The Harlot and the Giant: Dante and the Song of Songs

Lino Pertile

in Scrolls of Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225712
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237067 | DOI:
The Harlot and the Giant: Dante and the Song of Songs

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In his treatise the Monarchy, Dante argues against those who maintained that the foundation of faith consists in the traditions of the church. He distinguishes three stages in the history of Scripture: before the church (that is, the Old and the New Testament), with the church (the early fathers), and after the church (the decretales). Dante's division of the history of Scripture into three stages is an open allusion to the allegorical-historical interpretation of the Song of Songs that, during the previous three centuries or so, had been gaining currency in connection with the power struggle between papacy and empire. The hermeneutic scheme adopted by Giles of Rome in his commentary on the Song of Songs is much simpler than Honorius' and much closer to Dante's.

Keywords: Monarchy; faith; traditions; church; Scripture; Song of Songs; papacy; empire; Giles of Rome; Honorius

Chapter.  5557 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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