- Boccaccio, Giovanni
- (1313-1375)One of the three great Italian authors of the 14th century (along with Dante and Petrarch) who established the Tuscan dialect as Italy's literary language. Born near Florence to a merchant employed by the Bardi bank and a woman whose name is unrecorded, Giovanni was legitimized and educated by his father, who sought to educate him as a banker and later as a canon lawyer. From an early age, however, the youth discovered his own interests in literature and classical studies. His father's transfer to the Naples branch of the Bardi bank brought Giovanni into the literary circles of the royal court there. He also was able to study classical literature at the local university.His own early writings reflect a combination of interests: in the medieval love poetry of the Neapolitan court, in the classical literature of ancient Rome, in the Bible, and in the encyclopedic compilations of the Middle Ages. Boccaccio wrote both verse romances (such as Filostrato, a source for Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde) and lengthy prose fiction (such as the Filocolo, a popular tale of love and adventure).In 1341 his father's employer recalled him to Florence. The son found the shift from an elegant royal court to an austere republic devoted to money-making difficult, but in time he became a Florentine patriot and strove to glorify its greatest literary figures, Dante and Petrarch. One of the most enduring and influential of Boccaccio's early works was Fiametta (1343-1344), a prose tale sometmes called the first psychological novel. Contrary to custom, it had a female narrator. His masterpiece was the Decameron (1348-1351), a collection of prose tales supposedly told by ten wealthy young men and women who had fled Florence to escape the Black Death. Although many of the individual stories have become famous and influenced later writers, the work is not just a haphazard collection of tales but a unified book in which the character of the narrators and the interplay among members of the group are developed skillfully.Boccaccio was also strongly drawn to the classical interests of his fellow humanists and produced additional works in Latin. In 1350 he finally met Petrarch, whose works he had long admired. Petrarch encouraged him to write more scholarly books. Boccaccio responded by continuing his series of Latin eclogues (Bucolicum carmen). But he did not share Petrarch's disdain for popular literature. Where the two men agreed most fully was in defining the pursuit of literature as a goal worthy of a wise man's life. Boccaccio composed three works reflecting his own classical studies: Genealogia deorum gentilium / Genealogy of the Pagan Gods (1350-1373), which became a standard work of reference on Roman and Greek mythology, and two biographical collections, De casibus virorum illustrium / Fates of Illustrious Men (1355-1373) and a counterpart for the biographies of famous women, De mulieribus claris (1361). In addition, he wrote biographical sketches of both Dante and Petrarch and late in life delivered a series of public lectures on Dante's Divine Comedy.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.
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BOCCACCIO, GIOVANNI° — (1313–1375), Italian author, whose greatest work, Il Decamerone, contains a number of Jewish elements. The son of a Florentine merchant, Boccaccio was apprenticed in his youth to a merchant in Naples and may have come into contact with some of… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
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Boccaccio, Giovanni — • Biography and overview of the author s major works Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 … Catholic encyclopedia
Boccaccio, Giovanni — (1313–1375) Boccaccio was an Italian poet and writer of prose fiction, largely influenced by DANTE and his close friend PETRARCH, and with those two is considered one of the three great writers of the Italian trecento (i.e., 14th century). His … Encyclopedia of medieval literature
Boccaccio, Giovanni — born 1313, Paris, France died Dec. 21, 1375, Certaldo, Tuscany Italian poet and scholar. His life was full of difficulties and occasional bouts of poverty. His early works include The Love Afflicted (с 1336), a prose work in five books, and The… … Universalium
Boccaccio, Giovanni — (1313 1375) Considered one of the greatest Italian poets in history, Boccaccio was born either in the Tuscan town of Certaldo or in Florence. He spent his youth in Naples where his father worked as representative of the Bardi bank. There he… … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Boccaccio, Giovanni — ► (1313 75) Escritor renacentista italiano. El centro de su obra es el culto al amor y a la inteligencia. En sus obras juveniles, Filocolo (1336), Filostrato (1338), trata el amor desde su perspectiva autobiográfica. Recoge temas mitológicos,… … Enciclopedia Universal
Boccaccio,Giovanni — Boc·cac·cio (bō käʹchē ō , chō ), Giovanni. 1313 1375. French born Italian poet and writer whose classic work, the Decameron (1351 1353), is a collection of 100 tales set against the melancholic background of the Black Death. * * * … Universalium
BOCCACCIO, GIOVANNI — the celebrated Italian raconteur, born near Florence; showed early a passion for literature; sent by his father to Naples to pursue a mercantile career; gave himself up to story telling in prose and verse; fell in love with Maria, a beautiful… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Boccaccio, Giovanni — (1313–1375) Italian writer … Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors