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Della Rardesca Ugolino

pisa, guelfs and genoese

UGOLINO, (DELLA RARDESCA), della gi-rar-de's'ka, COliNT OF DONORATICO, Italian leader: b. Pisa, about 1220; d. there, March 1289. He was one of the ing Ghibellines of Pisa, but, with the purpose of obtaining supreme power in the Pisan public, entered into a conspiracy with Giovanni Visconti, head of the Guelfs. Banished by his own party, he was later allowed to return. When subsequently Pisa was threatened by the Genoese under Oberto Doria, Ugolino was pointed to command the defense. In the battle of Meloria, 6 Aug. 1284, he fled, thus deciding the contest overwhelmingly in favor of the Genoese. Treachery on this occasion has been imputed mputed to him, but it has also been asserted that there is no adequate evidence for this view. However that may have been, the Pisans now granted Ugolino his opportunity and by naming him capitano and podesta, at first for one year and later for 10 years, made him practically dictator of the state. Lucca and

Florence joined Genoa for the spoliation of Pisa, but Ugolino, not without extensive ces sions of terntory, drew them from the alliance. More fully to obtain the confidence of the Guelfs, he made Nino Visconti associate-podesta. The latter, however, plotted with the Arch bishop Ruggiero Ubaldini for Ugolino's over throw. In July 1288 he was besieged in the Palazzo del Popolo and compelled to surrender. His death by starvation in prison was related by Dante, who, in a passage to which Ugolino owes most of his fame, places him above the Archbishop Ruggiero on the inward margin of the second division of the lowest (ninth) circle of the Inferno. The narrative was para phrased by Chaucer ('Monk's Tale') and trans lated by Medwin with the assistance of Shelley (consult appendix to Dowden's edition of Shel ley). Consult Del Noce, 'Ugolino della Gherar desce (1890).