Note: Boccaccio

October, 1997

Boccaccio's Decameron is a collection of tales collected ca. 1350, introduced by a frame narrative in which the plague of 1348 leads a group of aristocratic ladies and gentlemen to flee the city of Florence for the refuge of country villas, where they tell the stories of which the collection consists.


Note: Constantinople

October, 1997


The ancient capital of the Byzantine Empire and, afterwards, the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople (after 1930 known as Istanbul) has a long history of conquests and seiges. It was taken by the Crusaders in 1204 and the Turks in 1453. Its old city was built on seven hills, overlooking the Bosphorous. Its most famous landmarks include the Seraglio and Hagia Sophia (or St. Sophia).

Map of Mediterranean region


Selections from _Corinne_ by Germaine de Staël

October, 1997

from Germaine de Staël, Corinne, or Italy

Book II: Corinne at the Capitol


Oswald awoke in Rome. He opened his eyes to a dazzling sun, an Italian sun, and his soul was filled with loving gratitude to a heaven that seemed revealed in its radiant beams. He heard bells ringing out from the city's many churches; he heard canons firing at intervals to announce some important ceremony.



Subscribe to RSS - Paratext