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Petrarch Gender: M
di Petracco, Francesco
born on 20 July 1304 Jul.Cal. (28 July 1304 greg.) at 04:33 (= 04:33 AM )
Place Arezzo, Italy, 43n25, 11e53
Timezone LMT m11e53 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 04°38' s_mo.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 04°37 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 01°41'



Italian poet and scholar, whose works marked the beginning of the Renaissance. On 4/08/1340/41, he received the Laurel Crown for poetry from the University of Rome. Many regard him as the greatest scholar of his time, as well as the first modern poet.

Francesco Petrarca, known as Petrarch, was the son of a lawyer. His father left Florence in 1302, moving to Arrezzo where his son was born. In 1312, the family moved to Avignon, and he was initially educated in Carpentras, France. At his father’s insistence, Petrarch studied law at Montpellier in 1316, and eventually returned to Italy with his younger brother Gherardo to continue his studies at Bologna, in 1320. His earliest surviving poems date from his days at Montpellier and Bologna, although they were later considerably revised. After his father’s death in 1326, he abandoned his law studies and returned to Avignon, where he took minor ecclesiastical orders. He entered the household of the influential cardinal Giovanni Colonna, and became known for his scholarship and cultured manner. Petrarch had an extremely inquisitive nature, a deep religious faith and love of virtue, and he exhibited an unusual understanding of the transitory nature of human life.

He first saw Laura, the subject of much of his poetry, on 4/06/1327, in the Church of St. Clare at Avignon. Although she was outside his reach, he loved and idealized her, and the poems addressed to her contributed to the flowering of lyric poetry that occurred during the Renaissance. He spent the years between 1330 and 1340 traveling extensively, searching monastic libraries for classical manuscripts and visiting men of learning, feeding his "unquenchable thirst for literature." His advocacy of the continuity between classical culture and the Christian message was deepened during this period, and he is considered a great representative of the movement known as European Humanism. He visited Rome for the first time in 1337, and while viewing the ruins, was greatly moved by the grandeur of its past.

In 1343, he returned to Avignon. He apparently went through a moral crisis during this period. The "Secretum meum," 1342-43, an autobiographical treatise, indicates this crisis was rooted in his inability to live in a manner that conformed to his religious beliefs. His beloved Laura died on 4/06/1348 of plague (Black Death), on the anniversary of Petrarch’s first seeing her. Two years later, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, and later that same year, he renounced all sensual pleasures. As with his early works, Petrarch revised his poems extensively, resulting in a confusing chronology, but his life was filled with diplomatic missions and intense study, and he is credited with perfecting the sonnet.

After the election of Pope Innocent VI, Petrarch went from Provence to Milan, where he completed the first proper edition of the "Rime." Fleeing from the plague, he went to Padua in 1361, where he remained until September 1362. Again seeking shelter from the Black Death, he moved to Venice, where he set up housekeeping with his daughter, Francesca. In 1367, he moved back to Padua, where he remained until his death.

He had a stroke circa 1370, but did not stop working. Petrarch died 7/19/1374, Arqua, Italy, still engaged in his work. He was found the next morning with his head resting on a manuscript of Virgil.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Family : Change residence 1312 (Avignon)
  • Social : Begin a program of study 1316 (Studied law at Montpellier)
  • Social : Begin a program of study 1320 (Started studying at Bologna)
  • Death of Father 1326
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 6 April 1327 (greg.) (Met Laura)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin Travel 1330 (Extensive travels for research)
  • Social : Begin Travel 1337 (Visited Rome)
  • Social : Return Home 1340 (Ended travels)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1342 (Worked on autobiographical treatise)
  • Family : Change residence 1343 (Returned to Avignon)
  • Death of Significant person 6 April 1348 (greg.) (Laura died of the Black Death plague)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change residence 1361 (Moved to Padua)
  • Family : Change residence 1367 (Returned to Padua)
  • Health : Medical diagnosis 1370 (Suffered stroke)

Source Notes

LMR quotes Morris Bishop, "Petrarch and His World," 1963, p.13, "He entered the world as day was dawning." (July 20, 1304 OS) Martin Harvey in Nativitas II considers a time of dawn to be when the Sun is depressed six degrees below the horizon, with an ASC of 27 Cancer.


  • Traits : Mind : Exceptional mind (Greatest scholar)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted (Chaste love of Laura)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One daughter)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Intern/ Apprentice (Giovanni Colonna)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Travel (Extensively)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Many moves
  • Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western (Minor ecclesiastic orders, R.C.)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet (Noted)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor ("Rime")
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Laurel Crown for poetry)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Poet and scholar of Renaissance)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection