Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374) was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the “Father of Humanism”. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch’s works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio and, especially, Dante Alighieri. Petrarch’s sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the Dark Ages.

I shall be content, if I succeed in knowing myself. To reach this end I strain my eyes. I never loose sight of it, nor do I cease praying the Gods, that they may teach me to know myself, and grant, as the wise ought to desire, that I always be mindful of my goal.

Arise, look about you, begin to know yourself and to assume responsibilities equal to your powers.

I come back to myself… Alas, where have I come to, from what have I been separated?