Lead:  Born in the infant years of one of the most turbulent of centuries the poet Petrarch is considered by many scholars to be the first truly modern man.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In European history, the 1300s was an extraordinary time of violence and destruction. The Roman Catholic Pope had left Rome, taken up residence in the southern French city of Avignon, and had become, for all practical purposes, a client of French King. England and France began tear each other apart and for over a hundred years were at war over English claims to the French throne. The Black Death, the bubonic plague, by mid-century was taking nearly a third of the population of the Continent in a macabre harvest of death. Italy was in political disarray.

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