Fiammetta and Filostrato


Fiammetta is one of the seven women in the brigata in The Decameron. The name means “little flame” in Italian. Some scholars speculate she may have been based upon Maria d’Aquino, whom author Giovanni Boccaccio was in love with. A number of his other works also feature a recurring character named Fiammetta, and she’s generally described in the exact same way.

In The Decameron, Fiammetta is one of the most assertive women, as well as independent, resourceful, and clever. She frequently tells stories about other strong, assertive women, and about tricksters. By and large, her stories are positive and upbeat. The very first Decameron story I ever heard, the ninth story of the fifth day, is also told by Fiammetta.

Filostrato is one of the three men of the brigata. His name means “vanquished by love,” from the Latin name Philostratus, which in turn comes from the Greek name Philostratos. Very in keeping with the meaning of his name, on his day as King, Day Four, he demands the stories be love which ended unhappily. He chides Pampinea after she completes the second story of the fourth day (one of my two favourites), since there was far too much mirth in it for his liking, until the very end. Filostrato laments how he’s always been unlucky in love, and doesn’t expect his fate will ever change.


5 thoughts on “Fiammetta and Filostrato

  1. Oh dear. Two more names I can’t pronounce. 😛

    I like that Fiammetta means “little flame” because it’s such a long word. And I can imagine Filostrato being used in a story about heartbreak and maybe a witch’s curse.

  2. Pingback: A to Z Reflections | Onomastics Outside the Box

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