Date: August 1988
Creator: Norred, Patricia A.
Description: Girolamo Savonarola lived at the apex of the Renaissance, but most of his biographers regard him as an anachronism or a precursor of the Reformation. Savonarola, however, was influenced by the entire milieu of Renaissance Florence, including its humanism. Savonarola's major work, Triumph of the Cross, is a synthesis of humanism, neo-Thomism and mysticism. His political reforms were routed in both the millennialist dreams of Florence and the goals of civic humanism. Hoping to translate the abstract humanist life of virtue into the concrete, he ultimately failed, not because the Renaissance was rejecting the Middle Ages, but because the former was reacting against itself. Florence, for all its claims of being the center of the Renaissance, was not willing to make humanist reform a reality.
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