Oakland Team

The Decameron Project is a repurposing of a project started by a team at the University of Pittsburgh's Oakland campus. That team received XML files from Brown University, which has a Decameron website featuring the full text of the Decameron in both English and Italian as well as ample information about the characters, motifs, history, and more. The Oakland team sought out to explore the possibility of the Decameron being a feminist text and focused on the language used to answer this research question. They attributed certain behaviors and speech with certain gender stereotypes in order to find out and used the basic markup provided by Brown University to create their revised markup.

Visit the Oakland team's website and the Brown University website!

Greensburg Team

In the Spring of 2016, we, at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg, inherited the files from the Oakland team's project with the interest of exploring the frame narrative and the places found within the text. Our team then based their markup on that of the Oakland team's.

Visit our GitHub page if you are interested in the development of our project and website!


As mentioned previously, our team was interested in exploring the frame narrative of the Decameron as well as the places found within the text. We began by first analyzing the markup of the Oakland team and found that from the files we received, the majority of their basic markup was on the Italian version of the text with a separate prosopography on the characters and places. Because we wanted to extend the functionality of this project to future students, we decided to markup the English version of the text in TEI format and use the existing prosopography to investigate the characters and places and received help from Dr. Beshero-Bondar in changing the file to TEI. We found that the places used in the prosopography were the Italian forms of the places. For example, Inghliterra was found in the prosopography but the English equivalent is England. Some place names in the English version of the text are translated, therefore causing us to have to translate the place names in the prosopography so we could find it in the English text. Jessica tagged as many of the place names possible in the English text, using Regex to find the place names and wrap them in placeName tags. Meanwhile, Matt worked on the prosopography and built an updated one in TEI format.

The names of characters were tagged with persName tags by Lauren and Megan. Lauren tagged the ten main storytellers Pampinea, Fiametta, Filomena, Emilia, Lauretta, Neifile, Elisa, Pamfilo, Filostrato, and Dioneo while Megan tagged some names in the stories. Because there are many minor characers in the Decameron, we decided to only tag a few stories with persName tags for the 2016 Spring semester.

Megan created an SVG graph to show the number of distinct places in each day. She took the distinct values of the place names for each day and represented those numbers in a bar graph using XQuery. We were also interested in looking at the connections place names had in the text so we represented this in a network graph. Jessica used XQuery to look into the Decameron and pull out each place name as well as where they were referenced with other places in the text. Possible connection points were in the frame narrative, in the floating text, or in the novellas. Using the TSV output as a result of the XQuery, Jessica imported the file into a program called Cytoscape which is used to create networks, primarily in the biological sciences. She was able to create a network and differentiated where each place was mentioned in the text.

Matt was able to map most of the place names by first using XQuery to grab the place names and output that in a TSV file. He imported the TSV into a program called CartoDB which is able to create interactive maps. He put in the longitudes and latitudes for each place and was able to create an interactive map that showed most of the places found within the Decameron.

Lastly, we looked at the frame narrative in the text and searched for stories that were found within the stories in the Decameron. Jessica found three and denoted them by using Regex and placing floating text elements around the entire nested narrative. Later on, Lauren was able to use this to represent the orientation of the narrative on a webpage. She used XSLT to create the pages which show the days and novellas, and used CSS to differentiate what the floating text of the frame from a nested narrative, as well as songs found throughout the text. Adapting a box model from the W3Schools website, Lauren created a box model to represent how the Decameron is structurally set up.

Creative Commons License Last modified: 08/06/17