One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of one of the two great political factions in Italian medieval politics, traditionally supporting the Holy Roman emperor against the Pope and his supporters, the Guelphs.
- ‘The Italian nation was split between the Guelf party, who theoretically supported Papal supremacy, and the Ghibellines, who backed the Emperor.’
- ‘Since the early thirteenth century two great factions, the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, had competed for control of Florence.’
- ‘On encountering its full force, he commented: ‘The Guelfs and Ghibellines had been replaced by rival schools of art historians.’’
- ‘The Italians fought endless civic wars under the banner of Guelph or Ghibelline, Pope or Empire, but they were little more than pretexts for strife.’
- ‘Monaco's recorded history began in 1215 when the Ghibellines of Genoa, led by Fulco del Cassello, colonized it after receiving sovereignty over the area from Emperor Henry VI.’
From Italian Ghibellino, perhaps from German Waiblingen, an estate belonging to Hohenstaufen emperors.
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