Guido refused. The plot ripened suddenly on
the occasion of the marriage of astorre with
lavinia Colonna, at midsummer 1500. The
festival began and lasted several days amid
gloomy forebodings. Varano fed and encouraged them with devilish ingenuity: he worked
upon Grifone by the prospect of undivided
authority, and by stories of an imaginary intrigue of his wife Zenobia with Gianpaolo.
finally each conspirator was provided with a
victim. (The Baglioni lived all of them in separate houses, mostly on the site of the present
castle.) Each received fifteen of the bravos at
The root of the kingdom is in the state. The
root of the state is in the family. The root of
the family is in the person of its head.
—Mencius, c. 320 BC
hand; the remainder were set on the watch.
during the night of July 15, the doors were
forced, and Guido, astorre, Simonetto, and
Gismondo were murdered; the others succeeded in escaping.
as the corpse of astorre lay by that of
Simonetto in the street, the spectators, “and
especially the foreign students,” compared
him to an ancient Roman, so great and imposing did he seem. in the features of Simonetto could still be traced the audacity and
defiance which death itself had not tamed.
The victors went round among the friends of
the family and did their best to recommend
themselves; they found all in tears and preparing to leave for the country. meantime the
escaped Baglioni collected forces without the
city, and on the following day forced their way
in, Gianpaolo at their head, and speedily found
adherents among others whom Barciglia had
been threatening with death. When Grifone
fell into their hands near Sant’ Ercolano, Gianpaolo handed him over for execution to his followers. Barciglia and Penna fled to Varano, the
chief author of the tragedy, at Camerino; and
in a moment, almost without loss, Gianpaolo
became master of the city.
The cathedral, in the immediate neighborhood of which the greater part of this tragedy
had been enacted, was washed with wine and
consecrated afresh. The triumphal arch, erected
for the wedding, still remained standing, painted with the deeds of astorre.
a legendary history, which is simply the
reflection of these atrocities, arose out of the
early days of the Baglioni. all the members of
this family from the beginning were reported
to have died an evil death—twenty-seven
on one occasion together; their houses were
said to have been once before levelled to the
ground, and the streets of Perugia paved with
the bricks—and more of the same kind. Under
Pope Paul iii, the destruction of their palaces
really took place.
for a time they seemed to have formed
good resolutions, to have brought their own party into order, and to have protected the public
officials against the arbitrary acts of the nobility.
But the old curse broke out again like a smoldering fire. in 1520 Gianpaolo was enticed to
Rome under Pope leo x, and there beheaded;
one of his sons, Orazio, who ruled in Perugia for
a short time only, and by the most violent means,
as the partisan of the duke of Urbino (himself
threatened by the pope), once more repeated in
his own family the horrors of the past. His uncle
and three cousins were murdered, whereupon
the duke sent him word that enough had been
done. His brother, malatesta Baglione, the florentine general, has made himself immortal by
the treason of 1530, and malatesta’s son Ridolfo,
the last of the house, attained, by the murder
of the legate and the public officers in the year
1534, a brief but sanguinary authority.
Jacob Burckhardt, from The Civilization of the
Renaissance in italy.The height of the Baglioni family’s
influence in Perugia was roughly contemporaneous
with that of the Sforzas in Milan and the Medicis in
Florence—the former ruled by Ludovico from 1494 to
1498 and the latter by Lorenzo from 1469 to 1492.
Among the first great historians of culture and art,
Burckhardt published The age of Constantine in
1852 and The Civilization of the Renaissance in
italy in 1860. He died in his native Basel at the age
of seventy-nine in 1897.