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Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italian medieval towns and their legacy ...

Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italian medieval towns and their legacy
Erasmus Intensive Programme "Myths, Nation-Building, Political Identities" - Spring School 2012, Special Focus: Political Identities
12 March 2012 – 23 March 2012, Location: Josef-Gockeln-Haus, Kirchhundem-Rahrbach

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    Siegen2012_Guelphs and Ghibellines Siegen2012_Guelphs and Ghibellines Presentation Transcript

    • Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italian medieval towns and their legacy Enrica Salvatori - University of Pisagiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Origins Guelfi / Guelphs (ger. Welfen) Ghibellini / Ghibellines (ger. Waibling) European dynasty back maybe to Welf I (m. 825). Henry the Lion (1139-80), European (German) dinasty; name was a great antagonist of Frederick I from Waibling castle Barbarossa, who took him the Bavarian Frederick I fought aganist some duchy, but not Lüneburg and Brunswick Italian cities and the Pope properties: 2 branches (1155-1176) 1) duchy of Lüneburg, then Hannover (until 1866) and lastly on English throne 2) duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (+ 1884 -> Otto of Brunswick (had the support of the pope in the beginning) two parties fought for the imperial crown during the first half of the twelfth centurygiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • In Italy past 1155 Pars Ecclesiae Pars Imperii • separation of southern Italy from • Union of southern Italy with Empire Empire • support to the Papacy • support to the Empire • care of its own interests in the local • care of its own interests in the local struggle for power struggle for power The fight characterised all hatreds and rivalries of the Italian political scene between XII and XIV centuries.giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Phases • Fight on the Imperial side for the crown (stop in 1155) • Fight in Italy with Frederick I • Hard fight in Italy during Frederick II rule (1230-1250), harder after his death • Crystallisation of the warring parties during and after the years of Manfredi of Hohenstaufen (1250-1266) with the disappearance of the Germanic Empire by Italian political scene • Constitution after 1260 of a defined Guelph front, pro-French, led by Charles of Anjou, Florence and the Popes, for a hegemonic project; pockets of anti-Angevin resistance around the Aragonese crown during the conquest of Sicily (1282) or during the occasional arrival in Italy of German monarchs (Henry VII, 1310, Louis of Bavaria, 1327)giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Towns and families? Guelph towns (not always) Ghibelline towns (not always) Florence, (Milan), Bologna, Lucca, Mantova, Padue, (Genoa),Viterbo; Pisa, (Siena) Guelph families Ghibelline families Geremei (Bologna) Da Montefeltro Della Torre (Milan) Malaspina (Lucca, Pistoia, Lunigiana) Fieschi (Genoa) Visconti (Milano) Este (Ferrara) Malatesta (Rimini) but..giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • is a complex situation • each faction found in one or other side support and guarantee of survival • the two sides “seem” to have a general political meaning; generally a guelph town is related to the birth of the government of the POPOLO (people) • the unity of the town is broken even and chiefly in relation with other towns (the city is not any more a “nation”) • Change the meaning of betrayal (READING by Cook&Herzman & by Starn) • 1256 guelphs of Florence linked with guelphs of Arezzo; ghibellines of Arezzo went out of the city but stayed in the territory and linked with other ghibellines • Alongside the warring parties there was also the struggle between cities for economic reason (Pisa/Lucca-- Pisa/Firenze)giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Struggles in Florence • Feuds between families (Buondelmonti and Amidei) • 1250: triumph of the Guelphs and the first "government of the people" (1250): exile of Ghibellines • Ghibellines, led by Uberti (Farinata), struggle against the town government and win in the battle of Montaperti (1260) • 1266 Guelph Florence wins definitively: birth of two Guelph factions "the Whites" (Cerchi - the “magnati” and the poor people) and "the Blacks" (Donati, commercial and financial, upper-class) • May 1300: series of urban riots and violence; • Pope Boniface VIII intentionally promoted the Blacks •1301 the Whites go in exile (Dante Alighieri) and join the last exiled Ghibellines. • The domain of Corso Donati suffered new divisions until his expulsion from Florence and his death (1308)giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Battle of Montaperti • Guelphs: Florence, Bologna, Prato, Lucca, Orvieto, Perugia, San Gimignano, San Miniato,Volterra and Colle Val dElsa. • Ghibellines: Siena, Pisa, Manfredi Hohenstaufen, Florentine exiles and several other exilesgiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Farinata degli Uberti •leader of the Ghibelline faction in Florence from 1239 to 1250 (death of Frederick II) when the Guelphs regained power in Florence and he went in exile with his supporters (in Siena, a Ghibelline stronghold) • Farinata allied himself with Fredericks illegitimate son, Manfred of Sicily • September 1260, Farinata led the Ghibelline forces to victory over the rival Guelphs at the Battle of Montaperti and he took Florence. • The leading Guelph families were banished and the government of Florence was radically restructured to ensure Ghibelline rule. • Ghibellines voted to raze Florence utterly to the ground. Only Farinata stood out against them, declaring himself to be a Florentine first and a Ghibelline second, and vowing that he would defend his native city with his own sword. • Ghibelline destroyed the citys defences and the homes of the leading Guelphs, knocking down 103 palaces, 580 houses, and 85 towers. • 1266 Guelphs regained control of the city and repeated in reverse the demolitions, by destroying every building belonging to the Ubertigiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Uberti’s housesgiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Meanings Historians have tried several times to limit in terms of social, political, institutional, religious or family membership the Guelph or Ghibelline front. • They dave the label of "Guelph" to some noble houses, to some municipalities, to some religious attitudes (such as Catholic orthodoxy), to some kind of government (the "Popolo") • Social-economic theory: Guelphs linked to "bourgeois"; Ghibelline linked to the "rich people” (magnati) and nobility and common people (popolo minuto) • Even military architectural elements, like the battlements of the forts received these labels: Guelph - "squared crenellations”, Ghibelline - "swallow-tailed" crenellationsgiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Ghibellines?giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Guelphs?giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Both?giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Non-stable “two parties” system • There were towns and families, "Guelph" simply because the municipalities or the rival families ended up to be identified, for contingent reasons, as partisans of the Empire, and vice versa. • Usual changes of side. The choice, rather than ideological or theoretical, for the supremacy of the Empire or for the endorsement of the papal hierocratic policy - seems to have been a result of political divisions and rivalries of family. • The identification of Guelph front with the papal policy was not itself as automatic, and so the kind of relationship between the Guelphs and the Papacy, which covered a wide range of attitudes. • "Guelph" and "Ghibelline" were often used by contemporary - particularly after 1250, mainly in the Tuscan area - simply to distinguish between the warring parties.giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • A new scenario • Crisis of the Empire and the Papacy in front of the growth of National monarchies (in Europe) and “regional” city states in Italy • It’s less important to be of a town in front of another town: the evolution is towards principates (Signorie) with a leading town and several subject towns (READING Brucker) • The evolutions is also towards a stronger rule, by a lord, a prince or a duke... and the fading of communal institutions. The fights of factions became less and less important (READING Shaw)giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Deep theoretical argument • Dante Alighieri: the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines cause the decadence of the Empire. From God derive two universal powers, parallel and independent, that of the Pope, who regards the spiritual sphere; and that of the emperor, the political one. • Marsiglio of Padua (Defensor Pacis) • Bartolo da Sassoferrato (De Guelphis et Ghebellinis): “the two names were not about the Church neither to the Empire but only to the factions that were in a province or in a city” • Pietro Azario of Novara: deeply criticises the violence between the two sides • In 1366, to mitigate the conflict, Bernabò Visconti ordered all his subjects not to utter the words "Guelph" and "Ghibelline"giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Legacies • Very strong interpretation in Italian nineteenth-century historiography because of the contemporary debate about the political role of the popes in the Italian Risorgimento ("neo-Guelphism") • Neo-Ghibellinism: movement which brought together who, lacking confidence in the papacy, were inspired by Mazzinis program without believing to the future unity. They wanted a federal republic (Niccolini and Guerrazzi). • Neo-Guelph: movement which developed Giobertis essay "About the moral and civil primacy of Italians," where it is stated Risorgimento had its base on the Catholic religion and the pope.giovedì 15 marzo 12
    • www.ladestra.infogiovedì 15 marzo 12
    • Legacies • Periodical resurrection of the two “sides” given the strong power and influence of the papacy in Italy • Periodical resurrection every time someone wants to build a strong “two parties” system inside the nation inevitably less or more near to the Church and for or against the enhancement of some “rights” (homosexual marriage, abortion, euthanasia, living wills) • 2005 Marco Taradash (member of the parliament) wrote an article “Yes to lay choices, no to the fight between Guelphs and Ghibellines” • 2009 another similar debate about the duty to put the crucifix in classroomgiovedì 15 marzo 12