Friday, 25 March 2016

Savonarola died 2 days ago- 518 years ago!

Hello Everyone,

With the short Easter Break underway, I think I will have more time to post. 

I hope you enjoy this short writing on Savonarola, who died 2 days ago (23 March) 518 years ago!

In the year of 1498, on the 23rd of March, Savonarola, along with his two biggest supporters hung from a wooden beam in the Piazza della Signoria. Sentenced to burn at the stake, Savonarola was a very rigorous opponent of humanism, an aspect of the Renaissance that was most important.

Savonarola was a Dominican friar, and a ruler of Florence while the Medici were banished from Florence. He was convinced that the ‘wrath of God was about to fall upon earth’ and resented every form of pleasure, from jokes to poetry, gambling, fine clothes and the source of reproduction.

Hating sex, he denounced those artists that showed the genitals, including famous sculptures, such as that of David. Fortunately for Michelangelo, Savonarola died prior to the creating of David. Other famous texts include that of the de Cameron by Boccaccio, which was believed to have explicit and inappropriate scenes, something that Savonarola strongly hated. As a result of his disgust, Savonarola burnt all explicit material that he believed to be against the values of the Church, and this was called the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’. This bonfire, which happened in 1497, included the burning of gaming tables, cards, mirrors, nude statues and paintings and indecent books.

The Renaissance was a period in time where humanism flourished. Humanism featured the belief that humans were great, and that we should celebrate the achievements in human times. It was something that featured people not just following what the church said, but actually examines what it said, and taking a side on it. This is what Savonarola strongly despised. He believed that people were moving far away from the church. AS a result, he denounced any luxury. He stated that admiring oneself, and following humanism was vanity, a state where humans have pride and admirations in their looks, or achievements, which is exactly what Humanism was all about. As a result of hosting the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’, Savonarola made many enemies, most of them wealthy and powerful, like the Pope, Pope Alexander VI, who appreciated luxury, and others like wealthy merchants and bankers such as the Medici’s. This put Savonarola in great harm, but that did not stop Savonarola, soon, he would be arrested, and later hung.

On Palm Sunday, the 20th of March, a mob attacked St Mark’s Church, and Savonarola, along with his two most vigorous supporters was arrested. These followers were Fra Dominico and Fra Salvestro. The three of them were soon considered heretics, but only after grim torture.

Three days later, on the 23rd of March, Savonarola and his three supporters hung from a wooden platform in the Piazza della Signoria. Savonarola’s last words were ‘The Lord has suffered much for me,” after being asked what he felt about being a martyrdom.
It has been said that Savonarola blessed the crowd while burning, but this has been put down to the work of the flame.