Born in 1304inArezzo, ItalyPetrarch was born at thebeginning of theRenaissance. Hebecame a widely knownscholar, humanist, andpoet.
Petrarch spent time studying in Montpellierfor several years, then moved on to studyin Bologna for two years. He took aninterest in writing, Latin literature, and law.
Father ofHumanism“Five enemies of peaceinhabit with us /avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were tobe banished, we shouldinfallibly enjoy perpetualpeace.”
Easter Sunday, 1341Petrarch was invited to Rome. On this day he was crownedpublicly as the poet Laureate and historian in the Capitol.
FameandFortunePetrarch was most proudof his writings inLatin, especially his epicpoem Africa. Ironically, hismost read and well-lovedworks are hissonnets, which heconsidered trifling. Heoften wrote about humanemotion.
Petrarch wrote sonnets, essays, and poems by the hundreds, but two of his most famous are the “Trionfi” and the “Canzoniere.” The “Trionfi” is a moral allegory, featuring six figures: Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Divinity; the former being ultimately triumphant.The “Conzoniere” is a compilation of sonnets with themes of love and patriotism.
MeetingLauraOn April 6, 1327 Petrarch wasattending church at Sainte-Claire dAvignon. There it issaid he first met a youngwoman by the name ofLaura, the “most beautifulwoman he had ever seen.”There has been some debateas to whether Laura actuallyexisted, but some historiansare able to identify her with thewife of Hugues de Sade
You’re the inspiration…Whether fabricated or not, Laura inspired many of Petrarch’smost famous lyrics and even provided the inspiration for manyof the pieces in the “Canzoniere.” If Laura truly existedPetrarch’s love went unreciprocated and no relationship evercame from his obsession.
July 18, 1374Petrarch died in Arqua. He left behind his writing, and aninfluence on writing and literature for hundreds of years tocome.