Petrarca’s Dream

Peter Madsen

Abstract


When Petrarca received his laurels on Capitol in Rome on Easter Sunday in 1341 he took the event as inauguration of a renewal of ancient Roman culture, and he regarded Africa as his major poetic contribution. Africa is an unfinished Latin heroic epic poem in the tradition of Vergil, the hero is the young Roman general Scipio Africanus. All of this fits into the ideal of a renewal of Roman culture, yet after the crowning a procession walked from Capitol to the Basilica di San Pietro where Petrarca placed his laurel crown at the altar. The ceremony that Easter Sunday was not only about Roman culture, it was also about Christianity. And so was Africa.

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