Political Sociology: A Reader

By S. N. Eisenstadt | Go to book overview
"discredited oligarchy." Cf. Le finanze Repubblica fiorentina (Florence, 1929), p. 620.
Balie, 2, 143-152; Paoli, op. cit., pp. 103-104.
C. C., 1 bis, fols. 19r, 32, 80r; G. Villani, XII, 2.
On November 30, 1342, Brienne appointed special officials for the purpose of recovering communal property. They were authorized to keep "unum registrum" in which they were to inscribe all the property and rights ("bona et iura") of the commune. Cf. Balie, 2, fols. 110-112. For condemnations by these officials of individuals who had usurped the property of the state, see ibid., 2, f. 165 (30 March 1343). For fines levied against the powerful Adimari and Rossi families by these officials on the same charge, see C. C., 1 bis, fols. 249, 276 (18 April, 14 May 1343).
Ibid., fols, 130, 209-221.
Balie, 2, fols. 58-63; Paoli, op. cit., pp. 25-30.
P. 25, f. 45 (3 December 1326); C. C., 1 bis, f. 357. See also B. Barbadoro, op. cit., pp. 161-189, 207-211. When the priorate invited Brienne to become Signore of the city, the Bardi Company reduced their capital by half in order to escape direct taxation which they knew he would establish on the model of his predecessor, Charles of Calabria. Cf. A. Sapori, Compagnie e mercanti di Firenze antica (Florence, 1955), p. XXIII.
Complaints to the despot were frequently concerned with the regressive nature of Florentine taxation. Cf. Paoli, op. cit., p. 114, doc. 260; Balie, 2, f. 66. Revision of the tax system was a commonplace under the rule of the despots. Cf. P. Silva, Il governo di Pietro Gambacorta in Pisa (Pisa, 1912), pp. 116-117.
The Signoria, with the permission of the Duke of Calabria, was granted the authority to suspend immunities and privileges that formerly had been conferred upon certain inhabitants of the contado. Cf. P., 23, f. 67 (9 February 1327). Brienne also appointed a special official to perform this same function. Cf. Paoli, op. cit., p. 75. Severe fines, ranging from 500 florins to 3,932 florins, were exacted from members of the Ricci and Ricciardi families who did not comply with this edict. Cf. C. C., 1, fols. 9r, 27 (October‐ November, 1342).
Cf. footnote 24: P., 25, f. 70r. For a further analysis of the effects of the policies of a despot upon the arti, see N. Rodolico, Del Comune alla Signoria. Saggio sul governo di Taddeo Pepoli in Bologna (Bologna, 1898), pp. 84 ff. In 1373, attempts were made to reintroduce this form of taxation. The advisors to the Signoria, however, were successful in thwarting the passage of this measure. Cf. C. P., 12, f. 56r.
Cf. N. Rodolico, Il popolo minuto (Bologna, 1899), p. 141; Paoli, op. cit., pp. 82-83; Balie, 2, fols. 92-93.
For the first time since the end of the preceding century, large numbers of novi cives were admitted to office. Cf. P., 32, f. 145.
See especially the document that records the pardon of Jacabo, a wool-beater, who had been condemned to death in 1318 by the "official foreigner of the Lana" for conspiring with other workers against the masters of the guild. C. C., 1 bis, fols. 46-47 (19 December 1342). A certain Cione was also granted dispensation by Brienne from the sentence of death. He had been condemned by the Executor for instigating a conspiracy against the rule of the guilds. Ibid., f. 187r (16 February 1343). Two years earlier, the Councils of the Commune had refused to take this action on his behalf. Appelli, 122, III, f. 25 (26 May 1341).
Stefani, rub. 566.
Upon payment of fines to the ducal treasury, certain members of the Falconery, Pulci, Amadori and Corbizzi families were pardoned. They had formerly been convicted for having fought against their native city on the side of the Emperor Henry VII in the year 1312. C. C., 1 bis, fols. 70-92.
A scion of the house of the Bardi was fined 500 florins for attacking a popolano. C. C., 1 bis, f. 5r (19 October 1342). Two other members of the same family were condemned to pay a fine of 5,813 florins, along with a member of the Rucellai clan, for peculation of communal funds. Ibid., f. 132r (18 January 1343). See also ibid., fols. 204r‐ 205, 209-211. Members of the Adimari, Bordoni, Tornaquinci and Spini families who had posted bonds for fellow members of the patriciate, were required to make payment into the communal treasury when those for whom they were responsible, defaulted. Ibid., fols. 175r, 211r.
M. Becker, "Gualtieri di Brienne e l'uso delle dispense giudiziarie," Archivio Storico Italiano, CXIII (1955), pp. 245-251. These arbitrary and capricious actions of the despot also served to intensify opposition to his rule.
Shortly after the overthrow of Brienne, the Republic obligated itself to pay five per cent interest a year to those who had loaned money to the despot. The total of these loans was 41,480 florins. Cf. Provvisioni Duplicati, 7, 52r. During the last month of the Duke's tenure, loans from the Bardi family alone accounted for approximately one-fourth of the monies paid into the treasury. C. C., 1 bis, f. 336 (22 July 1343). Less than a week before the outbreak of the revolution against Brienne, a new estimo was imposed upon the citizenry and a new prestanza was levied. Ibid., fols. 335-357 (20 July 1343).
Many of the leaders of the conspiracy against the despot were members of the same families who had been compelled to pay heavy fines and to make forced loans to the ducal treasury. Cf. G. Villani, XII, 16 and footnote 59.

Russian City-State

George Vernadsky

Every Russian principality of the Kievan period was, in its political essence, a combination of a city‐

state and of the princely system of administration. In most cases the princely authority, superimposed upon the city, gradually took the lead. In Novgorod, however, the historical process went in the opposite direction, with the prince's role eventually reduced

From George Vernadsky, A History of Russia, Vol. II: Kievan Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), pp. 196-201. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


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