The Petrarch Press

New publications issued by the Petrarch Press.

Canticle of the Creatures

Petrarch Press: Canticle of the Creatures, 2008 - Handmade & Parchment EditionsTHE PETRARCH PRESS’S Canticle of the Creatures presents a fresh transcription of Francis of Assisi’s original Umbrian text together with a new English translation by John Venerella. The Canticle, sometimes popularly called Canticle of the Sun, is a short song begun in Francis’s early years and completed near the time of his death. The original text, considered by many to be the earliest poetical masterpiece in the Italian language, is newly transcribed from the oldest remaining manuscript of the song – that in the thirteenth-century Assisi Codex. Francis’s charming verses in Umbrian dialect – praising God through his creations “Brother Sun”, “Sister Moon”, and the four elements – are printed with the English translation opposite.   More…


The Gospel According to Philip

The Gospel According to Philip - Half TitleThe Gospel According to Philip, like the more well-known Gospel According to Thomas, forms part of the extensive Nag Hammadi Library, a group of papyrus codices discovered in 1945 outside the Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi, near Abydos and Luxor. Written in Coptic and dating from the first half of the fourth century, The Gospel According to Philip appears to follow the tradition of the Christian Gnostic teaching promulgated by Valentinus in the second century. While we have both original Greek fragments and a complete Coptic translation of the Thomas gospel, the only known instance of The Gospel According to Philip is contained within the Nag Hammadi codex.   More…


Thoughts from the Letters of Petrarch

Thoughts from the Letters of PetrarchOUR FIRST PUBLICATION, Thoughts from the Letters of Petrarch, commemorates the fine-press tradition of Peter Bishop’s original Petrarch Press. Francesco Petrarca is best known as one of the first writers to experiment with the Italian vernacular for poetic expression. For his letters, however, he relied on the lingua franca of Latin, developing a sophisticated yet intimate style that returned to the more classical forms of Virgil and, above all, Cicero. In these letters – addressed with fine impartiality to friends, poets, and illustrious men both living and dead (including Cicero and Homer) – Petrarch ranges over a variety of subjects, yet always exhibits an earnest striving for greatness of spirit together with a sometimes rueful acknowledgment of his own shortcomings.   More…