Main Article Content
A few, but very meaningful pieces from Petrarch’s Familiari deal with the Holy Roman Empire and its institutions, especially because of the role they played in italian politics. Although Petrarch is not a systematic political thinker, the imperial idea of Rome plays a pivotal role. It seems possible to demonstrare that Petrarch has been influenced by official documents by Henry VII, eventually Manfred of Suabia, and mostly by civil lawyers and the sources of Roman law. These last item belongs to Petrarch’s commitment towards a recovery for his present days of Roman classical heritage. All this said, political issues still play only an instrumental role, connected with the immediate needs of those powers, the Visconti household first and most but also emperor Charles IV himself, Petrarch was intimately connected to. Though Petrarch sincerely advocates Roman classical tradition, he is a ghibellino only for a matter of opportunity, or rather of the opportunity of those powers he decided to serve, and their immediate political needs.