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.