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1497 LIGHTING THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES

UP IN FLAMES!

What’s the best way to bring yourself closer to God? According to the supporters of the powerful and puritanical priest Girolamo Savonarola, it was by burning your worldly possessions associated with sin, temptation and vanity. On 7 February 1497, thousands of men and women lit fires in the streets of Florence, Italy, to destroy objects such as fine clothing, cosmetics, musical instruments and mirrors. Worst of all, the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’ claimed so-called immoral books and priceless works of art.

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BBC History Revealed Magazine
February 2016
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