Day 3 - Saturday 6th September, 2014

San Gimignano

On Saturday we will have our second lecture on Savonarola (Robert Hampson). We will then have a tour of San Gimignano, followed by lunch. In the afternoon further opportunity to see important sites in St. Gimignano including the collegiate church St. Mary's from the 12th Century with frescos by Ghirlandaio. We will also see where Savonarola stayed in San Gimignano. In the evening Professor Peter Stephens will give his first lecture on Erasmus and the Renaissance. All site entrances and tours included in the price.

San Gimiganno

San Gimiganno

 

Alexander VI

Alexander VI

Rodrigo Borgia was Pope from 1492 to 1503 taking the name of Alexander VI. He is often regarded as the lowest level the papacy ever achieved, having used simony to achieve the papacy and was fond of arranging orgies so that he could view the sexual acts from his balcony. His son Cesare and his daughter Lucrezia were also notorious in their own right, bringing shame and dishonour on the papacy. Cesare was the model for Machiavelli's ruler, the ultimate in the ruthless Renaissance Prince. Savonarola denounced the sin and depravity of Rome, becoming a thorn in the side of Pope Alexander leading to his excommunication.

However as a renaissance ruler Rodrigo Borgia was a success and was regarded as such in his own times. If his sensuous nature and Machiavellian instincts appear foreign to us, they did not to his contemporaries who regarded the pope as a temporal ruler among others. His responsibility was to administer the Papal States, even on occasion lead its armies in battle (as did his successor Julius II), and lead Western Christendom particularly in its fight against advancing Islam. With puritanical preachers like Savonarola and Luther the likes of Rodrigo Borgia came to be seen as a fatal blot on the reputation and integrity of the church, not only by Protestants, but Catholics too.

LutherTour Feedback

"The Luther Tour was a highlight of my life and one which I shall always remember. I was thrilled to follow in his trail and to feel so closely his personality, faith, depth and stature. What a man of God and what a prodigious, Elijah like courage! I was very moved at all the places we visited. You were such an excellent tour guide and translator. Without all that I would never in my life have visited these Luther sites, of which I had only read and seen in pictures. So my brother, a very big thank you for the spiritual and historical treat you organized for us all." - 2008


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