Petrarch's celebrated sequence of 366 poems to Laura goes by three different titles. As far as I can tell, they're used interchangeably:

  1. Il Canzoniere, The Songbook
  2. Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta, Fragments of Common Things
  3. Rime Sparse, Scattered Rhymes.

Scholarly as well as popular editions or translations of Petrarch slap on one of these three titles on the cover and the end-papers without, as far as I've seen, explaining why they chose that title over the alternatives.

So: what is the textual history of these disparate titles being attached to the same collection? Do they derive from different mss., or from different early editions? Is one of them Petrarch's and the others editorial?


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