The Decameron

The Decameron

by

Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Decameron Characters

Boccaccio

Boccaccio is the voice of The Decameron’s narrator—which may or may not be the same as Giovanni Boccaccio, the book’s author. Although in both the Prologue and Epilogue, Boccaccio claims that he simply records… read analysis of Boccaccio

Pampinea

The oldest of the brigata’s women, Pampinea’s name means “full of vigor,” and she is indeed a natural leader. In allegorical readings of the book, she is associated with the Christian virtue of prudence… read analysis of Pampinea

Fiammetta

Fiammetta is a member of the brigata, whose name means “little flame.” In allegorical readings of the book, she is associated with temperance because she is so frequently in the company of Dioneo (who… read analysis of Fiammetta

Filomena

Filomena is a member of the brigata, whose name means either “the beloved” or “the lover of song.” Because Giovanni Boccaccio dedicates another of his works, Il Filostrato, to a “Filomena,” she may… read analysis of Filomena

Emilia

Emilia is a member of the brigata, whose name means something like “the attractive one.” She is the sovereign on Day IX, where she gives her companions free reign to choose stories on topics… read analysis of Emilia
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Lauretta

Lauretta is a member of the brigata. Her name is a diminutive form of “Laura.” Because “Laura” was the name under which Petrarch described the love that inspired his sonnets, she thus links Giovanni… read analysis of Lauretta

Neifile

Neifile is a member of the brigata. Her name means “newly enamored” and has been understood to connect her to Dante and the Dolce Stil Novo love poetry tradition. She thus links Giovanni Boccaccio’s… read analysis of Neifile

Elissa

The last female member of the brigata, Elissa is another name by which Dido, an abandoned wife from Virgil’s Aeneid, is called. In allegorical readings, then, she associates Giovanni Boccaccio’s work with Virgil… read analysis of Elissa

Panfilo

Panfilo is the one of the three men who join the brigata. His name literally means “all loving.” In allegorical readings of the book, he is associated with reason, balancing out Filostrato (anger) and… read analysis of Panfilo

Filostrato

Filostrato is the second of the brigata’s men. His name means “defeated by love.” In allegorical readings of the book, he is associated with anger, a trait he displays when Pampinea tells a silly… read analysis of Filostrato

Dioneo

Dioneo is the third of the brigata’s men. His name links him with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, and in allegorical readings of the book, he is associated with lust. He has singular… read analysis of Dioneo

Sirisco

Sirisco is Panfilo’s servant, whom Pampinea puts in charge of the brigata’s money as treasurer and purchaser of goods. In this capacity, he works under the instructions of Parmeno. His name, like… read analysis of Sirisco

Tindaro

Tindaro serves as Filostrato’s servant, and Pampinea assigns him to also help Dioneo and Panfilo when their servants—Parmeno and Sirisco—are attending to their communal duties as steward and treasurer. His name derives… read analysis of Tindaro

Misia

Misia is Pampinea’s maid. Along with Liscia, her mistress puts her in charge of the kitchen after the brigata leaves Florence. She’s responsible to carry out Parmeno’s instructions for meals. Her antique-sounding… read analysis of Misia

Liscia

Liscia is Filomena’s maid, and Pampinea assigns her to kitchen duty with Misia, bringing Parmeno’s plans for meals to fruition. At the beginning of Day VI, she fights with Tindaro, arguing… read analysis of Liscia

Chimera

Chimera is Lauretta’s maid. Outside of Florence, Pampinea pairs her with Stratilia and assigns her to look after the needs of all the ladies. Her name, like the rest of the servants’, draws from… read analysis of Chimera

Ciappelletto

Cepperello, called Sir Ciappelletto by the French, appears in the first tale of The Decameron, told by Panfilo (I, 1). Based on a near contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, in this tale, Cepperello is described… read analysis of Ciappelletto

Holy Friar

The Holy Friar appears in Panfilo’s tale of Ciappelletto (I, 1). He is a holy and well-respected French friar (priest or monk) who hears Ciappelletto’s dying confession and believes him to be an example… read analysis of Holy Friar

Abraham

Abraham appears in Neifile’s first tale (I, 2). He is friends with Jehannot de Chevigny As an extremely rich moneylender and a Jew, he represents commonly reviled categories in medieval Europe. But his wisdom… read analysis of Abraham

Melchizedek

Melchizedek appears in Filomena’s first tale. He is an extremely wealthy Jewish moneylender living in Egypt under Saladin. Saladin’s belief that Melchizedek won’t willingly lend money aligns him with the medieval stereotype of… read analysis of Melchizedek

Saladin

Saladin appears in Filomena’s first story (I, 3) and Panfilo’s tenth story (X, 9). In the first tale, he evaluates Melchizedek’s wisdom, and in the second, he cunningly disguises himself to gather… read analysis of Saladin

Young Monk

The Young Monk appears in Dioneo’s first tale (I, 4). He lives in a Tuscan monastery under the leadership of the Tuscan Abbot. When he encounters the Country Girl, he succumbs to… read analysis of Young Monk

Tuscan Abbot

The Tuscan Abbot appears in Dioneo’s first tale (I, 4), where he oversees the monastery where the Young Monk lives. He is an example of clerical hypocrisy around sex, since he gives in to… read analysis of Tuscan Abbot

The Country Girl

The County Girl appears in Dioneo’s first tale (I, 4) as the lover first of the Young Monk and then of the Tuscan Abbot. Her striking beauty represents the power of sexual desire… read analysis of The Country Girl

Marchioness of Montferrat

The Marchioness of Montferrat appears in Fiammetta’s first tale (I, 5) as a portrait of the idealized medieval woman. Because she is beautiful, she attracts the love of King Philip II; because she… read analysis of Marchioness of Montferrat

King Philip II

King Philip II appears in Fiammetta’s first tale (I, 5), as a fictionalized version of a medieval French king who reigned 1169–1223. He falls in love with the Marchioness of Montferrat based on her… read analysis of King Philip II

Franciscan Inquisitor

The Franciscan Inquisitor appears in Emilia’s first tale (I, 6), where he gives the Blasphemous Citizen excessive penance for a minor sin. Inquisitors were church officials charged with rooting out heretical (unorthodox) beliefs, but greed… read analysis of Franciscan Inquisitor

Blasphemous Citizen

The Blasphemous Citizen appears as the Franciscan Inquisitor’s victim in Emilia’s first tale (I, 6). His “sin” is bragging that Christ would have enjoyed his fine wine, but he’s targeted because he has… read analysis of Blasphemous Citizen

Can Grande della Scalla

Can Grande appears in Filostrato’s first tale (I, 7). He is based on a historical figure who ruled Verona during Giovanni Boccaccio’s lifetime and who was renowned for his military successes and his generosity… read analysis of Can Grande della Scalla

Bergamino

Bergamino appears in Filostrato’s first tale (I, 7) as an extremely witty and brilliant entertainer invited and repudiated by Can Grande della Scalla. He demonstrates the value of quick wit and rhetorical brilliance… read analysis of Bergamino

Primas

Primas appears in Bergamino’s tale-in-a-tale about generosity (I,7). Based on a famously witty 13th-century cleric and Latin poet, in Filostrato’s version, a broke and unlucky Primas decides to call on the Abbot ofread analysis of Primas

Abbot of Cluny

The Abbot of Cluny appears in Filostrato’s first tale (I, 7) and Elissa’s tenth (X, 2). In both cases, his character is based in a medieval belief that the Abbot of Cluny—a famously… read analysis of Abbot of Cluny

Ermino de’ Grimaldi

Ermino de’ Grimaldi appears in Lauretta’s first tale (I, 8), where he appears to be a fictionalized character based on a historical family, the ancient and powerful Genoese Grimaldis. He is an extremely wealthy… read analysis of Ermino de’ Grimaldi

Gascon Gentlewoman

The Gascon Gentlewoman appears in Elissa’s first tale (I, 9) as a pilgrim returning from Jerusalem. When she is raped in Cyprus—demonstrating the vulnerability of women to physical violence—her witty mockery of the ineffective… read analysis of Gascon Gentlewoman

King of Cyprus

The King of Cypress appears in Elissa’s first tale (I, 9) as an extremely cowardly and ineffective ruler. The character is based on the historical figure Guy de Lusignan, a notoriously weak king crowned… read analysis of King of Cyprus

Master Alberto

Master Alberto appears in Pampinea’s first story (I, 10). He is an old but brilliant Bolognese physician, based on one of Giovanni Boccaccio’s contemporaries, a doctor named Alberto de’ Zancari. He falls in love… read analysis of Master Alberto

Malgherida de’ Ghisolieri

Malgherida de’ Ghisolieri appears in Pampinea’s first tale (I, 10) as a beautiful and witty young widow who attracts the attentions of Master Alberto. After she and her ladies mock his feelings and he… read analysis of Malgherida de’ Ghisolieri

Arrigo

Arrigo appears in Neifile’s second story (II, 1). He is a German man living in Treviso (Italy) as a poor porter who is renowned for his saintly ways. After his death, the people of… read analysis of Arrigo

Martellino

Martellino appears in Neifile’s tale (II, 1) as a fictionalized version of a real Florentine clown. He visits Treviso with Marchese and Stecchi, pretends to be paralyzed to get close to Arrigo’s… read analysis of Martellino

Sandro Agolanti

Sandro Agolanti appears in Neifile’s second tale (II, 1). A Florentine living in Treviso, he is an influential friend of the local ruler. When Stecchi, Marchese, and their landlord tell him Martellinoread analysis of Sandro Agolanti

Rinaldo d’Asti

Rinaldo d’Asti is the protagonist of Filostrato’s second tale (II, 2). He is a wealthy and devout merchant who places himself in the care of St. Julian (patron saint of travelers). He experiences fortuneread analysis of Rinaldo d’Asti

Lady of Guiglielmo Fortress

The Lady of Guiglielmo Fortress appears in Filostrato’s second tale (II, 2) as an unnamed widow who has become the lover of a local lord. She demonstrates misogynistic medieval stereotypes about excessive female lust… read analysis of Lady of Guiglielmo Fortress

Lamberto

Lamberto is a Florentine merchant who appears in Pampinea’s second tale (II, 3). He and his brothers Tebaldo and Agolante inherit their father’s huge fortune, spend it recklessly, become successful moneylenders in England… read analysis of Lamberto

Tebaldo

Tebaldo is a Florentine merchant who appears in Pampinea’s second tale (II, 3). He and his brothers Lamberto and Agolante inherit their father’s huge fortune, spend it recklessly, become successful moneylenders in England… read analysis of Tebaldo

Agolante

Agolante is a Florentine merchant who appears in Pampinea’s second tale (II, 3). He and his brothers Lamberto and Tebaldo inherit their father’s huge fortune, spend it recklessly, become successful moneylenders in England… read analysis of Agolante

Alessandro

Alessandro appears in Pampinea’s second tale (II, 3). He’s the nephew of Lamberto, Tebaldo, and Agolante, and he takes over their moneylending business in England when his uncles return to Italy. He… read analysis of Alessandro

Abbot in White

The Abbot in White is an English princess disguised as a man in Pampinea’s second tale (II, 3). She travels in disguise for her protection (demonstrating female vulnerability) because she plans to run away… read analysis of Abbot in White

Landolfo Rufolo

Landolfo Rufolo appears in Lauretta’s second tale (II, 4). He is an extremely rich merchant from the Amalfi coast, who is so greedy that he tries to double his fortune. When he fails, he… read analysis of Landolfo Rufolo

Andreuccio di Pietro

Andreuccio di Pietro appears in Fiammetta’s second tale (II, 5). He is a wealthy but inexperienced and naïve horse dealer. He illustrates fortune’s turns: when he travels to Naples for fresh stock, he… read analysis of Andreuccio di Pietro

Sicilian Woman

The Sicilian woman appears in Fiammetta’s second tale (II, 5). She is a beautiful, amoral criminal who cons Andreuccio out of his money, clothes, and dignity by pretending to be his long-lost half-sister in… read analysis of Sicilian Woman

Butch Belchface

Butch Belchface appears in Fiammetta’s second tale (II, 5) as the Sicilian Woman’s “bully.” He has a thick beard and a threatening voice, and the Tomb Robbers recognize his description from Andreuccioread analysis of Butch Belchface

Tomb Robbers

The Tomb Robbers are unsavory Neapolitan criminals whom Andreuccio joins after escaping the Sicilian Woman in Fiammetta’s second tale (II, 5). Although they initially help the hapless merchant, they subsequently trap him in a… read analysis of Tomb Robbers

Arrighetto Capece

Arrighetto Capece appears in Emilia’s second tale (II, 6) as an esteemed courtier of Sicilian King Manfred. When King Charles defeats Manfred, Arrighetto is imprisoned and his family—wife Beritola Caracciolo and sons Guisfredi and… read analysis of Arrighetto Capece

Beritola Caracciolo (Cavriuola)

Beritola Caracciolo appears in Emilia’s second tale (II, 6). She is Arrighetto Capece’s wife and mother of Guisfredi and The Outcast. Like her husband and sons, she is an illustration of fortuneread analysis of Beritola Caracciolo (Cavriuola)

Guisfredi (Giannotto)

Guisfredi (Giannotto) appears in Emilia’s second tale (II, 6), where he is the older son of Arrighetto Capece and Beritola Caracciolo. He and his brother The Outcast are kidnapped by pirates and enslaved… read analysis of Guisfredi (Giannotto)

The Outcast

The Outcast appears in Emilia’s second story (II, 6), in which he is the younger son of Beritola Caracciolo and Arrighetto Capece. He was born in exile (hence his name), then kidnapped and… read analysis of The Outcast

Currado Malespina

Currado Malespina is a gentleman who appears in Emilia’s second story (II, 6). Along with his wife, he rescues the castaway Beritola and her deer friends. When Guisfredi (Giannotto) becomes one of his servants… read analysis of Currado Malespina

Spina

In Emilia’s second tale (II, 6), Spina is Currado Malespina’s daughter (II, 6). She falls in love with Guisfredi (Giannotto), to whom she is married after his identity is revealed. Initially, she serves… read analysis of Spina

Alatiel

In Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), Alatiel is the daughter of Sultan Beminedab and the most beautiful woman of her day. On her way to marry the King of Algarve, she is shipwrecked… read analysis of Alatiel

The Young Masters

The two Young Masters appear in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7). They own the ship on which Marato carries Alatiel away from Spain. Overcome with love for Alatiel, they murder Marato before turning on… read analysis of The Young Masters

Prince of Morea

In Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), the Prince of Morea hears about Alatiel’s great beauty when she and the surviving Young Master land at Corinth. The Young Master’s family hands Alatiel over to… read analysis of Prince of Morea

Duke of Athens

The handsome young Duke of Athens appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7). He is friends with the Prince of Morea. When he asks to see Alatiel, her beauty so enflames his… read analysis of Duke of Athens

Constant

Constant appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), where he is the son of the Emperor of Constantine and the Duke of Athens’ brother-in-law. When the Prince of Morea’s allies attack Athens… read analysis of Constant

Uzbek

Uzbek appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7). He is the King of Turkey who kidnaps Constant and Alatiel so that he can take her as his wife. He becomes entangled in a proxy… read analysis of Uzbek

Basano

Basano appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7). As King of Cappadocia, he is negotiating an alliance with the Emperor of Constantinople against Uzbek. He gets more favorable terms after the Emperor discovers… read analysis of Basano

Antioco

Antioco is an old man and trusted servant of Uzbek who appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7). Despite his old age, Antioco falls in love with Alatiel while Uzbek leaves her in his… read analysis of Antioco

Antigono

Antigono appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7). Although he has been a wise advisor and emissary to the Cypriot king for many years, fortune has kept him from gaining wealth until he recognizes… read analysis of Antigono

Walter

Walter, Count of Antwerp, appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). He is handsome, generous, noble, and recently widowed. The French Princess falls in love with him, then accuses him of rape when he… read analysis of Walter

French Princess

The wife of the French king’s son, the French Princess appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). She relies on Walter’s guidance in her husband’s wartime absence and falls in love with him… read analysis of French Princess

Jeannette (Violante)

Jeannette (Violante) appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). She is seven years old when she goes into exile with her father Walter and brother Perrot (Louis). In England, she is fostered by Marshalread analysis of Jeannette (Violante)

Perrot (Louis)

Perrot (Louis) appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). He is nine years old when he goes into exile with his father Walter and sister Jeannette (Violante). His athletic ability and general attitude attract… read analysis of Perrot (Louis)

Madame Lamiens

Madame Lamiens appears in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8), where she is the wife of one of the English King’s Marshals. She and Marshal Lamiens raise Jeannette (Violante) in their home. She’s very class-conscious… read analysis of Madame Lamiens

Marshal Lamiens

Marshal Lamiens appears, along with his wife Madame Lamiens and son Jacques Lamiens, in Elissa’s second tale (II, 8). He is a class-conscious high official of the English king. Although he reluctantly allows… read analysis of Marshal Lamiens

Jacques Lamiens

In Elissa’s second tale (II, 8), Jacques Lamiens is the only son of the Marshal Lamiens and Madame Lamiens. When he falls in love with Jeanette (Violante) but fears his parents won’t approve… read analysis of Jacques Lamiens

Bernabò Lomellin

Bernabò Lomellin appears in Filomena’s second tale (II, 9). He is a Genoese merchant who brags that his wife (Zinerva) is the best and most chaste wife in the world and places… read analysis of Bernabò Lomellin

Ambrogiuolo

Ambrogiuolo appears in Filomena’s second tale (II, 9). He is a merchant from Piacenza who “proves” that Zinerva isn’t as good as Bernabò thinks by sneaking into her bedroom, stealing some of her belongings… read analysis of Ambrogiuolo

Zinerva (Sicurano da Finale)

Zinerva appears in Filomena’s second tale (II, 9) as Bernabò’s clever and honest wife. She is a paragon of virtue and chastity. Her distinguishing mark is a mole below her left breast. When… read analysis of Zinerva (Sicurano da Finale)

Ricciardo di Chinzica

Ricciardo di Chinzica appears in Dioneo’s second tale (II, 10). He is an older man and a well-established lawyer when he marries the young and vivacious Bartolomea. His advanced age means that he… read analysis of Ricciardo di Chinzica

Bartolomea

Bartolomea is Ricciardo di Chinzica’s dissatisfied wife in Dioneo’s second tale (II, 10). Her marriage is so boring that she’s happy to be captured by the pirate Paganino, and she demonstrates both female… read analysis of Bartolomea

Paganino de Mare

Paganino de Mare appears in Dioneo’s second tale (II, 10). A famous pirate, he kidnaps Bartolomea from Ricciardo di Chinzica, and, because he’s a much younger and more virile man, has the ability… read analysis of Paganino de Mare

Masetto

Masetto is a handsome, strong young peasant who is the protagonist of Filostrato’s third tale (III, 1). He disguises himself as a deaf-mute to infiltrate a convent, where he eventually becomes the lover of… read analysis of Masetto

Young Nuns

The eight Young Nuns of Filostrato’s third tale (III, 1) defy conventional thinking about Brides of Christ. Their lack of kindness towards their first gardener and the abuse they heap on Masetto when they… read analysis of Young Nuns

Abbess

In Filostrato’s third tale (III, 1), the Abbess is a poor example of religious leadership when she joins the Young Nuns in taking Masetto as her lover and hides the resulting children from the… read analysis of Abbess

Agilulf

Agilulf is the wise king of the Lombards in Pampinea’s third tale (III, 2). He is married to the beautiful and wise Theodelinda. When he finds himself cuckolded by a Groom, he… read analysis of Agilulf

Groom

In Pampinea’s third tale (III, 2), the Groom who cares for Theodelinda’s horse falls hopelessly in love with her. Despite being lowborn, he cleverly figures out how to infiltrate her bed disguised as her… read analysis of Groom

Florentine Noblewoman

The Florentine Noblewoman appears in Filomena’s third tale (III, 3), where she is unhappily married to a wealthy but bourgeois wool merchant. Finding her husband beneath her socially, she resolves to take the Florentineread analysis of Florentine Noblewoman

Florentine Friar

In Filomena’s third tale (III, 3), the Florentine Friar is a caricature of clerical greed and cluelessness. Although he believes the Florentine Noblewoman’s complaints about the Florentine Nobleman’s sexual improprieties, he is… read analysis of Florentine Friar

Friar Puccio

Friar Puccio is the hapless husband at the center of Panfilo’s third tale (III, 4). His wife, Monna Isabetta, is significantly younger than he is, and either his age or his religious inclinations… read analysis of Friar Puccio

Monna Isabetta

Monna Isabetta is Friar Puccio’s young and beautiful wife in Panfilo’s third tale (III, 4). Her sexual needs are unsatisfied by her pious older husband, so she readily accepts Dom Felice as her lover… read analysis of Monna Isabetta

Dom Felice

In Panfilo’s third tale (III, 4), Dom Felice is a handsome and intelligent young monk who gives people the impression of holiness. Friar Puccio cultivates his friendship for spiritual guidance. But he is inclined… read analysis of Dom Felice

Francesco Vergellesi

Francesco Vergellesi appears in Elissa’s third tale (III, 5). This character is based on an early contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio who did become podesta (leader) of Lombardy in the early 14th century. In Theread analysis of Francesco Vergellesi

Francesco’s Wife

Francesco’s Wife appears alongside Francesco Vergellesi in Elissa’s third tale (III, 5). She demonstrates wifely obedience when Francesco orders her to listen but not respond to Zima’s impassioned statements of love. However, she… read analysis of Francesco’s Wife

Zima

Zima, the protagonist of Elissa’s third tale (III, 5), earned his name, which means “the Dandy,” because of his elegant dress and grooming. He loves Francesco’s Wife but can’t get her attention until he… read analysis of Zima

Ricciardo Minutolo

Ricciardo Minutolo appears in Fiammetta’s third tale (III, 6). He is a Neapolitan gentleman who loves Catella Sighinolfo, although her jealous devotion to her husband keeps her from returning his affections. He demonstrates… read analysis of Ricciardo Minutolo

