Her hand dropped, and she eyed a credenza that swept close to her head.
They were supported by a deliberative assembly, called credenza, chosen from the more distinguished citizens.
It will be perceived that the type was rather oligarchical than strictly democratic. Between the parlamento and the consuls with their privy council, or credenza, was interposed the gran consiglio of privileged burghers.
The senate, composed of nobles, represented the credenza and the gran consiglio.
At the beginning of the 11th century the citizens established a constitution, composed of a general council or legislative assembly and a credenza or executive; and during the next century they were engaged in wars with Venice and Vicenza for the right of water-way on the Bacchiglione and the Brenta - so that, on the one hand, the city grew in power and selfreliance, while, on the other, the great families of Camposampiero, D'Este and Da Romano began to emerge and to divide the Paduan district between them.
The government of the city consisted of (a) a parlamento or consiglio grande, including all who possessed bread and wine of their own - a council soon found to be unmanageable owing to its size, and reduced first to 2000, then to 1500 and finally to Soo members; (b) a credenza or committee of 12 members, elected in the grand council, for the despatch of urgent or secret business; (c) the consuls, the executive, elected for one year, and compelled to report to the great council at the term of their office.
In all important matters they asked the advice and support of "wise men," sapientes, discretiores, prudentes, as a body called the credenza, while the popular assembly (parlamentum, concio, consilium generale) was the true sovereign.