and retail tradesmen.
continuing turbulent, many of the lesser nobility, among them Dante
, drew over to the side of the citizens, and between 1297 and 1300 there is found inscribed in the book of the physicians and apothecaries, Dante d'aldighiero, degli Aldighieri, poeta Fiorentino.1 Professor de Vericour2
thinks it necessary to apologize for this lapse on the part of thepoet, and gravely bids us take courage, nor think that Dante
was ever an apothecary.
In 1300 we find him elected one of the priors of the city.
In order to a perfect misunderstanding of everything connected with the Florentine politics of this period, one has only to study the various histories.
The result is a spectrum on the mind's eye, which looks definite and brilliant, but really hinders all accurate vision, as if from too steady inspection of a Catharine-wheel in full whirl.
A few words, however, are necessary, if only to make the confusion palpable.
The rival German families of Welfs and Weiblingens had given their names, softened into Guelfi and Ghibellini,— from which Gabriel Harvey3
ingeniously, but mistakenly, derives elves and goblins,— to two parties in Northern Italy
, representing respectively the adherents of the pope and of the emperor, but serving very well as rallying-points in all manner of intercalary and subsidiary quarrels.
The nobles, especially the greater ones,— perhaps from instinct, perhaps in part from hereditary tradition, as being more or less Teutonic by descent,—were commonly Ghibellines, or Imperialists; the bourgeoisie were very commonly Guelphs, or supporters of the pope, partly from natural antipathy to the nobles, and partly, perhaps, because they believed themselves to be espousing the more purely