Catella

Catella is the object of Ricciardo Minutolo’s affections in Fiammetta’s third tale (III, 6). Her extreme and jealous devotion to her husband, Filippello Sighinolfo, leaves her vulnerable to Ricciardo’s manipulations. She demonstrates… read analysis of Catella

Tedaldo degli Elisei

In Emilia’s third story (III, 7), Tedaldo degli Elisei loves Ermellina, but leaves Florence when she suddenly spurns him. Becoming a wealthy merchant isn’t enough to make him forget her, and he returns… read analysis of Tedaldo degli Elisei

Aldobrandino Palermi

Aldobrandino Palermi is the husband of Ermellina, Tedaldo degli Elisi’s lover in Emilia’s third tale (III, 7). He is accused and convicted of Tedaldo’s murder due to the affair. But he demonstrates… read analysis of Aldobrandino Palermi

Ermellina Palermi

In Emilia’s third tale (III, 7), Ermellina Palermi is the wife of Aldobrando Palermi and the former lover of Tedaldo degli Elisi. She breaks off the affair when a friar warns her it… read analysis of Ermellina Palermi

Womanizing Abbot

The Womanizing Abbot appears in Lauretta’s third tale (III, 8) as another part of The Decameron’s ongoing anticlerical satire. He is young, attractive, and his reputation for extreme holiness covers up the… read analysis of Womanizing Abbot

Ferondo

Ferondo appears in Lauretta’s third tale (III, 8) as a wealthy but uncouth Tuscan yeoman (a farmer who owned his land). He is excessively jealous of his beautiful wife. His lack of common sense… read analysis of Ferondo

Ferondo’s Wife

Ferondo’s Wife appears in Lauretta’s third tale (III, 8). She suffers from being married to Ferondo, the jealous buffoon. She illustrates several of the unsavory characteristics of women that surface throughout The Decameronread analysis of Ferondo’s Wife

Gilette

Gilette is the protagonist of Neifile’s third tale (III, 9). She is the only daughter of a renowned physician, and she grows up in the household of the Count of Roussillon, where she falls… read analysis of Gilette

Bertrand

In Neifile’s third tale (III, 9), Bertrand is the Count of Roussillon’s son and Gilette’s childhood playmate. He grows up in the household of the French King to be a handsome but haughty… read analysis of Bertrand

Impoverished Noblewoman

The Impoverished Noblewoman is the mother of Bertrand’s love interest in Neifile’s third tale (III, 9). Although she has fallen on hard times, she recognizes Gilette’s inherent nobility of spirit and the… read analysis of Impoverished Noblewoman

Alibech

Alibech is the protagonist of Dioneo’s third tale (III, 10), who ultimately ends up married to Neerbal. She is a 14-year-old pagan girl who wonders how to serve God. When a Christian points… read analysis of Alibech

Rustico

Rustico is the young desert hermit who takes in Alibech in Dioneo’s third tale (III, 10). He illustrates pride, since he thinks his lifestyle of fasting and prayer will protect him from human sexual… read analysis of Rustico

Filippo Balducci

Filippo Balducci is a Florentine merchant who appears in a tale Boccaccio tells while defending his literary works at the beginning of Day IV. After his wife’s death, he retreats with Filippo’s Son to the… read analysis of Filippo Balducci

Filippo’s Son

In Boccaccio’s exemplary tale, Filippo Balducci raises Filippo’s Son in isolated religious devotion after his mother’s death, but he is nevertheless not immune to the charms of the feminine sex when he returns to… read analysis of Filippo’s Son

Tancredi

Tancredi, the Prince of Salerno, appears in Fiammetta’s fourth tale (IV, 1). He is a good ruler and excellent man, but his selfish love of his daughter, Ghismonda, made him slow to find… read analysis of Tancredi

Ghismonda

In Fiammetta’s fourth tale (IV, 1), Ghismonda is Tancredi’s widowed daughter. Because her father is slow to find her a new husband, she takes his valet, Guiscardo, as a lover. Although she… read analysis of Ghismonda

Guiscardo

Guiscardo appears in Fiammetta’s fourth tale (IV, 1) where he is Tancredi’s valet and Ghismonda’s lover. Despite his humble origins, his excellent character earns Tancredi’s trust and Ghismonda’s love. She praises him as… read analysis of Guiscardo

Friar Alberto

In Pampinea’s fourth tale (IV, 2), Friar Alberto is the name assumed by Berto della Massa after his crooked reputation forces him to flee his hometown and assume a false identity in Venice. As… read analysis of Friar Alberto

Lisetta

In Pampinea’s fourth tale (IV, 2), Lisetta is the wife of a wealthy Venetian merchant and Friar Alberto’s lover. Her character both satirizes Venetians (trade rivals of the Florentines) as gullible, talkative, and… read analysis of Lisetta

Ninetta

In Lauretta’s fourth tale (IV, 3), Ninetta is the older sister to Maddalena and Bertella and the lover of Restagnone. She runs away with him, her sisters, and their lovers to Crete, but… read analysis of Ninetta

Maddalena

In Lauretta’s fourth tale (IV, 3), Maddalena and her twin Bertella are the younger sisters of Ninetta. She runs away to Crete with her lover Folco and her sisters. After Ninetta murders Restagnoneread analysis of Maddalena

Bertella

In Lauretta’s fourth tale (IV, 3), Bertella and her twin Maddalena are the younger sisters of Ninetta. She runs away to Crete with them and her lover, Ughetto. But after the murders… read analysis of Bertella

Restagnone

In Lauretta’s fourth tale (IV, 3), Restagnone is a nobleman by birth, but his family has fallen into poverty. He plans to enrich himself and run away with his lover, Ninetta, recruiting Folcoread analysis of Restagnone

Folco

In Lauretta’s fourth tale (IV, 3), Folco is a wealthy young man in love with Maddalena. He pools his wealth with Restagnone and Ughetto and runs away with them to Crete. But when… read analysis of Folco

Ughetto

In Lauretta’s fourth tale (IV, 3), Ughetto is the wealthy young man who loves Bertella. He pools his wealth with Restagnone and Folco and lives happily in Crete until he and Bertella are… read analysis of Ughetto

William the Second

Based on a historical 12th-century king of Sicily, William the Second appears in Elissa’s fourth tale (IV, 4) as Gerbino’s grandfather. When Gerbino fails to respect the official promise William gave the Kingread analysis of William the Second

Gerbino

Gerbino is the entirely fictional grandson and heir of William the Second of Sicily and protagonist of Elissa’s fourth tale (IV, 4). He loves the Tunisian Princess according to the dictates of fin’amorsread analysis of Gerbino

Tunisian Princess

The Tunisian Princess of Elissa’s fourth tale (IV, 4) is one of the day’s unlucky lovers. Her reputation causes Gerbino to fall in love with her from afar, and she falls in love with… read analysis of Tunisian Princess

Lisabetta

In Filomena’s fourth tale (IV, 5), Lisabetta is the daughter of a wealthy merchant. After their father’s death, Lisabetta’s Brothers fail to find her a suitable husband—demonstrating the power men hold over female sexuality… read analysis of Lisabetta

Lisabetta’s Brothers

Lisabetta’s Brothers appear in Filomena’s fourth tale (IV, 5) as the agents of Lisabetta’s unlucky love affair. They initially fail to find her a suitable husband, then they murder her bourgeois lover, Lorenzoread analysis of Lisabetta’s Brothers

Negro de Pontecarraro

Negro de Pontecarraro is a nobleman and the father of Andreuola in Panfilo’s fourth tale (IV, 6). He is kind and loving towards his daughter and participates in The Decameron’s argument that class… read analysis of Negro de Pontecarraro

Andreuola

In Panfilo’s fourth tale (IV, 6), Andreuola is the daughter of Negro de Pontecarraro. She and Gabriotto have secretly married, but she becomes an unlucky lover when he unexpectedly dies. She preserves her… read analysis of Andreuola

Simona

Simona appears in Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7), where she is a working-class woman who falls in love with the similarly poor Pasquino. Their tragic affair—both die of poisoning—aligns with the day’s theme… read analysis of Simona

Pasquino

In Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7), Pasquino’s job as the porter of a wool-merchant introduces him to one of the spinners, Simona, who becomes his lover. He demonstrates the sometimes-cruel fortune that falls… read analysis of Pasquino

Stramba

In Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7) Stramba’s proper name is Puccino, but he goes by his nickname, which means “Dotty Joe” (a.k.a. “Weirdo”). He is Pasquino’s friend and Ligina’s lover and is… read analysis of Stramba

Atticciato

Atticciato appears in Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7), as a friend of Pasquino and Stramba. His name means “Potbelly,” contributing to the tale’s seedy atmosphere. Along with Stramba and Malagevole, he agitates… read analysis of Atticciato

Malagevole

Malagevole appears in Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7) as a friend of Pasquino and Atticciato. His name means “Killjoy,” contributing to the tale’s seedy atmosphere. Along with Stramba and Atticciato, he agitates for… read analysis of Malagevole

Guccio Imbratta

Guccio Imbratta appears in Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7) and Dioneo’s sixth (VI, 10). In Emilia’s tale, he is friends with Pasquino, Stramba, Atticciato, and Malagevole, and assists in… read analysis of Guccio Imbratta

Girolamo

In Neifile’s fourth tale (IV, 8), Girolamo is the son of a wealthy Florentine merchant. In his youth, he falls in love with the daughter of a local tailor, Salvestra. But because she… read analysis of Girolamo

Salvestra

Salvestra appears in Neifile’s fourth tale (IV, 8), as the daughter of a Florentine tailor. Her childhood friendship with Girolamo blossoms into love, but when he goes away to Paris for several years, she… read analysis of Salvestra

Girolamo’s Mother

In Neifile’s fourth tale (IV, 8), Girolamo’s mother’s class consciousness makes her reject Girolamo’s love for the lowly Salvestra. When chiding and punishment fail, she resorts to subterfuge to send him away… read analysis of Girolamo’s Mother

Guillaume de Roussillon

In Filostrato’s fourth tale (IV, 9), Guillaume de Roussillon is a Provencal knight. When he discovers that his best friend, Guillaume de Cabestanh, is having an affair with his wife, he becomes one… read analysis of Guillaume de Roussillon

Guillaume de Cabestanh

In Filostrato’s fourth tale (IV, 9), Guillaume de Cabestanh is a Provencal knight. He is best friends with Guillaume de Roussillon, at least until Roussillon discovers that he has been having an affair… read analysis of Guillaume de Cabestanh

Roussillon’s Wife

In Filostrato’s fourth tale (IV, 9), Roussillon’s Wife follows the dictates of fin’amors when she falls in love with her husband’s best friend, Guillaume de Cabestanh, because of his gallantry and nobility. When… read analysis of Roussillon’s Wife

Mazzeo della Montagna

Mazzeo della Montagna appears in Dioneo’s fourth tale (IV, 10). Based on a historical, 14th-century physician, Mazzeo is a respected doctor who marries a young and beautiful woman (Mazzeo’s Wife), whom he… read analysis of Mazzeo della Montagna

