Love, Irony and Death
A semi-detailed account of Giovanni Boccaccio's life can be drawn out through the works he left behind as well as records written by family and friends. The literary masterpieces he has completed include La Caccia di Diana, The Aepor Celsiludinis, Mavortis Miles, Nerevus Amphitribus, Sacretamis, Tesedia, Filostrato, Comedia Ninfe, Amorosa Visione, Elegiadi Madonna, Ninfale Fiesolano and, of course, Dacameron.
Boccaccio was born in 1313 to a wealthy merchant, Boccaccino di Chellino, and unknown woman. Although he was an illegitimate child, his father took him into his home, even making sure he got a proper education. He traveled with his father to Naples in 1327 and lived there at a large banking house. Naples was a highly cosmopolitan and modern place at this time. Boccaccio's studies were mostly utilitarian, and he concentrated mostly on canoan law. These were probably the best years of his life, as a very attentive, very articulate student and young man.
Boccaccio idolized the life and works of Petrarch and Dante.
Later in life, Boccaccio would enroll at Naples University, where he encountered a fierce love of life. Aside from several Dante and Petrarch-inspired sonnets and poetry, he wrote his first work, Diana's Hunt. In this narrative, the Dantean views are clearly outlined, and brings to light the glory of sensual love.
Some scholars believe that the composition of The Dacameron started in 1348 and that the masterpiece was finished perhaps as early as 1350 and no later than 1352. In 1350, Boccaccio finally met his hero, Petrarch, in Florence for the jubilee celebration in Rome. Boccaccio persuaded his idol to stop off in Florence on the way. The meeting was that of happiness for both writers. This union led to an ongoing friendship, and the two men often wrote...