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Coluccio Salutati In The Footsteps Of The Ancients

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Chapter Summary

Coluccio Salutati succumbed to the attractions of Petrarch's Christian humanism at Rome in his late thirties after protracted contact with the latter's writings. Elements of the older humanism would remain in Salutati's work even then, but they would appear outside of their original context. How did Salutati come by this civic, pre-Petrarchan humanism? An analysis of Salutati's formal education offers some explanation. Salutati's work with da Moglio occurred earlier when da Moglio was teaching at the secondary level. The references to Geri d'Arezzo as co-author with Mussato of the revival of interest in antiquity suggest that Salutati was well-acquainted with what appears to have been a large corpus of letters, poems, and prose satires by the Aretine writer. Salutati's introduction into Petrarch's Florentine circle in the early 1360s gave him greater access to Petrarchan manuscripts, but his formation in an older humanistic tradition proved highly resistant to change.

Keywords:Christian humanism; Coluccio Salutati; da Moglio; Geri d'Arezzo; Mussato; Petrarch; Rome

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