Petrarch was born to Florentine parents but was raised along the River Rhone in eastern France. It was as a writer that Petrarch has been referred to as the Father of the Renaissance in Italy. There were several experiences in his life that shed light into what shaped this man and why he became so revered and respected. He confessed that even though he had a noble family and loving parents and even received training as a priest, he was deeply entrenched in patterns of sexual sin until the age of 40.
A major event that led to the a€?throwing off of the old and putting on the newa€? was a climb with his brother to the top of Mount Ventoux (which means a€?windya€? in French), the highest mountain peak in southern France. The passage struck him like an arrow and from that wound he turned from a preoccupation with the world of nature around him and instead began to focus on the inner world of the soul. A second major impact upon Petrarcha€™s life was his infatuation with a beautiful girl, Laura, who attended the same church in Avignon. As a priest, Petrarch was forbidden to marry but did father two children, a son and daughter, by a woman or women whose identity(ies) was lost.
The sonnet is a lyrical poem expressing onea€™s emotions rather than tell, for example, a story. The following is an example from Petrarcha€™s collection of sonnets (1327), Rime in vita e morta di Madonna Laura (a€?Rhymes in life and death of Lady Lauraa€?) contained in his major collection of works, Il Canzoniere (a€?Song Booka€?). I bless the place, the time and hour of the daya€?that my eyes aimed their sights at such a height,a€?and say: a€?My soul, you must be very gratefula€?that you were found worthy of such great honour. His son died young in a plague but his daughter lived on and off with Petrarch for her entire life. Although he was born in Florence during the later stages of the Middle Ages, Dante is considered to be one of three a€?mountainsa€? of poetry that Italy produced during the Renaissance, together with Petrarch and Boccaccio. In Dantea€™s lifetime, the Emperor Henry VII entered Italy, and Dante envisioned him as the new Charlemagne.
Henry VII is depicted in Dantea€™s Paradise seated on a seat of honor as the one a€?who will come to set Italy straight before her time is ready.a€? (Or, a€?.
In Hell (Inferno) Dante has as his personal guide, the Roman philosopher Virgil who cannot leave hell for purgatory because as a Roman he was a pagan. Mohammed is seen as a disemboweled spirit wandering aimlessly through hell because of his deception of millions through his false religion.
In addition to Boniface VIII, Dante meets various leaders of the Italian city-states who are confined in hell because of instigating political intrigue, warfare, and death.
Dantea€™s treatment of Boniface in the Comedy created a wide audience of readers, because the Pope was considered by many throughout Italy to be a notorious villain. In the third section or book in The Divine Comedy, Dante is accompanied by Beatrice, the young woman he loved in life but for whom his love was never fulfilled. Paradise concludes with Dantea€™s encounter with God, which he describes as an experience filled with glory and brilliance in Goda€™s presence. Hence, The Divine Comedy is a work filled with Dantea€™s theological comments and political opinions. Dante was married at the age of 9 by his parents to the daughter of another wealthy Florentine family of nobility. Dante states, however, that he loved another girl who he knew in Florence but that this was a secret love known only to him and never by her. Perhaps because of his infatuation with Beatrice and his inability to come to terms with what would seem to be a necessary masculine maturity, Dante never mentioned his wife in any of his writings and she never accompanied him during the many years of exile in northern Italy. The novel depicts ten youths (seven girls and three boys) who flee Florence to escape the Black Death. The tales they tell were gathered by Boccaccio from all over Europe and the Middle East and reveal important insights into the cultures of that time period.
The novel was banned for long periods of time because the bawdy tales broke custom, not only by including sexual content generally but also tales of priests engage in illicit sexual activity as well. Just as Dante was in trouble because of his public opposition to the political power of the pope, so, too, Boccaccio was in deep trouble because of the content of Decameron, especially the public broadcasting of the immorality of priests and bishops.
In the later part of his life, Boccaccio had a desire to enter the priesthood, perhaps in an attempt to atone for the sins he committed in his younger years (he was in loved with a married noble woman while in Naples and made her famous through the false name, Fiammetta).
He established the novel as an effective part of Renaissance literature which became a model for novelists in later centuries. Decameron was an important collection of tales gathered from many areas of Europe, the Middle East, and India and served as an instrument preserve the tales.
The important literary work for which he is known, The Courtier, was his handbook for courtiers.
The royal courts were located in the palace of the king or prince that required onea€™s full time attendance. Courts were also the place where musical concerts were preformed, plays presented, and recitations of recent literary works given. It was in this climate that The Courtier greatly influenced Renaissance behavior and further advanced the qualities of the ideal Renaissance man. His most important work, The Prince, was a handbook which gave advice to young rulers who were inexperienced in ruling. There were three major ideas advocated by Machiavelli that set him in opposition to the pope and clergy. First, the most famous pieces of advice from The Prince given to young rulers was the line, a€?It is better to be feared than loved.a€? Ita€™s nice if those you govern love you, but eventually without fearing you they will turn on you and attack you behind your back. Machiavelli was perhaps the clearest spokesman for a humanism that concentrated on the here and now and divorced itself from the concept of personal accountability to God. Today people in contemporary politics who constantly change their values and follow the principle, a€?the end justifies the means,a€? are referred to as being a€?Machiavellian.a€? The term was applied, for example, to President Nixon when he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the Water Gate break-in, and to President Clinton when he lied to Congress about his relationship with a young female aide. The Prince was more widely read and followed than any other literature produced during the Renaissance because it touched a raw nerve, the frustration in Italy with the Churcha€™s involvement in civil government. How did Petrarcha€™s climb up the mountain and reading Augustinea€™s Confessions change his life? Dantea€™s work, The Divine Comedy is considered one of the greatest pieces of literature in history. What did Dante do through his literature to greatly aid Italy later to become a unified nation? How did Castiglionea€™s work, The Courtier, help shape Italian society, especially among the nobility?
If someone today is accused of being Machiavellian (and often people are), what are others saying about that person?
If from the little you have read about these three authors, which do feel most attracted to?
Petrarch from early childhood loved to learn and the study of ancient history was his special area of interest. I bless the place, the time and hour of the daythat my eyes aimed their sights at such a height,and say: a€?My soul, you must be very gratefulthat you were found worthy of such great honour. During his lifetime, Italy was torn with conflicts between the city-states and between the pope and the Holy Roman Empire. In the third section or bookA  in The Divine Comedy, Dante is accompanied by Beatrice, the young woman he loved in life but for whom his love was never fulfilled. Dante states, however,A  that he loved another girl who he knew in Florence but that this was a secret love known only to him and never by her.
As an experienced courtier (one who serves in the kinga€™s or princea€™s court at his invitation) Castiglione felt it necessary to counter the Middle Agesa€™ concept of the perfect knights who were sworn to bravery and virtue.
1.How did Petrarcha€™s climb up the mountain and reading Augustinea€™s Confessions change his life? 3.Dantea€™s work, The Divine Comedy is considered one of the greatest pieces of literature in history. 5.What did Dante do through his literature to greatly aid Italy later to become a unified nation?
6.How did Castiglionea€™s work, The Courtier, help shape Italian society, especially among the nobility? 9.If someone today is accused of being Machiavellian (and often people are), what are others saying about that person? 10.If from the little you have read about these three authors, which do feel most attracted to? On discovering that his daughter, who had left his house a year before, had settled here with her child, the elder brother had come from St.
Prince Michael Ivanovich was a tall, handsome, white-haired, fresh coloured man, proud and attractive in appearance and bearing.
Prince Peter wanted to ask his brother how, and under what circumstances, Lisa had left home, and who could possibly be the father of her child. That very morning, when his wife had attempted to condole with her brother-in-law, Prince Peter had observed a look of pain on his brother's face. His sister-in-law was a quiet, gentle creature, who bowed in submission to her husband's will. Michael Ivanovich sigheda€”the word pained him; but mastering himself at once, he answered with a tired smile. For a long while after she had gone Michael Ivanovich walked to and fro on the square of carpet. He recalled the time when she was not merely his child, and a member of his family, but his darling, his joy and his pride.
