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Introduction: Humanism and Professions in Renaissance Italy 1 1. Petrarch's Profession and His Laurel 27 DOCTORS 2. Three Reactions to Plague: Marvels and Commonplaces in Medicine and Literature 47 3. Fracastoro as Poet and Physician: Syphilis, Epic, and the Wonder of Disease 71 AMBASSADORS 4. Exemplary Work: Two Venetian Humanists Writing on the Resident Ambassador 101 5. The Importance and Tragedy of Being an Ambassador: The Performance of Francesco Guicciardini 128 SECRETARIES 6. Open Secrets: The Place of the Renaissance Secretary 155 7. The Secretarial Profession among Others: Tasso's Enabling Analogies 181