Boccaccio (bok-ka-tshe-o), Giovanni. A much-admired Italian novelist. Born in Paris, 1313. His works are prized for their tenderness, but they often offend decorum. His most celebrated work is the Decameron, a collection of one hundred stories, supposed to have been recited in ten days by a company of ladies and gentlemen, who had withdrawn to the country to escape the plague which raged at Florence in 1348. Died 1375.