A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 69 of 493
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RISE OF EZZELINO DA ROMANO 51
once more became general. Ezzelino soon found an opportunity
for increasing his power at the expense of his rivals.
In December, 1225, a revolution took place at Verona. The
lower classes, who had hitherto been rigorously excluded from
any share in the government, organized themselves and rose in
revolt. The Montecchi at once exploited the movement for
their own ends. They feigned to be on the side of the rebels,
and directed the popular fury against the S. Bonifacio party.
Rizardo was taken prisoner, and his followers driven out,
amongst them the Podesta, a Milanese named Guifredo da
Pirovale. Guifredo was replaced as head of the state by a
Veronese noble, Leo delle Carceri, who assumed the title of
Captain of Verona1 This office was new, and its exact functions
are not known, but as far as can be ascertained it implied the
exercise of a discretionary power much wider than that of the
Podesta, and more nearly akin to that of the Roman dictators.
Simultaneously, a new party appeared on the scene; who styled
themselves the Quattuorviginti. Various theories have been
suggested as to their origin, the most probable of which is that
they were some of the Count's party, who had been bribed by
Ezzelino and Salinguerra to change sides.2 The view which
would regard them as a democratic body receives absolutely
no support from contemporary chroniclers; during the whole
of their existence they acted in such close unison with the
Montecchi that the two practically formed one party, and the
Montecchi, however much they might profess to favour popular
aspirations, were as determined as their rivals to keep the
government in the hands of the upper classes. The name
Quattuorviginti refers to the number of the new party, and is
to be translated not twenty-four, but eighty, on the analogy of
quatre-vingts and quattroventi.
Ezzelino was in Verona during this revolution, but seems to
have remained inactive while fighting was going on. Once
1 Capitaneus Veronae, not the more democratic Capitaneus Populi, as W.
Lenel points out in Studien zur Geschichte Paduas und Veronas im 13"
yahrhundert, p. 79.
2W. Lenel, op. cit., pp. 64-65, on the authority of the Annales Sanctac
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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/m1/69/: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .