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Petrarch

Petrarch

Overview



Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), known in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as Petrarch, was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 scholar, poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and one of the earliest humanists
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

". In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, and cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, and his writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch...

 created the model for the modern Italian language
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

 and, especially, Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

. This would be later endorsed by the Accademia della Crusca
Accademia della Crusca
The Accademia della Crusca is an Italian society for scholars and Italian linguists and philologists established in Florence. After the Accademia Cosentina, it is the oldest Italian academy still in existence...

. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry.
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Quotations

Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.

De Remedies, Book II

Books have led some to learning and others to madness, when they swallow more than they can digest.

quoted in "Lifetime speaker's encyclopedia" - Page 75 by Jacob Morton Braude - Quotations - 1962

It is better to will the good than to know the truth.

quoted in "The Renaissance: Essays in Interpretation" - Page 107 by André Chastel - History - 1982

Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure.

quoted in "The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Inspirational Quotes" - Page 446 by Wendy Toliver - Self-Help - 2005

Who overrefines his argument brings himself to grief.

Canzone 11

A good death does honor to a whole life.

Canzone 16

To be able to say how much you love is to love but little.

Canzone 37
Encyclopedia



Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), known in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as Petrarch, was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 scholar, poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and one of the earliest humanists
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

". In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, and cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, and his writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch...

 created the model for the modern Italian language
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

 and, especially, Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

. This would be later endorsed by the Accademia della Crusca
Accademia della Crusca
The Accademia della Crusca is an Italian society for scholars and Italian linguists and philologists established in Florence. After the Accademia Cosentina, it is the oldest Italian academy still in existence...

. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the Dark Ages.

Youth and early career


Petrarch was born on Garden Street in the city of Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

, just at dawn on a Monday. He was the son of Ser Petracco
Ser Petracco
Ser Petracco was the father to Francesco Petrarch. His father was Ser Parenzo, son of Ser Garzo who lived to be 100. They all were notary public, the same office that Ser Petracco held in Florence. The family did have a small property in Florence, however were of very little material goods and...

. He spent his early childhood in the village of Incisa
Incisa in Val d'Arno
Incisa in Val d'Arno is a comune in the Province of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 20 km southeast of Florence....

, near Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

. Petrarch spent much of his early life at Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 and nearby Carpentras
Carpentras
Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It stands on the banks of the Auzon...

, where his family moved to follow Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

 who moved there in 1309 to begin the Avignon Papacy
Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown....

. He studied law at the University of Montpellier
University of Montpellier
The University of Montpellier was a French university in Montpellier in the Languedoc-Roussillon région of the south of France. Its present-day successor universities are the University of Montpellier 1, Montpellier 2 University and Paul Valéry University, Montpellier III.-History:The university...

 (1316–20) and Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

 (1320–23) with a lifelong friend and schoolmate called Guido Sette. Because his father was in the profession of law he insisted that Petrarch and his brother study law also. Petrarch however was primarily interested in writing and Latin literature
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

 and considered these seven years wasted. Additionally he proclaimed that through legal manipulation his guardians robbed him of his small property inheritance in Florence, which only reinforced his dislike for the legal system. He protested, "I couldn't face making a merchandise of my mind", as he viewed the legal system as the art of selling justice.

Petrarch was a prolific letter writer and counted Boccaccio among his notable friends to whom he wrote often. After the death of their parents, Petrarch and his brother Gherardo went back to Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 in 1326, where he worked in numerous clerical offices. This work gave him much time to devote to his writing. With his first large scale work, Africa
Africa (Petrarch)
Africa is an epic poem in Latin hexameters by the 14th century Italian poet Petrarch . It tells the story of the Second Punic War, in which the Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Italy, but Roman forces were eventually victorious after an invasion of north Africa led by Publius Cornelius Scipio...

, an epic
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 about the great Roman general Scipio Africanus
Scipio Africanus
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus , also known as Scipio Africanus and Scipio the Elder, was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic...

, Petrarch emerged as a European celebrity. On April 8, 1341, he became the first poet laureate
Poet Laureate
A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and is often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events...

 since antiquity and was crowned on the holy grounds of Rome's Capitol.

He traveled widely in Europe and served as an ambassador and has been called "the first tourist" because he traveled just for pleasure, which was the basic reason he climbed Mont Ventoux. During his travels, he collected crumbling Latin manuscripts and was a prime mover in the recovery of knowledge from writers of Rome and Greece. He encouraged and advised Leontius Pilatus's translation of Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 from a manuscript purchased by Boccaccio, although he was severely critical of the result. Petrarch had acquired a copy, which he did not entrust to Leontius, but he knew no Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

; Homer, Petrarch said, "was dumb
Muteness
Muteness or mutism is an inability to speak caused by a speech disorder. The term originates from the Latin word mutus, meaning "silent".-Causes:...

 to him, while he was deaf
Hearing impairment
-Definition:Deafness is the inability for the ear to interpret certain or all frequencies of sound.-Environmental Situations:Deafness can be caused by environmental situations such as noise, trauma, or other ear defections...

 to Homer". In 1345 he personally discovered a collection of Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

's letters not previously known to have existed, the collection ad Atticum.

Disdaining what he believed to be the ignorance of the centuries preceding the era in which he lived, Petrarch is credited with creating the concept of a historical "Dark Ages".

Mont Ventoux




Petrarch recounts that on April 26, 1336, with his brother and two servants, he climbed to the top of Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux is a mountain in the Provence region of southern France, located some 20 km northeast of Carpentras, Vaucluse. On the north side, the mountain borders the Drôme département. It is the largest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald...

 (1912 metres (6,273 ft)), a feat which he undertook for recreation rather than necessity. The exploit is described in a celebrated letter addressed to his friend and confessor, the monk Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro
Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro
Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro was an Augustinian monk who was at one time Petrarch's confessor, and who taught Boccaccio at the beginning of his education in the humanities. He was Bishop of Monopoli in Apulia. He was surnamed, not uncommonly for the trecento, for the town in which he was born,...

, composed some time after the fact. In it Petrarch claimed to have been inspired by Philip V of Macedon
Philip V of Macedon
Philip V was King of Macedon from 221 BC to 179 BC. Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of Rome. Philip was attractive and charismatic as a young man...

's ascent of Mount Haemo
Beklemeto Pass
Beklemeto Pass, also known as Troyan Pass , is a mountain pass in the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. It connects Troyan and Karnare on the Karlovo Plain....

 and that an aged peasant had told him that nobody had ascended Ventoux before or after himself, 50 years before, and warned him against attempting to do so. However, the nineteenth-century Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt noted that Jean Buridan
Jean Buridan
Jean Buridan was a French priest who sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe. Although he was one of the most famous and influential philosophers of the late Middle Ages, he is today among the least well known...

 had climbed the same mountain a few years before, and other ascents are recorded from the Middle Ages, including Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne
Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne
Saint Anno II was Archbishop of Cologne from 1056 to 1075.He was born around 1010, belonging to the Swabian family of the von Steusslingen, and was educated at Bamberg. He became confessor to the Emperor Henry III, who appointed him archbishop of Cologne in 1056...

.

Scholars note that Petrarch's letter to Dionigi displays a strikingly "modern" attitude of aesthetic gratification in the grandeur of the scenery and is still often cited in books and journals devoted to the sport of mountaineering
Mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

. In Petrarch, this attitude is coupled with an aspiration for a virtuous Christian life, and on reaching the summit, he took from his pocket a volume by his beloved mentor, Saint Augustine, that he always carried with him.
For pleasure alone he climbed Mount Ventoux, which rises to more than six thousand feet, beyond Vaucluse. It was no great feat, of course; but he was the first recorded Alpinist
Mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

 of modern times, the first to climb a mountain merely for the delight of looking from its top. (Or almost the first; for in a high pasture he met an old shepherd, who said that fifty years before he had attained the summit, and had got nothing from it save toil and repentance and torn clothing.) Petrarch was dazed and stirred by the view of the Alps, the mountains around Lyons, the Rhone, the Bay of Marseilles. He took St. Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

's Confessions from his pocket and reflected that his climb was merely an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 of aspiration towards a better life".


As the book fell open
Bibliomancy
Bibliomancy is the use of books in divination. The method of employing sacred books for 'magical medicine', for removing negative entities, or for divination is widespread in many religions of the world:-Terminology:...

, Petrarch's eyes were immediately drawn to the following words:
Petrarch's response was to turn from the outer world of nature to the inner world of "soul":
James Hillman
James Hillman
James Hillman was an American psychologist. He studied at, and then guided studies for, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, founded a movement toward archetypal psychology and retired into private practice, writing and traveling to lecture, until his death at his home in Connecticut on October 27,...

 argues that this rediscovery of the inner world is the real significance of the Ventoux event. The Renaissance begins not with the ascent of Mont Ventoux but with the subsequent descent—the "return [...] to the valley of soul", as Hillman puts it.

Later years


The later part of Petrarch's life he spent in journeying through northern Italy as an international scholar and poet-diplomat
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

. His career in the Church
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 did not allow him to marry, but he is believed to have fathered two children by a woman or women unknown to posterity. A son, Giovanni, was born in 1337, and a daughter, Francesca, was born in 1343. Both he later legitimized.
Giovanni died of the plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

 in 1361. Francesca married Francescuolo da Brossano
Francescuolo da Brossano
Francescuolo da Brossano was the son-in-law and heir of the Italian medieval poet Petrarch.Born in Milan, Francescuolo was named executor of Petrarch's testamentum. He married Petrarch's daughter Francesca in 1361, the same year Giovanni died of the plague. Petrarch moved to Venice in the fall of...

 (who was later named executor of Petrarch's will) that same year. In 1362, shortly after the birth of a daughter, Eletta (same name as Petrarch's mother), they joined Petrarch in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 to flee the plague then ravaging parts of Europe. A second grandchild, Francesco, was born in 1366, but died before his second birthday. Francesca and her family lived with Petrarch in Venice for five years from 1362 to 1367 at Palazzo Molina
Palazzo Molina
Palazzo Molina or Palace of Two Towers is Petrarch's home also known as "Molina house of the two towers." It has a current address of Riva degli Schiavoni, no. 4145...

; although Petrarch continued to travel in those years.

About 1368 Petrarch and his daughter Francesca (with her family) moved to the small town of Arquà
Arquà Petrarca
Arquà Petrarca is a town and municipality in northeastern Italy, in the Veneto region, in the province of Padua.As of 2007 the estimated population of Arquà Petrarca was 1,835....

 in the Euganean Hills
Euganean Hills
The Euganean Hills are a group of hills of volcanic origin that rise to heights of 300 to 600 meters from the Padovan-Venetian plain a few kilometers south of Padua. The Colli Euganei form the first regional park established in the Veneto, enclosing fifteen towns and eighty-one hills...

 near Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, where he passed his remaining years in religious contemplation. He died in his house in Arquà
Arquà Petrarca
Arquà Petrarca is a town and municipality in northeastern Italy, in the Veneto region, in the province of Padua.As of 2007 the estimated population of Arquà Petrarca was 1,835....

 on July 19, 1374 – one day short of his seventieth birthday.

Petrarch's will (dated April 4, 1370) leaves 50 florin
Italian coin florin
The Italian florin was a coin struck from 1252 to 1533 with no significant change in its design or metal content standard. It had 54 grains of nominally pure gold worth approximately 200 modern US Dollars...

s to Boccaccio "to buy a warm winter dressing gown"; various legacies (a horse, a silver cup, a lute, a Madonna
Madonna (art)
Images of the Madonna and the Madonna and Child or Virgin and Child are pictorial or sculptured representations of Mary, Mother of Jesus, either alone, or more frequently, with the infant Jesus. These images are central icons of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity where Mary remains...

) to his brother and his friends; his house in Vaucluse to its caretaker; for his soul, and for the poor; and the bulk of his estate to his son-in-law, Francescuolo da Brossano, who is to give half of it to "the person to whom, as he knows, I wish it to go"; presumably his daughter, Francesca, Brossano's wife. The will mentions neither the property in Arquà nor his library; Petrarch's library
Petrarch's library
The poet Petrarch arranged to leave his personal library to the city of Venice; but it never arrived. The Venetian tradition that this was the founding of the Biblotheca Marciana is an anachronism; it was founded a century later.-Petrarch's books:...

 of notable manuscripts was already promised to Venice, in exchange for the Palazzo Molina. This arrangement was probably cancelled when he moved to Padua, the enemy of Venice, in 1368. The library was seized by the lords of Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, and his books and manuscripts are now widely scattered over Europe. Nevertheless, the Biblioteca Marciana
Biblioteca Marciana
The Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana is a library and Renaissance building in Venice, northern Italy; it is one of the earliest surviving public manuscript depositories in the country, holding one of the greatest classical texts collections in the world. The library is named after St. Mark, the...

 traditionally claimed this bequest as its founding, although it was in fact founded by Cardinal Bessarion in 1468.

Works



Petrarch is best known for his Italian poetry, notably the Canzoniere ("Songbook") and the Trionfi ("Triumphs"). However, Petrarch was an enthusiastic Latin scholar and did most of his writing in this language. His Latin writings include scholarly works, introspective essays, letters, and more poetry. Among them are Secretum
Secretum (book)
Secretum is a trilogy of dialogues in Latin written by Petrarch sometime from 1347 to 1353, in which he examines his faith with the help of Saint Augustine, and "in the presence of The Lady Truth"...

("My Secret Book"), an intensely personal, guilt-ridden imaginary dialogue with Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

; De Viris Illustribus
De Viris Illustribus (Petrarch)
De viris illustribus is an unfinished collection of biographies, written in Latin, by the 14th century Italian author Francesco Petrarca. These biographies are a set of Lives similar in idea to Plutarch's Parallel Lives. The works were unfinished however he was famous enough for these and other...

("On Famous Men"), a series of moral biographies; Rerum Memorandarum Libri, an incomplete treatise on the cardinal virtues
Cardinal virtues
In Christian traditionthere are 4 cardinal virtues:*Prudence - able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time*Justice - proper moderation between self-interest and the rights and needs of others...

; De Otio Religiosorum ("On Religious Leisure") and De Vita Solitaria
De vita solitaria
is a philosophical treatise composed in Latin and written between 1346 and 1356 by Italian Renaissance humanist Petrarch...

("On the Solitary Life"), which praise the contemplative life; De Remediis Utriusque Fortunae
De remediis utriusque fortunae
De remediis utriusque fortunae is a collection of 253 Latin dialogues written by the humanist Francesco Petrarca , commonly known as Petrarch...

("Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul"), a self-help book which remained popular for hundreds of years; Itinerarium
Itinerarium
An itinerarium was an Ancient Roman road map in the form of a listing of cities, villages and other stops, with the intervening distances. One surviving example is the Peutinger Table; another is the Antonine Itinerary....

("Petrarch's Guide to the Holy Land"); a number of invectives against opponents such as doctors, scholastics, and the French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

; the Carmen Bucolicum, a collection of 12 pastoral poems; and the unfinished epic Africa
Africa (Petrarch)
Africa is an epic poem in Latin hexameters by the 14th century Italian poet Petrarch . It tells the story of the Second Punic War, in which the Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Italy, but Roman forces were eventually victorious after an invasion of north Africa led by Publius Cornelius Scipio...

.

Petrarch also published many volumes of his letters, including a few written to his long-dead friends from history such as Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 and Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

. Cicero, Virgil, and Seneca
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

 were his literary models. Most of his Latin writings are difficult to find today. However, several of his works are scheduled to appear in the Harvard University Press series I Tatti. It is difficult to assign any precise dates to his writings because he tended to revise them throughout his life.

In addition, Petrarch collected his letters into two major sets of books called Epistolae familiares
Epistolae familiares
Epistolae familiares was originally called by Petrarch Epistolarum mearum ad diversos liber , which was shortened later to the current title....

("Familiar Letters") and Seniles ("Of Old Age"), a plan suggested to him by knowledge of Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

's letters. He kept out of Epistolae familiares a special set of 19 controversial letters called Liber sine nomine
Liber sine nomine
The is a collection of nineteen personal letters written in Latin by the fourteenth century Italian poet and Renaissance humanist Petrarch. The letters being harshly critical of the Avignon papacy, they were withheld from the larger collection of his Epistolae familiares and assembled in a...

that contained much criticism of the Avignon papacy
Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown....

. These were published "without names" to protect the recipients, all of whom had close relationships to Petrarch. The recipients of these letters included Philippe de Cabassoles
Philippe de Cabassoles
Philippe de Cabassole or Philippe de Cabassoles , the Bishop of Cavaillon, Seigneur of Vaucluse, was the great protector of Renaissance poet Francesco Petrarch.- Early life:...

, bishop of Cavaillon; Ildebrandino Conti
Ildebrandino Conti
Ildebrandino Conti was an Italian churchman, and a member of the Conti family, a noble Roman family.Ildebrandino Conti was made bishop of Padua in 1319, by Pope John XXII, but he left the administration of the diocese to a vicar, staying in Avignon until 1332...

, bishop of Padua; Cola di Rienzo
Cola di Rienzo
Cola di Rienzo was an Italian medieval politician and popular leader, tribune of the Roman people in the mid-14th century.-Early career:Cola was born in Rome of humble origins...

, tribune
Tribune
Tribune was a title shared by elected officials in the Roman Republic. Tribunes had the power to convene the Plebeian Council and to act as its president, which also gave them the right to propose legislation before it. They were sacrosanct, in the sense that any assault on their person was...

 of Rome; Francesco Nelli
Francesco Nelli
Francesco Nelli was the secretary of bishop Angelo Acciaioli I and a pastor at the Prior of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Florence. Nelli corresponded much with Francesco Petrarch as is evident by the fifty letters still existing of his to Petrarch, and the thirty-eight letters still existing...

, priest of the Prior of the Church of the Holy Apostles in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

; and Niccolò di Capoccia, a cardinal and priest of Saint Vitalis
San Vitale (Rome)
The Basilica of Sts. Vitalis, Valeris, Gervase and Protase is a titular minor basilica church in Rome. The Roman Catholic church is commonly named Basilica di San Vitale. The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Vitalis is Adam Maida.- History :...

. His "Letter to Posterity" (the last letter in Seniles) gives an autobiography and a synopsis of his philosophy in life. It was originally written in Latin and was completed in 1371 or 1372.

While Petrarch's poetry was set to music frequently after his death, especially by Italian madrigal
Madrigal (music)
A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six....

 composers of the Renaissance
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

 in the 16th century, only one musical setting composed during Petrarch's lifetime survives. This is Non al suo amante by Jacopo da Bologna
Jacopo da Bologna
Jacopo da Bologna was an Italian composer of the Trecento, the period sometimes known as the Italian ars nova. He was one of the first composers of this group, making him a contemporary of Gherardello da Firenze and Giovanni da Firenze...

, written around 1350.

Laura and poetry


On April 6, 1327, Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

, after Petrarch gave up his vocation as a priest, the sight of a woman called "Laura
Laura (given name)
Laura is an English female given name in Latin Europe whose meaning translates to everyman, and an early hypocorism from Laurel and Lauren.-Origin and usage:...

" in the church of Sainte-Claire d'Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 awoke in him a lasting passion, celebrated in the Rime sparse ("Scattered rhymes"). Later, Renaissance poets who copied Petrarch's style named this collection of 366 poems Il Canzoniere
Il Canzoniere
Il Canzoniere , also known as the Rime Sparse , but originally titled , is a collection of poems by the Italian humanist, poet, and writer Francesco Petrarch....

("Song Book"). Laura may have been Laura de Noves
Laura de Noves
Laura de Noves was the wife of Count Hugues de Sade . She could be the Laura that the Humanist poet Francesco Petrarch wrote about extensively; however, she has never been positively identified as such. Laura had a great influence on Petrarch's life and lyrics...

, the wife of Count Hugues de Sade (an ancestor of the Marquis de Sade
Marquis de Sade
Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle...

). There is little definite information in Petrarch's work concerning Laura, except that she is lovely to look at, fair-haired, with a modest, dignified bearing. Laura and Petrarch had little or no personal contact. According to his "Secretum", she refused him for the very proper reason that she was already married to another man. He channeled his feelings into love poems that were exclamatory rather than persuasive, and wrote prose that showed his contempt for men who pursue women. Upon her death in 1348, the poet found that his grief
Grief
Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions...

 was as difficult to live with as was his former despair. Later in his "Letter to Posterity", Petrarch wrote: "In my younger days I struggled constantly with an overwhelming but pure love affair – my only one, and I would have struggled with it longer had not premature death, bitter but salutary for me, extinguished the cooling flames. I certainly wish I could say that I have always been entirely free from desires of the flesh, but I would be lying if I did".

While it is possible she was an idealized or pseudonymous character – particularly since the name "Laura" has a linguistic
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 connection to the poetic "laurels" Petrarch coveted – Petrarch himself always denied it. His frequent use of l'aura is also remarkable: for example, the line "Erano i capei d'oro a l'aura sparsi" may both mean "her hair was all over Laura's body", and "the wind ("l'aura") blew through her hair". There is psychological realism in the description of Laura, and Petrarch's love is by no means conventional – unlike some cliché women of troubadour
Troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

s and courtly love
Courtly love
Courtly love was a medieval European conception of nobly and chivalrously expressing love and admiration. Generally, courtly love was secret and between members of the nobility. It was also generally not practiced between husband and wife....

. Her presence causes him unspeakable joy, but his unrequited love creates unendurable desires, inner conflicts between the ardent lover and the mystic Christian
Christian mysticism
Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions...

, making it impossible to reconcile the two, his quest for love a hopeless, endless agony.

Laura is unreachable – the few physical descriptions are vague, almost impalpable as the love he pines for, and such is perhaps the power of his verse, which lives off the melodies it evokes against the fading, diaphanous image that is no more consistent than a ghost. Francesco De Sanctis remarks much the same thing in his Storia della lera italiana, and contemporary critics agree on the powerful music of his verse. Perhaps the poet was inspired by a famous singer he met in Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

 around 1350's. Gianfranco Contini, in a famous essay on Petrarch's language ("Preliminari sulla lingua del Petrarca". Petrarca, Canzoniere. Turin, Einaudi, 1964) has spoken of linguistic indeterminacy – Petrarch never rises above the "bel pié" (her lovely foot): Laura is too holy to be painted; she is an awe-inspiring goddess. Sensuality and passion are suggested rather by the rhythm and music that shape the vague contours of the lady.

Dante



Petrarch's is a world apart from Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

 and his Divina Commedia. In spite of the metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 subject, the Commedia is deeply rooted in the cultural and social milieu of turn-of-the-century Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

: Dante's rise to power (1300) and exile (1302), his political passions call for a "violent" use of language, where he uses all the registers, from low and trivial to sublime and philosophical. Petrarch confessed to Boccaccio that he had never read the Commedia, remarks Contini, wondering whether this was true or Petrarch wanted to distance himself from Dante. Dante's language evolves as he grows old, from the courtly love of his early stilnovistic Rime and Vita nuova to the Convivio and Divina Commedia, where Beatrice
Beatrice Portinari
Beatrice "Bice" di Folco Portinari was a Florentine woman known as the muse of the poet Dante Alighieri. Beatrice was the principal inspiration for Dante's Vita Nuova, and also appears as his guide in the Divine Comedy in the last book, Paradiso, and in the last four canti of Purgatorio...

 is sanctified as the goddess of philosophy – the philosophy announced by the Donna Gentile at the death of Beatrice.

In contrast, Petrarch's thought and style are relatively uniform throughout his life – he spent much of it revising the songs and sonnets of the Canzoniere
Il Canzoniere
Il Canzoniere , also known as the Rime Sparse , but originally titled , is a collection of poems by the Italian humanist, poet, and writer Francesco Petrarch....

rather than moving to new subjects or poetry. Here, poetry alone provides a consolation for personal grief, much less philosophy or politics (as in Dante), for Petrarch fights within himself (sensuality versus mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

, profane versus Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 literature), not against anything outside of himself. The strong moral and political convictions which had inspired Dante belong to the Middle Ages and the libertarian spirit of the commune
Medieval commune
Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. They took many forms, and varied widely in organization and makeup. Communes are first recorded in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, thereafter becoming a widespread...

; Petrarch's moral dilemmas, his refusal to take a stand in politics, his reclusive life point to a different direction, or time. The free commune, the place that had made Dante an eminent politician and scholar, was being dismantled: the signoria was taking its place. Humanism and its spirit of empirical enquiry, however, were making progress – but the papacy (especially after Avignon) and the empire (Henry VII
Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VII was the King of Germany from 1308 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1312. He was the first emperor of the House of Luxembourg...

, the last hope of the white Guelphs, died near Siena in 1313) had lost much of their original prestige.

Petrarch polished and perfected the sonnet form inherited from Giacomo da Lentini
Giacomo da Lentini
Giacomo da Lentini, also known as Giàcumu da Lintini and Jacopo Notaro, was an Italian poet of the 13th century. He was a senior poet of the Sicilian School and was a notary at the court of the Holy Roman emperor Frederick II...

 and which Dante widely used in his Vita nuova
Vita Nuova
Vita Nuova Holdings Ltd is a British company based in York that provides technology for embedded systems and distributed applications based upon the unique operating system Inferno. It also distributes the Plan 9 operating system....

to popularise the new courtly love of the Dolce Stil Novo
Dolce Stil Novo
Dolce Stil Novo , or stilnovismo, is the name given to the most important literary movement of 13th century in Italy. Influenced by both Sicilian and Tuscan poetry, its main theme is Love . Gentilezza and Amore are indeed topoi in the major works of the period...

. The tercet benefits from Dante's terza rima
Terza rima
Terza rima is a rhyming verse stanza form that consists of an interlocking three-line rhyme scheme. It was first used by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri.-Form:Terza rima is a three-line stanza using chain rhyme in the pattern A-B-A, B-C-B, C-D-C, D-E-D...

 (compare the Divina Commedia), the quatrain
Quatrain
A quatrain is a stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines of verse. Existing in various forms, the quatrain appears in poems from the poetic traditions of various ancient civilizations including Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and China; and, continues into the 21st century, where it is...

s prefer the ABBA-ABBA to the ABAB-ABAB scheme of the Sicilians. The imperfect rhymes of u with closed o and i with closed e (inherited from Guittone's mistaken rendering of Sicilian verse
Sicilian School
The Sicilian School was a small community of Sicilian, and to a lesser extent, mainland Italian poets gathered around Frederick II, most of them belonging to his court, the Magna Curia. Headed by Giacomo da Lentini, they produced more than three-hundred poems of courtly love between 1230 and 1266,...

) are excluded, but the rhyme of open and closed o is kept. Finally, Petrarch's enjambment
Enjambment
Enjambment or enjambement is the breaking of a syntactic unit by the end of a line or between two verses. It is to be contrasted with end-stopping, where each linguistic unit corresponds with a single line, and caesura, in which the linguistic unit ends mid-line...

 creates longer semantic units by connecting one line to the following. The vast majority (317) of Petrarch's 366 poems collected in the Canzoniere (dedicated to Laura) were sonnets, and the Petrarchan sonnet still bears his name.

Philosophy


Petrarch is traditionally called the father of Humanism and considered by many to be the "father of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

." He was the first to offer a combination of abstract entities of classical culture and Christian philosophy. In his work Secretum meum
Secretum (book)
Secretum is a trilogy of dialogues in Latin written by Petrarch sometime from 1347 to 1353, in which he examines his faith with the help of Saint Augustine, and "in the presence of The Lady Truth"...

he points out that secular achievements did not necessarily preclude an authentic relationship with God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

. Petrarch argued instead that God had given humans their vast intellectual and creative potential to be used to their fullest. He inspired humanist philosophy which led to the intellectual flowering of the Renaissance. He believed in the immense moral and practical value of the study of ancient history and literature – that is, the study of human thought and action. Petrarch was a devout Catholic and did not see a conflict between realizing humanity's potential and having religious faith.

A highly introspective man, he shaped the nascent humanist movement a great deal because many of the internal conflicts and musings expressed in his writings were seized upon by Renaissance humanist philosophers and argued continually for the next 200 years. For example, Petrarch struggled with the proper relation between the active and contemplative life, and tended to emphasize the importance of solitude and study. In a clear disagreement with Dante, in 1346 Petrach argued in his De vita solitaria
De vita solitaria
is a philosophical treatise composed in Latin and written between 1346 and 1356 by Italian Renaissance humanist Petrarch...

that Pope Celestine V
Pope Celestine V
Pope Saint Celestine V, born Pietro Angelerio , also known as Pietro da Morrone was elected pope in the year 1294, by the papal election of 1292–1294, the last non-conclave in the history of the Roman Catholic Church...

's refusal of the papacy in 1294 was as a virtuous example of solitary life. Later the politician and thinker Leonardo Bruni
Leonardo Bruni
Leonardo Bruni was an Italian humanist, historian and statesman. He has been called the first modern historian.-Biography:...

 argued for the active life, or "civic humanism". As a result, a number of political, military, and religious leaders during the Renaissance were inculcated with the notion that their pursuit of personal fulfillment should be grounded in classical example and philosophical contemplation.

