For, on the expulsion of the thirteen from the palace, a council of 124 plebeians created a new magistracy of twelve difensori (defenders), no longer drawn exclusively from the order of the twelve, but composed of five of the popolo minuto, or lowest populace (now first admitted to the government), four of the twelve, and three of the nine.
But it was of short duration, for the dodicini were ill satisfied with their share, and in December of the same year (1368) joined with the popolo minuto in an attempt to expel the three noveschi from the palace.
The grandi regained some of their power by corrupting the podestd and by the favour of the popolo minuto or unorganized populace; but their quarrels among themselves prevented them from completely succeeding, while the arti were solid.
The expulsion of the duke of Athens was followed by several measures to humble the grandi still further, while the popolo minuto or artisans began to show signs of discontent at the rule of the merchants, and thepopulace destroyed the houses of many nobles.
They demanded a share in the government for the popolo minuto, but as soon as this was granted Tommaso Strozzi, as spokesman of the ciompi, obliged the signory to resign their powers to the Eight.