He settled in Ravenna where he wrote much of his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, and died there in 1321.
Now, one of his descendants is exploring the possibility of the poet being granted a pardon. “They were politically motivated trials and the exile and death penalties inflicted on my dear ancestor are unjust,” said Sperello di Serego Alighieri, an astrophysicist.
“They have never been cancelled, in contrast to what happened with Galileo Galilei. So if the law permits it, we will ask for a review.”
He has the backing of Alessandro Traversi, a law professor in Florence, who says the idea of a pardon after seven centuries is not so outlandish. He pointed to the Italian penal code, which says that sentences can be revised if new evidence emerges.
To that end, the two men are organising a conference in May that will involve jurists, judges and historians, to discuss the feasibility of a pardon.