Dante Alighieri (Italian: [ˈdante aliˈɡjɛːri]), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to simply as Dante (, also US: ,; c. 1265 – 1321), was an Italian poet. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is widely considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.Dante is known for establishing the use of the vernacular in literature at a time when most poetry was written in Latin, making it accessible only to the most educated readers. His De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular) was one of the first scholarly defenses of the vernacular. His use of the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life (1295) and Divine Comedy helped establish the modern-day standardized Italian language, and set a precedent that important later Italian writers such as Petrarch and Boccaccio would follow.
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