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    Chapter 9

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    Chapter 10
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    New form of government in Florence--Military establishments--The
    greatness of Florence--Movements of the Ghibellines--Ghibellines
    driven out of the city--Guelphs routed by the forces of the king
    of Naples--Florence in the power of the king of Naples--Project of
    the Ghibellines to destroy Florence opposed by Farinata degli
    Uberti--Adventures of the Guelphs of Florence--The pope gives his
    standard to the Guelphs--Fears of the Ghibellines and their
    preparations for the defense of their power--Establishment of
    trades' companies, and their authority--Count Guido Novello
    expelled--He goes to Prato--The Guelphs restored to the city--The
    Ghibellines quit Florence--The Florentines reform the government
    in favor of the Guelphs--The pope endeavors to restore the
    Ghibellines and excommunicates Florence--Pope Nicholas III.
    endeavors to abate the power of Charles king of Naples.

    Being united, the Florentines thought the time favorable for the
    ordination of a free government, and that it would be desirable to
    provide their means of defense before the new emperor should acquire
    strength. They therefore divided the city into six parts, and elected
    twelve citizens, two for each sixth, to govern the whole. These were
    called Anziani, and were elected annually. To remove the cause of
    those enmities which had been observed to arise from judicial
    decisions, they provided two judges from some other state,--one called
    captain of the people, the other podesta, or provost,--whose duty it
    was to decide in cases, whether civil or criminal, which occurred
    among the people. And as order cannot be preserved without a
    sufficient force for the defense of it, they appointed twenty banners
    in the city, and seventy-six in the country, upon the rolls of which
    the names of all the youth were armed; and it was ordered that
    everyone should appear armed, under his banner, whenever summoned,
    whether by the captain of the people or the Anziani. They had ensigns
    according to the kind of arms they used, the bowmen being under one
    ensign, and the swordsmen, or those who carried a target, under
    another; and every year, upon the day of Pentecost, ensigns were given
    with great pomp to the new men, and new leaders were appointed for the
    whole establishment. To give importance to their armies, and to serve
    as a point of refuge for those who were exhausted in the fight, and
    from which, having become refreshed, they might again make head
    against the enemy, they provided a large car, drawn by two oxen,
    covered with red cloth, upon which was an ensign of white and red.
    When they intended to assemble the army, this car was brought into the
    New Market, and delivered with pomp to the heads of the people. To
    give solemnity to their enterprises, they had a bell called
    Martinella, which was rung during a whole month before the forces left
    the city, in order that the enemy might have time to provide for his
    defense; so great was the virtue then existing among men, and with so
    much generosity of mind were they governed, that as it is now
    considered a brave and prudent act to assail an unprovided enemy, in
    those days it would have been thought disgraceful, and productive only
    of a fallacious advantage. This bell was also taken with the army, and
    served to regulate the keeping and relief of guard, and other matters
    necessary in the practice of war.

    With these ordinations, civil and military, the Florentines
    established their liberty. Nor is it possible to imagine the power and
    authority Florence in a short time acquired. She became not only the
    head of Tuscany, but was enumerated among the first cities of Italy,
    and would have attained greatness of the most exalted kind, had she
    not been afflicted with the continual divisions of her citizens. They
    remained under the this government ten years, during which time they
    compelled the people of Pistoria, Arezzo, and Sienna, to enter into
    league with them; and returning with the army from Sienna, they took
    Volterra, destroyed some castles, and led the inhabitants to Florence.
    All these enterprises were effected by the advice of the Guelphs, who
    were much more powerful than the Ghibellines, for the latter were
    hated by the people as well on account of their haughty bearing while
    in power, during the time of Frederick, as because the church party
    was in more favor than that of the emperor; for with the aid of the
    church they hoped to preserve their liberty, but, with the emperor,
    they were apprehensive of losing it.

    The Ghibellines, in the meantime, finding themselves divested of
    authority, could not rest, but watched for an occasion of repossessing
    the government; and they thought the favorable moment come, when they
    found that Manfred, son of Frederick, had made himself sovereign of
    Naples, and reduced the power of the church. They, therefore, secretly
    communicated with him, to resume the management of the state, but
    could not prevent their proceedings from coming to the knowledge of
    the Anziani, who immediately summoned the Uberti to appear before
    them; but instead of obeying, they took arms and fortified themselves
    in their houses. The people, enraged at this, armed themselves, and
    with the assistance of the Guelphs, compelled them to quit the city,
    and, with the whole Ghibelline party, withdraw to Sienna. They then
    asked assistance of Manfred king of Naples, and by the able conduct of
    Farinata degli Uberti, the Guelphs were routed by the king's forces
    upon the river Arbia, with so great slaughter, that those who escaped,
    thinking Florence lost, did not return thither, but sought refuge at

    Manfred sent the Count Giordano, a man of considerable reputation in
    arms, to command his forces. He after the victory, went with the
    Ghibellines to Florence, and reduced the city entirely to the king's
    authority, annulling the magistracies and every other institution that
    retained any appearance of freedom. This injury, committed with little
    prudence, excited the ardent animosity of the people, and their enmity
    against the Ghibellines, whose ruin it eventually caused, was
    increased to the highest pitch. The necessities of the kingdom
    compelling the Count Giordano to return to Naples, he left at Florence
    as regal vicar the Count Guido Novallo, lord of Casentino, who called
    a council of Ghibellines at Empoli. There it was concluded, with only
    one dissenting voice, that in order to preserve their power in
    Tuscany, it would be necessary to destroy Florence, as the only means
    of compelling the Guelphs to withdraw their support from the party of
    the church. To this so cruel a sentence, given against such a noble
    city, there was not a citizen who offered any opposition, except
    Farinata degli Uberti, who openly defended her, saying he had not
    encountered so many dangers and difficulties, but in the hope of
    returning to his country; that he still wished for what he had so
    earnestly sought, nor would he refuse the blessing which fortune now
    presented, even though by using it, he were to become as much an enemy
    of those who thought otherwise, as he had been of the Guelphs; and
    that no one need be afraid the city would occasion the ruin of their
    country, for he hoped that the valor which had expelled the Guelphs,
    would be sufficient to defend her. Farinata was a man of undaunted
    resolution, and excelled greatly in military affairs: being the head
    of the Ghibelline party, and in high estimation with Manfred, his
    authority put a stop to the discussion, and induced the rest to think
    of some other means of preserving their power.

    The Lucchese being threatened with the anger of the count, for
    affording refuge to the Guelphs after the battle of the Arbia, could
    allow them to remain no longer; so leaving Lucca, they went to
    Bologna, from whence they were called by the Guelphs of Parma against
    the Ghibellines of that city, where, having overcome the enemy, the
    possessions of the latter were assigned to them; so that having
    increased in honors and riches, and learning that Pope Clement had
    invited Charles of Anjou to take the kingdom from Manfred, they sent
    ambassadors to the pope to offer him their services. His holiness not
    only received them as friends, but gave them a standard upon which his
    insignia were wrought. It was ever after borne by the Guelphs in
    battle, and is still used at Florence. Charles having taken the
    kingdom from Manfred, and slain him, to which success the Guelphs of
    Florence had contributed, their party became more powerful, and that
    of the Ghibellines proportionately weaker. In consequence of this,
    those who with Count Novello governed the city, thought it would be
    advisable to attach to themselves, with some concession, the people
    whom they had previously aggravated with every species of injury; but
    these remedies which, if applied before the necessity came would have
    been beneficial, being offered when they were no longer considered
    favors, not only failed of producing any beneficial results to the
    donors, but hastened their ruin. Thinking, however, to win them to
    their interests, they restored some of the honors of which they had
    deprived them. They elected thirty-six citizens from the higher rank
    of the people, to whom, with two cavaliers, knights or gentlemen,
    brought from Bologna, the reformation of the government of the city
    was confided. As soon as they met, they classed the whole of the
    people according to their arts or trades, and over each art appointed
    a magistrate, whose duty was to distribute justice to those placed
    under him. They gave to each company or trade a banner, under which
    every man was expected to appear armed, whenever the city required it.
    These arts were at first twelve, seven major and five minor. The minor
    arts were afterward increased to fourteen, so that the whole made, as
    at present, twenty-one. The thirty-six reformers also effected other
    changes for the common good.

