The Norman Administrative Revolution
The Magistrates of the Universitas
The Universitas was an association of citizens (small town) with its own statutes, partly or wholly independent from feudal lords. At the top of the Universitas there were a "Sindaco" and a "Mastrogiurato" with different, specific authorities. The Mastrogiurato was a judge in all the Portolania affairs, that is he dealt with the taxes paid by sellers, artisans, shopkeepers who occupied the public soil building new sites or transforming existing houses. The Portolania tax was collected by the "Portolani di Terra", employees of the Universitas who were also entrusted with looking after the cleaning of streets, squares and public places.
The Mastrogiurato was also responsible for the mint, for the small fines, and administered justice in times of fairs and markets.The Sindaco instead, with two or four "eletti" to help him, was responsible for the "granscia". They were paid with a small percentage of the tax on food. Sindaco and Mastrogiurato were electedevery five years by the Parliament of the Universitas, composed by the "decurioni", a number of head of families chosen by the citizens themselves.
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