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His own statement in the "Paradiso" (xxii, 112-117) that he was born when the sun was in Gemini, fixes his birthday between 18 May and 17 June.
On 10 March, together with fifteen others, he was further condemned, as contumacious, to be burned to death, should he ever come into the power of the Commune.
Florence was in a disastrous condition, the ruling Guelph party having split into two factions, known as Bianchi and Neri, "Whites" and "Blacks", which were led by Vieri de' Cerchi and Corso Donati, respectively.
Roughly speaking, the Bianchi were the constitutional party, supporting the burgher government and the Ordinances of Justice; the Neri, at once more turbulent and more aristocratic, relied on the support of the populace, and were strengthened by the favour of the pope, who disliked and mistrusted the recent developments of the democratic policy of the republic.
Its resemblance to the chivalrous worship that the troubadours offered to married women is merely superficial.
The book is dedicated to the Florentine poet, Guido Cavalcanti, whom Dante calls "the first of my friends", and ends with the promise of writing concerning Beatrice "what has never before been written of any woman".