Medieval Literature and Esotericism

doctoral seminar poetry in the medieval world resized


Medieval Literature and Esotericism in the Wake of the Forgotten Book The Mystery of Platonic Love of the Middle Ages by Gabriele Rossetti


Tuesday 23 April 2024, 3pm

Online - Register via Eventbrite.


This event is part of the ongoing Doctoral Seminar ‘Projecting Poetry’ and will be held online on Teams. To obtain the link, please register to the following Eventbrite link.

Registration closes 2 days before the start of the event. You will be sent the joining link within 24 hours of the event, on the day and once again 15 minutes before the event starts.

For further information, you can contact Ugo Mondini at


Speaker: Piero Latino, Sorbonne Université - University of Westminster

In the nineteenth century, a forgotten figure of the field of literary studies, Gabriele Rossetti (1783-1854), proposed for the first time the esoteric interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, as well as of medieval love poetry. Gabriele Rossetti was the father of the more famous Pre- Raphaelite poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Studies on the History of Esotericism rarely mention his name, while in the literary field his critical contribution has been almost completely relegated to the fringe of the academic debate. The merit of Gabriele Rossetti was that of drawing attention to an aspect which is still nowadays marginalised within the field of literary studies, namely the relations between literature and esoteric currents. Rossetti’s contribution opens up unexplored horizons of research and enables many literary works to be seen in a new light, that of an initiatory and esoteric wisdom hidden in literature. My paper will thus hint at some unexplored paths of research that can be further developed by new scholarship related to medieval literature, in authors such as Dante, Chaucer or Guillame de Lorris and Jean de Meung with their Romance of the Rose. The starting point of this journey towards the oblivion is a forgotten book by Gabriele Rossetti: Il Mistero dell’Amor Platonico del Medio Evo (The Mystery of Platonic Love of the Middle Ages, 1840). This case of amnesia, which dates back to the nineteenth century, now offers new unexplored opportunities for research in literary academic studies and maybe a key for rethinking medieval literature.

Poetry in the Medieval World Network