Rienzi obtained aid from Louis of Hungary and others, and on the 20th of November his forces defeated the nobles in a battle just outside the gates of Rome, a battle in which the tribune himself took no part, but in which his most distinguished foe, Stephen Colonna, was killed.
Emerging from his solitude Rienzi journeyed to Prague, which he reached in July 1350, and threw himself upon the protection of the emperor Charles IV.
At Avignon, where he appeared in August 1352, Rienzi was tried by three cardinals, and was sentenced to death, but this judgment was not carried out, and he remained in prison in spite of appeals from Petrarch for his release.
Giving him the title of senator, he sent him to Italy with the legate, Cardinal Albornoz, and having collected a few mercenary troops on the way, Rienzi entered Rome in August 13 54.
Rienzi attempted to address them, but the building in which he stood was fired, and while trying to escape in disguise he was murdered by the mob.