giovedì, Aprile 18, 2024

Biographical notes on War Captains and Mercenary Leaders operating in Italy between 1330 and 1550

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Uguccione della Faggiuola: Between Feudal Power and Ghibelline Allegiance

One of the most famous warriors of the 1300s. Strong, cunning, an experienced captain, of extraordinary personal valor. He lacks, however, the ability to maintain the lordships he conquered, also because he is incapable of administering them justly. The legendary tradition, also collected by Boccaccio, portrays him as the recipient of a dedication from Dante Alighieri for the first cantica of the Divina Commedia: the "Inferno"

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Last Updated on 2024/03/27

Diplomacy and Conflict in the Heart of the Middle Ages

Uguccione della Faggiuola hailed from Montecerignone (Casteldelci) or Faggiuola near Carpegna or Verghereto. A Ghibelline by alignment, he was a feudal lord of the Massa Trabaria, a woodland area located in the Marche region and bordering Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, and the Republic of San Marino, with his seat in Corneto. He was the lord of Pisa, Lucca, Sansepolcro, Lugo, Sant’Agata Feltria. Originating from the counts of Carpegna; however, some sources alternatively suggest he was the son of a peasant. He was the father of Neri della Faggiuola.

Born: 1250, December
Death:
1319, November

Year, monthState, Comp. venturaOpponentConductActivity AreaActions taken and other salient facts
…………FaenzaCesenaRomagnaThe fourth of seven brothers, he took his first steps in the world of war under the command of Maghinardo Pagani da Susinana. He fought against the people of Cesena. He indulged in a fierce pillaging of the surrounding countryside. Messengers, haylofts, and stables were set ablaze, entire families of peasants were massacred, and young women were first raped, then killed.
1275
JuneForlìBolognaRomagnaHe was noted to be alongside Guido da Montefeltro on the Senio River. He took part in the Battle of San Procolo, in which the Bolognese forces were heavily defeated.
1281ForlìCesena
1282MarcheHe set fire to Mercatello sul Metauro and Pietrarubbia to avenge the death in battle of Taddeo da Montefeltro.
1286UmbriaIn Città di Castello, he was present as a witness to the sale of some assets by Tano degli Ubaldini.
1287Città di CastelloArezzoUmbriaOn behalf of Città di Castello, he supported the Archbishop of Pisa, Ruggero degli Ubaldini, to the detriment of the people of Arezzo.
1293
1291-1295TuscanyHe succeeded Galasso da Montefeltro as the Podestà of Arezzo, holding the position for four years. Initially, he governed Arezzo trying not to completely sever the agreement with the Tarlati. However, the financial needs of the commune would significantly influence his political choices, leading him to favor the acquisition of lands put up for sale by his supporters to the detriment of other citizens. During this period, he also took advantage of his dominant position to persuade the cathedral chapter (of which his elder brother Ugo was a canon) to exchange with him the castles of Manciano and Vertola in the Val Tiberina. Two years later, he sold these properties to two inhabitants of Città di Castello for 2000 florins.
Dec.UmbriaHe acted in defense of the abbot of the monastery of Trevi.
1296
…………ForlìChurchRomagnaHe resigned from his position as the Podestà of Arezzo to intervene in Romagna with the aim of organizing the ranks of the local Ghibellines. Along with Ribaldo della Faggiuola, he provided assistance in Forlì to Scarpetta Ordelaffi, the general captain of the Romagna Ghibellines, who was in conflict with the Papal forces.
Mar.He was excommunicated by Boniface VIII along with two other captains.
Apr.RomagnaHe reconquered the castle of Roversano with Maghinardo da Susinana and Galasso da Montefeltro. He then proceeded to Faenza and from there moved towards the Santerno River to aid Marquis Azzo d’Este. Crossing the river, he attacked the Bolognese forces, consisting of 4000 infantry and many cavalry units, which were under the command of Jacopo del Cassero and moving to assist Imola. The Papal forces were routed, resulting in the capture of 2000 men.
MayRomagnaHe gained control of Imola.
JulyEmiliaFollowing the retreat of Guido da Montefeltro to a cloister, Uguccione della Faggiuola was recognized as the leading figure of the Romagna Ghibelline faction. He made his stop at Argenta.
…………RomagnaLeading many exiles, he gained control of Lugo through negotiations; he became its lord, strengthened the defenses of the castle, and added new bastions to the fortress.
…………RomagnaHe opposed the Bolognese forces led by Ugolino di Panico.
1297
Jan.General captainRomagnaHe was elected for six months as the general captain of the Ghibelline league (Forlì, Faenza, Imola, Castrocaro Terme, Bagnacavallo), replacing Maghinardo Pagani da Susinana.
Feb.RomagnaAt the end of the month, he was in Forlì to receive the insignia of his command. From there, he moved to Faenza and Imola.
SpringEmiliaHe began raiding into Bolognese territory.
MayEmiliaHe encamped near Castel San Pietro Terme, facing his opponents. The rivals refused to engage in open battle and withdrew to the banks of the Sillaro River. The Ghibellines then returned to Imola.
1298
…………MarcheAt the end of the conflict, he returned to Montefeltro.
1299RomagnaHe was forced to surrender Lugo to the Archbishop of Ravenna.
1300
…………TuscanyHe continued to hold the position of Captain of the People in Arezzo.
MayGhibellinesGubbioMarche, UmbriaTogether with Galasso da Montefeltro, he conquered the castle of Piega, near Secchiano, annihilating the Olivieri family, the lords of the place. Along with Federico da Montefeltro and Uberto Malatesta, the Count of Ghiaggiolo, he took possession of Gubbio. He entered the city via Monte di Sant’Ubaldo.
JuneGubbioChurch, PerugiaUmbriaCante Gabrielli, Cardinal Napoleone Orsini, and the Perugians intervened. Gubbio was forced to surrender.
…………CesenaChurchRomagnaHe became captain of Cesena alongside Federico da Montefeltro and Ciappettino degli Ubertini. He besieged the city fortress with mangonels and ordered the pillaging of the houses of the Guelphs; he raided the surrounding countryside, taking prisoners and plundering livestock.
1301
MayCesenaExilesRomagnaHe was expelled from Cesena by Raule dei Mazzolini.
…………ArezzoGuelphesTuscanyPodestà of Arezzo. He took control of Borgo San Sepolcro (Sansepolcro).
1302
Jan.TuscanyWith Federico da Montefeltro and the brothers Ugo and Ribaldo, he signs peace with Malatesta da Verucchio, Guido da Polenta, and the Guelphs of Romagna; he is absolved by the Pope from all censure. He is elected once again as the Podestà of Arezzo; he works on pacifying and organizing the city. In the same months, he meets Dante Alighieri.
Apr.GhibellinesFlorence, LuccaRomagna, TuscanyIn Cesena, a general parliament is convened by the vicar of the Count of Romagna, Carlo d’Angiò (Charles of Anjou), Andrea da Cereta, where the Ghibellines of northern Italy and the White Guelphs are present. The opponents are the Florentines and the people of Lucca. The Ghibellines sack Pistoia; thereafter, they move to the Mugello where they seize a large portion of the Ubaldini properties. This is followed by a futile action on Pistoia and a return to Romagna.
…………TuscanyHe prevents the White Guelphs, expelled from Florence by the Black Guelphs, from taking refuge in Arezzo because he is enticed by the Pope, who has given him hope of having a son appointed as cardinal. Through Boniface VIII, he contributes to an agreement between the moderate Ghibellines, known as the “Greens”, and those more aligned with the Empire, referred to as the “Drys”.
Oct.RavennaCesenaRomagnaWith Federico da Montefeltro, he rushes to the aid of Bernardino da Polenta, lord of Ravenna; he lays siege to Cesena, occupies all the castles of the countryside with the exception of Roversano and Fermignano, acquires Cesenatico through negotiation, and has its port buried.
1303
…………TuscanyPodestà of Arezzo for the sixth time. He leads an embassy to Pope Benedict XI, from whom he is received with all honors.
…………ArezzoFlorenceTuscanyHe returns to the Ghibelline faith and reopens the gates of Arezzo to the White Guelphs. Under the leadership of Federico da Montefeltro, he supports Scarpetta Ordelaffi against the Florentines. He lays siege to Pulicciano in the Mugello: attacked by Fulceri da Calboli, he is forced to abandon the operations. In retaliation, he takes possession of Castiglion Fiorentino.
JulyTuscanyFederico da Montefeltro and Ciappettino degli Ubertini replace him in the Podesteria of Arezzo: he has become suspect due to his hesitations in fighting the opponents.
…………ExilesArezzoTuscanyHe places himself at the head of the Greens faction to oppose the Drys led by the Tarlati of Pietramala.
1305/1307Romagna, MarcheHe returns to Romagna; he expands his domains with peaceful acquisitions in the County of Bobbio, Massa Trabaria, and Montefeltro. In 1307, in an urban conflict, the Greens are expelled from Arezzo. Uguccione della Faggiuola draws closer to this faction.
1308
Oct.Tuscany, RomagnaHe supports his son-in-law Corso Donati, who aims to seize power in Florence at the expense of the Black Guelphs. When informed that his relative has barricaded himself in his houses in the district of Porta San Piero and is besieged by the people, he realizes he can do no more. He stops at Remole near Pontassieve. During this period, with his brother Fondazza and his nephew Paolozzo, he takes from the monastery of San Donato a Pulpiano the castles of Maiolo and Rocca di Maioletto, near San Leo, in emphyteusis.
Nov.ExilesArezzoTuscanyHe is readmitted to Arezzo by the Podestà, Francesco di Tano degli Ubaldini; Uguccione della Faggiuola reaches an agreement with the Tarlati and their allies (the Drys) and supports them against their rivals (the Greens). The Tarlati appear at the gates of Arezzo, which are opened for them. This leads to bloody clashes with fights lasting a day in the city streets. In the end, the Tarlati and the Drys emerge victorious: 32 members of the opposing faction are exiled. Uguccione della Faggiuola is elected Podestà in place of Ubaldini. Later, he also allies with the Captain of the People, Ciappetta da Montacuto, elected to this position with the support of the same Tarlati, to expel them due to their hostility towards the popular movement. He reconciles with the Florentines.
1309
…………TuscanyThe Guelphs can return to Arezzo.
