Archive for September, 2019

If you think banning books is solely a modern pastime, stop by Special Collections to take a look at this 1541 edition of Petrarch’s Canzoniere.

The book was not banned in its entirety, but some sonnets were subject to censorship by the Catholic Church via the Index Expurgatorius. This index required the expurgation of selected sonnets from previously printed editions and prohibited printing in later editions.

The sonnets in question feature Petrarch’s critical take on the Avignon Papacy. These are sometimes referred to as the “Babylonian Sonnets” as Petrarch relates the residency of the papacy at Avignon to the biblical captivity of the Jews in Babylon.



These pages appear to have been intentionally affixed to one another at some point


This sonnet, along with commentary, has been marked out with ink

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