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76                                POLITICAL SCIENCE.

troops and one of the signori, or signoria, as the priors were
called, was not in a situation to aid in carrying out the ordi-
nances of justice for which the office was first devised. It was,
therefore, decided by the councils and the signori, that a new
officer should be created to execute the ordinances of justice.
He was called an esecutore, was to be a foreigner, to hold his
office like the podesta and capitano for six months, but, un-
like them, to be in condition not a nobleman but a man of
the people, and not a doctor of laws ; and to have like them


his subordinates, judges and others. He had, also, a certain
supervision of the conduct of the podesta and capitano in re-
gard to questions arising out of the ordinances of justice. It
is unnecessary to speak further of this magistrate, for, al-
though the office continued into the fifteenth century, his oc-
cupation assigned to him by the ordinances was then gone,
and he sank to the condition of a bailiff. (Capponi, ii., 321,

Every principal authority at Florence had its council.    That
„ .   . ^     .    of the priors and gonfaloniere consisted, in 1306,
Pnors' Council.        ...                                                                                                      r
of sixteen banner-bearers of the companies of
citizen troops. These companies had their origin, as we
have seen, in the time of the anziani (1250), and were then
twenty in number. Restored or reformed by Cardinal de
Prato, who, in the strife of the Bianchi and Neri went to
Florence as a peacemaker from the pope, they were, in 1321,
associated with twelve good men, two from each ward, chosen,
for six months, as the assessors of the signori, and were re-
garded as one of the most honorable bodies in the state. All
important business was submitted by the signori to these
" collegi^ as they were called, but they were not necessarily
in perpetual session.*
* Leonardo Bruni, chancellor and historian of Florence, who died .
old in 1444, wrote a sketch of its constitution in Greek (edited by
C. F Neumann, 1822, Frankfort on the Main), in which he calls the
gonfalonier! of the companies, the apxovr€s ™v <£iAcoi>, consuls of the