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Encyclopedia > The Decameron
Illustration from a copy of The Decameron, ca. 1492, Venice

The Decameron (subtitle: Prencipe Galeotto) is a collection of 100 novellas by Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio, probably begun in 1350 and finished in 1353. It is a medieval allegorical work best known for its bawdy tales of love, appearing in all its possibilities from the erotic to the tragic. Other topics such as wit and witticism, practical jokes and worldly initiation also form part of the mosaic. Beyond its entertainment and literary popularity it remains an important historical document of life in the fourteenth century. Again, as JPEG File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Again, as JPEG File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venezsia) is the capital of region Veneto, and has a population of 271,663 (census estimate January 1, 2004). ... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... Giovanni Boccaccio Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poetry in the vernacular. ... Events 29 August - An English fleet personally commanded by King Edward III defeats a Spanish fleet in the battle of Les Espagnols sur Mer. ... Events The Decameron was finished by Giovanni Boccaccio. ... Christs baptism in the bottom panel. ...

Contents

Description

Decameron is structured in a frame narrative, or frame tale. Boccaccio begins with a description of the Black Death and leads into an introduction of a group of seven young women and three young men who flee from plague-ridden Florence to a villa in the (then) countryside of Fiesole for two weeks. To pass the time, each member of the party tells one story for each one of the nights spent at the villa. Although fourteen days pass, two days each week are set aside: one day for chores and one holy day during which no work is done. In this manner, 100 stories are told by the end of the ten days. A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc) is a narrative technique whereby a main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories, each of which is a story within a story. ... Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411) The Black Death, or Black Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. ... Florence (Italian, Firenze) is a city in the center of Tuscany, in central Italy, on the Arno River, with a population of around 400,000, plus a suburban population in excess of 200,000. ... Fiesole is a town and comune (township) of Firenze province in the Italian region of Tuscany, 43°49N 11°18E, on a famously scenic height 346 m (1140 ft) above Florence, 8 km (5 mi) NE of that city. ... Summary of Decameron tales. ...

Decameron - A painting by Sandro Botticelli from 1487
Decameron - A painting by Sandro Botticelli from 1487

Each of the ten characters is charged as King or Queen of the company for one of the ten days in turn. This charge extends to choosing the theme of the stories for that day, and all but two days have topics assigned: examples of the power of fortune; examples of the power of human will; love tales that end tragically; love tales that end happily; clever replies that save the speaker; tricks that women play on men; tricks that people play on each other in general; examples of virtue. Only Dioneo, who usually tells the tenth tale each day, has the right to tell a tale on any topic he wishes, due to his wit. Each day also includes a short introduction and conclusion to continue the frame of the tales by describing other daily activities besides story-telling. These frame tale interludes frequently include transcriptions of Italian folk songs. The interactions among tales in a day, or across days, as Boccaccio spins variations and reversals of previous material, forms a whole and not just a collection of stories. The basic plots of the stories including mocking the lust and greed of the clergy; tensions in Italian society between the new wealthy commercial class and noble families; the perils and adventures of traveling merchants. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 459 pixelsFull resolution (2560 × 1469 pixel, file size: 452 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): The Decameron ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 459 pixelsFull resolution (2560 × 1469 pixel, file size: 452 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): The Decameron ... For building painting, see painter and decorator. ... Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (little barrel) (March 1, 1445 – May 17, 1510) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school during the Early Renaissance (Quattrocento). ... Events Richard Fox becomes Bishop of Exeter. ...


The title is a portmanteau, or combination of two Greek words meaning "ten" (δέκα déka) and "day" (ἡμέρα hēméra).[1]. Boccacio made similar Greek etymological plays of words in his other works. The subtitle is Prencipe Galeotto, which derives from the opening material in which Boccaccio dedicates the work to ladies of the day who did not have the diversions of men (hunting, fishing, riding, falconry) who were forced to conceal their amorous passions and stay idle and concealed in their rooms. Thus, the book is subtitled Prencipe Galeotto, that is Galehaut, the go-between of Lancelot and Guinevere, a nod to Dante's allusion to Galeotto in "Inferno V", who was blamed for the arousal of lust in the episode of Paolo and Francesca. Look up portmanteau word in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Lancelot (disambiguation). ... Queen Guinevere, by William Morris Guinevere was the legendary queen consort of King Arthur. ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... Gianciotto Discovers Paolo and Francesca by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Francesca da Rimini or Francesca da Polenta (died 1285) was the beautiful daughter of Guido da Polenta of Ravenna. ...


Analysis

From an edition of Boccaccio's "De Casibus Virorum Illustrium" showing Lady Fortune spinning her wheel.
From an edition of Boccaccio's "De Casibus Virorum Illustrium" showing Lady Fortune spinning her wheel.

Throughout Decameron the mercantile ethic prevails and predominates. The commercial and urban values of quick wit, sophistication and intelligence are treasured, while the vices of stupidity and dullness are cured, or punished. While these traits and values will seem obvious to the modern reader, they were an emerging feature in Europe with the rise of urban centers and a monetized economic system beyond the traditional rural feudal and monastery systems which placed greater value on piety and loyalty. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (914x1291, 324 KB) Summary From: http://special. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (914x1291, 324 KB) Summary From: http://special. ... Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root *fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. ...


Beyond the unity provided by the frame narrative, Decameron provides a unity in philosophical outlook. Throughout runs the common medieval theme of Lady Fortune, and how quickly one can rise and fall through the external influences of the "Wheel of Fortune". Boccaccio had been educated in the tradition of Dante's Divine Comedy which used various levels of allegory to show the connections between the literal events of the story and the hidden Christian message. However Decameron uses Dante's model not to educate the reader, but to satirize this method of learning. The Roman Catholic Church, priests, and religious belief become the satirical source of comedy throughout. This was part of a wider historical trend in the aftermath of the Black Death which saw widespread discontent with the church. Fortuna governs the circle of the four stages of life, the Wheel of Fortune, in a manuscript of Carmina Burana In Roman mythology, Fortuna (Greek equivalent Tyche) was the personification of luck, hopefully of good luck, but she could be represented veiled and blind, as modern depictions of Justice are... Wheel of Fortune (X) Wheel of Fortune (X) is a Major Arcana Tarot card. ... Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, in Michelinos fresco. ... An allegory (from Greek αλλος, allos, other, and αγορευειν, agoreuein, to speak in public) is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than (and in addition to) the literal. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ...


Many details of the Decameron are infused with a medieval sense of numerological and mystical significance. For example, it is widely believed that the seven young women are meant to represent the Four Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude) and the Three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity). It is further supposed that the three men represent the classical Greek tripartite division of the soul (Reason, Spirit, and Lust, see Book IV of Republic). Boccaccio himself notes that the names he gives for these ten characters are in fact pseudonyms chosen as "appropriate to the qualities of each". The Italian names of the seven women, in the same (most likely significant) order as given in the text, are: Pampinea, Fiammetta, Filomena, Emilia, Lauretta, Neifile, and Elissa. The men, in order, are: Panfilo, Filostrato, and Dioneo. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... The Republic (Greek: ) is an influential work of philosophy and political theory by the Greek philosopher Plato, written in approximately 360 BC. It is written in the format of a Socratic dialogue. ... A pseudonym (Greek pseudo + -onym: false name) is an artificial, fictitious name, also known as an alias, used by an individual as an alternative to a persons true name. ...


Literary sources and influence of the Decameron

"A Tale from the Decameron" by John William Waterhouse
"A Tale from the Decameron" by John William Waterhouse

The compelling way in which the tales were written and their almost exclusively Renaissance flair made the stories from the Decameron an irresistible source that many later writers borrowed from. Notable examples include: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x630, 121 KB) Cena do Decamerão de Giovanni Boccaccio, por John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Summary of Decameron tales The... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x630, 121 KB) Cena do Decamerão de Giovanni Boccaccio, por John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Summary of Decameron tales The... John William Waterhouse. ...

  • The famous first tale (I, 1) of the notorious Saint Ciappelletto was later translated into Latin by Olimpia Fulvia Morata and translated again by Voltaire. Molière later drew upon the latter translation to create the title character of Tartuffe.
  • Martin Luther retells tale I, 2, in which a Jew converts to Catholicism after visiting Rome and seeing the corruption of the Catholic hierarchy. However, in Luther's version (found in his "Table-talk #1899"), Luther and Philipp Melanchthon try to dissuade the Jew from visiting Rome.
  • The ring parable is at the heart of both Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's 1779 play Nathan the Wise and tale I, 3. In a letter to his brother on August 11, 1778, he says explicitly that he got the story from the Decameron. Jonathan Swift also used the same story for his first major published work, A Tale of a Tub.
  • Posthumus's wager on Imogen's chastity in Cymbeline was taken by Shakespeare from an English translation of a fifteenth century German tale, "Frederyke of Jennen," whose basic plot came from tale II, 9.
  • Both Molière and Lope de Vega from tale III, 3 to create plays in their respective vernaculars. Molière wrote L'ecole de maris in 1661 and Lope de Vega wrote Discreta enamorada.
  • Tale III, 9, which Shakespeare converted into All's Well That Ends Well. Shakespeare probably first read a French translation of the tale in William Painter's Palace of Pleasure.
  • John Keats borrowed the tale of Lisabetta and her pot of basil (IV, 5) for his poem, Isabella, or the Pot of Basil.
  • Lope de Vega also used parts of V, 4 for his play No son todos ruiseñores (They're Not All Nightingales).
  • Tale V, 9 became the source for works by two famous nineteenth century writers in the English language. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it in his "The Falcon of Ser Federigo" as part of Tales of a Wayside Inn in 1863. Alfred, Lord Tennyson used it in 1879 for a play entitled The Falcon.
  • Molière also borrowed from tale VII, 4 in his George Dandin, ou le Mari Confondu (The Confounded Husband). In both stories the husband is convinced that he has accidentally caused his wife's suicide.
  • The motif of the three trunks in The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare is found in tale X, 1. However, both Shakespeare and Boccaccio probably came upon the tale in Gesta Romanorum.
  • At his death Percy Bysshe Shelley had left a fragment of a poem entitled "Ginevra," which he took from the first volume of an Italian book called L'Osservatore Fiorentino. The earlier Italian text had a plot taken from tale X, 4.
  • Tale X, 5 shares its plot with Chaucer's "The Franklin's Tale", although this is not due to a direct borrowing from Boccaccio. Rather, both authors used a common French source.
  • The tale of patient Griselda (X, 10) was the source of Chaucer's "Clerk's Tale." However, scholars agree that Chaucer probably wasn't directly familiar with the Decameron, and instead derived it from a Latin translation/retelling of that tale by Petrarch.
  • Christine De Pizan often restructures tales from Decameron in her work "City of Ladies"
  • Tale IV, 1 was reabsorbed into folklore to appear as Child ballad 269, Lady Diamond.[2]

Boccaccio, in turn, borrowed the plots of almost all of his stories. Although he only consulted French, Italian, and Latin sources, some of the tales have their ultimate origin in such far-off lands as India, Persia, Spain, and other places. Moreover, some were already centuries old. For example, part of the tale of Andreuccio of Perugia (II, 5) originated in second century Ephesus (in the Ephesian Tale). The frame narrative structure (though not the characters or plot) originates from the Panchatantra, which was written in Sanskrit before 500 AD and came to Boccaccio through a chain of translations that includes Old Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin. Even the description of the central current event of the narrative, the Black Plague (which Boccaccio surely witnessed), is not original, but based on the Historia gentis Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, who lived in the eighth century. For the sport horse, see Voltaire (horse). ... Molière, engraved on the frontispiece to his Works. ... Tartuffe is a comedy by Molière. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, by Lucas Cranach the Elder. ... Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (22 January 1729 – 15 February 1781), writer, philosopher, publicist, and art critic, was one of the most outstanding German representatives of the Enlightenment era. ... Nathan the Wise (original German title Nathan der Weise) is a play by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, published in 1779. ... August 11 is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1778 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745) was an Irish cleric, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer( first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gullivers Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapiers Letters, The Battle of the Books, and... A Tale of a Tub (play). ... Shakespeare redirects here. ... Lope de Vega Lope de Vega (also Félix Lope de Vega Carpio or Lope Félix de Vega Carpio) (25 November 1562 – 27 August 1635) was a Spanish playwright and poet. ... Alls Well That Ends Well is a comedy by William Shakespeare, and is often considered one of his problem plays, so-called because they cannot be easily classified as tragedy or comedy. ... William Painter (1540?-1594), English author, was a native of Kent. ... John Keats John Keats (31 October 1795 – February 23, 1821) was one of the principal poets of the English Romantic movement. ... Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet whose works include Paul Reveres Ride, A Psalm of Life, The Song of Hiawatha and Evangeline. ... Alfred, Lord Tennyson Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and is one of the most popular English poets. ... Molière, engraved on the frontispiece to his Works. ... Title page of the first quarto (1600) The Merchant of Venice is one of William Shakespeares best-known plays, written sometime between 1596 and 1598. ... Gesta Romanorum, a Latin collection of anecdotes and tales, was probably compiled about the end of the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th. ... Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822; pronounced ) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyrical poets of the English language. ... Chaucer: Illustration from Cassells History of England, circa 1902 Chanticleer the rooster from an outdoor production of Chanticleer and the Fox at Ashby_de_la_Zouch castle Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. ... The Franklins Tale is one of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. ... The Clerks Tale is the first tale of Group E in Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales. ... From the c. ... The Child Ballads are a collection of 305 ballads from England and Scotland, and their American variants, collected by Francis James Child. ... Lady Diamond is Child ballad 269, existing in several variants. ... The Ephesian Tale of Anthia and Habrocomes by Xenophon of Ephesus is a novel belonging to the mid second century of the Common Era. ... The Panchatantra [1][2][3] (also spelled Pañcatantra, Sanskrit पञ्चतन्त्र Five Chapters) or Kelileh va Dimneh or Anvar-i-Suhayli [4][5] or The Lights of Canopus (in Persian)[6] or Kalilag and Damnag (in Syriac)[7] or Kalila and Dimna (also Kalilah and Dimnah, Arabic كليلة Ùˆ دمنة Kalila wa Dimna)[8... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is an old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian Subcontinent, the classical literary language of the Hindus of India[1], a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Sketch of the first column of the Behistun Inscription Old Persian is the oldest attested Persid language. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411) The Black Death, or Black Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. ... Paul the Deacon (c. ...


Some scholars have suggested that some of the tales for which there is no prior source may still have not have been invented by Boccaccio, but may have been circulating in the local oral tradition and Boccaccio may have just happened to be the first person that we know of to record them. Boccaccio himself says that he heard some of the tales orally. In VII, 1, for example, he claims to have heard the tale from an old woman who heard it as a child.


However, just because Boccaccio borrowed the storylines that make up most of the Decameron doesn't mean he mechanically reproduced them. Most of the stories take place in the fourteenth century and have been sufficiently updated for the author's time that a reader may not know that they had been written centuries earlier or in a foreign culture. Also, Boccaccio also often combined two or more unrelated tales into one (such as in II, 2 and VII, 7).


Moreover, many of the characters actually existed, such as Giotto di Bondone, Guido Cavalcanti, Saladin, and King William II of Sicily. Scholars have even been able to verify the existence of less famous characters, such as the tricksters Bruno and Buffalmacco and their victim Calandrino. Still other fictional characters are based on real people, such as the Madonna Fiordaliso from tale II, 5, who is derived from a Madonna Flora that lived in the red light district of Naples. Boccaccio often intentionally muddled historical (II, 3) and geographical (V, 2) facts for his narrative purposes. Within the tales of the Decameron the principle characters are usually developed through their dialogue and actions so that by the end of the story they seem real and their actions logical given their context. Statue of Giotto di Bondone, close to the Uffizi. ... Cavalcanti and Dante Guido Cavalcanti (c. ... Artistic representation of Saladin. ... William II crowned by Christ, mosaic in Monreale Cathedral. ... Buonamico di Martino or Buonamico Buffalmacco (active c. ... Calandrino is a beloved character from Giovanni Boccaccios the Decameron, in which he appears as a character in four stories. ...


