The Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (1452–98) attracted great attention for his passionate preaching and his determined advocacy of religious, political, and social reform. Until he was arrested and executed on charges of alleged heresy and schism, he played a leading role in the intense political season that both marked the end of the fifteenth century and coloured the entire century that followed. Although civil and ecclesiastical authorities issued fierce condemnations and strong prohibitions aimed at eradicating his memory and the elements of dissent linked to it, Savonarola’s many followers continued to venerate him as a prophet and martyr and worked assiduously to spread his teachings. His opponents, on the other hand, continued their attacks. Savonarola and Savonarolism retraces the history of the reformer’s controversial Florentine period and examines his political, religious, and cultural legacy throughout the sixteenth century in Florence and beyond.
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