Petrarch's Eight Years in Milan

By Ernest Hatch Wilkins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
1357: January-May

Indecisive warfare between the Visconti and their many enemies--warfare marked by the repeated treachery of mercenary troops--continued throughout 1357. Early in the year the Marquis of Monferrato gained control of Pavia, which he ruled, in effect, through the Augustinian monk Jacopo Bussolari.1


January-March

Petrarch's lost letter to Jan ze Středa, referred to at the end of the preceding chapter, though more probably written before the end of 1356, may have been written in January 1357.

At some time in January Bernabò Visconti, convinced that Pandolfo Malatesta had been interfering with one of his amours, became violently angry with him, was barely prevented from killing him, and threw him into prison. He was released through the intervention of Galeazzo, and fled from Milan. Now an implacable enemy of the Visconti, he went first to Prague.2

Arriving from Prague, probably toward the end of February, Sagremor brought word to the Visconti that Pandolfo had been doing everything he could to injure them, and that he was likely to try to injure them wherever he went.

At the same time Sagremor brought to Petrarch a letter from Jan ze Středa, and his diploma ( LAP11) as Count Palatine, sent to him by Jan as Chancellor.3

Jan's letter, De fecundo pectore (LAP 66), a brief but enthusiastic acknowledgment of Petrarch's lost letter, ends with

____________________
1
Cognasso, pp. 390-395.
2
Weiss 1, pp. 80-84.
3
Piur 2 prints the letters on p. 55 and the diploma on pp. 221-223.

-135-

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