THE CONSTITUTION OF VENICE. 55 gradual steps towards a strict aristocracy cannot be distinctly traced, although the progress is certain.* 3. The doge's council and the pregadi. We have seen,. Doge's council and that as earl7 as the beginning of the eleventh pregadi. century the doge was required to have two counsellors associated with him. These seem to have ex- panded into six counsellors chosen, at first, one from each district of the city, and afterwards appointed, if we are not deceived, by the grand council. These, with the three heads of the quarantia, added subsequently, formed the smaller council. To the doge and his six counsellors, the title of the signoria was given, the same which was bestowed on the gov- erning body at Florence and elsewhere in Italy; and which shows that the doge was regarded as only the head of the board, which had the executive power in its hands. At a subsequent period the smaller council, now ten in number, including the doge, was enlarged by the addition of six " savi grandi" who represented the senate or council of the pregadi, of six " savi di terra firma" who governed the provinces and in fact formed the home-department and war- office of the republic, and of six " savi di ordini" who man- aged the naval affairs and formed the board of admiralty, f To this board was given the same title of the collegi which belonged to certain associates of the signori at Florence; and that it was a unity in the eyes of the Venetians is shown by its title and the register of its transactions. About the same time when the smaller council is first spoken of, mention is also made of the pregadi', or invited persons, whom the doge called together to assist him by their advice and give him the weight of their influence. Originally few in number and with no official power, they were selected at first from the body of the citizens, then from the principal families, and early in the thirteenth century were chosen, sixty in number, by electors named by the grand council.} *Von Raumer, u. $., v., 241-245. f Mr. Rawdon Brown's Calendar, pref.3 p. xi J ComjX the richiesti of Florence.