Associate Dean Mary Alexandra Watt‘s new book, Dante, Columbus, and the Prophetic Tradition: Spiritual Imperialism in the Italian Imagination, considers, first, the impact of Dante’s Divine Comedy and the apocalyptic prophetic tradition that it reflects, on Columbus’s perception both of the cosmos and the eschatological meaning of his journey to what he called an other world. In so doing, the book considers how affinities between himself and the exiled poet might have led Columbus to see himself as a divinely appointed agent of the apocalypse and his enterprise as the realization of the spiritual journey chronicled in the Comedy.

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