Dante and civilisational decline. Another dispatch on disillusionment in politics

An audio version of this talk can be found at my podcast, Dante’s Divine Comedy, available via podcast feeds.

Dante lived through a period of almost total social collapse. Civil war and city-state terror, practiced by the church as much as secular powers, drove him into exile for the last 20 years of his life.

For a while, he lost everything. But then, through the trauma, he regained a ground and rediscovered the fullness of life. The Divine Comedy is the product of that transformation. The journeys through hell, purgatory and paradise hold nothing back, be that terrible tortures of extraordinary delights.

He wrote for himself, for his readers including us, but also as a warning to his time and future times, such as our ours. So what has Dante got to say to now? What does his analysis illuminate? Much, I think, as I explore in this thought.

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