SpringArezzoTarlatiTuscanyHe relinquished the position of Podestà of Arezzo to Ciappetta da Montacuto while he assumed the role of Captain of the People. He fought the Tarlati; he placed two trebuchets, one towards Pietramala and one towards Penna. He came into conflict with Ciappetta himself regarding the issue of autonomy to be granted to the “people”; there were tumults in Arezzo which, by the end of April, led Uguccione della Faggiuola to assume both the positions of Podestà and Captain of the People. He allowed the Tarlati back into Arezzo and expelled the Greens and Guelphs.
1310TuscanyHe faces the Florentines and 300 Catalan cavalry sent to aid the Greens and Guelphs by the King of Naples, Roberto d’Angiò (Robert of Anjou), with limited success.
Jan.TuscanyHe faced the Florentines and 300 Catalan cavalry sent to aid the Greens and Guelphs by the King of Naples, Roberto d’Angiò (Robert of Anjou), with limited success.
Feb.TuscanyHe contested Diego della Ratta, who from the Valdarno devastated the territory with 400 cavalry and 6000 infantry. He tried to surprise his opponents near Cortona; defeated, he had to leave 3 flags in the hands of his adversaries. He managed to reach Arezzo. He was not re-elected for the following year; the Tarlati reconciled with the Bostoli and with the Guelphs who were readmitted into the city.
1311
Jan. – Feb.EmpireLombardy, LiguriaIn January, on the day of the Epiphany, he was in Milan with Emperor Henry of Luxembourg at the latter’s coronation as King of Italy. The ceremony took place in the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. In February, he was appointed by the Emperor as his vicar in Genoa, replacing the German Aspromonte. He urged Henry VII to allow some Spinolas, who were in exile at the time, to return to the city, and to maintain impartiality between the Doria and Spinola families in the distribution of fiefs, privileges, toll rights, admiralties, and charges by land and sea.
Mar.LiguriaHe was tasked by Henry VII to conduct an inquiry into the conduct of the city’s magister monetarum, Filippo di Negro, and into what should be delivered to the imperial treasury from the latter’s management.
1312
Apr.EmpireFlorenceTuscanyIn Pisa, alongside the Emperor.
Sept.TuscanyAt the camp of San Salvi. At the siege of Florence.
Dec.TuscanyWith Federico da Montefeltro and Roberto di Fiandra (700 cavalry), he captured the fortress of Casole d’Elsa: he was immediately besieged by Florentines and Sienese. The lax vigilance of the Florentines allowed the besieged, at the beginning of the following month, to retreat without problems to the imperial camp.
1313
Jan.TuscanyHe was surprised by the Florentines at the tower of Cangaretto while he was moving against the Count of Battifolle: among his men, more than 150 were killed or captured.
Apr.TuscanyIn Pisa, he acted against Pontremoli with Spinetta Malaspina.
Aug.TuscanyAlways with Federico da Montefeltro, he reached Montaperti with 200 cavalry and 2000 Aretine infantry, where the Emperor granted him lordship over Borgo San Sepolcro (Sansepolcro). He devastated the Sienese territory with his men, who brought back to Arezzo a booty valued at about 20,000 florins. At the end of the month, the Emperor died in Buonconvento; the Ghibelline army disbanded. Federico da Montefeltro returned to Arezzo, while della Faggiuola headed to Pisa.
Sept.PisaLucca, FlorenceTuscanyHe assumed the extraordinary powers entrusted to him. He was appointed Podestà, Captain of the People, and War Captain of Pisa for ten years with a salary of 6,000 florins a year. Under his command were a thousand mercenaries from Germany, Brabant, and Flanders, along with the captains Baldovino di Montcorner and Tommaso da Sette Fontane. They preferred to serve under the Ghibelline republic and fight under their banner, which depicted the head of Conradin of Swabia. Henry of Flanders also offered, in vain, to lead the troops; he was, on the contrary, forced to leave the city. Uguccione della Faggiuola continuously fought the Lucchese, giving them no respite. The adversaries sent ambassadors to Quota to negotiate peace: the negotiations stalled over the handover of Asciano to the Pisans. Della Faggiuola left the area after a few days and, eager to continue the campaign, lent the Pisans 1,000 florins to ensure payment to the German cavalry. He occupied Asciano, attacked San Miniato, pillaged Santa Maria del Giudice, set Massa Pisana ablaze, and devastated its countryside for eight days. In order to maintain discipline among his men, he did not hesitate to have the foot of twelve knights cut off for breaking ranks to undertake individual actions.
Oct.TuscanyHe raided towards Buti. He captured 2 of the 3 castles defending the area. The Pisans took control, slaughtering those who opposed them (possibly 60), sparing not even the monks of the Abbey of Cintoria. He stayed in that territory for ten days. Returning to Pisa mid-month, Uguccione della Faggiuola proposed to declare war on Lucca definitively. The proposal was accepted unanimously.
Nov.TuscanyHe departed from Pisa and headed directly towards Lucca at the forefront of the Ghibellines and numerous German cavalry; he entered the Valle di Compito, reached Vorno (which he set ablaze) and Massa Macinaia: 80 mills were set on fire and the castle of Guamo was destroyed, from which a panel depicting Saint Michael was stolen and transported to the Pisa Cathedral. He defeated Pagano dei Quartigiani at Pontemaggiore, who died in the battle along with another 200 Lucchese; he crossed the Monte di San Giuliano; devastated Gattaiola (where the houses were destroyed except for the church); and set his quarters at Pontetetto. The Tuscan Guelphs prepared a defensive line on the Ozeri to protect the walls of Lucca. Uguccione della Faggiuola had many Pisan and Tuscan horses ford the stream, each also carrying an infantryman. On the day of Saint Frediano, he attacked the Lucchese with 500 cavalry and 2000 infantry. He divided his troops into two groups and surprised the opponents from behind. Another massacre ensued: 300 defenders were killed, of whom 200, captured by the enemy as prisoners, were blinded before dying. The commander chased the Lucchese up to the antiporto of San Piero Maggiore. He raided under the walls of Lucca and set the village of San Piero a Grado on fire. As a sign of victory, the Pisans threw many spears against the city walls and placed, fixed to two poles, two or four large mirrors at the bottom edge of which was attached a sign reading: “Now reflect, Bonturo Dati/for advising the Lucchese/On the day of St. Frediano/at the gates of Lucca was the Pisan.” Bonturo Dati had previously convinced the Lucchese not to surrender Asciano, adding with contempt that the Lucchese had long placed mirrors on the towers of such locality so that, with the sun high in the sky, the Pisans could easily see their shame. At the end of the month, after eight days of campaign, della Faggiuola received news of the arrival of Sienese militias to aid the defenders; for this reason, also due to the severity of the winter, he returned to Pisa. The Lucchese attempted to kill Bonturo Dati, who barely managed to find refuge in the church of San Romano.
Dec.TuscanyThe men from the Val di Serchio captured 12 soldiers from the garrison of Avane Castle; they were thus informed that the garrison had provisions for more than two months.
1314
Jan.TuscanyHe encamped on the Serchio, destroying houses, vineyards, and plantations. He secured Ponte al Serchio on terms; he set the place on fire despite having previously given assurances about his conduct. He prepared to besiege Avane Castle by dividing his troops into 3 camps: one on the mountain above the castle, one in the valley, and the other across the Serchio; he also constructed a pontoon bridge over the river. He quickly captured the first circle. He dressed the German horses in Pisan overcoats: the Lucchese confidently moved towards them. They were easily routed. He faced Gherardo da Sant’Elpidio; Uguccione della Faggiuola did not desist from his action and obtained the unconditional surrender of Avane. He remained in the Val di Serchio for twenty-four days, marked by rain and snow; he took possession of the surrounding territory without anyone coming to bother him.
Feb.PisaLucca, Florence, SienaTuscanyHe rode into the countryside of San Miniato, set the Subbio Castle on fire, and also brought war to the Sienese. He was forced to temporarily abandon his offensive due to heavy rain; only at the end of the month was he able to resume operations. He raided into the Maremma as far as Massa Marittima, spreading desolation everywhere, and conquered the Campo Petroso Castle. In Pisa, however, not everyone approved of his actions; a group of citizens, led by Banduccio Buonconti, feared an attack by the Angevins. The Consoli del Mare and the Elders sent an embassy to Naples that concluded a peace treaty: it stipulated the return of prisoners and respect for the status quo in the controlled lands, as well as the monthly delivery of 5,000 florins to the King of Naples for the funding of an expedition in Sicily against the Aragonese. It was a dishonorable treaty for Pisa; moreover, it was concluded without the knowledge of Uguccione della Faggiuola. The commander, with the support of Castruccio Castracani and the followers of the Ghibelline party, immediately went to Pisa. He incited the people to riot while his troops, bearing the imperial eagle, roamed the city streets hunting down the Guelphs. Banduccio and Pietro Buonconti opposed the initiative on behalf of the Council of Elders. Della Faggiuola confronted the peace proponents, accused them of treason, and had them arrested.
Mar.TuscanyBanduccio Buonconti and his son Pietro were beheaded outside the Porta delle Piagge along with the commune’s chamberlain Vanni dei Verdi: on the same day, Uguccione della Faggiuola reformed the Council of Elders, which now could only include Ghibellines of proven faith. His government became increasingly tyrannical; he was accused of appropriating others’ wealth and of unrestrainedly attacking the lives and freedom of the citizens (the Guelphs).
Apr. – MayTuscanyHe proposed to the Lucchese a meeting at Ripafratta to modify the agreements signed in Naples. According to the new version, the Ghibellines and the exiles from Lucca could return to their city; the Pisans would have acted in the same way with their exiles and Guelph outcasts. Everyone was to be reinstated to their properties; furthermore, Asciano and Viareggio were to be immediately returned to the Pisans; these two localities were to be followed, in a short span of time, by the delivery of Buti and Bientina. All this was to be accepted with the celebration of marriages between members of the two factions. Uguccione della Faggiuola insisted that among the Ghibellines to be readmitted to Lucca should also be those who had been declared rebels by the citizenry, as well as traitors and perpetual outlaws. This demand was followed by another for the immediate handover to the Pisans of Buti and Bientina as well. The Lucchese opposed; war broke out again.
JuneTuscanyHe left Pisa and aimed directly at Lucca at the head of the Ghibellines and numerous German cavalry; he penetrated the Valle di Compito, reached Vorno (which was set ablaze), and Massa Macinaia: 80 mills were set on fire, and the castle of Guamo was destroyed, from which a panel depicting Saint Michael was stolen and transported to the Pisa Cathedral. He defeated Pagano dei Quartigiani at Pontemaggiore, who died in the battle along with another 200 Lucchese; he crossed the Monte di San Giuliano; devastated Gattaiola (where the houses were destroyed except for the church); and set his quarters at Pontetetto. The Tuscan Guelphs had prepared a defensive line on the Ozeri to protect the walls of Lucca. Uguccione della Faggiuola had many Pisan and Tuscan horses ford the stream, each also carrying an infantryman. On the day of Saint Frediano, he attacked the Lucchese with 500 cavalry and 2000 infantry. He divided his troops into two groups and surprised the opponents from behind. Another massacre ensued: 300 defenders were killed, of whom 200, captured by the enemy as prisoners, were blinded before dying. The commander chased the Lucchese up to the antiporto of San Piero Maggiore. He raided under the walls of Lucca and set the village of San Piero a Grado on fire. As a sign of victory, the Pisans threw many spears against the city walls and placed, fixed to two poles, two or four large mirrors at the bottom edge of which was attached a sign reading: “Now reflect, Bonturo Dati/for advising the Lucchese/On the day of St. Frediano/at the gates of Lucca was the Pisan.” Bonturo Dati had previously convinced the Lucchese not to surrender Asciano, adding with contempt that the Lucchese had long placed mirrors on the towers of such locality so that, with the sun high in the sky, the Pisans could easily see their shame. At the end of the month, after eight days of campaign, della Faggiuola received news of the arrival of Sienese militias to aid the defenders; for this reason, also due to the severity of the winter, he returned to Pisa. The Lucchese attempted to kill Bonturo Dati, who barely managed to find refuge in the church of San Romano.
JulyGeneral captainTuscanyMid-month, he was elected general captain of the league between Pisa and Lucca: for the accumulated positions, he was allocated a total of 6,000 ducats a year. He arranged affairs in Lucca, leaving his son Francesco as vicar there, while his other son Neri was assigned the vicariate of Pisa. In the continuation of the conflict, Uguccione della Faggiuola marched against the Pistoiese up to Carmignano and against the Volterrans. He assaulted Buggiano and Serravalle Pistoiese; he obtained the latter locality from the castellan to whom he made deliver money; the fortress was garrisoned as was the case for Castellina, Casore del Monte, Marliana, Momigno, Montagnana, and Vinacciano. His soldiers devastated the countryside, worsening the already existing state of famine in the area. Della Faggiuola laid siege to Montecatini Alto in the Val di Nievole with many trebuchets. It was the only fortress remaining in the hands of the Guelphs between Lucca and Pistoia. He moved near Pescia, reached the village of San Pietro in Campo where in a clash his son Francesco distinguished himself (202 dead among the exiles from Lucca and 300 infantry), among the Pisans 150 dead and as many wounded. In revenge, Uguccione della Faggiuola ordered the villagers to leave their homes by sunset under penalty of hanging and torture. The homes were set on fire with the exception of the church. He then marched towards San Martino in Colle and from there descended upon Viminaia and Montechiaro; he reached up to the Cerruglio castle. He assaulted it and conquered it the same day.
Oct.TuscanyHe captured the Gallena Castle (Stazzema). Eighty men from the garrison, taken prisoner, were all hanged.
Dec.TuscanyAt the command of 1,000 cavalry and 4,000 infantry, accompanied by many exiles, he attempted to seize the Porta di Ripalta in Pistoia at night, through a deal with some Ghibellines. Fifty of his soldiers occupied it; 300 infantry and 70 cavalry broke into the city. The bells rang to alert the inhabitants of the attack. The Angevin vicar of the city, the Catalan Simone della Culla, intervened to block the entry of the attackers who, not supported by the rest of the troops, were easily repelled. Uguccione della Faggiuola, delayed by thick fog, arrived late at the walls of Pistoia; seeing the effective defensive response to his attack, he decided to retreat and return to Lucca. During this period, Dante Alighieri gave Frate Ilaro a copy of the Inferno, entrusting him to deliver it to the commander. According to Boccaccio, the canticle is dedicated to Uguccione della Faggiuola himself.
1315
Mar.TuscanyHe once again proposes to besiege Montecatini Alto, defended by 2,000 Guelphs. He decides to surround the city and cut off all communication with nearby areas to prevent provisioning and to take the city by starvation. He besieges the place in vain for fifteen days. During the operations, Uguccione della Faggiuola must go to Pisa because the citizens are protesting the famine, tax pressure, and lack of freedom: he manages to calm the people. In the same days, he sides with Louis the Bavarian of Wittelsbach against Frederick the Fair of Habsburg, another contender for the imperial throne. For his support, he receives an investiture diploma; he is also enfeoffed with Fucecchio, Castelfranco, Santa Croce, Santa Maria a Monte, and Montecalvoli.
Apr.TuscanyHe entered the countryside of Montopoli in Val d’Arno with 2,000 cavalry and 2,500 infantry: trees, vineyards, and forages were cut down; he approached San Miniato, besieged Ciolo, and took possession of the Tower of San Romano on terms; he conquered Stibbio and raided the countryside near Santa Gonda.
MayTuscanyHe forced the castellan of Cigoli, Benedetto Mangiadori, to surrender; Montecalvoli also surrendered to him on terms, and he had another 5 trebuchets placed around Montecatini Alto. The conquered localities were sacked.
JuneFrom Naples, in aid of the Florentines, moved the brother of King Roberto d’Angiò, Filippo di Taranto, and the latter’s eighteen-year-old son, Carlo d’Angiò.
JulyTuscanyUguccione della Faggiuola gathered 1,300 foreign mercenaries, 600 Italian exiles, and armed 20,000 Pisans to respond to the threats from the Florentines.
Aug.TuscanyFilippo di Taranto and Carlo d’Angiò joined forces in Florence with the vicar, Piero d’Angiò, another brother of the King of Naples. Mid-month, the Guelph militias moved against the Pisans (4,000/5,000 cavalry and 50,000 infantry coming not only from Florence but also from Bologna, Siena, Perugia, Città di Castello, Gubbio, Romagna, Pistoia, Volterra, and Prato). Uguccione della Faggiuola camped, as did the opponents, on the Nievole; with reinforcements arriving from Arezzo, the counts of Santa Fiora, the Tuscan Ghibellines, and those from Milan led by Marco Visconti, he could count on an army of 3,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry. The Florentines and Angevins occupied Buggiano, San Martino in Colle, and Vivinaia, thus cutting not only the supply flow to his camp but also any possibility of connection with Lucca. The enemies’ choices also tended to block the road to reinforcements, reported to be arriving on the Apennines and sent by Cangrande della Scala. A challenge glove was sent to him; he refused the confrontation. Filippo di Taranto intercepted an advanced column of Uguccione della Faggiuola at San Martino in Colle, seizing forty food carts and many oxen. Feverish, della Faggiuola became aware of the growing danger, not wanting to risk a battle due to being outnumbered by the enemies; he began to react; he decided to lift the siege, to burn the trebuchets, and to move towards Pisa. He sent Castruccio Castracani and Azzone Visconti to recover the castle of Viminaia and that of San Martino in Colle. On the way to Buggiano, he occupied the Trinciavelli forest where the opposing army was supposed to camp. The Angevin marshal Guglielmo Borello thought he was about to flee; he attacked the Pisans to take their supplies. The troops of Filippo di Taranto assaulted them disorderly after crossing the water that divided them. Carlo d’Angiò led the first contingent; Piero d’Angiò had command of the second, and Filippo di Taranto, who was also feverish that day, held command of the third. Uguccione della Faggiuola, however, divided his army into 4 units, one under his command; the other three were entrusted to his sons Francesco (with the crossbowmen, archers) and Neri (with the infantry), and to Castracani. According to other sources, the commander gave the vanguard to his son Francesco; the wing formed by foreign heavy cavalry was entrusted to a French knight, cousin of the late Emperor Henry of Luxembourg; the rest of the troops remained under his command. He first ordered the troops to face the enemy while maintaining formation: no horse or foot soldier should in any way leave their ranks; even in case of success, it was forbidden for all to dismount and break formation to seek the spoils of fallen soldiers before the definitive conclusion of the battle. Uguccione della Faggiuola understood that a unique opportunity had presented itself. He stopped and with a lightning action had the Sienese and the troops from Colle di Val d’Elsa, who were defending some embankments, assaulted by 150 horses led by Giovanni Giacotti Malespini and his son Francesco, who had with him the imperial banner of the Wittelsbach house. They defeated the Guelph militias, reaching the Florentine cavalry of Piero d’Angiò and Diego della Ratta, who were forced to reorganize their lines beyond a stream: Carlo d’Angiò and Francesco della Faggiuola died in the skirmish. At the end of the fight, their bodies were found next to each other, so it was said that they had killed each other. Upon hearing of his son’s death, Uguccione della Faggiuola threw himself into the fray, calling back 800 German horses and 4,000 Pisans armed with crossbows and long spears. Castruccio Castracani and Matteo Visconti, whom he had initially sent to those hills to keep the road to Lucca open, also intervened from Viminaia and San Martino in Colle. The outcome of the battle was now reversed; the enemy infantry, caught in disarray, as well as part of the Angevin cavalry not yet fully prepared for attack, were routed. In the battle, on the Florentine side alone, 2,000 men died, and another 1,500 were taken prisoner; many soldiers drowned in the marshes surrounding Montecatini Alto. Piero d’Angiò also died, and his body was not found: it seems he drowned in the marsh while trying to escape to Fucecchio. Filippo di Taranto managed to find refuge in the castle of Monsummano. For about 21 kilometers, the victors pursued the fugitives. After the battle (which began in the morning and ended before the end of the evening), Uguccione della Faggiuola was knighted, in front of the corpse of the Angevin heir to the throne, by Rinieri della Gherardesca, in memory of his father Gerardo, who had been beheaded by Carlo d’Angiò along with Conradin of Swabia. With the victory, he tightened the siege on Montecatini Alto. He positioned his troops in front of the Porta al Cozzo, Porta Ricciarda, Porta Signorele, and Porta Santa Margherita. A general assault was ordered. By the end of the month, the defenders were forced to surrender due to lack of water. Monsummano and Motrone surrendered to della Faggiuola on terms (although some prisoners were sent to death); he gained Vinci; blockaded Prato and Serravalle Pistoiese; and also took possession of Buggiano. Ubaldo degli Obizzi was handed over to him; he was beheaded at the gate of Monsummano castle on a pile of manure. The Florentines, with their new general captain Beltramone del Balzo, remained inactive. Della Faggiuola appointed his son Neri as Podestà of Lucca and returned to Pisa, where he was welcomed in triumph. Two royal standards, all other flags, the collected treasure, luggage, arms, mounts, and prisoners were brought into the city.
Sept.TuscanyAt the beginning of the month, the Scaliger militias arrived to aid him; these were used to control the communication routes, to prevent any Guelph sorties while his troops were engaged in plundering the neighboring territory. He returned to besiege Montecatini Alto. He divided the troops into several contingents, at Cozzo, Porta Ricciarda, Porta Signorelli, and Porta Santa Margherita. He ordered a general attack; this was followed by the capitulation. Vanni di Baseglia, in the same days, completed the effort with the conquest of Serravalle. Essentially, after the battle, he was not able to take advantage of the favorable new situation. He was satisfied with obtaining as many spoils as possible and placing ransoms on the prisoners.
…………LazioHe sent 700 cavalry, mostly Germans, to aid the Filippeschi and other exiles from Orvieto. These troops were joined by those of the Prefect of Vico, Sciarra Colonna, the Count of Anguillara, the Count of Santa Fiora, the Lord of Bisenzo, the da Baschi, and other Ghibellines from the Patrimonium and Todi. The militias aimed at Acquapendente, defended by Pietro Farnese and Monaldo Monaldeschi. Ultimately, the Ghibellines, disappointed in their hopes of quick success, turned to Torre Alfina, whose castle was stormed. The entire surrounding territory was ravaged.
…………TuscanyHe was granted the fief of Sansepolcro by Louis the Bavarian. The inhabitants were left free to govern themselves with their own statutes.
1316
Jan.TuscanyHe headed to Fucecchio with 3,000 soldiers where a treaty was organized in his favor. The plot was discovered, sixteen men were hanged, and many Pisans fell in the ensuing clash. Upon returning from this expedition, Castruccio Castracani had 30 people who had conspired against him killed in Massa Macinaia.
Feb.TuscanyUguccione della Faggiuola stormed into Siena with fury and laid it to waste. He captured and set fire to Torranieri, where part of the defenders perished in the battle, while the remaining were dragged away as prisoners. The most beautiful and youngest women were compelled to follow the victors, while the others were left semi-naked in the area. On the journey back, they set fire to Montesolo Grisi, Corsignano (Pienza), Buonconvento, Castel Rozzi, and more than six hundred houses in Val di Nievole. Della Faggiuola returned to Pisa with a significant booty.
Apr.TuscanyOn Holy Saturday, Uguccione della Faggiuola‘s son, Neri, seizes the pretext of the killing of 30 inhabitants of Massa Macinaia. On his orders, on Easter Monday, he sentences Castruccio Castracani to death in Lucca. Indeed, the Lucchese condottiero had become too popular in Lucca and, moreover, as the vicar of the aspirant to the imperial throne, Frederick of Habsburg, he pursued a different policy from that of the della Faggiuola. Neri requests his father’s intervention to carry out the death sentence on his rival. At the beginning of the month, Uguccione della Faggiuola sets out for Lucca with 400 horsemen. He passes Mount San Giuliano and stops for lunch in the village of Santa Maria; while at the table (eating lamprey), he is informed of the rebellion in Pisa against his lordship, instigated by the Counts of Donoratico and Coscetto dal Colle. On Easter morning, the church bells of Pisa ring, inciting the people to revolt. The uprising soon becomes widespread and ends with the expulsion of the magistrates loyal to him and the closure of all city gates. He decides to return immediately to Pisa, only to find the city gates barred. His adversaries have bribed his mercenaries and have plundered his palace, massacring his family. At this juncture, Count Neri della Gherardesca, on the one hand, sends an urgent message to Uguccione in Lucca, and on the other hand, he reaches an agreement with the inhabitants and is first appointed podestà and then captain of the people. Uguccione della Faggiuola decides to continue on the road to Lucca where, however, a similar situation occurs to the detriment of his son Neri. The condottiero is ultimately forced to take refuge in the lands of Spinetta Malaspina.
……………VeronaGeneral captainEmilia, VenetoIn Modena and in Montefeltro, Uguccione della Faggiuola enters into the service of Cangrande della Scala in Verona. He is appointed as the captain-general of the Scaliger troops.
1317
……………VeronaBresciaLombardyHe ravages the Brescian territory, setting fire to Castiglione delle Stiviere. He encamps at Lonato and lays siege to Brescia.
MayVeronaPaduaVenetoUpon learning that the Paduans are encamped near Vicenza to seize the city by treaty, Uguccione della Faggiuola departs from Brescia and enters Vicenza in disguise. He hides in the palace of the Nogarola family, persuades the traitors to change sides, and urges them to convince the Paduans to attack the city. Lowering the drawbridges, he assaults the enemy troops at the Porta Berica neighborhood, routing them and pursuing them through the night to Montegalda, where he massacres them. All those who do not know the password of the Scaligeri (San Giorgio) are killed, and many drown in the Bacchiglione. In the skirmish, Vanni Scornazzani is captured, and Vinciguerra di San Bonifacio is mortally wounded.
JulyVenetoHe is elected as the podestà and rector of Vicenza in place of Bernardino Nogarola. He initiates legal proceedings against the exiles who have been captured. Fifty-two Guelfs from Vicenza are dragged through the city streets at the tail of a horse to be later hanged; many others are imprisoned in harsh conditions in Verona.
Aug.FaggiuolaPisaTuscanyWith the assistance of Spinetta Malaspina from the outside, and the Lanfranchi and della Sassetta families from the inside, Uguccione della Faggiuola attempts to regain entry into Pisa. The conspirators are discovered; four members of the Lanfranchi family are killed by Gherardo della Gherardesca, who has allied himself with Castruccio Castracani for the occasion. The Lucchese expel Spinetta Malaspina from his possessions, seizing Fosdinovo, Verruca (Verrucolette), and Buosi.
Dec.VeronaPaduaVenetoHe leaves Vicenza via the road to Lonigo with Count Enrico of Gorizia and Bernardino Nogarola, passing through Teolo, Carbonara, and Arquà Petrarca during the night to arrive at dawn in front of Monselice. The Scaligeri find an open gate; the podestà, Bresciano Buzzaccarini, takes refuge in the castle and surrenders a few days later.
1318
Jan.VenetoHe secretly heads towards Piove di Sacco; repelled by Roncaglia, he fords the Brenta and routs the Paduans, who are pursued to the city gates. He halts at Ponte San Niccolò, enters the borough of San Giovanni, and sets it ablaze, resulting in the destruction of 500 houses and palaces.
Feb.VenetoHe decides to assault Padua. The inhabitants, persuaded by Giacomo da Carrara, surrender to him.
Sept.VenetoHe secretly meets with the Ghibellines of Treviso at Fontaniva.
Oct.VenetoHe leaves Vicenza under the cover of night with 500 horsemen and positions himself near Treviso, as he was promised that the Porta di Santi Quaranta would be left open. A dense fog delays the arrival of 1000 infantry, led by the Ghibelline Artico Tempesta, to the meeting point—a church near the gate. At dawn, Uguccione della Faggiuola is spotted by the guards while waiting for reinforcements and fears falling into an ambush. He decides to retreat to Quinto di Treviso and from there, back to Vicenza. After a few days, he returns to the Trevisan territory and peacefully occupies Noale, Brusaporco, Asolo, and Montebelluna, which are handed over to him by the Ghibellines.
Dec.LombardyHe travels to Soncino, where the leaders of the Ghibelline party gather to form a league and ensure that Cangrande della Scala is elected as their captain-general.
1319
SpringVenetoPope John XXIII issues a papal bull against him.
JuneVeronaPadova, TrevisoVenetoHe reconquers Monselice.
JulyVenetoHe lifts the siege of Treviso following the entry into the city of his new lord, Count Enrico of Gorizia.
Oct.VenetoHe besieges Padua, which is also aided by the Count of Gorizia.
Nov.VenetoContinuing with the siege of Padua, he falls ill with malaria in the marshes of the Brenta and is brought to Vicenza, where he passes away. He is buried in Verona, either in the church of the Dominicans of Sant’Anastasia or in that of the Franciscans of San Fermo, according to different sources. He is depicted by Andrea Orcagna in the Camposanto of Pisa in the “Triumph of Death” and also in an engraving by Francesco Allegrini da Gubbio. He was the son-in-law of Corso Donati and a friend of Dante Alighieri. Some commentators of the Divine Comedy suggest that the poet refers to Uguccione della Faggiuola when he speaks of the coming of the “Greyhound” who will scatter the greed prevailing in the world in the “Inferno.” This theory, proposed by Carlo Troja in the early 1800s, was refuted by Niccolò Tommaseo. Nonetheless, it inspired Cesare Balbo for his work “Life of Dante.” Giosuè Carducci recalls him in the ode “Faida di comune.” His coat of arms features a black eagle on a red field.

