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The Pope’s Greatest Adversary (Hardback)

Girolamo Savonarola

Rome P&S History Social History

By Samantha Morris
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526724441
Published: 30th September 2021

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On 24 May 1497 Girolamo Savonarola was led out to a scaffold in the middle of the Piazza della Signoria. Crowds gathered around and watched as he was publically humiliated before being hanged and burned. But what did this man do that warranted such a horrendous death?

Born on 21 September 1458 in Ferrara, Girolamo Savonarola would join the Dominican order of friars and find his way to the city of Florence. Run by the Medici family, the city was used to opulence and fast living but when the unassuming Dominican showed up, the people were unaware that he was about to take their world by storm.

Preaching before the people of Florence to an increasingly packed out Cathedral, Savonarola came to be called a prophet. And when Charles VIII invaded Italy with his French army, one of his so called prophecies came true. It was enough for the people to sit up and take note, allowing this man to become the defacto ruler of Florence. Except Girolamo Savonarola made one very fatal mistake – he made an enemy of Alexander VI, the Borgia Pope, by preaching against his corruption and attempting to overthrow him. It would prove to be his ultimate undoing – the Pope turned the Florentines who had so loved the friar against him and he ended his days hanging above a raging inferno.

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About Samantha Morris

Samantha Morris studied archaeology at the University of Winchester and it was there, whilst working on a dissertation about the battlefield archaeology of the English Civil War that her interest in the Italian Renaissance began. Her main area of interest is the history of the Borgia family and the papacy of Pope Alexander VI, however she also has a keen interest in the history of other Renaissance families. Samantha has previously written on the Borgia family and runs a successful blog based mainly on the history of the Italian Renaissance, but with snippets of other eras thrown in too.

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