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Boccaccio was very much interested in the classical past and can be considered to be one of the great mediators between the classical world and Renaissance Italy. His encyclopedia on classical myths did much to generate interest in Ancient history and culture and persuaded many to study Greek-Roman civilization. Boccaccio was like his friend Petrarch fascinated by the classical past and he popularized the works of Homer in Florence and this persuaded many to study the works of the poet who sang of the destruction of Troy and the adventures of Odysseus. Boccaccio was one of the first Italians who celebrated the Greeks and their culture, especially in his role as a public lecturer. The Florentine was a deeply religious man, but he saw value in this life and believed that earthly pleasure was not inherently sinful. There is a real delight in nature and people in the works on the writer and he stressed that everyone was an individual <ref>Burckhardt, p 19</ref>. In his works, his characters are struggling with circumstances and using their reason and foresight to improve their lot in life. In his main work, he shows young people enjoying and celebrating life despite the fact that the Black Death is raging all around them <ref> Steel, David. "Plague writing: from Boccaccio to Camus." Journal of European Studies 11, no. 42 (1981): 88-110 </ref>. The Decameron was influential in promoting the humanistic worldview in the Renaissance.
Boccaccio was determined to make Italian a respected literary language. Until the start of the 14th century, Italian was not considered to be a vehicle for literary expression. Latin was the language of the literary elite and the vernacular languages were not rated highly. Beginning with Dante the use of the vernacular became more accepted in poetry. What Dante did for poetry, Boccaccio did for prose. He used his native Tuscan and was able to make it capable of great descriptive power and expression. He sought to create an Italian that was as concise as Latin and his prose does have this quality. The quality of the prose of the Florentine and its precision and elegance demonstrated that Italian was the equal of the language of Cicero and Horace. Boccaccio’s Decameron in particular was read around Europe and it inspired other authors to write in their native language and shun Latin. The author contributed to one of the most significant changes in Europe wrought by the Renaissance and that was the adoption of the Vernacular language for literary expression<ref> Brotton, J., The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, OUP, 2006), p 19</ref>.
Boccaccio was one of the three great writers of the early Renaissance who decisively shaped its direction. He along with Dante and Petrarch laid the foundations for the literature of this period not only in Italy but also throughout Europe. Boccaccio was a great writer and he helped to elevate prose and made it a vehicle for literary works. He was also critical in the development of the novel and he shifted literature away from allegory and romance to a more realistic approach. His emphasis on the psychology of his characters. and by describing individuals in social settings he changed the direction of literature and this is evident in the prose and drama of the period. While best known as a prose writer he helped to develop new techniques for poetic expression and his narrative poems found many imitators. Like many other intellectuals of the time, he did not believe that this life was a vale of tears but had meaning and joy, as evident in the characters and the stories of the Decameron. The author was critical in the development of Italian as a literary language and this, in turn, influenced many throughout Europe to write in their mother tongue and this ultimately led to the establishment of national literature.