I could defend them only afterwards…

“The holy friar, it seemed, was in direct contact with God, and when they looked down together on Florence they saw a city corrupted by privilege and intellectual vanity. After so many years spent daydreaming my way through sermons full of scriptures but no fire, I found his (Savonarola’s) lava flow of words spell-binding. When he railed against Aristotle or Plato as pagans whose works undermined the true church while their souls rotted in eternal fire, there were arguments I could find to defend them, but only afterward, when his voice was no longer ringing in my ears. He had a passion that felt like possession, and he painted pictures of hell that curdled one’s insides with the smell of sulfur.”

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.


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