Duchy of Gaeta - Consulate


In 1094 a major shift in the government of Gaeta was first recorded. In that year boni homines ("good men") first took part in the political process. In 1123 consuls, four in number, are first recorded, though the dukes had always borne the consular title as an imperial honorific. This makes Gaeta one of the "more precocious cities" by Daniel Waley's criteria. The use of consuls may have been the result of Genoese or Pisan influence, though consuls from Rome were recorded participating in Gaetan affairs in 1127. The record of consular government in Gaeta lasts only until 1135. Two general factions can be defined: those families aligned with the Crescentii and those aligned with the Tusculani. The former dominated the consulate.

In 1123 Duke Richard II confirmed the copper coinage and promised the consuls not to change it. In 1127 the building that housed the curia he ceded to them. The submission in 1135 and death in 1140 of the last Gaetan duke correspond, respectively, with the last consular record and the failed attack on Genoa. It is probably that increased Norman oversight of Gaetan affairs is responsible for the eclipse of both the consuls and the pirates.

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