Boccaccio’s age was one of two periods marked by large-scale emigration of Greek intellectuals westward. The better-known period is that of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and its aftermath, when Greek-speaking refugees brought their learning and their native language with them to Italy and other lands where most people belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, or the “Latin Church” as Greeks of the time would have called it.
"Elissa as a New Dido: Greece, the East, and the Westward Movement of Culture in the Decameron,"
Heliotropia - An online journal of research to Boccaccio scholars: Vol. 7
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/heliotropia/vol7/iss1/7