Giovanni Boccaccio (16 June, 1313 – 21 December, 1375) was an Italian poet, writer, and humanist. He became well known for his works called The Decameron.
Fun Facts about Giovanni Boccaccio:
- Giovanni Boccaccio was born in Florence. His father was a merchant, but we don’t know who is mother is, which is a sign that he might have been born out of wedlock.
- Baccaccino di Chellino, his father, got a job at a bank when his son was a teenager. Together with his step-mother, Margherita di Mardoli, the family moved to Naples. The young Giovanni tried his hand at banking but convinced his father to let him study law, which is what he did the next six years.
- Mr. Boccaccio fell in love with a woman who he often referred to her as “Fiammetta” in his romance prose. Many think it’s married, the daughter of King of Naples, Robert the Wise.
We actually don’t know who “Fiammetta” was or who he is referring to, and actually, no documents that even mention a “Maria” even exist.
- The future lawyer enjoyed his new profession just as much as he enjoyed banking – that is, not at all. However, his studies allowed him to pursue his other interest and make connections with other like-minded people.
- When his father declared bankruptcy in 1340, Giovanni returned to Florence. Soon afterwards a monk prophesied that Giovanni Boccaccio is facing imminent death, which made the young man stop his studies, which he never liked anyway, and take up religion.
- In Florence, with the tribulations of bankruptcy hanging over his head, Giovanni Boccaccio started to seriously write. He already had a body of work previously though.
- We don’t know much abut Mr. Boccaccio’s life, until 1350 when he was appointed an ambassador to the court of Romagna, and an ambassador in Tirol the next year. In 1354 he was appointed the ambassador to the Vatican. Throughout it all, he kept writing.
- The Decameron (Ten Days), his 1353 work, featured ten characters presenting 100 stories of secular themes. One of the things the work is known for is it’s detailed description of the Black Death.
- After completing The Decameron , Mr. Boccaccio shifted from writing fiction to scholarly works.
- Giovanni Boccaccio’s interest in humanity (Decameron), his innovations of ottava rima (stanzas formed from eight 11-syllable lines), and use of vernacular in prose made Giovanni Boccaccio one of the Three Crowns of Florence (the other two being Petrarch and Dante)
Zohar – Man of la Book
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