Cardinale Ottaviano Degli Ubaldini


“Dissemi: Qui con più di mille giaccio:
qua dentro è ‘l secondo Federico,
e ‘l Cardinale; e delli altri mi taccio”.
(Inf., X, vv. 118-120)

The “Cardinal” Octavian (1213-1272), son of Ugolino di Albizo, is the best-known character of the family, nominated by Farinata degli Uberti among the epicureans and soul deniers, together with the emperor Frederick II. Initiated to an ecclesiastical career in Bologna, he became archdeacon of the cathedral in 1234 and cardinal in 1244 by the will of Innocent IV. Apostolic legate in Lombardy, he shows an ambiguous and unusual attitude for an openly Ghibelline prelate in deference to the family tradition, he had him attributed by the ancient commentators the phrase: “si anima est, ego perdidi ipsam millies pro Gibellinis”. The unscrupulous attitudes and the suspected epicureanism obscure his memory and provoke the condemnation of Dante.
Cardinal Ottaviano was buried near Scarperia, inside the Pieve di Santa Maria a Fagna, dating back to 1018.

Photo credits: Cavaliere degli Ubaldini_MuFiS – Museo del Figurino Storico di Calenzano (FI)