Marcus Aurelius, called the Philosopher, was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled the Roman Empire with his adoptive brother Lucius Verus until Lucius' death in 169, he was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors. He is seen as the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Empire, his personal philosophical writings, now known as Meditations, are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. They have been praised by fellow writers and monarchs – as well as by poets and politicians – centuries after his death. Marcus was born into a Roman patrician family, his father was a praetor, after whose death in 124 Marcus was raised by his paternal grandfather, his mother was a wealthy heiress. He was educated at home, as children from Roman aristocratic families were, credited his maternal grandmother's step-father Lucius Catilius Severus – who helped Marcus' grandfather to raise him – for his education.
His tutors included the artist Diognetus, who may have sparked his interest in philosophy, Tuticius Proclus. Marcus was betrothed to the daughter of Lucius Aelius, his relative Emperor Hadrian's first adopted son and heir. Aelius died in 138 and Hadrian chose as his new heir Antoninus Pius, the husband of Marcus' aunt, on the condition that Antoninus adopt Marcus and the son of Aelius, Lucius Commodus. Antoninus became emperor that year upon Hadrian's death, Marcus and Lucius became joint heirs to the throne. While imperial heir, Marcus studied Latin, his tutors included Herodes Atticus and Marcus Cornelius Fronto. He kept in close correspondence with Fronto for many years afterwards. Marcus was introduced to Stoicism by Quintus Junius Rusticus and by other philosophers such as Apollonius of Chalcedon, he was made the symbolic head of the Roman equites. He was appointed consul with Antoninus in 140 and 145, with his adoptive brother Lucius in 161. On 7 March 161, Antoninus died and the two succeeded to the imperial throne.
Marcus' reign was marked by military conflict. In the East, the Roman Empire fought with a revitalized Parthian Empire and the rebel Kingdom of Armenia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni and Sarmatians in the Marcomannic Wars; however and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. Marcus modified the silver purity of the denarius. Persecution of Christians is believed to have increased during his reign; the Antonine Plague that broke out in 165 or 166 devastated the population of the Roman Empire. It caused the deaths of a quarter of those it affected. Marcus never adopted an heir unlike some of his predecessors. Marcus became the first emperor to die with a living, adult son since Titus succeeded his father Vespasian a century earlier, but Commodus is considered a disappointment as emperor and his succession has long been the subject of debate among both contemporary and modern historians; the Column and Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius still stand in Rome, where they were erected in celebration of Marcus' military victories.
The major sources depicting the life and rule of Marcus are patchy and unreliable. The most important group of sources, the biographies contained in the Historia Augusta, claim to be written by a group of authors at the turn of the 4th century AD, but were in fact written by a single author from about 395 AD; the biographies and the biographies of subordinate emperors and usurpers are unreliable, but the earlier biographies, derived from now-lost earlier sources, are much more accurate. For Marcus' life and rule, the biographies of Hadrian, Antoninus and Lucius are reliable, but those of Aelius Verus and Avidius Cassius are not. A body of correspondence between Marcus' tutor Fronto and various Antonine officials survives in a series of patchy manuscripts, covering the period from c. 138 to 166. Marcus' own Meditations offer a window on his inner life, but are undateable and make few specific references to worldly affairs; the main narrative source for the period is Cassius Dio, a Greek senator from Bithynian Nicaea who wrote a history of Rome from its founding to 229 in eighty books.
Dio is vital for the military history of the period, but his senatorial prejudices and strong opposition to imperial expansion obscure his perspective. Some other literary sources provide specific details: the writings of the physician Galen on the habits of the Antonine elite, the orations of Aelius Aristides on the temper of the times, the constitutions preserved in the Digest and Codex Justinianus on Marcus' legal work. Inscriptions and coin finds supplement the literary sources. Marcus was born in Rome on 26 April 121, his name at birth was Marcus Annius Verus, but some sources assign this name to him upon his father's death and unofficial adoption by his grandfather, upon his coming of age, or at the time of his marriage. He may have been known as Marcus Annius Catilius Severus, at birth or at some point in his youth, or Marcus Catilius Severus Annius Verus. Upon his adoption by Antoninus as heir to the throne, he was known as Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar and, upon his ascension, he was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus until his death.
The Severan dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 193 and 235. The dynasty was founded by the general Septimius Severus, who rose to power as the victor of the Civil War of 193–197. Although Septimius Severus restored peace following the upheaval of the late 2nd century, the dynasty was disturbed by unstable family relationships, as well as constant political turmoil foreshadowing the imminent Crisis of the Third Century, it was one of the last lineages of the Principate founded by Augustus. For dynastic relationships: see Severan dynasty family tree Lucius Septimius Severus was born to a family of Phoenicia equestrian rank in Leptis Magna, the Roman province of Africa proconsularis, in modern-day Libya, he rose through military service to consular rank under the Antonines. He married Syrian noblewoman Julia Domna and had two children with her and Geta, he was subsequently proclaimed emperor in 193 by his legionaries in Noricum during the political unrest that followed the death of Commodus, he secured sole rule over the empire in 197 after defeating his last rival, Clodius Albinus, at the Battle of Lugdunum.
Severus fought a successful war against the Parthians and campaigned with success against barbarian incursions in Roman Britain, rebuilding Hadrian's Wall. In Rome, his relations with the Senate were poor, but he was popular with the commoners, as with his soldiers, whose salary he raised. Starting in 197, his Praetorian prefect Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was a negative influence, he would be executed in 205. One of Plautianus's successors was the jurist Aemilius Papinianus. Severus continued official persecution of Christians and Jews, as they were the only two groups who would not assimilate their beliefs to the official syncretistic creed. Severus died, he was succeeded by his sons Caracalla and Geta, who reigned under the influence of their mother, Julia Domna. The eldest son of Severus, he was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus in Gaul. "Caracalla" was a nickname referring to the Gallic hooded tunic he habitually wore when he slept. Upon his father's death, Caracalla was proclaimed co-emperor with his brother Geta.
Conflict between the two culminated in the assassination of the latter less than a year after their father's death. Reigning alone, Caracalla was noted for lavish bribes to the legionaries and unprecedented cruelty, authorizing numerous assassinations of perceived enemies and rivals, he campaigned with indifferent success against the Alamanni. The Baths of Caracalla in Rome are the most enduring monument of his rule, he was assassinated while en route to a campaign against the Parthians by a Praetorian Guard. Younger son of Severus, Geta was made co-emperor with his older brother Caracalla upon his father's death. Unlike the much more successful joint reign of Marcus Aurelius and his brother Lucius Verus in the previous century, relations were hostile between the two Severan brothers from the start. Geta was assassinated in his mother's apartments by order of Caracalla, who thereafter ruled as sole Augustus. Marcus Opelius Macrinus was born in 164 at Caesarea Mauretaniae. Although coming from a humble background, not dynastically related to the Severan dynasty.
On account of the cruelty and treachery of the emperor, Macrinus became involved in a conspiracy to kill him, ordered the Praetorian Guard to do so. On April 8, 217, Caracalla was assassinated travelling to Carrhae. Three days Macrinus was declared Augustus, his most significant early decision was to make peace with the Parthians, but many thought that the terms were degrading to the Romans. However, his downfall was his refusal to award the pay and privileges promised to the eastern troops by Caracalla, he kept those forces wintered in Syria, where they became attracted to the young Elagabalus. After months of mild rebellion by the bulk of the army in Syria, Macrinus took his loyal troops to meet the army of Elagabalus near Antioch. Despite a good fight by the Praetorian Guard, his soldiers were defeated. Macrinus managed to escape to Chalcedon but his authority was lost: he was betrayed and executed after a short reign of just 14 months. Marcus Opelius Diadumenianus was the son of Macrinus, born in 208.
He was given the title Caesar in 217. After his father's defeat outside Antioch, he tried to escape east to Parthia, but was captured and killed before he could achieve this. Elagabalus was born Varius Avitus Bassianus in 204, became known as Marcus Aurelius Antonius; the name "Elagabalus" followed the Latin nomenclature for the Syrian sun god Elagabal, of whom he had become a priest at an early age. Elagabal was represented by a dark rock called a baetyl. Elagabalus's grandmother, Julia Maesa, Julia Domna's sister and sister-in-law of Emperor Septimius Severus, arranged for the restoration of the Severan dynasty, persuaded soldiers from The Gallic Third Legion who were stationed near Emesa, using her enormous wealth, as well as the claim that Caracalla had slept with her daughter and that the boy was his bastard to swear fealty to Elagabalus, he was invited alongside his mother and daughters to the military camp, clad in imperial purple, crowned as emperor by the soldiers. His reign in Rome has long been known for being outrageous, although the historical sources are few, in many cases not to be trusted.
He is said to have smothered guests at a banquet by flooding the room with rose petals, married his male lover, married a vestal virgin. Dio suggests he
Severus Alexander was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235 and the last emperor of the Severan dynasty. He succeeded his cousin Elagabalus upon the latter's assassination in 222, his own assassination marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century—nearly 50 years of civil wars, foreign invasion, collapse of the monetary economy, though this last part is now disputed. Alexander was the heir to his cousin, the 18-year-old Emperor, murdered along with his mother Julia Soaemias, by his own guards, who, as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river, he and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa, who had arranged for Elagabalus' acclamation as emperor by the famous Third Gallic Legion. It was the rumor of Alexander's death that triggered the assassination of his mother, his 13-year reign was the longest reign of a sole emperor since Antoninus Pius. He was the second-youngest sole legal Roman Emperor during the existence of the united empire, the youngest being Gordian III.
As emperor, Alexander's peacetime reign was prosperous. However, Rome was militarily confronted with the rising Sassanid Empire and growing incursions from the tribes of Germania, he managed to check the threat of the Sassanids. But when campaigning against Germanic tribes, Alexander attempted to bring peace by engaging in diplomacy and bribery; this led to a conspiracy to assassinate and replace him. Born between around 207 or 208 Severus Alexander became emperor when he was around 14 years old, making him the youngest emperor in Rome's history, until the ascension of Gordian III. Alexander's grandmother believed that he had more potential to rule than her other grandson, the unpopular emperor Elagabalus. Thus, to preserve her own position, she had Elagabalus adopt the young Alexander and arranged for Elagabalus' assassination, securing the throne for Alexander; the Roman army hailed Alexander as emperor on 13 March 222 conferring on him the titles of Augustus, pater patriae and pontifex maximus.
Throughout his life, Alexander relied on guidance from his grandmother and mother, Julia Mamaea. Maesa died in 223; as a young and inexperienced adolescent, Alexander knew little about government, warcraft, or the role of ruling over an empire. Because of this, throughout his entire reign he was a puppet of his mother's advice and under her jurisdiction, a state of affairs, not popular with the soldiers. Under the influence of his mother, Alexander did much to improve the morals and condition of the people, to enhance the dignity of the state, he employed noted jurists to oversee the administration of justice, such as the famous jurist Ulpian. His advisers were men like the senator and historian Cassius Dio, it is claimed that he created a select board of 16 senators, although this claim is disputed, he created a municipal council of 14 who assisted the urban prefect in administering the affairs of the 14 districts of Rome. Excessive luxury and extravagance at the imperial court were diminished, he restored the Baths of Nero in 227 or 229.
Upon his accession he reduced the silver purity of the denarius from 46.5% to 43%—the actual silver weight dropped from 1.41 grams to 1.30 grams. The following year he decreased the amount of base metal in the denarius while adding more silver, raising the silver purity and weight again to 50.5% and 1.50 grams. Additionally, during his reign taxes were lightened. In religious matters, Alexander preserved an open mind. According to the Historia Augusta, he wished to erect a temple to Jesus but was dissuaded by the pagan priests. In legal matters, Alexander did much to aid the rights of his soldiers, he confirmed that soldiers could name anyone as heirs in their will, whereas civilians had strict restrictions over who could become heirs or receive a legacy. He confirmed that soldiers could free their slaves in their wills, protected the rights of soldiers to their property when they were on campaign, reasserted that a soldier's property acquired in or because of military service could be claimed by no-one else, not the soldier's father.
On the whole, Alexander's reign was prosperous until the rise, in the east, of the Sassanids under Ardashir I. In 231 AD, Ardeshir invaded the Roman provinces of the east, overrunning Mesopotamia and penetrating as far as Syria and Cappadocia, forcing from the young Alexander a vigorous response. Of the war that followed. According to the most detailed authority, the Roman armies suffered a number of humiliating setbacks and defeats, while according to the Historia Augusta as well as Alexander's own dispatch to the Roman Senate, he gained great victories. Making Antioch his base, he organized in 233 a three-fold invasion of the Sassanian Empire.
