and through her Dante, whose family, though noble, was of the lesser nobility, became nearly connected with Corso Donati, the head of a powerful clan of the grandi, or greater nobles.
In 1293 occurred what is called the revolution of Gian Della Bella, in which the priors of the trades took the power into their own hands, and made nobility a disqualification for office.
A noble was defined to be any one who counted a knight among his ancestors, and thus the descendant of Cacciaguida was excluded.
Della Bella was exiled in 1295, but the nobles did not regain their power.
On the contrary, the citizens, having all their own way, proceeded to quarrel among themselves, and subdivided into the popolani grossi and popolani minuti, or greater and lesser trades,—a distinction of gentility somewhat like that between wholesale and retail tradesmen.
The grandi continuing turbulent, many of the lesser nobility, among them Dante, drew over to the side of the citizens, and between 1297 and