Francesco Petrarch

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  • Topic: Venice, Petrarch, Republic of Venice
  • Pages : 7 (2092 words )
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Francesco Petrarch, was a man held in high regards of his peers. The life in which Petrarch lived, was certainly not one of which many people could have had dealt with. A life of solitude, misplaced love and, family misfortune that was endured. But, through hard workand perseverance, loyalty to the churches which lead to good connections, he was regarded as one of the most influential persons and authors of his time.

Petrarch was not a man with greatest of family lives. Born in Arezzo in 1304, to a family that had just been exiled from Florence, his family had to move to Incisa, Tuscany. Petrarch spent most of his childhood in Incisa. From then on, his father pushed him into the path of law. His brother, Gheredo, the most stable family figure in his life, later became a monk and throughout his life stayed in contact with Francesco. Petrarch had another brother, who died at a very young age. His mother died when he was 15 years old, which was consequently when some of his earliest works have been recorded. At the age of 22, Francesco's father passed away, which caused Francesco to attain a career. Giovanni, his son, was born illegitimately in 1337. The relationship between the two was disappointment to Francesco. He describes him as:

"Intelligent, perhaps even exceptionally intelligent, but he hates books"

He let Giovanni live with him till he could no longer stand the sight of him and sent him to live in Avignon, at the age of 20. It wasn't until just before Giovanni's death, of the Black Plague, did they start to write each other. Just before his sons death, Petrarch's friends though of Giovanni as a good person and wrote Petrarch about this. He never saw his son before his death but in his mind knew that he had started to get his life back together. He also had a daughter, Francesca, she gave birth to Petrarch's grandchildren one of which died during the Plague. This was of great disheartenment of Petrarch.

Much to Petrarch's dismay he studied law at the University of Bologna and he earned his degree. Beyond the levels of his peers at an early age it was obvious the intellectual presents he had. Moving from school to school he realized that his true interests were in the ancient authors, not the law. He sought out and recovered manuscripts' Cicero, Virgil, amongst others. When his Petrarch's father found these manuscripts and threw then into a fire. After seeing the look in Petrarch's eyes he took them from the fire saying:

‘Take them my son! Here is Virgil who will console

what you have lost and here is Cicero who shall prepare

you for the studies in Law.'

From that moment on, the manuscripts of Cicero as always at the hand of Francesco.

But, it was this study of law that led him to be a wealthy man both financially and influentially. Once he becoming Chaplin, Francesco received several canonries by people high up in the church. Benedict XII gave him his first canonry, Pope Clement VI and, Jacapo de Cararra gave another. Of these later in life, he used to in dealing with Socrates, once again gaining influence. Besides influence, these canonries were a means of income for him and influence.

At the Age of 49, Francesco was unsure of where he wanted to live. He sent out several letters asking if he could move to different cites in Italy, Petrarch moved to Milan. There here lived under the Archbishop. He did this only on the stipulation that he would have freedom and solitude. The Archbishop Agree to these terms and the life that he undertook is described as:

‘solitudo tranquilla.'

He wrote his friends Nelli and Boccaccio of the news. Both advised strongly against it, as both thought of the Archbishop as a tyrant. Petrarch at the time thought nothing of that, but shortly in writings to an unknown person his feelings had changed to those of his friends. Although he did not let these...
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