Mazzeo’s Wife

In Dioneo’s fourth tale (IV, 10), Mazzeo della Montagna marries Mazzeo’s Wife. Because she is young, pretty, and high-spirited, she is disappointed by his sexual inadequacies and takes Ruggieri d’Aieroli as her lover. In… read analysis of Mazzeo’s Wife

Ruggieri d’Aieroli

In Dioneo’s fourth tale (IV, 10), Ruggieri d’Aieroli becomes the lover of Mazzeo’s Wife. Although he is a member of the aristocracy, his disreputable character has left him isolated from friends and family… read analysis of Ruggieri d’Aieroli

Trusted Maid

In Dioneo’s fourth tale (IV, 10), the Trusted Maid serves Mazzeo’s Wife faithfully and helps her conduct her affair with Ruggieri d’Aieroli. She helps her mistress dispose of his body when they think… read analysis of Trusted Maid

Money-lenders

When Ruggieri d’Aieroli renders himself accidentally unconscious in Dioneo’s fourth tale (IV, 10), Mazzeo’s Wife and the Trusted Maid hide his body in a chest which these two Money-lenders subsequently steal. Conforming to medieval… read analysis of Money-lenders

Aristippus

In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Aristippus is a Cypriot nobleman whose fortune includes having the boorish and rude Cimon among his many children. He shows himself to be less noble than his newly… read analysis of Aristippus

Cimon

In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Cimon is the son of Aristippus. Despite his noble birth, he’s uneducated, rude, and barely articulate. But, when he catches sight of the beautiful Iphigenia, he… read analysis of Cimon

Iphigenia

In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Iphigenia is Cimon’s love interest, even though she is betrothed to Pasimondas of Rhodes. She represents the power of female beauty by which Cimon is ennobled, and… read analysis of Iphigenia

Lysimachus

In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Lysimachus is the chief magistrate of Rhodes, who imprisons Cimon for attempting to kidnap Iphigenia, because her fiancée, Pasimondas, is one of Lysimachus’s citizens. But because… read analysis of Lysimachus

Cassandra

In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Cassandra is betrothed to Pasimondas’s brother, Ormisdas. But because she is the love interest of Lysimachus, he kills her fiancée and carries her off on… read analysis of Cassandra

Gostanza

Gostanza appears in Emilia’s fifth tale (V, 2). She is a beautiful young noblewoman whose parents won’t allow her to marry Martuccio Gomito because he is poor. When she believes that he has drowned… read analysis of Gostanza

Martuccio Gomito

In Emilia’s fifth tale (V, 2), Martuccio Gomito is a handsome and well-mannered young man who is nevertheless too poor to be accepted as a potential husband for Gostanza. He turns to piracy… read analysis of Martuccio Gomito

Carapresa

Carapresa appears in Emilia’s fifth tale (V, 2). A poor Sicilian woman, she lives in Tunisia and rescues Gostanza when her boat washes ashore. Her name means “precious gain” and she represents renewed hope… read analysis of Carapresa

Pietro Boccamazza

Pietro Boccamazza is the bumbling hero of Elissa’s fifth tale (V, 3). A young man who belongs to an illustrious Roman family, he plans to elope with Agnolella when his family refuses to allow… read analysis of Pietro Boccamazza

Agnolella

Agnolella is the beautiful and charming woman whom Pietro Boccamazza loves in Elissa’s fifth tale (V, 3). She shows more attention and quicker wit than Pietro when she’s able to escape an attack on… read analysis of Agnolella

Ancient Man

In Elissa’s fifth tale (V, 3), the Ancient Man and his wife, the Ancient Woman, live in the forest where Pietro and Agnolella get lost. He and his wife shelter Agnolella even though… read analysis of Ancient Man

Ancient Woman

In Elissa’s fifth tale (V, 3), the Ancient Woman and her husband, the Ancient Man, live in the forest where Pietro and Agnolella get lost. They shelter Agnolella even though she must rely… read analysis of Ancient Woman

Lizio da Valbona

Lizio da Valbona, husband of Giacomina and father of Caterina, appears in Filostrato’s fifth tale (V, 4). He is a nobleman with a generous and virtuous reputation, although his advanced age inclines him… read analysis of Lizio da Valbona

Caterina

In Filostrato’s fifth tale (V, 4), Caterina is born to Lizio da Valbona and Giacomina as her father is reaching old age. She falls in love with her neighbor, Ricciardo de’ Manardi, and… read analysis of Caterina

Ricciardo de’ Manardi

Appearing in Filostrato’s fifth tale (V, 4), Ricciardo de’ Manardi is a neighbor of Lizio da Valbona, his wife Giacomina, and their daughter Caterina. Although Lizio and Giacomina think of him… read analysis of Ricciardo de’ Manardi

Guidotto da Cremona

Guidotto da Cremona appears in Neifile’s fifth tale (V, 5), where he is an aging Lombard knight. During a period of civil disorder, he rescued Agnesa while plundering houses with Guiglielmino da Medicinaread analysis of Guidotto da Cremona

Giacomino da Pavia

Giacomino da Pavia appears in Neifile’s fifth tale (V, 5), as the good friend of Guidotto da Cremona who assumes responsibility for Agnesa after his friend’s death. He brings her back to her hometown… read analysis of Giacomino da Pavia

Agnesa

In Neifile’s fifth tale (V, 5), Agnesa was rescued from her home by Guidotto da Cremona at the age of two, during a period of civil disorder. He raised her as his own, giving… read analysis of Agnesa

Minghino di Mingole

Minghino di Mingole is one of Agnesa’s admirers in Neifile’s fifth tale, and he fiercely fights with Giannole di Severino over her. Of the two, he seems to be a better suitor, cultivating… read analysis of Minghino di Mingole

Restituta

In Pampinea’s fifth tale (V, 6), Restituta is the beautiful daughter of nobleman Marin Bòlgaro. She loves a young man named Gianni but has kept him at bay because she wants to preserve her… read analysis of Restituta

Gianni

In Pampinea’s fifth tale (V, 6), Gianni is Restituta’s admirer. He demonstrates his bravery and fidelity when he immediately sets out to rescue her from pirates, and he is rewarded for his devotion… read analysis of Gianni

King Frederick

King Frederick of Sicily appears in Pampinea’s fifth tale (V, 6). He has a taste for beautiful women, so he receives Restituta as a gift from pirates. He is outraged to discover his “property”… read analysis of King Frederick

Amerigo Abate

In Lauretta’s fifth tale (V, 7), Amerigo Abate is a wealthy Sicilian gentleman and father of Violante. Although he’s impressed enough with the good breeding of his allegedly Turkish slave Teodoro to grant… read analysis of Amerigo Abate

Teodoro (Pietro)

In Lauretta’s fifth tale (V, 7), Teodoro is the son of Phineas, an Armenian nobleman. But when he’s kidnapped as a child, he’s erroneously sold to Amerigo Abate as a slave. Nevertheless, his… read analysis of Teodoro (Pietro)

Violante

Violante appears in Lauretta’s fifth tale (V, 7) as Amerigo Abate’s daughter and Teodoro’s lover and eventual wife. She embodies misogynistic fears about women’s weak wills when she reveals her lover to… read analysis of Violante

Nastagio degli Onesti

In Filomena’s fifth tale (V, 8), Nastagio degli Onesti is a young nobleman who loves Paolo’s Daughter despite her haughty disdain. When he sees a vision detailing the punishment of another cruel lady, he… read analysis of Nastagio degli Onesti

Paolo’s Daughter

Paolo’s Daughter appears, along with her father, Paolo Traversari, and her admirer, Nastagio degli Onesti, in Filomena’s fifth tale (V, 8). Filomena implies that her pride and vanity make her spurn Nastagio’s… read analysis of Paolo’s Daughter

Guido degli Anastagi

Guido degli Anastagi appears as the knight of Nastagio degli Onesti’s vision in Filomena’s fifth tale (V, 8). When the lady he loved refused his attentions, he earned eternal damnation by committing suicide… read analysis of Guido degli Anastagi

Coppo di Borghese Domenichi

Coppo di Borghese Domenichi appears in the introduction to Fiammetta’s fifth tale (V, 9). Coppo was a historical Florentine statesman whom Giovanni Boccaccio knew and admired. His brief biography in this tale illustrates the… read analysis of Coppo di Borghese Domenichi

Federigo

Federigo, a young Florentine nobleman in love with Giovanna, appears in Fiammetta’s fifth tale (V, 9). Because Giovanna is married and wants to preserve her chastity, she spurns his advances, and he spends… read analysis of Federigo

Giovanna

Giovanna, the object of Federigo’s affections, appears in Fiammetta’s fifth tale (V, 9). She spurns his advances while her husband is alive to preserve her honor. But when she’s left a young widow… read analysis of Giovanna

Pietro di Vinciolo

Pietro di Vinciolo appears in Dioneo’s fifth tale (V, 10). He marries Pietro’s Wife, a lusty young woman, either despite his homosexual desires, or to draw attention from them. Although he shows no… read analysis of Pietro di Vinciolo

Pietro’s Wife

The unsatisfied wife of Pietro di Vinciolo, Pietro’s Wife appears in Dioneo’s fifth tale (V, 10). She is a redheaded (lustful) young woman who begins a series of affairs with men provided by… read analysis of Pietro’s Wife

Beldam

The Beldam appears in Dioneo’s fifth tale (V, 10), where she uses her saintly reputation and old age as cover for the fact that she’s a bawd who sets up affairs for dissatisfied wives. She… read analysis of Beldam

Ercolano

In Dioneo’s fifth tale (V, 10), Ercolano is Pietro di Vinciolo’s friend. Their dinner is interrupted when Ercolano catches his wife’s lover hiding in a closet. He thus provides a foil or contrast… read analysis of Ercolano

Madonna Oretta

Madonna Oretta appears in Filomena’s sixth tale (VI, 1). A Florentine noblewoman with a reputation for conversational wit and good breeding, she exemplifies these traits when she gently teases a knight for telling her… read analysis of Madonna Oretta

Cisti

Cisti is the protagonist of Pampinea’s sixth tale (VI, 2). He is a working-class Florentine baker, although he has become quite wealthy and has an inherent nobility of character. He demonstrates both this nobility… read analysis of Cisti

Antonio d’Orso

Based on a historical bishop who was a near contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, Antonio d’Orso appears in Lauretta’s sixth tale (VI, 3), where he hosts Catalan nobleman and scoundrel Dego della Ratta. He… read analysis of Antonio d’Orso

Dego della Ratta

Based on a historical Catalan nobleman and near contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, in Lauretta’s sixth tale (VI, 3) Dego della Ratta appears as a known womanizer, who buys the sexual favors of Antonio d’Orsoread analysis of Dego della Ratta

Nonna de’ Pulci

In Lauretta’s sixth tale (VI, 3), Nonna de’ Pulci is a Florentine woman whom many of the brigata knew before she died in the outbreak of the plague. When she was a newlywed, Antonioread analysis of Nonna de’ Pulci

Currado Gianfigliazzi

The character of Currado Gianfigliazzi in Neifile’s sixth tale (VI, 4) is based on a historical near contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio who belonged to a Florentine banking family. Renowned for generosity in his lifetime… read analysis of Currado Gianfigliazzi

