Le date in cui Dante fa svolgere l'azione della Commedia si ricavano dalle indicazioni disseminate in diversi passi del poema.
Il riferimento principale è Inferno XXI, 112-114: in quel momento sono le sette del mattino del Sabato Santo del 1300, 9 aprile o, secondo altri commentatori, del 26 marzo del 1300. L'anno è confermato da Purgatorio II, 98-99, che fa riferimento al Giubileo in corso. Tenendo questo punto fermo, in base agli altri riferimenti si ottiene che:
alla mattina dell'8 aprile (Venerdì Santo) o del 25 marzo, Dante esce dalla "selva oscura" e inizia la salita del colle, ma viene messo in fuga dalle tre fiere e incontra Virgilio.
al tramonto, Dante e Virgilio iniziano la visita dell'Inferno, che dura circa 24 ore e termina quindi al tramonto del 9 aprile o del 26 marzo. Nel superare il centro della Terra, però, i due poeti passano al "fuso orario" del Purgatorio (12 ore di differenza da Gerusalemme e 9 ore dall'Italia), per cui è mattina quando essi intraprendono la risalita, che occupa tutto il giorno successivo.
all'alba del 10 aprile (domenica di Pasqua) o del 27 marzo, Dante e Virgilio iniziano la visita del Purgatorio, che dura tre giorni e tre notti: all'alba del quarto giorno, 13 aprile o 30 marzo, Dante entra nel Paradiso Terrestre e vi trascorre la mattina, durante la quale lo raggiunge Beatrice.
a mezzogiorno, Dante e Beatrice salgono in cielo. Da qui in avanti non vi sono più indicazioni di tempo, salvo che nel cielo delle stelle fisse trascorrono circa sei ore (Paradiso XXVII, 79-81). Considerando un tempo simile anche per gli altri cieli, si ottiene che la visita del Paradiso duri due-tre giorni. L'azione terminerebbe quindi il 15 aprile o il 1º aprile.
Quindi con un tempo totale stimato in sette giorni di viaggio.
... the date of the real or fictive earthquake, according Dante precisely in the time
Five hours from this hour yesterday,
one thousand and two hundred sixty-six
years passed since that roadway was shattered here.
(Inf. XXI 112-114)
Dante knows even the hour, as it seems.
Ah, I note my mistake ... I'd interpreted the year 1266, but Dante meant 1300-1266 = 34th year of Jesus, the day of his death, when an earthquake occurred. Sorry, that I've confused you, and sorry, you had explained it already.
see also ...
But right, there's the coincidence, that Dante was in a similar age as Jesus in this Jubilee year 1300, just a little bit older, reaching the age of 33 in the year 1299.
Dante Alighieri, o Alighiero, battezzato Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri e anche noto con il solo nome Dante, della famiglia Alighieri (Firenze, tra il 22 maggio e il 13 giugno 1265 – Ravenna, 14 settembre 1321),
Dante was born in Florence, Italy. The exact date of his birth is unknown, although it is generally believed to be around 1265. This can be deduced from autobiographic allusions in the Divine Comedy. Its first section, the Inferno, begins, "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita" ("Midway upon the journey of our life"), implying that Dante was around 35 years old, since the average lifespan according to the Bible (Psalm 89:10, Vulgate) is 70 years; and since his imaginary travel to the nether world took place in 1300, he was most probably born around 1265. Some verses of the Paradiso section of the Divine Comedy also provide a possible clue that he was born under the sign of Gemini: "As I revolved with the eternal twins, I saw revealed, from hills to river outlets, the threshing-floor that makes us so ferocious" (XXII 151–154). In 1265, the sun was in Gemini between approximately May 11 and June 11.
Somewhere else (I don't remember the place) I remember suspicions, where the birth calculation went down (as a possibility) to 1260.
... was the year, for which Joachim de Fiore had expected the end of the world (or at least a dramatic change).
Theory of the three ages
The mystical basis of his teaching is his doctrine of the "Eternal Gospel," founded on an interpretation of the text in Revelation xiv, 6.
