Who was Petrarch?


The following is from Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb’s 1899 Romanes Lecture “Humanism in Education””Petrarch was born in 1304 when Dante was 39 years old, and died in 1374. That great movement in which he was a pioneer, and which we call the Renaissance, had its central inspiration in the belief that the classical literatures, which were being gradually recovered, were the supreme products of the human mind; that they were the best means of self-culture; that there alone one could see the human reason moving freely, the moral nature clearly expressed, in a word the dignity of man as a rational being, fully displayed. All this is implied in humanism, Petrarch’s ideal of humanism, as a discipline that aims at drawing out all the mental and moral faculties of man, pervades the whole course of the Italian Renaissance.” A.S.R.P.

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