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The genius of petrarch in the ascent of mount ventoux

Avignon, Laura och Livius Francesco Petrarch: University of Chicago Press, 1948pp. Mont Ventoux - The Windy Peak: The name of the mountain appears as "Ventosus" in Latin documents as early as the tenth century, though originally it had nothing to do with the strong winds blowing about that isolated peak.

Its Provencal form "Ventour" proves that it is related to the name of a deity worshiped by the pre-Roman Ligurian population of the Rhone Basin, a god believed to dwell on high mountains. Today I ascended the highest mountain in this region, which, not without cause, they call the Windy Peak. Nothing but the desire to see its conspicuous height was the reason for this undertaking.

For many years I have been intending to make this expedition. You know that since my early childhood, as fate tossed around human affairs, I have been tossed around in these parts, the genius of petrarch in the ascent of mount ventoux this mountain, visible far and wide from everywhere, is always in your view.

So I was at last seized by the impulse to accomplish what I had always wanted to do. It happened while I was reading Roman history again in Livy that I hit upon the passage where Philip, the king of Macedon - the Philip who waged war against the Roman people - "ascends Mount Haemus in Thessaly, since he believed the rumor that you can see two seas from its top: I do not intend to consult all of them: I would not leave it long in doubt if that mountain were as easy to explore as the one here.

At any rate, I had better let it go, in order to come back to the mountain I mentioned at first. It seemed to me that a young man who holds no public office might be excused for doing what an old king is not blamed for. I now began to think over whom to choose as a companion. It will sound strange to you that hardly a single one of all my friends seemed to me suitable in every respect, so rare a thing is absolute congeniality in every attitude and habit even among dear friends.

One was too sluggish, the other too vivacious; one too slow, the other too quick; this one too gloomy of temper, that one too gay. One was duller, the other brighter than I should have liked. This man's taciturnity, that man's flippancy; the heavy weight and obesity of the next, the thinness and weakness of still another were reasons to deter me.

The cool lack of curiosity of one, like another's too eager interest, dissuaded me from choosing either. All such qualities, however difficult they are to bear, can be borne at home: But on a journey they become intolerable.

  1. My brother laughed at me; I was indignant; this happened to me three times and more within a few hours. The sun was already setting, and the shadow of the mountain was growing longer and longer.
  2. The italian poet petrarch wrote about his ascent of mont ventoux in provence elevation 1912 meters on 26 april 1336 in a well-known letter published as one of his. Every man wants to arrive there.
  3. Nothing but the desire to see its conspicuous height was the reason for this undertaking.

Tacitly it rejected whatever it could foresee would become troublesome on the projected excursion. What do you think I did? At last I applied for help at home and revealed my plan to my only brother, who is younger than I and whom you know well enough.

  • However, what the Poet says is appropriate;
  • Start studying aoe title to author learn vocabulary petrarch petrarch to petrarch the ascent of mount ventoux alberti on painting petrus paulus the;
  • I had better look around and see what I had intended to see in coming here;
  • Would that I might achieve with my mind the journey for which I am longing day and night as I achieved with the feet of my body my journey today after overcoming all obstacles;
  • Like a man aroused from sleep, I turned back and looked toward the west.

He could hear of nothing he would have liked better and was happy to fill the place of friend as well as brother. This is a place at the northern foot of the mountain. We spent a day there and began our ascent this morning, each of us accompanied by a single servant.

From the start we encountered a good deal of trouble, for the mountain is a steep and almost inaccessible pile of rocky material.

However, what the Poet says is appropriate: The only obstacle was the nature of the spot. We found an aged shepherd in the folds of the mountain who tried with many words to dissuade us from the ascent.

  • Kimmelman, who sees Petrarch's letter as early environmental writing;
  • The italian poet petrarch wrote about his ascent of mont ventoux authority and the truth of experience in petrarch's 'ascent of mount ventoux,' philological.

He said he had been up to the highest summit in just such youthful fervor fifty years ago and had brought home nothing but regret and pains, and his body as well as his clothes torn by rocks and thorny underbrush.

Never before and never since had the people there heard of any man who dared a similar feat. While he was shouting these words at us, our desire increased just because of his warnings; for young people's minds do not give credence to advisers. When the old man saw that he was exerting himself in vain he went with us a little way forward through the rocks and pointed with his finger to a steep path. He gave us much good advice and repeated it again and again at our backs when we were already at quite a distance.

We left with him whatever of our clothes and other belongings might encumber us, intent only on the ascent, and began to climb with merry alacrity.

However, as almost always happens, the daring attempt was soon followed by quick fatigue. Not far from our start we stopped at a rock. From there we went on again, proceeding at a slower pace, to be sure.

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I in particular made my way up with considerably more modest steps. My brother endeavored to reach the summit by the very ridge of the mountain on a short cut; I, being so much more of a weakling, was bending down toward the valley. When he called me back and showed me the better way, I answered that I hoped to find an easier access on the other side and was not afraid of a longer route on which I might proceed more smoothly.

With such an excuse I tried to palliate my laziness, and, when the others had already reached the higher zones, I was still wandering through the valleys, where no more comfortable access was revealed, while the way became longer and longer and the vain fatigue grew heavier and heavier. At last I felt utterly disgusted, began to regret my perplexing error, and decided to attempt the heights with a wholehearted effort. Weary and exhausted, I reached my brother, who had been waiting for me and was refreshed by a good long rest.

For a while we went on together at the same pace. However, hardly had we left that rock behind us when I forgot the detour I had made just a short while before and was once more drawing down the lower regions. Again I wandered through the valleys, looking for the longer and easier path and stumbling only into longer difficulties. Thus The genius of petrarch in the ascent of mount ventoux indeed put off the disagreeable strain of climbing. But nature is not overcome by man's devices; a corporeal thing cannot reach the heights by descending.

What shall I say? My brother laughed at me; I was indignant; this happened to me three times and more within a few hours. So often was I frustrated in my hopes that at last I sat down in a valley.

There I leaped in my winged thoughts from things corporeal to what is incorporeal and addressed myself in words like these: A typical metaphor familiar to ecclesiastical writers; cf. This is not easily understood by us men, because the motions of the body lie open while those of the mind are invisible and hidden.

The life we call blessed is located on a high peak. Many hilltops intervene, and we must proceed "from virtue to virtue" with exalted steps. On the highest summit is set the end of all, the goal toward which our pilgrimage is directed. Every man wants to arrive there. However, as Naso says: What is it, then, that keeps you back? Evidently nothing but the smoother way that leads through the meanest earthly pleasures and looks easier at first sight.

However, having strayed far in error, you must either ascend to the summit of the blessed life under the heavy burden of hard striving, ill deferred, or lie prostrate in your slothfulness in the valleys of your sins. If "darkness and the shadow of death" [Psalter 106 107: Would that I might achieve with my mind the journey for which I am longing day and night as I achieved with the feet of my body my journey today after overcoming all obstacles.

And I wonder whether it ought not to be much easier to accomplish what can be done by means of the agile and immortal mind without any local motion "in the twinkling of the trembling eye" [1 Cor. Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, II.

There is a summit, higher than all the others. The people in the woods up there call it "Sonny," I do not know why. However, I suspect they use the word in a sense opposite to its meaning, as is done sometimes in other cases too. For it really looks like the father of all the surrounding mountains. On its top is a small level stretch. There at last we rested from our fatigue. And now, my dear father, since you have heard what sorrows arose in my breast during my climb, listen also to what remains to be told.

Devote, I beseech you, one of your hours to reading what I did during one of my days.

Ascent of Mont Ventoux

At first I stood there almost benumbed, overwhelmed by a gale such as I had never felt before and by the unusually open and wide view. I looked around me: From there I turned my eyes in the direction of Italy, for which my mind is so fervently yearning. Hannibal is said to have made his troops burn down the trees on rocks obstructing their way and pour vinegar on the ashes to pulverize the burned material when he crossed the Alps in 218 B. Livy, History of Rome xxi.

Pliny, Natural History, xxiii. Later authors referred to this incident as an example of Hannibal's ingenuity in overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles Juvenal, Satire 10, 153.

  1. Start studying aoe title to author learn vocabulary petrarch petrarch to petrarch the ascent of mount ventoux alberti on painting petrus paulus the.
  2. Later authors referred to this incident as an example of Hannibal's ingenuity in overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles Juvenal, Satire 10, 153. From there we went on again, proceeding at a slower pace, to be sure.
  3. You know that since my early childhood, as fate tossed around human affairs, I have been tossed around in these parts, and this mountain, visible far and wide from everywhere, is always in your view.
  4. The genius of petrarch in the ascent of mount ventoux Petrarch's journey to the peak of mount ventoux was one that sparked a multitude of questions of his inner self it was due to petrarch's laziness, that he found.
  5. It happened while I was reading Roman history again in Livy that I hit upon the passage where Philip, the king of Macedon - the Philip who waged war against the Roman people - "ascends Mount Haemus in Thessaly, since he believed the rumor that you can see two seas from its top.

Petrarch is referring to Giacomo Colonna, bishop of Lombez, who had gone to Rome in the summer of 1333. Read Petrarch's comment on Giacomo in Letter to Posterity.

The genius of petrarch in the ascent of mount ventoux

Two rival wills are struggling in Petrarch's breast, the old not releasing him from his amorous servitude and blocking his spiritual progress, the other urging him forward on the way to perfection cf. The Alps were frozen stiff and covered with snow - those mountains through which that ferocious enemy of the Roman name once passed, blasting his way through the rocks with vinegar if we may believe tradition.

They looked as if they were quite near me, though they are far, far away. I was longing, I must confess, for Italian air, which appeared rather to my mind than my eyes.

An incredibly strong desire seized me to see my friend and my native land again. At the same time I rebuked the weakness of a mind not yet grown to manhood, manifest in both these desires, although in both cases an excuse would not lack support from famous champions.

Then another thought took possession of my mind, leading it from the contemplation of space to that of time, and I said to myself: O immortal God, O immutable Wisdom! How many and how great were the changes you have had to undergo in your moral habits since then.

The time will perhaps come when I can review all this in the order in which it happened, using as a prologue that passage of your favorite Angustine: What I used to love, I love no longer.