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Manfred: Ante-Purgatory, Purgatorio 3
A handsome, warrior-like nobleman, Manfred (c. 1232-66) is the illegitimate son of the emperor Frederick II, who is listed among the heretics in Inferno 10. Raised in the cosmopolitan Hohenstaufen court in Sicily, Manfred knew several languages (including Hebrew and Arabic) and was a poet and musician as well as a patron of arts and letters (e.g., the "Sicilian School" of poetry). Dante praises both him and Frederick as exemplary rulers for their noble, refined character (De vulgari eloquentia 1.12.4). Manfred also authored a document, "Manifesto to the Roman People" (May 24, 1265), that advances a political philosophy not unlike Dante's. Following the death of his father, and later his half-brother (Conrad IV), Manfred assumed power and had himself crowned King of Sicily in 1258. His political successes were perhaps not unrelated to the "horrible sins" to which he now alludes.

"Orribil furon li peccati miei" (3.121)
He was alleged by some to have murdered his father, half-brother, and two nephews, and to have tried to assassinate the heir to the throne (his nephew Conradin). Allied with the ghibelline cause (he helped defeat the guelphs at Montaperti in 1260), Manfred was certainly no friend of the papacy: he was twice excommunicated, first by Alexander IV in 1258 and then by Urban IV in 1261. So abhorrent was Manfred to popes of the period (they considered him a "Saracen" and "infidel") that they declared a crusade and sent an army under the command of Charles I of Anjou to defeat him. His troops vastly outnumbered, Manfred was betrayed by some of his own men and killed in battle at Benevento (southern Italy) on February 26, 1266. He now shows Dante his battle scars (an eye-brow split by a sword-stroke and a wound on his chest) and relates the fate of his poor body. An excommunicate, Manfred was refused burial in sacred ground and left on the battlefield, but, the legend goes, each enemy soldier as he passed by placed a stone on the grave. Later, according to Dante's version, the Archbishop of Cosenza, at the behest of Pope Clement IV, had Manfred's bones disinterred and cast outside the kingdom onto the banks of the river Verde (3.124-32). The excommunicates, Manfred informs Dante, must wait in Ante-Purgatory thirty times the length of their period of excommunication, unless the sentence is shortened by prayers of the living (3.136-41).