Name: Ugolino della Gherardesca

Death Date: 1289

Description: Powerful nobleman from an elite Ghibelline family, Ugolino became the leader of the Guelf government of Pisa in the 1280s. He ceded some of Pisa's castles to Florence and Lucca in order to avoid a war, an action later seen as treason. In 1288 the Ghibelline Archbishop Ruggieri of Pisa took over the government. Overturning earlier agreements, he imprisoned Ugolino with two sons and two grandsons in a tower where they were kept for several months until the door was nailed up, and they were left to starve to death.