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Dante “Less Ugly” Than Previously Thought


I routinely tell my Italian students that if they have any problems with the rules of the Italian language, they should blame Dante. As the father of the Italian language, he’s much-beloved throughout the country. He is not, however, known for his dashing good looks.

Apparently the portrait of Dante Italians are familiar with isn’t entirely accurate. His hawk-nosed profile – the one on Italy’s two-Euro coin – is based on a Raphael painting done nearly 200 years after Dante died, and a recent reconstruction of his face by scientists at Bologna University indicates that his nose wasn’t nearly that large. The man who oversaw the reconstruction said, “We’ve given Dante back his humanity.”

I wonder if they’re going to reprint that two-Euro coin?