Piero Boitani

Piero Boitani is an Italian literary critic.[1] Born in Rome in 1947, he received his Ph.D. from Cambridge while teaching there and has taught in the Universities of Pescara and Perugia. He is Professor of Comparative Literature at the "Sapienza" University of Rome and teaches at the Universities of Notre Dame and of Italian Switzerland.

President of the European Society for English Studies 1989-95 (now Honorary President), Fellow of the British Academy, the Academia Europaea, the Polish Academy of Arts, the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, the Accademia dell’Arcadia, the Medieval Academy of America, the Dante Society of America, in 2002 he has received from the Accademia dei Lincei the Feltrinelli Prize for Literary Criticism, Italy’s most distinguished literary award. He is the Literary Editor of the Greek and Latin classics series, Fondazione Valla.

Medievalist, Dante scholar, comparatist, interested in ancient myth as well as modern literatures, Boitani has published, amongst others, the following volumes: Prosatori Negri Americani del Novecento (Storia e Letteratura, 1973); Chaucer and Boccaccio (Medium Aevum, 1977); English Medieval Narrative of the 13th and 14th centuries (Cambridge UP 1982); Chaucer and the Imaginary World of Fame (Brewer 1984); The Tragic and the Sublime in Medieval Literature (Cambridge UP 1989); La letteratura del Medioevo inglese (Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1991); The Shadow of Ulysses. Figures of a Myth (Oxford UP 1994; It. orig. 1992; transl. Spanish and Brazilian, 2001, 2005); Sulle orme di Ulisse (Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007²); The Bible and its Rewritings (Oxford UP 1999, It. orig. 1997); The Genius to Improve an Invention (Notre Dame-London, University of Notre Dame Press; It. orig. 1999); Winged Words. Flight in Poetry and History (University of Chicago Press, 2007, It. orig. 2004); Esodi e Odissee (Liguori, 2004); Dante’s Poetry of the Donati (London, Italian Studies, 2007); La prima lezione sulla letteratura (Laterza, 2007), Letteratura europea e Medioevo volgare (Il Mulino, 2007).

Edited and contributed to, amongst others, the following: Chaucer and the Italian Trecento (Cambridge UP 1983); The Cambridge Chaucer Companion, with J. Mann (Cambridge UP 2003²); The European Tragedy of Troilus (Oxford UP 1989), Lo spazio letterario del Medioevo volgare (5 vols. Salerno, 2005). Edited and translated into Italian Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Adelphi 1986, verse), Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (Garzanti 1994, verse), The Cloud of Unknowing (Adelphi 1998), a complete Chaucer with facing texts (Einaudi 2000), and (Life and Introduction) W.B. Yeats, Opera poetica (Mondadori, 2005); Il viaggio dell’anima (Fondazione Valla-Mondadori, 2007).


  1. "Dante, Dore, and Conrad". Conradiana. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
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