A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 35 of 493
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THE SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNE I9
they subsequently assisted the allies to rebuild Milan,1 which
had lain desolate ever since its destruction in 1162. On 1st
December, I167, a much wider alliance was formed which included,
besides the cities already mentioned, Venice, Verona,
Vicenza, Padua and Treviso. This confederation is known to
history as the Lombard League. It was governed by Rectors
elected by the cities who formed its members. Every individual
citizen between the ages of fourteen and sixty was bound to take
an oath to obey the Rectors, to work for the common good, and
not to make war or peace without the consent of the League.
The view that would see in the Lombard League the germ of the
modern nation,2 is hardly supported by facts, for the principal
object of the confederation was to resist the Imperial claims, and
once this aim was achieved and the danger from the Empire
removed the League speedily lost its universal character, and
sank to the position of leader of one of the two great parties
into which North Italy was nearly always divided. As an
instrument for stemming the Imperial claims the League, however,
proved eminently successful. In 1175 its army, led by
the Milanese, Brescians, Piacentines and Veronese, forced
Frederic to raise the siege of Alessandria. On 24th May, 1176,
it inflicted a severe defeat on the Emperor at Legnago. When
in 1177 Frederic and Alexander III. made peace, the League
wrung from the Emperor a separate treaty containing very
favourable terms for the cities. This treaty, which was to
last six years, stipulated for the official recognition of the
League by the Emperor, and secured to the cities the right to
erect fortifications, to elect their own chief magistrates, the
Consuls, against whose sentence no appeal was to lie, and to
retain their ancient customs and tolls, many of which Frederic
had succeeded in reclaiming at Roncalia, as Imperial regalia.
Six years later, on 25th June, 1183, these provisions were made
permanent by the celebrated Treaty of Constance. The Emperor,
it is true, regained a few minor points which he had been
compelled to yield before-the right to invest the Consuls with
their Consulate every five years, and to exercise an appellate
jurisdiction over their sentences in cases over twenty-five pounds
Verona, C. Cipolla, p. . 9.bid., p. 113.
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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/m1/35/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .