GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO (1313 - 1375)
Giovanni Boccaccio was born in Florence in 1313. Well educated, he worked for a time for his father, a successful merchant, but his real love was literature. This he developed during his time in Naples. He returned to Florence in 1340, where he witnessed the horrors of the Black Death in 1348. He first met Petrarch in 1350, and became both his friend and, by his own admission, his disciple. Among his works other than The Decameron are: Filostrato, a treatment of the story of Troilus and Cressida; Teseida, a poem on the story of Theseus, Palamon and Arcite (see Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale); and the Amorosa Visione, an unfinished allegory. Boccaccio died in 1375.