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Unless someone can produce evidence to the contgrary I would presume
Dante meant _person_, not Latin _pesona_. I've only been skimming posts
& I missed precisely what was the point of departure for the discussion.

Carrol

> Nancy Gish wrote:
> 
> Dear Carrol,
> 
> This is all valuable on the term, but I still wish to know if anyone
> would translate Dante's term as "persona" since in Italian now it just
> means "person."  (I don't know whether the meaning was the same in the
> 14th century, but I doubt it was a critical term.) The passage in the
> epigraph is not about speakers in this sense.  Also, I do not read the
> original, but from all I have read, one major fact about Dante was
> that he wrote in the Vernacular and not in Latin.  So my question
> remains--it is not about the literary critical meaning.
>