She looked, indeed, like one of those wonderful boys of the Italian Renaissance, whom you may still see at the National Gallery, whose beauty is no denial, but rather the stamp of their slender, supple strength, young painters and sculptors who held the palette for Leonardo, or wielded the chisel for Michelangelo, and anon threw both aside to take up sword for Guelf or Ghibelline
in the narrow streets of Florence.
The Venetians, moved, as I believe, by the above reasons, fostered the Guelph and Ghibelline
factions in their tributary cities; and although they never allowed them to come to bloodshed, yet they nursed these disputes amongst them, so that the citizens, distracted by their differences, should not unite against them.
She handled her subjects agreeably, and they were, perhaps, more worthy of attention than the high discourse upon Guelfs and Ghibellines which was proceeding tempestuously at the other end of the room.
She raised her voice as she spoke; it was heard all over the drawing-room, and silenced the Guelfs and the Ghibellines.
Castruccio, on the other hand, is exiled with his Ghibelline
family from his homeland as a child, and schooled in the arts of war and political intrigue.
The depredations of exiles on the fringes of Florentine territory--acts barely distinguishable from banditry--kept the illusion of Ghibelline
problem: "to the Ghibelline
I was a Guelph," he writes,
Farinata was a Ghibelline
, leader of the Florentines in the victory at Montaperti (note to myself: look up Montaperti).
Indeed Antonio Ivan Pini called Bologna a "Republic of notaries" during the rule of the popolo in the 1270s and 1280s when one of their own, Rolandino Passagieri, a doctor of notarial arts, led the dominant Guelf faction and spearheaded the exile of the Ghibelline
faction lead by the Lambertazzi.
That same poem also contains something else I told him: that the way to tell Guelph from Ghibelline
battlements is by the shape of their crenelations.
Amidst intense papal-imperial power struggles in northern-Italian cities, Peter's career was deeply conditioned by the burgeoning papal offensive against Catharism (often enmeshed with Ghibelline
politics), and by the supportive role the young Dominican Order developed in it.
It was the classic smaller emperor-allied Ghibelline
city versus a larger papal-allied Guelf city--a situation that encouraged violence throughout Italy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as the unity of the Holy Roman Empire was beginning to crack.