-“Uguccione della Faggiuola certamente è stato uno dei più famosi guerrieri del secolo XIV. Forte, astuto, valentissimo nel condurre la guerra, è stato lodato, specie per questo, dagli storici. Il suo straordinario valore personale era leggendario: a Cerone, durante una lotta accanita, abbandonato dai suoi, colpito sul suo scudo da quattro dardi e tredici verrettoni. ferito ad una gamba e con la celata ammaccata dai colpi, era riuscito a ritirarsi nelle sue schiere. Egli più che ad un principe condottiero somigliava ad uno di quei capitani di ventura che negli anni successivi diventeranno famosi. Di essi aveva la crudeltà ed il modo di comportarsi. Non si era fermato mai a lungo in un luogo; dei capitani di ventura aveva anche il modo di guerreggiare e di devastare. I saccheggi e le rovine portate dalle sue soldatesche furono le peggiori nella storia di quel periodo. Albertino Mussato, che pure era ghibellino, scrive che Uguccione della Faggiuola, in poco più di due anni, aveva mandato in rovina, devastandola tutta, la provincia della Toscana. Molti storici del tempo lo lodarono; lo chiamarono: virum acrem et strenuum, da non poter dire se fosse più pronto ad intraprendere cose grandi o più moderate dopo averle prosperamente condotte, sagax, avvisato saggio e valoroso signore e così via nelle lodi, mentre altri, dopo la cacciata da Pisa e specie se di colore diverso, mettevano in risalto le sue qualità negative di tiranno crudele e grossolano. Storici successivi al periodo delle gesta del Faggiolano hanno dati giudizi anche positivi sulle sue qualità di governante, a parte il valore militare da tutti riconosciuto notevole. Così Ranieri Sardo lo chiama “buon podestà di Pisa”, il Manuzio “Persona di molto ingegno ed accorto”, Giovanni Villani considera le gesta di Uguccione grandissime. Aveva impressionato in modo particolare gli storici il terrore che Uguccione aveva provocato in Firenze, tanto che alcuni lo consideravano un vero e valente continuatore dell’opera di Arrigo VII. Stando però ai fatti e al di fuori della passione politica dei tempi, Uguccione non può essere considerato un condottiero, tale da dare un fine concreto a tutte le sue imprese guerriere e un politico capace di ideare e compiere un disegno programmato. per quanto riguarda poi il reggimento delle città, affidate alla sua amministrazione o prese con la forza, non possiamo considerarlo un amministratore sagace e prudente. Non aveva le qualità per reggere con diplomazia uno Stato ed amministrarlo con giustizia. Le ribellioni delle città da lui governate e le ragioni delle sue cacciate lo confermano.” LUCARELLI

