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Minerva Ophthalmology 2021 March;63(1):1-6

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Ophthalmology in Dante: on the concepts of sight and light

Donatella LIPPI 1, Chiara MURRU 2, Francesco M. GALASSI 3, 4, Simon T. DONELL 5, Raffaella BIANUCCI 6, 7

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Teaching Education and Research (DADR), University for Foreigners of Siena, Siena, Italy; 3 Archeology, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia; 4 FAPAB Research Center, Avola, Siracusa, Italy; 5 Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK; 6 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK; 7 Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Public and Pediatric Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


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2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the Father of the Italian language and one of the most gifted writers of Italian literature. His masterpiece, the Commedia, named “Divina” by Giovanni Boccaccio, is an allegorical-didactic poem; it describes Dante’s imaginative journey in the Afterlife from Hell (Inferno) to Purgatory (Purgatorio), and Heaven (Paradiso). Dante devotes many passages to the anatomy of the eye and to vision problems. The article wants to consider these aspects, within the framework of his more general medical scientific knowledge.


KEY WORDS: Eye; Ocular vision; Light; History of medicine

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