Another of Boccaccio's frequent techniques was to make already existing tales more complex. A clear example of this is in tale IX, 6, which was also used by Chaucer in his "The Reeve's Tale," but more closely follows the original French source than does Boccaccio's version. In the Italian version the host's wife (in addition to the two young male visitors) occupy all three beds and she also creates an explanation of the happenings of the evening. Both elements are Boccaccio's invention and make for a more complex version than either Chaucer's version or the French source (a fabliau by Jean de Boves). The Reeves Prologue and Tale is the third story to be told in Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales. ... The fabliau (plural fabliaux) is a comic, usually anonymous tale written by jongleurs in northeast France circa the 13th Century. ...


Influence on visual art

Scenes from the Decameron have been illustrated by many artists, perhaps most famously in a series by Sandro Botticelli. In 1970, Pier Paolo Pasolini made a film based on some of the stories. Similarly, David Leland adapts a few stories in his film Virgin Territory, due for release in 2007. Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (little barrel) (March 1, 1445 – May 17, 1510) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school during the Early Renaissance (Quattrocento). ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Pier Paolo Pasolini (March 5, 1922 - November 2, 1975) was an Italian poet, intellectual, film director, and writer. ... Il Decameron (The Decameron) is a 1971 film by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, based on the novel Decamerone by Giovanni Boccaccio. ... David Leland (born April 20, 1947 in Cambridge, England, UK) is a British director, screenwriter and actor who came to international fame with his directional debut Wish You Were Here in 1987. ... Virgin Territory is a film scheduled for release on January 5, 2007 based upon Giovanni Boccaccios Decameron. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini era. ...


Tales from the Decameron

Some particularly notable stories from the collection:

Summary of Decameron tales. ...

References

  • Cassell, Anthony (1983). "Boccaccio, Giovanni". Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Volume 2. ISBN 0-684-17022-1
  • Lee, A. C. (1909). The Decameron: Its Sources and Analogues. ISBN 0-7426-4355-7. Paperback reprint 2005 by University Press of the Pacific. ISBN 1-4102-2080-X

Dictionary of the Middle Ages: Supplement 1 (2003) The Dictionary of the Middle Ages is a 13-volume encyclopedia of the Middle Ages published by the American Council of Learned Societies between 1982 and 1989, with a supplemental volume added in 2003. ...

See also

Illustration from the 54th story - The Right Moment - in the 1899 English edition, in which a damsel of Maubeuge shocks & surprises a noble knight of Flanders The Cent Nouvelles nouvelles is a collection of stories supposed to be narrated by various persons at the court of Philippe le Bon, and... Book cover of Voznesnskaya book My After-Death Adventures Julia Voznesenskaya (Russian: ; born 1940 in Leningrad) is a Russian author. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Coordinates: 43°47′48″N, 11°16′40″E Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Brown University is a private university located in Providence, Rhode Island. ... The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies and is part of the Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies (ORB). ... John William Waterhouse. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Flak Magazine: Review of Boccaccio's Decameron, 8.11.99 (590 words)
Boccaccio's Decameron, little known outside of academia in general and the Italian department in particular, is one such title.
Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron is a terrific example: the problems of corruption in high office, sexual jealousy and the differences between the rich and the poor figure directly into a large number of the Decameron's tales.
The Decameron, beyond being a mere capacitor for smut and bawdiness, is a frightening look at a society becoming unraveled by the effects of the Plague.
The Decameron - Cunnan (193 words)
Written by Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron stands alongside the Canterbury Tales as one of the most famous collections of short stories ever.
The stories of the Decameron range from the poignant and worthy to outright bawdy.
The Decameron was also the model for The Heptameron by Margueritte de Navarre, as well as providing inspiration for countless other authors.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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