Achaea (Roman province)
Achaea or Achaia, was a province of the Roman Empire, consisting of the Peloponnese, Boeotia, the Cyclades and parts of Phthiotis, Aetolia-Acarnania and Phocis. In the north, it bordered on the provinces of Macedonia; the region was annexed by the Roman Republic in 146 BC following the sack of Corinth by the Roman general Lucius Mummius, awarded the cognomen "Achaicus". It became part of the Roman province of Macedonia. Achaea was a senatorial province, thus free from military men and legions, one of the most prestigious and sought-after provinces for senators to govern. Athens was the primary center of education for the imperial elite, rivaled only by Alexandria, one of the most important cities in the Empire. Achaea was among the most prosperous and peaceful parts of the Roman world until Late Antiquity, when it first suffered from barbarian invasions; the province remained prosperous and urbanized however, as attested in the 6th-century Synecdemus. The Slavic invasions of the 7th century led to widespread destruction, with much of the population fleeing to fortified cities, the Aegean islands and Italy, while some Slavic tribes settled the interior.
The territories of Achaea remaining in Byzantine hands were grouped into the theme of Hellas. In 150-148 BC the Romans fought the Fourth Macedonian War, after which they annexed Macedon the largest and most powerful state in mainland Greece. In 146 BC the Achaean League rebelled against the Romans; this was a hopeless war. Polybius, an ancient Greek scholar, blamed the demagogues of the cities of the Achaean League for stirring nationalism, the idea that the league could stand up to Roman power, fostering a rash decision and inciting a suicidal war; the League was defeated and its main city, Corinth was destroyed. The Romans decided to annex the whole of mainland Greece and Achaea became part of the Roman Province of Macedonia; some cities, such as Athens and Sparta retained their self-governing status within their own territories. The First Mithridatic War was fought in Attica and Boeotia, two regions which were to become part of the province of Achaea. In 89 BC, Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus, seized the Roman Province of Asia.
Mithridates sent Archelaus to Greece, where he established Aristion as a tyrant in Athens. The Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla marched on Athens, he marched through Boeotia on his way to Attica. Sulla besieged Athens and Piraeus in 87-86 BC and sacked Athens and destroyed Piraeus, he defeated Archelaus at the Battle of Chaeronea and the Battle of Orchomenus, both fought in Boeotia in 86 BC. Roman rule was preserved; the commerce of Achaea was no longer a rival to that of Rome. After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra, about 31 BC, the Emperor Augustus separated Macedonia from Achaea, though it remained a Senatorial province, as under the Republic. In AD 15, Emperor Tiberius, responding to complaints of mismanagement by the Senatorial proconsul made Achaea and Macedonia Imperial provinces, they were restored to the Senate as part of Emperor Claudius' reforms in AD 44. Over time, Greece would rebuild, culminating during the reign of the Hellenophile Emperor Hadrian. Along with the Greek scholar Herodes Atticus, Hadrian undertook an extensive rebuilding program.
He beautified many of the Greek cities. Copper and silver mines were exploited in Achaea, though production was not as great as the mines of other Roman-controlled areas, such as Noricum and the provinces of Hispania. Marble from Greek quarries was a valuable commodity. Educated Greek slaves were much in demand in Rome in the role of doctors and teachers, educated men were a significant export. Achaea produced household luxuries, such as furniture, pottery and linens. Greek olives and olive oil were exported to the rest of the Empire. Publius Memmius Regulus Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus Gaius Calpurnius Piso Aegeates Titus Avidius Quietus Gaius Avidius Nigrinus Armenius Brocchus L. Munatius Gallus M. Mettius Rufus Lucius Herennius Saturninus Lucius Julius Marinus Caecilius Simplex C. Caristanius Julianus C. Minicius Fundanus Cassius Longinus Gaius Avidius Nigrinus Titus Calestrius Tiro Orbius Speratus Cassius Maximus Calpurnius Longus C. Valerius Severus Clodius Granianus T. Prifernius Paetus Rosianus Geminus Lucius Antonius Albus C.
