Girolamo Savonarola

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Page symbolsGirolamo Savonarola
as played by Steven Berkoff
Characters - The Borgias Fan Wiki


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GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA CHARACTER STATS
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Name: Girolamo Savonarola
Position: Dominican friar and zealous preacher in Florence
Personality type: Fervent, pious, defiant
Endearing trait(s):Very devout, God-fearing
Strength(s): Piety, committal to his beliefs
Weakness(es): Too blinded by his strengths to see how they could work against him; a bit megalomaniacal with "visions" that he says are straight from God Himself (and is thus probably schizophrenic)
Famous For: Heated anti-riches, anti-papal, anti-Borgia rhetoric hurled from the pulpit;his "Bonfire of the Vanities" where he was able to brainwash the people of Florence into burning their possessions to rid themselves of "unholy" decadence

For a complete historical biography visit
Girolamo Savonarola Historical Profile
Girolamo Savonarola


“I see castles aflame. I see city streets running with blood. I see the bloated body of the Borgia pope, blackened by syphilis, lying dead in St. Peter’s. No one dares approach it. Are you the one to bring on this apocalypse? Are you the cleric in red?”

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GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA PREVIOUS SEASONS
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Season One




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GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA CHARACTER BIO
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One of the most interesting and lively antagonists of the Borgia family, Girolamo Savonarola was as large a personality as he was in history. He is first seen preaching his Hellfire and brimstone as another Borgia antagonist, Cardinal Della Rovere, wanders in his self-exile in order to find allies to depose the Borgia pope.

While his intentions are noble--albeit colored by a touch of delusion--it is clear that his power over the people of Florence grows cult-like, as more and more people are brianwashed by his charisma and earnestness as having received his visions and prophecies from God Himself. He incites the people to do his bidding: God's Children, Savonarola's "angels" (or vermin, as Machiavelli calls them), walk the streets of Florence singing and marking doors of the vain with chalk crosses if they do not give up their vanities for the fire in the square; other followers are incited to stone homosexual men labelled "sodomites"; and most of his followers have given up their money and possessions to live a more "holy" and spiritual life with the idea that only those who do so will enter Heaven and the rest who choose to remain in any mode of comfort or finery will go to Hell.

The biggest people condemned to damnation are the rich (like the Medicis) and the Pope of Rome, whose decadence and hedonism Savonarola finds most contemptible. He repeatedly rebuffs papal orders sent to him by Cardinal Cesare Borgia and scorns an offer to sit in consistory in Rome as a cardinal from Cardinal Sforza. And while his intentions are guided by righteousness, Savonarola is not above murder. O
nce Cardinal Della Rovere joins a Dominican order, Savonarola gives him his blessing to kill Pope Alexander VI.

At the height of his popularity with the people, he is taken down by his hubris and noneother than a Borgia: Cardinal Cesare Borgia. Once he has fallen, he faces a fate just as fiery as his personality.



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GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA CONNECTIONS
Characters - The Borgias Fan Wiki
Family members: None

Romance(s): None

Friends: None

Enemies: Rodrigo Borgia/Pope Alexander VI, Piero de Medici/the Medicis of Florence, Niccolo Machiavelli, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, sodomites

Allies:God's Children, other Florentine followers, and Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere

Marriage(s): None


Victim(s): The people of Florence who suffered at his word, himself



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GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA QUOTES FROM THE BORGIAS
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  • “I see castles aflame. I see city streets running with blood. I see the bloated body of the Borgia pope, blackened by syphilis, lying dead in St. Peter’s. No one dares approach it. Are you the one to bring on this apocalypse? Are you the cleric in red?” - Savonarola to Cardinal Della Rovere (Season 1 Episode 4, "Lucrezia's Wedding")
  • "Be the sword of the apocalypse, the sword of righteousness. Ride out like Death on a pale horse." - Savonarola to Friar Della Rovere (Season 2 Episode 5, "The Choice")
  • "I thank His Holiness. And tell him I will use it...to wipe my ass!" - Savonarola to Cardinal Cesare Borgia (Season 2 Episode 6, "Day of Ashes)
  • "Here is the Pope's messenger, his bastard son! One of many, we hear, fathered across the nation!" - Savonarola to his congregants (Season 2 Episode 9, "World of Wonders")
  • "Lies...ooze from your mouth like pus from a dead horse." - Savonarola to Cardinal Cesare Borgia (Season 2 Episode 9, "World of Wonders")
  • "With my last strength I damn this unholy pope. I shout to the world the falseness of this confession!" - Savonarola to God/the world (Season 2 Episode 10, "The Confession")


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DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES
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  • The fourth episode of Season 1 begins with Savonarola preaching hard against the "lecherous abomination" of the Borgia pope (Season 1, Episode 4, "Lucrezia's Wedding")
  • When he speaks of his prophecy/vision of a bloody apocalypse and a "cleric in red" who brings it to pass to Cardinal Della Rovere (Season 1, Episode 4, "Lucrezia's Wedding")
  • He cuts the hair of a noblewomanin front of a mass of bloodied self-flagellants on Ash Wednesday (Season 2 Episode 6, "Day of Ashes")
  • His trial by fire (Season 2 Episode 9, "World of Wonders")
  • His sabotage of a confession while he's on the rack (Season 2 Episode 10, "The Confession")
  • His "conversation" with Pope Alexander VI before he's about to be burnt (Season 2 Episode 10, "The Confession")


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THE BORGIAS VS. HISTORY
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How does (Character name) in The Borgias compare to actual history? Compare the facts with the fiction below!
ON THE BORGIAS... IN HISTORY...
  • The vision that the show's Friar Savonarola has of a dead Pope Alexander VI is likely based on historic accounts of the state of Alexander's body at death ("I seethe bloated body of the Borgia pope blackened by syphilis, lying dead in St.Peter's. Nobody dares approach it.")
  • "The body swelled up so that it lost all human form. It was nearly as broad as it was long. It was carried to the grave with little ceremony; a porter dragged it from the bed by means of a cord fastened to the foot to the place where it was buried, as all refused to touch it." - Duke of Mantua to his wife Isabella, August 1503 // "Already by four o'clock on that afternoon when I saw the corpse, again, its face had changed to the color of mulberry or the blackest cloth and it was covered in blue-black spots. The nose was swollen, the mouth distended where the tongue was doubled over, and the lips seemed to fill everything. The appearance of the face then was far more horrifying than anything that had ever been seen or reported before." - Johann Burchard's account of the Borgia pope's body, 1503

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