Francesco Petrarca (Italian: [franˈtʃesko peˈtrarka]; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (/ˈptrɑːrk, ˈpɛt-/), was a scholar and poet of early Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest humanists.[1]

Francesco Petrarca
Petrarch portrait by Altichiero
BornFrancesco Petracco
(1304-07-20)July 20, 1304
Comune of Arezzo
DiedJuly 19, 1374(1374-07-19) (aged 69)
Arquà, Padua, Republic of Venice
(now Padua, Italy)
Resting placeArquà Petrarca
OccupationScholar, poet
LanguageItalian, Latin
Alma materUniversity of Montpellier
University of Bologna
PeriodEarly Renaissance
Literary movementRenaissance humanism
Notable worksTriumphs
Il Canzoniere
Notable awardsPoet laureate of Padua
Partnerunknown woman or women
ChildrenGiovanni (1337–1361)
Francesca (born in 1343)
RelativesEletta Canigiani (mother)
Ser Petracco (father)
Gherardo Petracco (brother)
Santa Maria della Pieve in Arezzo
La Casa del Petrarca (birthplace) at Vicolo dell'Orto, 28 in Arezzo

Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited with initiating the 14th-century Italian Renaissance and the founding of Renaissance humanism.[2] In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri.[3] Petrarch would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca.

Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the "Dark Ages,"[4] which most modern scholars now find misleading and inaccurate.[5][6][7]