Venice's First Government
the withdrawal of the forces of Attila the
Hun in late 452, many of the refugees who had fled to the safety
of the islands in the Venetian lagoon chose to return to the homes they
had left on the mainland. Others,
however, especially those who had little to return to, remained on the
islands of the lagoon, such as Torcello, Burano and Malamocco.
By 466 a consensus
emerged as to the need for some basic system of governance. In that
year twelve of the communities agreed to form a council of their representatives,
who would be selected annually. The first small step toward self-government
was not intended to affect the established sovereignty of the Roman
[or Byzantine] Empire, centered by then in far-away Constantinople
[modern-day Istanbul] with an Italian capital at Ravenna.
RETURN TO TIMELINE
1998-2000 C. I. Gable