Summary: The Cathedral Of Santa Maria Annunziata

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The Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata is the most important Catholic place of worship in the city of Otranto. The cathedral, built on the ruins of a village, a Roman domus, and an Early Christian temple, was founded in 1068 by the Norman bishop William. It is a synthesis of different architectural styles including Byzantine, Christian, and Romanesque. It was consecrated on 1 August 1088 during the reign of Pope Urban II from the papal legate Roffredo, archbishop of Benevento. In August 1480, the cathedral was the scene of a terrible carnage. The Turks conquered the city after several days of siege and entered the church, exterminating the clergy and civilians who had taken refuge there. The cathedral was transformed into a mosque and all …show more content…
The purpose of this research is to prove that Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy was deeply influenced by the mosaics of the Santa Maria Annunziata Cathedral located in Otranto, which contradicts the opinion of most medieval scholars today. Did Dante explore Southern Italy during his exile? Many people do believe so because during his exile he traveled very often and in fact, the famous author B. Lucrezi states that in Dante’s work Convivio, he explicitly says to have been traveling thoughout the whole Italian peninsula. Furthermore, Dante, in his Divine Comedy, often refers to places, facts, characters, and some dialect sayings from Southern Italy. Nothing forbids us to believe that Dante Alighieri, during his exile, had visited Southern Italy as well because there does not exist enough evidence to know for sure. We can only suppose, and because there is a chance that he had been there, there could also be a chance that he had been to the little town of Otranto, located in the very south, on the tip of the heel of the Italian boot. Why do we suppose this? The fact is that the mosaic of Otranto and the Divine Comedy, which were discussed before, are shockingly similar in many aspects. Dante narrates his imaginary journey as if he were looking at the mosaic and describing it in a very detailed way and in prose. First of all, there are three kingdoms and three canticles in the Divine Comedy and the mosaic is divided into three partitions, each partition for each cathedral’s nave. Identical is the conception of history as sacred history; and identical is the conception of nature as animated. Also, the commission of the Christian and pagan worlds is very similar. The sacred Bible and the secular Bible are closely related: all the civilizations look

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