Savonarola, Girolamo

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Girolamo Savonarola began his conversion from simple friar to reformer when, in 1491, he became the prior at the Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence. In a world of extravagancy and corruption that even engulfed the Papacy, Savonarola’s preachings against excessive luxury and impiety gained him many followers and influence within the Florintine government. When Piero de’ Medici was exiled from Florence a new republic grew with Savonarola at its head. He pushed the Florentines to burn all their books, paintings and jewelry in a great public fire called The Bonfire of the Vanities. His sermons continued even when he was ruler of Florence. He began to focus more on Pope Alexander VI and the rest of the Borgia family. This time, however, he was not able to convince enough to risk some sort of crusade again a siting Pope and, so, he was eventually tried for heresy and burned at the stake. Not long after, Piero Soderini rose from the governmental ranks to become the Gonfaloniere of Justice and new leader of Florence.

Today, even knowing of his horrible end, there are many that still believe in his teachings and especially in his hatred for the Borgias. The most fervent, and dangerous, are the Piagnoni and they still are looking for ways to further their martyr’s crusade to remove the ungodly and glutinous from power.

Savonarola, Girolamo

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