His theories can be considered millenarian; he believed that history, by analogy with the Trinity, was divided into three fundamental epochs:
The Age of the Father, corresponding to the Old Testament, characterized by obedience of mankind to the Rules of God;
The Age of the Son, between the advent of Christ and 1260, represented by the New Testament, when Man became the son of God;
The Age of the Holy Spirit, impending (in 1260), when mankind was to come in direct contact with God, reaching the total freedom preached by the Christian message. The Kingdom of the Holy Spirit, a new dispensation of universal love, would proceed from the Gospel of Christ, but transcend the letter of it. In this new Age the ecclesiastical organization would be replaced and the Order of the Just would rule the Church. This Order of the Just was later identified with the Franciscan order by his follower Gerardo of Borgo San Donnino.
According to Joachim, only in this third Age will it be possible to really understand the words of God in its deepest meanings, and not merely literally. He concluded that this age would begin in 1260 based on the Book of Revelation (verses 11:3 and 12:6, which mention "one thousand two hundred and sixty days"). In this year, instead of the parousia (second Advent of Christ), a new Epoch of peace and concord would begin, thus making the hierarchy of the Church unnecessary.
Joachim distinguished between the "reign of justice" or of "law", in an imperfect society, and the "reign of freedom" in a perfect society.
Fiore's ideas are said to have influenced Dante.
The whole 13th century seems to have been a little bit crazy about religious matters, more than other centuries. There was an increase of population in 11th century which resulted in military action (crusades) against the outside.
With success, but the success couldn't proceed during 12th century. In 13th century suddenly the Mongols proved, that the expansion to the East was limited and in 1290 Akkon was finished. The number of the participants at the crusades had become much smaller then.
A religious explanation ...
Joachim believes that history is trinitarian, consisting of three status or eras, as he calls them. The first status is the time of the Father, and that's the Old Testament, lasting for 42 generations. The second status is the time of the second person, the Son, and the time of the New Testament, also 42 generations. Joachim's calculations led him to believe that he was living at the very end of that period, and that no more than two generations at most--that is, no more than 60 years, and possibly less--would see the end of the second status. The end of the second status, of course, would mark the seventh head of the dragon, that is, the Antichrist, and Antichrist's persecution. But for Joachim, that wasn't the end of history. A third status, the status of the Holy Spirit, a time of contemplative ecclesiastical utopia, was dawning. ...
A good example of Joachim's reading the signs of the times would be his emphasis of the figure of Saladin, and Saladin's reconquest of Jerusalem in the year 1187. When Joachim comes to interpreting the 12th chapter of Revelation, he sees the seven-headed dragon as indicating seven heads of concrete historical persecutors through the course of history, and not just as a general symbol of evil. He identifies the sixth head with Saladin--he Islamic leader who reconquered the city of Jerusalem from the Crusaders in the year 1187--and sees him as immediately preceding the coming seventh head, who will be the Antichrist, the last and greatest persecutor of the second status of the Church.
Joachim had an international reputation in the late 12th century. We know that he functioned as what I have called an apocalyptic advisor to a number of the popes of the 1180s and the 1190s. Despite living on a lonely mountaintop in his monastery in Calabria, the prophet's fame had spread very wide. And so it shouldn't surprise us that King Richard the Lion Hearted, when he's on his way to the Third Crusade and he has to spend the winter in Sicily (because of course you can't sail during the winter on the Mediterranean), when he stops there in Messina, he calls for Joachim, the famous prophet, and asks for his prophetic advice about what will happen. And Joachim travels to the palace there in Messina, in the winter of 1190-1191. And we have the accounts of his preaching to King Richard, and Richard's questions to him.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... achim.html
Fiore's "Expositio in Apocalipsim" (Exposition of the Book of Revelation) was finished around 1196-9, so after a crusade, which didn't fulfill the expectations.
You had asked ...
Your question, here, raises an issue, which has continually perplexed me—viz. the association of the number “13” with the Tarot’s Death trump. Why?
Maybe cause Jesus had 12 followers and was the 13th (and the traitor Judas the 12th, who caused the death).
Maybe cause there were 12 Olympian gods and Hercules became the 13th.
Maybe cause there were 13 moons necessary in the combined solar-lunar calendar, one of the 13 moons not being present in all years (in 7 of 19 present; Meton cycle of 19 years).
Maybe cause the Egyptians has 12x30 days for a year and added 5 unlucky days.
Addition to Joyce:
I've read in his biography, that Joyce had learned Italian by reading Dante. In Trieste short after 1904 he had contact to a Florentine family, and the man of it agreed to exchange lessons in Italian against lessons in English.
The Florentine noted, that Joyce knew a lot of old-fashioned words, expressions, which were lost in modern Italian. Thanks to Dante.