IN COLLABORATION WITH:
CANGRANDE DELLA SCALA
In the late spring of 1311 the lord of Verona, Cangrande della Scala, arrived in Vicenza victorious through the Porta Castello gate (and this is how he wanted to be represented in one of the reliefs on his marble funeral ark), then paraded through the city not only with his army, but, as was the habit of conquerors, together with the notables of his court. It can be assumed that Dante was among them, who in the course of that year began his second long stay in Verona, which lasted until 1318.
Five years later, the poet addressed his 13th epistle to the Lord of Verona, addressing him as the Emperor’s vicar in our city. In this epistle Dante dedicates the third canticle, Paradise, to his guest.
“To the magnificent and victorious Lord, Messer Cangrande della Scala, vicar general of the most sacred Caesar’s Principality in the cities of Verona and Vicenza, his most devoted Dante Alighieri, Florentine by birth but not by customs, wishes a long and happy life. …. Since I consider your friendship a wonderful treasure, I wish to preserve it with every care and careful study. And since friendship is preserved in some proportion, I made a promise to repay the benefits received and carefully searched among my small be-longings, taking care to find something that would be the most worthy and, I hope, the dearest to you. And it did not seem to me a more suitable choice for your Highness than to dedicate to you that sublime canticle of the Comedy which is adorned with the title of Paradise. And with this epistle I name it to you, I offer it, I recommend it…”
Letter XIII to Cangrande della Scala