Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

What I ask myself and others: Are there any known signs of an early celebration of the Anghiari battle? Either pictures or statues of participating condottieri in triumphal manner, reports about victory celebrations, cassoni with fighting scenes related to the battle, praising poems, historical reports (at least these should have existed), etc. ?

Are there further signs of a more intensive Petrarca-reflection around 1440?


I found this (a list of Petrarca biographies till mid of 17th century)




Image ... ca&f=false

The list is said to be chronological ... unluckily not given with dates.

Pier Paolo Vergerio the Elder (1370 - 1444/45) ... _the_Elder
He published "Africa" in 1397, and (likely ?) his Petrarca biography is too old to be of interest in our specific question with a focus on "around 1440". Since 1417 he worked for Emperor Sigismund and he died in Hungary. So he likely wasn't of too much interest for the Florentine development (?). But it seems plausible, that he might have accompanied Sigismund to Italy in 1431-1433 (?).
I found notes about a work of Leonardi Bruni in 1434, perhaps this relates to a communication between Bruni and Vergerio? Bruni compared Dante and Petrarca. The work is listed above before Vergerio, perhaps indicating, that Vergerio wrote his relative short work after Bruni. ... 40&f=false
I saw it mentioned, that Vergerio had Petrarca letters and that these were published "after his death".
[later added: I saw this text mentioned as the first serious biography and text research by Ersch-Gruber dictionary article; this article, though from 19th century, is rather intensive; ... navlinks_s - see "Petrarca"]

The next on the list is Giannozzo Manetti (Florence). His work is said to have "echoed Bruni", so with some security from "after 1434". I found mentioned a work "tre corone" (dated to c. 1440), in which Manetti compared Boccaccio, Petrarca and Dante, and this hall have influenced the famous 3x3 pictures (3 poets: Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio; 3 famous women, and 3 famous Florentine condottieri) in the Villa Carducci. Manetti's "Vita Francisci Petrarcae", as I understand it, is likely inside the "tre corone" (?).
This man, already known as a hater and persecutor of gambling activities, is likely VERY IMPORTANT in our question.
[later added: I saw both texts getting a bad critique by the Ersch-Gruber dictionary article, which more or less only accepts only some later biographies as critical and worthwhile. Manetti's text is taken as a "praising" article].

The next is Sicco Polenton ...
... who lived in Padua and died there 1447. Well, it's Padova and not Florence, and so possibly of less importance. If the text is really "after 1440", this biography is possibly a reflection of the increased Florentine interest, which involved Venice, possibly cause Petrarca material wandered after the death of the author to the Venetian library. [later added: I saw this text estimated to c. 1433 by Ersch-Gruber dictionary article]

Antonio da Tempo ... said to be of lower quality. This is not the famous "Antonio da Tempo", who lived already at begin of 14th century. He is said to have lived also in Padova. Well, it's not clear, when he wrote.

Then follows a text either by Pier Candid Decembrio or Filelfo (? likely Filelfo and not before 1444). But I should check, what I find about Decembrio as a possible author in this topic.


Well, working on this list just to get a personal overview, I find that Manetti and possibly Decembrio of interest.

I've stated earlier, that Manetti became poetus laureatus. This I got from ...

"Messer Lionardo of Arezzo (1443)" should be "Leonardo Bruni", born in Arezzo c. 1369 and died in Florence, March 9 1444. It's variously confirmed in other texts, that Manetti made the funeral oration for Leonardo Bruni, but I've found no note, that he became poeta laureatus for it.
So I got suspicious about it, and I searched the Italian passage ... ... zo&f=false


The expression poeta laureatus" isn't used, but "corona d'alloro" and my poor Italian doesn't know, if this is the same.
So maybe somebody with better Italian might give a commentary. This case seems not of minor importance, and also the translation of "... they crowned him with a laurel crown, a custom which had not lately been observed."
should be either confirmed or criticized, cause it's of importance for some conclusions.

Actually we have had the following activities:

1341: Petrarca was crowned as poetus laureatus, and this became a big story to him.

1441: Alberti engages in a literary contest in October 1441, so just parallel to the great triumphal festivities in Cremona, celebrating the marriage of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti. Alberti's action, sponsored by Piero de Medici, possibly aimed at a "100-years-memorial" of Petrarca's crowning as poeta laureatus in 1341.
The debate continued in October 1441, when Alberti organized a vernacular poetry
competition, the certame coronario (poetic contest for the crown), with the patronage of
Piero de’Medici (Bertolini 1993 and 2003). While modeled on ancient, perhaps Greek,
competitions, the tournament’s aim was to demonstrate the potential of the vernacular to
treat a refined subject (friendship, a classical topos, was the theme). The contest, held at
Santa Maria del Fiore and judged by ten members of the papal curia, brought together all
the major contributors to the nearly decade-long argument over the origin and role of the
vernacular. It ended in a stalemate when the judges, deadlocked by debate over the
suitability of the vernacular for oratory, were unable to choose a winner.
In a Protesta letter composed after the debacle, possibly written by Alberti, one
critic, possibly Leonardo Bruni, is singled out: “there is one among you who…claims it is
unworthy for a vernacular to strive against a very noble literary language, and that such
contests should accordingly be forbidden.”36 Stubbornly, Alberti persisted in promoting
the vernacular and planned a second contest for 1442 with envy, another classical topos,
as the theme. At this point, Bruni publicly mocked the contest and Alberti in a letter to
their mutual colleague Leonardo Dati: “a good bit more could be said against stupidity
than against envy. Both are evils, to be sure, but stupidity is the worse one.”
The questione della lingua and certame coronario reveal two divergent approaches
to language, antiquity, and authorship. Bruni finds (or devises) a model for the
Quattrocento separation between common and learned language in antiquity and argues
that this separation should be upheld. Alberti, to the contrary, sees a rupture between
ancient and modern languages that he would heal not by reinstating the older Latin, but
by integrating its best aspects (copia and grammar) into the newer language, the
vernacular. Bruni describes learned, authoritative language outside historical time or
individual use; it is preserved and communicated in texts. In contrast, Alberti argues that
use, time, and human experience define language. More than simply humanistic sparring,
the curia debate and the collapse of the certame are clashes of temporal and authoritative

It seems obvious, that there was a conflict between vernacular poetry - a more modern party seems to have had this interest - and Latin poetry - a more conservative party seems
to have this interest. The judges avoid a decision.
And we have the observation, that Petrarca's poem "Trionfi" was written as vernacular poetry (or was there also a Latin version ?).

