Translation in progress

 Epistolae familiares is the title of a collection of letters of Petrarch which he edited during his lifetime. He originally called the collection Epistolarum mearum ad diversos liber ("a book of my letters to different people") but this was later shortened to the current title.

Petrarch discovered the text of Cicero’s letters in 1345, which gave him the idea to collect his own sets of letters. It wasn't until four or five years later however, that he actually got started. He collected his letter correspondence in two different time periods. They are referred to as Epistolae familiares and Sentiles.

Epistolae familiares (a.k.a. Familiar Letters) was largely collected during his stay in Provence about 1351 to 1353, however was not ultimately completed until 1359 when he was in Milan. Petrarch had this collection of letters copied onto parchment in 1359 by a certain ingeniosus homo et amicus with another complete copy done in 1364. He added letters in 1366, bringing his first collection of letters to 350. He broke these down and sorted them into 24 volumes. This first collection of letters called Epistolae familiares were actually written between the years 1325 and 1366

Petrarch begun a second collection of letters in 1361, Seniles, also known as Letters of Old Age. It contains 128 letters written between 1361 and 1373.[4] It is also broken down and sorted into volumes (18 books). The final letter, the first and only of the 18th book is his incomplete Letter to Posterity.

The special set of letters Sine Nomine (Book Without A Name) of letters Petrarch was too fond of to let out of his hands of some nineteen letters was kept out of the main body of Familiar Letters to give respect to the papacy and the controversial lavish lifestyle practiced at Avignon. Liber sine nomine is an epitome of this same work in one volume without a title (which is 19 letters).




Francesco Petrarca
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