Cante dei Gabrielli

Cante dei Gabrielli di Gubbio (c. 1260 – c. 1335) was an Italian nobleman and condottiero.

Cante de' Gabrielli da Gubbio
Lord of Gubbio, Podestà of Florence
A Condottiere by Frederic Leighton.jpg
Gubbio, Papal States
Gubbio, Papal States
Noble familyGabrielli di Gubbio


Cante was born in Gubbio to a powerful Guelph feudal family. He held several high offices as Podestà in a number of cities in Tuscany and Umbria (Florence, Pistoia, Siena, Lucca, Orvieto) and was lord of Gubbio, Cantiano and other castles. In 1317 he was appointed by Pope John XXII as Commander-in-Chief of the Church's army, at the head of which he defeated the Ghibellines at Assisi and Urbino, thus re-establishing the Pope's supremacy in central Italy.

He is mostly famous for having exiled from Florence Dante Alighieri, the famous poet, while serving as Podestà of that city (13011302). Dante took vengeance on him by giving Cante's disguised name to Rubicante, one of the Malebranche demons the poet encounters in the bolgia of barratry, as described in his masterwork the Divine Comedy (Inf. XXI vv. 118-123).[1]

Over the centuries, literati have recognized that Dante's condemnation to exile was the necessary catalyst for what is today regarded as the pre-eminent work in Italian literature, the most important poem of the Middle Ages, and one of the greatest works of world literature.[2][3] Along this line, in 1874 Giosuè Carducci addressed a sonnet to Cante de' Gabrielli, acknowledging his role as the main responsible for Dante's inspiration (A Messer Cante Gabrielli da Gubbio, Podestà di Firenze nel MCCCI).[4]

In the domain of visual arts, Frederic Leighton was reportedly inspired by Cante dei Gabrielli's life when he painted his Condottiere (1871-1872), today at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.[5]


  1. ^ Laurenzi, Fortunato (1931). Ermetica ed Ermeneutica Dantesca. Città di Castello: Scipione Lapi.
  2. ^ Bloom, Harold (1994). The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  3. ^ Raffa, Guy P. (2009). The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the Divine Comedy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  4. ^ Carducci, Giosuè (1882). Giambi ed Epodi. Bologna: Zanichelli.
  5. ^ "A condottiere, by Lord Frederic Leighton".

See alsoEdit


  • Daniel E. Bornstein. Dino Compagni's Chronicle of Florence. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvanya Press, 1986
  • Thomas Caldecot Chubb. Dante and his world. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1966
  • William Anderson. Dante the maker. Brooklyn, NY: S4N Books, 2010