Dante’s Politics and The Prophecies in Hell

The following time-line is designed to acquaint you with the basics of Dante's politics. Pay particular attention to the formation of various parties. Also note how the individuals in hell foretell Dante's exile from Florence.
Diagram of Dante's Upper Hell1240 – Two loose groups of noble families wrangle for power and status by making political alliances: the Ghibellines with Frederick II of Sicily; the Guelfs with the pope and the alliance of Northern Italian cities.

1248 – Frederick and the Ghibellines banish the Guelfs from Florence.

1250 – Popolo government elected to be a neutral buffer between both parties.

1258/9 – The popolo are forced to ally with the Guelfs by Frederick II’s successor, Manfred.

Sept. 1260 – The Battle of Montaperti: the Guelfs and the popolo are defeated by Manfred and the Ghibellines.

1260 – The Ghibellines vote to raze Florence to the ground. Only Farinata, Manente degli Uberti, a predominant leader opposes the plan. [Canto 10 – Farinata]

Feb. 1266 – The Guelf resistance defeats and kills Manfred

1267 – Ghibellines exiled from Florence; A Guelf-independent state created. Guelfs quickly divide into White and Black factions.

ca. 1280-1290 – Rise of the twelve professional guilds to power in Florence.

1292 – The Twelve Guilds form a central, republican government in hopes of addressing the factional divisions.

1295 – Giano della Bella, the leader of the guilds, falls from power.

1295 – Dante enters political life of Florence as a member of the popolo.

1300 – Dante, as a White Guelf, is elected one of the city’s seven priors. The Whites exile the Black Guelfs [Canto 6. 55-73; Ciacco]

1301-1302 – Dante travels with a diplomatic mission to Rome to seek an audience with Pope Boniface VIII

1302 – The Black Guelf party, supported by Boniface VIII, comes to power and banishes the White Guelfs. Dante and the others are accused of political graft. They cannot return under penalty of death. Dante never returns to Florence. [Canto 10.20ff]
[15.55-72 – Brunetto Latini; 25.40-49 – Vanni Fucci of Pistoria]