Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Giovani Boccaccio

Author / playwright

Notes: +


    Boccaccio is born (June or July) in Certaldo or in Florence to an unknown woman and Boccaccino di Chellino, a wealthy merchant who officially and without hesitation recognizes him.


    Boccaccino marries Margherita de' Mardoli, noblewoman. Birth of Boccaccio's step-brother, Francesco.


    Boccaccio travels to Naples with his father, agent of the Bardi Bank.


    Possibly attends lessons of Cino da Pistoia, jurist-poet and friend of Dante and Petrarch, and takes up the study of canon law.


    Boccaccino moves to Paris. Giovanni, with greater freedom, pursues his humanistic interests in literature as is attested by his first essays in Latin (the Elegia di Costanza and the Allegoria mitologica, both certainly composed before 1334) and his first vernacular poetry.


    Boccaccio's first exposure to the poetry of Petrarch.


    Composition of La caccia di Diana.


    Boccaccio finishes the Filocolo. During this time, he ends his period of study.


    Giovanni writes the following Latin epistles: The Crepor celsitudinis, dedicated to Carlo, duke of Durazzo; the Mavortis milex, dedicated to Petrarch; the Nereus amphitribus and the Sacre famis, to unidentified friends.


    Composition of the Teseida.


    The Filostrato is completed (other scholars fix the date as circa 1335) between fall and winter.


    Boccaccio returns to Florence.


    Composition of the Comedia Ninfe (also known as the Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine and later with the uncertain title Ninfale d'Ameto) dedicated to Niccolò di Bartolo Del Buono. First draft of De vita et moribus domini Francisci Petracchi.


    First version of the Amorosa visione.


    Composition of the Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta.


    Composition of the Ninfale fiesolano.


    Boccaccio travels to Forlì and resides at the court of Francesco Ordelaffi where he exchanges sonnets and carmina with the grammarian Checco di Meletto Rossi. It is during this period that Boccaccio first learns news of Dante's last years. Composition of the first eclogues which will later be collected in Buccolicum carmen.


    Florence suffers the initial effects of the Black Death which takes the lives of his father, step-mother and numerous friends.


    Composition of the Decameron...


    First meeting with Petrarch in Florence. Work begins on the Genealogia deorum gentilium, a work which is not finished until 1374.


    Boccaccio moves to Padua where he again meets Petrarch. He joins the court of Louis of Bavaria as embassador from the city-state of Florence. The first draft of the Trattatello in laude di Dante reaches completion.


    Boccaccio returns to Naples. Earliest feasible date of the second draft of the Amorosa visione which is definitively completed in 1360. Work begins on the De casibus virorum illustrium and the De montibus, silvis, fontibus et de nominibus maris liber finished respectively in 1363 and 1364.


    Boccaccio, in Ravenna, probably receives the Invective contra medicum from Petrarch.


    T hird meeting with Petrarch, this time in Milan. Boccaccio named ambassador to Lombardy, perhaps at the court of Bernabò Visconti.


    First complete version of the De casibus and first abridged edition of the Trattatello. Pope Innocent VI inducts Boccaccio into the clergy. In an aborted coup d'état in Florence, several of Boccaccio's friends and acquaintances are implicated, some of whom (including Niccolò di Bartolo Del Buono and others) are subsequently executed. For the next four years, Boccaccio receives no further official Florentine appointments.


    Boccaccio withdraws to Certaldo. Work begins on De mulieribus claris.


    Return, for unidentified reasons, to Ravenna. Here he collects information regarding San Pier Damiani for Petrarch who is working on De vita solitaria.


    Definitive version of the De mulieribus. Composition of Vita sanctissimi patris Petri Damiani.


    Following a serious crisis of faith, Boccaccio dedicates himself exclusively to spiritual pursuits. He travels again to Naples but stays there only for a relatively short period on account of his luke warm reception. After returning to Florence, he goes to Padua to see Petrarch but eventually meets him in Venice where the latter had moved. In July Boccaccio proceeds to Certaldo. The final version of the Genealogie is brought to its conclusion.


    Boccaccio engages in an enduring epistolary debate with Petrarch on compositions in the vernacular.


    Travels to the papal court of Urban V in Avignon as Florentine ambassador. Composition of the Corbaccio. Boccaccio dedicates himself to the second abridged edition of the Trattatello.


    Visit to Venice where Boccaccio does not have the opportunity to meet with Petrarch but does find Petrarch's daughter and son-in-law. Boccaccio takes ambassadorship to the papal court in Rome.


    Meeting with Petrarch in Padua around whom many intellectuals and literary figures have gathered.


    Boccaccio oversees the publication of the Buccolicum carmen.


    After a last trip to Naples, Boccaccio retires to Certaldo.


    Boccaccio is increasingly troubled by obesity, and also by a form of dropsy which impedes his movement, together with attacks of scabies and high fevers.


    Dedication of the definitive version of the De casibus to Mainardo Cavalcanti. Continuation of revisions of the Genealogie. Boccaccio is entrusted by Florence to conduct a series of readings and lectures on the Divina Commedia.


    In a state of financial troubles and ailing health, Boccaccio returns to Certaldo where he learns of Petrarch's death. The passing of his long-time friend inspires the last sonnet of his mature poems. Work continues on the Genealogie.


    Boccaccio dies on December 21 at his home in Certaldo.

    (G.M., M.P.) Adapted from: Muscetta, Carlo. "Giovanni Boccaccio". Letteratura italiana Laterza. Bari: Laterza, 1989. Ferroni, Giulio. Storia della letteratura italiana vol. I "Dalle origini al Quattrocento" Turin: Einaudi, 1991.

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