Francesco Petrarch, Italian poet

Francesco Petrarch, Italian poet

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374). 1859 illustration of the Italian poet Francesco Petrarch (Petrarca). Petrarch's greatest work 'Il Canzioniere' is a collection of over 300 sonnets, mostly dealing with his love for a woman named Laura. His first large work was 'Africa', an epic poem about the general Scipio Africanus. He travelled widely through Europe collecting Latin manuscripts that had fallen into disrepair and in later life he travelled around northern Italy as a scholar and diplomat. His attempts to bind classical concepts with his religious beliefs make him one of the earliest Renaissance humanists.

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