Boccaccio

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Petrarch – Late medieval Italy

By |2018-04-09T10:31:12+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

A portrait of Petrarch Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca in Italian) was born in 1304 AD in Arezzo, in northern Italy. His father was a lawyer, and when Petrarch was a teenager his father made him study law too. But Petrarch hated law. He just wanted to write poetry and read Latin books. Another young Italian writer who [...]

Medieval literature – Europe

By |2018-04-24T09:23:15+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Medieval Book (Cluny Museum, Paris) In the Early Middle Ages, as the Roman Empire was collapsing, the new power of Christianity inspired Augustine, in North Africa, and Pope Gregory the Great in Italy. They both wrote new books in Latin about Christian philosophy. In Constantinople, Procopius wrote in Greek about Justinian's conquests. And about the same time, Cassiodorus in Italy [...]

The Clerk’s Tale – Chaucer – Canterbury Tales

By |2017-08-03T22:00:27+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Clerks in the Manessa Codex (1300 AD) Chaucer's Clerk's Tale is actually taken from one of Boccaccio's stories, and because of that the story's action happens in Italy. It shows the young monk's ideas about how women ought to behave. It's about Griselda, a poor woman who marries a rich man. Her husband, Walter, wants to make sure Griselda [...]

Chaucer – Canterbury Tales – Middle Ages

By |2017-08-03T21:53:12+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Chaucer's tomb in Westminster Abbey Geoffrey Chaucer was born about 1343 AD, probably in London, England, during the Hundred Years' War. His father seems to have been pretty well off; he sold wine to bars and taverns. Chaucer's mother was also well off; she inherited twenty-four shops in London from her uncle. The plague struck England when Chaucer was about five [...]

Boccaccio – Decameron – Medieval literature

By |2018-04-24T09:23:18+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Florence, Italy Most of the people who knew how to write in the early Middle Ages were monks. So most of them wrote about serious things like God and Heaven and Hell. Even writers who weren't monks, like Dante, usually wrote about Christian ideas. But Boccaccio was different. Boccaccio wrote about real people and their real lives. Some [...]

Republic of Florence – Medieval Italy

By |2018-04-24T09:23:14+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Romanesque baptistery in Florence, Italy When the last of the Carolingian Holy Roman Emperors died in 924 AD, northern Italy - including Florence and nearby Genoa - fell under the power of the Counts of Canossa: first Boniface III, then his daughter Matilda. Florence did very well under their rule: in 1059, Florence was able to rebuild its Christian baptistery in a beautiful Romanesque style. [...]

Vessantara Jataka – Buddhism – India

By |2017-08-03T21:58:55+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Vessantara and Maddi and their two children (Sanchi stupa, Northern Gateway, ca. 50 BC) This Buddhist story is a Jataka tale from about 400 BC. In the story, the Indian boddhisatva Vessantara wanted to give up everything for Buddhism. He gave up his kingdom and all his money and lived with his wife and children in the forest. Jujaka and his young wife [...]