Ghibelline and Guelphs


These three were Ghibelline nobles.  In Dante's time, towns that had a rivalry with each other would either classify themselves Ghibelline or Guelphs.  Pisa was Ghibelline impart because they were rivals of Venice.  
Ghibelline subscribed to a doctrine of power that put temperal power at the forefront.  Guelphs subscribed to a doctrine of power that put spiritual power at the forefront.
This conflict was seen in the physical world in disagreements between people as to whether power should be placed in the church or in the state.
It was also expressed in the argument between old feudal methods of property rights and business holdings, and a push for democracy and a free market.
Dante's oppinions on these matters are expressed in his "De Monarchia."  
Source: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07056c.htm
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