Grobar The more ltio isolation of the monastery induces a feeling of safety, the higher are the risks of temptations. While monks aimed at becoming examples of sanctity that may guide oth- C De otio praises the spiritual values of the monastic life, written after a brief visit to his brother Gherado in the Carthusian monastery at Montrieux in A major theme in St. De vita solitaria and De otio religioso: So leave others to rejoice in their purple robes, marble palaces, fleeting power, empty honours, otii amusements, and all the trappings over which the citizens of Babylon gloat. Although not all schools of mysticism shared this anticlassicist position, C His subsequent act of writing is a tardy recognition of what the visit had meant: Nonethe- less, classical rhetoric shaped his prose, for ancient authors remained in the Middle Ages authoritative examples of rhetorical dexterity, and even those who condemned secular studies had received an education in the liberal arts, like Saint-Thierry and Peter Damian. Take time on earth, and you will see in heaven. Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide.
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As Ronald G. Petrarch was aware of and concerned with his brother and with the choices they each made, as poets, as men, as sons, and as Christians.
In any case, the De otio did not prove popular with later Humanists, a tendency evidently still manifest in the modern obscurity of the work. The introduction also provides an overview of the concept of otium as Petrarch would have understood it from Classical sources and in relation to 14th-century Italian thought. Witt also discusses the MSS. The introduction is clear, informative, and provocative. I had no access to Rotondi, but checked the translation against one of the other printed editions listed in the bibliography, Librorum Francisci Petrarche Impressorum Annotatio, Venice, Serve him eagerly.
He grazed a large and foreign flock among the thickets of humanity. You graze your sheep; that is, each person grazes his own soul in the happy, abundant pastures of Jesus Christ. Serve Him free from care. You do not have a deceitful master such as Laban, whom Jacob endured, who envies your goods and your profits, but One Who may be delighted by your profits and your progress, One Who aids you in your need and sustains you in your weakness.
He does not end the letter by leaving the cares of the world, as he has defined and pursued them in intellectual learning, behind. Augustine in the Secretum, which he composed soon after the De otio. The volume includes a bibliography of editions, translations, related works, and recommended secondary readings, followed by an index of citations, divided into Biblical and Non-Biblical, and then a general index.
Petrarch regrets that he himself could only briefly visit their angelic, spiritual community on earth, a world that the poet, so mired in ignorance and worldliness, longs wistfully for.
This translation can be integrated into courses in medieval intellectual history and literary theory and could also be taught along other works of Petrarch, Dante, and Boccaccio.
It is ideal for classroom use and for non-specialist pleasure reading. The Journal of Medieval Latin 13 : Augustine, extravagant laureate of a decrepit Rome. Susan S. Schearer translated the little-known De otio religioso, the University of Notre Dame Press published an elaborate facsimile and translation of Itinerarium ad sepulchrum by Theodore J. Cachey, Jr. The inner conflict which had seemed so amusing to Gibbon is what most intrigues us today.
And post-modern readers find restlessness more appealing than consistency. He will not follow the monastic life and he will not venture on the journey. While I was contemplating your most holy hermitage and shrine His subsequent act of writing is a tardy recognition of what the visit had meant: At this point I remember what I overlooked in the rush while I was there.
Here now I mean to make good my intention and to express in writing what I was not able to do in person. And so each poses the elementary question, why should it be read?
Why should the monks value a commentary based on a fleeting visit? For Petrarch, the writing is what matters. His imagination, indeed his very identity, is text-based, as his strongest Latin prose work, on the ascent of Mount Ventoux, shows clearly and with deliberate irony. The account is not in any real sense about climbing a mountain. The old shepherd at the foot of the mountain shows good common sense about the difficulty of the enterprise.
The servants they kept with them dutifully plod along, saying nothing. In this little drama of various personalities, Petrarch is the impractical scholar. He initiates the climb because Livy had written about a mountain. He limits his pleasure in the view from the top because he reads St. Augustine , and to his own self-obsessed record, not spoken in his native tongue, but created in the script-centred Latin language. He was surely well aware of the intellectual, and sometimes comic stress of these incongruities.
A major theme in St. The only editions since are those of Giuseppe Rotondi and A. Bufano , neither of which is easily accessible. Critics have not responded warmly to it. Restless and insecure as the White Rabbit in his visit to the monastery and in his jumble of erudition, Petrarch nonetheless defines the central issue precisely enough.
The interconnectedness of pagan and Christian, and their necessary mutuality, is summarized in a noble passage, finely translated by Schearer: O great philosophers and hard-working men whose natural intelligence overwhelms us, look at how we have overtaken you in grace and free blessings. You have labored, but look at how we now rest. You have planted, but look at how we now harvest. You have sought, but look at how we now find.
It is neither your fault nor our merit, but only the favor of God which has done this . Composed some time during Lent 11 February to 29 March , Petrarch continued to add to the text as late as before dispatching the final treatise to his brother, Gherardo, in As in his De vita solitaria , Petrarch sought to legitimate his manner of life by envisioning the otium practised in Vaucluse as continuous with the otium first identified with the monastic life by Augustine.
Given that these sources of sin are so interconnected, however, there is much overlap between these three parts. Understandably the De otio religioso, with its all-embracing condemnation of the life in the world and a glorification of withdrawal from it, was not popular with later humanists.
It is no wonder, then, as Witt points out, that the treatise has aroused little interest on the part of scholars. There is still no critical edition of it. The present translation is based on the edition by Giuseppe Rotondi Vatican City, Schearer has produced a very good translation of the text into modern English, the result of eight years of work.
Speculum, Vol. The De otio was written between February 11 and March 29, , shortly after the poet visited his brother Gherardo in the Carthusian monastery of Montrieux.
The visit to Montrieux prompted Petrarch to reflect on the hallowed lifestyle of the Carthusian monks and on the human misery of those who are not so blessed.
These reflections are at the basis of the De otio, a two-book work that explores how to fight demonic temptations and how to reject the enticements of the world and the flesh. The argument, which is sustained by numerous quotations from the Scriptures, the church fathers, and classical authors, is conveyed in a paratactic, unmethodical fashion.
Most important, the translation is enriched with an erudite and illuminating introduction by Ronald Witt. He examines the relationship between the De vita solitaria and the De otio and, in so doing, considers the meaning of onion in the context of classical culture, in the writings of the church fathers, in the monastic life of the Middle Ages, and in the works of Petrarch himself.
Above all, however, he studies the various facets of the De otio: its style, its ascetic implications, its contrast of pagan and Christian cultures with its condemnation of the former, and its strong personal intent. In translating the De otio, Schearer abandons the two-book structure of the Latin text and chooses instead to divide her translation into chapters p.
However, she gives no rationale for such a division. Her translation captures effectively the meaning and tone of the Latin text. Mediaevistik 19 : Urbinate lat.
Schearer presents only the English translation, so this is not a bilingual edition with the original text facing the translation. De otio religioso has been translated into Italian and French before, but the present book seems to be the first English translation.
Two major features make this to a successful effort with this fairly neglected text. First, Schearer is very concerned with identifying the relevant sources from which Petrarch had quoted or to which he referred in his treatise. These are then listed in the notes to each chapter, included right after the respective chapter not, as is often the case, published at the end.
She has also put together an index of citations, both biblical and non-biblical, followed by an exhaustive general index. The translation itself stays close to the original and yet reads smoothly. Whereas the early chapters present Petrarch as a deeply religious man steeped in medieval traditions, the latter half of his treatise allows general philosophical observations, which are not narrowly defined by Christian concepts, come to the surface. Overall, however, this text seems much more medieval than most other works by Petrarch the humanist.
I am not certain whether this treatise would lend itself very easily for use in an academic classroom, but the translator has made this text available in a solid, highly readable, and trustworthy rendering into modern English. Overall, this is a highly useful translation, meeting almost all pedagogical goals, though the absence of the original Latin is truly deplorable. This, however, translates into a reasonable pricing of this book.
De otio religioso
Fezshura As in many other texts by Petrarch, the two books restage the fork in the road at which the brothers went their separate ways. For Petrarch, the writing is what matters. Overall, however, this text seems much more medieval than most other works by Petrarch the humanist. Each man should recognize his own particular enemy in the battle, and then he should be especially aware of where the greater danger lies. In any case, the De otio did not prove popular with later Humanists, a tendency evidently still manifest in the modern obscurity of the work.
De otio religioso: Petrarch and the Laicization of Western Monastic Asceticism
As Ronald G. Petrarch was aware of and concerned with his brother and with the choices they each made, as poets, as men, as sons, and as Christians. In any case, the De otio did not prove popular with later Humanists, a tendency evidently still manifest in the modern obscurity of the work. The introduction also provides an overview of the concept of otium as Petrarch would have understood it from Classical sources and in relation to 14th-century Italian thought. Witt also discusses the MSS. The introduction is clear, informative, and provocative. I had no access to Rotondi, but checked the translation against one of the other printed editions listed in the bibliography, Librorum Francisci Petrarche Impressorum Annotatio, Venice,
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