Petrarch (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Petrarch’s scholarship stimulated a revival of interest in classical studies, and his vernacular poetry created a veritable Petrarchan school of sonneteers.
Petrarch’s father, Pietro di Parenzo—more commonly known as Ser Petracco—was, like Dante, a member of the White Guelph Party in Florence. Following the victory of the Black Guelphs, he was condemned to a heavy fine and the loss of a hand. He fled with his wife, Eletta Canigiani, to Arezzo in October of 1302, and there, on July 20, 1304, Francesco Petrarca was born. The following year, Petrarch and his mother moved to Incisa, where his brother, Gherardo, was born in 1307.
Because Incisa was under Florentine rule, Pietro could visit his wife and children only surreptitiously, so in 1311 the family moved again, this time to Pisa. There Petrarch saw for the first and only time that other famous Florentine exile, Dante. Apparently it was at Pisa, too, that Petrarch began his studies under yet another exile, Convenevole da Prato. In 1312, the family again relocated, settling in Carpentras, France, fifteen miles northeast of Avignon, to be close to the papal seat. Many years later, Petrarch wrote to Guido Sette, recalling his life in the French village: “Do you remember those four...
(The entire section is 3193 words.)
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