The Sun and the Other Stars of Dante Alighieri: A Cosmographic Journey through the Divina Commedia (Paperback)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is the story of a journey across the Universe as it was known in the Middle Ages, a work of science fiction ante litteram. Dante had an encyclopedic mind, no doubt, and his poem is the most widely read book after the Bible. He was a master of the astronomical knowledge of his time, and used astronomy in his work to indicate places, to measure time, and to exemplify beauty. Indeed, in the Convivio, he wrote that science is 'the ultimate perfection of our soul' and 'astronomy -- more than any other science -- is noble and high for a noble and high subject.'We propose a reading of the Divine Comedy through astronomy with a journey starting from the Earth, proceeding to the Moon, the planets, and to the outermost edges of the Universe. The way in which Dante connects ancient astronomy with modern conceptions of the cosmos will astonish readers more than 700 years later.