Secretum meum / My Secret Book


Francesco Petrarka
Maria Maślanka-Soro
Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków


Petrarch, Secretum meum, academic bilingual edition, introduction, Polish translation, commentary


The research project’s aim is to translate Petrarch’s Secretum meum (My Secret Book) into Polish and publish it in an academic edition. This treatise in three books (1347-1353) is one of Petrarch’s best known prose works, but unfortunately not so well known in Poland. Our publication is its first ever Polish translation. In his introduction to the Secret, Petrarch wrote that he did not intend it for a wider audience, yet the meticulous form in which the precursor of Italian humanism couches its manifold references to the Ancient Authors, the works of St. Augustine, and his own work, and above all, his attempt to write a spiritual autobiography that oscillates between confession and literary artifice elevating personal experience to the rank of universal and objective truth – all these features suggest the very opposite. Much of Petrarch’s Secret is a reference to the conversion of St. Augustine as told in the Confessions, and indeed Petrarch adopts him as his interlocutor and master. From beginning to end, the Secret takes the form of a dialogue modelled on Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations, the source of its numerous quotes and crypto-quotes. Petrarch’s dialogue develops into an animated discussion on the moral crisis he is experiencing due to his false perception of himself and reality, with Augustine trying to bring him out of the dilemma. The dialogue assumes the form of a dispute, a clash of two lines of reasoning which may be read as an articulation of Petrarch’s inner conflict. Augustine personifies the ideals which Petrarch was endeavouring to attain, while Francesco represents the vices which had bedevilled and dashed all the efforts Petrarch had been making throughout his life.


  • Wykaz skrótów .......... 7
  • Maria Maślanka-Soro, Secretum meum / Moja tajemnica: historia mało sekretnej terapii duchowej Francesca Petrarki .......... 11
  • I. Francesco Petrarka (1304-1374): wzajemne przenikanie życia i twórczości .......... 13
  • Autobiografizm i humanizm Petrarki .......... 13
  • Życie jako paradygmat .......... 27
  • II. Secretum meum: rozmyślanie o śmierci receptą na szczęśliwe życie .......... 43
  • Tytuł, datowanie, forma, źródła .......... 43
  • Cele, charakter i problematyka dialogu .......... 54
  • Kultura starożytna w Secretum, wartość poznawcza poezji i łacina Petrarki .......... 78
  • Bibliografia cytowana .......... 87
  • Nota edytorska .......... 97
  • Francesco Petrarka, Secretum meum / Moja tajemnica .......... 99


October 13, 2022 — Updated on October 19, 2022

Details about the available publication format: PDF (Open Access)

PDF (Open Access)

ISBN-13 (15)


Details about the available publication format: Paperback


ISBN-13 (15)