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The War of the Bucket or the War of the Oaken Bucket was a war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. It took place in the northern Italian municipality of Emilia-Romagna, which was then Bolognese territory. The two city states engaged in battle at the Battle of Zappolino, where the Modenese hammered the Bolognese, though losses were about equal on both sides, with a total loss of 2,000 men. The war was a decisive Modenese victory over the Bolognese, and the bucket remained in Modenese hands. After the Battle of Campaldino in 1289, the Ghibellines made a great comeback.
In 1176, Frederick Barbarossa was defeated at the Battle of Legnano by the Lombard League, which was a league that supported Pope Alexander III. This was the start of a long period in Medieval Italy, known as the Guelphs and Ghibellines. From that year, the two opposing factions warred with each other. The town of Modena was a staunch supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, and pledged to be a Ghibelline city. The northern city of Bologna was a Guelph city, and it was led by the Popes because of its support for them. When a couple of Modenese soldiers sneaked into Bologna's town centre, they stole a civic bucket filled with loot and returned to Modena. The humiliated Bolognese declared war on Modena.
Battle of Zappolino 
Pope John XXII led the Bolognese, due to being the headman of the Guelphs. He attacked Passerino Bonacolsi's troops near Zappolino. He had 2,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry on the battlefield. Bonacolsi had about 2,000 cavalry and 5,000 infantry opposed to Pope John's Army. Zappolino in the modern-day Province of Bologna, and it was fought on Bolognese soil. The two forces both engaged in battle, and both sides together lost 2,000 men. The Modenese won the battle, and thus they were able to keep the bucket and the ability to remain a Ghibelline state. The story of the Battle of Zappolino was recorded in Alessandro Tassoni's poem La Secchia Rapita. Bologna was destroyed, and Ghibelline power had made a drastic rise.
The Bucket was stored in the Torre della Ghirlandina, in Modena, where it stays today. After the war, Ghibelline power had risen up more, but the wars weren't over. In 1447, the Ghibellines had encountered failures when the Ambrosian Republic was created and broke down. The wars of the Guelphs and Ghibellines would continue until the year 1529, when Charles I of Spain seized Imperial power in Italy during the Italian Wars. The two sides had to break it apart, and they went to peace with each other.
- ^ Saul, David: War: From Ancient Egypt to Iraq""