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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Boccaccio: The Decameron, "Introduction"

This account of the plague is from Boccaccio's The Decameron (1353) :

Boccaccio: The Decameron, "Introduction": Thirteen hundred and forty-eight years had passed since the fruitful Incarnation of the Son of God, when there came into the noble city of Florence, the most beautiful of all Italian cities, a deadly pestilence, which, either because of the operations of the heavenly bodies, or because of the just wrath of God mandating punishment for our iniquitous ways, several years earlier had originated in the Orient, where it destroyed countless lives, scarcely resting in one place before it moved to the next, and turning westward its strength grew monstrously. No human wisdom or foresight had any value: enormous amounts of refuse and manure were removed from the city by appointed officials, the sick were barred from entering the city, and many instructions were given to preserve health; just as useless were the humble supplications to God given not one time but many times in appointed processions, and all the other ways devout people called on God; despite all this, at the beginning of the spring of that year, that horrible plague began with its dolorous effects in a most awe-inspiring manner, as I will tell you. [...continue reading...]

    Posted by on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 05:40 PM in Economics, History of Thought | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (18)


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