A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 28 of 493
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EARLY HISTORY 13
tury the Veronese bishops, to judge from their names, all came
from Germany. Verona even produced one of the schismatic
Popes of this period, a certain Cadolaus, who was elected by
the Council of Bale in o06I, in opposition to Alexander II., and
took the name of Honorius II., but retired from the struggle
after three years.
The end of the dispute over the Investitures coincided with
the first efforts of the Italian cities to win independence, to
impose taxes, to build fortifications, to elect their own officials,
in a word to manage their own affairs in their own way. The
rise of the Communes, as it is generally called, is, however, a
movement of such importance that the consideration of the way
in which it affected Verona must be left to another chapter.
The word Commune is now generally employed, both in
England and Italy, to signify a city that was self-governing, in
contra-distinction to one ruled autocratically, whether by a
hereditary dynasty or an isolated despot. But it may not be
out of place to explain here that in mediaeval Lombardy the
term possessed a different meaning, not signifying any special
form of government of a city, but the ody of citizens acting in
their corporate city. The Commune did not include all
the male inhabitants of a town, but only those possessing sufficient
property or income to enable them to pay certain taxes,
the due discharge of which alone gave the minimum of political
rights, i.e. the capacity to hold office, and to vote in the largest
public assembly. Only the possessors of these rights were
technically citizens, cives, buoni uomini. The lower classes, the
basso or minuto popolo, were generally politically powerless, and
nearly always outnumbered the citizens proper, for, though it is
never expressly stated anywhere, it is clear that the property
qualification was as a rule high enough to exclude the masses.
Now though the Communes were evolved as the Lombard
cities were developing into independent states, and in every
case the first form that the government of these states assumed
was republican, the Communes continued to exist long after
the cities had ceased to be self-governing. If a city became
subject to a despot or to another state, whether autocracy or
republic, the Commune, of course, lost many of its prerogatives.
But even under the most tyrannical ruler it would
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/28/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .