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Dante Alighieri (1265 to 1321)
First Christian Epic.
Birth of Dante Alighieri, Italian poet, in Florence. He became a soldier in 1290. About 1302, Dante lost his property and was forced into exile by political changes. He never saw his wife or home again. Acclaimed world-wide for his literary achievements, Dante is remembered best as the author of The Divine Comedy. It is called a comedy because it has a happy ending, in contrast to dramatic tragedy, and the word "divine" was added later by admiring critics. It is a poetic view of the moral universe describing the three conditions of man: sin, repentance, and salvation; or Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The writing is considered history's first great Christian epic.