Francesco Petrarch, a Fourteenth Century Italian scholar and poet, is recognized as one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. He traveled across Europe largely for pleasure. During his journeys as a “tourist”, Petrarch collected manuscripts written in both Latin and Greek. He helped preserve and/or recover knowledge from Roman and Greek writers that might have vanished otherwise had he not added these crumbling manuscripts to his personal library. Petrarch claimed to climb Mont Ventoux simply to enjoy the view from the top. Some contemporary Renaissance scholars liken Petrarch’s descent down Mont Ventoux, which the Italian scholar and poet recorded in his travel journals, as a “rediscovery of the inner world of the soul” or a “return to the valley of the soul”. He wrote: “There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen”
With these words, Petrarch ushers in the belief that “man is the measure of all things”. What are your initial thoughts on Petrarch’s place in the early “rebirth” of humanism and the shadow that he would cast over the first manifestations of the Florentine Renaissance fixed into visible form?