Date of birth: 1265 — Date of death: 1321

Poet, philosopher. Born into minor nobility of Florence. Little is known about his formal education, but it is thought to have been based on classical and medieval texts. Dante is best known for the Commedia or The Divine Comedy (c. 1307-1321), which is an account of a journey through the afterlife: hell, purgatory and paradise. Following a visit to Venice in 1321, Dante contracted malaria and died in Ravenna. In homage to Dante, Gabriel Charles Dante changed his name to Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1849.