Peter King Reads Dante in Latin

April 4, 2021 by Communications

In the latest release from the Toronto Salutes Dante project, CMS philosophy professor Peter King reads from Dante's Inferno, canto 2, in Latin.

After the reading, King talks briefly about the Latin translation and its impetus. Though Dante's Inferno was written in a vernacular Italian dialect, some of Dante's early readers translated the poem into Latin because they thought Latin would better preserve it for posterity. King talks about the consequent differences between poetic meter in Italian versus "quantity" in Latin.

When asked when he first read Dante, King answers that he first discovered Dante's Comedy as a teenager. "I first thought of it as kind of bizarre science fiction," he says. "But I've since come to have a rather more nuanced cultural impression of it."

Further releases of the Toronto Salutes Dante project will include readings in Abruzzese, Swedish, Portuguese, and 20 more languages and dialects.