Who is Giovanni Boccaccio?

Who is Giovanni Boccaccio?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Giovanni Boccaccio (16 June 1313 – 21 December 1375) was an Italian writer and poet.

of a Florentine banker; Born out of an extramarital affair, Boccaccio has suggested in a previous biography that his mother was a Parisian woman. He grew up in Florence; and Dante. Upon his father’s move to Naples; He also moves and lives here for 6 years. After studying law at Studium; turns to law rather than banking. In 1330, they also had two illegitimate children, Mario and Giulio.

During this period, Filostrato and Teseida also began to work on poetry and were inspired by French literature. After returning to Florence in 1341 after the plague; He writes Ameto. In 1344, another illegitimate child, Violante, was born.

The black death of 1348 also had a huge impact on Florence, which would later be used in the Decameron. In this epidemic, 75% of the population dies. Boccaccio, who started to write the Decameron in 1349, wrote it again in 1370-1371, although he finished it in 1352. Its inscriptions are still present today. Giovanni Boccaccio is considered the first storyteller of world literature (Decameron is the first story). Although Boccaccio also causes controversy, he is considered the first novelist to be the author of the first novel…. Boccaccio, who also had obesity problems, spent his last years with the disease and died on December 21, 1375.

It was very important to Renaissance humanism; Among his works, the Decameron was the best known. It was important because he used realism with his feelings and intelligence in his period.

The Italian poet and writer Boccaccio (1313?/1371) was influenced by Dante and Petrarca, he met with Petrarch frequently and turned to Latin and Greek with his suggestions. He learned this language, especially with a great love for Greek, and made translations from Homer, Euripides and Aristotle. The fact that he equates the ancient religions with Christianity in terms of value, thus asserting that religions have a relative correctness, reflects a new understanding unique to the Renaissance period. His main work is Decameron, in which he narrates various sections from the daily life of the period. The profane stories in the work dated 1349 attracted a lot of attention. Another of his works, Genealogia Deorum Gentilium Libri, has been the main reference for those studying classical mythology for four centuries. As a humanist, he tried to describe human nature, human sensory capacity and emotions in a clear way, in all its naturalness, and in this way he had the courage to consider human life as a simple reality beyond the pressures and limitations of churches and customs.

These three early Renaissance humanists had a great contribution and influence in the process of studying and researching ancient Greek and Latin works in these languages. In addition, the fact that they produced works in the local Italian language provided a great start in the development of the Italian language and literature. The wind initiated by these three great Italian thinkers ensured that Italy continued to be the cradle of the Renaissance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Boccaccio’s assertion that religions have a relative correctness is a new understanding unique to the Renaissance period.


Rime (1914, simplified and annotated edition of the poems he wrote during his great life) Filocolo (Prose)
Filostrato (Poetry)
Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta (Novel)
Decameron (Stories)
Commento alla Commedia (interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy)

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım
Source: Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)