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there was great room for intrigue. If a party predominated
largely in the committee of selection, the other would be
excluded. And at a later period it would seem that great
knavery was practised in this respect.
The divicto is to be considered in connection with this
mode of appointing to office. This was a disqualification for
holding office, for various reasons. If a person whose name
was drawn was below thirty, or was a debtor to the treasury,
or had a parent, a child, or brother in a similar office, he was
disqualified. So a prior could not fill the same office again
until three years had elapsed, and relatives could not suc-
ceed one another within six months.
The mode of appointment to office above described was
intended to prevent factions from choosing their candidates,
and gave a chance of office to a wider range of citizens.
There can be no doubt that upon the lottery principle it
increased the desire of office, and on the other hand, it ex-
plains, in part, why there was so much eagerness to put legal
obstacles in the way of holding it,
In 1342, Walter, of Brienne, duke of Athens, who had
acquired reputation under the duke of Calabria, was chosen,
on account of the incompetence of the military committee
of citizens, to be captain-general of war for one year, and
afterwards the signoria was given to him in a regular way.
Then in a tumultuary meeting it was voted to him for life.
The plotters were grand! ; the mob which conferred the
power consisted of their retainers and the dregs of the peo-
ple ; and he was installed in the priors' palace by grand!, who
forced the doors open for his admission. The ordinances
of justice which they designed to remove were suspended,
and he made other changes ; but his worthlessncss aroused
the hatred of all classes, and he was driven out of the city in
July of the next year. The grandi, having had a share in
the rising against him, were admitted to a participation in the
signoria, and other offices ; but the peace between the orders
was not lasting, an armed contest of grandi with popolani
and their allies from abroad (Sept 24, 1343), ended in the