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Most famous Books from Italy

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    The Decameron

    The Decameron

    The Decameron, also called Prince Galehaut (Italian: Il Decameron, cognominato Prencipe Galeotto) is a 14th-century medieval allegory by Giovanni Boccaccio, told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales by ten young people. Boccaccio probably began composing the work in 1350, and finished it in 1351 or 1353. The bawdy tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary import, it documents life in 14th-century Italy. The book's primary title exemplifies Boccaccio's fondness for Greek philology: Decameron combines two Greek words, Greek: δέκα déka ("ten") and Greek: ἡμέρα hēméra ("day"), to form a term that means "ten-day event". Ten days is the time period in which the characters of the frame story tell their tales. Boccaccio's alternative title, Prencipe Galeotto (Prince Galehaut), refers to Galehaut, a fictional king portrayed in the Lancelot-Grail who was sometimes called by the title haut prince ("high prince"). Galehaut was a close friend of Lancelot and an enemy of King Arthur. When Galehaut learned that Lancelot loved Arthur's wife, Guinevere, he set aside his
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    Le Rime

    The Rime is a collection of lyrical poems written by Dante Alighieri in the Italian language. They include some fifty components, of unorganic structure.
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    Eclogues

    The Eclogues are two Latin hexameter poems in the bucolic style by Dante Alighieri, named after Virgil's Eclogues. The two poems are the 68-verse Vidimus in migris albo patiente lituris and the 97-verse Velleribus Colchis prepes detectus Eous. They were composed between 1319 and 1320 in Ravenna, but only published for the first time in Florence in 1719.
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    De vulgari eloquentia

    De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the vernacular) is the title of an essay by Dante Alighieri, written in Latin and initially meant to consist of four books, but abandoned in the middle of the second. It was probably composed shortly after Dante went into exile; internal evidence points to a date between 1302 and 1305. The first book deals with the relationship between Latin and vernacular, and the search for an illustrious vernacular in the Italian area, while the second is an analysis of the structure of the "canto" or song (also spelled "canzone" in Italian), a literary genre. Latin essays were very popular in the Middle Ages, but Dante made some innovations in his work: firstly the topic, which is the vernacular, was an uncommon choice at that time. Secondly, the way Dante approached this theme, that is giving to vernacular the same dignity that was only meant for Latin. Finally, Dante wrote this essay in order to analyse the origin and the philosophy of the vernacular, because, in his opinion, this language was not something static, but something that evolves and needed a historical contextualisation. Dante interrupted his work at the fourteenth chapter of the second
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    De Monarchia

    De Monarchia (pronounced Monàrkia) is a treatise on secular and religious power by Dante Alighieri. With this Latin text, the poet intervened in one of the most controversial subjects of his period: the relationship between secular authority (represented by the Holy Roman Emperor) and religious authority (represented by the Pope). Dante's point of view is known on this problem, since during his political activity he had fought to defend the autonomy of the city-government of Florence from the temporal demands of Pope Boniface VIII. According to most accepted chronology, De Monarchia was composed in the years 1312-13, that is to say the time of Henry VII of Luxemburg's journey to Italy; according to another, the date of composition has to be brought back to at least 1308; and yet another, moves it forward to 1318, shortly before the author's death in 1321. It is made up of three books, but the most significant is the third, in which Dante most explicitly confronts the subject of relations between the Pope and the emperor. Dante firstly condemns the theocratic conception of the power elaborated by the Roman Church and solemnly confirmed by the papal bull Unam sanctam of 1302. The
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    Paradiso

    Paradiso

    Paradiso (Italian for "Paradise" or "Heaven") is the third and final part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno and the Purgatorio. It is an allegory telling of Dante's journey through Heaven, guided by Beatrice, who symbolises theology. In the poem, Paradise is depicted as a series of concentric spheres surrounding the earth, consisting of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Fixed Stars, the Primum Mobile and finally, the Empyrean. It was written in the early 14th century. Allegorically, the poem represents the soul's ascent to God. The Paradiso begins at the top of Mount Purgatory, at noon on the Wednesday after Easter. After ascending through the sphere of fire believed to exist in the earth's upper atmosphere (Canto I), Beatrice guides Dante through the nine celestial spheres of Heaven, to the Empyrean, which is the abode of God. The nine spheres are concentric, as in the standard medieval geocentric model of cosmology, which was derived from Ptolemy. The Empyrean is non-material. As with his Purgatory, the structure of Dante's Heaven is therefore of the form 9+1=10, with one of the ten regions different in nature from the other nine. During
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    The Adventures of Pinocchio

