The Administration of a Medieval City‐Territory: Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries
This chapter considers and explains the precociousness of the political and administrative structures of the Lucchese state. From a very early period the Sei Miglia (the plain immediately around the city) was ruled by officials called podestà, who were appointed and sent out by Lucca. These podestà soon disappeared, and the Sei Miglia came to be ruled without intermediary institutions—directly from the city. Village officials were gradually reduced to the role of collecting taxes, receiving orders, and reporting offenders to the city courts. By the late 13th century, at a time when in other city‐states the mountains were ruled by a ramshackle array of local lords, leagues, captains, podestà, and vicars, the mountains around Lucca were already reduced to a discrete number of territorial vicariates, each headed by a vicar, accompanied by a judge and by a retinue of notaries—all citizens; all appointed from Lucca; all appointed for a short period of office, which was not to exceed six months. Firm urban control is attributed both to the legacy of the city's earlier history and to more recent political developments during and after the reign of the Emperor Frederick I.
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