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Francesco Petrarca. From the Canzoniere to the Production of Many Latin Works
Petrarca’s Life and Works
Francesco Petrarca studied law at Montpellier and Bologna, but later devoted himself entirely to literary studies, especially based on the study of the Latin classics , of whom passionately he looked for manuscripts. Petrarch probably met Laura de Noves , the wife of Hugh de Sade at Avignon, with whom he fell in love and to whom he dedicated his Canzoniere.
In 1341 Petrarch was crowned poet laureate in Rome. He made many journeys through Italy, staying at Parma, Modena, Padua, Milan and Venice. Petrarch died in solitude in his small country house at Arquà, in the Euganean Hills (his small house in Arquà is a destination with a continuous stream of visitors, who want to see the place where the great Italian poet spent his working life ).
Francesco Petrarca owes his fame to the Canzoniere, written in Italian, but he would be remembered for his Latin works. In fact, except the Canzoniere, the whole literary production of Petrarca is in Latin (Africa, Secretum, De remediis utriusque fortunae, Epistula ad Posteros, De viris illustribus, Familiares and Seniles). Ironically, instead his fortune over the centuries is essentially due to the only work that he wrote in Italian: the Canzoniere, which he always described as minor work, a sort of pastimes (= Latin nugae).