Very little is known of Dante's early life. It is known that he took part in military operations against Pisa and Arezzo in 1289. He is said to have fallen in love with a girl whom he gives the name of Beatrice in his Divine Comedy (1321) and also Vita Nuova (c. 1293). Getting invloved in politics in 1295, Dante left Florence as an envoy to Rome in 1301 and was unable to return, since the political faction that he opposed had taken the reigns of power. He spent the rest of his life in exile. Apart from some lyric poems, Dante's first main composition was the Vita Nuova, which consists of 31 poems, expressing his love for Beatrice, linked together with prose commentary. His masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, was completed shortly before his death. His other works include the Monarchia (1309-12) and a number of unfinished works such as the Convivio and De Vulgari Eloquentia.
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The Divine Comedy (Illustrated Prose Version)
The Divine Comedy (Longfellow Translation)
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