(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
See other formats

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

zens. " The good men" of Florence, that is, the leading and
more opulent citizens, met together, deposed the podestti
then holding office together with other officials, appointed
thirty-six caporali or heads, and a new magistrate whom
they called the capitano of the people, with whom they associ-
ated twelve anziani (ancients) to serve as his council. More
important still was the formation of twenty companies of civic
militia, who were to serve under their appropriate banners,
subject to the summons of the capitano and the anziani,
except in wars outside of the city, when the troops as before
were subject to the podesta or other regularly appointed
commander. This reminds one of the election of the tribunes
of Rome, and was, in some sense, the beginning of a double
people. Indeed from that time there were two corporate
bodies, the commune including all the citizens, and the popolo,
with the capitano (called also defcnsorc and rcttorc) as their
head. The thirty-six and the twelve appear afterwards as
the two councils of the people with altered numbers. The
capitano became a chief judge by the side of the podesta,
holding his office at first for one year, afterwards for six
months, and elected in a similar manner. He also was
required to be a foreign knight, and a doctor of the law ; and
his jurisdiction embraced civil cases, together with acts of
violence, extortion, and fraud. lie also, like the podesta,
had his judges and notaries, whom he was to bring with him
to the city. The institution of the capitano proved to be of
no great importance in the subsequent history of the consti-
tution, but the spirit of the popolo was raised, and the wealthy
class felt its unity; as they showed in 1258, when a conspir-
acy of the Ghibellines in the city *' to break up the people
of Florence " being discovered (Vill., vL, 65), and the nobles,
summoned to appear before the podesta, having maltreated
his subordinates, a large number of the Uberti and their
noble friends were driven out of the city. The people of
Florence which/ at that time ruled the city, says Villani,
was exceedingly proud, ready for high and great undertak-
ings, and thought much of themselves. Their self-conceit