Madonna Filippa

In Filostrato’s sixth tale (VI, 7), Madonna Filippa is the wife of Rinaldo de’ Pugliesi and the lover of her husband’s sworn enemy, Lazzarino de’ Guazzagliotri. When Rinaldo catches her with Lazzarino, he has… read analysis of Madonna Filippa

Rinaldo de’ Pugliesi

In Filostrato’s sixth tale (VI, 7), Rinaldo de’ Pugliesi has his wife, Madonna Filippa, charged with adultery after he finds her in the arms of his sworn enemy, Lazzarino de’ Guazzagliotri. Like… read analysis of Rinaldo de’ Pugliesi

Cesca

In Emilia’s sixth tale (VI, 8), Cesca is the spoiled niece of Fresco da Celatico. Cesca is an unflattering caricature of a stuck-up, unintelligent, and impatient girl. In a day of tales that… read analysis of Cesca

Betto Brunelleschi

Betto Brunelleschi appears in Elissa’s sixth story (VI, 9), drawn from a historical Florentine politician who was friends with Dante Alighieri and Guido Cavalcanti and the poet Dante. In The Decameron, Betto is… read analysis of Betto Brunelleschi

Guido Cavalcanti

Guido Cavalcanti, a Florentine philosopher and poet who was a contemporary and friend of Dante Alighieri and who died shortly before Giovanni Boccaccio was born, appears as a character in Elissa’s sixth tale (VI… read analysis of Guido Cavalcanti

Friar Cipolla

Friar Cipolla (whose name means “Onion”) is the protagonist of Dioneo’s sixth tale (VI, 10). He belongs to the order of St. Anthony’s Hospitallers, and he travels around with his servant Guccio Imbrattaread analysis of Friar Cipolla

Gianni Lotteringhi

In Emilia’s seventh tale (VII, 1), Gianni Lotteringhi is a wealthy Florentine master-weaver. He is simple and devout and frequently entertains holy men in his home. He is susceptible to the trick his wife… read analysis of Gianni Lotteringhi

Monna Tessa

In Emilia’s seventh tale (VII, 1), Monna Tessa is the unsatisfied wife of Gianni Lotteringhi. She takes Federigo di Neri Pegolotti as a lover and demonstrates the quick wit of Day VII’s tricky… read analysis of Monna Tessa

Peronella’s Husband

In Filostrato’s seventh tale (VII, 2), Peronella’s husband is a poor bricklayer married to Peronella. He becomes the victim of his wife’s trick when he comes home unexpectedly one day while she is… read analysis of Peronella’s Husband

Peronella

In Filostrato’s seventh tale (VII, 2), Peronella is a poor spinner married to Peronella’s Husband, although she has taken Giannello Scrignario as her lover. When her husband comes home unexpectedly, she demonstrates both… read analysis of Peronella

Giannello Scrignario

The name of Peronella’s lover, Giannello Scrignario, comes from a historical person who was living in Naples during Giovanni Boccaccio’s lifetime, but about whom little else is known. In Filostrato’s seventh tale (VII… read analysis of Giannello Scrignario

Friar Rinaldo

In Elissa’s seventh tale (VII, 3), Rinaldo is a Sienese gentleman who falls in love with his neighbor’s wife and insinuates himself into the family by becoming their son’s godfather. As her lover, he… read analysis of Friar Rinaldo

Tofano

Tofano is the unlucky and bamboozled husband at the center of Lauretta’s seventh tale (VII, 4). His wife, Ghita, tricks him twice: first by taking advantage of his immoderate consumption of wine to… read analysis of Tofano

Ghita

Ghita is Tofano’s wife in Lauretta’s seventh tale (VII, 4) and one of the day’s devious wives. Her husband’s unreasonable jealousy inspires her to take a lover, and she takes advantage of his… read analysis of Ghita

Jealous Merchant

In Fiammetta’s seventh tale (VII, 5), the Jealous Merchant is an example of immoderation. He protects the Jealous Merchant’s Wife so fiercely that he won’t even let her go near the windows, and when… read analysis of Jealous Merchant

Jealous Merchant’s Wife

In Fiammetta’s seventh tale (VII, 5), the Jealous Merchant’s Wife is a level-headed and clever woman who sees through the Jealous Merchant’s priestly disguise and turns his attempt to spy on her into… read analysis of Jealous Merchant’s Wife

Isabella

Madonna Isabella appears in Pampinea’s seventh tale (VII, 6). She is a Florentine noblewoman who has grown tired of Isabella’s Husband and has two lovers: Leonetto, whom she loves, and Lambertuccio, who… read analysis of Isabella

Leonetto

In Pampinea’s seventh tale (VII, 6), Leonetto is an accomplished and agreeable man despite his humble origins. He is evidence for The Decameron’s claim that character is more important than wealth and status… read analysis of Leonetto

Lambertuccio

In Pampinea’s seventh tale (VII, 6), Lambertuccio is a Florentine gentleman who loves Isabella and forces her to have sex with him by threatening to ruin her reputation if she refuses; she subsequently employs… read analysis of Lambertuccio

Anichino (Lodovico)

Anichino (Lodovico) appears in Filomena’s seventh tale (VII, 7). Raised in the French royal household, Anichino displays nobility of character when he falls in love from afar (amor du lonh) with the… read analysis of Anichino (Lodovico)

Beatrice

In Filomena’s seventh tale (VII, 7), Madonna Beatrice is the beautiful wife of Egano de’ Galluzzi and the lover of Anichino. Her beauty is so incredible that just descriptions of her are enough… read analysis of Beatrice

Egano de’ Galluzzi

In Filomena’s seventh tale (VII, 7), Egano de’ Galluzzi is a nobleman married to Madonna Beatrice. He employs Anichino as a servant, and when Anichino and Beatrice become lovers, he falls victim to… read analysis of Egano de’ Galluzzi

Arriguccio Berlinghieri

Arriguccio Berlinghieri appears in Neifile’s seventh tale (VII, 8) as the husband of Monna Sismonda. He is a social climber who married a noblewoman to break into aristocratic circles after becoming rich as… read analysis of Arriguccio Berlinghieri

Monna Sismonda

In Neifile’s seventh tale (VII, 8), Sismonda is Arriguccio Berlinghieri’s wife and Ruberto’s lover. She demonstrates quick wit when she avoids Arriguccio’s wrathful punishment on discovering her means of communicating with her… read analysis of Monna Sismonda

Nicostratos

In Panfilo’s seventh tale (VII, 9), Nicostratos is a noble lord of ancient Greece who marries Lydia in his old age. He thus exemplifies the senex amans (old lover), along with Ricciardo de Chinzicaread analysis of Nicostratos

Lydia

In Panfilo’s seventh tale (VII, 9), Lydia is the young and beautiful wife of Nicostratos. When she falls in love with their servant, Pyrrhus, he sets her three difficult tasks to win his… read analysis of Lydia

Tingoccio Mini

In Dioneo’s seventh tale (VII, 10), Tingoccio Mini is a young man living in Siena. He is best friends with Meuccio di Tura, the godfather of Mita and Ambruogio Anselmini’s child, and… read analysis of Tingoccio Mini

Meuccio di Tura

In Dioneo’s seventh tale (VII, 10), Meuccio di Tura is a young man living in Siena who is friends with Tingoccio Mini and an admirer of Mita. He represents the excessive credulity of… read analysis of Meuccio di Tura

Madonna Ambruogia

In Neifile’s eighth tale (VIII, 1), Ambruogia is the wife of wealthy merchant Guasparruolo Cagastraccio. She asks Gulfardo to pay for her sexual favors, demonstrating the greediness of women who are willing to… read analysis of Madonna Ambruogia

Worthy Priest

In Panfilo’s eighth tale (VIII, 2), the Worthy Priest cares for the souls of a small country hamlet. He’s not very educated but keeps his parishioners entertained with fun sermons and their wives from… read analysis of Worthy Priest

Belcolore

In Panfilo’s eighth tale (VIII, 2), Monna Belcolore is the wife of Bentivegna del Mazzo and the object of the Worthy Priest’s affections because she seductively drives the men wild when she plays the… read analysis of Belcolore

Calandrino

Calandrino appears in four of The Decameron’s stories: Elissa’s eighth (VIII, 3), Filomena’s eighth (VIII, 6), Filostrato’s ninth (IX, 3), and Fiammetta’s ninth (IX, 5). “Calandrino” was the nickname of… read analysis of Calandrino

Bruno

Bruno appears in five of The Decameron’s tales told by Elissa (VIII, 3), Filomena (VIII, 6), Lauretta (VIII, 9), Filostrato (IX, 3), and Fiammetta (IX, 5). Unlike his friends, Buffalmacco and Calandrino, he… read analysis of Bruno

Buffalmacco

Like Calandrino and unlike Bruno, Buffalmacco is based on a Florentine painter. He appears in tales told by Elissa (VIII, 3), Filomena (VII, 6), Lauretta (VIII, 9), Filostrato (IX, 3), and Fiammetta (IX, 5)… read analysis of Buffalmacco

Maso del Saggio

Maso del Saggio appears in two of The Decameron’s tales: Elissa’s eighth (VIII, 3) and Filostrato’s eighth (VIII, 5). Like Calandrino and Buffalmacco, he is based on a well-known Florentine prankster… read analysis of Maso del Saggio

Piccarda

Monna Piccarda is a widow and the love interest of the Provost in Emilia’s eighth tale (VIII, 4). She is young, lovely, and clever. When the Provost won’t accept her gentle “no” for an… read analysis of Piccarda

Provost

In Emilia’s eighth tale (VIII, 4), the Provost is the priest who falls in love with Monna Piccarda. Because he continues to pursue her even after she’s made her disinterest clear, she and… read analysis of Provost

Niccola da San Lepidio

A judge brought to Florence by one of its avaricious and miserly chief magistrates, Niccola da San Lepidio is the victim of a prank played by Maso del Saggio, Ribi, and Matteuzzo in… read analysis of Niccola da San Lepidio

Elena

In Pampinea’s eighth tale (VIII, 7), Elena is a young and lovely widow who has taken a lover instead of remarrying and who becomes the object of scholar Rinieri’s affections. She is vain… read analysis of Elena

Rinieri

Rinieri is the protagonist of Pampinea’s eighth tale (VIII, 7). A Florentine who went to Paris to achieve a university education, he falls in love with Elena on his return. After she tricks and… read analysis of Rinieri

Zeppa di Mino

Zeppa di Mino appears in Fiammetta’s eighth tale (VIII, 8) as a wealthy young Sienese man who is best friends and neighbors with Spinelloccio Tavena. When he catches Zeppa’s Wife sleeping with Spinelloccio… read analysis of Zeppa di Mino

Simone da Villa

In Lauretta’s eighth tale (VIII, 9), Simone da Villa is the victim of one of Bruno and Buffalmacco’s tricks. He reappears in Filostrato’s ninth tale (IX, 3), where he helps Bruno, Buffalmacco… read analysis of Simone da Villa

Salabaetto

Salabaetto is the nickname of Niccolò da Cignano, a Florentine merchant who appears in Dioneo’s eighth tale (VIII, 10). His name appears to belong to a historical person who was an active merchant in… read analysis of Salabaetto

