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Medieval History

Journal

2020

Convivio

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Full-Text Articles in History

Why Is Pampinea 28? Pythagoras Meets Aquinas In The 'Decameron', Victoria Kirkham Dec 2020

Why Is Pampinea 28? Pythagoras Meets Aquinas In The 'Decameron', Victoria Kirkham

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

Boccaccio tells us little about the Decameron frame narrators except their pseudonyms and ages. Eldest of the seven ladies, Pampinea is in her twenty-eighth year, while the youngest is 18. The three men, ready to serve female reliance on male guidance, are young, but none is under 25. Commentators, caught up by riddles of nomenclature, have all but ignored the numerals. Spelled out so carefully, 28th-18 and 25 tease our curiosity. Why should the Author express his ladies’ ages as a ten-year span, while for the gentlemen a single anchoring number suffices? If the seven women allude to the Virtues ...