The period we have briefly traversed was immortalized by Dante in an epic which from one point of view might be called the poem of the Guelphs and Ghibellines.
He was a man of wide literary, historical and artistic culture, a Dante student, and the author of several books and articles on social questions, the conditions of Sicily, foreign affairs, etc.; his Lettere dall'Albania are deservedly appreciated, and his geographical studies led to his being elected president of the Italian geographical society.
Among others we may mention the Palazzo Vecchio, formerly the seat of the government of the Republic and now the town hall, the Palazzo Riccardi, the residence of the Medici and now the prefecture, the palaces of the Strozzi, Antinori (one of the most perfect specimens of Florentine quattrocento architecture), Corsini, Davanzati, Pitti (the royal palace), 4c. The palace of the Arte della Lana or gild of wool merchants, tastefully and intelligently restored, is the headquarters of the Dante Society.
More than five centuries later (1320) Dante became the guest of Guido Novello di Polenta, lord of Ravenna, and here he died on the 14th September of the following year.
Liszt's masterpiece in orchestral music is the Dante Symphony (1847-1855), the subject of which was particularly well suited to his temperament, and offered good chances for the display of his peculiar powers as a master of instrumental effect.
From the astronomers the Stoics borrowed their picture of the universe - a plenum in the form of a series of layers or concentric rings, first the elements, then the planetary and stellar spheres, massed round the earth as centre - a picture which dominated the imagination of men from the days of Eudoxus down to those of Dante or even Copernicus.
In view of this, it is curious that Dante should place him in Paradise at the side of Aquinas and Isidore of Seville.
On the political storms which shook his country and drove him from one employment to another, he seems to have looked not with the passionate participation of a Dante or a Michelangelo but rather with the serene detachment of a Goethe.
He is well known to Dante students by his Dante; Life and Works (1891), and to the study of Italian history he has contributed Guelphs and Ghibellines (1903).
On the 1st of November Charles reached Florence, promising to respect its laws; but he permitted Corso Donati and his friends to attack the Bianchi, and the new podestd,Cante dei Gabrielli of Gubbio, who had come with Charles, punished many of that faction; among those whom he exiled was the poet Dante (1302).