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 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.’
- ‘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- ‘On encountering its full force, he commented: ‘The Guelfs and Ghibellines had been replaced by rival schools of art historians.’’
From Italian Ghibellino, perhaps from German Waiblingen, an estate belonging to Hohenstaufen emperors.
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