Frane Pertić

Franciscus Patricius (1529-1597) was born in Cres on 25 April, 1529, into the most influential branch of the Petris family. He spent the first decade of his life in Cres, after which his uncle Gian Giorgio Petris (Cro. Ivan Juraj Petris) brought him along to the galley under his command to fight the Turks together. After a few years spent onboard the galley, Frane Petrić went on to gain an education in Venice, Ingolstadt, and Padova. His early education was under the patronage of Matija Vlačić Ilirik, his relative and a prominent Lutheran reformer.
Petrić was a neoplatonist and one of the most prominent Renaissance philosophers. Being a true Renaissance man, his interests varied from astronomy, meteorology, archaeology, and geometry, to law, poetics, and politics. He worked as a professor at the universities in Ferrara and Rome. His major work is considered to be the “Nova de universis philosophia” (1591), a comprehensive work which was placed on the infamous “Index Librorum Prohibitorum”, a list of forbidden books issued by the Vatican. A subsequent edition with explanations got him removed from the Index. In Cres, his most famous work is “La città felice“ (“The Happy City“, 1553), a dystopian analysis of an ideal social system. His teachings had an impact on his contemporary, Giordano Bruno, and on later scholars such as Hobbes, Descartes, and Newton – all of them authors whose works will also be placed on the already mentioned list of prohibited books. Petrić was a member of a number of scientific academies of his time. He died in Rome in 1597 and was buried at the church of Sant'Onofrio al Gianicolo, next to his contemporary Torquato Tasso. The initial relationship between Petrić and Tasso was filled with arduous debates, but they also had mutual respect for one another. Over time the two became friends and ended up sharing their eternal resting place.
The elementary school in Cres carries his name.
The “Days of Frane Petrić”, a philosophical symposium organized by the Croatian Philosophical Society, takes place in Cres every September.

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