One of the earliest and most prominent humanist writers was Francesco Petrarch

One of the earliest and most prominent humanist writers was Francesco Petrarch

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One of the earliest and most prominent humanist writers was Francesco Petrarch, often  known as the founder of humanism. Many historians cite April 6, 1341, the date on which  Petrarch was crowned Poet Laureate upon the Capitol in Rome, as the true beginning of  the Renaissance. Petrarch believed that true eloquence and ethical wisdom had been  lost during the Middle Ages, and could only be found by looking to the writings of the  ancients, especially Virgil and Cicero. Petrarch wrote extensively, producing poetry,  biographies of historical figures, and wrote scores of letters, many of which were  eventually published and widely read. One of his most popular letters, "The Ascent of  Mount Vertoux," describes his journey to the summit of a mountain, but more  importantly, it is an allegory comparing the hardships of the climb to the struggle to  attain true Christian virtue. 
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One of the earliest and most prominent humanist writers was Francesco Petrarch

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