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Giovanni Boccaccio
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    (1313-December 21, 1375)
    Born in Certaldo, Tuscany, Italy
    Best known work is The Decameron
    Also wrote 'On Famous Women,' 'The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta,' 'Il Filostrato' and 'Il Filocolo'
    The details of his early years are uncertain, with several sources giving Paris as his place of birth.
    He fathered three children out of wedlock.
    After a meeting with the pope (1359), he allegedly repudiated his earlier works, including the Decameron, as profane.
    Petrarch had to talk him out of burning his own works.
    His later writing became increasingly misogynistic.
    He was good friends with Petrarch.
    'The Decameron' influenced Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
    Several tales from the Decameron are raunchy and/or irreverent.
    In one of the most famous ones, a Jew converts to Catholicism after a visit to Rome because 'any organization that can survive such corruption must be the true Church.'
    'On Famous Women' was the first collection of biographies devoted exclusively to women.

Credit: C. Fishel

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