System on the complete works

Alberto Acquaro's studio

Main Functions




  • "DANTE 2000" HOME PAGE


  • ARCHIVE for WORKS and Information CARDS





  • REFERENCES for "DANTE 2000"




    The following are just a few statistics to give an idea of the current situation of "DANTE 2000" :

  • over  1600 Descriptors,  i.e. terms in the Dictionary used to search the System ;   many of them make up part of the 37 hierarchal tree structures ;
  • approximately  80,000 logical links  between Descriptors and Documents  ( result of twenty years of research ) ;
  • approximately  9,000 data-files ;
  • approximately  3,000 cross-references for Dante's Sources,  within the ambit of the comments by Tommaseo ( all future comments will have their own cross-references in the source texts ) ;
  • approximately  2,600 inter-text cross references  ( between extracts from the Works of Dante ) ; these usually coincide with those proposed by Tommaseo ;
  • over  1000 images  illustrating the times when Dante lived, many of them logically linked to passages from his Works ;
  • over  1000 vocal quotations  from famous critics ;
  • approximately  1,400 Saints of Blessed  and 700 fixed religious holidays  in the Ecclesiastic Calendar ;
  • approximately  1,500 compositions of coeval Authors ;
  • approximately  3,800 Information Cards.

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    "DANTE 2000" has several unique features. :

  • As an Information System on Dante    -    From this point of view there are truly an impressive number of unique features; here we shall mention just three, the User will discover the rest as he/she uses the System ;

    -  The System treats the COMPLETE WORKS of the Poet (including works of dubious attribution) ;

    -  Data Selection (including passages from the works) through a Dictionary of CONCEPTS to find subjects of interest and not merely by searching for words in the documents (For example: "Rhetoric Questions"; "Lunar Phases" or "Cities") ;

    -  Introduction of a new statistical test ("PATERTEST"), that offers an important contribution to the long-standing problem of whether Dante wrote the poem "Il Fiore" or not.

  • As a general Software Package

    -  Realization of a Basic System (an "Information Retrieval") especially designed for "DANTE 2000", that guarantees the system the incredible possibility of growth and independence from the informatic environment ;

    -  Software that manages multi-lingual editions within itself and all at the same time ;

    -  VOCAL DIAGNOSTICS, i.e. the System's capacity to give vocal messages not only on the User's instructions, but also automatically, if the User gives an incorrect order or whenever he/she is in difficulty.

    [ Return to Index ]

    "DANTE 2000" HOME PAGE

    The "DANTE 2000" Home-page primarily allows access to the System's Chapters (Function blocks) but, thanks to its privileged position, it also manages other important functions - we'll mention the most important here :

  • CHOICE OF LANGUAGE - As well as its Italian Home Edition, "DANTE 2000" has been designed to manage four other editions in the most used European languages: English , Spanish , German and French.
    All the works of Dante, in all five Editions, are always given in the original language. All the System-User dialogues, vocal messages, Information cards, etc. have been translated.
    The System's software can already run the five Editions. Translations, in the "work-in progress" spirit of "DANTE 2000" , are continually being updated. The English and Spanish Editions are already available in Version 4.0, as well as the original Italian. The German and French Editions are well underway and will be available as upgrades to "Friends of DANTE 2000" (customers of the System's CD ROM) under the terms explained in Products Available.

  • GUIDED TOUR of the System - This should be the first experience for Users who are new to "DANTE 2000". This "Tour" does not intend to tell new Users how to use the System (user instructions, written and vocal, are given along the way) ; the Guided Tour offers the new visitor a "soft" welcome, and proposes a quick, but complete introduction to their new home.

  • AUTOMATIC ACCESS to the Works of Dante - This function, apart from its obvious operative applications, lets new Users immediately see the operative instructions for setting a data search.

  • System GLOSSARIES, one for each translation language.

  • Images from the Picture Gallery - the Archive holds about 1000 Pictures, many of them with a logical link to passages from the Works of Dante or the Information cards and so can be viewed in their relative context.
    Many of the video-pages, like the home-page, show a series of pictures at random in the picture box.
    But here, thanks to the "Picture Search" command, it is possible to search the Archive for specific Pictures. Once the Pictures are found, they are displayed one at a time in the box on the page, or else in a series of seven by activating the "GALLERY" command.
    Clicking on a Picture in the Gallery will give any LINKS there may be between the Picture and passages from the Works and/or Information cards.

