Savonarola's Prohibited Sermons
One of the most controversial religious figures of the fifteenth century, the Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498) wrote numerous influential works calling for ecclesiastical reform and spiritual renewal. Savonarola’s fiery sermons gained a great following, but many of the texts were considered threatening to the temporal rulers of Florence and the papacy in Rome, and his accusatory apocalyptic prophecies eventually drove the public to fear and reject him. Excommunicated for papal insubordination in 1497, Savonarola continued to challenge the pope and was burned at the stake for heresy the following year. Although Pope Paul IV wished to ban all of Savonarola’s writings permanently, the Dominican order defended the majority of his texts, and the Tridentine Index librorum prohibitorum of 1564 listed only his anti-papal Dialogo de la verità prophetica and fifteen of his sermons. All fifteen of Savonarola’s prohibited sermons are represented in the censored books exhibited here.