His great fame as a professor of civil law at the university of Bologna caused Balduinus to be elected podestd of the city of Genoa, where he was entrusted with the reforms of the law of the republic. He died at Bologna in 1225, and has left behind him some treatises on procedure, the earliest of their kind.
In 1199 the first podestd was elected, and in 1251 the first capitano del popolo.
In 1199 the institution of a foreign podestd (a form of government which became permanent in 1212) gave a severe blow to the consular magistracy, which was soon extinguished; and in 1233 the people again rose against the nobles in the hope of ousting them entirely from office.
Florence and other cities were forced to supply troops to the emperor for his Lombard campaigns, and he began to establish a centralized imperial bureaucracy in Tuscany, appointing a potestas, who resided at San Miniato (whence the name of "San Miniato al Tedesco"), to represent him and exercise authority in the contado; this double authority of the consoli in the town and the potestas or podestd outside generated confusion.
The tumults against the Paterine heretics (1244-1245), among whom were many Ghibelline nobles favoured by the podestd Pace di Pesamigola, indicate a successful Guelphic reaction; but Frederick II., having defeated his enemies both in Lombardy and in the Two Sicilies, appointed his natural son, Frederick of Antioch, imperial vicar in Tuscany, who, when civil war broke out, entered the city with 1600 German knights.
The Ghibellines being unable to maintain their supremacy, the city came to be divided into two almost autonomous republics, the comune headed by the podestd, and the popolo headed by the capitano and militarily organized into twenty companies; the central power was represented by twelve anziani or elders.
The podestd, who was always a foreigner, usually commanded the army, represented the city before foreign powers, and signed treaties.
Count Giordano entered Florence, appointed Count Guido Novello podestd, and began a series of persecutions the city broke out between the consoli and the greater against the Guelphs.
A force of l000 men was placed at the disposal of the podestd and capitano (now both elected by the people) to keep order and oblige the grandi to respect the law.
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.
On the 1st of November Charles reached Florence, promising to respect its laws; but he permitted Corso Donati and his friends to attack the Bianchi, and the new podestd,Cante dei Gabrielli of Gubbio, who had come with Charles, punished many of that faction; among those whom he exiled was the poet Dante (1302).
The podestd and the capitano assenting to this treachery, he dismissed the gonfaloniere, reduced the priori to a position of impotence, disarmed the citizens, and soon afterwards accepted the lordship of Arezzo, Volterra, Colle, San Gimignano and Pistoia.
To get out of the dilemma of party-government, resort was thereupon had to the appointment as chief magistrate of a podestd from among the nobles or knights of a different part of the country not mixed up with the local feuds.
On the other hand the Tuscan cities managed to prolong the reign of liberty to a much later epoch, no podestd ever quite succeeding here in his attempts to establish the rule of his dynasty.
The podestd, the capitano del popolo, and the esecutore della giustizia.