He made his home with his elder brother Piero at Florence throughout the agitation of Savonarola and the invasion of Charles VIII.
While he was engaged upon some pieces for the convent of the Dominican friars, he made the acquaintance of Savonarola, who quickly acquired great influence over him, and Bartolommeo was so affected by his cruel death, that he soon after entered the convent, and for some years gave up his art.
At this crisis she was ruled by the monk Girolamo Savonarola, who inspired the people with a thirst for freedom, preached the necessity of reformation, and placed himself in direct antagonism to Rome.
The story of Alexander's relations with Savonarola is narrated under the latter heading; it is sufficient to say here that the pope's hostility was due to the friar's outspoken invectives against papal corruption and to his appeals for a General Council.
Alexander, although he could not get Savonarola into his own hands, browbeat the Florentine government into condemning the reformer to death (May 23, 1498).
Bandini, Pisa, 1771); Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de' Medici; Pasquale Villari, La Storia di Girolamo Savonarola (Firenze, Le Monnier, 1859); Von Reumont, Lorenzo de' Medici (Leipzig, 1874).
Of the monasteries, that of St Mark should be mentioned, as containing many works of Fra Angelico, besides relics of Savonarola, while of the private collections the only one of importance is that of Prince Corsini.
At this time the Dominican Fra Girolamo Savonarola was in Florence and aroused the whole city by his denunciations of ecclesiastical corruption and also of that of the Florentines.
Ill-health now gained on Lorenzo, and Savonarola, whom he had summoned to his bedside, refused to give absolution to the destroyer of Florentine liberties.
Ambassadors, one of whom was Savonarola, were sent to treat with the French king, but no agreement was arrived at until Charles entered Florence on the 17th of November at the head of 12,000 men.
But Charles would not depart, a fact which caused perpetual disturbance in the city, and it was not until the 28th of November, after an exhortation by Savonarola whom he greatly respected, that he left Florence.
Many proposals were made, none of them of practical value, until Savonarola, who had Savon- as a already made a reputation as a moral reformer, began states= his famous series of political sermons.
Savonarola also proposed a court of appeal for criminal and political crimes tried by the Otto di guardia e balia; this too was agreed to, but the right of appeal was to be, not to a court as Savonarola suggested, but to the Greater Council, a fact which led to grave abuses, as judicial appeals became subject to party passions.
The adherents of Savonarola were called the Piagnoni, or snivellers, while the Neutrali changed sides frequently.
Savonarola was again sent to the French camp, and his eloquence turned the king from any idea he may have had of reinstating the Medici.
Hated Savonarola and was determined to destroy Alexander the republic, so as to reinstate the Medici temporarily VI.
New Medici plots having been discovered, Bernardo del Nero and other prominent citizens were tried and put to death; but the party hostile to Savonarola gained ground and had the support of the Franciscans, who were hostile to the Dominican order.
The outgoing signory secured the election of another which was of their way of thinking, and on the 22nd of May 1498 Savonarola was condemned to death and executed the following day.
The revived republic. Trial and execution of Savonarola (1498).
Davidsohn's Geschichte der Stadt Florenz (Berlin, 1896); P. Villari's Savonarola (English ed., London, 1896) is invaluable for the period during which the friar's personality dominated Florence, and his Machiavelli (English ed., London, 1892) must be also consulted, especially for the development of political theories.
See also the bibliographies in MEDICI, MACHIAVELLI, SAVONAROLA, TUSCANY, &c. (L.
His biographical studies, Franz von Assisi (1856; 2nd ed., 1892), Katerina von Siena (1864; 2nd ed., 1892), Neue Propheten (Di Jungfrau von Orleans, Savonarola, Thomas Miinzer) are judiciou and sympathetic. Other works are: Hutterus redivivus oder Dog matik der evang.-luth.
The last of her band, Tommaso Caffarini, died in 1 434, but the work was taken up, though in other shape, by Savonarola, between Francis of Assisi and whom Catherine forms the connecting link.
