The DVX in DXV - A Verona AAR (MEIOU 5.3.1)
Un cinquecento diece e cinque,
Messo di Dio, anciderą la fuia
Con quel gigante che con lei delinque.
(Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, Canto XXXIII)
More or less 700 years ago, a man named Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri was sentenced to exile by the political authorities of Florence, a city in which the factions of the Guelfi, supporters of the Papacy, and the Ghibellini, supporters of the Empire, used every means possible to rise to power, means that included exile of the rivals as well as murder and civil warfare. Obviously, he turned out to be the man who gave us the Comedy, a poem that soon earned the epithet of Divine due to its absolute perfection. But in between the detailed descriptions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, and the theological and philosophical arguments that came natural with a poem that had the afterlife as its subject, Durante (simply known, even in his time, as Dante) also expressed his anger against the political and religious establishment quite clearly in his verses, as fit to a man that had been exiled from the city in which he lived his whole life, going as far as putting several well-known political figures of his time in Hell. But, sometimes, he was not that explicit: in particular, the Purgatorio features three verses that have as their subject the rise to power of a five-hundred ten and five, god-sent, that will slay the beast, with that giant with whom it commits crimes. Almost everyone views in the beast and the giant allegories for both Papacy and Empire, but the numeric allegory given to us by Dante has caused many a scholar to bang his head against the poet's work. Many of them see in these lines Heinrich VII of Luxembourg, but in the past some claimed that the man in question was Cangrande della Scala: five-hundred, ten and five, if written down in Roman numerals, look like DXV, that stands both for DVX (Dux, commander in Latin) and for Dux Scaligerus Veronensis, Veronese commander of the della Scala. For the sake of this AAR, i decided to take this interpretation as true: in the start date, the leader of Verona is Cangrande II della Scala - he has the same name of his ancestor. A sign of destiny?
Dante viewed in the DXV the man who would bring peace to war-torn Italy by reasserting the rule of the Empire over its territories. He was really delusional about the real power of the Sacrum Romanorum Imperium, I know. But I will make Dante's dream come true, and bring the rule of the della Scala to the Empire, and the rule of the Empire to Italy. At least, what Dante thought Italy was: basically, all the lands in which the Comuni were. So, no islands, no Naples, no Papacy, no Genoa, no Piedmont, no Venice.
Stay tuned, update coming soon.