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Religions 2012, 3(3), 699-709;

Francesco Petrarca and the Parameters of Historical Research

William B. Hamilton Professor of History (emeritus), Duke University, 129 Carr Building, Campus Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719, USA
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 29 July 2012 / Accepted: 31 July 2012 / Published: 20 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World)
PDF [234 KB, uploaded 20 August 2012]


Although scholars in the first two generations of humanism wrote the histories drawing heavily on ancient Roman sources, Petrarca was the first humanist historian to focuses on the history of ancient Roma. Because he was also the earliest to approach ancient Romans as historically conditioned human beings, he was able to see the achievements of the Romans in historical perspective. At the same time he was unable to separate mythology from history and acknowledged the effect of divine and diabolical forces on the course of human events. View Full-Text
Keywords: humanist historiography; historical perspective; Dark Ages; secularization humanist historiography; historical perspective; Dark Ages; secularization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Witt, R. Francesco Petrarca and the Parameters of Historical Research. Religions 2012, 3, 699-709.

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