The Cause of the Pestilence in Florence According to Serafino Razzi. Notes on the Manuscript “Life and Death of Fra Girolamo Savonarola”

Variant title

La causa della peste a Firenze secondo Serafino Razzi. Note sul manoscritto “Vita e morte di Fra Girolamo Savonarola"


The death sentence of Girolamo Savonarola, accused of heresy and schismatic intentions, was carried out in 1498, in Florence. In the following years, Italy was hit by a plague epidemic and invaded by foreign armies. His followers, called “Piagnoni,” related the two events, explaining the scourges as divine punishments for the prosecution of an alleged saint. This explanation is also found in the manuscript Vita e morte di Fra Girolamo Savonarola by Serafino Razzi, one of the leading figures of the Savonarolian movement. In this article, the reader will find a note concerning the vicissitudes of the manuscript, a note concerning its author, the transcription of some significant passages of the work, including the fragment that relates the killing of Savonarola to the plague which affected Florence and other Italian cities, and finally some reflections on the historical transformations of Catholicism.

Article history

Received 31 July 2020. Revised 28 August 2000. Accepted 30 August 2020. Published online 10 September 2020




Italian (it)


Riccardo CampaJagiellonian University in Krakow


Orbis Idearum Volume 8, Issue 1 (2020), pp. 69-85
Epidemics in the History of Ideas