Jancofiore

Madonna Jancofiore appears in Dioneo’s eighth tale (VIII, 10). Like the Sicilian Woman (II, 5), she is a very beautiful conwoman living in Sicily who scams Salabaetto out of his money, demonstrating the power… read analysis of Jancofiore

Francesca de’ Lazzari

In Filomena’s ninth tale (IX, 1), Francesca de’ Lazzari is a young and beautiful widow of Pistoria who wants to rid herself of her two admirers, Rinuccio Palermini and Alessandro Chiarmontesi. But to… read analysis of Francesca de’ Lazzari

Sister Isabetta

In Elissa’s ninth tale (IX, 2), Sister Isabetta is a young nun who frequently consorts with her lover in her cell at the convent. When she’s caught in the act by jealous and suspicious… read analysis of Sister Isabetta

Abbess Usimbalda

In Elissa’s ninth tale (IX, 2), Abbess Usimbalda runs the convent where Sister Isabetta lives. She sneaks her lover into the convent frequently, despite her pious reputation. She’s caught when she accidentally puts her… read analysis of Abbess Usimbalda

Cecco Angiulieri

The Cecco Angiulieri who appears in Neifile’s ninth tale (IX, 4), is based on a late 13th-century poet who knew Cecco Fortarrigo. In The Decameron, he is a handsome and chivalrous young… read analysis of Cecco Angiulieri

Cecco Fortarrigo

The Cecco Fortarrigo who appears in Neifile’s ninth tale (IX, 4), is based on a historical person to whom Cecco Angiulieri dedicated two of his sonnets in the late 13th century. In The Decameronread analysis of Cecco Fortarrigo

Bachelor Filippo

In Fiammetta’s ninth story (IX, 5), Bachelor Filippo is the son of the man who is building the villa where Bruno, Buffalmacco, Calandrino, and Nello are painting. It’s his prostitute, Niccolosaread analysis of Bachelor Filippo

Niccolosa

In Fiammetta’s ninth story (IX, 5), Niccolosa is a Florentine prostitute who entertains Bachelor Filippo at his father’s country estate. When Calandrino falls in love with her, she joins Filippo and Bruno, Buffalmaccoread analysis of Niccolosa

Host’s Wife

In Panfilo’s ninth tale (IX, 6), the Host’s Wife lives with the Host, Miss Niccolosa, and her infant in a small home outside of Florence. When the tale’s bed-switching ensues, she enjoys… read analysis of Host’s Wife

Corso Donati

Corso Donati appears in Lauretta’s ninth tale (IX, 8), as one of the wealthy Florentines who support the lifestyles of mooches like Biondello and Ciacco. The character is based on a real Florentine… read analysis of Corso Donati

Melissus

In Emilia’s ninth tale (IX, 9), Melissus is a nobleman who spends money trying—unsuccessfully—to get people to like him. He befriends Joseph on the road to Jerusalem to seek Solomon’s wisdom. He illustrates the… read analysis of Melissus

Joseph

In Emilia’s ninth tale (IX, 9), Joseph is a man who is married to the stubborn and disobedient Joseph’s Wife. He befriends Melissus on the way to Jerusalem to ask Solomon how to… read analysis of Joseph

Joseph’s Wife

In Emilia’s ninth tale (IX, 9), Joseph’s Wife is a willful and disobedient woman who ignores her husband Joseph. She is a misogynistic stereotype of the disobedient and argumentative wife, and the tale… read analysis of Joseph’s Wife

Father Gianni

In Dioneo’s ninth tale (IX, 10), Father Gianni is an Apulian priest who supplements his church wages by becoming a small-time trader. He befriends Neighbor Pietro and his wife Gemmata. When he has… read analysis of Father Gianni

Gemmata

In Dioneo’s ninth tale (IX, 10), Gemmata is the very young and very beautiful wife of Neighbor Pietro. She wants Father Gianni to teach them magic so they can increase their wealth; her… read analysis of Gemmata

Ruggieri de’ Figiovanni

Ruggieri de’ Figiovanni appears in Neifile’s tenth tale (X, 1). He is a Florentine nobleman of great courage who travels to serve in the court of King Alphonso of Spain. When he feels that… read analysis of Ruggieri de’ Figiovanni

Ghino di Tacco

Ghino di Tacco appears as the protagonist of Elissa’s tenth tale (X, 2). The character is based on a historical Sienese nobleman who was exiled in the late 13th century and who had a… read analysis of Ghino di Tacco

Nathan

Nathan is the protagonist of Filostrato’s tenth tale (X, 3). He is a wealthy nobleman living in the East who builds a splendid palace from which to generously share hospitality and wealth with travelers… read analysis of Nathan

Mithridanes

Mithridanes is the antagonist of Filostrato’s tenth tale (X, 3) in contrast to the generous Nathan. Mithridanes is younger than Nathan and, like Melissus (IX, 9), wishes to become famous for his generosity… read analysis of Mithridanes

Gentile de’ Carisendi

Gentile de’ Carisendi is the generous protagonist of Lauretta’s tenth tale (X, 4). When he accidentally discovers that his beloved Madonna Catalina is not as dead as her family thinks, he rescues her and… read analysis of Gentile de’ Carisendi

Ansaldo Gradense

Ansaldo Gradense is Madonna Dianora’s admirer in Elissa’s tenth tale (X, 5). He cheats by hiring a Magician to help him fulfill the impossible condition she sets him but is generously willing to… read analysis of Ansaldo Gradense

King Charles

Based on the historical, 13th-century king of Naples and Sicily, in Fiammetta’s tenth tale (X, 6), King Charles visits Neri degli Uberti to see his beautiful garden, where he becomes enamored of Neri’s… read analysis of King Charles

Neri degli Uberti

In Fiammetta’s tenth tale (X, 6), Neri degli Uberti is expelled from Florence by King Charles. He takes his family, including twin daughters Ginevra and Isotta, to the country where he builds… read analysis of Neri degli Uberti

Lisa

In Pampinea’s tenth tale (X, 6), Lisa is the bourgeois daughter of Bernardo Puccini who falls hopelessly in love with King Peter of Aragon. When she surreptitiously informs him of her feelings, her circumspection… read analysis of Lisa

Titus Quintus Fulvius

Titus Quintus Fulvius appears in Filomena’s tenth tale (X, 8), where he is a noble Roman youth and brother of Fulvia. When he travels to Athens to study, he becomes best friends with… read analysis of Titus Quintus Fulvius

Gisippus

Gisippus, son of Chremes, is Titus Quintus Fulvius’s best friend in Filomena’s tenth tale (X, 8). He demonstrates both generosity and the power of friendship when he helps Titus to secretly marry… read analysis of Gisippus

Sophronia

In Filomena’s tenth tale (X, 8), Sophronia is Gisippus’s fiancée, but she unknowingly becomes Titus Quintus Fulvius’s wife when the friends agree to trade places (since Titus is hopelessly in love with… read analysis of Sophronia

Torello

Torello appears in Panfilo’s tenth tale (X, 9), as the Italian nobleman who, along with his wife Adalieta, generously entertains Saladin when the Muslim leader is traveling through Europe in disguise. His instinctive… read analysis of Torello

Adalieta

In Panfilo’s tenth tale (X, 9), Adalieta is the faithful and “princely” wife of Torello. She is a paragon of feminine fidelity, loving and honoring her husband’s wishes even after he appears to… read analysis of Adalieta

Gualtieri

In Dioneo’s tenth tale (X, 10), Gualtieri is the Marquis of Saluzzo. A confirmed bachelor, he marries Griselda under duress and proceeds to test her fidelity and obedience with sadistic acts like pretending to… read analysis of Gualtieri

Griselda

In Dioneo’s tenth tale (X, 10), Griselda is the low-born, patient, and obedient daughter of Giannùcole and wife of Gualtieri. She is a caricature of wifely obedience—of the kind Margarita (IX, 7) and… read analysis of Griselda
Minor Characters
Parmeno
Parmeno is Dioneo’s servant, whom Pampinea appoints as the group’s steward. Like the rest of the servants, his name comes from classical Roman dramas—emphasizing the ahistorical aspects of the brigata’s time in the countryside—and it means “to stand beside,” essentially indicating his servile status.
Stratilia
Stratilia is Fiammetta’s maid, assigned with Chimera to chambermaid duties by Pampinea. Like the rest of the servants, she has a name drawn from classical Roman drama.
Jehannot de Chevigny
Jehannot de Chevigny appears in Neifile’s first tale (I, 2). He is a wealthy Parisian merchant who works hard to convert his friend, Jewish moneylender Abraham, to Christianity.
Guiglielmo Borsiere
Guiglielmo Borsiere appears in Lauretta’s first tale (I, 8) as the epitome of a refined and effective courtier. He visits Ermino de’ Grimaldi and corrects his miserly tendencies without causing the nobleman shame or embarrassment.
Stecchi
The character of Stecchi appears in Neifile’s second tale (II, 1), based on a historical Florentine clown who was renowned for his impersonations. Accompanied by Marchese and Martellino, Stecchi visits Treviso and views the body of the saintly Arrigo lying in the cathedral.
Marchese
The character of Marchese appears in Neifile’s second tale (II, 1) as the companion of Stecchi and Martellino, with whom he visits Treviso and views the body of the saintly Arrigo lying in the cathedral.
Guasparrino d’Oria
In Emilia’s second tale (II, 6), Guasparrino d’Oria is a Genoese merchant-pirate whose share of his ship’s booty includes Guisfredi (Giannotto) and The Outcast as slaves. Initially an agent of their ill fortune, he apologizes for enslaving The Outcast by offering him a daughter in marriage.
Beminedab
In Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), Beminedab is the Sultan of Babylon in Panfilo’s tale (II, 7). Among his many children is the world’s most beautiful woman, Alatiel, whom he sends to marry his ally, the King of Algarve, in thanks for military assistance.
The King of Algarve
The King of Algarve appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7) as an ally of Sultan Beminedab. He asks for Alatiel as a reward for his military aid. He’s part of the exchange of an objectified Alatiel, since he marries her after her many years of wandering.
Pericone de Visalgo
Pericone appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7) as Alatiel’s first lover. When Alatiel is shipwrecked on the Spanish coast, he rescues her and ultimately resorts to trickery to convince her to become his lover. He’s murdered by his brother, Marato.
Marato
Pericone’s brother Marato, who appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), also loves Alatiel. He murders Pericone and kidnaps Alatiel as his own but is in turn murdered by the two Young Masters of their escape ship.
Curiaci
Curiaci appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), where he is the Prince of Morea’s most trusted servant. He helps the Duke of Athens murder the Prince and is murdered for his trouble. The discovery of his body reveals the murders to the people of Corinth.
Emperor of Constantinople
In Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), the Emperor of Constantinople is the Duke of Athens’ father-in-law, the father of Constant, and the grandfather of Manuel. When Constant is kidnapped by the Turks (because he has Alatiel), The Emperor of Constantinople and his allies go to war against them.
Manuel
Manuel appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7), where he is Constant’s nephew and the grandson of the Emperor of Constantinople. Manuel assumes his uncle’s responsibilities, allowing him to kidnap Alatiel and flee to Turkey.
Cypriot Merchant
The Cypriot Merchant appears in Panfilo’s second tale (II, 7) as a friend of Antioco and as Alatiel’s last lover.
Sultan of Alexandria
The Sultan of Alexandria appears in Filomena’s second tale (II, 9), where Sicurano da Finale (Zinerva) is his trusted advisor. By elevating her and by eventually punishing Ambrogiuolo, he becomes an agent of fortune.
Theodelinda
In Pampinea’s third tale (III, 2), Theodelinda is the wife of King Agilulf. When he disguises himself as her husband, she unknowingly has sex with the Groom. Because this happens without her knowledge or consent, she serves as the object over which her husband and servant display their cleverness.
Florentine Nobleman
The Florentine Nobleman in Filomena’s third tale (III, 3) appeals to the Florentine Noblewoman as a potential sexual partner of her own class. He is clever enough to understand how she’s using the Florentine Friar as a go-between and gamely plays along.
Filippello Sighinolfo
Filippello Sighinolfo is Catella’s beloved husband in Fiammetta’s third story (III, 6).
Bolognese Monk
The Bolognese Monk appears in Lauretta’s third tale (III, 8), where his recent arrival to the monastery means that he can help the Womanizing Abbot by taking the role of Purgatorial jailor for Ferondo, since no one knows him.
Neerbal
Neerbal appears in Dioneo’s third tale (III, 10). He is a dissolute young man who marries Alibech to claim her inheritance.
Honest Man
The Honest Man of Pampinea’s fourth tale (IV, 2) gives Friar Alberto shelter when he’s running from Lisetta’s brothers-in-law. But he also exemplifies Venetian duplicity by turning on his guest, extorting protection money from him and turning him over to local justice anyway.
King of Tunis
The King of Tunis appears in Elissa’s fourth tale (IV, 4), where he is an ally of King William the Second. When he arranges for his daughter, the Tunisian Princess, to marry, he seeks William’s assurance that Gerbino won’t interfere.
Lorenzo
In Filomena’s fourth tale (IV, 5), Lorenzo is the unlucky lover of Lisabetta, who is murdered by Lisabetta’s Brothers when they discover the affair.
Gabriotto
In Panfilo’s fourth tale (IV, 6), Gabriotto is Andreuola’s poor but worthy secret husband. He dies of natural causes in his wife’s arms, as one of Day IV’s unlucky lovers, and receives a noble burial from his generous father-in-law, Negro de Pontecarraro.
Ligina
In Emilia’s fourth tale (IV, 7), Ligina is Simona’s friend and Stramba’s lover, who is in the garden when Pasquino dies.
Pasimondas
Pasimondas appears in Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1) as Iphigenia’s fiancée and Ormisdas’s brother. Cimon murders Pasimondas so that he can claim Iphigenia as his own bride.
Ormisdas
In Panfilo’s fifth tale (V, 1), Ormisdas is Pasimondas’s brother. He is betrothed to Cassandra and is killed by Lysimachus.
Saracen Lady
In Emilia’s fifth tale (V, 2), the Saracen Lady shows kindness to the castaway Gostanza. She demonstrates that nobility of spirit and kindness can reside in non-Christians (“Saracen” is a medieval designation for “Muslim”), and it’s by her aid that Gostanza is reunited with Martuccio Gomito.
Mulay Abd Allah
In Emilia’s fifth tale (V, 2), Mulay Abd Allah is the Muslim king of Tunis who follows Martuccio Gomito’s military advice and wins his war against Granada. He subsequently elevates Martuccio’s fortunes by raising him to a powerful position in the kingdom and giving him great wealth.
Liello di Campo di Fiore
In Elissa’s fifth tale (V, 3), Liello di Campo Fiore is a Roman nobleman who is on good terms with Pietro’s and Agnolella’s families. They escape to his castle and are the beneficiaries of his generosity via Liello’s Wife.
Liello’s Wife
In Elissa’s fifth tale (V, 3), Liello’s wife recognizes Agnolella’s noble character, despite her lower status, and arranges her marriage to Pietro, thus ensuring that they achieve their happy ending.
Giacomina
In Filostrato’s fifth tale (V, 4), Giacomina is Lizio da Valbona’s wife and Caterina’s doting mother.
Giannole di Severino
Giannole di Severino is one of Agnesa’s admirers in Neifile’s fifth tale (V, 5), although it later turns out that he is her biological brother. He cultivates Crivello as his go-between when he attempts to kidnap Agnesa from her home.
Guiglielmino da Medicina
Guiglielmino da Medicina appears in Neifile’s fifth tale (V, 5) as a onetime companion of Guidotto da Cremona and an important witness in identifying the long-lost Agnesa.
Bernabuccio
Bernabuccio appears in Neifile’s fifth tale (V, 5). He is Agnesa’s father, who thought that she perished in a fire during the period of civil unrest when she was a child.
Marin Bòlgaro
Marin Bòlgaro appears in Pampinea’s fifth tale (V, 6), as the father of Restituta. He is based on a 14th-century courtier whom Giovanni Bocaccio personally knew and wrote a biography of.
Ruggieri de Loria
Ruggieri de Loria appears as the very wise and well-connected admiral of King Frederick’s royal fleet in Pampinea’s fifth tale (V, 6). He recognizes Restituta and Gianni and intervenes on their behalf with King Frederick, securing their release.
Amerigo’s Wife
Amerigo’s Wife appears, along with her husband, Amerigo Abate, and her daughter, Violante, in Lauretta’s fifth tale (V, 7). She tries to help her daughter conceal her pregnancy, and she begs, unsuccessfully, for mercy on the lovers in the face of Amerigo’s wrath.
Messer Currado
In Lauretta’s fifth tale (V, 7), Messer Currado is the viceroy who hands down Teodoro’s sentence for having slept with Violante.
Phineas
Phineas, Teodoro’s father, appears in Lauretta’s fifth tale (V, 7), where his fortuitous recognition of his son’s strawberry birthmark saves him from execution and reveals his noble identity.
Paolo Traversari
Paolo Traversari appears in Filomena’s fifth tale (V, 8), as the father of Nastago degli Onesti’s love interest, Paolo’s Daughter.
Geri Spina
Geri Spina appears in Pampinea’s sixth tale (VI, 2). Based on a historical Florentine merchant and near contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, Geri Spina serves as the foil against which Cisti the Baker can demonstrate his nobility of spirit despite his lowly class.
Chichibio
Chichibio is a Venetian cook employed by Currado Gianfigliazzi in Neifile’s sixth tale (VI, 4). After his girlfriend Brunetta convinces him to steal part of Currado’s dinner feast, fortune comes to Chichibio’s aid and gives him a retort that disarms his master’s anger with laughter.
Brunetta
Brunetta appears as Chichibio’s girlfriend in Neifile’s sixth tale (VI, 4). She’s a parody of female shrewishness when she threatens and cajoles Chichibio into giving her a cut of Currado Gianfigliazzi’s juicy crane.
Forese da Rabatta
Forese da Rabatta was a famous lawyer and political figure in late 14th-century Florence and was a contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio. In Panfilo’s sixth tale (VI, 5), his proverbial ugliness contrasts with his great knowledge and his quick-witted conversation with painter Giotto.
Giotto
Giotto was the most important Italian painter of the fourteenth century. A Florentine and near contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, Giotto receives high praise from Panfilo (VI, 5) for his artistic achievements, humble nature, and great wit—despite his unattractive physical appearance.
The Baronci
Panfilo references the Baronci in describing Forese da Rabatta’s ugliness (VI, 5), and they appear again in Fiammetta’s sixth tale (VI, 6), where their legendary bad looks underwrite Michele Scalza’s witty argument with his friends about nobility.
Michele Scalza
In Fiammetta’s sixth tale (VI, 6), Michele Scalza is a Florentine gentleman who bets Neri Mannini that he can prove that the Baronci are the noblest family in Florence, because they are the ugliest and therefore the oldest.
Neri Mannini
In Fiammetta’s sixth tale (VI, 6), Neri Mannini is a friend of Michele Scalza who loses a bet to his friend when he can’t refute Michele’s claims that the Baroncis’ ugliness proves that they are the oldest and thus noblest family in Florence—and the whole world.
Piero di Fiorentino
In Fiammetta’s sixth tale (VI, 6), Piero di Fiorentino is hosting the dinner at which Michele Scalza and Neri Mannini make their bet and he judges their contest.
Lazzarino de’ Guazzagliotri
Lazzarino de’ Guazzagliotri appears in Filostrato’s sixth tale (VI, 7) as the lover of Madonna Filippa and the sworn enemy of her husband, Rinaldo de’ Pugliesi.
Fresco da Celatico
In Emilia’s sixth tale (VI, 8), Fresco is a gentleman who wittily chastises the vanity and petulance of his niece Cesca.
Giovanni del Bragoniera
