Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265. In 1309 he was banished from his birthplace for political reasons, and sentenced to death in his absence. From then on he led a wanderer's life in Verona and Tuscany, eventually settling in Ravenna where he was buried on his death in 1321. His most celebrated work is the DIVINA COMMEDIA which he began in 1307. It is his spiritual odyssey through Hell and Purgatory, guided by Virgil, and finally to Paradise, guided by Beatrice. It gives an encyclopaedic knowledge of the age, all expressed in the most exquisite poetry. The DIVINA COMMEDIA, which Dante began in Latin, established Italian as a literary language. Dante also completed other important canzoni or short poems, eclogues, and an unfinished work, DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA, discussing the origin of the language, the divisions of language and the dialect of Italian in particular.