    The Adventures of Pinocchio

    The Adventures of Pinocchio ( /pɪˈnoʊki.oʊ/, US dict: pĭ·nō′·kē·ō; Italian: Le avventure di Pinocchio) is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence. The first half was originally a serial between 1881 and 1883, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883. It is about the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio (pronounced [piˈnɔkkjo] in Italian), an animated marionette, and his poor father, a woodcarver named Geppetto. It is considered a classic of children's literature and has spawned many derivative works of art, such as Disney's 1940 animated movie of the same name, and commonplace ideas such as a liar's long nose. The Adventures of Pinocchio is a story about an animated puppet, a talking cricket, and boys who turn into donkeys and other fairy tale devices that would be familiar to a reader of Alice in Wonderland or the Brothers Grimm; in fact earlier in his career Collodi worked on a translation of Mother Goose. However, Pinocchio's world is not in a traditional fairy-tale world, instead containing the hard realities of the need for food, shelter, and the basic measures of daily life. The setting of the story is in fact the very
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    The Divine Comedy

    The Divine Comedy

    The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On the surface, the poem describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents allegorically the soul's journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse." The work was originally simply titled Comedìa and was later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio. The first printed edition to add the word divine to the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555
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    La Vita Nuova

    La Vita Nuova

    La Vita Nuova or Vita Nova (English: The New Life) is a text written by Dante Alighieri in 1295. It is an expression of the medieval genre of courtly love in a prosimetrum style, a combination of both prose and verse. Besides its content, it is notable for being written in Italian, rather than Latin; with Dante's other works, it helped to establish the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard. The prose creates the illusion of narrative continuity between the poems; it is Dante's way of reconstructing himself and his art in terms of his evolving sense of the limitations of courtly love (the system of ritualized love and art that Dante and his poet-friends inherited from the Provençal poets, the Sicilian poets of the court of Frederick II, and the Tuscan poets before them). Sometime in his twenties, Dante decided to try to write love poetry that was less centered on the self and more aimed at love as such: he intended to elevate courtly love poetry, many of its tropes and its language, into sacred love poetry. Beatrice for Dante was the embodiment of this kind of love--transparent to the Absolute, inspiring the integration of desire aroused by beauty with the
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    The Book of the Courtier

    The Book of the Courtier

    The Book of the Courtier (Italian: Il Cortegiano) is a courtesy book. It was written by Baldassare Castiglione over the course of many years, beginning in 1508, and published in 1528 by the Aldine Press just before his death. It addresses the constitution of a perfect courtier, and in its last installment, a perfect lady. The Book of the Courtier remains the definitive account of Renaissance court life. Because of this, it is considered one of the most important Renaissance works. The book is organized as a series of fictional conversations that occur between the courtiers of the Duke of Urbino in 1507 (when Baldassare was in fact part of the Duke's Court). In the book, the courtier is described as having a cool mind, a good voice (with beautiful, elegant and brave words) along with proper bearing and gestures. At the same time though, the courtier is expected to have a warrior spirit, to be athletic, and have good knowledge of the humanities, Classics and fine arts. Over the course of four evenings, members of the court try to describe the perfect gentleman of the court. In the process they debate the nature of nobility, humor, women, and love. The Book of the Courtier was one of
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    Convivio

    Convivio (The Banquet) is a work written by Dante Alighieri roughly between 1304 and 1307. It contains details of the author's growing interest in philosophy, particularly in reference to the works of Cicero and Boethius. It also includes philosophical commentary by the author.
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    Inferno

    Inferno

    Inferno (Italian for "Hell") is the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin. The poem begins on the day before Good Friday in the year 1300. The narrator, Dante himself, is thirty-five years old, and thus "halfway along our life's path" (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita)—half of the Biblical life expectancy of seventy (Psalms 89:10, Vulgate). The poet finds himself lost in a dark wood in front of a mountain, assailed by three beasts (a lion, a lonza [rendered as "leopard" or "leopon"], and a she-wolf) he cannot evade, and unable to find the "straight way" (diritta via)—also translatable as "right way"—to salvation. Conscious that he is ruining himself and that he is falling into a "deep place" (basso loco) where the sun is silent (l sol tace), Dante is at last rescued by the Roman poet
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    Purgatorio

    Purgatorio

    Purgatorio (Italian for "Purgatory") is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno, and preceding the Paradiso. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an allegory telling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Purgatory is depicted as a mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of a bottom section (Ante-Purgatory), seven levels of suffering and spiritual growth (associated with the seven deadly sins), and finally the Earthly Paradise at the top. Allegorically, the poem represents the Christian life, and in describing the climb Dante discusses the nature of sin, examples of vice and virtue, and moral issues in politics and in the Church. The poem outlines a theory that all sin arises from love – either perverted love directed towards others' harm, or deficient love, or the disordered love of good things. Having survived the depths of Hell (described in the Inferno), Dante and Virgil ascend out of the undergloom, to the Mountain of Purgatory on the far side of the world. The mountain is an island, the only land in the Southern Hemisphere. Dante describes Hell as existing underneath
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