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Humanism

Petrarch’s piece could be related to the Humanist movement during the Italian renaissance. Humanists were concerned with the accumulation of knowledge. They accomplished this mainly by recovering and restoring many significant ancient texts and pieces of art. Petrarch constantly referred to texts written by St. Augustine and applied them to his own life and to society. This type of “civic humanism” (p.357) became very popular during the renaissance. Humanists sought to “define the self” (p.358) and then use that definition to better society.

Humanism was also concerned with personal growth and self-knowledge. This directly correlates with Petrarch’s ascent of Mount Ventoux because it is a story of discovery and enlightenment. He realizes that human nature is often fickle and concerned with earthly things, instead of having loftier goals such as the desire to learn and help others.