1st Edition

Petrarch and Boccaccio in the First Commentaries on Dante’s Commedia A Literary Canon Before its Official Birth

By Luca Fiorentini Copyright 2020
    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    This text proposes a reinterpretation of the history behind the canon of the Tre Corone (Three Crowns), which consists of the three great Italian authors of the 14th century – Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.

    Examining the first commentaries on Dante’s Commedia, the book argues that the elaboration of the canon of the Tre Corone does not date back to the 15th century but instead to the last quarter of the 14th century. The investigation moves from Guglielmo Maramauro’s commentary – circa 1373, and the first exegetical text in which we can find explicit quotations from Petrarch and Boccaccio – to the major commentators of the second half of the 14th century: Benvenuto da Imola, Francesco da Buti and the Anonimo Fiorentino. The work focuses on the conceptual and poetic continuity between Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio as identified by the first interpreters of the Commedia, demonstrating that contemporary readers and intellectuals immediately recognized a strong affinity between these three authors based on criteria not merely linguistic or rhetorical.

    The findings and conclusions of this work are of great interest to scholars of Dante, as well as those studying medieval poetry and Italian literature.

    Chapter I – Poetry, Language, Allegory: Dante in the Hands of Petrarch and Boccaccio
    Chapter II – Interpreting Dante in the Shadow of Petrarch and Boccaccio
    Chapter III – Against Petrarch, Theoretician of Poetry: Benvenuto da Imola
    Chapter IV – Contempt for the Present: The Revenge of Petrarch the Moralist and Historian


    Luca Fiorentini is Research Assistant at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy.

    "In a hundred or so pages, Fiorentini develops a close comparison with well-known texts, to which, however, he turns with a new question and the resolute will to find an answer." - Lucio Biasiori, Alias Domenica-il manifesto 

    "In a short and engaging book, Luca Fiorentini rewrites the complex debate about Dante’s Commedia promoted by its very first readers." - Giuliano Milani, Internazionale

    "Fiorentini’s essay overcomes what the author himself promises in the introduction of the book, providing the readers with a survey in which the didactic aims are combined with the will of elaborating reflections addressed also to scholars in Italian Studies." - Sara Ferrilli, Linguistica e Letteratura