Like a House on Fire: Thinking of the mad friar Savonarola

Like a House on Fire: Thinking of the mad friar Savonarola May 23, 2022



It was today, the 23rd of May, in 1498, that the Dominican Friar Girolamo Savonarola was burned at the stake in Florence.

He may be a bit better remembered for the falò delle vanità, the “Bonfire of the Vanities,” which occurred about a year before, on the 7th of February, in 1497.

For a moment Savonarola was functional dictator of Florence. And under his orders the people 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, and paintings. Lots of art, And lots of books…

As it happens such things had occurred before Savonarola. In fact the friar himself started these fires as regular events two years before the whole city got involved.

And, well, we know. Such things have happened since, as well…

And then, as such things often go, after the orgy of purification, and the regret of those he’d seduced, the friar found himself burned at the stake.

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

"I'm sorry to begin with an act of self-advertisement, but everything I want to say ..."

Frithjof Schoun & Traditionalism
"this site will not unsubscribe me so i'm getting back MY way. HAHAHAHAHA! https://uploads.disquscdn.c..."

Water and Light Soaking into the ..."
"i KNOW that ALL religions are for people that were indoctrinated as children and still ..."

Water and Light Soaking into the ..."
"Ive seen more and more Chirstian Buddhists. I wondered why Buddhists have lost their compassion ..."

Zen Meditations on the Mysteries of ..."

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad