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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Giacomo Puccini

He was almost certainly illegitimate, the son of a Florentine banker and an unknown woman. Born in Paris in 1313, Boccaccio grew up in Florence. His father was working for the Compagnia dei Bardi and in the 1320s married Margherita del Mardoli, of an illustrious family. It is believed Boccaccio was tutored by Giovanni Mazzuoli and received from him an early introduction to the works of Dante. Around 1327, Boccaccio moved to Naples when his father was appointed to head the Neopolitan branch of his bank. Boccaccio was apprenticed to the bank and spent six years there. His early

influences included Paolo da Perugia (a curator and author of a collection of myths, the Collectiones), the humanists Barbato da Sulmona and Giovanni Barrili, and the theologian Dionigi da San Sepolcro. In Naples, Boccaccio began what he considered his true vocation, poetry. Works produced in this period include Filostrato, Teseida, Filocolo, a prose version of an existing French romance, and La caccia di Diana, a poem in octave rhyme. Although dissatisfied with his return to Florence, Boccaccio continued to work producing La Comedia delle ninfe fiorentine (also known as Ameto), a mix of prose and poems, in 1341. His father died in 1349 and, as the head of the family, Boccaccio was forced into a more active role. Boccaccio began work on the Decameron around 1349. The work was largely complete by 1352 and it was Boccaccio's final effort in literature and one of his last works in Italian. The only other substantial work was Corbaccio (or Labirinto D'Amore)(dated to either 1355 or 1365). Boccaccio revised and rewrote the Decameron in 1370-71. This manuscript has survived to the present day. Other works include a dictionary of geographical allusions in classical literature. He gave a series of lectures on Dante at the Santo Stefano church in 1373 and these resulted in his final major work, the detailed Eposizioni sopra la Comedia di Dante. His final years were troubled by illnesses, many relating to his great obesity, and he died in Certaldo on December 21, 1375. (Cortesy of www.wikipedia.org)

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