Julius Severus Gaius Julius Scapula Julius Candidus Q. Licinius Modestinus Sex. Attius Labeo Sextus Quintilius Condianus Sextus Quintilius Valerius Maxmus L. Albinus Saturninus Gaius Sabucius Maior Caecilianus Lucius Calpurnius Proculus Gaius Caesonius Macer Rufinianus Pupienus Maximus Gaius Asinius Quadratus Protimus Claudius Demetrius Marcus Aemilius Saturninus Marcus Aurelius Amarantus Lucius Julius Julianus Aurelius Proculus Quintus Flavius Balbus Lucius Lucius Priscillianus Gnaeus Claudius Leonticus Rutilius Pudens Crispinus Marcus Ulpius (end of the 2nd/beginning of the 3rd ce
The Augustan History is a late Roman collection of biographies, written in Latin, of the Roman Emperors, their junior colleagues, designated heirs and usurpers of the period 117 to 284. Modeled on the similar work of Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, it presents itself as a compilation of works by six different authors, written during the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine I and addressed to those emperors or other important personages in Rome; the collection, as extant, comprises thirty biographies, most of which contain the life of a single emperor, while some include a group of two or more, grouped together because these emperors were either similar or contemporaneous. The true authorship of the work, its actual date, its reliability, its purpose, have long been matters for controversy amongst historians and scholars since Hermann Dessau in 1889 rejected both the date and the authorship as stated within the manuscript. Major problems include the nature of the sources it used, how much of the content is pure fiction.
For instance, the collection contains in all about 150 alleged documents, including 68 letters, 60 speeches and proposals to the people or the senate, 20 senatorial decrees and acclamations. All of these are now considered to be fraudulent. By the second decade of the 21st century, the overall consensus supported the position that there was only a single author, writing either at the end of the 4th century or the beginning of the 5th century, and, interested in blending contemporary issues into the lives of the 3rd century emperors. There is further consensus that the author used the fictitious elements in the work to highlight references to other published works, such as to Cicero and Ammianus Marcellinus in a complex allegorical game. Despite these conundrums, it is the only continuous account in Latin for much of its period and is thus continually being re-evaluated, since modern historians are unwilling to abandon it as a unique source of possible information, despite its obvious untrustworthiness on many levels.
The name Historia Augusta originated with Isaac Casaubon, who produced a critical edition in 1603, working from a complex manuscript tradition with a number of variant versions. The title as recorded on the Codex Palatinus manuscript is Vitae Diversorum Principum et Tyrannorum a Divo Hadriano usque ad Numerianum Diversis compositae, it is assumed that the work may have been called de Vita Caesarum or Vitae Caesarum. How the work was circulated in late antiquity is unknown, but its earliest use was in a Roman History composed by Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus in 485. Lengthy citations from it are found in authors of the 6th and 9th centuries, including Sedulius Scottus who quoted parts of the Marcus Aurelius, the Maximini and the Aurelian within his Liber de Rectoribus Christianis, the chief manuscripts date from the 9th or 10th centuries; the six Scriptores – "Aelius Spartianus", "Julius Capitolinus", "Vulcacius Gallicanus", "Aelius Lampridius", "Trebellius Pollio", "Flavius Vopiscus" – dedicate their biographies to Diocletian and various private persons, so ostensibly were all writing around the late 3rd and early 4th century.
The first four scriptores are attached to the lives from Hadrian to Gordian III, while the final two are attached to the lives from Valerian to Numerian. The biographies cover the emperors from Hadrian to Numerian. A section covering the reigns of Philip the Arab, Trebonianus Gallus and all but the end of the reign of Valerian is missing in all the manuscripts, it has been argued that biographies of Nerva and Trajan have been lost at the beginning of the work, which may suggest the compilation might have been a direct continuation of Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars, it has been theorized that the mid-3rd-century lacuna might be a deliberate literary device of the author or authors, saving the labour of covering Emperors for whom little source material may have been available. Despite devoting whole books to ephemeral or in some cases non-existent usurpers, there are no independent biographies of the Emperors Quintillus and Florian, whose reigns are briefly noted towards the end of the biographies of their respective predecessors, Claudius Gothicus and Tacitus.
