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Francesco Petrarca

Edited and translated by David Marsh

ISBN 9780674011540

Publication date: 02/17/2004

Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), one of the greatest of Italian poets, was also the leading spirit in the Renaissance movement to revive ancient Roman language and literature. Just as Petrarch's Latin epic Africa imitated Virgil and his compendium On Illustrious Men was inspired by Livy, so Petrarch's four Invectives were intended to revive the eloquence of the great Roman orator Cicero. The Invectives are directed against the cultural idols of the Middle Ages--against scholastic philosophy and medicine and the dominance of French culture in general. They defend the value of literary culture against obscurantism and provide a clear statement of the values of Renaissance humanism. This volume provides a new critical edition of the Latin text based on the two autograph copies, and the first English translation of three of the four invectives.


  • Impeccably edited and translated by David Marsh.

    —Anthony T. Grafton, New York Review of Books


  • David Marsh is Professor of Italian at Rutgers University and an expert on the Italian Renaissance. He has published broadly on Renaissance humanism and the classical tradition and has translated seminal texts by important early-modern authors including Petrarch, Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, and Vico.

Book Details

  • 560 pages
  • 1-1/4 x 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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