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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the highest administrator in many city-communes in Italy from the 12th to the early 16th century; head of the executive and the judiciary. A podesta was elected for a term of six months to one year and was usually a citizen of another city. During the second half of the 12th century, Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa appropriated the right to appoint the podesta, making the podesta a representative of imperial power. After the battle of Legnano in 1176, however, the cities again secured the right to elect the podesta.

In the mid-13th century, the successful struggle of the popolani (townspeople) against the nòbili (noblemen residing in the city) led to a weakening of the podesta’s power and a strengthening of the capitani del popolo (commune heads) in Bologna, Florence, and many other cities. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the podesta retained only judicial functions and in the early 16th century was replaced by a board of judges. In Venice, Genoa, Florence, and other large medieval Italian city-states, the rulers of cities were also called podestas in the areas they controlled; they were appointed by the central government.

In 1926 a supreme administrative position called podesta was introduced in the cities of Fascist Italy, with appointments made by the government. After the Fascist regime collapsed, the position was abolished (January 1946).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Actus autem, coram judice celebrari deberet buie inde adstantibus patronis (apud nos "hombre buenos") facta judiei potestate pronuntiandi ex aequo et bono v.
Meminerant enim a Deo potestates has fuisse concessas, et propter vindictam noxiorum, gladium fuisse permissum, et Dei esse ministrum vindicem in hujusmodi datum (Rom.
A terceira afirmacao, 'sem assentimento (adsensione) nao ha nem memoria, nem nocoes das coisas, nem tecnicas [...] nem liberdades', contem novamente a nocao de adsensione, e todas as traducoes em unissono traduzem-na por 'assentimento' mas so divergem quanto aos termos aliquid in nostra potestate que, em SC e traduzido por 'liberdade de acao', em JS por 'algo em nosso poder', em HR por 'freedom of the will' e em AA por 'freewill'.
De ecclesiastica potestate es el primer escrito de politica que postula, con argumentos filosoficos, la teoria de la plenitud del poder papal.
A proposito, interpreta Bayona que Terrena se desmarca explicitamente de la doctrina de la plenitudo potestatis, que propugnaba el dominio papal sobre todos los bienes temporales y era la tesis que habia defendido Egidio Romano (1961) y sostenia entonces Agustin Triunfo en la Summa de ecclesiastica potestate (1326) (Augustinus Triumphus Anconitanus, Summa de potestate ecclesiastica, 1584 apud Bayona, 2015).
Vitoria, Francisco de (1960), De homicidio, De indis, De potestate civili, en Urdanoz, Teofilo (ed.), Obras de Francisco de Vitoria: relecciones teologicas, BAC, Madrid.
Tellingly, Hrabanus's chapter on poetic theory (De ui ac uaria potestate metrorum) has an extensive quotation from his friend Freculf's Historia where that author more or less presents Moses as the inventor of hexameter poetry.