Digital Commedia

commedia web site

Dante Alighieri, Commedia. Edited by Prue Shaw. A digital edition jointly published by Inkless Editions (Saskatoon) and the Fondazione Ezio Franceschini (Firenze), 2021

This website contains high-resolution full colour digital images and detailed transcriptions of seven key early manuscripts of Dante’s Commedia – some of the most precious and beautiful surviving copies of the poem. It contains the text of two landmark print editions, those of Giorgio Petrocchi (1966) and Federico Sanguineti (2001). It offers a full word-by-word collation of the text, showing all variants at every word, viewable in either the original manuscript spelling or in a standardised form.


Sophisticated software allows easy magnification and movement around the images. A drop-down menu allows the user to choose a particular manuscript; cantica-canto-line choices allow easy movement around the text. A metrical analysis of each line can be accessed from the collation. Specialized search tools enable new ways of exploring the relations between the versions. As well as  providing the primary evidence for scholars wishing to explore the transmission history of the poem, the web site will be a valuable teaching tool for palaeographers, codicologists and textual critics. The beautiful images allow the reader to share the experience of reading the poem as it would have been read by Dante’s near contemporaries.


This second edition of the digital Commedia, created using standard software in the hope of guaranteeing sustainability, was launched in Florence in November 2021 to mark the seventh centenary of Dante’s death. (The first edition was published in 2010 on DVD-Rom, a technology now obsolete.)


The website is freely available to scholars, students and general readers at

You can read an excerpt from the Introduction here.

‘L’introduzione è filologicamente esemplare e affascinante come un giallo. Questo DVD [sito web] è rivoluzionario, magnifico.’


Lino Pertile, Harvard University

‘The scrupulous and lucid analysis is overwhelmingly persuasive. It will revolutionize everyone’s approach to the textual problems.’


Robert Durling, University of California

“… uno strumento di analisi prezioso, anzi insostituibile … queste nuove frontiere della filologia ci offrono, con la massima comodità, una enorme quantità di dati di estremo interesse per lo sviluppo dei nostri studi.”


Paolo Trovato, Università di Ferrara

‘… un’altra magnifica impresa …’


Giorgio Inglese, Università La Sapienza