Cursus in Dante Alighieri’s prose books De vulgari eloquentia, De Monarchia and Convivio

  • Annika Mikkel Department of Romance Studies, College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, University of Tartu
Keywords: prose rhythm, cursus, clausula, Dante


This paper examines the prose rhythm in Dante’s Latin and Italian prose. The samples of Dante’s Latin books De vulgari eloquentia and De Monarchia and the Italian book Convivio are analysed with the purpose of finding the incidence and patterns of prose rhythm. The method used in this paper is comparative-statistical analysis. The rhythm of classic prose was based on the quantity of syllables, while the medieval Latin prose rhythm was based on word stress and called cursus. Although the use of cursus was more popular in Latin prose, it can also be found elsewhere, including Italian prose. The analysis reveals that rhythmical sentences endings have a role in Dante’s prose and that the cursus appear in his Latin works, as well as in his works in vernacular.


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