Was Dante a Franciscan? An analysis of the Donation of Constantine in relation to
Dante’s political and theological arguments proves that Dante had strong affinity to
Franciscan thinkers and their work certainly influenced his rejection of church wealth.
Alessandro Vettori is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he currently serves as Graduate Program Director in the Department of Italian. His main research interests are: Autobiography, the re-writing of scripture in the western tradition, the interconnectedness of literature and religion, the development of the concept of love, and the history of the Medici of Florence. He has published a book on Franciscan poets of the thirteenth century entitled Poets of Divine Love (Fordham University Press, 2004), a monograph on Giuseppe Berto, La passione della scrittura (Marsilio Editore, 2013), has edited or co-edited three collections of essays (one on Boccaccio, one on Giuseppe Berto, and one on contemporary Italian poets), and has written articles on Dante, Boccaccio, Francis of Assisi, Iacopone da Todi, Giuseppe Berto, Diego Fabbri, and Luigi Pirandello. His monograph on pilgrimage and prayer in Dante’s Comedy is under consideration at the University of Arizona Press. At the moment he is researching the Donation of Constantine and its relation to Franciscan poverty for a future book-length project on this subject.