This project employs a student-generated geographic database that links the Commedia to relevant passages from Dino Compagni’s Cronica and visual records at appropriate locations in Florence. The database records evidence for social structure, physical infrastructure, and historic events, as well as the civic/religious ritual of the city, in order to consider the broader meanings of the built environment. This database is displayed on satellite images of the city using the open-source SIMILE widget Exhibit. The student can then analyze this evidence and consider how Dante constructed his allegorical societies, infernal, purgative, and paradisiacal, from the life of his contemporary Florence. It is suggested that this permits more rapid immersion into the dynamic of the poem and enables more effectively focused student research.

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