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heresy

1497

March

From Rome. Prudente giovane Buonarroto di Lodovico Bonarroti, in Florence.

In the name of God, this — day of March, 1497.

Dear Brother — for as such I esteem thee, etc., From thy brother Michelagniolo I have received thy letter, from which I derived the greatest comfort, chiefly because it contains news of your seraphic (sarafico) Frate Jeronimo, who has set the whole of Rome talking. They say here that he is a vile heretic : so much so that at all costs he ought to come to Rome and prophesy a little for these people here ; then they would canonise him. Wherefore let all his friends be of good courage.

Brother, thou art constantly in my thoughts ; wherefore be of good courage and strive to learn all thou canst, as thou art doing. I have told Frizzi(1) everything, and he understands the whole matter. Fra Mariano [da Genazzano] has nothing but evil to say of your prophet. I have nothing more to add. In my next letter I will give thee more information, for now I am in a hurry. There is no other news to give thee, save that seven paper bishops were made yesterday, and five of them were hanged by the neck. Bear my remembrances to all the members of thy family, and especially to Lodovico my father, for as such I esteem him : and when thou writest hither, commend me to Michelagniolo. No more. Written in the dark.

Thy Piero, in Rome.

(1) Federigo di Filippo Frizzi, a Florentine sculptor, who was subsequently entrusted with the task of restoring Michelangelo's statue of the Risen Christ, in the Minerva at Rome.

The "paper bishops" referred to in this letter were offenders against the law who were condemned to stand in the pillory with paper caps on their heads. Buonarroto was born on May 26th, 1577, and was younger than Michelangelo by two years.

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Source: Primary

Michelangelo; Buonarroti, Michelangelo, trans. Robert W. Carden. "Michelangelo. A Record of His Life", p. 5-6

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