Sunday, April 26, 2020

Today Began the Renaissance (?)

Today Began the Renaissance (?)

By certain reckoning, today is the anniversary of an event in 1336 off from which is dated the Italian Renaissance. It was on that day that the poet Petrarch climbed to the top of Mount Ventoux in southern France. Petrarch was by no means the first person to have a climbed this “mountain” - it's only slightly over 6000 feet in height. Rather, his climb was considered noteworthy because he simply did it for the experience.
Whether this was, actually, the beginning of the Renaissance is open to significant debate. By then Petrarch had already completed a new epic poem in Latin titled Africa (it is about the second Punic War). Regardless, he would go on to be a prolific letter writer, corresponding with persons including Boccaccio, and would locate the writings of numerous classical writers, including Cicero. And of course Boccaccio would as well write the Decameron, a collection of stories traded amongst friends who were "self-isolatin"' outside of Florence to avoid the plague (history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme).
All is not, however, good with Petrarch. He is credited with identifying the so-called “Dark Ages.” In fact, the purported “Dark Ages” never existed.

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