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L'histoire et les nouveaux publics dans l'Europe médiévale (XIIIe-XVe siècle)

Jean-Philippe Genet

II. Légendes épiques et mémoire collective

Between Oral Memory and Written Tradition in Florence at the Beginning of the XIVth Century: Coppo di Borghese Domenichi, Andrea Lancia and Giovanni Boccaccio

Francesco Bruni

Texte intégral


  • 1 The relationship between historiography and court seems, however, not very close to P. GANZ, "Fried (...)
  • 2 See S. REYNOLDS, "Médiéval Origines gentium and the Community of the Realm", History, 68, 1983, pp. (...)

1During the thirteenth century, historiography did not flourish in the court of Frederick the Second, the main court in Italy. History had been cultivated by Frederick the First, Barbarossa (1152-1190), and also by his son Henry the Sixth, the conqueror of Southern Italy (1190-97)1; but the successor of Henry the Sixth, Frederick the Second, lacked all interest in the reconstruction of the past. As a consequence, no effort towards written history was made in Southern Italy, the country where Frederick the Second spent most of his life. Under the Angevin domination, which began in 1266 after the Benevento defeat of Frederick's son, Manfred, the situation remained unchanged. So, it is necessary to turn to central and northern Italian city-states if one is to take the development of historiography into account. This implies that neither the res gestae of the reigning monarch nor the genealogy of his family is the centre of the historian's interest: in the Central and Northern Italian city-states the most important problems are the historical-mythical reconstruction of the origins of the city and the geneaology from which all of the town members were deemed to have taken their origin2. The need to identify the "roots" is connected to the need to understand the contemporary situation of the city and to determine a collective identity, different from that of other city-states.

2In this lecture, a case-study from the beginning of the fourteenth century Florence - not the only but the most richly documentée! city in Italy - will be considered.


3The fifth day of the Decameron of Boccaccio is under the rule of Fiammetta. The argument of the story she tells is as follows:

Federigo degli Alberighi ama e non è amato, e in cortesia spendendo si consuma e rimangli un sol falcone, il quale, non avendo altro, dà a mangiare alla sua donna venutagli a casa; la quai, ciò sappiendo, mutata d'animo, ilprende per marito e fallo ricco (V 9.1).

  • 3 G. BOCCACCIO, Decameron, a cura di V. BRANCA, Torino, Einaudi, 1992, 6th. ed., is the best edition (...)

In courting a lady who does not retum his love, Federigo degli Alberighi spends the whole of his substance, being left with nothing but a falcon, which, since his larder is bare, he offers to his lady to eat when she calls to see him at his house. On discovering the truth of the matter, she has a change of heart, accepts him as her husband, and makes a rich man of him.3

4The story of Federigo degli Alberighi and of the lady he has fallen in love with takes place in Florence and in its contado. Boccaccio is not accustomed to locating the action of his stories in his contemporary period: even the most modem stories are made rather distant in the past, removed from the présent. Such is the case of the story of Federigo degli Alberighi, which Fiammetta draws from an oral informant:

Dovete adunque sapere che Coppo di Borghese Domenichi, il quale fu nella nostra città, e forse ancora è, uomo di grande e di reverenda auttorità ne'd) nostri, e per costumi e per vertù molto più che per nobiltà di sangue chiarissimo e degno d'eterna fama, essendo già d'anni pieno, spesse volte delle cose passate co'suoi vicini e con al tri si dilettava di ragionare: la quai cosa egli meglio e con più ordine e con maggior memoria e ornato parlare che altro uom seppe fare. Era usâto di dire, tra l'altre sue belle cose, che in Firenze fu già un giovane chiamato Federigo di messer Filippo Alberighi, in opéra d'arme e in cortesia pregiato sopra ogni altro donzel di Toscana. Il quale, sì corne il più de'gentili uomini avviene, d'una gentil donna chiamata monna Giovanna s'innamorò... (V 9.4-5).

You are to know, then, that Coppo di Borghese Domenichi, who once used to live in our city and possibly lives there still, one of the most highly respected men of our century, a person worthy of eternal fame, who achieved his position of pre-eminence by dint of his character and abilities rather than by his nobility of blood, frequently took pleasure during his declining years in discussing incidents front the past with his neighbours and other folk. In this pastime he excelled all others, for he was more coherent, possessed a superior memory, and spoke with greater eloquence. He had a fine repertoire, including a tale he frequently told concerning a young Florentine called Federigo, the son of Messer Filippo Alberighi, who for his deeds of chivalry and courtly manners was more higly spoken of than any other squire in Tuscany. In the manner of most young men of gentle breeding, Federigo lost his heart to a noble lady, whose name was monna Giovanna... (V 9.4-5).

5Himself of not noble origin, but of noble soul in Boccaccio's words (which reflect the decreased importance of noble origins in the social Florentine ideas of that period), Coppo seems to have been an admirer of noble personages of the Florentine past.

6As for the first point, Fiammetta speaks of Coppo as "per costumi e per vertù molto più che per nobiltà di sangue chiarissimo e degno d'eterna fama". "Nobiltà di sangue" derives from Dante. After listening to Cacciaguida, his great-great-grandfather (see Appendix 1), the noble man who died in the second crusade, also a martyr of the Christian faith, Dante, having heard of the latter's nobility, says:

O poca nostra nobiltà di sangue,
se gloriar di te la gente fai
qua giù dove l'affetto nostro langue,
mirabil cosa non mi sarà mai :
ché là dove appetito non si torce,
dico nel cielo, io me ne gloriai
(Paradiso XVI 1-6).

  • 4 DANTE ALIGHIERI, La Commedia seconde l'antica vulgata, a cura di G. PETROCCHI, Milano, Mondadori, 1 (...)

Our petty nobility of blood! if you make folk glory in you here below where our affectations languish, it will nevermore be a marvel to me, since there where appetite is not warped, I mean in Heaven, I myself gloried in you.4

7The hero of the story which Fiammetta heard from Coppo is Federigo, who stems from the old family of the Alberighi. In the same canto of the Paradiso, Cacciaguida lists a long series of old Florentine families. Cacciaguida may have lived in the first half of the twelfth century, one hundred and fifty years before Dante. In his own age, many families, which had disappeared by Dante's time, were flourishing or were already declining; other families, on the contrary, existed either in the twelfth century or in Dante's era. Also the Alberighi are quoted by Cacciaguida:

Io vidi li Ughi e vidi i Catellini,
Filippi, Greci, Ormanni e Alberichi,
già nel calare, illustri cittadini
(Paradiso XVI 88-90).

I saw the Ughi and I saw the Catellini, Filippi, Greci, Ormanni, and Alberichi, illustrious citizens, already in decline.

8The same information may be gathered from Giovanni Villani, the chronicler of Florence, who died in 1348 (struck down by the Black Plague). Also Villani mentions, in some chapters devoted to the old Florentine families, the Alberighi:

Nel quartiere diporta San Piero erano [...] gli Alberighi, che fu loro la chiesa di Santa Maria Alberighi da casa i Donati, e oggi non n’è nullo (V, 11).

  • 5 Giovanni VILLANI, Nuova cronica, a cura di Giuseppe Porta, Milano, Fondazione Bembo/Ugo Guanda Edit (...)

The Alberighi lived in the quarter of Porta San Piero; the church of S. Maria Alberighi, near the house of the Donati, was theirs. Today none of them survives5.

9In Boccaccio's story, Federigo becomes poor after spending uselessly his substance in honour of monna Giovanna, his beloved, and retires to a little field at Campi, a few miles from Florence. The name of Campi, too, is found in the Cacciaguida episode:

Ma la cittadinanza, ch'è or mista
di Campi, di Certaldo e di Fegghine,
pur a vediesi ne l'ultimo artista
(Paradiso XVI 49-51).

But the citizenship, which is now mixed with Campi, with Certaldo, and with Figline, saw itself pure down to the humblest artisan.

10So, the oral memory of Coppo di Borghese Domenichi goes back in time, to a personage of a disappeared family, along the same line of Cacciaguida and Villani. Since Federigo's story is not attributed to any date or age by Boccaccio, it would be arbitrary to trace it back to Cacciaguida's time; but the most important fact is that Coppo's memory bears witness to a family that had disappeared.

  • 6 Il Buon Tempo Antico [The Good Old Time], in Dante's Italy and Other Essays, Philadelphia, Universi (...)

11From Boccaccio it is possible to gain further evidence of Coppo's interest in the heroes of the "good old time", to repeat the title of an important article by Charles T. Davis6. Let us scan, first of all, some passages of the Divine Comedy that recall other Florentine families. I shall start from the canto of Cacciaguida. There are two passages relevant for our purpose:

L'oltracotata schiatta che s'indraca
dietro a chi fugge, e a chi mostra
'l dente
o ver la borsa, com'agnel si plaça,
già venìa sù, ma di picciola gente;
si che non piacque ad Ubertin Donato
che poi il suocero il fé lor parente
(Paradiso XVI 115-120).

The insolent breed that plays the dragon behind him that flees, and to whoever shows his teeth-or else his purse-becomes mild as a lamb, was already on the rise, but of humble stock, so that it did not please Ubertin Donato that his father-in-law afterward should make him their kinsman.

12The breed so unfavourably alluded to is the Adimari family, or clan. Unlike the Alberighi, the Adimari still existed in Dante's time. There are two members of this family in the Divine Comedy, both in the Inferno: Filippo Argenti and Tegghiaio Aldobrandi. Filippo Argenti is punished as wrathful in the marsh formed by the river Styx (Inferno VIII); Tegghiaio Aldobrandi is one among three florentine sodomites Dante meets in the Inferno (XVI canto).

  • 7 SINGLETON., I, p. 125.

13The ancient commentators of Dante seem to know very little about Filippo Argenti, one of the Cavicciuli branch of the Adimari family7. Let us consult Boccaccio's commentary on the Inferno:

  • 8 G. BOCCACIO, Esposizioni sopra la Comedia di Dante, a cura di G. PADOAN, Milano, Mondadori, 1965, p (...)

Fu questo Filippo Argenti, seconde che ragionar solea Coppo di Borghese Domenichi, de'Cavicciuli, cavalière ricchissimo, tanto che esso alcuna volta fece il cavallo, il quale usava di cavalcare, ferrare d'ariento e da questo trasse il sopranome. Fu uomo di persona grande, bruno e nerboruto e di maravigliosa forza e, più che alcuno altro, iracundo, eziandio per qualunque menoma cagione8

This Filippo Argenti was, according to what Coppo di Borghese Domenichi used to tell, of the Cavicciuli family. He was a very rich knight-so rich that he sometimes had his horse shod in silver, and hence the nickname. He was a large man, dark and muscular, and of prodigious strength. He was more irascible than any other man, even at the slightest provocation.

  • 9 Boccaccio's Esposizioni may be quoted again: «e credo questo vocabolo "bizarro" sia solo de' Fioren (...)
  • 10 Il Trecentonovelle, a cura di V. PERNICONE, Firenze, Sansoni, 1946, LXVI (see also CXXXVII, p.305).

14It is noteworthy that Coppo, the source of the Decameron story about Federigo degli Alberighi, is Boccaccio's informant about Filippo Argenti, "il fïorentino spirito bizzarro" (Inf. VIII 62; the irascible Florentine spirit9). Coppo becomes himself bizzarro in a story by Franco Sacchetti10

15Before tuming to Tegghiaio Aldobrandi, the second member of the Adimari family in the Inferno, let us examine two passages more from Cacciaguida's list:

Sovra la porta ch'al presente è carca
di nova fellonia di tanto peso
che tosto fia iattura de la barca,
erano i Ravignani, ond'è disceso
il conte Guido e qualunque del nome
de l'alto Bellincione ha poscia preso
(Paradiso XVI 94-99).

Over the gate which at present is laden with new felony of such great weight [In 1280 " the Cerchi bought the palace of the Conti Guidi, near the Porta San Piero", Singleton, III, p.277] that there will soon be jettison from the bark, were the Ravignani of whose line the Count Guido is descended and whosoever has since taken the name of the high Bellincione (Par. XVI 94-99).

16This passage must be connected to the words of Cacciaguida in the Canto XV, vv. 112-4:

Bellincion Berti vid'io andar cinto
di cuoio e d'osso, e venir da lo specchio
la donna sua sanza I viso dipinto
(Paradiso XV 112-114).

Bellincion Berti have I seen go girt with leather and bone, and his wife corne from her mirror with unpainted face

17Boccaccio did not live to comment on the entire Divine Comedy: the Esposizioni are his last work, and he explained only the first half of the Inferno. In the canto XVI of the Inferno, three Florentine sodomites are presented. One of them, Jacopo Rusticucci, speaks about himself and the others:

Questi, l'orme di cuipestar mi vedi,
tutto che nudo e dipelato vada,
fu di grado maggior che tu non credi:
nepote fu de la buona Gualdrada;
Guido Guerra ebbe nome, e in sua vita
fece col senno assai e con la spada.
L'altro, ch'appresso me la rena trita,
è Tegghiaio Aldobrandi, la cui voce
nel mondo sù dovria esser gradita
(Inferno XVI 34-42).

He whose tracks you see me trample, though he goes naked and peeled, was of greater degree than you think: grandson of the good Gualdrada, his name was Guido Guerra [cfr. Par. XVI 98], and in his lifetime he did much with counsel and with sword. This other, who treads the sand behind me, is Tegghiaio Aldobrandi, whose voice should have been prized up in the world.

  • 11 SINGLETON, op.cit., I, p.261.

18To sum up, the canto XVI of the Inferno and the corresponding canto of the Paradiso mention (besides Tegghiaio Aldobrandi and the Adimari family respectively) Bellincion Berti de' Ravignani (and his wife in Paradiso XV), father of "la buona Gualdrada" (Inferno XVI, 37)-see the Appendix 2-through whose marriage with Guido Guerra IV the Conti Guidi traced their descent from the great Ravignani family11.

19Common to Guido Guerra and Tegghiaio Aldobrandi degli Adimari is not only the sin of sodomy, but also the fact that both were opposed to the Florentine expedition against Siena (Villani, VII 77), which culminated in the defeat of Montaperti (1260). After this battle, the Guelphs were exiled from Florence and the Ghibelline party re-entered the city.

20In the comment of Boccaccio on the "good Gualdrada", he draws again on Coppo di Borghese Domenichi:

Questa Gualdrada, seconde che soleva il venerabile uomo Coppo di Borghese Domenichi racontare, al quale per certo furono le notabili cose della nostra città notissime, fou figliuola di messer Bellincion Berti de'Ravignani... (Esposizioni, p.690).

This Gualdrada, as the venerable Coppo di Borghese Domenichi, to whom the noteworthy matters of our city were well known, used to tell, was the daughter of Bellincion Berti de'Ravignani...

21A beautiful story follows, which is related also by Villani (VI 37; about Bellincion Berti see also Villani IV 2, V 1 e 11). The relations between Dante and Villani, conceming the question of the old Florentine families, have been discussed for one hundred years and more. This unsolved problem makes it more diffïcult to establish whether Coppo is under Dante's or Villani's influence. However, since Filippo Argenti is never mentioned by Villani, it may be concluded that the memory of Coppo was stimulated, First of all, by Dante. Of course, an influence also on the part of Villani is not to be denied. As for Boccaccio, he seems to depend on Dante, Villani and Coppo.


22There are two more quotations of Coppo di Borghese Domenichi in Boccaccio's works, in a couple of letters sent by him to his friend Zanobi da Strada. Boccaccio and Zanobi had attended the same grammar class in Florence, under the teaching of Zanobi's father, Giovanni Mazzuoli. In 1327 Boccaccio moved to Naples, going back to Florence in 1341. In a letter to Zanobi (January 1348), which is a hymn to friendship, Boccaccio says:

  • 12 Epistola VI, in G. BOCCACCIO, Rime. Carmina. Epistole e lettere. Vite. De Canaria, Milano, Mondador (...)

Coppi namque strenuissimi patris nostri affectionem quam scribitis, non mihi noviter sed cotidie clarius elucescit: sed exinde quid offeram porrigam aut donem, nil ultra me mihi noverca Fortuna reliquit. Et utinam ego tanto viro opimum munus existerem! Sed danti quod habet, ulterius non requiritur iuxta legem12.

23Boccaccio, whose relations with his own father were always diffïcult, calls Coppo pater, and offers himself to him. Five years later Boccaccio, not yet a friend of Zanobi, complains about the behaviour of the great florentine merchant Niccolò Acciaiuoli, who had become a very important personage in the kingdom of Naples. Niccolò Acciaiuoli had lost his son in April 1353 and did not show his grief. For his part, Boccaccio says:

  • 13 Epistola IX, p.562.

Forsan mirabile scribam: mors nuper fratris, mors patris condam, mors Coppi de Dominicis michi dilecto pre ceteris, lacrimas extorquere non potuit; hec [the death of A.'s son] extorsit, et pre dolore lacrimans fere femina visus sum, turpe quidem homini, nedum Musis dedito13.

24In 1353 Coppo was not alive: he might be died in 1348.

  • 14 See A. M. COSTANTINI, "Studi sullo Zibaldone Magliabechiano. I. Descrizione e analisi", in Studi su (...)

25To complete the dossier concerning Coppo, the "zibaldone" B.R. 50 of the National Library of Florence, an autograph of Boccaccio, has to be taken into account. The manuscript, which contains the letter of 1353 (along with another fragmentary letter to Zanobi), is, First of all, a collection of extracts from Latin chronicles. At c. 232v a long list of viri illustres includes the name of Coppo14. After many doctors of canon law, the list turns to Florentine or Tuscan authors and personages, quoting Zanobi da Strada, the chronicler Giovanni Villani and "Coppus Borgesis de Dominicis florentinus amantissimus reipublice, morum pater".


26Coppo di Borghese Domenichi was a careful custodian of oral memory, but was not simply fond of gossip.Coppo, not an author himself, was a patron. He was involved in the most ancient Florentine translation of the Aeneid. Virgil's poem was abridged and turned into Latin prose by Anastasio, a Florentine Franciscan friar. This latin abbreviation of Virgil into prose was translated into the vernacular by the Florentine notary Andrea Lancia. The Latin text of Anastasio is lost; in some of the extant manuscripts of the vernacular translation of Andrea Lancia, the name of Coppo di Borghese Domenichi appears, as patron (or sponsor) both of the abridged version of Anastasio and the vernacular translation of Andrea Lancia.

27The prologue contains some information relating to the aim of the lost Latin abridged version and of the vernacular translation. The translator addresses himself to the patron, who seems to be identified with Coppo:

Arbitrasti che li escellenti fatti e le virtuose opere delli antichi Romani, com'erano degne di perpetuale memoria, cosi erano degne d'essere esemplo e dottrina di noi [...]. Li Romani sono dunque regole non falliboli in ogni virtude, in tempo di guerra e di pace; e però i lor fatti e i lor detti, sopra quelli di tutti li altri mortali, dobbiano eleggere, conoscere e seguire. [...] E perché, a volere conoscere queste cose, è ottimo da cominciare dalla vera orrigine, sanza la quale il mezzo né la fine non si puote perfettamente sapere, Enea fu il primo loro genitore: da lui corne da principale radice [...] cominceremo.

  • 15 A. LANCIA, Compilazione della Eneide di Virgilio, a cura di P. FANFANI, Firenze, Stamperia sulle lo (...)

[...] Vergilio [...] scrise questo libro delli magnifichi fatti e felici opere d'Enea [...] Il quale libro a te frate Nastagio dell'ordine de'Frati Minori, uomo discreto e litterato, co molta fatica recò di versi in prosa, lasciandone certa parte, sanza la quale li parve che questo libro sofficientemente potesse istare; e io poscia, ad istanzia di te, non molto lievemente, di grammatica in lingua volgare traslatai15.

In your opinion, the excellent deeds and virtuous actions of the ancient Romans merite as a perpetual memory and merite as an example and a teaching for us [...] Therefore, the Romans are an infallible model both in war and in times of peace, so that we must choose, know and follow their actions and sayings, more than of any other people. If one is to know these matters, the best thing is to begin from their true origin, because to ignore the beginning involves ignoring the central and final part of the history. So we shall start from Aeneas, the first origin of the Romans and their main root.

Vergil wrote his book about the magnificent deeds and the successful works of Aenas. The Friar Minor Nastagio, a wise man and expert in Latin, transferred this book from verse into prose, eliminating those parts which were not necessary, in his opinion; and did his work at your request [some manuscripts add the name of Coppo, Coppo Milliorati]. Then I [some manuscripts add the name of Andrea Lancia], at your request, have translated it from Latin into the vernacular, not without effort.

  • 16 See N. RUBINSTEIN, "The Beginnings of Political Thought in Florence", in Journal of the Warburg and (...)

28What kind of relation may be detected between Coppo as an oral informant on old Florentine families, and his involvement in the abridged version and translation of the Aeneid? These two aspects are not to be separated, because the Aeneid was part of the available literature on the origins of Florence. Virgil's poem, which related the origins of Rome, was also of interest to the city of Florence, inasmuch as Florence was deemed to be the daughter of Rome16. According to Giovanni Villani (Appendix III), more ancient than the foundation of Rome was that of Fiesole, the small town near Florence. In Fiesole Catiline took refuge, when his conspiracy was detected; and the rebels ruled by Catiline were defeated by a Roman army under the command of the consul Fiorino, who died in the battle. The Romans destroyed Fiesole and founded a new city, which received the name of Firenze, in honour of Fiorino. The surviving inhabitants of Fiesole moved to the new city, whose population consisted both of them and of Romans. According to Giovanni Villani, this double ethnic composition, Fiesolan and Roman, explains the formation of opposite parties in the modem city.

29Later, Florence was destroyed by barbarians, led by Attila or Totila who rebuilt Fiesole. The rebirth of Florence was guaranteed by Charles the Great, and Fiesole was destroyed again.

  • 17 Il Buon Tempo Antico, p.86.

30Medieval political thought favours unity and judges negatively the division and the partes. Two opposite ethnic principles, Roman and Fiesolan settlers who mixed in Florence, could explain the struggle of Guelphs and Ghibellines in Florence, and of White and Black Guelphs. In the words of C.T. Davis, Villani "appears to think that the theory of a fundamental antagonism between the Roman and Fiesolan inhabitants of Florence accounts... convincingly for later factional strife...17.

31The ancient available literature on Florence included, along with the Aeneid, also Cicero's orations against Catilina and Sallust's Bellum Catilinae: all of these works were translated into Italian in our period. Therefore, the oral memory of Coppo traced back to the origins of the city or, better, to some old families, to personages and events of the XIIth and of the following century. He committed himself also in detecting the ancient, the most remote origins of the city: hence his interest in the Aeneid.

32To sum up, oral memory and written memory seem to merge in Coppo di Borghese Domenichi.


Appendix 1. The genealogy of the Alighieri according to Cacciaguida, Dante's great-great-grandfather (Paradiso XV):

Appendix 2. The genealogy of the Ravignani family, praised by Cacciaguida

Appendix 3. The ancient Florentine history according to the chronicler Giovanni Villani

I. Origins

II. The conspiracy of Catiline

Catiline takes his refuge in Fiesole (built by Atalante). Siege of the Romans, death of Fiorino, Roman consul. Finally, the Romans destroy Fiesole.

Foundation of Florence (which takes its name from the dead hero, Fiorino).

III. Totila destroys Florence and rebuilds Fiesole

The few surviving Florentines live under Fiesolan rule.

IV. Charles the Great rebuilds Florence

(on the model of Rome. It is noteworthy, however, that Fiesole is more ancient than Rome; as for Florence, it is the "daughter of Rome").

1010 and 1125: double victory of Florence over Fiesole (the second date is historically


1 The relationship between historiography and court seems, however, not very close to P. GANZ, "Friedrich Barbarossa: Hof und Kultur", in Friedrich Barbarossa. Handlungsspielräume und Wirkungsweisen des staufischen Kaisers, Herausgegeben von A. HAVERKAMP, Sigmaringen, Thorbecke, 1992, pp.623-50; a different opinion in P. JOHANEK, Kultur und Bildung im Umkreis Friedrich Barbarossa, in the same volume, pp.651-77. On Henry VI and Frederick II, F. BRUNI, Provocazioni sulla politica culturale di Federico II, in Testi e chierici del medioevo, Genova, Marietti, 1991, pp.71-89.

2 See S. REYNOLDS, "Médiéval Origines gentium and the Community of the Realm", History, 68, 1983, pp.375-90.

3 G. BOCCACCIO, Decameron, a cura di V. BRANCA, Torino, Einaudi, 1992, 6th. ed., is the best edition of the Italian text; for the English translation, see The Decameron, translated by G. H. McWILLIAM, London, Penguin, 1972.

4 DANTE ALIGHIERI, La Commedia seconde l'antica vulgata, a cura di G. PETROCCHI, Milano, Mondadori, 1966-7, 4 voll.; Petrocchi's text is followed in The Divine Comedy, translated, with a Commentary, by C.S. SINGLETON, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1980-2, 3 vol., whose translation is quoted in this paper.

5 Giovanni VILLANI, Nuova cronica, a cura di Giuseppe Porta, Milano, Fondazione Bembo/Ugo Guanda Editore, 1990-1, 3 voll. On the Alberighi see also D.M. MANNI, Istoria del Decamerone di Giovanni Boccaccio, Firenze, Ristori, 1742, pp.364-5.

6 Il Buon Tempo Antico [The Good Old Time], in Dante's Italy and Other Essays, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984, pp.71-93 (also in Italian translation: L'Italia di Dante, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1988, pp. 109-33).

7 SINGLETON., I, p. 125.

8 G. BOCCACIO, Esposizioni sopra la Comedia di Dante, a cura di G. PADOAN, Milano, Mondadori, 1965, p.462.

9 Boccaccio's Esposizioni may be quoted again: «e credo questo vocabolo "bizarro" sia solo de' Fiorentini, e suona sempre in mala parte, per ciò che noi tegnamo bizarri coloro che subitamente e per ogni piccola cagione corrono in ira, né mai da quella per alcuna dimostrazione rimuovere si possono», p.462 [«in my opinion, the word "bizarro" is exclusive to the Florentine usage, and its meaning is not good, because we deem "bizarri" people whose anger arouses suddenly and because of the slightest reason, and by no means can be removed from it»]. Both matter and vocabulary are Florentine.

10 Il Trecentonovelle, a cura di V. PERNICONE, Firenze, Sansoni, 1946, LXVI (see also CXXXVII, p.305).

11 SINGLETON, op.cit., I, p.261.

12 Epistola VI, in G. BOCCACCIO, Rime. Carmina. Epistole e lettere. Vite. De Canaria, Milano, Mondadori, 1992, p.546; the Epistole e lettere are edited by G. AUZZAS.

13 Epistola IX, p.562.

14 See A. M. COSTANTINI, "Studi sullo Zibaldone Magliabechiano. I. Descrizione e analisi", in Studi sul Boccaccio, VII, 1973, pp.21-59, p.56. A photograph of the manuscript has been given to me by Aldo Costantini.

15 A. LANCIA, Compilazione della Eneide di Virgilio, a cura di P. FANFANI, Firenze, Stamperia sulle logge del grano, 1854, pp.1-2. Further information about the manuscript tradition of Lancia's translation in G. FOLENA, La istoria di Eneas vulgarizata per Angilu di Capua, Palermo, 1956, pp.234-44 (Collezione di testi siciliani dei secoli XIV e XV).

16 See N. RUBINSTEIN, "The Beginnings of Political Thought in Florence", in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, V, 1942, pp. 198-227.

17 Il Buon Tempo Antico, p.86.

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