Toynbee "Alighieri"
Dante's family name; referred to by Cacciaguida, D.'s great-great-grandfather (in the Heaven of Mars), as tua cognazione, [Par. xv. 92]; il sopranome tuo, [Par. xv. 138]. Cacciaguida, who is said to have belonged to the Elisei, one of the ancient families of Florence who boasted their descent from the Romans, married one of the Aldighieri or Alighieri, probably of Ferrara, from whom he says D.'s surname was derived, mia donna venue a me di val di Pado, e quindi it sopranome tuo si feo, [Par. xv. 137-138]. [Alighiero: Cacciaguida: Dante.]

The most recent investigations tend to show that in the Latin form the name was probably originally Alagherii and in the Italian Alighieri. [See M. Scherillo, 'Il cognome Alighieri', in Alcuni catitoli della biografia di Dante (Torino 1896), pp. 66-81.] The name in its Latin form (spelt variously by different editors) occurs, Epist. ii. tit., Epist. v. 1, Epist. vi. 1, Epist. vii. 1, Epist. xi. tit., Epist. xii. 5, Epist. xiii. 1, Epist. xiii. 28, Quest. I. 87.

[For the authoritative collection of documents on the Alighieri family, see R. Piattoli, CDD. Still useful is N. Zingarelli, Vto, i, pp. 54 71.]

©Oxford University Press 1968. From A Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante by Paget Toynbee (1968) by permission of Oxford University Press