For nearly 300 years after Casaubon's edition, though much of the Augustan History was treated with some scepticism, it was used by historians as an authentic source – Edward Gibbon used it extensively in the first volume of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. However, "in modern times most scholars read the work as a piece of deliberate mystification written much than its purported date, however the fundamentalist view still has distinguished support; the Historia Augusta is unfortunately, the principal Latin source for a century of Roman history. The historian must make use of it, but only with extreme circumspection and caution." Existing manuscripts and witnesses of the Augustan History fall into three groups: A manuscript of the first quarter of the ninth century, Vatican Pal. lat. 899, known as P, its direct and indirect copies. P was written at Lorsch in Caroline minuscule; the text in this manuscript has several lacunae marked with dots indicating the missing letters, a confusion in the order of the biographies between Verus and Alexander, the transposition of several passages: two long ones which correspond to a quire of the original which became loose and was inserted in a wrong place, a simil
In governance, sortition is the selection of political officials as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates, a system intended to ensure that all competent and interested parties have an equal chance of holding public office. It minimizes factionalism, since there would be no point making promises to win over key constituencies if one was to be chosen by lot, while elections, by contrast, foster it. In ancient Athenian democracy, sortition was the traditional and primary method for appointing political officials, its use was regarded as a principal characteristic of democracy. Today, sortition is used to select prospective jurors in common law-based legal systems and is sometimes used in forming citizen groups with political advisory power. Athenian democracy developed in the 6th century BC out of what was called isonomia. Sortition was the principal way of achieving this fairness, it was utilized to pick most of the magistrates for their governing committees, for their juries. Aristotle relates equality and democracy: Democracy arose from the idea that those who are equal in any respect are equal absolutely.
All are alike free, therefore they claim that all are free absolutely... The next is when the democrats, on the grounds that they are all equal, claim equal participation in everything, it is accepted as democratic. In Athens, "democracy" was in opposition to those supporting a system of oligarchy. Athenian democracy was characterised by being run by the "many" who were allotted to the committees which ran government. Thucydides has Pericles make this point in his Funeral Oration: "It is administered by the many instead of the few; the Athenians believed sortition to be democratic but not elections and used complex procedures with purpose-built allotment machines to avoid the corrupt practices used by oligarchs to buy their way into office. According to the author Mogens Herman Hansen the citizen's court was superior to the assembly because the allotted members swore an oath which ordinary citizens in the assembly did not and therefore the court could annul the decisions of the assembly. Both Aristotle and Herodotus emphasize selection by lot as a test of democracy, "The rule of the people has the fairest name of all and does none of the things that a monarch does.
The lot determines offices, power is held accountable, deliberation is conducted in public."Past scholarship maintained that sortition had roots in the use of chance to divine the will of the gods, but this view is no longer common among scholars. In Ancient Greek mythology, Zeus and Hades used sortition to determine who ruled over which domain. Zeus got the sky, Poseidon the sea, Hades the underworld. In Athens, to be eligible to be chosen by lot, citizens self-selected themselves into the available pool lotteries in the kleroteria machines; the magistracies assigned by lot had terms of service of 1 year. A citizen could not hold any particular magistracy more than once in his lifetime, but could hold other magistracies. All male citizens over 30 years of age, who were not disenfranchised by atimia, were eligible; those selected through lot underwent examination called dokimasia in order to avoid incompetent officials. Were selected citizens discarded. Magistrates, once in place, were subjected to constant monitoring by the Assembly.
Magistrates appointed by lot had to render account of their time in office upon their leave, called euthynai. However, any citizen could request the suspension of a magistrate with due reason; the brevia was used in the city states of Northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries and in Venice until the late 18th century. Men, who were chosen randomly, swore an oath that they were not acting under bribes, they elected members of the council. Voter and candidate eligibility included property owners, guild members, at times, artisans; the Doge of Venice was determined through a complex process of nomination and sortition. Lot was used in the Venetian system only in order to select members of the committees that served to nominate candidates for the Great Council. A combination of election and lot was used in this multi-stage process. Lot was not used alone to select magistrates, unlike in Athens; the use of lot to select nominators made it more difficult for political sects to exert power, discouraged campaigning.
By reducing intrigue and power moves within the Great Council, lot maintained cohesiveness among the Venetian nobility, contributing to the stability of this republic. Top magistracies still remained in the control of elite families; the scrutiny was employed in Florence for over a century starting in 1328. Nominations and voting together created a pool of candidates from different sectors of the city; these men had their names deposited into a sack, a lottery draw determined who would get magistracy positions. The scrutiny was opened up to minor guilds, reaching the greatest level of Renaissance citizen participation in 1378–82. In Florence, lot was used to select magistrates and members of the Signoria during republican periods. Florence utilized a combination of lot and scrutiny by the people, set forth by the ordinances of 1328. In 1494, Florence founded a Great Council in the model of Venice; the nominatori were thereafter chosen by lot from among the member