Petrarch in German Literature

(3190 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Next to Dante, Francesco Petrarca (1404-74) is the most famous Italian poet, sometimes referred to as the first modern man, the first great humanist, and a much-imitated poet of love. On the cusp of the Renaissance he was not only a major force in the development of the European Republic of Letters based on his Latin treatises on moral philosophy, but an equally paradigmatic figure in writing vernacular poetry collected in his Trionfi (1352-74) and Canzoniere (1336-74). Petrarch’s influence started already during his lifetime and, reinforced by his disciples and imitators, the so-called Petrarchists, continued to exert a powerful legacy in European letters and music well …

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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Petrarch in German Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 April 2010
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences