Like a House on Fire

Like a House on Fire February 7, 2022


It was this day, the 7th of February, in 1497 that followers of the Dominican friar and preacher and for a moment functional dictator of Florence, Girolamo Savonarola, gathered together what they and the good friar considered temptations into sin, piled them up, and lit them as bonfires. These objects included clothing, cosmetics, mirrors, musical instruments, playing cards, paintings, and books. Lots of art, lots of books…

They called it the falò delle vanità, the Bonfire of the Vanities.

As it happens such things had occurred before Savonarola. Actually the friar started these fires as regular events two years before the whole city got involved. And, well, we know. They’ve happened since, as well…

So far as Savonarola was concerned a bit more than a year after the orgy of purification on the 7th of February, he found himself burned at the stake.

Fire, it would seem, has a tendency to spread.

Like a house on fire…

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