Dante Alighieri (Durante Degli Alighieri)

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Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 into the lower nobility of Florence, to Alighiero di Bellincione d'Alighiero, a moneylender. A precocious student, Dante's education focused on rhetoric and grammar. He also became enamored with a young girl, Beatrice Portinari, whose death in 1290 threw a grieving Dante into intense religious studies. Though the Alighieri family had managed to avoid entanglement in the power struggles between the Ghibelline and Guelf families for control of Florence, Dante allied himself with the democratic Guelfs and married a member of that clan, Gemma di Manetto Donati, in 1285. Read more...