Medieval Italy produced more than its fair share of genius it seems, though the majority of the names that come to mind tend to be associated with painting, sculpture and architecture (and frequently all three).

Probably the greatest exceptions to this trend were Galileo Galilei, who to many is the father of modern science, and the poet Durante degli Alighieri, better known simply as Dante, and who also holds a paternalistic title; the Father of the Italian Language.  Though both born in the Duchy of Florence, they never met for the simple reason that 300 years separated their births.  “Medieval” covers a lot of ground.

Both have links to Venice, and to the Arsenale in particular.  Galileo, as the greatest engineer of the day, was used as a consultant, improving the already impressive production line and advising on ballistics and propulsion for the warships made there.

Dante’s role was quite the reverse, taking inspiration from the industry he witnessed and referring to it in his great opus Inferno.  Enough to warrant his recognition on the walls of the vast dockyard.




One thought on “Infernal (Venezia 309)

  1. Fascinating post, thanks! I knew Gallileo had links to Venice as there is a plaque to him at the top of St Mark’s campanile saying he first demonstrated his telescope to the Doge there, but I had no idea about Dante’s link. Brilliant post, thank you!

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