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From Villani, Giovanni, Selfe, Rose E., translator. Villani’s Chronicle being selections from the First Nine Books of the Croniche Fiorentine of Giovanni Villani. London: Archibald Constable & Co. LTD, 1906; pp. 414-434.


§ 45. — How the Emperor came to the city of Arezzo, and afterwards how he came towards the city of Florence.

1312 A. D.
In the said month of August, in 1312, the Emperor departed from Todi and passed through the region of Perugia, destroying and burning, and his people took by force Castiglione of Chiusi on the lake, and from there he came to Cortona, and then to Arezzo, and was received by the Aretines with great honour. And in Arezzo he assembled his army to come against the city of Florence, and suddenly departed from Arezzo and entered into the territory of Florence on the 12th day of September, and there was straightway surrendered to him the fortress of Caposelvole upon the Ambra which pertained to the Florentines. And then he pitched his camp before the fortress of Montevarchi, which was well furnished with soldiers, both horse and foot, and with victuals; against it he ordered many assaults, and caused the moats to be emptied of water, and filled up with earth. They within the city, seeing that they were so hotly assailed, and that the city had low walls, and that the horsemen of the Emperor fighting on foot, and mounting the walls on ladders, did not fear the arrows nor the stones which were thrown down, were greatly dismayed, and believing that the Florentines would not succour them, surrendered themselves on the third day to the Emperor. And when he had taken Montevarchi, without delay he came with his host to the fortress of Sangiovanni, which in like manner surrendered itself to him, and he took there seventy Catalan horsemen, in the service of the Florentines: and thus without hindrance he came to the village of Fegghine.


§ 46. — How the Florentines were well-nigh discomfited at the fortress of Ancisa by the army of the Emperor.

When the Florentines heard that the Emperor had
1312 A. D.
departed from Arezzo, immediately the people and horsemen of Florence, without awaiting other aid, rode to the fortress of Ancisa upon the Arno, and they were about 1,800 horse and many foot, and at Ancisa they encamped to hold the pass against the Emperor. And when he heard this, he came with his army to the plain of Ancisa upon the island of Arno which is called Il Mezzule, and challenged the Florentines to battle. The Florentines, knowing themselves to be in number of their horsemen not much superior to those of the Emperor, and being without a captain, did not desire to try the fortune of battle, believing that they could hinder the Emperor by reason of the difficult pass, so that he could not get through to Florence. The Emperor seeing that the Florentines were not willing to fight, by counsel of the wise men of war, refugees from Florence, took the way of the hill above Ancisa, and by narrow and difficult ways passed the fortress and came out on the side towards Florence. The host of the Florentines perceiving his movements, and fearing lest he should come to the city of Florence, some part of them with the king’s marshal and his troops departed from Ancisa, to be before him in the way. The count of Savoy, and M. Henry of Flanders, which were come before to take the pass, vigorously attacked them which were at the frontier under Montelfi, and with the advantage which they had of the hill, they put them to flight and discomfiture, and some pursued them as far as the village of Ancisa. The rout of the Florentines was more through the dismay caused by the sudden assault, than by loss of men; for 416
1312 A. D.
among them all there were not twenty-five horsemen slain, and less than one hundred footmen; and well-nigh all the foreigners which came in pursuit of them as far as the village were slain. Nevertheless, the followers of the Emperor remained victorious in the combat, and the Florentines were filled with fear; and the Emperor spent that night two miles this side of Ancisa on the way to Florence. The Florentines remained in the fortress of Ancisa, as it were besieged and with but little provision of victuals, so that, if the Emperor had been constant to the siege, the Florentines which were at Ancisa would have been well-nigh all slain or taken. But as it pleased God, the Emperor resolved that night to go direct to the city of Florence, believing that he should take it without opposition; and he left the host of the Florentines behind at Ancisa, seeing that they were in a state of siege, and in much fear, and in great disorder.

§ 47. — How the Emperor Henry encamped with his host before the city of Florence.

