v. 88. Michel Zanche.] The president of Logodoro, another of the four Sardinian jurisdictions. See Canto xxxiii.
v. 5. Aesop’s fable.] The fable of the frog, who offered to carry the mouse across a ditch, with the intention of drowning him when both were carried off by a kite. It is not among those Greek Fables which go under the name of Aesop.
v. 63. Monks in Cologne.] They wore their cowls unusually large. v. 66. Frederick’s.] The Emperor Frederick ii. is said to have punished those who were guilty of high treason, by wrapping them up in lead, and casting them into a furnace.
v. 101. Our bonnets gleaming bright with orange hue.] It is observed by Venturi, that the word “rance” does not here signify “rancid or disgustful,” as it is explained by the old commentators, but “orange-coloured,” in which sense it occurs in the Purgatory, Canto ii. 9.
v. 104. Joyous friars.] “Those who ruled the city of Florence on the part of the Ghibillines, perceiving this discontent and murmuring, which they were fearful might produce a rebellion against themselves, in order to satisfy the people, made choice of two knights, Frati Godenti (joyous friars) of Bologna, on whom they conferred the chief power in Florence. One named M. Catalano de’ Malavolti, the other M. Loderingo di Liandolo; one an adherent of the Guelph, the other of the Ghibelline party. It is to be remarked, that the Joyous Friars were called Knights of St. Mary, and became knights on taking that habit: their robes were white, the mantle sable, and the arms a white field and red cross with two stars. Their office was to defend widows and orphans; they were to act as mediators; they had internal regulations like other religious bodies. The above-mentioned M. Loderingo was the founder of that order. But it was not long before they too well deserved the appellation given them, and were found to be more bent on enjoying themselves than on any other subject. These two friars were called in by the Florentines, and had a residence assigned them in the palace belonging to the people over against the Abbey. Such was the dependence placed on the character of their order that it was expected they would be impartial, and would save the commonwealth any unnecessary expense; instead of which, though inclined to opposite parties, they secretly and hypocritically concurred in promoting their own advantage rather than the public good.” G. Villani, b. vii. c.13. This happened in 1266.
v. 110. Gardingo’s vicinage.] The name of that part of the city which was inhabited by the powerful Ghibelline family of Uberti, and destroyed under the partial and iniquitous administration of Catalano and Loderingo.
v. 117. That pierced spirit.] Caiaphas.
v. 124. The father of his consort.] Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas.