Savonarola, Girolamo

Savonarola, Girolamo, Italian reformer, born at Ferrara of a noble family; was in his youth of a studious ascetic turn, became at 24 a Dominican monk, was fired with a holy zeal for the purity of the Church, and issued forth from his privacy to denounce the vices that everywhere prevailed under her sanction, with threats of divine judgment on her head, so that the impressions his denunciations made were deep and wide-spread; the effect was especially marked in Florence, where for three years the reformer's influence became supreme, till a combination of enemies headed by the Pope succeeded in subverting it to his ejection from the Church, his imprisonment, and final execution, preceded by that of his confederates Fra Domenico and Fra Silvestro; it was as a reformer of the morals of the Church and nowise of its dogmas that Savonarolo presented himself, while the effect of his efforts was limited pretty much to his own day and generation (1452-1498).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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Savonarola, Girolamo
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