-“Nei suoi scritti Dante non nomina mai Uguccione della Faggiuola, però nel canto XII dell’Inferno cita, accanto a Rinier Pazzi, un Rinier da Corneto (padre di Uguccione), dicendo che entrambi “fecero a le strade tanta guerra”. E non si pensi che la menzione sia disonorevole: Dante sta parlando non di banditi da strada, ma di grandi feudatari, non a caso ghibellini, in lotta contro l’espansionismo territoriale dei Comuni, cioè di “ribelli” nel senso politico della parola.” SANTAGATA

-“Questi non ciberà terra né peltro,/ ma sapienza, amore e virtute,/ e sua nazion sarà tra feltro e feltro.” DANTE ALIGHIERI

-“Non vi ricorda di Montecatini/ Come le mogli e le madri dolenti/ Fan vedovaggio per li ghibellini,/ E babbi, e frati, e figliuoli, e parenti?.” F. DA SAN GEMIGNANO

-“Uguccione de la Faggiola/ messo ha in punto la masnada./ Tutto ferro l’ampio busto,/ ed il grande capo ignudo,/ sta su ‘l grande caval bianco/ e imbracciato ha il grande scudo,/ che ben quattro partigiane/ regge, e, come fosser ceri,/ de’ lucchesi i verrettoni/ regge infitti a dieci a dieci.” CARDUCCI (Faida di comune)

-“Un personaggio pieno di ambizioni e valoroso; di bassi natali, ma di alto, coraggioso animo, e perciò nobile; espertissimo capitano, e aspro, rigido, inflessibile soldato; ma nella buona fortuna schiavo delle libidini e della crudeltà, perché corrotto dall’imperio… Questi eseguì luminosissime imprese fino a quando tenne in esercizio la virtù sua: ma come incominciò ad impazzare nelle prosperità, cadde precipitosamente nell’abisso…Uguccione, di povero divenuto subitamente ricco, non seppe celare né moderare la sua nuova fortuna, e mutò la parsimonia in prodigalità, la semplicità del vivere in isfoggio di lusso, la rigidezza dei costumi in sensualità sfrenata e a suo capriccio si appropriò delle altrui sostanze, né tenne più conto dell’onore, della libertà, della vita dei cittadini.” LOMONACO

-“Uomo di fiera vista, molto grande e robusto del corpo, e per questo adoperando armi grandissime e di maggior peso che gli altri uomini communalmente non costumavano, talché parea che l’ardire e le forze sue fossero più che umane… Andava molto per le bocche degli uomini un fatto suo molto illustre; che essendo in una certa battaglia fatta a Cerone abbandonato dai suoi, e poco meno che posto in mezzo da’ nimici, egli ferito in una gamba, e ammaccatogli grandemente la celata, valorosamente ritirandosi, riportò a’ suoi in un targone lungo da pedone quattro partigiane e tredici verrettoni tirati da belestre piccole.” AMMIRATO

-“Dice di lui il Cipolla che fu forse il più maschio carattere di condottiero nell’Italia media. Noi aggiungiamo che fu meno fortunato che valoroso, perché l’opera sua fu misconosciuta da quelli stessi ai quali la aveva votata.” ARGEGNI

-“Vissuto tra le cospirazioni di parte e le audacie indomite delle civili discordie, invecchiato negli odi e nel rimorso di non aver ghermita, negli anni verdi, la fortuna: uomo adatto a riprendere, chiusa la parentesi imperiale, la vecchia tradizione toscana dei conflitti eterni tra Ghibellini e Guelfi, tra Firenze e Pisa.” CAGGESE

-“Uomo vigoroso, e oltre all’esperienza dell’arte militare temperato nella pace e di buono consiglio.” L. ARETINO

-“Persona di gran cuore, e molto valoroso nel mestier dell’arme.”  RONCIONI

-“Capitano assai famoso in quel tempo.” MALAVOLTI

-“Valoroso capitano de’ cavalli dello Scaligero.” BONIFACCIO

-“Uomo di gran valore.” CECINA

-“Uomo di grandissima fama, e di sommo valore.” CASTELLINI

-“Un grande Capitano, il maggiore e migliore condottiero della sua epoca.” DOMINICI

-“Huomo in quel tempo di gran nome nelle cose di guerra.” FOGLIETTA

-“Ricordavi del pezzimo Uguccione,/ Che Luccha conquistò per tradimento,/ E della morte e dello uccizione/ De’ ciptadini fecie mortal tormrnto.” da un poema riportato dal SERCAMBI

-“Veder mi par za quel de la Faggiola/ Re di Toscana: et dico di Uguzone/ Il qual teria le volpi tutte a scola.” P. DE FAYTINELLI

