Monday, July 20, 2009

Meandering on and on . . .

Today is the birthday of Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), scholar, poet and humanist. He is known simply as Petrarch and is often referred to as the Father of Renaissance Humanism.

During his lifetime the literary phenomenon known as Petrarchism sprang up and it continued to grow during the following three centuries, greatly influencing the literatures of Italy, Spain, France and England.

"Five enemies of peace inhabit with us - avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace." - Petrarch

"Books have led some to learning and others to madness, when they swallow more than they can digest." - Petrarch

"Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure." - Petrarch

"Man has no greater enemy than himself." - Petrarch

"Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart of life, and is prophetic of eternal good." - Petrarch

"Suspicion is the cancer of friendship." - Petrarch

"All pleasure in the world is a passing dream." - Petrarch

"Who naught suspects is easily deceived." - Petrarch

"Believe me, many things are attributed to gravity and wisdom which are really due to incapacity and sloth. Men often despise what they despair of obtaining. It is in the very nature of ignorance to scorn what it cannot understand, and to desire to keep others from attaining what it cannot reach. Hence the false judgments upon matters of which we know nothing, by which we evince our envy quite as clearly as our stupidity." - Petrarch

1st Petrarch stamp image source (1)
2nd Petrarch stamp image source (
3rd Petrarch stamp image source (

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