Dante's Divine Comedy is his greatest and most famous work. Like Petrarch, he was a poet of courtly love, reading the works of Provencal and Sicilian poets. He maintained a lifelong passion for Beatrice, whom he knew only as a speaking acquaintance.
Dante's political life, though less renowned, was important to him. He fought and plotted for the Guelph faction against the Ghibellines in the Florentine internal conflict, and led a diplomatic mission to the Pope on Guelph business. When the Pope "suggested" he remain in Rome, Dante was condemned to death as a traitor to Florence and suffered exile until his death. Not until the 19th century did Florence pardon him, and the tomb that was built for him then remains empty.