Peace, Prophecy, and the Apocalyptic Expectation: Girolamo Benivieni’s Letter to Clement VII
Narratives of Peace in Religious Discourses - Perspectives from Europe and the Mediterranean in the Early Modern Era - Ludovico Battista
Maria Fallica [+]
Sapienza University of Rome
The eschatological atmosphere of the first half of sixteenth-century Italy was permeated by the anguishes and hopes of prophecies and predictions about impending disaster and heavenly salvation. The memory of one of the most disruptive and powerful of the prophets of the modern age, Girolamo Savonarola, who had tried to mold (thanks to an inflammatory rhetoric) Florence into a type of new Jerusalem, was often evoked by his follower Girolamo Benivieni (1453–1542). The poet wrote in his old age, in 1530, a letter to Pope Clement VII to promote the memory of Savonarola and prove the truth and usefulness of his prophecies for the Church. Benivieni’s letter is a masterful example of a political reenactment of prophecy which envisions the fulfillment of the heavenly promises on earth.