September 10, 2021
Commemorating the Man of the Second Millennium - Next Tuesday marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Italian poet and statesman Dante Alighieri, who died of malaria in Ravenna on September 14, 1321 after a peace mission to Venice; Celebrations are being held worldwide;
As Poet, Dante invented modern languages and created Italian as the first one; Powerful oligarchs tried to force him back into Latin only;
Serving as a governor of Florence, he armed the population and resisted the French-controlled Pope Boniface VIII, but was exiled for life;
In 1310, he helped Emperor Henry VII restore the rule of the Visconti family in Milan, which evolved over a few decades into the first modern state;
In his final years, Dante was a refugee with the Scala of Verona and the Polenta of Ravenna as Italy was dominated by Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, whom Dante attacked as a new Polyphemus the Cyclops;
Was Dante's death the result of foul play by the long-hostile Venetian oligarchy?