By Paul Strathern

One of many defining moments in Western historical past, the bloody and dramatic tale of the conflict for the soul of Renaissance Florence.

By the top of the 15th century, Florence was once good confirmed because the domestic of the Renaissance. As beneficiant buyers to the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo, the ruling Medici embodied the innovative humanist spirit of the age, and in Lorenzo de' Medici (Lorenzo the brilliant) they possessed a diplomat able to guarding the militarily vulnerable urban in a weather of regularly transferring allegiances among the most important Italian powers.

However, within the type of Savonarola, an unprepossessing provincial monk, Lorenzo discovered his nemesis. choked with outdated testomony fury and prophecies of doom, Savonarola's sermons reverberated between a disenfranchised inhabitants, who most well-liked medieval Biblical certainties to the philosophical interrogations and intoxicating floor glitter of the Renaissance. Savonarola's goal was once to set up a 'City of God' for his fans, a brand new type of democratic country, the likes of which the realm had by no means obvious sooner than. The conflict among those males will be a struggle to the dying, a chain of sensational events—invasions, trials by means of fireplace, the 'Bonfire of the Vanities', bad executions and mysterious deaths—featuring a solid of crucial and charismatic Renaissance figures.

Was this an easy conflict of wills among a benign ruler and spiritual enthusiast? among secular pluralism and repressive extremism? In an exhilaratingly wealthy and deeply researched tale, Paul Strathern finds the paradoxes, self-doubts, and political compromises that made the conflict for the soul of the Renaissance urban essentially the most advanced and critical moments in Western background.

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