5¢ Dante Alighieri
Issue Date: July 17, 1965
City: San Francisco, CA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 10 1/2 x 11
Color: Maroon on tan paper
U.S. #1268 honors the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri, the famed Florentine poet who wrote “The Inferno.” The stamp, designed in the style of early Florentine allegorical paintings, pictures Dante wearing a wreath (a symbol of poetry) before a background relating to his poem, “The Divine Comedy.”
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
He was known as the “Supreme Poet” in Italy, and called one of Italy’s “three crowns.” His “Divine Comedy” remains one of the greatest works of literature in the world.
Dante wrote the “Divine Comedy” between 1308 and 1321, the year he died. The epic poem is divided into three parts – the “Inferno,” “Purgatorio,” and “Paradisio.” The poems are a fictional account of Dante’s travels through the realms of the dead – Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven – under the protection of spirit guides (Roman poet Virgil, and Beatrice, Dante’s “ideal woman”).
The poems also represented the Christian soul’s journey towards God. The writing had a profound impact on Medieval theology, and its literary influence extends through modern times. Dante was also noteworthy for blending science with religion, and his work is believed to have been a strong influence on Galileo, the “Father of Modern Science.”