nstituted a hair of the Divina Commedia, and Boccaccio was named first professor.
He accordingly began his lectures on Sunday, October 3, following, but his comment was broken off abruptly at the 17th verse of the 17th canto of the Inferno by the illness which ended in his death, December 21, 1375.
Among his successors were Filippo Villani and Filelfo.
Bologna was the first to follow the example of Florence, Benvenuto da Imola having begun his lectures, according to Tiraboschi, so early as 1375.
Chairs were established also at Pisa, Venice, Piacenza, and Milan before the close of the century.
The lectures were delivered in the churches and on feastdays, which shows their popular character.
Balbo reckons (but this is guess-work) that the Ms. copies of the Divina Commedia made during the fourteenth century, and now existing in the libraries of Europe, are more numerous than those of all other works, ancient and modern, made during the same period.
Between the invention of printin