Francesco Petrarca, one of the founders of Renaissance humanism, was born in Arezzo in 1304 as the son of a notary public exiled from Florence. He grew in Avignon when it was the Papal seat (1309-77) and in the adjacent Carpentras, where he received instruction in grammar and rhetoric before he was sent to study law at Montpellier and Bologna, with much of his time however devoted to his discovery of Cicero, Virgil, and Augustine (

The City of God,

415). Upon his father's death he broke off his law studies and returned to Avignon to lead a dissipated life, spending his inheritance, composing Italian love songs that made him well known and, in a financial pinch, joining the Franciscan Friars Minor in 1326. This decision proved to be crucial because during the subsequent decades Petrarch…

2479 words

Citation: Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Francesco Petrarch". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 July 2004 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

3540 Francesco Petrarch 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.