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The Author as Hero in Twelfth-Century Latin Epic: Major Precedents for Dante’s Role in the “Commedia”
Ever since Eugène Bossard pointed out the similarities between Dante’s Commedia and Alan of Lille’sAnticlaudianus in 1885, modern scholars have recognized Alan’s epic as an important source of inspiration for Dante. However, one of Dante’s greatest debts to the Anticlaudianus, the central role of
the author, has been underappreciated. In John of Hauville’s Architrenius, another twelfth-century allegorical Latin epic, the eponymous hero is twice identified as the author. The Architrenius, therefore, is the only Latin epic written before the Commedia in which the author is explicitly named as the
protagonist. Dr. Justin Haynes (Classics, UCLA) considers this important precedent and possible inspiration for the Commedia that seems to have gone completely unnoticed in modern scholarship.
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