1312 A. D.
And thus the day following, the 19th day of September, 1312, the Emperor came with his host to the city of Florence, his followers setting fire to everything they came across; and thus he crossed the river Arno, over against where the Mensola enters it, and abode at the monastery of Santo Salvi, with perhaps 1,000 horsemen. The rest of his followers remained in Valdarno, and part at Todi, which came to him afterwards; and as they came through the region of Perugia, they were assailed by the Perugians, and defended themselves against them, and passed on with loss and shame to the Perugians. And the Emperor came thither so suddenly that the most part of the Florentines could not 417 believe that he was there in person; and they were so
1312 A. D.
dismayed and fearful about their horsemen which were left at Ancisa well-nigh discomfited, that if the Emperor and his followers, upon their sudden coming had advanced to the gates, they would have found them open and ill-guarded; and it is thought by most that the city would have been taken. The Florentines, however, beholding the burning of the houses along the way, called the people to arms by sound of bell, and with the standards of their companies they came to the piazza of the Priors, and the bishop of Florence armed himself, with the horses belonging to the clergy, and hastened to defend the Porta Santo Ambrogio and the moats; and all the people on foot were with him; and they barred the gates, and ordered the standard-bearers and their people, at their posts along the moats, to guard the city by day and by night. And within the city on that side they pitched a camp with pavilions, tents, and booths, to the intent the guard might be stronger, and made palisades along the moats of all kinds of wood, with portcullises, in a very short time. and thus abode the Florentines in great fear for two days, for their horsemen and their army were returning from Ancisa by divers ways by the vale of Robbiano, and from Santa Maria in Pianeta a Montebuoni [Impruneta] in the night season. When they came to Florence, the city was reassured; and the Lucchese sent thither in aid and defence of the city 600 horse and 3,000 foot, and the Sienese 600 horse and 2,000 foot, and they of Pistoia 100 horse and 500 foot, and they of Prato 50 horse and 400 foot, and they of Volterra 100 horse and 300 foot, and Colle and Sangimignano and Samminiato each 50 horse and 200 foot, the Bolognese 400 horse and 1,000 foot; from Romagna there came, what with 418
1312 A. D.
Rimini and Ravenna and Faenza and Cesena and the other Guelf cities, 300 horse and 1,500 foot, and from Agobbio 100 horse, and from the city of Castello 50 horse. From Perugia there came no aid, by reason of the war which they had with Todi and Spoleto. And thus within eight days of the siege being declared by the Emperor, the Florentines with their allies were more than 4,000 horse, and foot without number. The Emperor had 1,800 horsemen, whereof 800 were foreigners and 1,000 Italians, from Rome, from the March, from the Duchy, from Arezzo, and from Romagna, and from the Counts
Purg. vi.
Guidi, and them of Santafiore, and the Florentine refugees; and much people on foot, forasmuch as the country people of the region which he was occupying, all followed his camp. And that year was the most fertile and fruitful in all food which had been for thirty years past. The Emperor abode at the siege until the last day of the month of October, laying the whole country waste towards the eastern side, and did great hurt to the Florentines without any attack upon the city, being in hopes of gaining it by agreement; and even if he had attacked it, it was so well furnished with horsemen, that there would have been two or more defending the city for every one without, and of foot four to one; and the Florentines were in such good heart that the most part went about unarmed, and they kept all the other gates open, save the one on that side; and the merchandise came in and went out as if there had been no war. As to the Florentines sallying forth to battle, either by reason of cowardice or of prudence in war, or because they had no leader, they would in no wise trust to the fortune of the combat, albeit they had greatly the advantage, had they but had a good captain, and been more 419 united among themselves. Certainly they rode out to
1312 A. D.
Cerretello, whither the Pisans had marched with their army, and they forced them to withdraw from it again, as though defeated, in the month of October. The Emperor lay sick many days at San Salvi, and perceiving that he could not gain the city by agreement, and that the Florentines would not give battle, he departed, not yet recovered. [And whilst he was still at San Salvi, the count of Savoy was discoursing with the abbot and certain monks of that place, concerning the Emperor, how he had heard from his astrologers or by some other revelation, that he was to conquer as far as to the world’s end; then said the abbot smiling: “The prophecy is fulfilled, for hard by where you are dwelling, there is a road which has no exit, which is called the World’s End”; wherefore the count and the other barons which heard this were confounded in their vain hope: and for this reason, wise men ought not to put faith in any prophecy or sayings of astrologers, for they are lies and have a double meaning.]

§ 48. — How the Emperor abandoned the siege, and departed from San Salvi, and came to San Casciano, and then to Poggibonizzi.

The Emperor with his host departed on the night
1312 A. D.
before All Saints, and having burnt his camp, he passed the Arno by the way which he came, and encamped on the plain of Ema, three miles from the city. On his going the Florentines did not sally forth from the city by night, but they sounded the bells and all men stood to arms; and for this cause, as was afterwards known, the followers of the Emperor were in great trepidation about their departure, lest they should be 420
1312 A. D.
attacked by night either in front or in rear by the Florentines. The morning following, a part of the Florentines went to the hill of Santa Margherita above the camp of the Emperor, and by way of skirmishes they made many assaults upon them, in the which they had the worse; and having tarried there three days in shame, he departed and came with his host to the village of San Casciano, eight miles from the city; wherefore the Florentines caused a trench to be dug round the increase of the sesto of Oltrarno outside the ancient walls, on the first of December, 1312. And the Emperor being at San Casciano, the Pisans came thither to his aid with full 500 horse and 3,000 foot, and 1,000 archers of Genoa, and they arrived the 20th day of November. At San Casciano he abode until the 6th day of January, without making any attack upon the Florentines save incursions, and laying waste, and burning houses in the region; and he took many strongholds of the country; nor did the Florentines therefore sally forth to battle, save in incursions and skirmishes, wherein now one party and now the other suffered loss, not worthy of much mention, save that at one encounter, at Cerbaia in the Val di Pesa our troops were routed by the Germans, and one of the Spini was there slain, and one of the Bostichi, and one of the Guadagni, because of their boldness at that place; for they were of a company of volunteers, with a captain, their banner bearing a red stripe on a green field, and they called themselves the Cavaliers of the Stripe, of the most famous young men of Florence, and they did many feats of arms. But during this time, the Florentines parted from a great number of their allies and let them go; and the Emperor himself had not many followers; and by reason 421 of his long sojourn and by the discomfort of the cold,
1312 A. D.
there began in the camp at San Casciano to be great sickness and mortality among the people, which greatly infected the country, and reached as far as to Florence; for the which cause the Emperor departed with his host from San Casciano and came to Poggibonizzi, and took the strongholds of the Barberino and of San Donato in Poggio, and many other fortresses; at Poggibonizzi he restored the fortress upon the hill, as of old it was wont to be, and gave it the name of the Imperial Fortress. There he abode until the 6th day of March, and during that sojourn he was in great need of provision, and suffered much want, he and all his host, forasmuch as the Sienese on the one side, and the Florentines on the other, between them had closed the roads, and 300 soldiers of King Robert were in Colle di Valdelsa, and harassed them continually; and 200 of the Emperor’s horsemen, as they were returning from Casole, were defeated by the king’s horsemen which were in Colle, on the 14th day of February, 1312. And on the other side, the marshal with the soldiers of Florence, harassed him in Sangimignagno, so that the state of the Emperor was much diminished, and there scarce remained to him 1,000 horse, forasmuch as M. Robert of Flanders had departed with his followers, and the Florentines took him in flank at Castelfiorentino, and a great part of his men were slain or taken, and he fled with a few, albeit he had held the field well, and had given them which attacked him much to do, which were four to his one, and were much shamed thereby.

422 § 49. — How the Emperor departed from Poggibonizzi and returned to Pisa, and issued many bans against the Florentines.

1313 A. D.
Thus the Emperor perceived himself to be brought low in men and in victuals, and also in money, so that nought was left to him to spend, save only that ambassadors from King Frederick of Sicily, which landed at Pisa, and came to him at Poggibonizzi to make a league with him against King Robert, gave him 20,000 golden pistoles. When he had paid his debts with these, he departed from Poggibonizzi, and without halting came to Pisa, on the 9th day of March, 1312, in very evil plight, both he and his followers; but the Emperor Henry had this supreme virtue in him, that never in adversity was he as one cast down, nor in prosperity was he vainglorious. When the Emperor had returned to Pisa he proclaimed a great and weighty sentence against the Florentines, taking from them all jurisdiction and honours, disqualifying all the judges and notaries, and condemning the commonwealth of Florence to pay 100,000 marks of silver; and many citizens, both magnates and popolani who were in the government of Florence, he condemned in their money, and persons, and goods; and the Florentines were not to coin money in gold or in silver; and he granted to M. Ubizzino Spinoli of Genoa and to the marquis of Montferrat, the privilege of coining florins counterfeited after the impression of those of the Florentines; the which thing, by wise men, was charged against him as a great fault and sin, for however indignant and wrathful he might be against the Florentines, he ought never to have granted a privilege to coin false florins.

§ 50. — How the Emperor condemned King Robert.

423 Against King Robert he likewise proclaimed a heavy sentence, declaring his realm of Apulia and the country of Provence to be forfeit,
1313 A. D.
and himself and his heirs to be condemned in their persons as traitors against the Empire; which sentence was afterwards declared null and void by Pope John XXII. And while the Emperor was in Pisa, M. Henry of Flanders, his marshal, rode to Versilia and Lunigiana with 800 horse and 6,000 foot, and took Pietrasanta by force on the 28th day of March, 1313. The Lucchese, which were at Camaiore with the forces of the Florentines, did not venture to oppose him, but returned to Lucca; and Serrezzano, which was held by the Lucchese, surrendered to the Marquises Malispini, who held with the Emperor.

§ 51. — How the Emperor made ready to enter into the Kingdom against King Robert, and departed from Pisa.

This done, the Emperor took counsel not to encounter
1313 A. D.
the Florentines and the other Tuscans (whereby he had little bettered his state, but rather made it worse), but to bring matters to a head, and to march against King Robert with all his force and take the Kingdom from him; and if he had done this, it was believed that he would have been master of all Italy; and certainly this would have come to pass, if God had not averted it, as we shall make mention. He made a league with King Frederick, who held the island of Sicily, and with the Genoese, and ordained that each one, on the day named, should put to sea with a large fleet of armed galleys; he sent into Germany and into Lombardy for fresh troops, and made the like demands on all his subjects, and on the Ghibellines of Italy. During this sojourn in Pisa, he collected much money, and without sleeping, 424
1313 A. D.
caused his marshal continually to make war against Lucca and Samminiato, though he made but little progress. In the summer of 1313, which he passed in Pisa, after his forces were come to him, he numbered more than 2,500 foreign horsemen, for the most part Germans, and of Italians fully 1,500 horsemen. The Genoese armed at his request seventy galleys, whereof M. Lamba d’Oria was admiral, and he came with the said navy to the port of Pisa, and parleyed with the Emperor; afterwards he departed towards the kingdom to the island of Ponzo. King Frederick armed fifty galleys, and on the day named, the 5th of August, 1313, the Emperor departed from Pisa; and the same day it came to pass that King Frederick departed from Messina with his army, and with 1,000 horse, encamped in Calabria, and took the city of Reggio, and many other cities.

§ 52. — How the Emperor Henry died at Bonconvento, in the country of Siena.

When the Emperor had departed from Pisa he crossed the Elsa, and attacked Castelfiorentino, and could not take it; he went on through Poggibonizzi and Colle, as far as Siena alongside the gates. In Siena there were many folk of war, and certain Florentine horsemen sallied forth from the Cammollia Gate to skirmish, and were worsted and driven back into the city; and Siena was in great fear; and the Emperor passed by the city and encamped at Montaperti upon the Arbia; there he began to be sick, albeit his sickness had made itself felt even from his departure from Pisa; but because he would not fail to depart on the day named, he set forth on his journey. Then he went to the plain of Filetta, to bathe in the baths of Macereto, and from there he went 425 to the village of Bonconvento, twelve miles beyond
1313 A. D.
Siena. There he grew rapidly worse, and, as it pleased God, he passed from this life on the day of S. Bartholomew, the 24th day of August, 1313.

§ 53. — Relates how, when the Emperor was dead, his host was divided, and the barons carried his body to the city of Pisa.

When the Emperor Henry was dead, his host, and the Pisans, and all his friends were in great grief thereat, and the Florentines, Sienese and Lucchese and they of their league rejoiced greatly. And when he was dead, straightway the Aretines and the other Ghibellines from the March and from Romagna departed from the host at Bonconvento, wherein were great numbers of people, both on horse and on foot. His barons and the Pisan cavalry, with their followers, without delay passed through the Maremma with his body, and brought it to Pisa; there, with great sorrow and also with great honour, they buried it in their cathedral. This was the end of the Emperor Henry. And let not the reader marvel, that his story has been continued by us without recounting other things and events in Italy and in other provinces and realms; for two reasons, one, because all Christians and also Greeks and Saracens were intent upon his doings and fortunes, and therefore but few notable things came to pass in any other place; the other, that by reason of the divers and manifold great fortunes which he met withal in the short time that he lived, it is verily believed by the wise, that if death had not come so early to a lord of such valour and of such great undertakings as he was, he would have conquered the Kingdom, and taken it from King Robert, who had made but little 426
1313 A. D.
preparation for its defence. Rather was it said by many, that King Robert would not have awaited him, but would have gone by sea to Provence; and after he had conquered the Kingdom as he purposed, it would have
Par. xxx.
been very easy for him to conquer all Italy and many of the other provinces.

§ 54. — How Frederick, the said king of Sicily, came by sea to the city of Pisa. § 55. — How the Count Filipponi of Pavia was defeated at Piacenza.

§ 56. — How the Florentines gave the lordship of Florence to King Robert for five years.

In the said year 1313, whilst the Emperor was yet alive, the Florentines finding themselves in evil case, alike from the forces of the Emperor and of their own exiles, and also having dissensions among themselves from the factions which had arisen as to the filling of the magistracies, they gave themselves to King Robert for five years, and then afterwards they renewed it for three, and thus for eight years King Robert had the lordship over them, sending them a vicar every six months, and the first was M. Giacomo di Cantelmo of Provence, who came to Florence in the month of June, 1313. And the Lucchese and the Pistoians and the men of Prato did the like, in giving the lordship to King Robert. And of a surety this was the salvation of the Florentines, for reason of the great divisions among the Guelfs, if there had not been this device of the lordship of King Robert they would have been torn too pieces and destroyed by each other, and one side or the other cast out.


1313 A. D.
§ 57. — How the Spinoli were expelled from Genoa. § 58. — How Uguccione da Faggiuola, lord of Pisa, made great war against the Lucchese, so that they restored the Ghibelline refugees to Lucca under enforced terms of peace.

§ 59. — Of the death of Pope Clement.

In the year 1314, on the 20th day of April, Pope
1314 A. D.
Clement died; he was on his way to Bordeaux, in Gascony, and when he had passed the Rhone at Roquemaure, in Provence, he fell sick and died. This was a man very greedy of money, and a simoniac, which
Inf. xix.
Par. xvii.
82, xxvii.
xxx. 142-
Epist. v.
10: 167,
sold in his court every benefice for money, and was licentious; for it was openly said that he had as mistress the countess of Perigord, a most beautiful lady, daughter of the count of Foix. And he bequeathed to his nephews and family immense and boundless treasure; and it was said that while the said Pope was yet alive, one of his nephews, a cardinal, died, whom he greatly loved; and he constrained a great master of necromancy to tell him what had become of his nephew’s soul. The said master having wrought his arts, caused a chaplain of the Pope, a very courageous man, to be conducted by the demons, which led him to hell, and showed him visibly a palace wherein was a bed of glowing fire, and thereon was the soul of the said nephew which was dead, and they said to him that for his simony he was thus judged. And he saw in his vision another palace being raised over against the first, which they told him was being prepared for Pope Clement. And the said chaplain brought back these tidings to the Pope, which was never afterwards glad, and he lived but a short time longer; and when he was dead, and his body had been left for the night in a church with many lights, his coffin caught 428
1314 A. D.
fire and was burnt, and his body from the middle downwards.

§ 60. — How Uguccione da Faggiuola with the Pisans took the city of Lucca and stole the treasure of the Church. § 61. — How M. Peter, brother of King Robert, came to Florence as lord. § 62. — How King Robert went with a great armament against Sicily, and besieged the city of Trapali.

§ 63. — How the Paduans were discomfited at Vicenza by M. Cane della Scala.

Joannes de
Carmen v.

Par. xvii.
In the year 1314, in the 18th day of September, the Paduans went in full force to Vicenza, and took the suburbs, and besieged the city; but M. Cane, lord of Verona, suddenly came to Vicenza, and with a few followers fought against the Paduans; and they being in disorder, trusting themselves too much after having taken the suburbs, were discomfited, and many of them were slain and taken prisoner.

§ 64. — How the Florentines made peace with the Aretines. § 65. — How a comet appeared in the heavens.

§ 66. — Of the death of Philip, king of France, and of his sons.

In the said year 1314, in the month of November, the King Philip, king of France, which had reigned twenty-nine years, died by an ill-adventure; for, being at
Par. xix.
a chase, a wild boar ran between the legs of the horse whereupon he was riding, and caused him to fall, and shortly after he died. He was one of the most comely men in the world, and of the tallest in person, and well 429 proportioned in every limb; he was a wise man in himself, and good, after layman’s fashion, but by reason of pleasure-seeking,
1314 A. D.

Purg. vii.
109, 110.
especially in the chase, he did not devote his powers to ruling his realm, but rather allowed them to be played upon by others, so that he was generally swayed by ill counsel, to which he lent a too ready credence; whence many perils came to his realm. He left three sons, Louis, king of Navarre; Philip, count of Poitou; and Charles, Count de la Marche. All these sons one after another in a short while became kings of France, one succeeding on the death of another. And a little while before King Philip, their father, died, there fell upon them great and shameful misfortune, for the wives of all three were found to be faithless; and each one of the husbands was among the most beauteous Christians in the world. The wife of King Louis was daughter of the duke of Burgundy. Louis, when he was king of France, caused her to be strangled with a towel, and then took to wife Queen Clemence, daughter, that was, of Charles
Cf. Par.
ix. 1.
Martel, the son of Charles II., king of Apulia. The wives of the second and third sons were sisters, daughters of the count of Burgundy, and heiresses of the countess of Artois. Philip, count of Poitou, on his wife’s denial of the charge, and because he loved her much, took her again as being good and beautiful; Charles, Count de la Marche, never would take his wife back, but kept her in prison. This misfortune, it was said, befell them as a miracle by reason of the sin which prevailed in that house of taking their kinswomen to wife, not regarding degrees, or perchance because of the sin committed by their father in taking Pope Boniface, as the bishop of Sion prophesied, as we have before narrated.


1314 A. D.

1315 A. D.
§ 67. — Of the election which was made in Germany of two Emperors, one the duke of Bavaria, and the other the duke of Austria. § 68. — How Uguccione, lord of Pisa, made great war against the neighbouring places. § 69. — How King Louis of France was crowned, and led an army against the Flemings, but gained nothing.

§ 70. — How Uguccione, lord of Lucca and of Pisa, laid siege to the castle of Montecatini.

In the said year, Uguccione da Faggiuola, with his forces of German troops, being lord of all Pisa, and of Lucca, having triumphed throughout all Tuscany, brought his host and laid siege to Montecatini, in Valdinievole, which was held by the Florentines after the loss of Lucca; and, albeit it was well furnished with good men, yet by means of the siege works it was greatly straitened, and in sore want of provisions. The Florentines sent into the Kingdom for M. Philip of Taranto, brother to King Robert, to oppose the fury of Uguccione, and of the Pisans, and of the Germans; and he came to Florence on the 11th of July with 500 horsemen in the pay of the Florentines, and with his son Charles, against the will of King Robert, who knew his brother to be more headstrong than wise, and also not very fortunate in battle, but rather the contrary; and if the Florentines had been willing to tarry longer, King Robert would have sent to Florence, his son, the duke, with more order and more preparation, and a better following: but the haste of the Florentines, and the device of hostile fortune, made them desire only the prince, whence came to them thereafter much harm and loss of renown.


1315 A. D.
§ 71. — How, when the prince of Taranto was come to Florence, the Florentines sallied forth with their army to succour Montecatini, and were defeated by Uguccione della Faggiuola.