In Dioneo’s sixth tale (VI, 10), Giovanni del Bragoniera is a young man who (along with Biagio Pizzini) steals one of Friar Cipolla’s fake relics and replaces it with some coal, thereby setting up the circumstances under which Cipolla demonstrates his quick wit and rhetorical brilliance.
Biagio Pizzini
In Dioneo’s sixth tale (VI, 10), Biagio Pizzini is a young man who (along with Giovanni del Bragoniera) steals one of Friar Cipolla’s fake relics and replaces it with some coal, thereby setting up the circumstances under which Cipolla demonstrates his quick wit and rhetorical brilliance.
Federigo di Neri Pegolotti
In Emilia’s seventh tale (VII, 1), Federigo di Neri Pegolotti is Monna Tessa’s handsome young lover; his nighttime visit necessitates the trick she plays on her husband.
Madonna Agnesa
In Elissa’s seventh tale (VII, 3), Madonna Agnesa becomes Friar Rinaldo’s lover, even though he is the godfather of her child with Madonna Agnesa’s Husband (their relationship qualifies as incest by medieval standards). When she’s nearly caught with him, her trick manipulates her husband’s love for their child.
Madonna Agnesa’s Husband
In Elissa’s seventh tale (VII, 3), Madonna Agnesa’s Husband becomes the victim of Madonna Agnesa’s adulterous trick when he surprises her at home with her lover, their neighbor Friar Rinaldo.
Filippo
In Fiammetta’s seventh tale (VII, 5), Filippo is the neighbor of the Jealous Merchant and Jealous Merchant’s Wife. When the wife finds a way to secretly communicate with him and trick her husband into sitting by the door all night, he climbs over the roof and becomes her lover.
Isabella’s Husband
In Pampinea’s seventh tale (VII, 6), Isabella’s Husband unwittingly helps Isabella dispose of her unwanted lover, Lambertuccio, all the while remaining unaware of that affair and of her dalliance with Leonetto, thanks to her quick wit and ability to trick her husband.
Ruberto
In Neifile’s seventh tale (VII, 8), Ruberto is Sismonda’s lover.
Sismonda’s Mother
In Neifile’s seventh tale (VII, 8), Sismonda’s Mother provides an unflattering characterization of men like Sismonda’s husband Arriguccio Berlinghieri who have the wealth, but not the class and breeding, to be members of the nobility.
Pyrrhus
In Panfilo’s seventh tale (VII, 9), Pyrrhus is a favorite servant of Nicostratos and Lydia because of his good looks and skill. Afraid that an affair with his mistress is dangerous, he sets Lydia difficult tasks to prove her love, necessitating the tricks she plays on her husband.
Lusca
Lusca (whose name means “squint-eyed”) appears in Panfilo’s seventh tale (VII, 9) as Lydia’s maid and go-between in her affair with Pyrrhus.
Ambruogio Anselmini
In Dioneo’s seventh tale (VII, 10), Ambruogio Anselmini is the husband of Mita.
Monna Mita
In Dioneo’s seventh tale (VII, 10), Mita is the wife of Ambruogio Anselmini, who eventually takes their child’s godfather, Tingoccio Mini, as her lover.
Gulfardo
In Neifile’s eighth tale (VIII, 1), Gulfardo is a former German mercenary living in Milan. He loves Ambruogia, who asks for payment like a common prostitute. Gulfardo plays a trick on her when he borrows the money from her husband Guasparruolo Cagastraccio and “pays” it back to her.
Guasparruolo Cagastraccio
Guasparruolo Cagastraccio is a wealthy merchant and moneylender and the cuckolded husband of Ambruogia in Neifile’s eighth tale (VIII, 1).
Cuitazza
Cuitazza is Monna Piccarda’s ugly and old maid in Emilia’s eighth tale (VIII, 4). She demonstrates how various classes of female sexuality were valued: because she’s just a servant, her virtue is easily sold for a smock and to protect the virtue and honor of the aristocratic Piccarda.
Ribi
Ribi is a friend and fellow trickster of Maso del Saggio and Matteuzzo in Filostrato’s eighth tale (VIII, 5), where he helps his friend expose judge Niccola da San Lepidio by pulling down his pants in court.
Matteuzzo
Matteuzzo is a friend and fellow trickster of Maso del Saggio and Ribi in Filostrato’s eighth tale (VIII, 5), where he helps his friend expose judge Niccola da San Lepidio by pulling down his pants in court.
Spinelloccio Tavena
Spinelloccio Tavena appears in Fiammetta’s eighth tale (VIII, 8) as a wealthy young Sienese man who is best friends with Zeppa di Mino and is having an affair with Zeppa’s Wife.
Zeppa’s Wife
In Fiammetta’s eighth tale (VIII, 8), Zeppa’s Wife is married to Zeppa di Mino and having an affair with his friend, Spinelloccio Tavena. When Zeppa catches her, she confesses and helps him with his revenge scheme.
Spinelloccio’s Wife
In Fiammetta’s eighth tale (VIII, 8), Spinelloccio’s Wife is married to Spinelloccio Tavena. She is forced into having sex with Zeppa di Mino in revenge for the affair of her husband and Zeppa’s Wife.
Simone’s Wife
In Lauretta’s eighth tale (VIII, 9), Simone’s Wife is married to Simone da Villa.
Pietro dello Canigiano
Pietro dello Canigiano was a fellow Florentine and contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, who appears in Dioneo’s eighth tale (VIII, 10) as a wise counselor to the young and foolish Salabaetto.
Rinuccio Palermini
In Filomena’s ninth tale (IX, 1), Rinuccio Palermini is a Florentine expatriate living in political exile in Pistoria—invoking the Florentine political upheavals of Giovanni Boccaccio’s lifetime. Rinuccio loves Francesca de’ Lazzari but loses his chance to woo her when he fails her impossible mission.
Alessandro Chiarmontesi
In Filomena’s ninth tale (IX, 1), Alessandro Chiarmontesi is a Florentine expatriate living in political exile in Pistoria—invoking the political upheavals in Florence during Giovanni Boccaccio’s lifetime. Alessandro loves Francesca de’ Lazzari but loses his chance to woo her when he fails her impossible mission.
Nello
Nello appears in Filostrato’s ninth tale (IX, 3) and Fiammetta’s ninth tale (IX, 5), as a friend and co-conspirator of Bruno and Buffalmacco and the relative of Calandrino’s wife, Tessa.
Host
In Panfilo’s ninth tale (IX, 6), the Host is a poor man who provides food and drink to travelers for his livelihood. He lives with the Host’s Wife and their two children, an infant and the teenaged Miss Niccolosa. One of his frequent guests is Pinuccio.
Miss Niccolosa
In Panfilo’s ninth tale (IX, 6), Miss Niccolosa is the teenaged daughter of the Host and the Host’s Wife. She and Pinuccio fall in love, and his desire to sleep with her instigates the bed-switching plot of the tale.
Pinuccio
In Panfilo’s ninth tale (IX, 6), Pinuccio is a young Florentine gentleman who frequently enjoys the Host’s hospitality on the road and thus falls in love with Miss Niccolosa. He enlists the help of his friend, Adriano, to insinuate himself into Miss Niccolosa’s bed.
Adriano
In Panfilo’s ninth tale (IX, 6), Adriano is Pinuccio’s friend. He joins the plot to bed Miss Niccolosa, and when the Host’s Wife accidentally climbs into his bed, he gives her a good time.
Talano d’Imolese
In Pampinea’s ninth tale (IX, 7), Talano d’Imolese is the long-suffering husband of the shrewish Margarita. He represents a kind husband despite his wife’s bad character, and his grace highlights her haughty and uppity behavior.
Margarita
In Pampinea’s ninth tale (IX, 7), Margarita is a misogynistic caricature of an uppity, argumentative wife. Her disagreeable and self-willed behavior towards her husband, Talano d’Imolese, is punished by a wolf attack, demonstrating the misogynistic idea that it’s dangerous for a woman to contradict her husband.
Ciacco
In Lauretta’s ninth tale (IX, 8), Ciacco is a professional mooch. His name, based on a character made famous by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, indicates that he’s a glutton. When his professional rival, Biondello, tricks him one day, he gets revenge by playing a trick on Biondello.
Biondello
In Lauretta’s ninth tale (IX, 8), Biondello is a professional mooch, like his rival Ciacco. In addition to his taste for fine food and wine, he’s a dandy who is always impeccably dressed and groomed, and it’s this image that Ciacco’s revenge trick destroys.
Vieri de’ Cerchi
Vieri de’ Cerchi appears in Lauretta’s ninth tale (IX, 8) as one of the wealthy Florentines who keep Biondello and Ciacco living in fine style. The character is based on a powerful man who was exiled from Florence shortly before Giovanni Boccaccio’s lifetime.
Filippo Argenti
Filippo Argenti, based on an ostentatiously wealthy historical Florentine nobleman, appears in Lauretta’s ninth tale (IX, 8). In The Decameron, he has a nasty temper and is unwittingly recruited into Ciacco’s trick on Biondello.
Neighbor Pietro
In Dioneo’s ninth tale (IX, 10), Neighbor Pietro is a poor, small-time trader who is married to Gemmata and friends with Father Gianni. Employing a fabliaux trick, Father Gianni cuckolds Pietro to his face.
King Alphonso
In Neifile’s tenth tale (X, 1), King Alphonso of Spain accepts Ruggieri de’ Figiovanni as his knight. He claims that fortune’s stinginess is the cause of Ruggieri’s frustration, then demonstrates his own royal generosity by giving the knight a massive fortune.
Catalina
In Lauretta’s tenth tale (X, 4), Madonna Catalina is Niccoluccio Caccianimico’s wife and the object of Gentile de’ Carisendi’s affections. She becomes the object by which he demonstrates his extreme generosity when he returns her to her husband after rescuing her from death.
Niccoluccio Caccianimico
In Lauretta’s tenth tale (X, 4), Niccoluccio Caccianimico is the husband of Madonna Catalina and the recipient of Gentile de’ Carisendi’s generosity.
Dianora
Madonna Dianora’s rash promise is at the center of Elissa’s tenth tale (X, 5). She is married to Gilberto and admired by Ansaldo Gradense, and she becomes the vehicle by which her husband and admirer can demonstrate their generosity.
Gilberto
In Elissa’s tenth tale (X, 5), Gilberto lives with his wife, Madonna Dianora. He shows his generosity by his willingness to let her have sex with Ansaldo Gradense to fulfill her rash promise. He is the recipient of Ansaldo’s generosity when he frees Dianora from her promise.
Magician
The Magician of Elissa’s tenth tale (X, 5), makes a magical garden for Ansaldo Gradense—for a high price. When Ansaldo generously releases Dianora from her rash promise, the Magician is in turn inspired to generously waive his fee.
Guy de Montfort
Based on a historical person, in Fiammetta’s tenth tale (X, 6), Guy de Montfort is a retainer and companion of King Charles who visits Neri degli Uberti’s garden with him. His counsel inspires King Charles to demonstrate self-control and generosity rather than selfishness.
Ginevra
Ginevra and her twin sister Isotta are the daughters of Neri degli Uberti in Fiammetta’s tenth tale (X, 6). She charms the king, and he generously provides her a fitting dowry and a suitable husband.
Isotta
Isotta and her twin sister Ginevra are the daughters of Neri degli Uberti in Fiammetta’s tenth tale (X, 6). She charms the king, and he generously provides her a fitting dowry and a suitable husband.
Bernardo Puccini
In Pampinea’s tenth tale (X, 7), Bernardo Puccini is a wealthy Florentine apothecary living in Palermo with his wife and daughter, Lisa.
King Peter
Based on the 13th-century king of Sicily, in Pampinea’s tenth tale (X, 6), King Peter of Aragon is the object of Lisa’s unrequited love. He demonstrates nobility of character in styling himself as her knight and royal generosity in giving her a dowry and a noble husband.
Minuccio d’Arezzo
Based on a troubadour who was a contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio, in Pampinea’s tenth tale (X, 7), Minuccio d’Arezzo is a renowned minstrel who sings Lisa’s lovelorn message to King Peter.
Chremes
In Filomena’s tenth tale (X, 8), Chremes is an old friend of Titus Quintus Fulvius’s father and is Gisippus’s father. He hosts Titus when he comes to Athens to study.
Marcus Varro
In Filomena’s tenth tale (X, 8), Marcus Varro is the Roman praetor to whom Gisippus falsely confesses murder.
Fulvia
In Filomena’s tenth tale (X, 8), Fulvia is Titus Quintus Fulvius’s sister, whom he gives to his best friend, Gisippus, as a wife, further cementing their friendship.
The Abbot of San Pietro
In Panfilo’s tenth tale (X, 9), The Abbot of San Pietro is Torello’s uncle.
Giannùcole
In Dioneo’s tenth tale (X, 10), Giannùcole is Griselda’s father.
Nuta
In Dioneo’s sixth tale (VI, 10), Nuta is the unattractive kitchen maid who has Guccio Imbratta’s attention while Giovanni del Bragoniera and Biagio Pizzini steal Friar Cipolla’s false relics.
Bentivegna del Mazzo
In Panfilo’s eighth tale (VIII, 2), Bentivegna del Mazzo is Monna Belcolore’s husband. His name, which means “may you have joy of the rod” is a phallic pun and adds to the overall colorful and humorous feeling of the tale.