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56                               POLITICAL SCIENCE.
Afterwards their number was "fixed at three hundred, of
whom one hundred and twenty were elected by the grand
council; the rest had their seats by virtue of the offices they
held in the state."* Six of their number represented them
in the collegio, the " savi grandi " of whom we have spoken.
"Their importance seems to have increased as the affairs of
Venice became more extensive and complicated, as is shown
perhaps by their journals, part of which, in fourteen volumes,
before 1331, having disappeared themselves, arc known by
indexes only, while from that time to the end of the republic
they remain to show the efficiency of this instrument of the
,   4. The quarantia, or board of forty, was at first invested
with higher criminal jurisdiction, as well as with
The quarantia.                 ,.,.....        .        .    . *         .            t.            ...
appellate jurisdiction in civil and smaller cnmmal
cases. Three heads or chief justices presided over it, who,
as we have seen, formed a part of the doge's council and of
the collegio. Among the criminal cases brought before this
court would be some of a political character, and from this
point its functions went on enlarging, until they included ad-
visory powers of various kinds. Propositions coming from
the signoria to the great council were submitted to this board
for their deliberation and advice. They had a hand in execut-
ing and in modifying, if necessary, the law of 1296 relating to
the great council. They have been compared with the areo-
pagus of Athens.
5. The ten or council often.    When Gradenigo was doge,
and not long after the aristocratic closing of the
The ten,                                                                                                                               *~*
great council, a conspiracy of an alarming char-
acter was detected, in which Marino Bocconio and Bajamante
Tiepolo were concerned, with a number of others, some of
whom have the aristocratic names of Tiepoli, Badoarii, and Qui-
rini. The record of this in Dandolo's chronicle is, that in 1308
a Tiepolo, with his accomplices, was banished, and that the
council of ten was then instituted against these and others who
* Mr. Rawdon Brown, u, s.