    Count Guido proposed to lay a tax upon the citizens for the support of
    the soldiery; but during the discussion found so much difficulty, that
    he did not dare to use force to obtain it; and thinking he had now
    lost the government, called together the leaders of the Ghibellines,
    and they determined to wrest from the people those powers which they
    had with so little prudence conceded. When they thought they had
    sufficient force, the thirty-six being assembled, they caused a tumult
    to be raised, which so alarmed them that they retired to their houses,
    when suddenly the banners of the Arts were unfurled, and many armed
    men drawn to them. These, learning that Count Guido and his followers
    were at St. John's, moved toward the Holy Trinity, and chose Giovanni
    Soldanieri for their leader. The count, on the other hand, being
    informed where the people were assembled, proceeded in that direction;
    nor did the people shun the fight, for, meeting their enemies where
    now stands the residence of the Tornaquinci, they put the count to
    flight, with the loss of many of his followers. Terrified with this
    result, he was afraid his enemies would attack him in the night, and
    that his own party, finding themselves beaten, would murder him. This
    impression took such hold of his mind that, without attempting any
    other remedy, he sought his safety rather in flight than in combat,
    and, contrary to the advice of the rectors, went with all his people
    to Prato. But, on finding himself in a place of safety, his fears
    fled; perceiving his error he wished to correct it, and on the
    following day, as soon as light appeared, he returned with his people
    to Florence, to enter the city by force which he had abandoned in
    cowardice. But his design did not succeed; for the people, who had had
    difficulty in expelling him, kept him out with facility; so that with
    grief and shame he went to the Casentino, and the Ghibellines withdrew
    to their villas.

    The people being victorious, by the advice of those who loved the good
    of the republic, determined to reunite the city, and recall all the
    citizens as well Guelph as Ghibelline, who yet remained without. The
    Guelphs returned, after having been expelled six years; the recent
    offences of the Ghibellines were forgiven, and themselves restored to
    their country. They were, however, most cordially hated, both by the
    people and the Guelphs, for the latter could not forget their exile,
    and the former but too well remembered their tyranny when they were in
    power; the result was, that the minds of neither party became settled.

    While affairs were in this state at Florence, a report prevailed that
    Corradino, nephew of Manfred, was coming with a force from Germany,
    for the conquest of Naples; this gave the Ghibellines hope of
    recovering power, and the Guelphs, considering how they should provide
    for their security, requested assistance from Charles for their
    defense, in case of the passage of Corradino. The coming of the forces
    of Charles rendered the Guelphs insolent, and so alarmed the
    Ghibellines that they fled the city, without being driven out, two
    days before the arrival of the troops.

    The Ghibellines having departed, the Florentines reorganized the
    government of the city, and elected twelve men who, as the supreme
    power, were to hold their magistracy two months, and were not called
    Anziani or "ancients," but Buono Uomini or "good men." They also
    formed a council of eighty citizens, which they called the Credenza.
    Besides these, from each sixth, thirty citizens were chosen, who, with
    the Credenza and the twelve Buono Uomini, were called the General
    Council. They also appointed another council of one hundred and twenty
    citizens, elected from the people and the nobility, to which all those
    things were finally referred that had undergone the consideration of
    the other councils, and which distributed the offices of the republic.
    Having formed this government, they strengthened the Guelphic party by
    appointing its friends to the principal offices of state, and a
    variety of other measures, that they might be enabled to defend
    themselves against the Ghibellines, whose property they divided into
    three parts, one of which was applied to the public use, another to
    the Capitani, and the third was assigned to the Guelphs, in
    satisfaction of the injuries they had received. The pope, too, in
    order to keep Tuscany in the Guelphic interest, made Charles imperial
    vicar over the province. While the Florentines, by virtue of the new
    government, preserved their influence at home by laws, and abroad with
    arms, the pope died, and after a dispute, which continued two years,
    Gregory X. was elected, being then in Syria, where he had long lived;
    but not having witnessed the working of parties, he did not estimate
    them in the manner his predecessors had done, and passing through
    Florence on his way to France, he thought it would be the office of a
    good pastor to unite the city, and so far succeeded that the
    Florentines consented to receive the Syndics of the Ghibellines in
    Florence to consider the terms of their recall. They effected an
    agreement, but the Ghibellines without were so terrified that they did
    not venture to return. The pope laid the whole blame upon the city,
    and being enraged excommunicated her, in which state of contumacy she
    remained as long as the pontiff lived; but was reblessed by his
    successor Innocent V.

    The pontificate was afterward occupied by Nicholas III. of the Orsini
    family. It has to be remarked that it was invariably the custom of the
    popes to be jealous of those whose power in Italy had become great,
    even when its growth had been occasioned by the favors of the church;
    and as they always endeavored to destroy it, frequent troubles and
    changes were the result. Their fear of a powerful person caused them
    to increase the influence of one previously weak; his becoming great
    caused him also to be feared, and his being feared made them seek the
    means of destroying him. This mode of thinking and operation
    occasioned the kingdom of Naples to be taken from Manfred and given to
    Charles, but as soon as the latter became powerful his ruin was
    resolved upon. Actuated by these motives, Nicholas III. contrived
    that, with the influence of the emperor, the government of Tuscany
    should be taken from Charles, and Latino his legate was therefore sent
    into the province in the name of the empire.
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