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Giovanni Boccaccio

renaissance humanist

Boccaccio, Giovanni (1313–75), Italian writer and humanist, whose work had a lasting influence on European literature and was used as a source by such writers as Chaucer and Shakespeare. A classical scholar and friend and admirer of Petrarch, he is the author of Amorous Fiammetta (1343–44), the first modern psychological novel, and the Decameron (1348–53), a collection of 100 short and often ribald tales set against the background of a plague epidemic in Florence. The latter work was the first literary expression of Renaissance humanist realism. He also produced important works in mythology, anthropology, and biography.

See also: Renaissance.

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