The Accademia della Crusca publishes the first Chinese translation of the Divine Comedy

The work was translated by Agostino Biagi, a Franciscan missionary friar in China during the 1950s

Dante speaks Chinese: the Accademia della Crusca has published the first complete Chinese translation of the Divine Comedy in verse. An extraordinary work that was not produced by a Chinese person, but by an Italian: the Tuscan Agostino Biagi. Originally from Fossato, a small town in the heart of the Apennines, Biagi passed away in 1957, but left his work with his family.

He was a Franciscan friar, who, in the early 20th century, was a missionary in China. He then returned to Italy and, after leaving the order, became an evangelical pastor in Avellino and Genoa. An unusual character, an early anti-fascist, teacher of Chinese and other languages in various schools in Italy, with a great passion: the Divine Comedy. He devoted part of his life to translating the poem into Chinese, but his work had never been published until now. It remained among the family documents until one of his great-grandchildren, Mara Carocci from Genoa, recovered it. Carrocci decided to give his work to the Accademia della Crusca, together with other documents in Chinese and translations from Chinese into Italian by Biagi.

The poem is now available to Dante scholars and sinologists, who have already started to study and appreciate the extraordinary work of Biagi.