bonæ litteræ: occasional writing from David Rundle, Renaissance scholar

Virtual Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 1375)


The first port of call for anyone wishing to study the works of Boccaccio on-line is Brown University’s Decameron Web. This includes the text of Boccaccio’s best-known work, in the Branca edition, with an English translation also available (the two can not yet be studied side-by-side), as well as supplementary contextual material. The site also includes the text of two minor works, based on the recent critical editions: the Corbaccio (in the Padoan edition) and the Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta (in the Delcorno edition).

A less elegant but highly useful site is that provided by Prof. Giuseppe Bonghi. As well as its own presentation of the Decameron, it provides in its present state several of Boccaccio’s minor works, with a strong bias to those in the volgare, and including the early translation of De Mulieribus claris by Donato Albanzani da Casentino. One of the site’s strengths is that it also places on-line early Latin vitae of Boccaccio (all taken from Aldo Massera’s essay in Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, xxvii [1903]); these include the notices by the chronicler Villani, the encyclopaedist Domenico Bandini, and the humanists Sicco Polenton and Giannozzo Manetti.

The Latin text of De Mulieribus claris is available (in the Zaccaria edition) at the Biblioteca Italiana website, as are other works, most importantly Boccaccio’s influential magnum opus, the De Casibus virorum illustrium. The Europe-wide fortune of that work is not well served on the web presently: Laurent de Premierfait’s French translation is not on-line, and that of John Lydgate from Premierfait into English is only available to those with access to Early English Books Online.

Another on-line project should be mentioned: Raul Mordenti’s critical edition of the manuscript known as Boccaccio’s zibaldone (Firenze: Biblioteca Laurenziana, MS. Plut. XXIX. 8). At present, only two sections of the work are available, and provides only very grainy black-and-white images of the manuscript itself.

List of works

Allegoria mitologica (pre – 1334) [text (ed. Pastore Stocchi)]
Elegia di Costanza (pre-1334) [text (from the zibaldone)]
Caccia di Diana (1334 – 37) [text (ed. V. Branca)]
Filocolo (1336 – 39) [text (ed. V. Branca)]
Filostrato (1335 / 40) [text (ed. V. Branca)]
Teseida (c.1339-1340) [text (ed. V. Branca)]
Comedia delle ninfe fiorentine (1341 -42) [text (ed. Quaglio)]
Amorosa visione (1342 – 43; 1355 – 60) [text (first recension; ed. V. Branca)]
Elegia di madonna Fiammetta (1343 – 44) [text (ed. Delcorno)]
Ninfale fiesolano (1344 – 45) [text (ed. V. Branca)]
Decameron (1348 – 51) [text (ed. V. Branca)] [English translation (Rigg)]
De Vita et moribus d. Francisci Petrarchae [text (ed. Fabbri)]
Genealogiae deorum gentilium (1350 – 74) [text (ed. Romano)]
Corbaccio (1365-  56?) [text (ed. Padoan)]
Bucolicum carmen (1367) [text (ed. Bernardi Perini)]
De casibus virorum illustrium (1355 – 73) [text (ed. Zaccaria)]
De montibus, silvis, fontibus … liber (1355 – 64) [text (ed. Pastore Stocchi)]
De mulieribus claris (1361 – 62) [text (ed. Zaccaria)] [volgare translation (Donato Albanzani)] [I Tatti parallel edition (publication details)]
Vita sanctissimi patris Petri Daimani (1362) [text (ed. Fabbri)]
Trattatello in laude di Dante (1351; 1365) [text (first recension; ed. Ricci)]
Commentary on Dante’s  Commedia (1373 – 75) [searchable text]
Letters [text (ed. Auzzas)]

December 2008


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Ross Caldwell said, on 26 August, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Hi David,

    I believe that Laurent le Premierfait’s translation is at

    – PDF, in an edition that gives 1494 in the colophon, but 1538 on the title page.

    Best regards,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: