A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 50 of 493
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THE SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNE 33
The question as to the respective spheres of jurisdiction of
the lay and spiritual tribunals, which convulsed England and
other parts of Europe in the twelfth century, does not ever seem
to have become very acute at Verona. One statute (No. Io9)
directs that clerks guilty of a breach of the peace should either
be fined by the Podestl, or deprived of their benefices by the
bishop, leaving it apparently to circumstances to decide which.
An earlier statute (No. 74) orders that a layman accused by a
clerk must appear before the bishop, and a clerk accused by a
layman before the Podesta and the Judges of the Commune,
in causes of which the lay tribunal had cognizance. No attempt
is made to decide the knotty question as to what these
causes were, so it is clear that the matter must have been regulated
by custom. Meanwhile the lay tribunal, at any rate
at this time, seems to have managed to assert a certain supremacy
over the spiritual courts. Appeals lay from the sentence
of the bishop and other ecclesiastics to the Podesta, while no
clerk was allowed to sue a layman for tithes except before the
Podesta himself Heresy was also under the control of the
secular courts, at any rate as far as the enforcement of penalties
went. According to one statute it was the Podesta. who was
responsible for the expulsion of Patarenes and other heretics
from the city, and the destruction of the houses they had inhabited,
though the owners could save their property by themselves
expelling the heretics within eight days. This statute
is the only one in the code of 1228 referring to heretics, so it
may be assumed that in the early thirteenth century Verona
was tolerably free from heresy. It is also the first mention in
a Veronese document of the Patarenes, a peculiar sect who were
afterwards to obtain a very firm footing in the city and district.
From the very first the exchequer of the little state was
entirely removed from the control of the ordinary officials of
the Commune, with the idea of preventing bribery and corruption.
For the treasurer, the massario, was responsible for all
payments out of the public funds, including all salaries, from
that of the Podesta himself to the small sum paid to messengers.
Hence it was most important that he should be above suspicion.
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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/m1/50/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .