Cover: Selected Letters, Volume 1, from Harvard University PressCover: Selected Letters, Volume 1 in HARDCOVER

The I Tatti Renaissance Library 76

Selected Letters, Volume 1

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$29.95 • £19.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674058347

Publication: February 2017

Academic Trade

800 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

The I Tatti Renaissance Library


  • Introduction
    • Petrarca’s Languages
    • Petrarca’s Latin Education and Classical Studies
    • The Familiar Letters and Letters of Old Age
    • Petrarca and Gherardo: Man of the World and Man of God
    • Petrarca’s Hopes for Rome and Italy
    • Death and Mortality
    • Notes
  • I. On His Letters
    • 1. To his Socrates
    • 2. To Francesco of the Holy Apostles, arguing that loyalty is enough in exchanges between friends and one should not aim for style
    • 3. To his Socrates, the closure of this book
    • 4. To his dear Simonides, a preface
  • II. His Life and World
    • 1. To Dionigi of Borgo Sansepolcro of the Order of Saint Augustine and Professor of Sacred Scriptures, concerning his own anxieties
    • 2. To Giovanni Colonna of the Order of Preachers, that one should not love sects but the truth, and concerning the famous places of the city of Rome
    • 3. To his Socrates, in lamentation over the unprecedented outbreak of the plague that has occurred in their time
    • 4. To his own brother Gherardo, a Carthusian monk, an exhortation
    • 5. To Giovanni Boccaccio, on the plague of the recent age, and the folly of astrologers
    • 6. To Luca da Penne, papal secretary, about the texts of Cicero
    • 7. To Giovanni Boccaccio, on his intention of crossing the Alps
    • 8. To Philippe, bishop of Cavaillon, in friendly mood
    • 9. To the same, that one should avert envy by going into hiding
    • 10. To the same
    • 11. To the same
    • 12. To Francesco of the Holy Apostles, about his rustic and solitary life
    • 13. To Stefano Colonna, provost of Saint Omer, on the troubled condition of almost the whole world
    • 14. To Guido Sette, archbishop of Genoa, a detailed account of his own condition
    • 15. An incorrigible youth is severely reproached and denied permission to return to his home
    • 16. To Pandolfo Malatesta, who had invited him to healthy places in a time of plague
    • 17. To Giovanni Boccaccio of Certaldo, on not breaking off study because of old age
  • III. The Scholar and Man of Letters
    • 1. To Giovanni dell’Incisa, charging him to search for manuscripts
    • 2. To Giovanni Colonna, cardinal of the Roman Church, consulting him on where to accept the laurel crown
    • 3. To the same, in confirmation of his advice
    • 4. To Giacomo Colonna, bishop of Lombez, on the same topic
    • 5. To Robert, king of Sicily, concerning his laurel crown, and against those who always praise the ancients and despise contemporaries
    • 6. To Barbato of Sulmona, royal secretary, concerning the same crown of laurel
    • 7. A dispute with a certain well-known man, against those who display borrowed knowledge and those who pick out fancy flowers
    • 8. To the same, the rest of the controversy, and a memory of his studies at Bologna
    • 9. To Giacomo of Florence, on Cicero and his works
    • 10. To Francesco of the Holy Apostles, on the happy outcome of his business in the Curia, and the three styles
    • 11. To Peter, abbot of Saint-Bénigne, on the same question, and on the incurable addiction to writing
    • 12. To Nicholas Sigeros, magistrate of the Greeks, thanks for the delivery of the book of Homer
    • 13. To Crotus, grammarian from Bergamo, concerning Cicero’s book called The Tusculan Investigations and praise for that great man
    • 14. To Marco of Genoa, an encouragement to persevere in the course of study he has begun, and discussion of ancient orators and legal experts, and the lawyers of our age
    • 15. To Neri Morando of Forlì, congratulating him on his restored health and advising him to avoid dangerous effort, and much besides about Petrarch’s own acute personal misfortune
    • 16. To Giovanni [Boccaccio] of Certaldo, self-exoneration against the slander cast upon him by envious men
    • 17. To Francesco of the Holy Apostles, on the mingling of the sacred and profane styles
    • 18. To Giovanni [Boccaccio] of Certaldo, that a writer is often more easily deceived about what he knows intimately, and on the law of imitation
    • 19. To the same, about the young man whom he employs as an assistant in writing, and that no work is so well corrected that it lacks nothing
    • 20. To the same, on the plague of the recent age and the folly of astrologers
    • 21. To the same, on the instability of human decisions
    • 22. To the same, on the terrible death of a pitiable friend
    • 23. To Federico of Arezzo, concerning some inventions of Vergil
  • IV. The Moralist
    • 1. To Bruno of Florence, that the judgments of lovers are blind
    • 2. Reclaiming a friend from dangerous love affairs
    • 3. To his Socrates, that everything should be shared with one’s friend, and in particular one’s friendships
    • 4. To Guido Gonzaga, lord of Mantua, that love evens out disparities
    • 5. To Niccolosio of Lucca, that virtue and renown for virtue is the best recommendation of friendship
    • 6. To both Niccola and Giovanni, in exhortation to mutual friendship and their original love
    • 7. To Pandolfo Malatesta the Younger, Lord of Rimini, whether it is appropriate to take a wife and what kind to choose
    • 8. To Lombardo della Seta, on residing in the country or the town
    • 9. To his dear Socrates, about a vision by night, arguing that poverty in leisure should be preferred to wealth in anxiety
    • 10. To his Socrates, against those who urge in favor of desires
    • 11. To Olympius, exhorting him to moderation in his desires, arguing that one should not postpone plans to live a better life
    • 12. To Francesco Bruni of Florence, that there is scope for virtue and glory in both poverty and wealth
    • 13. To Giovanni of Arezzo, chancellor of the lords of Mantua, expanding on the same theme [the death of Giacomo da Carrara]
    • 14. To Peter of Poitou, on the changes of Fortune, arguing that they derive from a change in customs, and in particular in military discipline
    • 15. To Cardinal Giovanni Colonna, in consolation for the death of his brother Giacomo, that most illustrious man
    • 16. To Giovanni of Arezzo, why it is that we want to do one thing, but do another
  • Note on the Text and Notes
  • Notes to the Translation
  • Concordances
  • Bibliography
  • Index