Dante Philomythes and Philosopher: Man in the Cosmos

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 3, 1983 - Literary Collections - 420 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Wonder and knowledge
43
The elements
57
Meteorology
74
Land and sea
96
The natural world and the Scale of Being
112
Concerning the heavens
132
The angels
172
Images of God as maker
205
Creation Paradiso xxix 157
235
Generation and universal nature
248
The makings of a man
270
Introductory notes to Part 3
299
Suggestions for further reading
381
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About the author (1983)

Patrick Boyde is Serena Professor of Italian in the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College. He is the author of Dante's Style in his Lyric Poetry (Cambridge,1971) and Night Thoughts on Italian Poetry and Art (Cambridge,1985). Human Vices and Human Worth in Dante's Comedy is the third book in his trilogy, which also comprises Dante Philomythes and Philosopher: Man in the Cosmos (Cambridge,1981), and Perception and Passion in Dante's Comedy'(Cambridge,1993).

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