Feuding Families/Quotes

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Of the Donati family there was a rich widow who had a daughter of exquisite beauty, for whom, in her own mind, she had fixed upon Buondelmonti, a young gentleman, the head of the Buondelmonti family, as her husband; but either from negligence, or, because she thought it might be accomplished at any time, she had not made known her intention, when it happened that the cavalier betrothed himself to a maiden of the Amidei family. This grieved the Donati widow exceedingly; but she hoped, with her daughter's beauty, to disturb the arrangement before the celebration of the marriage; and from an upper apartment, seeing Buondelmonti approach her house alone, she descended, and as he was passing she said to him, «I am glad to learn you have chosen a wife, although I had reserved my daughter for you»; and, pushing the door open, presented her to his view. The cavalier, seeing the beauty of the girl, which was very uncommon, and considering the nobility of her blood, and her portion not being inferior to that of the lady whom he had chosen, became inflamed with such an ardent desire to possess her, that, not thinking of the promise given, or the injury he committed in breaking it, or of the evils which his breach of faith might bring upon himself, said, «Since you have reserved her for me, I should be very ungrateful indeed to refuse her, being yet at liberty to choose»; and without any delay married her. As soon as the fact became known, the Amidei and the Uberti, whose families were allied, were filled with rage, and having assembled with many others, connections of the parties, they concluded that the injury could not be tolerated without disgrace, and that the only vengeance proportionate to the enormity of the offense would be to put Buondelmonti to death. And although some took into consideration the evils that might ensue upon it, Mosca Lamberti said, that those who talk of many things effect nothing, using that trite and common adage, Com fatta capo ha. Thereupon, they appointed to the execution of the murder Mosca himself, Stiatti Uberti, Lambertuccio Amidei, and Oderigo Fifanti, who, on the morning of Easter day, concealed themselves in a house of the Amidei, situate between the old bridge and St. Stephen's, and as Buondelmonti was passing upon a white horse, thinking it as easy a matter to forget an injury as reject an alliance, he was attacked by them at the foot of the bridge, and slain close by a statue of Mars. This murder divided the whole city; one party espousing the cause of the Buondelmonti, the other that of the Uberti; and as these families possessed men and means of defense, they contended with each other for many years, without one being able to destroy the other.
Florence continued in these troubles till the time of Frederick II., who, being king of Naples, endeavored to strengthen himself against the church; and, to give greater stability to his power in Tuscany, favored the Uberti and their followers, who, with his assistance, expelled the Buondelmonti ; thus our city, as all the rest of Italy had long time been, became divided into Guelphs and Ghibellines; and as it will not be superfluous, I shall record the names of the families which took part with each faction. Those who adopted the cause of the Guelphs were the Buondelmonti, Nerli, Rossi, Frescobaldi, Mozzi, Bardi, Pulci, Gherardini, Foraboschi, Bagnesi, Guidalotti, Sacchetti, Manieri, Lucardesi, Chiaramontesi, Compiobbesi, Cavalcanti, Giandonati, Gianfigliazzi, Scali, Gualterotti, Importuni, Bostichi, Tornaquinci, Vecchietti, Tosinghi, Arrigucci, Agli, Sizi, Adimari, Visdomini, Donati, Pazzi, della Bella, Ardinghi, Tedaldi, Cerchi. Of the Ghibelline faction were the Uberti, Manelli, Ubriachi, Fifanti, Amidei, Infangati, Malespini, Scolari, Guidi, Galli, Cappiardi, Lamberti, Soldanieri, Cipriani, Toschi, Amieri, Palermini, Migliorelli, Pigli, Barucci, Cattani, Agolanti, Brunelleschi, Caponsacchi, Elisei, Abati, Tidaldini, Giuochi, and Galigai. Besides the noble families on each side above enumerated, each party was joined by many of the higher ranks of the people, so that the whole city was corrupted with this division.

Niccolo Machiavelli, History of Florence [1] p.49-50

  The Cerchi and the Donati were, for riches, nobility, and the number and influence of their followers, perhaps the two most distinguished families in Florence. Being neighbors, both in the city and the country, there had arisen between them some slight displeasure, which, however, had not occasioned an open quarrel, and perhaps never would have produced any serious effect if the malignant humors had not been increased by new causes. Among the first families of Pistoia was the Cancellieri. It happened that Lore, son of Gulielmo, and Geri, son of Bertacca, both of this family, playing together, and coming to words, Geri was slightly wounded by Lore. This displeased Gulielmo and, designing by a suitable apology to remove all cause of further animosity, he ordered his son to go to the house of he father of the youth whom he had wounded and ask pardon. Lore obeyed his father; but this act of virtue failed to soften the cruel mind of Bertacca, and having caused Lore to be seized, in order to add the greatest indignity to his brutal act, he ordered his servants to chop off the youth's hand upon a block used for cutting meat upon, and then said to him, «Go to thy father, and tell him that sword wounds are cured with iron and not with words.»
The unfeeling barbarity of this act so greatly exasperated Gulielmo that he ordered his people to take arms for his revenge. Bertacca prepared for his defense, and not only that family, but the whole city of Pistoia, became divided. And as the Cancellieri were descended from a Cancelliere who had had two wives, of whom one was called Bianca (white), one party was named by those who were descended from her BIANCA; and the other, by way of greater distinction, was called NERA (black). Much and long continued strife took place between the two, attended with the death of many men and the destruction, of much property and not being able to effect a union among themselves, but weary of the evil, and anxious either to bring it to an end, or, by engaging others in their quarrel, increase it, they came to Florence, where the Neri, on account of their familiarity with the Donati, were favored by Corso, the head of that family; and on this account the Bianchi, that they might have a powerful head to defend them against the Donati, had recourse to Veri de Cerchi, a man in no respect inferior to Corso.
  This quarrel, and the parties in it, brought from Pistoia, increased the old animosity between the Cerchi and the Donati, and it was already so manifest, that the Priors and all well-disposed men were in hourly apprehension of its "breaking out, and causing a division of the whole city.
[….] the rage of the parties increased to such a degree, that any trivial accident seemed sufficient to make it burst forth, as indeed presently happened.
  It was in the month of May, during which, and upon holidays, it is the custom of Florence to hold festivals and public rejoicings throughout the city. Some youths of the Donati family, with their friends, upon horseback, were standing near the church of the Holy Trinity to look at a party of ladies who were dancing; thither also came some of the Cerchi, like the Donati, accompanied with many of the nobility, and, not knowing that the Donati were before them, pushed their horses and jostled them; thereupon the Donati, thinking themselves insulted, drew their swords, nor were the Cerchi at all backward to do the same, and not till after the interchange of many wounds, they separated. This disturbance was the beginning of great evils; for the whole city became divided, the people as well as the nobility, and the parties took the names of the Bianchi and the Neri. The Cerchi were at the head of the Bianchi faction, to which adhered the Adimari, the Abati, a part of the Tosinghi, of the Bardi, of the Rossi, of the Frescobaldi, of the Nerli, and of the Manelli; all the Mozzi, the Scali, Gherardini, Cavalcanti, Malespini, Bostichi, Giandonati, Vecchietti, and Arrigucci. To these were joined many families of the people, and all the Ghibellines then in Florence, so that their great numbers gave them almost the entire government of the city.
  The Donati, at the head of whom was Corso, joined the Nera party, to which also adhered those members of the above-named families who did not take part with the Bianchi; and besides these, the whole of the Pazzi, the Bisdomini, Manieri, Bagnesi, Tornaquinci, Spini, Buondelmonti, Gianfigliazzi, and the Brunelleschi Nor did the evil confine itself to the city alone, for the whole country was divided upon it, so that the Captains of the Six Parts, and whoever were attached to the Guelphic party or the well-being of the republic, were very much afraid that this new division would occasion the destruction of the city, and give new life to the Ghibelline faction. They, The Donati, at the head of whom was Corso, joined the Nera party, to which also adhered those members of the above-named families who did not take part with the Bianchi; and besides these, the whole of the Pazzi, the Bisdomini, Manieri, Bagnesi, Tornaquinci, Spini, Buondelmonti, Gianfigliazzi, and the Brunelleschi Nor did the evil confine itself to the city alone, for the whole country was divided upon it, so that the Captains of the Six Parts, and whoever were attached to the Guelphic party or the well-being of the republic, were very much afraid that this new division would occasion the destruction of the city, and give new life to the Ghibelline faction.

Niccolo Machiavelli, History of Florence [2] p.65-66

"Actually, I could not care less if you lived or died. My grandfather, however, felt differently."
- Kurai Yume, upon settling a blood-debt

Flavor Text from Rogue Trader sourcebook Into The Storm


TONY: Three Korean women met and married Marines in Seoul at roughly the same time. Two of them are dead. Our prime suspect was locked up here when the third went missing. Think it’s a racial thing?
MCGEE: No. Definitely do not think that it’s a hate crime. In my experience there’s only one color in the Marines.
ZIVA: From what I’ve seen of your Marine Corps it’s very ethnically diverse.
TONY: He means green, Ziva, and I think he’s right.
MCGEE: Well maybe it’s a… maybe it’s a Korean thing. Maybe something in their past.
TONY: Like some kind of blood feud. Competing villages, ancient oaths, revenge from across the ocean.
ZIVA: This is not one of your stupid action movies, Tony.

TONY: No it isn’t. If it was you’d be dressed differently.
NCIS, Light Sleeper.