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season three

Episode 35: Trial By Ordeal

We conclude Savonarola’s story by looking at why one of his most fervent followers decided to try to shut up the growing criticism of Savonarola by resorting to an obsolete medieval ritual and how that decision backfired catastrophically. 

An illustration by Hans Spiess of the strappado, the torture device used on Girolamo Savonarola. 1513. Source: The Chronicle of Lucerne, the Burger Library of Lucerne.
A contemporaneous painting of the executions of Girolamo Savonarola, Domenico da Pescia, and Silvestro Maruffi (1498) by Filippo Dolciati. Source: Museo di San Marco, Florence.