The Decameron

The Decameron


Giovanni Boccaccio

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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 and the quick wit that is respected in The Decameron’s characters when he chastises Geri Spina’s servant for making his master look greedy and ungenerous.

Cisti Quotes in The Decameron

The The Decameron quotes below are all either spoken by Cisti or refer to Cisti. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Day 6: Second Tale Quotes

I would assuredly curse Nature and Fortune alike, if I did not know for a fact that Nature is very discerning and that Fortune has a thousand eyes, even though fools represent her as blind. Indeed, it is my conviction that Nature and Fortune, being very shrewd, follow the practice so common among mortals, who, uncertain of what the future will bring, make provision for emergencies by burying their most precious possessions in the least imposing […] parts of their houses, whence they bring them forth in the hour of their greatest need […] In the same way, the two fair arbiters of the world’s affairs frequently hide their greatest treasure beneath the shadow of the humblest trades, so that when the need arises for it to be brought forth, its splendor will be all the more apparent.

Related Characters: Pampinea (speaker), Cisti, Cimon
Related Symbols: Fortune
Page Number: 448
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Decameron PDF

Cisti Character Timeline in The Decameron

The timeline below shows where the character Cisti appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 6: Second Tale
Class and Character Theme Icon
...characters to noble people, fortune often gives noble characters to lowly people. One example is Cisti, a common baker but still a “man of exceedingly lofty spirit.” After some remarks about... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon make peace between warring factions, Geri Spina is their host. Each day, they pass Cisti’s bakery while conducting their business. Cisti is of humble origins, but his bakery has made... (full context)
Intelligence Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Instead, Cisti sits outside when they pass, drinking wine from a sparkling glass with evident delight. On... (full context)
Moderation and Excess Theme Icon
Class and Character Theme Icon
Before the emissaries leave, Geri Spina hosts a final banquet. He invites Cisti, who declines. Wanting to impress his guests, Geri sends a servant to ask for some... (full context)
Class and Character Theme Icon
Cisti happily sends wine to the banquet and brings the last of the vintage to Geri... (full context)