Italian writer, poet, and scholar Giovanni Boccaccio was born in 1313. While in Naples during the “Black Death” epidemic, in 1348, Boccaccio had his first thoughts on what would eventually become his greatest and most famous work, the story cycle of The Decameron (Italian for “The Book of Ten Days”). It is considered that he was born in Florence (previously it was assumed that he was born in Paris). When he was sent to Naples to study, he absorbed many cosmopolitan influences. Upon his return to Florence, he held various public positions, including serving as city emissary to the Pope. In his literary work, he was influenced by Dante, and in his life has met Italian poet and scholar Petrarch and the two became close friends. The writing of The Decameron was apparently completed in 1352, when Boccaccio was 49 years old, and over the years it became one of the most influential literary works in world literature and a touchstone in the development of Italian literary language. Boccaccio, later known as one of the precursors of humanism of the Renaissance, died in 1375.