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re-affume the title of consuls, which had been extinct under the Longobards; and if these had somewhat of a greater authority, they were not, nevertheless, exempt from the jurisdiction of the dukes and marquiffcs, or from the sovereignty of the kings and emperors.
A greater spirit of independence arising in the minds of the Italians, in the time of those great discords between the empire and the church, di. minished to such a degree the esteem of the people towards the emperors, folemnly excommunicated by the pontiffs, that a great part of the cities of Italy, estranging themselves by little and little from their obedience, began to conduct themselves like independent states, in entire freedom. This happened in the time of Henry the Fourth and the Fifth ; and the disobedience increased still more, when all the Tedesque forces were engaged to sustain, in Germany, the competition between Lothario the Second and Conrad the Swede for the throne of Cæsar. Then the cities, taking advantage of the distance of those who had power to bridle their arrogance, began to be insolent: * then they began to lift up their heads, and to do whatever seemed good in their own eyes : then they thought it lawful to appropriate to themselves many of the regalia belonging to their sovereign; and believing themselves able to shake off the yoke of superiority, they attended to nothing but to their present advantage, and to dilate the limits of their usurped liberty. But with all this, they were never able to extinguish the quality of their subjection, nor the obligation of dependence ; for Frederick the First passed over to establish and re
* His diebus, propter abfentiam regis, Italiæ urbibus, in infolentiam decedentibus. Ottone Friungense.
gulate, in the convention of Constance, their privileges, and the regalia which were then usurped and the people were held to an annual census, and obliged to perform certain royal and personat services.
In the twelfth century, the cities, after the fimilitude of ancient Rome, all re-assumed the title of consuls, and began, fome sooner and others later, to make their proper statutes, and establish their popular government. Though it is not pofsible to ascertain the precise time when the institution of consuls was first made in Pistoia, they
are, nevertheless, found named in the statutes of 1107, 1107; and of these there were two, called the
Conful of the Soldiers, and the Conful of Justice, taken from the nobility of the place, and were called the Greater Consuls, to distinguish them from the plebeian consuls of the second class, called the Leffer Consuls, or Consuls of the Merchants, taken from the common people. Their authority, and sometimes their numbers, were various; but there ought ever to be one more of the popular than of the greater consuls. ut The election of these magistrates was made every year by the people, with the intervention of all the governors (rettori) of the arts of the city; and they governed, with the council of an hundred of the better fort of citizens, administering justice both to the laity and the ecclefiaftics. This council, besides its extraordinary assemblies, was obliged to meet in the months of March, May, July, and September, after a previous intimation, given by the consuls, of the business to be done; and for the result of this assembly all determinations,
* Sigonius, lib. xiii. de Regno Italiæ.
Unus plus de popularibus quam de majoribus.
upon things of most importance, must wait ;
Here again is a constitution of all authority in
city, * with full power, dominion, and authority to govern, command, and chastise, granted to him by the emperor, to whom, as their ligitimate fovereign, the people had recourse in cases of appeal, and in all denials of justice.
From its subjection to this minister, in the earliest times of the institution of his office, the city of Pistoia was still more irritated and oppressed; and, as the nomination was reserved directly to the sovereign, the officer was changed as often as the times seemed to him to require. The rigour of this institution was softened by length of time and continual discords and diffenfions, till the city of Pistoia acquired the right of the election of this minister, who obliged himself, in many things, to follow the various ordinances and resolutions of the confuls. This election of the podesta was made by the Pistoians in virtue of a municipal law consented to by the sovereign ; the perfon elected stood in office only six months, and was chosen by the council of the people, as it was called, that is, the council of an hundred, with the intervention of all the rectors of the chapels, and all the rectors of the arts. The podesta was bound to conduct with him, judges skilful in the laws, notaries, two companies of militia, horses, and fervants, and other followers; and in all things were these officers obliged to render their accounts. It was customary to confer this dignity of podesta upon the primary citizens. Neither the consuls nor podesta, jointly or severally, had authority to impofe taxes, consent to war, peace, truce, or alliance, without the council of the people, which
* Con tutta la balia, impero, e potesta di governare, comandare, e castigare. Fioravanti, p. 18.
confifted of an hundred citizens, elected in the proportion of five and twenty for each of the four gates or quarters of the city, with the intervention of all the rectors of the chapels, and rectors of the arts, or, in other words, che podesta, consuls; council of an hundred, and rectors of the chapels and arts, were all collected in one aflembly, to determine on grants for money, peace, war, truce, alliance, &c. and all questions were determined by the vote of the majority, which necessarily made that tempestuous and capricious government in one center, against which we contend.
And to the podesta, for his regulation in the cxercise of his office, were given by the city fourteen counsellors, and two judges ; one de lege, that is to say, a doctor of laws; the other ex ufu, or de ulu, which fignified, as they interpreted the words, a protector of the commons; and two advocates for arguing each cause: and by the opinion of all these he decided upon those things which affected the honour or utility of the public, as he himself, after having made his election of these attendants, was obliged to stand by their advice. * This podesta, in early times, fuperintended not only the secular government, but the ecclesiastical: but in process of time the city became governed by three, namely, the consuls, the podesta, and the bishops ; for the bishops had profited of the violent diffenfions that prevailed in the city, to draw to themselves various rights and jurisdictions, as has happened in other nations. The lordship of the podesta, therefore, having thrown down the authority of the consuls, these were no
* His oath was, Et petam a confiliariis toto tempore mei dominii de rebus, quæ mihi videbuntur expectare ad communem honorem et utiliatem, noftræ civitatis Pistorii. Fioravanti, p. 18, 19.