Talk:The Decameron

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old talk[edit]

Please see the novel. I'm not sure who considered the Decameron 'the first novel', but it sure isn't considered that any more. It *might* be considered the first novel written in Western Europe in the Renaissance, but it is later than, for example, Apuleius in Latin (a clear model for all Renaissance prose authors) or the Tale of Genji in Japanese. Boccaccio will have to rest on his own merits, not on 'priority'. --MichaelTinkler

I have changed that part. Does "The Decameron played a part in the history of the novel" sound neutral enough to everyone? --15lsoucy (talk) 05:57, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


Some of this article reads like a machine translation. Anyone have any idea where the original might be? Al 11:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Heh, it's almost like it has been babelfish'd English-Italian-English-Japanese... I'll edit it to the best of my ability, but it hasn't merely got spelling and grammatical errors - the sense is often hard to determine.

Literary Impact[edit]

The impact of the Decameron is often overlooked by English speakers. Stories from it appear in works by authors like Shakespeare, Chaucer, and many, many others, often through a chain of translations, retellings, and modernizations. I'll look around for some exact information, but if others could start looking for others who borrowed from this work, I think that the article would be greatly enriched. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

I agree it would be great to have that. --Stbalbach 15:32, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Ha ha! I finally did it, like I promised. I added a sources/influences section that should be a useful addition to the article. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Great addition. -- Stbalbach 15:56, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The introduction to this article almost seems to downplay the significance of these works. For instance if you look at the introduction to The Canterbury Tales, the last sentence reads, "The tales are considered to be his magnum opus, and one of the most influential works in Western literature." However the Decameron is described as "Bawdy" and only an "important" historical work even though it was completed two decades before The Canterbury Tales. 23:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I see no mention of Baldasare Castiglione's Book of the courtier, which likewise uses the framework of a group gathering repeatedly (in the court of Urbino) and telling stories, with a theme each evening (e.g. one evening on humour, dominated by Bembo). This must surely have been influenced by the Decameron – can someone find a source that discusses the connection ? Eddy, (talk) 15:23, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Revert of Machine Translation dump[edit]

On sept 7th an anon user took all of a few minutes of their day to dump a huge amount of non-sensical machine translated text into the article. The copy can be found here should anyone care to clean it up (good luck). Until then, what was a perfectly understandable vernacular English language, if not brief, article has been restored. Stbalbach 16:49, 10 October 2005 (UTC)


I've finished my work on the sources/influences section. Now I'm working on the Summary of Decameron tales article. If anyone could expand the commentary or make comments on the talk page, I'd appreciate that.-- 10:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Explanation please[edit]

Quoting the article:

"The famous first tale (I, 1) of the notorious Saint Ciappelletto was later translated into Latin by Olimpia Fulvia Morata and translated again by Voltaire. Molière later drew upon the latter translation to create the title character of Tartuffe."

But surely Molière (17th century) preceded Voltaire (18th century), so how could the former have been influenced by the latter's translation? 20:25, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The Names of the Seven Characters[edit]

Can someone translate the names of the seven characters to help us understand how they are "pseudonyms chosen as 'appropriate to the qualities of each'"?

The Seven Women:

  • Pampinea
  • Fiammetta
  • Filomena
  • Emilia
  • Lauretta
  • Neifile
  • Elissa

The Three Men:

  • Panfilo
  • Filostrato
  • Dioneo

Sorry I'm such an ignoramus. Thank you. MishaPan 23:57, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello! Here is a translation based on the Italian wikipedia article on the Decameron. I hope you find it useful! Pampinea:(luxuriant), Filomena: (the loved one), Neifile :(new lover), Fiametta: (Boccaccio’s loved one, froma fiamma ,that is “flame”), Elisa: (other name to Dido), Lauretta (Petrarca’s loved one)Filostrato: (defeated by love), Dioneo (lustful), Emilia and Panfilo (all love). Isabel2014 (talk) 13:35, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Bocaccio's modernity[edit]

One thing the article doesn't go into is how often Bocaccio anticipates modern "Enlightment" ideas. The two tales of Jews (I, 2 and 3) both inspire the audience to sympathize with minorities whose religious freedom is attacked. In (VI, 7) a woman on trial argues that it is unjust to judge a woman under laws made only by men. In (III, 2) the listeners praise a king who uses clever detective work rather than midieval torture to solve a crime (and when torture is used in another story, the listeners know that the victim is innocent). The collection isn't just bawdiness. CharlesTheBold 01:34, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


The film with Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton should be mentioned. The Wikipedia page of Virgin Territory says so. Aixduran 12:06, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

In fact there are a few film adaptations that should be mentioned. Be bold, add it. Oh, maybe I will. DonPMitchell (talk) 02:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Footnote inaccessible[edit]

The footnote (which is the only one footnote on this page), explaining the Greek etymology of Decameron, seems to be inaccessible neither by clicking on the footnote reference number, nor by any other methods.

Existence of the Original[edit]

I did not see in the article where it says whether original versions exist, or if we are relying on transcriptions and translations? PitOfBabel 17:08, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Medieval allegorical text?[edit]

While Decameron certainly is a medieval text, I can't understand why it is defined "allegorical". Some numerological element and the symbolic names of the narrators (in the frame tale) are not sufficient to underestimate the realistic characters and background that Boccaccio put in his novellas, often stressing himself the historical reality of persons or families he talks about. --Broletto (talk) 20:05, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree. A lot of elements in the Decameron are certainly figurative and carry some symbolism, but this isn't allegory of the order of, say, Le Roman de la Rose or Piers Plowman.TomODonnell (talk) 20:33, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Before editing the phrase, I would like to receive some other opinion about the definition" Medieval allegorical text". --Broletto (talk) 11:16, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


Is there a reason that there are no citations for any of this information? (Lonerdottiearebel (talk) 23:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC))

Infobox removed[edit]

I've removed this infobox from the top of the article:

AuthorGiovanni Boccaccio
PublisherOneworld Classics
Publication date

The box was added by Daniel Seton on 11 Aug 2008. The book exists. (talk) 08:46, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Alternate etymology[edit]

Decameron could be derived from δέκα and μέρος part, meaning having ten parts. It would better explain the form, without resorting to non standard compounding. This etymology is my own, not supported by authorities on Boccaccio nor etymology. -- (talk) 21:13, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I believe Decameron is better understood as "10 days". "Deka" meaning ten,,, and "hēméra" meaning "day",, This translation is also supported here:

Alternate etymology[edit]

In the Egyptian novelist Dr. Ahmed Khaled Towfik novels series "Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa" Each nine books, the tenth is made in a special episodic way called the horror circle. The horror circles are series of short stories narrated by different characters, Dr. Ahmed Khaled Towfik him self say he take that from "The Decameron". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


Is there any reason for a paragraph under "Description" to be repeated almost verbatim in "Analysis"? Maladroitmortal (talk) 03:12, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

i agree the Description version should be removed as the Analysis has some extra useful info explaining the italian names of the women. (forgot to login) user teknotiss —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Title in Greek[edit]

The Greek name would not be τὸ δεκάμερον, but rather τὸ δεκαήμερον, just as St. Basil the Great's homilies on the six days of creation are called τὸ ἑξαήμερον. The κ and the rough breathing of ἡμέρα would be separated by the vowel, and would therefore not create χ, as the article now indicates when it says that the title classical Greek would be δεχημερον. Also, for what it's worth, the title is not a portmanteau, it's simply a compound word formed according to basic patterns of Greek vocabulary. (talk) 19:28, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

transcriptions of Italian folk songs[edit]

Each day also includes a short introduction and conclusion to continue the frame of the tales by describing other daily activities besides story-telling. These frame tale interludes frequently include transcriptions of Italian folk songs.

What does this mean? What does transcription refer to here? Just how are the Italian folk songs included in the frame tales? Could the sentence be reworked to use another word?

The Wiktionary page for wikt:transcription quotes this article as an example, and it's a bit unclear of just what it is an example of. (Does the Wiktionary entry need updating? Is it perhaps missing a definition?) (talk) 09:37, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Unreferenced section tag for "Analysis"[edit]

The section has no quotations at all, and it presents one homogenous view, as if it was based on the opinions of a single scholar, or the foreword of one specific edition.—Austriacus (talk) 20:57, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Retagged as para is pretty blatant original research. Could still be made into something worth keeping with a few decent refs and judicious pruning. (talk) 00:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)


Hello! I have contributed with an image of one of Boccaccio's novels by a contemporary artist. I think it is important to show how's Boccaccio work is alive through the centuries and continues to inspire artists. This is the link to the image:

IV Day, "Apologo delle Papere", is the fifth painting of the series based on the Decameron by Meli Valdés Sozzani.

Give me your opinion. Thank you! Eneaspicol (talk) 20:39, 19 December 2013 (UTC) Nice picture Eneaspicol! (Isabel2014 (talk) 00:52, 21 December 2013 (UTC))


According to Snow Rise's own definition in an edit comment here,

"Vernacular=contextual dialect of another language" (my emphasis).

In the present case, the "contextual dialect" is Florentine and "another language" is Latin. In other words, here:

the vernacular [of Latin] = the Florentine language/dialect.

The formulation insisted upon by Snow Rise is:

"Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language..." (my emphasis).

To me this appears wrong. The phrasing I originally used while working on the lead (as IP [1] was:

"Written in the vernacular (the language of Florence)..." (talk) 07:10, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm not trying to be uncivil here, but you continue to revert on the basis of flawed interpretation of the meaning of vernacular and it's proper syntactical use in the English language. As I have tried to explain in the edit summaries, the wording " "Written in the vernacular (the language of Florence), it is considered the masterpiece of classical early Italian prose." makes absolutely no semantic sense. Vernacular as a common noun is not used in this fashion unless it is paired with a prepositional phrase designating which language it is a vernacular of. The way it was written (not sure if that is your phrasing or not, but your above post seems to suggest it), suggests that there is a concept called the vernacular and the parenthetical phrase clarifies that it is the language of Florence. This is simply not the way the word is used, syntactically or semantically, and if I may be frank, it turns the whole sentence into word soup. Further, Latin has nothing to do with this situation. The superordinate language in this case is Italian. Florentine is (or was in this context) a dialect of the Italian of the age. So when we say "Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered the masterpiece of classical early Italian prose." we are saying the following: "The story is written in the vernacular (known as Florentine) which is a dialect of Italian, and this story is considered a masterpiece of the Italian language in general, though written in the Florentine vernacular, which a dialect of Italian." Only the wording in the former is, of course, far more concise, natural sounding, less redundant and more consistent with Encyclopedic tone. I usually don't like to argue from authority, but I have a formal background in comparative linguistics, so please friend, trust me when I say that I know the proper usage of this term.
In any event, it is clear to me that you are certainly not familiar with the term's idiomatic properties or its grammatical usage and yet you persist on reverting this change on a vague impression of how you think it ought to be used. You are already in violation of WP:3RR and I feel I've shown considerable restraint in not bringing the matter to the appropriate noticeboard, given my certitude of the word's proper usage and thus also of the fact that you are reverting without really being informed enough for it to be appropriate for you to be comfortable in doing so. I'm sorry if this seems a little strident -- your comment on my talk paged seemed to suggest you found something insidious in my edit summary, but I am just speaking to the facts here and I'm sorry, but it is clear to me that you are being too bold in your reversions of another editor's contributions given your command of the terminology involved. I am going to re-institute the change because the current edit continues to be inconsistent with English grammar and any kind of sense if you know the meaning of those words. If you really feel strongly about this, you can always RfC the matter, but I promise you it's not going to validate your position. If however, you revert again, trivial as this matter is, I'm going to have to get an admin involved. But if my above explanation still fails to elucidate the meaning and proper syntactic context for the terms in question, let me know and I will make further effort to make the matter clearer. Snow talk 09:02, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
You claim Latin has nothing to do with this situation. The superordinate language in this case is Italian. Florentine is (or was in this context) a dialect of the Italian of the age. But in reality Latin has everything to do with this situation, given that it, and not the Romance language of Italian (of whatever dialect), was the lingua franca (i.e. the "superordinate language") of the time. Like the Divine Comedy (which "helped establish the Tuscan dialect... as the standardized Italian language), The Decameron was written in Florentine at a time when there was no single standard version of the Italian language. (talk) 10:25, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
In truth, both of us have been less than detailed in our first respective posts in this subtopic. I'll try to clarify my comments some. Latin was not the lingua franca in Italy at the time. Medieval Latin developed out of Classical Latin and served as a unifying language for the church and scholarship throughout much of western Europe and was itself followed by Renaissance Latin and Early modern Latin in this role. However, it is Vulgar Latin (or more specifically, the various vernaculars/regional dialects that it had already splintered into by this point) from which the romance languages have evolved. Florentine was already, by the point of the Decameron, hundreds of years into its independent evolution. While it's true that it did not yet have the moniker of Italian and that the idiolects of Alighieri and Boccaccio helped to codify the formal sociolect adopted thereafter in Florence that would be the foundation of Italian, even before these works the Florentine language, as an antecedent to Vulgar Latin, had already become a distinct colloquial dialect -- a language that was a proto-Italian of sorts. This dialect fused with other, similar, Tuscan dialects and, to a lesser extent, other Italo-Dalmatian languages to eventually become Standard Italian. However, this is all something of a red herring that we've let ourselves be led off by in that these details don't inform directly upon the change being debated; the proper usage (regardless of which language was the linggua franca) is still "the vernacular of Florentine" (meaning "the vernacular that was the Florentine language ") and using it in that fashion, in conjunction with the subordinate phrase that follows it (further reinforced by the wikilinks) underscores that this dialect went on to form the basis of Italian -- an important distinction in this article as the work in question played a noteworthy role in that process. Snow talk 12:59, 4 May 2014 (UTC)


maybe i'm just a dumb idiot, but could we maybe get a synopsis in this article? (talk) 04:35, 24 September 2017 (UTC)