A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 64 of 493
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46 A HISTORY OF VERONA
But the pulse of life beat higher than ever before. In the
twelfth century all interest was centred on general movements,
in constitutional and economic matters men seem to have acted,
even to have thought collectively. In the thirteenth century
the scene was dominated by individuals, not by principles; full
scope was given to play of character, and all eyes were drawn
to those who outshone their fellows in any way, more especially
those who could bend others to their own will.
But for some time neither of the Veronese parties produced
a great leader. The two sides were so evenly matched that
with one accord they both turned to seek help outside the city.
The party of the Count of S. Bonifacio allied themselves with
the lords of Este, a castle in Paduan territory. The Montecchi
found a supporter in one of the chief Ferrarese nobles, Salinguerra
Torelli. A little later they were to bring into Veronese
politics the most remarkable and dramatic personality of the
thirteenth century. In the smiling foot-hills below the deep
gorge cut by the Brenta through the Alps lay a chain of gloomy
castles, S. Zenone, Romano, and Bassano. These were the
strongholds of a race of turbulent German nobles, who had
come into Italy with Conrad the Salic and, fascinated by the
soft climate and rich soil, had remained behind to become
famous (or infamous) as the family of the da Romano. The
greatest and most notorious of them all was Ezzelino III.,
whose cruelty and bloodthirstiness have made him the type
par excellence of the tyrant. His military capacity and marvellous
constructive genius enabled him to weld Verona and
the other warring cities of the Trevisan Mark into one compact
state, which for close on thirty years he held together by sheer
force of will, crushing out rebellion and faction with iron ruthlessness,
till in terror of sharing a like fate the rest of Lombardy
combined and overthrew him.
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/64/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .