"He who defended her with open face"

(Canto 10, line 93)

During the Battle of Montaperti, the Florentine Ghibellines led by Farinata joined forces with Ghibellines from other Tuscan cities and, with the help of Sicilian king Manfred's armies, crushed the Florentine Guelfs.  At a conference at Empoli afterwards, the proposition to raze Florence to the ground was accepted even by representatives of the city itself - only Farinata stood up to its defence, adamant in his opposition to such a suggestion, and thereby managed to save the city.