Lead:  After Dante was banished from Florence in 1302, he wrote his great masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. By writing it in Italian, the language of the people, he helped drag readers out of their slavish devotion to Latin.                

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Active in political and cultural life in Florence, Alighieri Dante was banished from his beloved city after a rival political faction achieved power. He spent the next twenty years in exile, moving from town to town in northern Italy, being honorably received by aristocrats, and working on his most important writings.

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