He also recalled the time when she was growing into womanhood, and the curious feeling of fear and anger that he experienced when he became aware that men regarded her as a woman.
And then, as a last ghastly memory, there was the letter from Moscow, in which she wrote that she could not return home; that she was a miserable, abandoned woman, asking only to be forgiven and forgotten.


All this came back to him now as he paced backwards and forwards on the bedroom carpet, recollecting his former love for her, his pride in her. And again a curious feeling overpowered him: a mixture of self-pity at the recollection of his love for her, and of fury against her for causing him this anguish. DURING the last year Lisa had without doubt lived through more than in all the preceding twenty-five. These smiles and glances seemed to reveal to each, not only the soul of the other, but some vital and universal mystery. How it had come about, how and when the devil, who had seized hold of them both, first appeared behind these smiles and glances, she could not say.
Suddenly all that was beautiful, joyous, spiritual, and full of promise for the future, became animal and sordid, sad and despairing. She looked into his eyes and tried to smile, pretending that she feared nothing, that everything was as it should be; but deep down in her soul she knew it was all over.
The thought overpowered her that she, too, might have been a mother had he not been married, and this vision of motherhood made her look into her own soul for the first time. Thus months dragged along, and then something happened which entirely transformed her life. She now directed all her thoughts to getting awaya€”somewhere where she could bear her childa€”and become a miserable, pitiful mother, but a mother withal.
Michael Ivanovich followed her advice and went to the public gardens, which were so near to Everything, and meditated with annoyance on the stupidity, the obstinacy, and heartlessness of women. Michael Ivanovich followed the stout figure of Maria Ivanovna into a tiny parlour, and from the next room came the screams of a baby, sounding cross and peevish, which filled him with disgust.
Maria Ivanovna apologised, and went into the room, and he could hear her soothing the child.
He had just turned to leave, when he heard quick, light steps on the stairs, and he recognised Lisa's voice. She got up, and suddenly the wild idea seized her to show him whom she loved so deeply the thing she now loved best of all in the world. When Michael Ivanovich returned to his brother's house, Alexandra Dmitrievna immediately rushed to him.
His father had been forced into exile from Florence during one of the numerous political intrigues that plagued Florence. Some cite Petrarcha€™s passion for mountain climbing to be an example of the Renaissance spirit -- the quest to see the new, higher view. Today the mountain is a major ski attraction and is most famous as a major climb in the Tour da€™France bicycle race.
He attempted on several occasions to avoid what appeared to be hard parts of the climb which were taken by his his brother, and to save energy Petrarch took what appeared to him at the time to be easier routes to the top. It contains 14 lines broken into two sections: the octave (eight lines following an abba abba rhyming format) and the sestet (six lines following a bcb cbd format). The majority of his sonnets were written to Laura -- 365 sonnets in all -- one sonnet per day to the love of his imagination.
In Il Canzoniere were contained other important themes addressed by Petrarch: politics, time, spirituality, religion and the papacy. He is considered one of the literary greats in history and his greatest work, The Divine Comedy. Dante was politically active and was vocally supportive of the emperor and critical of the popea€™s involvement in politics.
The Comedy is a tale covering an extensive journey that Dante took through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.
Dante meets many famous persons from history, including Mohammed and several popes, including Boniface VII, who Dante labels a€?Public Enemy #1a€?! Dante sees also Ali, Mohammeda€™s son-in-law, leader of the Shiite sect of Islam, who also wanders eternally in hell. In other words, Dante picks a fight with many of his contemporaries and must move from city to city in northern Italy for protection, where many who share his opinions are able to shield him. He was accused of heresy, simony, sexual fornication, self-idolatry, sodomy, assassination, violation of the confidence sworn to in the confessional, political intrigue, embezzlement of Crusade funds, and a whole host of other sins and crimes. This was not an unusual practice in Florence at the time when families needed to establish as many alliances as possible to achieve additional success or, on the other hand, protection in an era of great political intrigue and upheaval. He would see her occasionally on the streets of Florence while still they were still young. However, Petrarch, the priest who was torn by unrequited love, talked Boccaccio out of joining the clergy.
He was sent by Pope Clement VII to Spain as papal ambassador and watchdog on the activities of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
Some were even invited to spend the night at court and others were given apartments for longer periods of time. One such was a young member of the Medici family who had just been given his own small area to govern. It was humanistic, opposed to traditional values and morality, and advocated a harsh, selfish approach to governing. But if their attitude is primary one of fear, they will be too fearful to do anything but support you.
It is still widely read in many languages and is used in college courses in history and political science.
These words were spoken by Prince Michael Ivanovich to his brother Peter, who was governor of a province in Central Russia. The look had at once been masked by an expression of unapproachable pride, and he had begun to question her about their flat, and the price she paid. When he retired to the room which had been made ready for him, and was just beginning to take out his artificial teeth, some one tapped lightly on the door with two fingers. His daughtera€”hisa€”brought up in the house of her mother, the famous Avdotia Borisovna, whom the Empress honoured with her visits, and acquaintance with whom was an honour for all the world! He saw her again, a little thing of eight or nine, bright, intelligent, lively, impetuous, graceful, with brilliant black eyes and flowing auburn hair.
He thought of his jealous love when she came coquettishly to him dressed for a ball, and knowing that she was pretty.
Then the horrid recollection of the scene with his wife came to him; their surmises and their suspicions, which became a certainty.
He recoiled with terror before the incomprehensible fact of her downfall, and he hated her for the agony she was causing him. On the one hand, she saw poverty which was real and repulsive, and a sham poverty even more repulsive and pitiable; on the other, she saw the terrible indifference of the lady patronesses who came in carriages and gowns worth thousands. Every word they spoke was invested by these smiles with a profound and wonderful significance. But, when terror first seized her, the invisible threads that bound them were already so interwoven that she had no power to tear herself free. She understood that she had not found in him what she had sought; that which she had once known in herself and in Koko.
She fell ill, and the efforts of the doctors were unavailing; in her hopelessness she resolved to kill herself. It was real life, and despite the torture of it, had the possibility been given her, she would not have turned back from it.
Somehow she planned and arranged it all, leaving her home and settling in a distant provincial town, where no one could find her, and where she thought she would be far from her people. He entered his brother's study, and handed him the cheque, filled in for a sum which he asked him to pay in monthly instalments to his daughter. It was too unbearable, this preparation to meet her, and any explanation seemed impossible.
And when he saw himself as he was, he realised how he had wronged her, how guilty he had been in his pride, in his coldness, even in his anger towards her.
But a careful reading of Petrarcha€™s letter about this trip reveals something more profound. He sat down to rest and pulled from his pocket a copy of Saint Augustinea€™s Confessions, a work he probably found comforting, since in his Confessions Saint Augustine also admitted to being plagued by sexual sin prior to his conversion.
There is no evidence that he ever addressed one sonnet to the mother or mothers of his children, but those written to or about Laura comprise the majority of his writing.
As a priest forbidden to marry, Petrarch reveals the searing pain of love that can never be fulfilled and a longing for relationship with a woman that is never an attainable possibility.
He wrote in the Monarch that the ideal situation for all of Europe, including Italy, would be union under the leadership of the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VII.
The Black Guelph party favored the popea€™s involvement in Florentine politics and the White Guelphs, Dantea€™s party, opposed the popea€™s involvement.
Throughout his journey Dante meets numerous people from history who live in either hell or purgatory, depending upon Dantea€™s opinion of them. On one occasion, for instance, in a dispute with the king of France, Boniface replied that he would rather be a dog or an ass than a Frenchman! His most noted work was Decameron, a collection of bawdy tales gathered from a variety of places and times and woven together into a novel with a setting during the time of a plague that had fallen on Florence. Each of the ten is to tell stories on successive days, for a total of one hundred tales (ten days x ten story tellers = 100 tales). The courtier was to reflect the Renaissance ideal of being well-rounded, educated in poetry, art, language, history, and,cultured, bright, witty, and a good conversationalist. It was a place where people sought to be a€?seena€? and a€?hearda€? and thought of as being a€?coola€? and part of the a€?in crowd.a€? Most were wealthy nobility who could afford to spend so much time away from their own properties and duties. Often the king or prince could spread word to the common people by simply sharing it at court.


Machiavelli hoped that this good deed would atone for his sins and bring back into the good favor of the Medici family. Do whatever it takes to achieve the goal and stop doing whatever does not achieve the goal, even if it means going contrary to traditional Christian morality.
His ideas were read by rulers in subsequent generations, including Adolph Hitler and the leaders of Communist Russia. He refocused Castiglionea€™s reshaping of the values and morality for the ideal Renaissance courtier by switching it to how the ideal Renaissance ruler should govern. He refocused Castiglionea€™s reshaping of the values and morality for the ideal Renaissance courtier by switching it to how the ideal Renaissance ruler should govern.A  And, like Boccaccio, Machiavelli dismissed the value of the clergy because of their immorality and the failure of their values system. Petersburg; and the younger, Lisaa€”his favourite, who had disappeared from home a year before. She was pretty, but her hair was always carelessly dressed, and she herself was untidy and absent-minded. His daughtera€”; and he had lived his life as a knight of old, knowing neither fear nor blame.
He remembered how she used to jump up on his knees and hug him, and tickle his neck; and how she would laugh, regardless of his protests, and continue to tickle him, and kiss his lips, his eyes, and his cheeks. He dreaded the passionate glances which fell upon her, that she not only did not understand but rejoiced in. She was a familiar figure, beautifula€”but her first youth had passed, and she had become somehow part of the ball-room furniture. The calamity had happened in Finland, where they had let her visit her aunt; and the culprit was an insignificant Swede, a student, an empty-headed, worthless creaturea€”and married. He remembered the conversation with his sister-in-law, and tried to imagine how he might forgive her. Music, too, when they were listening together, or when they sang duets, became full of the same deep meaning.
Her father, so she thought, had cast her away from him, and she longed passionately to live and to have done with play.
To kill oneself because of what the world might say was easy; but the moment she saw her own life dissociated from the world, to take that life was out of the question. She began to pray, but there was no comfort in prayer; and her suffering was less for herself than for her father, whose grief she foresaw and understood. But, unfortunately, her father's brother received an appointment there, a thing she could not possibly foresee. He was glad that it was he who was guilty, and that he had nothing to forgive, but that he himself needed forgiveness. She opened her eyes very wide; and, not taking them from her father's face, remained hesitating and motionless. In 1340, at the age of 36, he was invited by both Paris and Rome to come and live as their Poet Laureate.
There is no evidence that Laura ever knew about or suspected the love that Petrarch had for her. His opposition to the Vaticana€™s political adventures put Dante into a precarious position, causing him to be in constant flight from city to city during most of his career to avoid papal capture and death by burning at the stake.
Dante and Henry shared the hope that a united Italy could be formed under Henry and this would lead to a peaceful Greater Europe.
This early novel served as a model for later English authors, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Keats. However, while in Spain Castiglione developed a friendship with Charles and purposely failed to alert the pope of Charlesa€™ plan to sack Rome in 1527 for the citya€™s many sins.
Other areas in which he should be skilled were jumping, swimming, running, and playing tennis. Towards every one, excepting the children, whom he treated with almost reverent tenderness, he adopted an attitude of distant hauteur. She had, also, the strangest, most unaristocratic ideas, by no means fitting in the wife of a high official. She continued to regard him with the same gentle, imploring look in her blue eyes, sighing even more deeply.
The fact that he had a natural son born of a Frenchwoman, whom he had settled abroad, did not lower his own self-esteem. He was naturally opposed to all demonstration, but this impetuous love moved him, and he often submitted to her petting.
Michael Ivanovich remembered how he had realised that she was on the road to spinsterhood, and desired but one thing for her. He remembereda€”it was not so very long ago, for she was more than twenty thena€”her beginning a flirtation with a boy of fourteen, a cadet of the Corps of Pages who had been staying with them in the country.
Petersburga€”this animal existence that never sounded the depths, but only touched the shallows of life. She yearned for something real, for life itselfa€”not this playing at living, not this skimming life of its cream. Somehow, she herself did not know how that terrible fascination of glances and smiles began, the meaning of which cannot be put into words.
She hoped that he would not make use of his power; yet all the while she vaguely desired it. This he promised to do; but when she met him next he said it was impossible for him to write just then. She really desired to take her life, and imagined that she had irrevocably decided on the step.
For four months she had been living in the house of a midwifea€”one Maria Ivanovna; and, on learning that her uncle had come to the town, she was preparing to fly to a still remoter hiding-place. She took him to her tiny room, and told him how she lived; but she did not show him the child, nor did she mention the past, knowing how painful it would be to him. Like Petrarch with Laura, Dante wrote three love sonnets to Beatrice, the object of his unrequited love. The handbook also gave advice to the wives of courtiers concerning behavior that would best advance the reputation and achievement of their husbands.
A major idea promoted as an example was a€?the end justifies the means.a€? Although practiced since the time of Cain and Abel, Machiavelli was the first to place this concept in writing for wide reading.
And yet it was so natural to him that every one somehow acknowledged his right to be haughty. These ideas she would express most unexpectedly, to everybody's astonishment, her husband's no less than her friends'.
And now this daughter, for whom he had not only done everything that a father could and should do; this daughter to whom he had given a splendid education and every opportunity to make a match in the best Russian societya€”this daughter to whom he had not only given all that a girl could desire, but whom he had really LOVED; whom he had admired, been proud ofa€”this daughter had repaid him with such disgrace, that he was ashamed and could not face the eyes of men! He must get her married off as quickly as possible, perhaps not quite so well as might have been arranged earlier, but still a respectable match. Sometimes they would argue, but the moment their eyes met, or a smile flashed between them, the discussion remained far behind. So, obtaining some poison, she poured it into a glass, and in another instant would have drunk it, had not her sister's little son of five at that very moment run in to show her a toy his grandmother had given him. The train left at seven in the evening, giving him time for an early dinner before leaving. To remember all this, when that sweet child had become what she now was, a creature of whom he could not think without loathing. She had become more and more fascinated by her own success in the round of gaieties she lived in.
Then how she had rebuked her father severely, coldly, and even rudely, when, to put an end to this stupid affair, he had sent the boy away. In the tall, strong figure of this man, with his fair hair and light upturned moustache, under which shone a smile attractive and compelling, she saw the promise of that life for which she longed.
The following day he wrote to her, telling her that he was already married, though his wife had left him long since; that he knew she would despise him for the wrong he had done her, and implored her forgiveness. Forgetting everything, his baseness and deceit, her mother's querulousness, and her father's sorrow, she smiled. He breakfasted with his sister-in-law, who refrained from mentioning the subject which was so painful to him, but only looked at him timidly; and after breakfast he went out for his regular morning walk. And then the smiles and glances, the hope of something so incredibly beautiful, led, as they were bound to lead, to that which she feared but unconsciously awaited. She shuddered at the recollection that she was on the point of killing it, together with herself.
She said she loved him; that she felt herself bound to him for ever whether he was married or not, and would never leave him.
She grew more and more depressed, and in this gloomy mood she went to visit an aunt in Finland.
The next time they met he told her that he and his parents were so poor that he could only offer her the meanest existence. The fresh scenery and surroundings, the people strangely different to her own, appealed to her at any rate as a new experience.
She answered that she needed nothing, and was ready to go with him at once wherever he wished.
But to live on with this secret, with occasional meetings, and merely corresponding with him, all hidden from her family, was agonising, and she insisted again that he must take her away. Petersburg, he wrote promising to come, and then letters ceased and she knew no more of him.



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