Dante Philomythes and Philosopher: Man in the Cosmos

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This book is devoted to a full and lucid exposition of Boyde's ideas. In the first two parts, the author presents a systematic account of the universe as Dante accepted it, and explains the processes of 'creation' and 'generation' as they operate in the non-human parts of the cosmos. Dr Boyde then shows how the two processes combine in Dante's theory of human embryology, and how this combination affects the issues of love, choice and freedom. The third and last part of the book consolidates these expository sections with a generous selection of quotations from Dante's authorities and from his own works in prose. At the same time, the book offers far more than a clear account of Dante's cosmology and anthropology. Dr Boyde is interested in Dante's ideas in so far as they inspired and gave shape to the Divine Comedy. Furthermore, in every chapter he demonstrates how the relevant concepts and habits of thought were transmuted into imagery, symbolism, and dramatic scenes, or simply transformed by the energy and concision of Dante's poetic style.