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Can Dante Be Considered a Fascist?

detail from image of Dante

On Saturday, January 14, 2023, Italy’s culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano caused a stir by claiming that the poet Dante Alighieri was the founder of Italian right-wing thinking.

It’s not the first time that the Italian Right wants to portray the Divine Comedy author as a conservative icon. In 1996, Casa Italiana Director Stefano Albertini published a paper in The Italianist titled “Dante in camicia nera” in which he explored all the ways the regime tried to take “ownership” of the sommo poeta. Without spoiling Albertini’s investigation, we are glad to anticipate that no, Dante never “wore a black shirt.”

Click here to read the full paper in Italian.

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