-“Maneggiò l’arme in molte occasioni valorosamente..Era Uguccione di persona grande e molto forte, di volto colorito, d’occhi azzurri e di capelli neri.” ROSCIO

-“Con uccisioni, incendii e ruine di ville, in ogni luogo s’haveva fatto conoscere per huom terribile e grandemente valoroso.” GIOVIO

-“Questi c’ha larghe spalle, e largo petto,/ Et ch’al volto crudel Marte assomiglia:/ Uscendo fuor d’oscura e vil famiglia,/ Abbraccia la militia con diletto:/ Poscia havendo animoso ardir concetto,/ Et Fortuna che ‘l guida, e lo consiglia,/ Del bel lito Toscan l’impero piglia,/ troppo sdegnoso a stare altrui soggetto./ Et la medesima sorte a lui rubella/ mentre a le due città reggeva il freno,/ All’improvviso lo levò di sella./ Non creda al volto hor torbido, hor sereno/ De la Fortuna molto alcun, perch’ella/ A’ Regni dona, e toglie in un baleno.” A. Panozzo. Da un sonetto raccolto dal GIOVIO

-“Viso nobil et probo.” G. DA BAZZANO

-“Qualis palma fuit, qualis victoria, cives/ Quam tulit ingratis Uguicio tunc dominatus/ Marchia quem genuit titulatus de Fagiola!.” GRANCHI

-“Caporione de’ Ghibellini in Toscana e gran maestro di guerra.” GENNARI

-“Naturam, vultumque viri singulari ingenii Ugucionis de Fagiola paucis dicere locus admonet. Fuit origine juxta..nobiles de Fagiola comitatus Ariminensis oppido. Calliditus incredibilis, quem faciei hilaritas et omnis facundia fulciebat. Cujus ingenii profunditas, ut magna quaeque negotia simularet ac dissimularet studium praebebat, amicitiis facile conquirere. Ingentium facinorum dubium, an aggredi promptus, an in susceptis perseverasse moderatius: in ambiguoque certatum est, an astutior, an fortunatior.” MUSSATO

-“Ghibellino uscito dagli appennini, il di cui nome forma una delle nostre celebrità.” LITTA

-“Huomo in quei tempi di somma riputatione nel mestiere dell’ armi.. Capitano valente.” SARAINA

-“Grandi racconti faceansi della sua forza e del suo coraggio: solo sostener l’impeto di un esercito e ristorar le battaglie; aver bisogno d’inusitate arme per coprire membra vastissime; fier e paurosa la vista bastare per volgere in fuga il nemico: insolita copia di cibi appena essere da tanto che sostentassero così gagliarda persona. I quali detti potrebbero per avventura dipingerlo alle nostre menti quale rozzo ed ingordo accoltellatore: nondimeno chi lo conobbe afferma che fu allegro il volto di lui, e che straordinaria robustezza del corpo si congiungeva in esso all’ingegno ed alle arti del favellare.. Uguccione fu molto destro nei motti: la somma ilarità dell’ aspetto impediva per giudizio di Albertino (Mussato), che altri lo giudicassero capace di alcuna dissimulazione. Pure egli sapeva dissimulare, alto nascondendo il segreto nel petto: ma vinti dall’eloquenza i cuori si aprivano ad esso. Cauto e lento deliberava, senza indugio eseguiva; valoroso nei consigli, audacissimo in campo, lasciò dubitare se in lui la fortuna superasse l’arte o l’industria. Barbaramente usò in Lucca della vittoria: ma il terrore nei suoi nemici e la fama delle valide membra crebbero la voce delle sue crudeltà. Uguccione fu ristoratore sommo del ghibellinismo.” TROYA

-“Fu ammirabile nelle opere sue.” G. VENTURA

-“Chi era Ghibellino e potentissimo nella Toscana.” TARCAGNOTA

-“Vir militari virtute celeberrimus.” D’INUNDA

-“Ducem diebus illis eximium.” MANFREDI

-“Uno de’ primari capi della ..fazione ghibellina, di cuore fallace ed accorto.” G. BONOLI

-“Uno dei capi più potenti del partito ghibellino ed uno dei migliori condottieri del secoli XIV.” BOSI

-“Ugon d’Arecio, huomo alto et notabile,/ Qual contro gl’hosti fece opra mirabile.” DEL CARRETTO

-“Uomo che era.. dotato di intelligenza non comune e che lasciò larga traccia di sé nella storia di quei tempi; ma la cui fama rimase macchiata dalla esagerata presunzione e dalla sconfinata ambizione, nonché dalla perfidia dell’animo feroce e crudele.” DOMPE’ GANDOLFO

-“Animo audax et ferox, ingens corpore, ad iram atque vim promptior.” Da un manoscritto riportato dall’ANGELUCCI

-“Uomo vigilante ed accorto.” BALDISSERONI

-“Bellici negotii prudentia et proelio strenuum hominem..Erat Ugutio Guelphi nominis hostis acerrimus..Militaris negotii expertissimus.” MERULA

-“Godeva di grande rinomanza fra le truppe.” ORSI

-“Capo dei ghibellini e signore di Pisaal principio del 14° secolo.” PAOLINI

-Con Federico da Montefeltro “Valenti capitani.” PARDI

-“Etait un homme actif, ambitieux, en quete de gloire.” MOLLAT

-“Clari nominis ghibellinorum partium ducem, et ut natalium splendorem imparem, ita militari virtute anteferendum..Nactusque saeculum bellorum ferax, a prima aetate arma tractaverat. Corpus illi ingens, viresque corpori pares. Manu aeque ac consilio strenuus; et fortiter facere, et sapienter prospicere, ubi res posceret, gnarus. Pluribus praeliis nobilitatus, sed praecipue insigni ad Caeronium pugna, ubi a suis desertus, solus, dux, miles, exercitus fuit: quatuor pilis, tredecim verutis tormento excussi clypeo exceptis, altero crure vulnerato, galea ictibus collisa ad suos reversus, parem periculo famam tulit.” BEVERINI

-“Gli storici concorrono tutti a fare di questo intrepido personaggio il più eccellente capitano de’ tempi suoi: e difatti parea che la natura formato lo avesse alle più dure fatiche e al maneggio delle armi.” SEZANNE

-“Ebbe gran nome Uguccione nominato vari anni prima dalle memorie tifernati tra i capitani famosi de’ suoi tempi.” G. MUZZI

-“Uguccio humilibus et patria sua obscuriobus parentibus, sed ingens corpore, et animo audax et ferox, ac viribus praevalens, inter montanos agrestes, factiososque homines, per caedes et facinora magnum sibi nomen et auctoritatem fecerat.” GRAZIANI

-“Se ad Uguccione della Faggiuola non fecero difetto il coraggio, il valore, la forza e quella prudenza necessaria a chi conduce soldati, se egli può dirsi uno dei più illustri guerrieri del secolo XIV, pur nondimeno si deve credere incapace a formare un disegno politico che potesse tornar proficuo alla parte di cui era zelante campione.. Ci sembra perciò che la vita di Uguccione della Faggiuola abbia molti tratti di somiglianza con quello dei capitani di ventura che saranno tanto famosi negli anni successivi: il Faggiolano non si fermò giammai lungo tempo in un luogo, ebbe un esercito composto di avventizi spesso gente bassa, delittuosa e crudele: passò la vita fino dalla sua prima gioventù fra il rumore delle armi e fra i disagi del campo. Anche lo assomiglia ai capitani di ventura il modo di guerreggiare. Orribili e dei maggiori in tutta la storia del medio evo sono i saccheggi, i guasti, le ruine che ebbero luogo per opera sua e delle sue masnade.” VIGO

-“Di verso Massa (la Massa Trabaria) di pià alti faggi/ Un gran gigante apparve nel qual Marte/ Grazia gli infuse co’ suoi forti raggi./ F. DEGLI UBERTI

-“Esperto e valoroso nel mestiero delle armi.” CINCI

-Nel periodo di Arezzo. “Tra verdi e sechi se facea vendetta/ e ghelfi e ghibellin non si contava,/ essendo dentro podestà Ciappetta/ el quale co’ Uguccion se gareggiava,/ a cui spiacevan l’opere volpine/ e il modo della guerra che menava.” B. DI GORELLO

-“Deh per mio amor, lettore, alquanto nota/ Come fortuna in brieve mise al piano/ Uguccion che era al sommo della ruota/ E nota il guiderdon che dal Pisano/ E’ ricevette, avendolo innalzato/ D’onor più ch’altro comune Italiano.” PULCI

-Con Niccolò Piccinino, Castruccio Castracani, Lodrisio Visconti, Giovanni Acuto, Facino Cane, Bartolomeo Colleoni, il Carmagnola “Furono capi notissimi per le loro imprese.” AGOSTINI

-“Uno dei più notevoli personaggi della guerra condotta per mercede..Si dice che Uguccione fin da piccolo dimostrasse un vero culto per le armi alle quali si sentiva morbosamente portato. Le agiografie e le storie di cappa e spada che si occupano della sua figura vogliono e pretendono che il nostro abbia giocato a comandare ragazzini imberbi come lui, in una sorta di anticipazione scherzosa, ma anche crudele, del suo destino.. Forte, agile come una gazzella, capace di affrontare notevoli disagi senza danno, di pernottare all’addiaccio e di digiunare a lungo.” ADAR

-“Appartenente alla piccola nobiltà di confine tra Umbria, Toscana e Romagna..Uguccione della Faggiuola costruì la sua carriera unicamente sulla base delle sue abilità di soldato e capitano.” SCARDIGLI

-“E così in picciolo tempo a Uguccione fu mutata la fortuna, e l’una città e l’altra (Pisa e Lucca) tratta della sua tirannica signoria. Questo fu il guiderdone che l’ingrato popolo di Pisa rendé a Uguccione da Faggiuola, che gli avea vendicato di tante vergogne, e racquistate loro tutte loro castella e dignità, e rimisigli egli nel maggiore stato, e più temuti da’ loro vicini che città d’Italia.” VILLANI

-“Essere additato come il probabile destinatario della prima cantica della Commedia contribuì in maniera determinante alla fama del condottiero; tanto più che addirittura ci fu chi riconobbe in lui il misterioso veltro della profezia dantesca, quale salvifico levriero che avrebbe preso.. a morsi la lupa simbolo dell’avidità. Se l’attribuzione si rivelerà errata, figlia di una “svista” del Boccaccio, non miglior sorte patirà l’identificazione, apparsa troppo debole al vaglio degli esperti: eppure i due errori restano, al netto dei dovuti distinguo, chiari segni di quanto la gloria di Uguccione fosse marcata.. Chi lo conobbe afferma, che fu allegro il volto di lui, e che straordinaria robustezza del corpo si congiungeva in esso all’ingegno ed alle arti del favellare… La sua dipartita segnò la scomparsa di uno dei più celebri guerrieri del XIV secolo. Forte, astuto, valentissimo nel condurre la guerra, è stato capace di attrarre le lodi dei cronisti, oltre a coloro che nemici o amici ebbero a che fare con lui sul campo di battaglia. Fu in buona sostanza l’antesignano di quei capitani di ventura che da lì a poco imperverseranno nelle campagne italiane. Di essi aveva la crudeltà, il modo di guerreggiare e soprattutto quello di devastare: gli scempi compiuti dalle sue soldatesche furono tra i peggiori di quel periodo.” STAFFA

-“Non è facile formulare un giudizio, al di fuori dei suoi tempi, su Uguccione della Faggiuola, che certamente è stato.. uno dei più illustri guerrieri del secolo XIV… Forte, astuto, valentissimo nel condurre la guerra, di un valore personale quasi leggendario, di massima forza, grazie anche alla sua corporatura, ha saputo resistere a numerose gravi ferite… Nei suoi riguardi nessuno gli ha negato in generale quel coraggio e quell’ardore guerresco riconosciuto dai suoi contemporanei, ma al contrario i giudizi sulle capacità di reggimento delle città, affidate alla sua amministrazione o conquistate con la forza, non sono stati favorevoli: egli non aveva la capacità di reggere con diplomazia uno Stato ed amministrarlo con giustizia.” LENZI

-“Era  Uguccione di statura grande, e molto forte: di volto colorito: d’occhi azurri: e capelli neri.” CAPRIOLO

-“Uguicio erat Fagiolanus vir ea tempestate in primis acer; ad res militaria peritiam moderatio quaedam animi et consilium ne in pace quidem aspernandum accedebat.” BRUNI

-“Nato da gente la più abbietta ed oscura,.. di gran corporatura e di animo audace e fiero, e quanto mai bravo, e che si era acquistato fra rozzi montanari e gente faziosa per via di stragi e di misfatti un nome ed un’autorità ben grande.” COLESCHI

-“Prode, ma inumano guerriero.” BIADI

-“Negli ultimi due decenni del Duecento la sua notorietà era cresciuta va dismisura anche oltre i confini della Romagna e il suo nome veniva associato ai principali esponenti del ghibellinismo radicale, con i quali aveva condiviso anche la scomunica emanata da Bonifacio VIII. Di primo passo cresceva la fama dei suoi metodi punitivi: interi borghi dati alle fiamme, soldataglie incitate a non aver pietà delle popolazioni, delle quali veniva fatta metodicamente strage, raccolti distrutti e terreni agricoli devastati.” SPADA

-“Prode Capitano.” LIVI 

-“La falsa lettera di frate Illaro e la tradizione leggendaria raccolta anche dal Boccaccio vorrebbero che Dante pensasse di dedicare a Uguccione l’Inferno e che gli avesse trasmesso una copia completa della cantica tramite il predetto monaco. Si è anche voluto vedere in Uguccione la personificazione dell’allegoria del veltro dantesco, ma è difficile, anzi impossibile, che Dante provasse tanta stima e simpatia per un uomo così moralmente abbietto, sempre pronto a ogni misfatto, pur di saziare la sua fame di potenza, di signoria, di danaro e di sangue.” PIATTOLI

-“In vecchiaia si vanterà del suo gran mangiare. Petrarca racconta del giullare che alla corte di Cangrande alle vanterie di Uguccione ribatte che in un sol pranzo si è divorato Pisa e Lucca, quando i nemici lo hanno sorpreso a banchetto da frati lucchesi e lo hanno cacciato falle città toscane. Cronache affermano che anche le taglie della vittoria di Montecatini furono dissipate in orge.” DALL’ARA

-Con Federico da Montefeltro “Il Montefeltro e il Faggiolano sono accomunati nelle fonti coeve dall’epiteto di “volpe”, per i loro stratagemmi, verosimilmente dovuto alla loro origine comune. Lo stile di vita guerriero dei signori dell’Appennino emiliano-romagnolo è riflesso dalla loro indomabilità politica.” NARDONE

-“Uguccione fu un personaggio di massimo rilievo nell’Italia del suo tempo, tanto che Dante gli dedicherà dei versi dell’Inferno;  qui il Sommo Poeta parla di un veltro (un cane ben addestrato, probabilmente un levriero), che arrivava per la salvezza e la pacificazione d’Italia. Molti commentatori dissentono da questa tesi, ritenendo che Dante si riferisse ad una generica azione riformatrice, senza alludere ad un personaggio particolare. Il fatto però che si prenda in considerazione che il Poeta si potesse riferire alla figura di Uguccione per un’opera di tale importanza per l’Italia tutta, rende l’idea di quanto marcata fosse la fama di cui godeva questo grande condottiero.” www.lavoce.online>Cultura e Spettacolo>Storia

SPECIFIC BIOGRAPHIES

-Eugenio Lenzi. Uguccione della Faggiuola e Castruccio nel trecento toscano.

Featured image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uguccione_della_Faggiuola

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Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani è l'autore del sito Condottieri di ventura.