Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus

Dante: The Divine Comedy

Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy). 1465 fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Wikipedia.The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). In three canticles; Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, it describes Dante's progress on a mystic journey, through hell and purgatory, escorted by the poet Virgil, and through Heaven guided by Beatrice, an idealised portrait of the historical Florentine woman who was the object of Dante's unrequited love.

The poem is generally considered one of the central works of western literature. It gave profound expression of the medieval worldview, in an educated vernacular which would pave the way for renaissance humanism. Itself densely allusive, the work has inspired poets, painters and artists of all kinds ever since.

The Divine Comedy at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts Commedia. Italian text. HTML format.

Dartmouth College: DanteLab - a customisable digital reader.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by H.F. Cary. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by Charles Eliot Norton. Vol I. Hell | Vol. II Purgatory | Vol III Paradise. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry F. Cary. Harvard Classics Edition. Multiple formats. The Divine Comedy, translated by James Finn Cotter. HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: The Divine Comedy, Italian text and English translation by Courtney Langdon. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Divine Comedy, prose translation by A.S. Kline. Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: The Divine Comedy -  Italian textEnglish translation by H.F. Cary (1888). TXT format.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Divine Comedy - The Vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, translated by Henry Francis Cary; illustrated by Gustave Doré. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Divina Commedia - Italian text, multiple formats. Divine Comedy, translated by Longfellow. HTML and other formats.

Multimedia Resources

Dartmouth Dante Project - Text and commentaries.

The Princeton Dante Project.

University of Columbia: Digital Dante.

University of Texas at Austin: DanteWorlds.

University of Virginia: The World of Dante.

Audio Resources Full reading of Divine Comedy in Italian performed by Iacopo Vettori. MP3 format Creative Commons licensed.

BBC Radio 4 Great Lives: Sarah Vine on Dante. Presented by Matthew Parris.

BBC Radio In Our Time: Dante's Inferno - studio discussion with Melvyn Bragg.

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: To Hell and Back - Dante Alighieri, podcast by Peter Adamson.

Librivox: The Divine Comedy, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Public domain audiobook.

Video resources

Youtube: Dante's Inferno (1911) - World's Oldest Surviving Feature-Length Film - Alighieri L'inferno.


World Digital Library: The Divine Comedy.

Courses, lectures and materials

edX/Georgetown University: The Divine Comedy - Dante's Journey to Freedom, Part 1.

Khan Academy: Dante’s Divine Comedy in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance art.

Open Yale Courses: Dante in Translation.


The American Conservative: How Dante Saved My Life, by Rod Dreher, 9 April 2014.

The American Scholar: How to Read Dante in the 21st Century, by Joseph Luzzi, 22 March 2016.

The Conversation: Guide to the Classics - Dante's Divine Comedy, by Frances Di Lauro.

HumanitiesWhat’s the Best Way to Read the Divine Comedy If You Don’t Know Italian? by Steve Moyer, 9 February 2017.

IndependentDante Alighieri's Divine Comedy endures as one of the essential books of mankind, by Ian Thomson, 21 May 2015.

The New Yorker: What the Hell, by Joan Acocella, 27 May 2013.

Other Resources

Alpaca Projects: Dante's Inferno - a digital visualisation.

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution: Dante - Truth and Fiction in The Divine Comedy, by Professor Peter Hainsworth.

Brain Pickings: William Blake’s Breathtaking Drawings for Dante’s Divine Comedy, Over Which He Labored Until His Dying Day, by Maria Popova.

British Library Medieval manuscripts blog: To Hell and Back - Dante and the Divine Comedy, by Sarah J. Biggs, 8 March 2013.

Internet Archive: A Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante, by Paget Jackson Toynbee (1898). Multiple formats.

Mapping Dante -  A Study of Places in the Commedia.

Online Concordance to Dante's Divine Comedy, by Terrill Shepard Soules.

Poetry in Translation: Meditations on the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, by A.S. Kline (2004). Multiple formats.

Public Domain Review: 14th-Century Illuminations for Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Smithsonian: The Divine Comedy - Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Dante Alighieri.

Tate: William Blake's illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy.

Wikipedia: Divine Comedy - List of Cultural References in the Divine Comedy.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Virgil: The Aeneid

Ovid: Metamorphoses

Aquinas: Summa Theologica


Bloom's Western Canon - includes The Divine Comedy as a central work.

Italian Language resources.


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