Well, my initial problem in this thread is, why the "Trionfi" got their popularity so late and if their later greater popularity can be fixed somehow to the time "around 1440", a date, which somehow might be of relevance for the genesis of Trionfi playing cards. Now we meet a greater conflict in the literary society in Florence just rather precisely at this date between vernacular poetry and Latin poetry and the poem Trionfi seems to be clearly on the side of modern poetry.


modern party = vernacular poetry: Leon Battista Alberti and Piero de Medici (who ordered the "Trionfi" from Matteo de Pasti)

conservative party = Latin poetry: Leonardo Bruno and Giannozzo Manetti (and also clearly his biograph: Bisticci)


The papal judges come to no clear decision in Florence for a sort of a new "poeta laureatus", but ...

1442: Emperor Fredrick III. jumps in and declares Enea Sylvio Piccolomini to a "poeta laureatus"
1442 Juli 27 Frankfurt

Kg. F. bekennt, er habe sich in Anbetracht dessen, daß vergangene Zeitalter den hervorragenden Dichtern zusätzlich zu ihrem Ruhm den sonst nur Kaisern vorbehaltenen Lorbeerkranz verliehen haben und daß auch seine Vorgänger den Dichtern größte Wertschätzung entgegenbrachten, ja daß Julius Caesar in vielen epistolas et historias ebenso wie der fundator imperii, Octavianus Augustus, sogar selbst für ihren Dichterruhm geschrieben haben, nach Rücksprache mit seinen Ratgebern dazu entschlossen, nach der fast vergessenen Sitte, die herausragenden Dichter nach dem Vorbild der römischen Triumphatoren auf dem Kapitol zu krönen, den weithin berühmten Dichter und den ihm und dem Reich treu ergebenen Eneas Silvius Piccolomini aus Siena, von dessen profundem Wissen, Sittlichkeit und natürlichen Begabungen er sich ein Bild machen konnte und der es, gestützt auf sein intensives Studium alter Bücher und aus eigener Forschung zu einem Meister der Dichtkunst gebracht hat, als Magister, Dichter und ausgezeichneten Historiker mit dem Titel eines preclarus magister auszuzeichnen und ihn eigenhändig und feierlich mit diesen immergrünen Lorbeerzweigen und -blättern zu schmücken, damit auf diese Weise sein Name und sein Ruhm ewig blühe und anderen als Beispiel dienen möge. Er erlaubt ihm, allerorts Gedichte zu lesen, zu besprechen, zu interpretieren und zu verfassen, stattet ihn cum eisdem privilegiis, [immunitatibus]1, honoribus, officiis, dignitatibus, vestitu aureo et aliis quibuscumque ornamentis ac prerogativis aus, welche die poete ac liberalium et honestarum historiarum ac sacrum artium professores anderswo allenthalben genießen, und erwartet von ihm, daß er durch sein Schaffen eine Zierde des Reiches bleiben werde. 27° die mensis julii

Enea Sylvio Piccolomini had been of big importance in the all-deciding question, if the council of Ferrara/Florence and Pope Eugen or the council of Basel and anti-Pope Felix would win the race in the public acceptation. Piccolomini, initially important for the resistance of the council of Basel, had brought the decision by "changing the sides" to his own favor and the favor of the Pope Eugen party.
So a new "poeta laureatus" after this custom wasn't used a longer time.

March 1444: Then we've then the honor for Giannozzo Manetti in March 1444. But Manetti got enemies ...


Earlier I wrote in the analyze of the Bisticci article to Manetti:
Giannozzo Manetti (1393-1459)
a person of some interest in more than one way.

1. he was responsible for a sharp attack on gaming in Pistoia in 1446/1447, which adds to our general suspicion, that in the 40's of 15th century the situation for playing cards was difficult.

2. He became a crowned poetus laureatus in 1443 ... this is of interest to the general Trionfi development, for instance to Alberti's literary contest in 1441. And of special interest is Bisticci's "they crowned him with a laurel crown, a custom which had not lately been observed." ... which should mean, that an old custom was revived after a long time.

"He condemned the worthless and the sluggards. Gamblers and gaming he hated as pestiferous abominations." ... #PPA375,M1

"Giannozzo was governor of Pistoia and, as at Pescia, would accept neither gift nor tribute. He kept more servants and horses than the law allowed. The place was given to gaming; indeed the people thought of little else. Hating this vice as he did, he resolved to put an end to it as long as he was there, and to effect this he issued a proclamation that whoever should play any forbidden game should be taken and treated with four strokes with a rope. Moreover, he fixed a fine which every offender would have to pay, wherefore during his time of office gaming ceased."

(Source of possible interest in this matter: Giannozzo Manetti, Chronicon pistoriensis [Historia pistoriensis], in Rerum italicarum scriptores, a cura di L. A. Muratori, vol. XIX, Milano, 1731, coll. 987-1076, probably written 1446 - 1447)

Pistoia had 996 households in 1442, Manetti's work started Oktober 1446. ... kywvSyoMBQ

"On his return to Florence he was drawn for the Assembly, and about this time Messer Lionardo of Arezzo died (1443). The Signoria decided that his memory should be honoured in every possible way. It was decreed that the custom of delivering a funeral oration should be revived and Giannozzo was charged with this duty and that he should be crowned with laurel after the ancient custom. To these obsequies all the illustrious men of the city came to his coronation. Many prelates attended, as the court of Rome was then in Florence, and Giannozzo delivered an oration worthy of the subject, and they crowned him with a laurel crown, a custom which had not lately been observed." ... #PPA378,M1

Then I wrote ...
Generally we have to assume, that Bisticci was against gambling (and likely also against cards). He suffered personally after the attack on Lorenzo de Medici in 1478, cause he had to leave the city. It seems, that his biographies were written after this.
Lorenzo generally was attacked, that he had a bad influence on the youth - likely the new gambling activities in connection to cards belonged to this category.

Generally Bisticci should have also suffered by the change of his own business - the new printing industry was his oppnent.

He possibly might be seen "as rather conservative" ... but generally his presentation somehow makes it difficult to believe in a strong playing card development in Florence already in 1450.
My expectation "his presentation somehow makes it difficult to believe in a strong playing card development in Florence already in 1450" has become wrong by Franco Pratesi's researches to the Florentine playing card merchants.
But still we have this valley in the silk-dealers statistic ...


... around the years 1446-47, just the time, when Giannozzo Manetti had his initiative against gambling in Pistoia.

After Manetti had been in Pistoia there was a mockery phenomenon in Florence literature "against Giannozzo Manetti" and in later years 1453/54 we've more opposiion against him and we have, that Manetti, once the great poet, has to go in exile, away from Florence. And just in this time we observe the success of the Trionfi decks in Florence at the silk dealer statistic.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

Huck wrote:But still we have this valley in the silk-dealers statistic ...
The variance and time dependence of the readings (how much they go up and down year to year) is such that the valley 1445 to 47 is not statistically significant. The peak in the early 1450s followed by the decline in the late 50s does outweigh the inherent variability and probably does indicate something real (it could be something as prosaic and non-card related as a business cycle or changed market regulations)

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

Jim Schulman wrote:
Huck wrote:But still we have this valley in the silk-dealers statistic ...
The variance and time dependence of the readings (how much they go up and down year to year) is such that the valley 1445 to 47 is not statistically significant. The peak in the early 1450s followed by the decline in the late 50s does outweigh the inherent variability and probably does indicate something real (it could be something as prosaic and non-card related as a business cycle or changed market regulations)
We've not so much data and we should take that, what we have, NOT as not relevant. The drop-down at the end of the period is likely expression of a change in the individual business of the silk-dealers (who seems to have lost their personal interests in the business), whereas the valley 1446/47 seems to be a general trend, as we see a similar valley in other material (productions in Ferrara). And we have the Manetti note of Bisticci and some other increased prohibition just around the time, and we have the successfully time of Pope Eugen, who was always against playing cards.
After the death of Eugen the Puri family takes up the business of card selling, and they have good successes at begin (second half of 1447 ... which indicates, that after a prohibition time the interest might be high) and less good results in the following time (which indicates, that the business returned to normal) with the result, that they stop their engagement after two years.
For both - silk-dealers and Puri-family - the playing card sale is only additional business. Possibly - more or less - for all market participants (even card producers) playing cards were only "additional business", as prohibition regulations could easily destroy their market.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

The precise odds of a set of changes being either due to noise or something systematic is a matter of hard logic; "taking as" is an act by you performed under uncertainty, a sort of gamble. So just like a gambler, you'll be more successful in your "takings as" if you know how to figure the odds. But .. if other data whose chages are correlated, then you have additional members in the set of changes, and collectively the odds of their being systematic improve.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

In the not clear question about Filelfo's and Decembrio's "Life of Petrarca" I found this German text (from 2011), which notes ...

"Eine Petrarca-Vita von Filelfo ist nicht bekannt - sie mag verloren sein oder auch nie geschrieben worden sein"
[A Petrarca-Vita of Filelfo is not known - it may be lost or never had been written" and further it presents, that the later Petrarca biograph Squarfiafico ...
.... relates to personal talking with Decembrio.
The German encyclopedia Ersch-Gruber takes a few notes of Filelfo at his Canzonieri-commentary as not relevant biography. Decembrio is not mentioned.

I remember dark, that the "Vita of Petrarca" was noted at Decembrio's tombstone, but find no confirmation in the moment.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

Jim Schulman wrote:The precise odds of a set of changes being either due to noise or something systematic is a matter of hard logic; "taking as" is an act by you performed under uncertainty, a sort of gamble. So just like a gambler, you'll be more successful in your "takings as" if you know how to figure the odds. But .. if other data whose chages are correlated, then you have additional members in the set of changes, and collectively the odds of their being systematic improve.
In history and real life you've always "additional members" ... :-) ... and some of them might be of relevance or not. A game with not complete information. But we cannot create Trionfi card history out of nothing, we've to follow the data of actual research and find an answer, what one should conclude at this level, well respecting the possibility, that the next new data import might cause considerable changes to the momentary perspective.

As we just had a serious revolution with lots of new data (mainly thanks to Franco Pratesi, the momentary state is somehow floating, and I would assume, that we're in a phase, where we just should play with the possibilities to find a plausible momentary state of research.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

hi Michael,
mjhurst wrote:
In about 1332 [Giotto] executed for King Robert of Naples a number of paintings which included the decoration of "la sala dei uomini famosi" in Castelnuovo, a work which unfortunately was destroyed in the fifteenth century. 142 These frescoes portrayed nine heroes who, however, were not identical with the traditional Nine Worthies, there being among them no Christians, only two Hebrews (Solomon and Samson), and seven pagans (Alexander, Hector, Aeneas, Achilles, Paris, Hercules, and Caesar); their wives were probably also represented. A few years later, in about 1340, Azzo Visconti commissioned in his newly built palace in Milan "a large hall ... in which Vainglory was depicted and also illustrious pagan princes of the world, such as Aeneas, Attila, Hector, Hercules, and several others; but among them is only one Christian, Charlemagne, and then Azzo Visconti."
[P.S. The iconography of Gloria or Vainglory or Fame derives from Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione, of 1342. Also, "well before and long after Petrarch wrote his Trionfi, triumphal imagery, in the form of Christian triumphs and non-Petrarchian secular triumphs, were pervasive in medieval and Renaissance art." Barbara Dodge, Petrarch's Triumphs: Allegory and Spectacle.] Later, in the late 14th century, a similar image of Vainglory (Fame) was used to illustrate Petrarch's De Viris Illustribus. There are several surviving illustrations of this. I have collected them, along with a large number of examples of the six-image Trionfi cycle from three centuries, on this Wikimedia Commons page.
The figure and iconography of Vainglory (as presented at ...

...), is interesting. I've to say, that I didn't know about this figure, so thanks for the information. If the picture was already in Azzo Visconti's palace (dead in 1339, Giotto also dead in 1337), Boccaccio wouldn't have invented it.

We have the 9 Heroes model in Jacques de Longuyon "Les Vœux du paon" (1312), likely made for the crowning of Emperor Henry VII (1313).
Hector, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, three good Jews: Joshua, David and Judas Maccabeus, and three good Christians: King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon.

The Naples arrangement (1332, as you say, is later and just a variation), with Salomon, Samson, Alexander, Hector, Aeneas, Achilles, Paris, Hercules, and Caesar, has partly the same names. Naturally the king of Naples is not happy about Northern heroes like King Arthur, Charlemain and Godfrey of Bouillon.

Six figures in Milan (5 heroes Attila, Aeneas, Hector, Hercules, Charlemain and Vainglory ... your source notes "several others", but I wonder, which it is spoken of, in other descriptions I find only Attila, which isn't noted) are not really surprising in this context, especially not, when Giotto worked both, that in Naples and that in Milan.

I'd earlier (5 years ago) made some studies to the 9 Worthies ... ... ost2818803
... I remember other 9-Worthies-notes in the 1330s in French-English contexts. The earliest surviving 9 Worthies are from the city council here in Cologne, and their story is closely related to the dominating Emperor Charles IV, grand-son of Henry VII (so actually prolonging a family-custom of the Luxembourg dynasty).
Similar we have for Azzo of Milan some practical military competition with the house of Luxembourg, and it's actually not a wonder, that he doesn't use the 9 heroes of his foes.

So, similar to that, what I assume for the Trionfi card period, we have some logical variation of the model ... they weren't eager to imitate each other totally.


Vainglory is naturally interesting in the context of Alberti's theater play "Philodoxus".

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

I stumbled about this picture, once found at Christie's

This is the start page of a Petrarca "Trionfi" edition (with accompanying other texts) of ca 1465-1470.

The manuscript is offered by Christie's for ca $495,600 - $660,800 and there described: ... fd2318dc49

It's made for members of the Visconti family in Milan (not the Sforzas), so we see the family heraldic of the dragon.

Special (Tarot) interests should belong to the (small) representation of Daphne + Apollo at the left border of the start page) ... it confirms, that the developing Daphne-Iconography (as a major topic of Renaissance art) in deciding manner was influenced from Milan (and perhaps the oldest of these Milanese Daphne appearances had been possibly the Michelino deck, the "oldest Tarot cards").
It reminds me on the condition, that already the Michelino deck was part of special "Petrarca attention" (Daphne=Laura had been Petrarca's theme), though likely more documenting interests in the Canzonieri than in the Trionfi. Later it's similar, Pietro Lapini (1443) and Filelfo (since 1444), both in Milan, comment the Canzonieri, not the Trionfi.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

... still in development

The recent discussion to the theme "Casa del Petrarca" ...
... partly overlaps with the aim of this collection.


Pietro Paolo Vergerio the Elder ... _the_Elder

Well, Pietro Paolo Vergerio is of interest in this theme, cause he's called the best early biographer of Petrarca. I found a larger biography of himself ... ... t_djvu.txt
Pierpaolo Vergerio the Elder : the humanist as orator (1996) by McManamon, John M

... which is worth to take a look.

Vergerio is mainly noted for his engagement in pedagogical aims. A view of the Wiegendrucke of 15th century has only this work ...
... and this was reprinted very often. It aimed at the education of the Carrara prince Ubertino in Padova and it is given to the year 1402 (or 1400-1402). Ubertino was dead in 1407, nearly the whole family was extinguished by the Venetians.
A part of the text is given here: ... us&f=false

The whole educative development is described as this:

In the field of education, as elsewhere, humanists aimed at the revival in a form applicable to their own time. In the process of adapting and developing ancient ideas, they founded a liberal education in the modern world.

As we have seen, humanism was in the rhetorical tradition, which emphasized correct expression as preparation for public life. This applies particularly to education. The educational theory of ancient Rome emphasized the training of the orator, and the orator, in a famous description by Cato, was a "good man skilled in speech." Thus the ability to speak well must always be accompanied by moral goodness. Cicero, in his work De oratore (55 b.c.), required also a knowledge of the accomplishments of the Greeks as part of the education of a Roman. An influential work in the Renaissance was Quintilian's Institutio oratoria (The education of an orator, c. a.d. 95), of which the first complete copy was found by Poggio at the Council of Constance, although incomplete texts had been available earlier. He defined the orator as "the man who can really play his part as a citizen and is capable of meeting the demands both of public and private business, the man who can guide a state by his counsels, give it a firm basis by his legislation, and purge its vices by its decisions as a judge."

As a successful teacher he knew that learning must be voluntary, that it must be interspersed with holidays and games, and that the pupil's health and vigor should be attended to. He was opposed to the harsh corporal punishments, which were common in his day and long afterward. The humanist educators of Renaissance Italy followed these Roman ideas carefully, adding the element of training in Christianity. The traditions of chivalry also left an imprint on educational practice. All these points are clearly illustrated in the earliest important humanist educational treatise, the De ingenuis moribus (On Noble Customs and Liberal Studies) of Pier Paolo Vergerio, written at the end of 1401 or in 1402 and dedicated to the son of the ruler of Padua, a member of the Carrara family. His educational program encompasses moral and religious training, together with physical fitness and instruction in the bearing of arms. As for the academic, or liberal studies, he defines them as follows:

We call those studies liberal which are worthy of a free man; those studies by which we attain and practise virtue and wisdom; that education which calls forth, trains and develops those highest gifts of body and of mind which ennoble men, and which are rightly judged to rank next in dignity to virtue only.5

These studies include history, moral philosophy, and eloquence as the most important subjects. Literature (or "letters"), grammar, logic, and rhetoric are also included. Poetry and music are valuable for recreation. He also finds room for arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, and "the knowledge of nature," showing that what we call science was not to be neglected, though it occupied a secondary position. He also recommended that the special aptitudes and abilities of each student be noted, and that his education be adapted to his individual character. This treatise was influential and widely read. Other educational theorists repeated the same themes, with different emphases. Leonardo Bruni wrote a little tract about 1405 on the education of women; he stressed religious and moral training, with the classical writers and the church fathers as the authors to be studied. The Renaissance saw an improvement in the educational and social status of women, who at least among the upper classes were sometimes given a humanistic education and an honored position in society.

Vittorino da Feltre at Mantua and Guarino da Verona at Ferrara put into practice the ideas we have discussed. Both emphasized training in correct expression; the study of classical Latin and Greek; the well-rounded training of the mental, moral and physical aspects of their pupils; and preparation for public life. Their training was not professional; they left that to others, who would teach their pupils later. They would have agreed that a humanistic, or liberal, education was eminently practical, since it fitted the pupil whatever his future profession to take his place in society. Just as humanism was not the only form of intellectual activity of that period, so humanistic education was not found everywhere; indeed, most schools were not in the hands of humanists, but it was the humanistic ideal that was to set the pattern for education, especially higher education, until fairly recent times. ... rt/05.html

It's interesting, that we meet the names Vergerio and Bruni (a later Petrarca biographer in this early phase together. It's the time, when Constantinople is in a struggle for survival, after the lost battle of Nicopolis (1396 - Sigismondo participated)
The Greek emperor went himself for help in the West, and sent Greek teachers to Europe ...
... who caused ability to speak the Greek language, but real military help came from the attack of Timur Lenk, ...
... who stopped the advance of the Ottomans and gave Constantinople further 50 years.

Vergerius played a major role for the later famous teachers Vittorino da Feltre (Mantova), Guarino (Ferrara) and Barzizza (Milan).


Petrarca biography
While Vergerio's theory of humanist education won him a vast
public, his practice of classicizing oratory had more restricted circula-
tion. The bulk of his orations are preserved in the same codices that
have his sermons on Jerome, and they are discusssed in the section that
follows.^ Due to its wider diffusion, however, Vergerio's Sermo de vita
Francisci Petrarcae requires some explanation. Vergerio originally deliv-
ered the sermon at a ceremony, which Francesco Zabarella organized in
Padua's cathedral to honor the memory of Petrarch.^^ Subsequently, it
came to be used as a short biography that was often appended to the
writings of Petrarch. There are approximately thirty copies of the work
in existing manuscripts. In 1398, Ramus Ramedellus copied it for Mar-
gherita Malatesta, the wife of Francesco Gonzaga. Before 1400, another
Italian scribe transcribed the Vita into a parchment codex now in the
University Library at Greifswald. By 1432, the short biography had also
become part of the library of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.^^ Gen-
rorum. The treatise was also paired with the De nobilitate of Buonaccorso da Montemagno
in codices like Augsburg UnivB. n.Lat.l.quarto.33 (with Basil, Ps. Plutarchus, letters of
PPV, and letters of Jakob Wimpfeling) and Kassel Philos. quarto 6 (with Basil and dated
Ulm, 1470). On Buonaccorso's popular work, completed by 1429, see Bertalot, Studien,
2:402-5; Hans Baron, TTje Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Repub-
lican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1955),
1:365-66, 2:623-24 n. 22, rev. ed. (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1966), 420-23; and Paul
Oskar Kristeller, Studies in Renaissance Thought and Letters 2 (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e
Letteratura, 1985), 332-33. ... t_djvu.txt

I didn't found a precise date for this biography of Petrarca "as an oration", but it should have been "before 1398", possibly in 1394, as then Petrarca had been 20 years dead. In this year ("In the most reliable codices, Vergerio's letter bears a date of 1
August 1394" says the biography) the mentioned Zabarella and Vergerius seem to have cooperated in the writing of letters to Petrarca, which as a theme addressed a letter of Petrarca to Cicero written in 1346 (or 1345 ?).

Vergerio actually wrote a letter to Petrarch in the name of Cicero,
defending the Roman politician against charges which Petrarch made in
1345. In the most reliable codices, Vergerio's letter bears a date of 1
August 1394.^ Francesco Zabarella likewise wrote a letter to Petrarch in
defense of Cicero. When free from university obligations, Vergerio and
Zabarella discussed the works of Cicero and amused themselves by en-
gaging in writing exercises. Their letters may be the fruit of such a dis-
cussion, which led them to compete in composing the better rebuttal of
Petrarch's charges."^ The letters should be read against the background
of Paduan politics as well. In June of 1394, Francesco Novello refused to
pay the tribute to Giangaleazzo Visconti agreed upon in the peace treaty
of 1392.^ That act of defiance also angered Venice, Francesco's powerful
ally, and threatened to plunge the Italian states into a new war. To chal-
lenge the Carrara ruler's aggressive stance might well compromise one's
standing at court or even bring one's life into danger.

Vergerio used his letter to articulate a preference for Cicero's activist
style of humanism over the more reserved style of Petrarch.
About Petrarca's letter to Cicero: ... 1pet2.html ... cise01.htm ... t_djvu.txt
In 1345 Petrarch discovered in the Cathedral Library of Verona a manuscript containing the sixteen books of Cicero's letters ad Atticum, the three books ad Quintum, the two ad Brutum, and the apocryphal letter to Octavianus.
Just as an interesting story ...
We can readily imagine Petrarch's eagerness
to possess a copy of the precious manuscript.
Owing, however, to the lack of intelligent copy-
ists, or perhaps because copyists were not ad-
mitted into the Chapter Library, Petrarch was
obliged to transcribe the large volume himself,
in spite of his physical debility at the time.
This volume later injured Petrarch in a peculiar
way, and it is interesting to hear the story from
his own lips. In Fam., XXI, 10, dated October
15, 1358 or 1359, he says (Vol. Ill, pp. 87, 88):

"But to return to Cicero, of whom I had begun to speak.
You know that from early boyhood Cicero has always
been dear to me, and that I have always treated him
well. Now listen to what a shabby trick he has recently
played me. I possess a large volume of his letters, which
I copied years ago with my own hand because the original
was unintelligible to the copyists. I was very low in
health at the time; but my great love for the author,
the pleasure I took in reading his work, and my great
eagerness to possess a copy proved superior to my
physical infirmities and to the arduous task of transcrip-
tion. That this volume may always be at hand, I am
wont to keep it at the door of my library leaning against
the door-post, where you have often seen it. The other
day, while entering the room with my mind occupied on
other matters (as is customary with me), it happened
that the fringe of my gown became caught in the book.
In falling, the volume struck my left leg just a little above
the ankle. It was a very slight blow. And I, addressing
it playfully, said: "What is the matter, my Cicero, why
do you injure me ?" Of course there was no answer.
The next day as I passed the same spot, it again struck
me, and again I returned it to its place jestingly. To
cut a long story short, after being struck a third and a
fourth time, I at last bestirred myself, and supposing that
Cicero could ill brook being kept on the floor, I raised
him to a higher station. By this time the skin above
my ankle had been cut open by the frequent repetition
of blows on the same spot, and an irritation had set in that
was by no means to be despised. And yet I did despise it,
thinking of the cause of the injury rather than of the injury
itself. Consequently I abstained neither from bathing nor
riding about, nor enjoying long walks, supposing that
the wound would heal of itself in time. Gradually the
injured spot began to swell, seeming offended at having
been thus neglected ; and then the flesh about it became
discolored as if poisoned. Finally, when the pain had
put an end, not only to my jesting, but also to my sleep
and rest, I was forced to call in the doctors. Further
neglect would have been madness, not bravery. It is
now many days that they have been attending to my
wound, which is no longer a laughing matter. Nor is
their treatment without pain, and they say there is danger
of my losing the use of the injured limb. I believe you
know well enough what little faith I place in their state-
ments one way or the other. And yet, I am weighed
down with warm poultices, I am forbidden my usual
food, and am constrained to an inactivity to which I am
quite unaccustomed. I have grown to hate everything,
and am particularly vexed at this, that I am compelled
to eat dinners that are fit only for gourmands. Still, I
am now on my way to recovery, so that you too will have
learned of my convalescence before you had any knowl-
edge of my accident."

This letter portrays Petrarch's love for Cicero
so clearly, and gives us so vivid a picture of the
human side of our author, that we cannot resist
the temptation to quote from another letter
written about a year later, which completes
the story of the offending volume. He writes
to Boccaccio (Far., 25, Milan, August 18,

I greatly enjoyed the next portion of your letter, where
you say that I was undeservedly injured by Cicero because
(as you very neatly put it) of my too great familiarity
with him. You are right: those with whom we live on
the most intimate terms are the ones who most often
molest us. It is a most rare and unusual thing indeed
for a Hindoo to offend a Spaniard. And so it goes.
Whence it happens that we are not surprised when we
read of the wars of the Athenians against the Spartans,
and when we witness our own wars against our neighbors.
Much less do we marvel at civil wars and internal dis-
sensions. Indeed, experience has made these so much
a matter of course that it is peace and harmony rather
that have become a source of wonder. If, on the other
hand, we read of a Scythian king waging war with the
monarchs of Egypt, or of Alexander the Macedon fight-
ing his way into the heart of India, we are overcome by
amazement, which ceases the moment we recollect the
examples offered by our own history and recall the
glorious and valorous expeditions of the Romans into
the most distant lands. Your arguments proved to be
of consolation to me, in so far as I was hurt by Cicero,
with whom I most ardently desire to live on intimate
terms. But I hope that I shall never be injured either
by Hippocrates or by Albumazar.

But to be serious, you must know that that wound
which was caused by Cicero and of which I had begun
to jest, soon turned my sport to grief. Almost a year
slipped by, and the condition of the wound was still
going from bad to worse, while I was growing gray in
the midst of pain and discomforts, doctors and poultices.
Finally, when my restlessness had become intolerable
and I had become tired of life, I resolved to dismiss the
doctors and to await the outcome, no matter what it was,
preferring to entrust myself to God and to nature rather
than to those white-washers who were experimenting
the tricks of their trade to my detriment. And I lived
up to my resolution. I showed them the door, and
placed full reliance in the aid of the Divine Preserver.
The youth who waits upon me, thanks to my wound and
at my expense, turned doctor. And I, remembering
which of the many remedies had been of real benefit to
me, made use of those only. To help nature I was
careful of my diet; and so very, very gradually I am
regaining the health which I lost in such short order.
Now you have the story complete. Let me add one
word more, that this life is an arena for toils and griefs
in which I have often combated against strange mishaps,
strange not in themselves, but in that they should have
fallen to my lot. No one, I assure you, seeks peace
more than I; no one shuns such encounters more readily
than I; and never have I, hitherto, suffered such a
strange calamity, whether you consider its peculiar cause,
or the pain which resulted therefrom, or its long con-
tinuance. My Cicero wished to leave upon my memory
an imperishable and lasting impression. I always
should have remembered him, I vow; but lest I might
possibly forget him, Cicero has now taken due preqautions
both internal and external. And here again, what
do you wish me to say ? To repeat, I now perceive that
life is in itself a serious work.
Vergerio and Zabarello again
Zabarella and Vergerio took issue with Petrarch's historical interpre-
tation and his values. In defending Cicero, they accused Petrarch of un-
derestimating the importance of the active life for the humanist intel-
lectual. Zabarella wrote a shorter and less impassioned defense, which
began where Petrarch had ended, with Cicero's death. Whereas Petrarch
had rightly asserted that Cicero might have enjoyed blessed leisure in
philosophical retreat, Cicero himself had the courage to take a stand on
controversial matters that placed his life in danger. Given that nothing
was more excellent than the pursuit of virtue, Cicero's death must be la-
beled an act worthy of the best philosopher. His political commitment
late in life harmonized with his deeds as a young politician, when he
had saved Rome from the threat of Catiline. His values were consistent
and his eloquence in no way compromised.

Zabarella then moved on to Cicero's change in attitude toward Julius
Caesar. He had appropriately adapted his public stand to the evolution
of Caesar's politics. Zabarella thus suggested the wisdom of pragmatism
in politics, a theme which Vergerio also developed. Cicero had censured
Caesar when he seemed to practice a demagogic politics (popularis Cae-
sar) and supported him when he seemed to aid the republic {reipublicae
frugi). Likewise, Cicero had denounced Anthony for attempting to
plunder Rome's resources. Zabarella closed his letter in rather gentle
terms. In his estimation, Petrarch really wished to lose the debate. His
personal preference for a solitary life of otium led him wrongly to cen-
sure Cicero for sacrificing his life in public negotium}

Vergerio shared certain lines of defense with his esteemed mentor
and friend. Both sought to demolish the contention that Cicero had be-
trayed his integrity by returning to public service. Rather, the act was a
dramatic endorsement of a life dedicated to public service. Moreover,
Vergerio similarly evaluated Cicero's conduct toward Julius Caesar.
Cicero utilized praise or blame depending upon the course of actions
that Caesar had adopted. Yet there are significant differences between
the two letters. Vergerio wrote in the name of Cicero. Proficient in dec-
lamation, Vergerio played the historical person, and thus indicated a
close identification with Cicero as the ideal orator. Petrarch had accused
Cicero of behaving like a headstrong adolescens. With obvious relish,
Vergerio played that same role in criticizing Petrarch. Petrarch's accusa-
tions undermined the suppositions upon which Vergerio intended to
build his career. He still hoped to make his humanist skills the basis for
a career in politics. Finally, Vergerio knew the Ciceronian corpus better
than Zabarella, and he demonstrated a more subtle understanding of
Roman politics.

Vergerio began by asserting that Cicero had always been active in
politics, on rare occasions in arms but usually as an orator. One should
not be surprised by the flexibility of his positions: that followed from
the variation in historical circumstances and human motives. Nor was
Petrarch realistic in imagining Cicero free of rivals. Though politics rep-
resented the way of life most beneficial for others, it attracted its fair
share of immoral persons. Any individual of integrity could expect to
arouse jealousy among some of his peers. Finally, one should not equate
Cicero's pragmatism with a lack of ideological conviction. He refused to
sacrifice the republic for the sake of peace. The republican system stood
threatened when a member of the elite no longer had the possibility to
speak freely. Safeguarding free speech was, for Vergerio, the litmus test
of authentic government.'
Francesco Zabarella (* 1360), ..
.. 10 years older than Vergerius, had studied in Florence, and became in 1390 (Jubilee year) professor for canon law in Padova. Zabarella had then a close relation to Vergerius. He became cardinal in 1411 and bishop of Florence and was send to King Sigismund in Hungary in 1413. He prepared the council, Vergerius participated and was then chosen to accompany King Sigismund's journey to Spain. Sigismund and Vergerius got a close relation to each other. Later, back in Constance, Vergerius engaged for the idea, that Zaberella should become the new pope, but Zabarella died at the plague. In 1418 Vergerius accompanied King Sigismund to Hungary and was then lost for Italy.

Vergerius was 20 years in 1390 and a comedy "Paulus" is given to him for this year (I saw, that it's assumed, that he wrote more than one comedy). For the moment I don't know details. But the plot "young author writes comedy and becomes a great scholar" repeats 34 year later with Leon Battista Alberti in 1424 and the "Philodoxus". Vergerius hadn't then big attention at the Carrara court, although he had taken the opportunity, that he was known.
Perhaps the early experience with theater formed his talent as an orator and also guided his didactic interests.
The "Paulus" became known as a first "modern" play in Italy.

Vergerio lived with Francesco Zabarella for a time, probably when he first moved to Padua,
and Zabarella helped him obtain books and take examinations.
Leonardo Smith offers evidence that Vergerio lived "in contrata Ruthe-
nae" on 18 October 1394. At that time, Zabarella had his residence "in contrata Sanctae
Malgaritae," where he had moved in 1391.
Zabarella at the council ... on?start=7
And now, on the last day of the trial, John Hus stood before the great Council. The scene was appalling. For some weeks this gallant son of the morning had been tormented by neuralgia. The marks of suffering were on his brow. His face was pale; his cheeks were sunken; his limbs were weak and trembling. But his eye flashed with a holy fire, and his words rang clear and true. Around him gleamed the purple and gold and the scarlet robes. Before him sat King Sigismund on the throne. The two men looked each other in the face. As the articles were rapidly read out against him, John Hus endeavoured to speak in his own defence. He was told to hold his tongue. Let him answer the charges all at once at the close.

"How can I do that," said Hus, "when I cannot even bear them all in mind?"

He made another attempt.

"Hold your tongue," said Cardinal Zabarella; "we have already given you a sufficient hearing."

With clasped hands, and in ringing tones, Hus begged in vain for a hearing. Again he was told to hold his peace, and silently he raised his eyes to heaven in prayer. He was accused of denying the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. He sprang to his feet in anger. Zabarella tried to shout him down. The voice of Hus rang out above the babel.

"I have never held, taught or preached," he cried, "that in the sacrament of the altar material bread remains after consecration."

The trial was short and sharp. The verdict had been given beforehand. He was now accused of another horrible crime. He had actually described himself as the fourth person in the Godhead! The charge was monstrous.


It was mentioned above, that the Petrarca biography of Vergerius was paired often with a text of Buanaccorso. He was in Florence and Petrarca enthusiast, and he had opportunity to visit Filippo Maria Viconti in diplomatic mission (1428). He died young, famous for his talent as a public speaker, a fame, which is also given to Vererius.
Buonaccorso da Montemagno was the name shared by two Italian scholars from Pistoia in Tuscany. The elder Buonaccorso da Montemagno (died 1390) was a jurisconsult and ambassador who made a compilation of Pistoia's statutes in 1371. Poems are uncertainly attributed to him.

The younger, Giovane Buonaccorso da Montemagno (Pistoia 1391/93 — Florence 16 December 1429), nephew of the elder, was a Renaissance humanist. He was a judge in the Santa Croce quarter of Florence (1421) and in September of that year was appointed Maestro in the Studio fiorentino. In his poems (Rime), if they are not his uncles', he imitated Petrarch's sonnetti d'amore, setting an example for fifteenth-century Petrarchism. The younger Buonaccorso was highly esteemed for his public orations, in which Cristoforo Landino ranked him with Boccaccio, Leone Battista Alberti, and Matteo Palmieri.[1] In July 1428 he was sent as ambassador to the Duke of Milan to establish the terms of the peace treaty in which Florence had acted as the ally of Venice.

Buonaccorso's De nobilitate, an outstanding expression of the literary topos of the New Man — Homo novus — whose nobility is inherent in his own character and career, was translated into English by John Tiptoft, created Earl of Worcester and published in 1481 by William Caxton, as Here foloweth the Argument of the declamacyon which laboureth to shewe. wherein honoure sholde reste. It was rendered in play form, still in Latin, by Sixt Birck and published at Augsburg in 1538.
Italians in Hungary


1433-1437 - translation of Arrian: Life of Alexander the Great
The Arrian text had arrived Italy 1423 Aurisa.

Petrarca / early Trionfi poem material

Petrarca / early Trionfi poem material before 1441

*************** ... rch/3.html


On paper
Northeastern Italy, first quarter of the 15th century
Marston MS 99, ff. 1v - 2r

This copy of the Canzoniere begins with a stylized portrait of Petrarch at his writing table. The manuscript is written in minuscola cancelleresca, a script similar to one that Petrarch adopted in early rough drafts of his poetry, some of which survive in the Vatican Library’s Codex Vaticanus latinus 3196. The minuscola cancelleresca was in wide use during the 14th century, and it has been suggested therefore that this manuscript may have been copied in the 1390s. Whether written in the 14th or early-15th century, Marston MS 99 is one of the earliest copies of the Canzoniere. It appears together with Petrarch's Triumphi, and a collection of Italian poetry by various authors. Petrarch remains the dominate figure in the manuscript, just as he was in the literary circles of both the 14th and 15th centuries.
The larger description is here: ... ars099.htm
4. f. 134v [L]a nocte che segui l'orribel caso/...Ance che giorno gia uicin

Francesco Petrarca, Triumphi, Triumphus mortis II, vv. 1-27; F. Neri,
ed., Rime, Trionfi, e poesie latine (Milan and Naples, 1951) pp. 523-24.
I seems, it contains only small passage of the Trionfi poem.


Here's a list of Petrarch material in Italian language in USA (with Links and descriptions), the Triumphs are selected.
(I haven't checked all)

The introduction of the project is here: ... ction.html

A jstor article to the project is here: ... 1205500267


Ross recently ...
... presented the use of a Trionfi passage in March 1439 by Guiniforte Barzizza

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