2.11 Venetian - Roman Law Form
Article 134 - Consilium (Council)
A Consilium, also known as a Consiglio and Council is a term first introduced in the 11th Century CE in Pisa and afterwards Venice to describe a new form of aristocratic rule by a few elite families. The word Consilium in the 13th Century CE was later extended to temporarily constituted bodies, formed with the authority to discuss and pass laws, but having limited life span.
During 1006 CE in order to quell further instability across the remaining Pisan lands, Pisa declared itself a commune of cities and a “State” known as Stato de Mari or the “State of the Sea(s)”, forming for the first time a permanent government known as the Consiglio Dodici, also known as the Council of Twelve and the Gran Consiglio (“Great Council”), being the families: Caetani, Crivelli, Dori, Fieschi, Grimo, Gusmini, Morosini, Orlando, Sforza, Simonetti, Verchionesi and Visconti that pronounced the election of Giovanni Morosini (1006 - 1043) as the first Doga (Doge) (from Italian meaning “staff”) in history:
(i) In 1075 CE, Doga (Doge) Giovani Orlando (1060 - 1085) promulgated the first comprehensive modern international law and “law of the sea” called Consuetudini di mare (translates literally as ‘customs of the sea’); and
(ii) During 1146 CE, Doga (Doge) Domenico Morosini (1119 - 1146) of Pisa died and his son Domenico II Morosini and the Morosini family were banished to Venice by the other nobles from Pisa through a plot coordinated by the Visconti who sought control. However, the Fieschi of Genoa also sought control and a brief struggle ensued until. Villano Caetani (1146 - 1176) was then elected Doge from the newly constituted Council of Eleven families of Pisa that excluded the Morosini; and
(iii) In 1148, exiled Domenico II Morosini of Pisa became Doga (Doge) of Venice (1148 - 1156). In 1152, Frederick I Barbarossa invaded Italy and attempted to impose absolute rule and fealty over the Pisan Empire. The communes reunited under the direction of Venice and Domenico II Morosini who helped form the Lombard League against the Germans. Frederick was subsequently defeated at the Battle of Legano in 1176 and a Peace Treaty was signed in Venice in the same year; and
(iv) In 1176 CE, upon the death of Doxi (Doge) Villano Caetani (1146 - 1176) , the forces of Doga (Doge) Domenico II Morosini of Venice (1148 - 1156) confronted conspirators and forced their banishment, namely the Visconti and Fieschi, who were expelled from the Gran Consiglio (“Great Council”) of Pisa to make it the Council of Ten. Thus began the first war between Pisa and Genoa as well as Tuscany which erupted initially as a civil war in the first Republic of Pisa; and
(v) During 1405 CE upon Florence finally conquering Pisa, the Stato de Mari or the “State of the Sea(s)” and the Gran Consiglio (“Great Council”) were formally dissolved at the temporary Council of Pisa in 1409; and
(vi) In 1494 CE at the expulsion of the Medici from Florence by the invading army of Charles VIII (1483 - 1498) of France, Florentine born Nicolò Morosini (b.1469 - d.1527) proclaimed himself Doga (Doge) of Pisa and proceeded to declare a new Gran Consiglio (“Great Council”) and Republic of Pisa as ally of France and Venice. The League of Naples, falsely called the “League of Venice” was quickly formed by Genoa, England, Spain, Germany and exiles that succeeded in recapturing Naples and Florence by 1495 and then forcing the French to retreat completely from Italy by 1496. The forces of Pisa held out until 1509 when the city finally surrendered; and
(vii) During 1513 CE upon the death of Giuliano della Rovere also known as Roman Pontiff Julius I (II) (1503 - 1513), the last Doge of Pisa, Nicolò Morosini (b.1469 - d.1527) also known as “Macchiavelli” or “(blood) stained fleece” returned temporarily to Rome and then Venice in the attempt to have a rival candidate to Genoa or Florence elected as Roman Pontiff. When Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici was elected as Roman Pontiff Leo II (X) (1513 - 1522), Nicolò Morosini devised a plan whereby the Pisa Stato de Mari or the “State of the Sea(s)” became the “Holy See” or Sancta Sedes controlled by a new Holy Council of Ten, also known as the secret Jesuit Council of Ten being the families: Morosini, Zorzi, Orsini, Farnese, Sforza, Contarini, Caetani, Cornaro, Grimani and Este; and
(viii) In July 1542 CE, Alessandro Farnese as Roman Pontiff Paul II (III) (1534 - 1549) issued the first “Constitution” in the history of the Roman Cult as Licet ab initio or “Lawful (licensed) from the beginning” whereby the previous structure was modified and the first “Congregation” was introduced, thus validating the superiority of the Sancta Sedes (“Holy See”) and its “Holy” Council, which has remained the supreme global body ever since.
In 1041 CE, upon King Pietari II Orseolo (1041 - 1047) assuming the throne of Hungary, the Morosini of Pisa (known as the Pisani in Venice) staged a coup d’état against the Orseolo and formed a new government of the colony through a Council of twelve (12) noble families called the Consiglio Dodici or “Council of Twelve” being the families of Barbaro, Contarini, Cornaro, Dandelo, Faliero ,Gradenigo, Micheli, Morosini (Pisani), Priuli, Tiepolo, Valiero and Ziani. The Consiglio Dodici then promptly pronounced the election of Domenico Contarini (1041 - 1084) as the second Doga (Doge) in history:
(i) During 1146 CE, the Morosini of Pisa transferred their massive wealth to Venice and in 1148, exiled Domenico Morosini became Doga (Doge) of Venice (1148 - 1156) greatly expanding its fleet and succeeding in making significant territorial gains for Venice along the Dalmatian coast. As the Pisan Empire in the western Mediterranean dissolved into Civil War, Venice continued to grow in influence in the eastern Mediterranean; and
(ii) Following the disasterous reign of Doga (Doge) Vital II Michele (1156 - 1172), the Morosini succeeded in having the House of Micheli permanently removed from the Council, reforming it as the Council of Eleven, but making the Micheli permanent “secretaries” and “administrators” of the Council of Venice; and
(iii) In 1354, Marino Faliero became the new Doga (Doge) and then attempted to establish a coup d’état against the Council of Eleven. Faliero was sentenced, beheaded and his family permanently struck from the Patriarchs, with the Council being reduced permanently to the Council of Ten; and
(iv) In 1797 CE through the Treaty of Campo Fornio between Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Phillip von Covenzi the Republic of Venice was dissolved in name and restructured. In 1814, the Council was reformed as the “Council of Nations” or the “Council of Fifteen” at Vienna with the core founding “Houses” or members being Austria, United Kingdom, Russia, Prussia and France and then the remaining ten (10) members being Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Geneva, Hanover, Genoa and the Papal States; and
(v) During 1942 CE, the “Council of Nations”, being the reformed Great Council of Venice, was again reformed unto the “Council of United Nations” also later known as the United Nations Security Council with the “inner council” being United Kingdom, United States, France, Russia and China and the “outer council” being ten (10) elected non-permanent members with two (2) year terms.
In 1172 CE following a massive military defeat, loss of eastern trade with Constantinople and pandemics from poor administration of the city, a mass uprising against the Consiglio Undici of Venice and Doge Vitale II Micheli took place, ending absolute rule by the council. A new series of councils (consiglio) were formed and the existing Consiglio Undici was reformed to the Consiglio Dieci (Council of Ten) after the House of Micheli was banished from the council:
(i) The Maggior Consiglio or (Great Council of Venice) was first formed from all families that had name and property prior in Venice to 1000 CE, known as the longhi. The Maggior Consiglio was then granted the power to elect the Doge from a Consiglio Dieci (Council of Ten) as well as the membership of the Minor Consiglio (Minor Council) of forty (40); and
(ii) The Minor Consiglio (Minor Council) of forty (40) also known as the “Quarantia” or Supreme Court was first formed with the power to veto the decisions of the Doge, prepare and review legislation of Venice and conduct court investigations.
The first temporary Consulium (Council) was in 1215 CE and the 1st “true” Lateran Consillium (Council) demanded by Frederick II (1194 - 1250) of the House of Hohenstaufen to Roman Pontiff Innocens II (III) (1198 - 1216) in exchange for his “official” recognition of the Roman Cult over the true popes of the Roman Catholic Church. This is the first appearance of Collegium Cardinalis (College of Cardinals). However the Consiglio Dieci (Council of Ten) of Venice retained power to pick and choose the Roman Pontiff until 1356 and the Golden Bull of Emperor Charles IV (1355 - 1378).
In 1223, the Minori Consiglio (Minor Council) of Venice was converted to a religious fraternity (brotherhood) known as Ordo Fraternum Minori or “Fraternal Order of Frugality” later known by the late 13th Century as the “Franciscans” headed by a Minister-General.
While the Minori Consiglio (Minor Council) as the Ordo Fraternum Minori was stripped of its legislative powers by 1229 and the formation of the Consiglio dei Pregadi or “Senate”, the Ordo Fraternum Minori reserved the supreme Judicial, Chancery and Financial functions now performed as a religious brotherhood.