Petrarch's two contemplative works, De vita solitaria and De otio religioso , are often regarded as different, and even opposed visions of life that reveal the different existential choices of the sons of ser Petracco: Francesco's withdrawal to the pastoral scenery of Vaucluse and Gherardo's retreat to the Carthusian monastery of Montrieux. As in many other texts by Petrarch, the two books restage the fork in the road at which the brothers went their separate ways. Nevertheless, the two paths share the same terrain. In both cases, the human being is figured as a guest hospis on earth. The many appearances entice the guest during his journey, but his status as stranger may also fortify him in confronting the secret plays of power that continuously surround him.
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Login via Institution. Three of Petrarch's major prose works in Latin—De otio religioso, De vita solitaria, and Secretum—are treatises dedicated to the topic of solitude as an escape from the negotium of worldly life. An inquiry into Petrarch's understanding of solitude will show, however, that far from representing an idealized withdrawal from engagement in the world, ascesis is a technique employed by Petrarch to construct his own ideal of the public intellectual, disengaged and resistant to structures of coercive authority and power.
His reshaping of an ascetic lineage, which puts early Christian authors side by side with writers from the ancient Latin Stoic tradition, may be seen as an attempt to delineate a new, laicized form of monasticism and the ascetic life. In turning to a closer examination of De otio religioso, this paper will emphasize two areas of interest, which seek to support the thesis that Petrarch's pursuit of contemplative life was strategic for the shaping of an uncompromised, intellectual, Christian identity: the presence of an absence, represented by Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order, as a model of ascetic dissent; and the absence of a presence, evoked by a radical reading of the Latin verb vacare with its more kenotic implications.
Author: Demetrio Yocum 1. Article price:. Add to Cart. Rent on DeepDyve. Get Permissions. Abstract Three of Petrarch's major prose works in Latin—De otio religioso, De vita solitaria, and Secretum—are treatises dedicated to the topic of solitude as an escape from the negotium of worldly life.
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De otio religioso: Petrarch and the Laicization of Western Monastic Asceticism
On Religious Leisure (De Otio Religioso)
Introduction by Ronald G. The Medieval Review. The Journal of Medieval Latin. 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.