When the prince of Taranto and his son were come
Joannes de
v. 27.
to Florence, Uguccione, with all his forces from Pisa and from Lucca, and those of the bishop of Arezzo, and of the counts of Santafiore, and of all the Ghibellines of Tuscany and the exiles of Florence, with aid of the Lombards, under M. Maffeo Visconti and his sons, to the number of 2,500 and more horse, and a great number of foot, came to besiege the stronghold of Montecatini. The Florentines, in order to succour it, assembled a great host, and since they invited all their friends, there were there Bolognese, Sienese, men of Perugia and of the city of Castello, of Agobbio, and of Romagna, and of Pistoia, of Volterra, and of Prato, and of all the other Guelf and friendly cities of Tuscany, to the number, with the followers of the prince and of M. Piero, of 3,200 horse and a very great number of foot; and they departed from Florence on the 6th day of August. And when the said host of the Florentines and of the prince was come to Valdinievole, over against that of Uguccione, many days they abode face to face with the torrent of the Nievole between them, and many assaults and skirmishes took place. The Florentines, with may captains and but little order, held their enemies for nought; Uguccione and his people held theirs in great fear, and for this cause they kept strict guard and wise generalship. Uguccione, receiving tidings that the Guelfs of the territory six miles around Lucca, at the instigation of the Florentines, were marching upon Lucca, and had already routed the escort and taken 432
1315 A. D.
possession of the road whereby provisions were brought to his army, took counsel to withdraw from the siege; and by night he gathered his troops and burned his outworks, and came with his followers in battle array to the neutral ground on the plain commanded by both the two hosts, with the intention, if the prince and his host did not stretch out to intercept him, to march through and make for Pisa; and if they desired to fight, he would have the advantage of the field, and would risk the chances of battle. The prince and the Florentines and their host, perceiving this, when day broke left the camp, and moved their tents and baggage; and the prince being ill with ague, they showed but little foresight, nor kept good order in the troops, by reason of the sudden and unexpected breaking up of the camp, but they confronted the enemy, thinking to turn them to flight. Uguccione, perceiving that he could not avoid the battle, caused the outposts of the plain to be assailed (to wit, the Sienese and them of Colle and others,) by his forefighters, about 150 horse, whereof were captains with the imperial pennon, M. Giovanni Giacotti Malespini, a rebel against Florence, and Uguccione’s son; and the Sienese and men of Colle were without resistance broken up and driven back as far as the troop of M. Piero, which was with the Florentine horse. There the said forefighters were checked and well-nigh all cut off and slain, and the said M. Giovanni was left there dead, and Uguccione’s son, and their company; and the imperial pennon was cut down, with many good and brave folk.

§ 72. — More about the said battle and defeat of the Florentines and of the prince.

433 When the attack was begun, and Uguccione perceived
1315 A. D.
how sorry a figure was made by the Sienese and the men of Colle when they fled by reason of the assault of his forefighters, he straightway caused the German troop to strike in, which were 800 horse and more; and they furiously attacked the camp and the said ill-ordered host, whereof by reason of the sudden movement a great part of the horse were not fully armed, and the foot so ill ordered, that when the Germans attacked them in flank, the javelin men let their missiles fall upon our own horse, and then took to flight. And this, among others was one great cause of the rout of the Florentine host, forasmuch as the said German troop pricking forward turned them to flight with little resistance save from the troop of M. Piero and of the Florentines, which endured long, but in the end were discomfited. In this battle there died M. Piero (Susan note--???did they say before that he had another brother there beside the Prince of Taranto???), brother of King Robert, and his body was never found; and M. Carlo, son of the prince, died there, and Count Charles of Battifolle, and M. Caroccio, and M. Brasco of Aragon, constables of the Florentines, men of great valour; and of Florence were left on the field some from well-nigh all the great houses and many magnates of the people, to the number of 114 cavaliers, between slain and prisoners; and, in like manner, of the best of Siena and Perugia and Bologna, and the other cities of Tuscany and of Romagna; in which battle there were slain 2,000 men in all, of horse and foot, and there were 1,500 prisoners. The prince fled with all the rest of his followers, some towards Pistoia and some towards Fucecchio and some by the Cerbaia; wherefore, since numbers were lost in the marshes of the Guisciana, many of the aforesaid slain were drowned without stroke of sword. This lamentable discomfiture was 434
1315 A. D.
on the day of the beheading of S. John, the 29th day of August, 1315. After the said discomfiture, the stronghold of Montecatini surrendered to Uguccione, and the stronghold of Montesommano, which the Florentines held; and they which were within were allowed to go out safe and sound under conditions.


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