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and were then called eonsiliuin de clcctionibits, they judged
important cases, both civil and criminal, and they managed
public affairs." Tnis refers to the middle of the twelfth
There are statements which, if we  can place reliance on
them, show that before the law of 1297 passed by the grand
council itself, the old constitution of the body had become
obsolete, or changes had been made which are not recorded.
Thus the received statement as to the number of 480, be-
yond  which the   council  could not go, is contradicted  by
another that in the years 1267,  1269,  1275, it consisted of
502, 501, 567 respectively.    And instead of the limitation of
members of one house  or kindred  to  four, in   1261   eight
Badoarii, eleven Falierii, fifteen Morosini, nineteen Dandoli,
as many Quirini, twenty Contarini belonged to the council
at once, and the numbers vary in different years in the four-
teenth  century from  1047(1311)   to 897 (1350).    It would
seem also that long after the year when the law closing the
council is said to have issued, elections  into the council by
ballot still went on.    It is also remarkable that the law of
1297, closing the council, does not appear in the pretty com-
plete collection of public decrees, and those who proposed it,
a Bambo and a Badoario, did not belong to the quarantia, as
is affirmed by the historians.    These facts are fitted to excite
suspicion respecting the law itself.    Von Raumer, who cites
for them two Venetian authorities, Sandi and Tentori, in-
clines to believe that no such laws were ever given, that the
council was open after the time of their reputed enactment
as before, that there was no such sudden conversion of the
constitution into a close aristocracy, that the nobles did not
at this time'have an indiscriminate admission into the coun-
cil, but that electors for admission into the council still con-
tinued.    Nay,  it is  made  probable  that long before this
critical time the electors, twelve or four or three, did not
choose the whole council anew, but sometimes chose five and
twenty, sometimes a hundred, and allowed the rest to remain
in their places according to the needs of the time.    Thus the