Count Ugolino and Archbishop Ruggieri were friends, conspiring together to overthrow their government. However, Ruggieri had other plans. He seized
control of the city and imprisoned Ugolino with his sons and grandsons in the "tower of hunger."
There is only a slit in the wall for a window... and the solid door is nailed shut. Ugolino realizes that not only are they not ever leaving this cell, but their
jailors have no intention of feeding them.
The children, realizing the predicament, offer themselves as food for their father, saying "You gave us flesh... now take it from us!" After four days,
the children die.
By the sixth day, with nothing eaten, Count Ugolino has gone blind and emaciated from the hunger. His vision and senses blurred, he gropes over their dead
bodies, unable to see them any longer. Though they were dead, he called their names out for two days.
and.. "Then hunger proved more powerful than grief."