A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 95 of 493
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76 A HISTORY OF VERONA
,nor in prison had fled to other states, whence they plotted to
overthrow Ezzelino. The middle and lower classes were in a
state of continual ferment, ready to hand the city over to any
one who should come to set them free. The Podesta, Ansedisio
de' Guidoti, a man of no insight at all, went on with his old
policy of repression, slaying and torturing, quite unaware that
any change was about to occur. Ezzelino, however, began to
take precautions against rebellion. He placed a captain over
each quarter of the city who was responsible only to himself,
and was ordered to win the confidence of the citizens and discover
their plans. To prevent communication with the exiles,
towers were erected at every point where the surrounding
waterways could be crossed, and these measures were so far
successful that the liberation of Padua was effected from without
and not from within.
After the excommunication of 1248 Innocent IV. had never
ceased to persecute Ezzelino in every possible way, and on 24th
July, 1254, proclaimed a crusade against heretics which was in
reality directed against Ezzelino. Innocent's death in the following
December delayed matters for a while. But at the end
of 1255 Alexander IV. appointed Philip, Archbishop of Ravenna,
to act as Legate against Ezzelino, and in March Philip
went to Venice to organize the crusade. Here he found many
willing listeners, Azzo d' Este, Tiso da Camposampiero, burning
to avenge his cousin Guglielmo, exiles from Vicenza and other
cities, above all the Paduan fugitives, so confident of success
that they had already elected their Podesta. The Venetians,
the Ferrarese and the Bolognese were all eager to join. The
first object of the crusade was the delivery of Padua, and by
Ist June, the preparations for the attack were complete. Ezzelino
was occupied in harassing Mantua, and even when he
learnt that the Legate's army had actually left Venice, he remained
in the Mantuan district, relying on Ansedisio to conduct
the defence of the city. This was a grave error on Ezzelino's
part, for Ansedisio was hated and feared by the citizens, had
little military skill, and was liable to lose his head in an emergency.
However he began well. An enemy from Venice was
bound to enter the Paduan district from the East. Ansedisio
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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/m1/95/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .