Bucket war | How could a wooden bucket kill 2000 people!
Throughout human history, there have been many wars and battles whose causes varied between economic and political. Human history is full of many bloody wars, wars that claimed thousands or even millions of lives, some of which lasted for years, decades, and even centuries, and the words ruin and murder have always been the main titles of all those wars, but did you hear about the war of the bucket?
In my article today, I will tell you about it, and I will try as hard as I can to reveal the true face of the story so that we can discover together how that war began, what it turned out to be, and how a bucket ignited a war and killed 2,000 people. Are you ready to embark on a new adventure in the depths of history?
Between Modena and Bologna
Under the sky of Italy, and specifically in the north, where the Emilia-Romagna region is, the two cities are located next to each other; Modena and Bologna. Modena is the capital of the province of Modena and the oldest history is known to mankind of its existence was in the third century BC. It was an ancient Roman colony that was attacked and rebuilt more than once due to its great strategic importance; It is located at a crossroads, where it is bordered by two rivers, the Soka River and the Panaro River, but they do not pass through it.
Modena also has a long history of making famous sports cars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Pagani. In addition, it is considered one of the tourist cities rich in ancient buildings and museums, the most important of which is the Luciano Pavarotti Museum, named after one of the most famous opera artists in the modern era. The museum displays a collection of memorabilia, antiques, costumes, and even some snapshots from his private life.
As for the city of Bologna, it was founded in 534 BC by the Etruscans, and in the fourth century, it was declared a Roman colony.
Bologna is distinguished by its oldest university in Europe, which was founded in 1800. The Poles have been known since antiquity for their immersion in cultural life. The city of Bologna was declared the capital of European culture in 2000. But why did two such ancient cities go to war? Was the bucket the wick for the flames of war, or was it just a rumor that found its way into everyone’s ears?
Was the bucket the spark of the first war?
Contrary to what many think, the war of the bucket did not break out because of a bucket but rather ended with it. Now imagine with me a war whose spoils are a bucket; Yes bucket!
You might now think that this bucket is probably made of gold or another precious metal like sapphire, but what if I told you it was just a simple and humble wooden bucket? What if I told you that this war also caused the deaths of more than two thousand soldiers and claimed many lives for nothing?
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, specifically in the year 1325, Italy suffered from tensions and wars frequently on its lands due to the often opposite political orientations of its people. Italy at that time was not united as we know it today, but rather consisted of separate states and provinces whose parties and factions fought conflicts, some of which continued for centuries!
The most famous of these parties were the Guelvins and the Ghibellines. What is it? What is the secret of the conflict between them?
The whole story began when a small quarrel broke out between the two neighbors, Modena and Bologna, which was growing day by day. The inhabitants of Bologna were known for their support of the Pope and the Church, and their party was called the Guilivins, while the inhabitants of the town of Modena were known to support the Emperor and their party was called the Guilibins.
But why does the first party support the pope and the other the emperor? Was the Pope’s relationship with the Roman emperors not so stable? In fact, no, this relationship was highly charged. To make the picture clearer, we will go back a little bit in history, specifically in the early ninth century, when Europe witnessed a political marriage between the Church and the Roman Empire.
Where the king or emperor had all the civil authority, which was to organize the armies and take over the reins of the country, while the Pope had the spiritual or religious authority. Neither of them interfered with the rule of the other, no matter what happened, but the matter did not remain the same with the beginning of the Middle Ages. At that time, there were many disputes between the Church and the Roman emperors, the most famous of which was the disagreement of Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII.
This dispute affected the attitudes of all people at the time. Some of them chose to side with the emperor, as the residents of the town of Modena, and some of them sided with the Pope, like the residents of Bologna, and from here the conflict between the two towns began and lasted for more than 3 whole centuries!
The beginning was with the Battle of Fossalta, which took place in 1249, in which it is said in some accounts that in this battle the inhabitants of Bologna mocked the inhabitants of Modena by throwing them with a live ass with a catapult. About a century later, specifically in 1325, another battle took place, called the Battle of Zapolino. This battle took place outside the walls of the Serravalle fortress, during which the inhabitants of Modena decided to take their share of the war. They attacked the castle and captured its Guelphs, who quickly turned against their hometown and proclaimed their loyalty to their Ghibelline captors.
This battle is considered one of the largest field clashes in the Middle Ages, as it resulted in the deaths of two thousand soldiers on the battlefield, but the story did not stop there!
Bologna, in turn, decided to take revenge on Modena and did so, so it sent its soldiers to fight them. The number of their soldiers was six times that of Modena’s. But experience overcame the number, and the crushing defeat fell to Bologna, and as they lost another frontier fortress from their castles to the soldiers of Modena, who in turn advanced towards the center of the town of Bologna and besieged it from all sides, but they did not attack it, but camped in front of the city walls and celebrated for three consecutive nights as gloating of Bologna.
Not content with this, as they were leaving, they decided not to go with their hands empty, and took with them the famous city-well bucket, to mock the inhabitants of Bologna for their use of primitive methods of obtaining water in contrast to the civilized town of Modena. The bucket was then displayed in a cathedral in Modena, and the people of Bologna have not since recovered their stolen bucket, while the bucket is kept to this day in the Ghirlandina Tower in Modena as a witness to all that happened. Meanwhile, history has recorded this war as one of the strangest wars that humanity has experienced.
The famous Italian poet Alessandro Tassoni composed in the seventeenth century a heroic epic entitled “The Stolen Bucket”, drawing all his words from the events that took place in The War of the Bucket.
Finally, have you ever visited Modena or Bologna? What do you think, dear reader, in the war of Aquarius? Do our ideological differences deserve to wage wars for them?
Bucket war | How could a wooden bucket kill 2000 people!