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Giovanni Boccaccio

Born in France but of an Italian family, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) was, along with his friend Petrarch (1304–1374), one of the primary architects of the Renaissance. As a writer, Boccaccio is famous today for his bawdy fictional tales in the Decameron, considered to be a masterpiece of Italian classic prose and an enormous influence on Renaissance literature throughout Europe. However, perhaps even of greater influence on the Renaissance was his scholarship and commentaries on the ancient Greek and Roman writings that made popular the Humanism that would be embraced by subsequent Renaissance figures and come to define that age. He also helped popularize literature of his own time, elevating it in status to equal the classics.

The following passage is from Genealogia Deorum Gentilium (On the Genealogy of the Gods of the Gentiles), Boccaccio's encyclopedic collection of classical myth, which...

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This section contains 1,827 words
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Buy The Renaissance Encyclopedia Article
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The Renaissance from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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