Savonarola as a Reformer in Francesco Guicciardini’s “History of Italy”
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Savonarola as a Reformer in Francesco Guicciardini’s “History of Italy”
Annotation
PII
S207987840002480-7-1
DOI
10.18254/S0002480-7-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Mark Yusim 
Occupation: Senior Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute of Russian History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract
Has Girolamo Savonarola really been a forerunner of Protestant Reform? What kind of relationship exist between Renaissance and Reformation? In this paper such questions are considered through the prism of the “History of Italy”, the greatest historical work of this epoch written by a humanistic author, prominent politician Francesco Guicciardini. As in his early “Florentine history”, Guicciardini is quite cautious in his judgments; he approves the actions of the Dominican which did good for their native city; but in all that belongs to the divine intervention and Savonarola’s prophetic gift, he refrains from definitive opinions. In the “History of Italy” Guicciardini is gauging Savonarola more rigorously as an “prophet disarmed” (words of Machiavelli which his friend should have known, just as the vivid example of the more successful reformer Luther). Like Machiavelli, Guicciardini judges the reformer primarily as a political actor, because for both thinkers the main social tool is the State unlike the Church. Besides, in large measure significant for them was the incipient feeling of nationalism; one of the crucial points of the critics against Papacy was the harm caused by it to Italy. However Italians (one can mention also a Venetian, cardinal Gasparo Contarini) were not ready to renounce the superiority of their country in the Catholic world and they did not want the schism. Somewhat paraphrasing a statement of Guicciardini that he would love Luther like himself, if he wouldn’t have been in pope’s employ, we can say that he and Machiavelli could appreciate a reformer, if he were an Italian and a Florentine, and appreciate Savonarola better, if he were more successful. But the historic glory moment of Italy was the Renaissance and not the Reformation.
Keywords
Renaissance, Reformation, State, Church, politics, Guicciardini, Machiavelli, “History of Italy”
Received
14.06.2018
Publication date
31.10.2018
Number of characters
27637
Number of purchasers
32
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1230
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0.0 (0 votes)
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