Giovanni Boccaccio: Decameron

(1777 words)
  • Michael Papio (University of Massachusetts)

Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron is the best known collection of novellas (short stories) written during the Middle Ages. Indeed, it remains arguably one of the most significant works of all European literature of any age. Certainly composed between 1348 and 1360, and perhaps as early as 1351, Boccaccio’s narrative masterpiece has as its immediate historical background the arrival in Florence of the Black Death in 1348. The human devastation occasioned by the plague was only one of the disasters that befell Florence in those years of difficulty, however. Boccaccio returned from Naples to Florence during the winter of 1340-41 to find his city in a state of tumultuous activity and already exhausted from years of war. Then,…

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Citation:
Papio, Michael. "Decameron". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1087, accessed 29 August 2014.]