membership in one of the guilds for political participation, and was on the wrong side in the politics of Florence. When his side lost in 1301, he was staying in the Vatican and was sentenced to death in absentia. Dante began the Divine Comedy, his best-known work, in 1308, which established the vernacular of Tuscany as the Italian language. Before that time, published works in any language other than Latin were rare and treated with little respect. His hometown had a change of heart about their most famous son and created a tomb for him in 1829. They even overturned his death sentence in June of 2008. The people of Ravenna, where he lived after his exile, have refused to part with his remains.

Dante Alighieri quotes:

A fair request should be followed by the deed in silence.
    Dante Alighieri

A great flame follows a little spark.
    Dante Alighieri – Paradiso Canto I, line 34 (1321)

All hope abandon, ye who enter here. (Italian original: Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate.)
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno Canto III, line 9 (1313)

All hope abandon, ye who enter here. (Latin: Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrantes)
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno Canto III, line 9 (1313)

Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God’s grandchild.
    Dante Alighieri

As little flowers, which the chill of night has bent and huddled, when the white sun strikes, grow straight and open fully on their stems, so did I, too, with my exhausted force.
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno (1313)

As one who sees in dreams and wakes to find the emotional impression of his vision still powerful while its parts fade from his mind — Just such am I, having lost nearly all the vision itself, while in my heart I feel the sweetness of it yet distill and fall.
    Dante Alighieri – Paradiso (1321)

Avarice, envy, pride; three fatal sparks, have set on fire the souls of man.
    Dante Alighieri

Be as a tower firmly set; Shakes not its top for any blast that blows.
    Dante Alighieri

Beauty awakens the soul to act.
    Dante Alighieri

But already my desire and my will were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed, by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars.
    Dante Alighieri

Consider that this day ne’er dawns again.
    Dante Alighieri

Consider your origin;
you were not born to live like brutes,
but to follow virtue and knowledge.
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno Canto XXVI, lines 118-120 (1313)

Do not be afraid; our fate
Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno (1313)

For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?
    Dante Alighieri

For where the instrument of intelligence is added to brute power and evil will, mankind is powerless in its own defense.
    Dante Alighieri

From a little spark may burst a mighty flame.
    Dante Alighieri

He listens well who takes notes.
    Dante Alighieri

He who sees a need and waits to be asked for help is as unkind as if he had refused it.
    Dante Alighieri

Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal.
    Dante Alighieri

Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.
    Dante Alighieri

Here must all distrust be left behind; all cowardice must be ended.
    Dante Alighieri

I love to doubt as well as know.
    Dante Alighieri

I wept not, so to stone within I grew.
    Dante Alighieri

In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno (1313)

Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

It is no learning to understand what you do not retain.
    Dante Alighieri

Justice does not descend from its own pinnacle.
    Dante Alighieri – Purgatorio (1307)

Lost are we, and are only so far punished,
That without hope we live on in desire.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

Love hath so long possessed me for his own and made his lordship so familiar.
    Dante Alighieri

Love insists the loved loves back.
    Dante Alighieri

Lying in a featherbed will bring you no fame, nor staying beneath the quilt, and he who uses up his life without achieving fame leaves no more vestige of himself on Earth than smoke in the air or foam upon the water.
    Dante Alighieri

Nature is the art of God.
    Dante Alighieri

No sadness is greater than in misery to rehearse memories of joy.
    Dante Alighieri

O human race born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou fall.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

One ought to be afraid of nothing other then things possessed of power to do us harm, but things innoucuous need not be feared.
    Dante Alighieri – Inferno (1313)

Remember tonight … for it is the beginning of always.
    Dante Alighieri

Small projects need much more help than great.
    Dante Alighieri

The customs and fashions of men change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come.
    Dante Alighieri

The day that man allows true love to appear, those things which are well made will fall into cofusion and will overturn everything we believe to be right and true.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

The devil is not as black as he is painted.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

The man who lies asleep will never waken fame, and his desire and all his life drift past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from time like smoke in air, or ripples on a stream.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

The more a thing is perfect, the more if feels pleasure and pain.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.
    Dante Alighieri

There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery.
    Dante Alighieri

They yearn for what they fear for.
    Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy (1321)

To run over better waters the little vessel of my genius now hoists her sails, as she leaves behind her a sea so cruel.
    Dante Alighieri

We must overact our part in some measure, in order to produce any effect at all.
    Dante Alighieri

Worldly fame is but a breath of wind that blows now this way, and now that, and changes name as it changes direction.
    Dante Alighieri

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