A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 65 of 493
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THE RISE OF EZZELINO DA ROMANO
T HE dominion built up by Ezzelino III. is a unique phenomenon
in Italian history. Though his rule shared
manyof the characteristics of the mediaeval despotisms, it differed
from them in several important particulars. To begin with, the
later despots bolstered up their claim to the supreme authority
with as many constitutional and legal sanctions as possible.
But Ezzelino, though he began by governing through existing
institutions, rapidly built up for himself a position which, while
it made him absolute ruler in the state, was designated by no
official title, and was outside of and unknown to the constitutions
of the cities subject to his sway. Secondly, for many
years he depended on the moral and material support of the
Emperor to a degree that no other Italian ruler ever did, while
he modelled the internal administration of his territories to a
great extent on that of the Kingdom of Germany. Lastly,
though the dominions of the later despots were often only a
loose congeries of mutually independent cities, bound together
by no other tie than the person of their ruler, yet the latter
usually possessed one favourite dwelling-place, where the seat
of government was permanently fixed, and which thus formed
a capital of some sort for the whole State. But Ezzelino's
dominions were completely decentralized. None of his cities,
Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Feltre, Belluno, Trent or Brescia,
ever obtained any permanent pre-eminence over the rest. His
seat of government was moved at least three times. Originally
it was fixed at Verona. After the conquest of Padua in 1237
this city became Ezzelino's favourite dwelling-place till 1256,
when the loss of it drove him back to Verona for a couple of
years. Finally in 1258 the annexation of Brescia shifted the
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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/m1/65/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .