As I’ve noted before, Beza includes tributes to some non-/proto-Protestants in his Icones. One of those is Girolamo Savonarola, a Florentine Dominican friar hanged and burned in the Piazza della Signoria in 1498.
After a brief section in prose, Beza appends a verse-eulogy by Marcantonio Flaminio (interestingly; since generally Beza uses his own poems): singularis tuae pietatis…quam merito postea Marcus Antonius Flaminius, excellentissimus poeta, versibus istis optimis celebravit.
The short poem consists of two elegiac couplets, and includes a nice example of personification.
Dum fera flamma tuos, Hieronyme, pascitur artus,
Relligio sanctas dilaniata comas,
Flevit, et o, dixit, crudeles parcite flammae,
Parcite, sunt isto viscera nostra rogo. 1
While the savage flame fed on your limbs, Girolamo,
Religion tore her holy hair
and wept; she said, “Spare [him], o cruel flames,
spare [him]: it is my heart on that pyre.” 2
E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.
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