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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.