Savonarola and Savonarolism

By Stefano Dall’Aglio - ES24

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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.

Stefano Dall’Aglio is Fellow at the The Medici Archive Project in Florence and has published several books on Savonarola and Savonarolism. Aside from the current work, these include Savonarola in Francia. Circolazione di un’eredità politico-religiosa nell’Europa del Cinquecento (Turin, 2006); L’eremita e il sinodo. Paolo Giustiniani e l’offensiva medicea contro Girolamo Savonarola (Florence, 2006); and an edition of Benedetto Luschino’s Savonarolan work Vulnera diligentis (Florence, 2002).

190 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-77272-061-0 softcover, 978-0-77272-072-6 hardcover
Published: 2010


Canadian Journal of History, 46:2 (September 2011), pp. 375-378. Reviewed by Scott Surrency.

The Journal of Modern History, 84:2 (June 2012), pp. 502-504. Reviewed by Thomas Kuehn.

Sixteenth Century Journal 43:3 (Fall 2012), pp. 796-797. Reviewed by Gary W. Jenkins.




1. Savonarola in Florence (1490-1494)
2. Politico-Religious Action: Consensus and Polemics (1495-1496)
3. The Savonarolan Movement between ‘Conservatives’ and ‘Radicals’
4. Excommunication and Decline (1497)
5. Trials and Death of Savonarola (1498)
6. Posthumous Cult and Repression during the Republican Period (1498-1512)
7. From the Medici Restoration to the Florentine Synod (1512-1517)
8. Savonarolism During the Early Reformation (1517-1527)
9. The Last Republic and the Establishment of the Principate (1527-1532)
10. Between Absolutism and Counter-Reformation (1532-1548)
11. New Polemics and the Inquisitorial Trial (1548-1559)
12. Savonarola, Champion of Counter-Reformation Orthodoxy (1560-1600)