Legacy



The Romantic composer Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

 set three of Petrarch's Sonnets (47, 104, and 123) to music for voice, Tre sonetti del Petrarca, which he later would transcribe for solo piano for inclusion in the suite Années de Pèlerinage
Années de Pèlerinage
Années de pèlerinage is a set of three suites by Franz Liszt for solo piano. Liszt's complete musical style is evident in this masterwork, which ranges from virtuosic fireworks to sincerely moving emotional statements. His musical maturity can be seen evolving through his experience and travel...

.

In November, 2003, it was announced that pathological
Pathology
Pathology is the precise study and diagnosis of disease. The word pathology is from Ancient Greek , pathos, "feeling, suffering"; and , -logia, "the study of". Pathologization, to pathologize, refers to the process of defining a condition or behavior as pathological, e.g. pathological gambling....

 anatomists
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 would be exhuming Petrarch's body from his casket in Arquà Petrarca
Arquà Petrarca
Arquà Petrarca is a town and municipality in northeastern Italy, in the Veneto region, in the province of Padua.As of 2007 the estimated population of Arquà Petrarca was 1,835....

, in order to verify 19th-century reports that he had stood 1.83 meters (about six feet), which would have been tall for his period. The team from the University of Padua
University of Padua
The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second...

 also hoped to reconstruct his cranium in order to generate a computerized image of his features to coincide with his 700th birthday. The tomb had been opened previously in 1873 by Professor Giovanni Canestrini, also of Padua University. When the tomb was opened, the skull was discovered in fragments and a DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 test revealed that the skull was not Petrarch's, prompting calls for the return of Petrarch's skull.

The researchers are fairly certain that the body in the tomb is Petrarch's due to the fact that the skeleton
Skeleton
The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body.In a figurative sense, skeleton can...

 bears evidence of injuries mentioned by Petrarch in his writings, including a kick from a donkey
Donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...

 when he was 42.

Further reading


  • Bernardo, Aldo (1983). "Petrarch." In Dictionary of the Middle Ages
    Dictionary of the Middle Ages
    The Dictionary of the Middle Ages is a 13-volume encyclopedia of the Middle Ages published by the American Council of Learned Societies between 1982 and 1989. It was first conceived and started in 1975 with American medieval historian Joseph Strayer of Princeton University as editor-in-chief...

    , volume 9.
  • Hollway-Calthrop, Henry. (1907). Petrarch: His Life and Times, Methuen. From Google Books.
  • Kohl, Benjamin G. (1978). "Francesco Petrarcha: Introduction; How a Ruler Ought to Govern His State," in The Earthly Republic: Italian Humanists on Government and Society, ed. Benjamin G. Kohl and Ronald G. Witt, 25-78. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1097-2
  • Nauert, Charles G. (2006). Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe: Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-54781-4
  • Rawski, Conrad H. (1991). Petrarch's Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul A Modern English Translation of De remediis utriusque Fortune, with a Commentary. ISBN 0-253-34849-8
  • Robinson, James Harvey
    James Harvey Robinson
    James Harvey Robinson was an American historian.Robinson was born Bloomington, Illinois. He taught history at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University , becoming a full professor in 1895...

     (1898). Petrarch, the First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters Harvard University
  • N. Mann, Petrarca [Ediz. orig. Oxford University Press (1984)] – Ediz. ital. a cura di G. Alessio e L. Carlo Rossi – Premessa di G. Velli, LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milano, 1993, ISBN 88-7916-021-4
  • Il «Canzoniere» di Francesco Petrarca. La Critica Contemporanea, G. Barbarisi e C. Berra (edd.), LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milano, 1992, ISBN 88-7916-005-2
  • G. Baldassari, Unum in locum. Strategie macrotestuali nel Petrarca politico, LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milano, 2006, ISBN 88-7916-309-4
  • Francesco Petrarca, Rerum vulgarium Fragmenta. Edizione critica di Giuseppe Savoca, Olschki, Firenze, 2008, ISBN 978-88-222-5744-4
  • Giuseppe Savoca, Il Canzoniere di Petrarca. Tra codicologia ed ecdotica, Olschki, Firenze, 2008, ISBN 978-88-222-5805-2
  • Roberta Antognini, Il progetto autobiografico delle "Familiares" di Petrarca, LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milano, 2008, ISBN 978-88-7916-396-5.
  • Paul Geyer und Kerstin Thorwarth (hg), Petrarca und die Herausbildung des modernen Subjekts (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009) (Gründungsmythen Europas in Literatur, Musik und Kunst, 2).


External links