Biography of Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)

Giovanni Boccaccio.

Writer and Italian, natural humanist of Florence, which would be an extraordinary weight on his contemporaries and future generations, both in Italy and in the rest of Europe. He/She was son of a rich businessman called Boccaccino di Chellino, who sought that his son had identical dedication to the trade and banking business; However, in Naples left the path his father had drawn him to study Canon law. Soon, the cultural environment of the city dragged him toward literature and art, just in the years he/she had the most intense amorous dalliances (with his beloved María de Aquino) and that showed greatest pleasure loving literature in general and by the poetry and the novel in particular. His return to Florence, lived the terrible plague of 1348; There, in 1350, he/she met Petrarch, who would match in other times and places. Its expertise as a man of letters was worth, as in so many others before and after, the appointment as Ambassador within and outside Italy. To old age, let all those charges and took the religious habit, although he/she continued to cultivate the literary craft. With the deteriorating health and after suffering some other annoyance in Florence, where at the time it was official reader of the Commedia of Dante, he/she retired to Certaldo, where he/she died 12 December 1375.

In his youth, are poems such as the Rime (interested in where the provision, which announces the petrarquista model, the most successful of the Renaissance), the Caccia di Diana and Elegy gives Constance; the titles of the time, among his novels Filocolo (1336-1338), where he/she developed the story of the loves of flowers and Blancaflor, which engages with the fictionalized legend of Charlemagne and with the whole of the matter of France; Here, appears for the first time Fiammeta, character which will return later and that will inspire some of the authors of the Spanish sentimental novel (particularly to Juan de Flores in the Grisel and Mirabella, written as a clear continuation of the Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta). The novel still greatly influencing two narrative poems with a strong lyric: the Filostrato (of inaccurate chronology, between 1340 and 1350) in which is inspired in the Roman de Troie of Benoît of Sainte-Maure, one of the key titles from the so-called matter of Rome; and the Teseida (of to 1340), which it is clearly indebted to the roman or novel medieval, even if its declared starting point have it in the Thebaid of Estacio and the Aeneid of Virgil.

The second time, with the return to Florence, are some of his most celebrated titles, such as Fiesolano d'Ameto (1341-1342), who serves in the prosimetro which already Dante used in his Vita nuova, as alternate passages in prose with the triplets. This composition is allegorical nature and moralizing purpose, but shown as a pastoral theme composition in which dazzles the classical erudition. Identical moralistic pretense has his allegorical poem titled Amorosa visione (1342), which consists of 50 songs in triplets. To 1344, wrote his Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta, novel which, as noted, will weigh extraordinarily in the birth of the Spanish sentimental genre, which in turn will enjoy great fame for more than one century all over Europe; as in this genre, Elegy is determining the use of the first person narrative. With his poem Fiesolano ninfale (1345-1346) deals with higher commodity, the founding of Fiesole and Florence, with octaves and by way of a classic love story, the Shepherd Africo and the nymph shelf.

The plague of 1348 provided the framework for the Decameron, which drafted and compiled between 1349 and 1353. This is the work Summit within the genre of the short story or novella, as it consists of a hundred stories narrated by ten characters (seven women and three men) and distributed throughout ten days; with justice, it is considered also one of the great works of world literature of all time. The subject is light-hearted and not avoiding the sexual scandal, as the French fabliau; their arguments like the vicissitudes and looking for, unlike other collections of stories or exempla, not the didacticism but entertainment. This work provided a quick fame, which facilitated his promotion to official positions: in fact, he/she was Ambassador in Avignon and then in Rome. In 1365 and 1366 he/she wrote the Corbaccio, violent satire of misogynistic character that will serve as inspiration to authors as the Archpriest of Talavera in Spain a century later (in fact, the subtitle of his work is Corbacho).

The last Boccaccio is essentially Latin; However, I would still write some vernacular pages on different materials, such as those dedicated to the figure and the work of Dante. His works of great fame are the claris mulieribus (1361-1362), set of laudatory biographies female whose model will be continued by different authors in the rest of Europe (in Spain, its wake is which Álvaro de Luna or Diego de Valera, continue for example); the De casibus virorum illustrium (1373), in which the issue of Fortune (in Spain, it was translated by Pero López de Ayala and Alfonso de Cartagena and enjoyed great fame); Vita of Dante or Trattatello in laude di Dante (with three essays that reach up to 1370), one of the biographies of Dante who enjoyed greater fame (along with vita latina composed by Leonardo Bruni); a personal commentary on the Commedia of Dante, which was official reader in Florence in 1373; and his Carmen buccolicum, which demonstrates his ability to write Latin poetry by 16 eclogues.

High erudition of Boccaccio allowed him to be dazzled by its genealogy deorum genealogia gentilium (1365), great mythological corpus that will force a century later and in Spain would be translated into the circle of the Marquis of Santillana by Martín de Ávila (there are several fragmentary manuscripts of this work). Another scholarly work of inquiry must for fans of the classical world, literature and art (humanists in short) is the De montibus, silvis, fontibus, lacubus, fluminibus, stagnis seu paludis, et de nominibus maris liber (1360), arranged in alphabetical order. In these works, Latin and vernacular, is revealed that father of humanism that Boccaccio was in fact, in the company of his teacher and friend Francesco Petrarca, with whom the Italian Quattrocento became clear debt.