A Subject Librarian’s Checklist
for English Translations of Petrarch
Robert E. Allison, Trustee, Yale Library Associates
Former Librarian, ECCF, Middleton, MA
Purpose: To provide subject librarians with a checklist of the works of Petrarch that have been translated into English and are readily available.
Works in Italian:
1 Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (Canzoniere or Rime Sparse) – (1342 first form) – English Translation: Robert M. Durling (1976).
2 Trionfi (Triumphs) – (1351-1374) – English Translation: Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1962).
3 Rime disperse – uncollected Italian poems attributed to Petrarch but excluded from the Rime Sparse. 14th & 15th Century MSS – English Translations: Joseph A. Barber (1991) – Prose translation of 70 poems. Note: Robert Durling’s translation of the Rime Sparse also includes English translations of 14 poems from the Rime disperse as an appendix.
Works in Latin:
4 De viris illustribus (On Famous Men) 1337 – first major work, incomplete) – English Translation: None – Under consideration by I Tatti Renaissance Library, Harvard University.
5 Africa 1338 – (Epic poem about the Second Punic War – incomplete) English Translation: Thomas G. Bergin and Alice S. Wilson (1977).
6 Collatio laureationis – (Coronation Oration) – 1341 – English Translation: Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1955).
7 Rerum memorandarum libri (Book of Things to be Remembered; 1343 -1345 abandoned after four books and a fragment) – English Translation: None.
8 Bucolicum carmen (Pastoral Poems) – 1346-1366 – English Translation: Thomas G. Bergin (1974).
9 De otio religioso (On Religious Leisure) 1346 – English Translation: Susan S. Schearer and Ronald G. Witt (Introduction) (2002).
10 De vita solitaria (On the Solitary Life) 1346 – English Translation: Jacob Zeitlin (1924).
11 Secretum (The Secret) (1347-1353) – English Translations: Nicholas Mann ITRL Vol. 72 (2016) and Carol E. Quillen (2003).
12 Psalmi penitentiales 1347-48 (seven poems in Latin similar to Hebrew style). English translation: George Chapman (1612) – (See 1875 edition at Chapman under Sources below).
13 Invective contra medicum 1353 (Invectives Against a Physician) – a compilation of four essays attacking doctors) – English Translation: David Marsh I Tatti Renaissance Library (ITRL) Vol. 11 (2003).
14 Invectiva contra quendam magni status hominem sed nullius scientie aut virtutis (Invective against a certain man of high status who lacks knowledge or virtue) – English Translation: David Marsh ITRL Vol. 11 (2003).
15 De remediis utriusque fortunae (Remedies for Fortune Fair or Foul) 1354-1366 – English Translation: Conrad H. Rawski (1991).
16 Itinerarium ad sepulchrum domini nostri Yhesu Christi – (Itinerary to the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ) – 1358 – English Translation: Theodore J. Cachey, Jr. (2002).
17 De sui ipsius et multorum ignorantia – 1367-1370) – (On his own ignorance and that of many others) – English Translation: David Marsh ITRL Vol. 11 (2003).
18 Testamentum (1370) (My Testament) – English Translation – Theodor E. Mommsen (1957).
19 Invectiva contra eum qui maledixit Italie (1373) (Invective Against He Who Speaks Ill of Italy) – English Translation: David Marsh ITRL Vol. 11 (2003).
Collected Letters: (total of 639 – including Lettere disperse)
20 Rerum familiarum libri (Letters on Familiar Matters) 1349-50 – 350 letters – English Translation: Aldo S. Bernardo (1982).
21 Liber sine nomine (Book Without a Name) (19 letters that were separated from Rerum familiarum libri due to bitter and strident language) – English Translation: Norman P. Zacour (1973).
22 Epystole 1364 – (66 verse letters in 3 books) – English Translation (9 of 66 poems translated – See Petrarch at Vaucluse): Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1958).
23 Rerum senilium libri (Letters of Old Age) 128 letters – English Translation: Aldo S. Bernardo, Saul Levin, and Reta A. Bernardo (1992).
24 Lettere disperse (Scattered Letters) – (76 prose letters, collected over centuries, not part of Petrarch’s original collections) – No English translation. Critical Italian translation (with Latin) by Alessandro Pancheri (1994).
Sources of English Translations
Chapman, George. The Works of George Chapman: Poems and Minor Translations. With an introduction by Algernon Charles Swinburne. London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly, 1875.
Petrarch. Africa. Translated and annotated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Alice S. Wilson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.
_______. Bucolicum carmen. Translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974.
_______. De otio religioso. Edited and translated by Susan S. Shearer with an Introduction by Ronald G. Witt. New York: Italica Press, 2002.
_______. De vita solitaria. Translated by Jacob Zeitlin, The Life of Solitude by Francis Petrarch. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1924.
_______. Invectives. Edited and translated by David Marsh. Cambridge: I Tatti Renaissance Library, Vol. 11. Harvard University Press, 2003.
_______. Petrarch at Vaucluse. Letters in Verse and Prose. Translated by Ernest Hatch Wilkins. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958.
_______. Petrarch’s Guide to the Holy Land. Itinerary to the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Edited and translated by Theodore J. Cachey, Jr. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002.
_______. Petrarch’s Lyric Poems: The Rime sparse and Other Lyrics. Edited and translated by Robert M. Durling. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976.
_______. Petrarch’s Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul. Translated by Conrad H. Rawski. 5 vols. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.
_______. Petrarch’s Testament. Edited and translated by Theodor E. Mommsen. Ithaca: Cornell University Press,1957.
_______. Rerum familiarum libri I-VIII. Translated by Aldo S. Bernardo. Albany: State University of New York, 1975.
_______. Rerum familiarum libri IX-XVI. Translated by Aldo S. Bernardo. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
_______. Rerum familiarum libri XVII-XXIV. Translated by Aldo S. Bernardo. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.
_______. Rerum senilium libri. Translated by Aldo S. Bernardo, Saul Levin, and Reta A Bernardo. 2 vols. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.
________. Rime disperse. Translated by Joseph A. Barber. New York: Garland Publishers, 1991.
_______. The Secret. Edited and translated by Carol E. Quillen. Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.
_______. Secretum. Edited and translated by Nicholas Mann. Cambridge: I Tatti Renaissance Library, vol. 72. Harvard University Press, 2016.
_______. The Triumphs of Petrarch. Translated by Ernest Hatch Wilkins. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
Wilkins, Ernest Hatch. “Petrarch’s Coronation Oration.” Studies in the Life and Works of Petrarch, 300-13. Cambridge: Medieval Academy of America, 1955.
Zacour, Norman P. Petrarch’s Book without a Name: A Translation of the Liber sine nomine, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1973.
Other Works Consulted
Ascoli, Albert Russell & Unn Falkeid, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Petrarch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Bergin, Thomas G. Petrarch. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1970.
Celenza, Christopher S. Petrarch: Everywhere a Wanderer. London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2017.
Fantham, Elaine. Francesco Petrarca: Selected Letters (2 Volumes). Cambridge, MA: I Tatti Renaissance Library, Harvard University Press, 2017
Hainsworth, Peter, editor and translator. The Essential Petrarch. Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co., 2010.
Kirkham, Victoria and Armando Maggi, eds., Petrarch: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2009.
Mann, Nicholas. Petrarch. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Mazzotta, Giuseppe. The Worlds of Petrarch. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 1993.
Wilkins, Ernest Hatch. Life of Petrarch. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1961.