I need help with a paper or assignment. [top]
If you can not find what you are looking for on this website, check the
Google ads to the left.
The first place I suggest you look is the submissions section. This section has over a dozen papers on Petrarch with regard to different areas of his life. Information on the sonnet in general is also available. For more detailed information on Petrarch you can check his biography or the timeline of his life. Be sure to list proper references in your paper, listing either this website or the papers you quote or take information from.
If you are still unable to find information which will help you, there are links to other sites which may be able to be of more assistance in the links section.
Can I freely copy texts from this website? [top]
Yes and no. You may freely copy any texts which are in the public domain, which applies to almost everything on this website. You are free to print off copies for your own use or for use as reference in papers, assignments or other works as long as the use is for educational or non-profit purposes.
If you wish to reprint any information on this website you must get in contact with the author of that work. For the most part where the author is known a link to the author's website is presented along with work in question and they may be contacted through there. For permission to reprint or use material contained in this website for which no author is readily apparent contact me and I will try to help you.
Regardless of whether you copy material or simply quote or use information within you should always give proper credit stating either this website or the original author as the source for the information you gathered.
Tell me a little more about this website. [top]
This website was created by me, Peter Sadlon, with some design layout influenced from other websites. The purpose of this site is host a collection of Petrarch's works and papers on Petrarch. It also has smaller sections with images, links, and teaching aids.
In an attempt to avoid the problem of external links vanishing when other websites go offline, where ever possible I have copied works and papers to this server so that they would always be available. Where I have done so I have done so with the permission of the authors or where the works in questions are believed to be in the public domain. If I have made an error in doing so please do contact me so I may fix the error.
This website receives between 400 and 500 unique visitors requesting 2000 pages and 20000 images and papers each day. It has become one of the, if not the largest English online resource site for Petrarch. However, this website is a dwarf in an Internet of giants. If it is true that this site sees and reaches further then others, it is because it has stood on the shoulders of those giants.
Who was Francesco Petrarch? [top]
Petrarch was born in 1304 and though his family sent him to be a lawyer he quickly found his passion in the texts of antiquity. He continually strived to collect the works of Cicero and others believing that they contained knowledge and insights into the human condition which would take an eternity to recreate. For more information check out this site's biography of Petrarch.
Why is he sometimes called Petrarca or Francis Petrarch? [top]
It all has to do with translations. The most "correct" was to spell his name would be Francesco Petrarca. His name is often spelled Petrarch because in English this spelling gives a closer to sound to his real name. The change from Francesco to Francis again is an English change, as Francis is the English version of the name Francesco early English writers who copied his works would often change his name to sound more English as well.
Who was Laura? [top]
Laura may have been a figment of Petrarch's imagination, or she may have been the untouchable love of his life. More information on Laura is available here.
What is a sonnet? [top]
A sonnet is a 14 line poem, usually about love. There is more information on sonnets here. The Canzoniere contains many sonnets.
Where was Petrarch born? [top]
Petrarch was born just outside of Florence in 1304. His family travelled around a lot and ended up in France. A more detailed listing of where Petrarch lived is available on the timeline and biography.
Where did Petrarch live? [top]
Petrarch was born just outside of Florence in 1304. His family travelled around a lot and ended up in France. After his parents died he remained in France for a while, then while in the service of the church travelled all around the known world (which was rather small at the time). A more detailed listing of where Petrarch lived is available on the timeline and biography.
When was Petrarch born? [top]
Petrarch was born on July 20th, 1304. A more detailed listing of Petrarch's important dates is available on the timeline and biography.
When was he crowned poet laureate? [top]
Petrarch was crowned poet laureate on April 8th, 1341. A more detailed listing of Petrarch's important dates is available on the timeline and biography.
Why did Petrarch travel so much? [top]
Petrarch spent a lot of his life in the service of the church. He was often sent on diplomatic missions though France and Italy and even into Germany. A good paper describing the journeys he took by Nicholas Mann is online called Petrarch at the Crossroads. It is a .pdf meaning you will need Acrobat Reader to read it.
Why did Petrarch write to so many people? [top]
Part of the reason for Petrarch's writing so much was because of his position in the Church. Only ever completing the Minor Orders he never held a high position, but was often used in diplomatic missions. Italy was at war with itself, being comprised of a bunch of small city states, and some of his diplomatic missions were to make peace.
Why create this website? [top]
This website started years ago while I was going to university and I wanted to research both at home and at school without losing any information I
collected, or to put it a different way, to have all my resources together, always handy without having to carry around a book of notes which I would
surely lose. The solution was simple, a single webpage with a bunch of links on it.
As the years passed and the single webpage turned to 2 then 3 then 5 pages, and as many others started to link to my page of links and use it as a
resource, and as my love of Petrarch grew I decided to give it a new face, the look you see today. I must admit though that there was yet another
reason for the final form of this site. My own Laura, for the one I would never know and could never have.
The main focus of this website was to create a single website where Petrarch's works, and works written about Petrarch could be archived and used for
study and research. Although the traditional method of just linking to other sources online does work in theory, too many times have sites such as this
one become obsolete as those linked too sites disappear and the resources lost. To combat that problem, where possible I have copied works and papers
to this server so that they would always be available. Where I have done so I have done so with the permission of the authors or where the works in
questions are believed to be in the public domain. If I have made an error in doing so please do contact me so I may fix the