Capitano del Popolo

Capitano del Popolo

 

an official in an Italian urbancommune (from the middle of the 13th century through the15th). He headed the small commune, which consisted of popolani (townspeople) and excluded the nòbili (noblemen residing in the city). Within the all-city commune, the small commune had its own army (people’s militia), administrative bodies (two councils), and legal system. The capitano del popolo in the small commune was analogous to the podestà (mayor) in theall-city commune. Gradually, with the strengthening of the merchants and guilds, the capitano del popolo began to play a decisive role in the political life of the city.

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Bargagli also follows Bartolomeo in his political ascent from Capitano del popolo and Ufficiale di Balia in his native Siena, to a whole range of diplomatic and mediating roles and missions on behalf of the Sienese and Florentine governments, and finally to his involvement in the politics of Lodovico Sforza whom he served as Consigliere di giustizia.
Boniface VII was elected capitano del popolo in 1297 and 1302; see Archivio di Stato di Orvieto Riformagioni vol.
In 1295 guardians were explicitly appointed by the Capitano del Popolo and the city's executives, by then guild consuls termed the Seven.