A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 44 of 493
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THE SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNE 27
seems to be no documentary evidence for the existence of a Veronese
Podesta till I 69.1 From that year till I I96 the form of
government varied, the state being now ruled by a Podesta,
now by Consuls. In I96 the Consuls appear as heads of the
state for the last time; after that the position was held regularly
for many years by a Podesta. Meanwhile, the Consuls
became judges pure and simple, and not merely did they lose
all their administrative and executive powers, but soon their
higher judicial functions were transferred to the Podesta, including
the supreme appellate jurisdiction in the state.
Simultaneously with the evolution of the chief magistracies
a regular system of Councils had been developed. The oldest
and largest of these, as already stated, embraced all the citizens,
and met at irregular intervals, probably as a rule in the
cathedral, as on the occasion when bishop Tebaldo was deputed
to go and sue for pardon from the Emperor Frederic for the
attack made on him in the Brenner in 1I55. This Council
was called the Concio or Arengo, and possessed the ultimate
right of decision on all public affairs. It was, however, not
possible that it should meet frequently, or that delicate questions
or matters of detail should be decided in such a large and
tumultuous assembly. A less numerous Council was accordingly
formed, and to this body, known as the Concilium
Generale (later as the Greater Council), the Concio delegated
much of its legislative and executive authority, though it always
continued even under the Scaligeri to be consulted on affairs of
great moment. In addition, a number of smaller consultative
and executive bodies gradually grew up. The earliest of these
were two Councils which acted as advisory committees for the
Podesta, one composed of a limited number of men bound by oath
to give wise counsel when called upon to do so, the other a
somewhat less formal body comprising the savi, the wise men
of the city, whether lawyers, soldiers or merchants.2
According to Cipolla (Verona, p. 96) a document of xI69 contains the
statement that it was drawn up at Verona in the house of Bonifacio, the
2This Council is mentioned in a law-suit of 1178 concerning the right of
the Abbey of S. Zeno to certain lands. Printed by Ughelli, Italia Sacra, vol. v.
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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/m1/44/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .