Medieval Italian Names in The Decameron

The other day I began reading Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, which was written in the early 1350s. The book is a collection of 100 stories narrated ten per day (by ten different narrators) over the course of ten days.

It’s not the most entertaining piece of literature in the world, but it is a cool source of Italian names from the Late Middle Ages, so I thought I’d mention it here.

The narrators are Dioneo, Elissa, Emilia, Fiammetta, Filomena, Filostrato, Lauretta, Neifile, Pampinea and Panfilo. Their stories feature male characters with names like Paganino, Nastagio, Talano and Minghino and female characters with names like Salvestra, Gostanza, Peronella and Andreuola.

For more on The Decameron, check out Brown University’s Decameron Web. (The full text can be found on the site.)


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