. The city was instantly in a ferment of street brawls, as actors in one of which some of the Medici are incidentally named,—the first appearance of that family in history.
Both parties appealed at different times to the pope, who sent two ambassadors, first a bishop and then a cardinal.
Both pacificators soon flung out again in a rage, after adding the new element of excommunication to the causes of confusion.
It was in the midst of these things that Dante became one of the six priors (June, 1300),—an office which the Florentines had made bimestrial in its tenure, in order apparently to secure at least six constitutional chances of revolution in the year.
He advised that the leaders of both parties should be banished to the frontiers, which was forthwith done; the ostracism including his relative Corso Donati among the Neri, and his most intimate friend the poet Guido Cavalcanti among the Bianchi.
They were all permitted to return before long (but after Dante's term of office wa