Petrarch’s Adamantine Chains: The Anniversary Series of "Love" (RVF 107–118) and the Song of "Glory" (RVF 119)

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This article proposes a fresh interpretation of Petrarch’s Song of Glory (RVF 119) through the canzone’s significant placement after the Anniversary Series of sonnets (RVF 107–118), its link to the Secretum, and, above all, Petrarch’s engagement with Stoic philosophy found throughout these poems which ultimately reinforces the poet’s critical stance toward glory especially in this canzone. Petrarch composed the Song of Glory, as well as the Anniversary Series, to represent failure within a Stoic ideology and, as a result, this apparent shortcoming also introduces significant questions concerning the humanist program and the experiential limits of imitation itself. Petrarch viewed Stoicism as a moral philosophy to emulate, accentuating the ethical dimension inherent in the value attributed by humanists to imitating classical texts; but in the end the Secretum presents Stoic goals as potentially unattainable objects of desire tantamount to the poet’s pursuit of fleeting objectives such as security, tranquility, virtue, and glory. What ultimately emerges in these compelling texts, all linked to Petrarch’s year of crisis (1342–1343), is a crucial intersection where the poet confronts his understanding of glory by questioning its meaning. Keywords: Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, Secretum, Augustine, true and false earthly love and glory, virtue, Stoicism, failed conversion, Anniversary Series of sonnets (107–118), Song of Glory (119), 264, laurel, year of crisis, 1342–1343, allegory, ambition, pleasure, desire, shadow.


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