"Farinata and Tegghiaio, once so worthy, Jacopo Rusticucci, Arrigo, and Mosca"

Farinata degli Uberti
Public DomainFarinata degli Uberti - Credit: Andrea del Castagno

(Canto 6, lines 79-80)

Farinata, real name Manente di Iacopo degli Uberti, was the leader of Florence's Ghibelline faction from 1239. In 1248, he banished the Guelfs from the city, but in 1251, after the death the preceding year of the Ghibelline-friendly emperor Frederick II, the Guelfs made it back into the city and eventually achieved power. Most leading Ghibellines, including the Uberti family, were banished from the city in 1258. Farinata fled to Siena, from where he secured the support of Sicilian king Manfredi. In 1260, after a decisive victory over the Guelfs at the Battle of Montaperti, he could return to Florence and assumed power again. At this junction, most Ghibellines were in favour of razing Florence to the ground, which he, unsupported, managed to prevent. Farinata died in 1264, after which the Guelfs again rose to prominence and posthumously condemned him as an heretic. In Canto 10 of the Inferno, he is shown being punished for his heresy in the sixth circle of Hell.

Tegghiaio, full name Tegghiaio Aldobrandi degli Adimari, was an important figurehead of the Florentine Guelf party. In 1238, he assumed an official position in San Gimignano, where he managed to resolve a conflict with the city of Volterra; from 1256 he served in Arezzo. He was one of the leading Guelf commanders during the war of 1260 and died before 1266. In Canto 16 of Inferno, he is punished for sodomy in the seventh circle.

Jacopo Rusticucci was a wealthy Florentian belonging to Cavalcanti's Guelf faction, achieving an important official position in 1254. Together with Tegghiaio, he managed to achieve relative peace between Florence and other Tuscan cities. He is portrayed together with Tegghiaio in Canto 16.

Mosca belonged to the Ghibelline Lamberti family and was born in the late 12th century. He held official positions in Florence, Viterbo and Todi. During the 1229-1235 years of war between Florence and Siena, he was Florence's military commander. In 1242 he assumed office in Reggio, where he died the following year. In the incident that became known as the legendary origin of Guelf-Ghibelline factional fighting in Florence, the killing of a youth named Buondelmonte in 1215, he was a primary instigator, and is therefore punished in the eighth circle of hell in the Comedy.

Nothing is known about the Arrigo mentioned here, but since he is mentioned together with Mosca, commentators have guessed that he belonged to the Fifanti family and participated in the 1215 killing of Buondelmonte. Some believe that he is Arrigo di Cascia, who like Tegghiaio and Rusticucci was instrumental in achieving peace between Volterra and San Gimignano, since he is mentioned in conjunction with them.