By Donna Mancusi-Ungaro
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Extra resources for Dante and the Empire
He wrote his On the Beginning and Origin and Power of the Emperor and the Pope in 1312 for Henry VII. 93 Because of actual contests between Church and State, such as the rivalry between Pope Boniface and Philip the Fair, and the manipulation of Henry's imperial campaign by Pope Clement, medieval political theorizing gradually changed from idealistic philosophy to dated political documentation and occasioned definitions much like the papal bulls. One of the most realistic political treatises in favor of monarchy was Pierre Dubois' De recuperatione terrae sanctae of 1308.
What is more, the Empire has the responsibility of defending the Church. After all, the Empire under Augustus provided the atmosphere of peace for Christ's birth. While the Church should never be entrusted with the responsibility of regulating men's public lives, it was endowed with that of guaranteeing man's ultimate happiness. Just as the Pope and Emperor, then, complement one another, so philosophy is a necessary complement to revelation. The Paradiso is Dante's answer to the insufferable questions about God's vengeance and rewards, and it transcends his faith in the political solution of the here and now.
Ibid. , pp. 106-107. 10 Edward Williamson, "De beatitudine huius vite," Dante studies, Vol. LXXVI (1958). , p. 9. Cf. the discussion of the crown and the mitre in Ernst Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), pp. 487-495. 12 E. L. Fortin, Dissidence et philosophic au moyen dge (Montreal: Bellarmin, 1981), pp. 124-125. 13 Francesco Mazzoni, "Teoresi e prassi in Dante politico," in Monarchia (Torino: Edizione RAI, 1966), pp. lxxxvii-xcii. , p. xcv.
Dante and the Empire by Donna Mancusi-Ungaro