History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 552 pages of information about History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy.
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.


Changes in Florence—­The Ghibellines recalled—­New form of government in Florence—­The Signory created—­Victory over the Aretins—­The Gonfalonier of Justice created—­Ubaldo Ruffoli the first Gonfalonier—­Giano della Bella—­New reform by his advice—­Giano della Bella becomes a voluntary exile—­Dissensions between the people and the nobility—­The tumults composed—­Reform of Government—­Public buildings—­The prosperous state of the city.

Florence was at this time in a very unhappy condition; for the great Guelphic families had become insolent, and set aside the authority of the magistrates; so that murders and other atrocities were daily committed, and the perpetrators escaped unpunished, under the protection of one or other of the nobility.  The leaders of the people, in order to restrain this insolence, determined to recall those who had been expelled, and thus gave the legate an opportunity of uniting the city.  The Ghibellines returned, and, instead of twelve governors, fourteen were appointed, seven for each party, who held their office one year, and were to be chosen by the pope.  The Florentines lived under this government two years, till the pontificate of Martin, who restored to Charles all the authority which had been taken from him by Nicholas, so that parties were again active in Tuscany; for the Florentines took arms against the emperor’s governor, and to deprive the Ghibellines of power, and restrain the nobility, established a new form of government. 

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History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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