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2007-07-10 Paperback annotated edition Very Good 0195327101 Very Good Condition and Unread! Text is clean and unmarked! Light shelf wear to cover from storage, crease. --Be Sure ...to Compare Seller Feedback and Ratings before Purchasing--Has a small black line on bottom/exterior edge of pages.Read moreShow Less
Ships same day or next business day via UPS (Priority Mail for AK/HI/APO/PO Boxes)! Used sticker and some writing and/or highlighting. Used books may not include working access ...code or dust jacket.Read moreShow Less
A gripping and beautifully written narrative that reads like a novel, Fire in the City presents a compelling account of a key moment in the history of the Renaissance, illuminating the remarkable man who dominated the period, the charismatic Savonarola.
Lauro Martines, whose decades of scholarship have made him one of the most admired historians of Renaissance Italy, here provides a remarkably fresh perspective on Girolamo Savonarola, the preacher and agitator who flamed like a comet through late fifteenth-century Florence. The Dominican friar has long been portrayed as a dour, puritanical demagogue who urged his followers to burn their worldly goods in "the bonfire of the vanities." But as Martines shows, this is a caricature of the truth—the version propagated by the wealthy and powerful who feared the political reforms he represented. In fact, Savonarola emerges as a complex and subtle man: compassionate, wise, a poet and scholar, and even, at critical moments, a force for moderation. The friar, a mesmerizing preacher, set the city afire with his message of Christian charity wedded to republican ideals.
It is this reality—of Savonarola as both religious and civic leader—that Martines captures in all its complexity, showing how he inspired an outpouring of political debate in a city newly freed from the tyranny of the Medici. In the end, the volatile passions he unleashed—and the powerful families he threatened—sent the friar to his own fiery death. But the fusion of morality and politics that he represented would leave a lasting mark on Renaissance Florence.
For the many readers fascinated by histories of Renaissance Italy—such as Brunelleschi's Dome or Galileo's Daughter, and Martines's acclaimed April Blood—Fire in the City offers a vivid portrait of one of the most memorable characters from that dazzling era.
In recent years, Savonarola has sometimes been caricatured as a political and moral terrorist, but Martines refuses to accept this reductionist caricature. The friar certainly worked hard for the moral cleansing of a society that sorely needed it, and he seems to have been honorable, devout and sincere. As Martines reminds us, an old Medici watchword goes " omne nefas victis, victoribus omnia sancta " -- "All crimes to the losers, to the winners all things pure." In the end, while Savonarola may have burned "vanities," the city fathers of Florence, with the approbation of a dissolute and cynical pope, burned the man himself. There's fanaticism, and then there's fanaticism.
— The Washington Post
Heretic. Madman. Religious fanatic. Political reactionary. All these terms have been used to describe the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), who challenged both the authority of the pope and the power of the Florentine throne. Martines's fast-paced study weaves a first-rate social history of Renaissance Florence with a deeply affecting and more complex portrait of Savonarola. The friar's fiery preaching against greed and for social justice garnered him many followers. Savonarola condemned the excesses of a church that tried to fill its coffers by mistreating the poor and an authoritarian monarchy complicit with this church. Once the ruling Medicis fell from power, he led a movement to create a Great Council, comprising middle-class citizens, which led the city for almost 20 years until a monarchy was restored. By the end of the century, Savonarola's support for this republican government, his steady condemnation of personal and social immorality and his strident preaching led to his excommunication, trial and execution. This absorbing account by Martines, professor emeritus of European history at UCLA, captures Savonarola's brilliance as well as the exciting and dangerous days of Renaissance Florence. 30 b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In this "biography of a time and place," Martines (European history, emeritus, UCLA; April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici) continues his investigation of the tumultuous political life of late 15th-century Florence. His focus is the short-lived Florentine republic (1494-98), when the dominant voice belonged to a charismatic Dominican friar, Girolamo Savonarola. Savonarola eventually fell from grace: Florentines could not long resist papal pressure to oust him once he was excommunicated in 1497. He was executed for heresy in 1498. However, for four years the notoriously worldly Florentines had embraced his radical message of individual and civic purification. For a short while, Savonarola provided the rallying point against the Medici. His stature was bolstered by the Florentine piety that lay behind the city's thin fa ade of Renaissance rationalism. Martines makes a convincing case that history treated Savonarola unfairly: he was an eloquent preacher and a sagacious political advisor to the city. As in his other books, Martines writes like an angel, and his judgments are nuanced and humane. This book will be read with profit by both professional scholars and general readers. Highly recommended.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Lauro Martines is Professor Emeritus of European History at the University of California, Los Angeles. A renowned scholar of Renaissance Italy, he now writes regularly for The Times Literary Supplement. The author of April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Julia O'Faolian. His novel of Renaissance Italy, Loredana, won the Sagittarius Prize for 2005.
Acknowledgment List of Illustrations An X-Ray of Florentine Government Glossary of Terms
Ch. 1 - Chorus Ch. 2 - Vile Bodies: 1472-1490
Ch. 3 - The Friar Returns: 1490-1491
Ch. 4 - The Wait: 1492-1494
Ch. 5 - Fear and Loathing: November 1494
Ch. 6 - Holt Liberty Ch. 7 - Stamping out Tyranny: 1494-1495
Ch. 8 - God and Politics Ch. 9 - Angels and Enforcers: 1496-1498
Ch. 10 - The Pope and the Friar: 1495-1497
Ch. 11 - The Savonrolan Moment Ch. 12 - Wailers and Bigots Ch. 13 - Excommunication: May-June 1497
Ch. 14 - Five Executions: August 1497
Ch. 15 - Rome Closes In Ch. 16 - Foiled Fire Ch. 17 - The Siege of San Marco: April 1498
Ch. 18 - Confessions of a Sinner Ch. 19 - Fire Again: Three Executions: May 1498
Ch. 20 - The Conscience of a City Notes Bibliography Index