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My interest in the Divine Comedy was sparked in the art room in my Freshman year by a series of old Prints done on the Inferno Those prints have inspired me to drawings and prints of my own and I saw this as an opportunity to get a real look at my inspiration Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 Little is known about his early education but scholars believe that he received formal instruction in grammar language and philosophy at one of the Franciscan schools in the city In 1274 he was introduced to Beatrice they met again nine years later and Dante became profoundly in love with her beauty and grace As a result of Beatrices untimely death in 1290 Dante was inspired to commemorate her in several of his works most notably as the ideal woman who leads him to redemption in The Divine Comedy During his teens Dante demonstrated a keen interest in literature and undertook an apprenticeship with Brunetto Latini a celebrated poet who wrote in the Italian vernacular Through Latinis instruction Dante expanded his knowledge of literature and began to interact with a circle of respected Florentine poets Through this association Dante befriended Guido Cavalcanti sometime around 1283 who helped Dante refine his literary skills into a cohesive but still immature style Having reached his eighteenth birthday that same year Dante came into a small family fortune from his parents both of who had died during his childhood In 1287 Dante enrolled in the University of Bologna and completed at least one course but two years later he decided to enlisted in the Florentine army and took part in the Battle of Campaldino Rizzatti The death of Beatrice in 1290 proved to be a turning point in Dantes life Stricken with grief he began an intensive philosophical study of the works of Cicero and Aristotle among others He also began to write poetry
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