Francesco Petrarch
On Religious Leisure
(De otio religioso)

SUSAN S. SCHEARER earned a B.A. in Classics with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia and an M.A. in Classics from Indiana University. She taught Latin and Greek at Handley High School in Winchester, Virginia, from 1970-2000. She was selected as a participant in the 1992 NEH Seminar “Between Solitude and the World: Petrarch in Provence,” taught in Avignon and Fontaine de Vaucluse by Professor Ronald G. Witt.

RONALD G. WITT is Professor of History at Duke University. His research and teaching interests focus on the discontinuities and continuities between medieval and early modern European thought, especially in France and Italy. He is the author of many articles and books, including The Earthly Republic: Humanists on Government and Society (1978, co-editor with Benjamin G. Kohl), and Hercules at the Crossroads: The Life, Works and Thought of Coluccio Salutati (1983). His most recent book, In the Footsteps of the Ancients: The Origins of Italian Humanism 1250-1420, interprets early Italian humanism in the light of earlier Italian intellectual traditions. It has won numerous scholarly awards, including the 2001 Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Prize for the year's best book from the Renaissance Society of America, the 2001 Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History from the American Philosophical Society, and the 2001 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize in Italian History from the American Historical Association. His The The Two Latin Cultures and the Foundation of Renaissance Humanism in Medieval Italy 800-1250 (2012) traces the interrelationship between the documentary and book culture of medieval Italy.

Professor Witt has been awarded the Duke University Alumni Teaching Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome, the Old Dominion Trust Award, three Fulbright Fellowships and four grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served as President of the Renaissance Society of America.

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