"Tuscan Aristocrat and military leader who believed that the soul dies with the body, denying life after death. He was condemned as a Heretic for his beliefs."
Farinata degli Uberti was a Florentine aristocrat and military leader, a member of the Ghibelline faction. He managed to defeat the Ghibelline archenemy, the Guelphs, and capture the city of Florence from them. However, he forbade the Ghibellines from destroying the city, even going so far as to offer to fight against his fellow Ghibellines to protect it. His ironic yet ardent loyalty to Florence protected the city from total destruction at the hands of the Ghibellines.
After the death of Farinata and his wife, their bodies were exhumed and tried for heresy by an Italian subset of the Inquisition (in these times, corpses could be dug up, charged and convicted of this crime). This inquisition claimed that Uberti denied the concept of life after death in following with the teachings of Epicurus, believing that the soul died with the body. As such, Uberti felt that life should be enjoyed and indulged himself in fine foods and drink. For this impiety, the couple's bodies were burned to ash.
- In The Inferno, as Dante and Virgil make their way past the fiery tombs of Dis, Farinata degli Uberti rises from one of the open tombs. He and Dante then talk before Dante moves on to the seventh circle.
- Farinata also appeared in the animated epic as an eight foot deformed shade wreathed in flames. He told Dante that while the Damned could not see the present, they could foresee the future (which he also divulged to Dante in the poem). Farinata then mocked Dante, telling him that in his future Beatrice will be wed to Lucifer while he will be damned forever. Dante simply stabbed Farinata in the eye with his cross, causing the heretic to vanish in a fiery flash. Once he was gone, Dante remarked, "I never liked him."
- In history, Farinata's daughter was married to the son of another damned soul, Cavalcante de Cavalcanti, who is also found in Hell in the circle of Heresy (the burning tombs of both men are placed side by side).
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