Dante’s Ghost Led The Search

When Dante Alighieri died in 1321, parts of the manuscript of his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, were missing. For months his sons, Jacopo and Pietro, unsuccessfully searched the house and all their father’s papers.

They had given up hope when Jacopo dreamed he saw his father dressed in white, bathed in ethereal light. He asked the vision if the poem had been completed. Dante nodded and showed Jacopo a secret place in his chamber.

With a lawyer friend of Dante’s as a witness, Jacopo went to the place indicated in the dream. There was a small blind fixed to the wall. Lifting it, they found a small alcove. Inside were some papers covered with mold. Carefully, they lifted them out, brushed off the mold and read the words of Dante—and The Divine Comedy was complete. But for a ghostly vision in a dream, one of the world’s greatest poems would have remained unfinished.

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