Who is Francesco Petrarca?

Who is Francesco Petrarca?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Francesco PetraFrancesco Petrarca is an Italian thinker and poet, who lived between 20 July 1304 and 19 July 1374, considered the greatest scholar of his time and known as the founding father of humanism.

As one of the great poets of the period, Francesco Petrarca, like Dante and Boccaccio, contributed to the formation of the modern Italian language. It is also often said that Francesco Petrarca was the first to use the term “Dark Ages” for the Middle Ages.

Having great admiration for the outside world and nature, Petrarca traveled around Europe and was also the first tourist.


Petrarca was born on July 20, 1304, in Arezzo. His father, Notary Petracco di Parenzo; His mother is Eletta Canigiani. Petracco, from the faction of the White Guelphs, was exiled from Florence in 1302 and took refuge in Arezzo. Petrarch’s father moves to Avignon, the new seat of the papacy; his family settled in Carpentras.

Petrarca took grammar lessons from Convenevole da Prato, one of the distinguished teachers of the period. Meanwhile, his brother Gherardo was born (1307). Petrarca begins his law studies at the University of Montpellier in 1316, but his interest in classical culture is much more intense. After his father’s death in 1326, he left Bologna, where he went in 1320 to complete his law education, to Avignon, never to return. Begins to work as a private chaplain to Cardinal Giovanni Colonna (1330); This duty must have lasted until 1347-1348.

Francesco Petrarch

In 1333 he embarked on a northern European voyage, covering France, Flanders, Brabant and the Rhineland. In December 1336, he made his first trip to Rome as the guest of the Colonna family.

In 1337 he buys a small house in Vaucluse, on the banks of the Sorgue River. In the same year, his first son, Giovanni, was born from an extra-marital affair. De Viris begins to write Illustribus (Famous Men).

He begins his epic poem Africa in 1338-1339. The idea of ​​writing the Triumphi (Poems of Victory) was formed during this period and he began to write the “Victory of Love” part of the work.

The Development of Petrarca’s Understanding of Literature and Ethics

In 1340, both the University of Paris and the Roman Senate offered Petrarch the crown of poetry. The artist chooses Rome. In 1341, he goes to Naples, passes a three-day exam in the presence of King Roberto, and is crowned arch-poet on 8 April with a flamboyant ceremony.

finishes the first draft of Africa in 1341-1342; He continues with Utku Poems. He sets out for Provence in February or March of 1342. He lives in Vaucluse and Avignon in 1342-1343. Prepares the first form of Canzoniere. His daughter, Francesca, is born. He writes the first form of Secretum Meum (My Inner World). He begins Rerum Memorandarum Libri (Unforgettable Things).

He witnessed the destruction of the city of Naples in 1343, the sinking of every ship in the normally quiet harbor.

Towards a New Understanding (1346-1353)

He wrote De Vita Solitaria (A Lonely Life) in the years 1346-1347, when he lived in Vaucluse. He wrote some eclogs of Bucolicum Carmen (Shepherd’s Poems). In 1347, after visiting his brother Gherardo in Montrieux, he wrote De Otio Religioso (Religious Tranquility). Departs for Rome to support Cola di Rienzo’s attempt to reinvigorate the Roman Republic; Learning that the attempt had failed (December 1347), he stays in Genoa and sets off for Verona.

He is in Verona in January 1348, when the Black Plague reigned. He returns to Parma in March. On May 19, he receives the news of the death of Laura and many of her friends and protectors, including Cardinal Colonna. The plague and the loss of many of his friends lead him to write “Victory of Death”.

Francesco Petrarca and his beloved Laura…

In 1350, he wrote the first letter of his compilation Rerum Familiarium Libri (Letters Concerning Familiar Events), known simply as Familiares, in Padova. In Florence she meets Giovanni Boccaccio; This is the beginning of a friendship that will last a lifetime. He arrives in Vaucluse in 1351; He continues his work on Canzoniere with De Viris Illustribus. The Pope turns down the post of secretary and emphasizes his opposition to the papal center in Avignon. He begins a collection of letters entitled Liber Sine Nomine (The Untitled Book).

In 1352 he deals with the compilation of Familiares; De Viris works on Illustribus and Victory Poems. Pope VI. Upon the death of Clemens, Pope VI was elected. Due to the hostile attitude of Innocentius, he prepares to leave Avignon.

The Last Years of Petrarca’s Life and His Death

Petrarch arrives in Italy in 1353; He will no longer return to Provence. In 1354 he begins to write De Remediis Utriusque Fortune (Remedies Against Good and Bad Luck). In autumn, the King of Bohemia, Charles, organizes an expedition to Italy and crowns the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire in Rome. Petrarca meets Karl in Mantova in December.

He stayed in Karl’s palace as an official in 1356. He returns to Milan towards the end of August. He begins work on the third arrangement of Canzoniere. He reviews the Utku Poems in 1357; Bucolicum Carmen v.