A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 67 of 493
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RISE OF EZZELINO DA ROMANO 49
have entered Italy with the Emperor Conrad II. and received
from him the fief of Onara, which lay in the Paduan plain,
to the south-east of Cittadella. For many years the family
took their patronymic from Onara, but later they acquired
lands in the hills to the east of Bassano, and lost their estates
in the plain, whereupon they changed their name, calling
themselves after Romano, the strongest of their hill-fortresses.l
After the loss of Onara the influence of the da Romano was
confined for a time to their mountain possessions, but the father
of Ezzelino III., Ezzelino II., was an ambitious man, and
became embroiled in the intrigues and quarrels of the neighbouring
cities. The elder Ezzelino's influence was greatest at
Vicenza, where he became head of one of the rival factions.
In 1207, however, his party was driven out of Vicenza, and
he then made advances to the Montecchi party of Verona, who
had been in exile since the year before. In the summer of I207
the Montecchi and Ezzelino attacked the rival Veronese party,
then headed by Bonifacio, Count of S. Bonifacio, and Azzo VI.,
Marquis of Este, and drove them out. In a few days, however,
Azzo brought up fresh troops from Mantua, and after a month's
hard fighting finally triumphed over his foes on 9th September.
The Montecchi were expelled from the city, and remained in
exile for more than six years. Ezzelino was amongst those
taken prisoner, but he was handed over to the Marquis Guido
Lupi, and speedily set free.2 From this year dates the permanent
alliance between the Montecchi and the da Romano,
and the latter's almost ceaseless feud with the Counts of
S. Bonifacio and the Marquises of Este.
Ezzelino III. took no share in all this fighting, though, as he
was born in I 194, he must have been thirteen at the time, and
at thirteen many a mediaeval Italian youth would take his place
in battle. He does not seem to have fought his first action till
1 All that is now left of Romano is a solitary tower situated on a low rocky
hill, with a beautiful view over the plain to the south.
a There has been some doubt as to whether Ezzelino II. was actually taken
captive on this occasion, but the matter has been decided by the discovery, by
Vincenzo Joppi, of a letter written in Nov. 1207 by Azzo VI. to the Patriarch
of Aquileia, in which the Marquis gives a full account of the whole affair,
A. V., vol. x. p. 158.
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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/m1/67/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .