On this episode of Arts & Letters, we search for the 13th century teacher, translator, rhetorician and poet, Brunetto Latini. He was the teacher of Dante and the first translator of Aristotle and Cicero into a vernacular language.
His translations set the stage for the rhetorical turns in The Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution. His student, Dante, in Canto XV of the Divine Comedy, damned him to Hell.
To find out more about this enigmatic figure, and why Dante put him in hell, we’ve invited University of Arkansas at Little Rock Rhetoric and Writing Professor Dr. Michael Kleine, a scholar of classical rhetoric, to discuss his book Searching for Latini, published by Parlor Press.
We also hear from Latini scholar Julia Bolton Holloway and Dr. Kleine's daughter, Amy, with whom he stayed during his quest to Florence.