Discouraged by this failure in the pulpit, Savonarola now devoted himself to teaching in the convent, but his zeal for the salvation of the apathetic townsfolk was soon to stir him to fresh efforts.
Soon, at a Dominican council at Reggio, Savonarola had occasion to display his theological learning and subtlety.
When Savonarola returned to Florence in 1490, his fame as an orator had gone there before him.
Savonarola took up the challenge; his eloquence prevailed, and Fra Mariano was silenced.
Savonarola reluctantly came, and offered absolution upon three conditions.
Savonarola waited a few moments and then went away.
Meanwhile Savonarola continued to denounce the abuses of the church and the guilt and corruption of mankind, and thundered forth predictions of heavenly wrath.
Savonarola was one of the envoys, Charles being known to entertain the greatest veneration for the friar who had so long predicted his coming and declared it to be divinely ordained.
Returning full of hope from Pietra Santa, Savonarola might well have been dismayed by the distracted state of public affairs.
So the citizens turned to the patriot monk whose words had freed them of King Charles, and Savonarola became the lawgiver of Florence.
It was with the aid of these youthful enthusiasts that Savonarola arranged the religious carnival of 1496, when the citizens gave their costliest possessions in alms to the poor, and tonsured monks, crowned with flowers, sang lauds and performed wild dances for the glory of God.
There is no proof that any book or painting of real merit was sacrificed, and Savonarola was neither foe to art nor to learning.
But Savonarola indignantly spurned the offer, replying to it from the pulpit with the prophetic words: "No hat will I have but that of a martyr, reddened with my own blood."
The potent duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, and other foes were labouring for the same end, and already in July 1495 a papal brief had courteously summoned Savonarola to Rome.
Savonarola disregarded the command, but went to preach for a while in other Tuscan cities.
The threatened anathema was deferred, but a brief uniting St Mark's to a new Tuscan branch of the Dominicans now deprived Savonarola of his independent power.
A signory openly hostile to Savonarola took office in May, and on Ascension Day his enemies ventured on active insult.
The outrage was discovered and remedied before the service began; and, although the Arrabbiati half filled the church and even sought to attempt his life, Savonarola kept his composure and delivered an impressive sermon.
Savonarola remained undaunted.
It is said that at least Bernardo del Nero would have been spared had Savonarola raised his voice, but, although refraining from any active part against the prisoners, the prior would not ask mercy for them.
The year 1498, in which Savonarola was to die a martyr's death, opened amid seemingly favourable auspices.
The papal threats were now too urgent to be disregarded, and the cowed signory entreated Savonarola to put an end to his sermons.
A creature of the Arrabbiati, a Franciscan friar named Francesco di Puglia, challenged Savonarola to prove the truth of his doctrines by the ordeal of fire.
And, when the Franciscan declared that he would enter the fire with Savonarola alone, Fra Domenico protested his willingness to enter it with any one in defence of his master's cause.
As Savonarola resolutely declined the trial, the Franciscan deputed a convert, one Giuliano dei Rondinelli, to go through the ordeal with Fra Domenico.
Savonarola, perceiving that a trap was being laid for him, discountenanced the "experiment" until his calmer judgment was at last overborne by the fanaticism of his followers.
Were led by Savonarola carrying the host, which he reverently deposited on an altar prepared in his portion of the loggia.
The Franciscans began to urge fantastic' objections, and, when Savonarola insisted that his champion should bear the host, they cried out against the sacrilege of exposing the Redeemer's body to the flames.
The Franciscans slipped away unobserved, but Savonarola raising the host attempted to lead.
In vain Savonarola besought them to lay down their arms. When the church was finally stormed Savonarola was seen praying at the altar, and Fra Domenico, armed with an enormous candlestick, guarding him from the blows of the mob.
Thereupon Savonarola turned, bade farewell to the brethren, and, accompanied by the faithful Domenico,.
The prisoners were conveyed to the Palazzo Vecchio, and Savonarola was lodged in the tower cell which had once harboured Cosimo de' Medici.