Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary 2019 year

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)

Fiesolan Nymphs (Nimfale Fiesolano) - Poem (1343-1346, published 1477)

The centerpiece of the poetic narrative is the touching love story of the shepherd and hunter of Africa and the Menzola Nymphs.
We learn that in the time immemorial in Fiesole, women were especially honored by the goddess Diana, who patronized chastity. Many parents after the birth of children, who vowed, and who gratefully gave them Diana. Goddess willingly took everyone into their woods and groves. On the Fiesolan hills, a virgin community was formed, "all there, then nicknamed the nymphs were magnified / And with the bow and with the arrows were". The goddess often collects the nymphs in a light stream or in a forest shadow and talks for a long time with them about the sacred virgin vows, hunting, fishing, their favorite classes. Diana was a wise support of the girls, but he could not always be close to them, because he had many different concerns - "tried for all the land / she was covered by insulting men." Therefore, leaving, she left with his nymphs his heir to whom they obeyed obediently.
Once in May, the goddess comes to hold advice among his military camp. She already reminds nymphs that they should not have men next to them, and everyone owes themselves to behold, "the same ones who are seduced, / That life will be lost from my hand". The girls are shocked by the dangers of Diana, but the young man is even more shocked to Africa, a casual witness of this council. His eyes are chained to one of the nymphs, he admires her beauty and feels the fire of love in her heart. But Diane is on his way, the nymphs follow her, and their sudden disappearance condemns the lovers to suffering. The only thing he can find out is the name of his beloved - Menzola. At night, in a dream, a young man is Venus and blesses him in search of a beautiful nymph, promising to him his help and support. Encouraged by a dream, in love, barely dawns, goes to the mountains. But the day goes by in vain There are no menzoles, and sorrowful Africa returns home. Father, guessing about the cause of the sadness of his son, tells him a family tradition. It turns out that the young man's grandfather died from Diana's hand. The virgin goddess caught him on the riverbank with one of his nymphs, and furiously pierced both with the arrow of his heart, and their blood turned them into a wonderful source, merging with the river. Father is trying to free Africa from the charm of a beautiful nymph, but it's too late: the young man is passionately in love and not inclined to retreat. He spends all his time on the Fiesolan hills, hoping for a long-awaited meeting, and soon his dream is to come true. But Menzola is harsh: barely seeing a young man, she mows a spear in him, which, fortunately, sticks to a strong oak. Nymphs are unexpectedly hiding in the forest more often. Africa is unsuccessfully trying to find it. He is spending his days in suffering, nothing pleases him, he refuses to eat, with a beautiful face the youthful blush disappears. Once, sad Africa swept its flock and, leaning over the brook, talked with its own reflection. He cursed his fate, and tears from the river flowed from his eyes: "And I, as a spit on fire, I burn, / And there is no salvation to me, no torments of the land." But suddenly the young man remembers Venus, who promised to help him, and decides to honor the goddess by sacrifice, believing in her favor. One sheep from the herd he divides into two parts (one part for himself, another for Menzol) and lays it on a bonfire. Then he clings to his knees and prayed to the goddess of love - he asks that Mensola should reciprocate his feelings. His words are heard, because the sheep in the fire rose "and part of one another united". The miracle that she sees makes a boy hopeful, and he, cheering and calming down, immerses in a dream. Venus, once again appearing in his dream, advises Afriko to change into a woman’s dress and to trick the nymphs into fraud.
The next morning, remembering that the mother is keeping a beautiful outfit, Africa is dressed in it and goes to the path. He manages to enter the trust of the nymphs under the guise of the girl, he talks affectionately with them, and then they all go together to the handle. The nymphs get undressed and go into water, and Africa, after long periods of hesitation, also follows their example. There is a desperate screech, and the girls are rushing to the spot. And Africa, triumphantly, squeezes in the arms of Menzol, squealing from horror. Her mistress is abducted against her will, and the unfortunate person calls for death, not wanting to take her from Diana's hand. Africa, without ceasing to comfort and caress the beloved, tells her of her love, promises a happy life together and persuades her not to be afraid of Diane's anger. Sorrow quietly flows from the heart of Menzola, and love comes to replace it. Lovers agree to meet at the same creek every night, because they no longer think life without a friend. But the nymph, hardly left alone, once again remembers his shame and spends the whole night in tears. Africa is looking forward to her in the evening at the creek, but the beloved does not come. The imagination draws him different pictures, he is tormented, mournful and decides to wait until the next evening. But they are passing day, week, month, and Africa does not see the dear face of a loved one. The second month comes, the love is brought to despair and, having come to the place of the promised meeting, turns to the river with a request to carry his name from now on, and squeals into his chest a spear. Since then, people in the memory of a young man who died of love, began to call the river Africa. Africa is looking forward to her in the evening at the creek, but the beloved does not come. The imagination draws him different pictures, he is tormented, mournful and decides to wait until the next evening. But they are passing day, week, month, and Africa does not see the dear face of a loved one. The second month comes, the love is brought to despair and, having come to the place of the promised meeting, turns to the river with a request to carry his name from now on, and squeals into his chest a spear. Since then, people in the memory of a young man who died of love, began to call the river Africa. Africa is looking forward to her in the evening at the creek, but the beloved does not come. The imagination draws him different pictures, he is tormented, mournful and decides to wait until the next evening. But they are passing day, week, month, and Africa does not see the dear face of a loved one. The second month comes, the love is brought to despair and, having come to the place of the promised meeting, turns to the river with a request to carry his name from now on, and squeals into his chest a spear. Since then, people in the memory of a young man who died of love, began to call the river Africa. He turns to the river with a request to wear his name from now on, and squeaks his lance in his chest. Since then, people in the memory of a young man who died of love, began to call the river Africa. He turns to the river with a request to wear his name from now on, and squeaks his lance in his chest. Since then, people in the memory of a young man who died of love, began to call the river Africa.
And what is Menzola? She, being able to hypocrite, was able to convince her friends that she had struck a young man with an arrow and saved her honor. And every day she became calmer and harder. But from the wise nymph of Sinedekky Menzola finds out what he has conceived, and decides to settle separately from everyone in the cave, hoping for the support of the Sinedekkya. Meanwhile, Diana arrives in Fiesole, she is interested in the nymph, where her pet is Menzola, and he hears that she has not been seen in the mountains for a long time and maybe she is ill. The goddess, accompanied by three nymphs, descends to the cave. Menzol's son was already born, and she plays with him at the river. Diana in anger turns Mensol into a river, which is nicknamed her, and allows her son to give his parents Africa. They do not shower in him, they grow up the baby with love and care.
Eighteen years old. Pruneo (so named baby's grandson) becomes a beautiful young man. In those days, in Europe, Atlanta appeared and founded the city of Fiesole. He invited all the locals to his new city. Pruneo for his exceptional abilities and mind was elected ruler, his people fell in love, and he "the whole land, constantly glad, / I turned from savagery to order." Atlanta found him a bride, and the genus Africa continued in the ten sons of Pruneau. But the city comes in trouble. The Romans destroy the fiesole, leaving all the inhabitants with the exception of the descendants of Africa, who in the same place built their homes and sheltered them. Soon the world comes and a new city - Florence - arises. The genus of Africa arrived there and was welcomed by the local population. He was surrounded by love, honor and respect, members of the family were born with famous Florentines and turned into indigenous people.
The final stanzas of the poem in the form of a traditional appeal to the omnipotent ruler of Amur sounded a real hymn of love, transforming life and man.