Dream of: 30 April 2020 "Discussing Dante Together"  

I am in a small, elegant room with three other men. We are all thin, middle-aged men in healthy shape. We are seated in big, fancy, antique, easy chairs in the corners of the room, and we all seem to be dressed in French style clothing from the late middle ages. One of the men is my father. Someone mentions that the word "Al Jazeera" means "young" in Arabic.

We finally start discussing Dante Alighieri, and a dispute develops between my father and one of the other men. The group threatens to dissolve because of the discord. I do not want the group to break up — I want the group to continue talking about Dante. I energetically implore something like, "There is so much to learn here."

I stand up and point to part of a quilt lying on a bed in front of us. One piece in this part of the quilt is shaped somewhat like the Italian peninsula. Another dark-red piece above the Italian piece looks like France. I think I can use these pieces to help illustrate what I mean when I say that we can learn so much by discussing Dante together.

As I look at the quilt-map of Italy and France, I would like to use the map to help interest the other men in the historical aspect of the Divine Comedy. I begin thinking about the French king Philip IV who I know was an important personage in the Comedy and who was the most powerful king of Europe during the time when the Comedy was supposed to have taken place on Easter of 1300. I also know that Philip IV continued to rule France until his death in 1315. I think it is important to know the exact date when the Comedy is supposed to have taken place: Easter 1300. I know that Dante was still living in Florence at that time, but that he was exiled from Florence in 1302.

I reflect that France — in place of Italy — at that time was becoming the dominant power in Europe. My vision of this rivalry between France and Italy for dominancy in Europe seems illuminated by what I have read in the Comedy which seems to place focus on the political state of the world in 1300. Being in this interesting small group of men and focusing on Dante seems to improve my vision of the struggle between France and Italy, and of the world in general, and makes me want to continue in the group.

I would just like for my father and the other man to calm down a bit so we can resume our discussion.

Commentary of 01 May 2020

Seeing where the world is headed seems so much easier when one can see where the world has been, yet who can truly say where the world is headed in the long run?

the political

state of the world may engulf

the spiritual

Picture:  Philip IV of France and his family: l-r: his sons, Charles IV of France and Philip V of France, his daughter Isabella of France (wife of Edward II of England), himself, his eldest son and heir the King of Navarre, Louis X of France, and his brother, Charles of Valois.


Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Public Domain

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