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The Ghibelline faction was a Human group that formed in Earth's history, around the 12th and 13th centuries. The Ghibellines were supporters of the political and religious power of the Holy Roman Empire, in direct rivalry to the Guelph supporters of the rule of the Pope of the Catholic Church. Numerous conflicts arose, including periods of open warfare regarding this difference in ideology.

When J.M. Ford wrote The Final Reflection, he included a passage about language as it pertained to translations in that volume. He included an explanation about the inaccuracy of translating the klingonaase word kuve as "slave", as he preferred the term "servitor". He felt that the translation as "slave" would be inflammatory, citing similar examples from earth history such as "filthy Ghibelline" or "Centaurian lover". (TOS - Worlds Apart novel: The Final Reflection)

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