Notes on the Presence of Boccaccio in Cristoforo Landino’s Comento sopra la Comedia di Danthe Alighieri
By Simon A. Gilson
Italian Culture, Vol. 23 (2005)
Synopsis: Recent years have seen a resurgence of critical interest in Cristoforo Landino’s celebrated and widely influential Dante commentary, the Comento sopra la Comedia di Danthe Alighieri, which was first printed in late August 1481 and underwent some 20 reprints, in various formats, before the end of the sixteenth century. Critics have paid detailed attention to Landino’s interest in both Dante and Petrarch, but Boccaccio’s presence in the Comento has received very little commentary. Such an omission is somewhat surprising, given that Landino names Boccaccio on twelve occasions, and that it is possible to uncover an extensive set of unattributed references to the certaldese as Dante commentator, biographer, and learned Latin encyclopedist. This article aims to assess Landino’s reuse, direct and indirect, of Boccaccio in the Comento, by examining the borrowings in relation both to earlier Dante commentary literature (upon which Landino often relies extensively) and to the broader background of Boccaccio’s reception in fifteenth-century Florence.