In the Footsteps of the Ancients: The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni

By Ronald G. Witt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
PETRARCH, FATHER OF HUMANISM?

Petrarch would have been pleased by modern scholarship's endorsement of the reputation that he tried to create for himself. In what is perhaps his first surviving prose writing, Ms Collatio laureationis, written for the Capitoline ceremony conferring on Mm the laureate in 1341, Petrarch boasted of having taken the lead in striking out on a new course:

I have not been afraid to furnish leadership on such a trying and, to me, even dangerous path, and many, I think, are ready to follow after me.1

Nor was Petrarch reluctant late in life to accept the judgment of Boccaccio, his most ardent admirer, who considered him the founder of the new studies.2 Salutati, who recognized Mussato and Geri as the true pioneers, may have known better, but the immense figure of Petrarch cast such a shadow across the legacies of his predecessors that the generation after Salutati readily ascribed to Boccaccio's assertion, which Bruni enshrined in Ms Vita del Petrarca3

At the time of Ms coronation on the Capitoline, Petrarch could speak freely. He had no rivals. Mussato, along with Geri and

____________________
1
“Me in tarn laborioso et michi quidem periculoso calle ducem prebere non expavi, multis [multos MS] posthac, ut arbitror, secuturis ….”: G. Godi, “La Collatio laureationis del Petrarca nelle due redazioni, ” Studi petrarcheschi, n.s., 5 (1988): 1–58, as well as comments by M. Feo, “Note petrarchesche, ” Quademi petrarcheschi 1 (1990): 186–203. The passage is cited from Sylvia Rizzo, “II latino del Petrarca e il latino dell'umanesimo, ” in Il Petrarca latino e le origini dell'umanesimo: Atti del convegno Internationale, Firenze 19–22 Maggio 1991, Quademi petrarcheschi 9–10 (1992–93): 351. Rizzo was the first to point out this important passage, indicative of Petrarch's selfrepre sentation at an early date in his life. On the speech itself, see ibid., n. 6.
2
Seniles, bk. XVII, letter 2; in Petrarch, Prose, 1144. Cited in Rizzo, “II latino del Petrarca, ” 350. Petrarch refers to himself as “omnium senior qui nunc apud nos his in studiis elaborant.” A modern edition of the Seniles is in progress. At the time of writing, it consists of bk. 1: Le senili, ed. E. Nota (Rome, 1993). Wherever possible, I have tried to use this edition or modern editions of individual letters. Otherwise, I refer to the Basel edition of the Opera omnia, 2 vols. (Basel, 1554). An English translation of the Seniles has been published by A. Bernardo, S. Levin, and R. A. Bernardo, Letters of Old Age (Rerum smilium libri I-XVUI), 2 vols. (Baltimore, 1992).
3
For the influence of Boccaccio on Bruni's assessment, cf. Hans Baron, The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance, 2nd ed., (Princeton, 1966), 254–69.

-230-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
In the Footsteps of the Ancients: The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - The Birth of the New Aesthetic 31
  • Chapter Three - Padua and the Origins of Humanism 81
  • Chapter Four - Albertino Mussato and the Second Generation 117
  • Chapter Five - Florence and Vernacular Learning 174
  • Chapter Six - Petrarch, Father of Humanism? 230
  • Chapter Seven - Coluccio Salutati 292
  • Chapter Eight - The Revival of Oratory 338
  • Chapter Nine - Leonardo Bruni 392
  • Chapter Ten - The First Ciceronianism 443
  • Chapter Eleven - Conclusion 495
  • Appendix 509
  • Bibliography 515
  • Index of Persons 549
  • Index of Places 556
  • Index of Subjects 558
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 565

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.