Monday, 13 July 2009
Dante Alighieri became one of Italy's most famous poets with his composition of the Divine Comedy.
In his youth he was a member of the Guelph party in Florence and fought as part of the avant garde at Campaldino.
Soon after, the victorious Guelphs split into two parties - the Blacks and the Whites - and eventually Dante was exiled.
When Henry of Luxembourg travelled to Italy to be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, Dante wrote to him, demanding that the Black Guelphs ruling in Florence be removed. Henry did besiege Florence but Dante is thought to have left Henry's army, possibly to avoid attacking his home.
Wikipedia covers Dante's life in more detail:
You can read a roughly contemporary account of his life in Giovanni Villani's Chronicle
This is my figure of Dante (the one on the right of the photo).
The flag carried by his companion is the banner of Guelph Florence. The original flag, as later carried by Ghibelline exiles, had the colours reversed.
Figures are 15mm Mirliton.