Cavalcanti, Guido

, an Italian scholar of the thirteenth century, was born of one of the most illustrious and powerful families in Florence. He was a zealous Ghibelin, and became more so by marrying the daughter of Farinara Uherti, then at the head of that faction. Curso Donati, chief of the Guelphs, a man in much credit then at Florence, and the bitter personal enemy of Guido, formed a plan to assassinate him, and although Guido got notice of this, and made preparations for defence, he saved his life only by flight. The state of Florence, tired with such disgraceful dissentions, banished the chiefs of both parties. Guido was sent to Sarzana, or Serezano, where the bad air affecting his health, he obtained leave to return to Florence, and died there in 1300, of the disorder he had contracted in his exile. His father, Cavalcante de' Cavalcanti, passed for an Epicurean philosopher, and an atheist, and was therefore placed by Dante, in his Inferno, among that class of the condemned. The son, however, although likewise a philosopher, appears not to have belonged to the same sect. On one occasion, when the attempt was made to assassinate him, he made a pilgrimage to St. James of Galicia: but of this, whatever might be the motive, love was the consequence, for at Toulouse he met with his Mandetta, a lady whom he has made the subject of his love verses. His poems, elegant, correct, and occasionally tinged with a tender melancholy, consist of sonnets and canzones, and compose the sixth book of the collection of ancient Italian poets, printed by the Giuuti, 1527, 8vo, a rare book. His “Canzone d’Amore” was often printed with the comments of his countrymen, particularly at Florence, 1568, 8vo; Venice, 1585, 4to; and Sienna, 1602, 8vo. 2


Moreri.—Ginguené Hist. Litt. d’Italie.—Gen. Dict.