The Italian Poems of the Master Francesco Petrarcha


The Venetian printer and scholar Aldo Manuzio (1449 or 1450−1515) was the first printer to produce so-called libri portatiles (portable books), editions of texts without scholarly commentary in octavo, a format that until that time was used only for prayer books. Manuzio published this edition of the poems of Francesco Petrarca (also known as Petrarch, 1304–74) in July 1501, thus producing an outstanding example of his innovative abilities as a printer. Manuzio’s Petrarch was the first portable book in Italian. It was printed using the italic types introduced by Aldo, which he devised by imitating the handwriting of his time. The text itself was edited by the scholar Pietro Bembo, using a manuscript of Petrarch. Most of Petrarch’s writing was in Latin but he is best known for his Italian lyric poems. The famous Aldine Collection of the Berlin State Library boasts three copies of the Petrarch, the paper copy and two illuminated and illustrated copies printed on parchment. One of the parchment copies has an armorial frontispiece representing the noble Priuli family of Venice, while the other, presented here, has a portrait of Petrarch. Both of the other Berlin State Library Petrarchs are also in the World Digital Library.

Date Created

Publication Information

Romanus, Venice


Title in Original Language

Le cose volgari


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

190 folios


  • Shelfmark: Ald. Ren. 28,5
  • Contents: Porträt von Petrarca; Sonetti Et Canzoni Di Messer Francesco Petrarcha, In Morte Di Madonna Lavra.; Del Triompho Damore Capitol .I.; Del Triompho Damore Capitol .II.; Del Triompho Damore Capitol .III.; Del Triompho Damore Capitol .IIII.; Triompho Della Castita.; Del Triompho Della Morte Capitol .I.; Del Triompho Della Morte Capitol .II.; Del triompho Della Fama Capitol .I.; Del Triompho Della Fama Capitol .II.; Del Triompho Della Fama Capitol .III.; Triompho Del Tempo.; Triompho Della Divinita.

Last updated: July 27, 2015