  • Three commands on the home-page concern time keeping :
    "TODAY" gives any events for today's date, which are shown on the screen, and gives any vocal messages for the day (see SOUND RECORDINGS) ;
    "Alarm" activates the alarm function and sets the hour and the minutes, this is useful because "DANTE 2000" can be used as a work tool ;
    "Messages ON/OFF" turns the automatic relay of vocal messages ON or OFF ; these are given on the hour, at set times for special appointments during the day.

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    This function is for consulting the Dictionary. It is a necessary step to get an idea of the range of subjects that "DANTE 2000" covers and therefore all the possibilities open for selecting information.
    Here we must point out that one very important new feature of "Dante 2000" is that its Dictionary of terms, used for Selecting Documents, does not merely hold the words occurring in the documents themselves, like most other Dictionaries, but it is built on conceptual terms ( Descriptors ), which means a huge jump in search power.

  • Alphabetical LIST of DESCRIPTORS (Dictionary terms), with the possibility of requesting the number of links between the Descriptor and the Comedy tercets, passages from the Minor works and/or Information Cards.

  • DESCRIPTOR SEARCH with sequences given in characters.As in the case of the List, it is possible to enquire about the number of links between the chosen Descriptors and with the System's documents

  • VIEW of the TREE STRUCTURES linking the Dictionary Descriptors.

  • SEARCH for the OCCURRENCES of a Descriptor in the Tree Structures.

  • List of POPULAR TUSCAN SAYINGS in the Comedy.

  • List of reference PUBLICATIONS for "DANTE 2000".

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    ARCHIVE for WORKS and Information CARDS

    For SELECTING information and subsequent study in Hypertext mode.
    At this stage "DANTE 2000" has managed to reach a difficult target, it guarantees the correct emphasis on the texts of the works in spite of the enormous amount of relevant information. The problem was to facilitate direct access to this information, but at the same time avoid the risk of distracting the reader from the texts. After seeing other Systems that faced similar problems, often less substantial that those in "DANTE 2000", we are all the more convinced how delicate and important this aspect of documentation is.

  • DOCUMENT SELECTION by more than one Descriptor (over 1600, with approximately 80,000 links with the Archive Documents), with possibility of consulting the Dictionary "on-line".

  • CREATING a MAP of the SELECTED DOCUMENTS with the possibility of retrieving long sequences of Documents directly from the Map.

  • Sequential DISPLAY of selected Documents (a Comedy tercet is considered a Document), with possibility of using the following functions for each Document :

    - Travel Journal (for the Comedy) giving the subject, place and time referred to in the tercet, (new feature for Version 4.0) ;

    - Vocal quotation where appropriate, in the form of readings of a note by famous critics (new feature for Version 4.0) ;

    - Reading Help (for the Comedy) where appropriate (new feature for Version 4.0) ;

    - Character Dialogue for the Comedy where appropriate, consisting of a vocal message specifying who is speaking in the tercet (new feature for Version 4.0) ;

    - Tercet-Translations , on request, a "translation" of the original into any of the four languages : English, Spanish, German and French (new feature for Version 4.0) ;

    - Context ;

    - Linked Text, where appropriate ;

    - Comments - the notes by Niccolò Tommaseo together with pages from his comments have been recorded for the entire Comedy. Cross-references to Dante's Sources are given for each comment (about 3,000 in the case of Tommaseo) where appropriate, with direct access to the Source Archive (see DANTE'S SOURCES) for a more in-depth search and automatic return to the starting point.
    The System can manage any number of Comments after agreement with the owners of the copyright ;

    - Intertext Cross-references (about 2,600, usually those proposed by Tommaseo) ;

    - Where available a Picture (from an Archive of about 1000 Pictures) ;

    - Canto Subject (Porena) (for the Comedy) explains the subject of the Canto containing the tercet, with a short summary by Porena (new feature for Version 4.0).

  • COMEDY "TRANSLATIONS". First let us explain why we have put the word "translation" in inverted commas. This is because we have some doubts on the sense of translating any poetic work (or more in general, reproducing a work of art). "DANTE 2000" does give translations as "reading aids" but only to help readers who do not know the Italian language well.
    Complete translations can been recorded in English, Spanish, German and French. For the other seven languages or dialects only some examples are supplied, usually taken from Canto 1 of Inferno.

  • ILLUSTRATIONS from the world of Dante (new feature for Version 4.0). Whilst reading the tercets from the Comedy, it is possible to consult two illustrations, one relating to Dantean Cosmogony ("COSMO" button), the other to a cross-section of Inferno ("INFERNO" button). We decided to give just two illustrations, which in effect are more than enough.

  • LISTENING to the Sound Fonts (new feature for Version 4.0). The video pages dedicated to Selected Documents and TEXTS always display the "Sound Fonts" command that allows access to the corresponding Archive (see SOUND RECORDINGS) that holds the recordings supplied with the System and any others that the User may have made. This last possibility completely solves any copyright problems. For example, the User can load the wonderful readings of the Comedy by Vittorio Sermonti for personal use, so they are always "on line" in "DANTE 2000". The same applies to any translations into the User's own language of works in Latin and any vocal recordings of translations of the Minor Works of Dante. All you need is your imagination!

  • SEARCH by WORD or simply STRINGS of characters in the body of the selected Documents. It is possible to search for two Words/Strings simultaneously if they are linked to each other by a logical PRODUCT (AND, simultaneous occurrence of both) or logical UNION (OR, occurrence of one or both). The search will find the number of Events, which if preferred need not be displayed in their context - this is absolutely necessary for example when you want to find the number of times that the letter 'a' occurs in the complete Works of Dante.

  • CONSONANCE INDEX of the Rhymes in the Comedy.

  • "On line" SEARCH for RHYMES (in selected Comedy tercets) based on a search by Consonance or simply a String at the end of the verse. Once the tercet has been found, it is possible to consult the context.

  • INDEX of COMEDY VERSES - Detailed elaboration practised from the very start of programming allowed compilation of a list of the Comedy verses in alphabetical order ("Usual Index") plus a list of the verses arranged in the order of their last word ("End of Verse Index"). Both indices are available for the whole Poem or for each Canticle. They are very useful when you can only remember the beginning or end of a line.

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    This feature gives the results of preliminary statistical tests and furnishes an instrument for organising the User's own investigations.

  • "On line" SURVEYS of the REPETITIONS within groups of Comedy tercets, with maximum size equal to one Canto.

  • RESULTS of a search performed on the Repetitions in all the Comedy Cantos.

  • RESULTS of surveys on Configuration Distances and therefore degree of similarity between all possible pairs of Comedy verses .

  • FREQUENCY SURVEY - This powerful tool can be applied to all the works in the Documents Archive (almost all the works of Dante, some of dubious attribution and some not by Dante).
    The System searches for specified Words or Strings, or sets of components chosen on the basis of attribution and, if poetry, style (Songs, Sonnets or Ballads). Search results are generally given as absolute Frequencies (number of occurrences) and relative Frequencies. The context of the occurrences can be easily consulted. The system we have just described is a first important step towards Compared Concordances of the Complete Works of Dante, which we hope to achieve in the near future. Then it should be possible start a search not only by Words or Strings, but by Lemmas too, so the System can search for all associated forms.

  • COMEDY CONCORDANCE ( Words in the Comedy ) - This function, completed in June, 2003, can be enjoyed by amateurs but is essentialy an extremely useful work tool for professionals. As it allows search by Headword, it is equipped with a series of specific operations characteristic of automatic data processing. This Concordance is the first and decisive step towards our target, the "Comparative Concordance on the Complete Works of Dante".

  • RESEARCH on a set of samples of SONNETS. By exploiting the large quantity of sonnets available in the System, 850 by Dante and various COEVAL AUTHORS (see this Chapter), we conceived and conducted a statistical survey on a wide field of samples based on the distribution of occurrences of individual characters in 15 samples of sonnets. The research involved 105 comparisons using a statistical test - the User can follow the relative calculations "on line". The final Table that emerges appears to be extremely interesting and carries important implications on the problem of whether Dante really did write "Il Fiore" or not.

  • A comparison of samples of sonnets by MEDIEVAL AUTHORS with a similar sample by MODERN AUTHORS. This latest study is briefly mentioned in this site (see Guided Tour), a more detailed account can be found in "DANTE 2000".

  • Because of the surprising efficiency of the newly devised statistical test in examining the paternity of a text (PATERTEST), and to test its power and characteristics, we are currently developing research in three major directions:
    - A study on the Author of "Il Fiore" (the Dante da Maiano hypothesis has been evaluated and the results are already shown in "DANTE 2000") ;
    - Study on the doubts that several critics have expressed on the paternity of the XIII Epistola, commonly attributed to Dante (this is the first time that the PATERTEST has been applied to prose) ;
    - Study on the origins of each of the five languages considered.

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    Among other things, this function provides auxiliary tools for manuscript dating.

  • Brief summary on the different ERAS as systems for measuring time based on important historical events of reference and relative list.

  • Overview, within the ambit of the Christian Era, of the different STYLES, i.e. the ways of deciding the beginning of the year.

  • CHRISTIAN CALENDARS - Relating to the two calendars in use, the Julian and the Gregorian, with possibility of the following calculations :

    - MOBILE FEASTS linked to Easter ;

    - Day of the week of a particular date ;


  • List of the main STATES or CITIES adopting the Gregorian calendar.

  • List of the main FEAST DAYS and selection by date.

  • List of the main SAINTS and BLESSED with possibility of selection by date.

  • CHRONOLOGY of the EVENTS that Dante "lived", with reference to personal, historical, literary, scientific/technical and natural Events.

  • CONSTELLATIONS in the Comedy, with display of relative Documents.

  • CHRONOLOGY of the History of ROME, with an interesting exert from Diocletian's Edict on prices and the cost of living.

  • CHRONOLOGY of the POPES of the Catholic Church, from St. Peter to the present.

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    This feature was designed for consulting important Works in VERNACULAR (in verse or prose) written in the times of Dante. During consultation, it is possible to perform a "Word or String Search" of characters within the relative texts.
    Many of these texts are also linked to elements in the "DANTE 2000" Archive Documents.

    Coeval authors include : Francesco d'Assisi, Iacopo da Lentini and others of the Sicilian school, Iacopone da Todi, Guittone d'Arezzo, Guido Guinizzelli, Guido Cavalcanti, Lapo Gianni, Gianni Alfani, Dino Frescobaldi, Marco Polo, Brunetto Latini, Bono Giamboni, Folgore da San Gimignano, Cenne della Chitarra, Rustico Filippi, Cecco Angiolieri, Dino Compagni, Cino da Pistoia, Giovanni Boccaccio.

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    For consulting the works that may be considered the sources used by Dante.

  • Consulting all the works so far considered, with the possibility of "Word or String Search" by characters in the relative texts. This function can be accessed directly from the "DANTE 2000" home-page or from the page dedicated to Comments on the Comedy (see Guided Tour).
    The "Dante's Sources" archive was a long and arduous task and is still growing; it began with the with the most important Latin Classics which were the main sources the Poet used. Version 4.0 of the System marks a giant step in the Sources Archive, with the inclusion of the Sacred Scriptures. This gives "DANTE 2000" all the characteristics of a practically irreplaceable work tool for anyone interested in studying Dante.

  • The main reason for introducing this Archive was to render consulting Comedy Comments more efficient by offering direct Hypertext Cross-references to the Sources.

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    REFERENCES for "DANTE 2000"

    This feature appears on the Home Page as well as in other operative phases where it does not overburden the structure. It offers a list of the following information :

  • Choice of Critical Editions for the Works of Dante. In this case we have opted for the same critical editions as the curators of the Enciclopedia Dantesca dell'Istituto Enciclopedico Italiano (Dantean Encyclopaedia of the Italian Encyclopaedia Institute).

  • LIST of Reference PUBLICATIONS for "DANTE 2000". This choice was made to meet the expectations of our Users.

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    This feature, introduced in June, 2001, considerably enhances the power of the System. With it, the User is in a position to create their own Sound Font Archive, which can be used for two purposes:

  • To listen to the sound fonts whilst reading the text (think of reading the Comedy or works originally written in Latin translated into your own language, etc.). As an example, we have included a recording of a reading from a Canto of the Comedy by Vittorio Sermonti (supplied by RAI, the Public Italian Broadcasting Company) and a reading of a translation into Italian of Chapter 1 of "De vulgari eloquentia" and "Monarchia". This feature solves two problems:
    a. recordings for personal use are allowed under copyright law ;
    b. the User is not obliged to follow our own choices in a subject that obviously arouses a whole range of personal opinions.

  • Any such recordings are defined as "Vocal Messages", which implies the creation of an extremely useful personal VOCAL PLANNER / DIARY.

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