Thinkers differed only as Guelfs and Ghibellines, as leaning on the one side to papal, on the other to imperial supremacy.
There were Florentines and Lombards, Guelfs and Ghibellines; but even Dante had scarcely conceived of Italy as a nation, independent of the empire, inclusive of her several component commonwealths.
Accordingly, the majority of the urban nobles joined the Guelfs and were driven into exile.
Seizing the first suitable moment, he placed himself at the head of the exiled Guelfs, and restored them to Rimini.
Then, as the empire acquired fresh strength in Italy, he quietly bided his time and, on the descent of the Angevins, again assumed the leadership of the Guelfs who now had the upper hand for a long time.