Quo vadit Vergilius? Intertextuality map of Virgil and Dante in The Divine Comedy

Abstract: With approaches including data analysis and scanning techniques, this project aims to identify numerous scattered points of intertextuality between Dante's "Divine Comedy" and the works of Virgil. The foundation of this endeavor is to create a global and comprehensive map that illustrates the intertextual relationship between Virgil's works and Dante's "Divine Comedy." Upon this foundation, the project will conduct extensive, multilevel and multidimensional analysis to grasp the intersection between Virgil and Dante across time and space, thereby enriching the depth and breadth of humanities research through digital technology. Utilizing digitized texts of both Dante and Virgil as the data set sources,the project will also select the Latin translation of "Divine Comedy" and Virgil's works written in Latin. Intertextual computational methods will be employed to analyze the works of Virgil and Dante. The challenges of this project arise from three aspects: First, the inconsistency between the Latin and Italian languages; Second, the complexity of intertextual computation; Third, the mismatch between different Latin versions due to variations in time periods. The anticipated outcome of this project is to delineate a distribution map of intertextual texts between "Divine Comedy" and Virgil's works, providing a basis for both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the relationship between Virgil and Dante. Building upon this foundation, the project will delve into the lineage, mentorship, and emotional connections between Virgil and Dante, thereby enriching and deepening the academic community's current understanding of the relationship between these two literary figures. By bridging computational methods with traditional literary analysis, the project offers a novel approach to exploring longstanding literary connections and themes, promising to contribute a new dimension to the field of literary studies.

# Team members

  • Ruoci Song, upcoming doctoral student in Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics, University of Cambridge
  • Xinyao Tong, Master of European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University
  • Yifan Li, MPhil student in Traditional East Asia, University of Oxford
  • Shihui Li, undergraduate student in School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Peking University

# Supervisor