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Leonardo Bruni – Dante as an example for students

June 24, 2014

“It is a marvelous thing that although [Dante] was studying continuously, yet it would never have seemed to anyone that he studied, because of his pleasant habits and youthful conversation. On this point I am happy to correct the error of many ignorant people who believe that there is no student who does not hide himself away in solitude and leisure. I have never seen any one of those who are hidden away and removed from conversation with men who knew three languages. The great and lofty intellect does not need such torments; rather, it is most certainly the correct conclusion that he who does not learn soon will never learn at all. Thus to estrange oneself from conversation is characteristic of those who with their low intellects are not adapted to learning anything.”

 

(from Le vite di Dante, Petrarca e Boccaccio scritte fino al secolo decimosesto [1436], as translated from the Latin by Angelo Solerti [Milan, 1904], and reprinted in The Three Crowns of Florence, Humanist Assessments of Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio [1972])

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