Republic of Venice

Great Council of Venice
The Ten ©Francesco Hayez
1172 Jan 1 - 1797

Great Council of Venice

Venice, Metropolitan City of V

The Great Council or Major Council was a political organ of the Republic of Venice between 1172 and 1797. It was the chief political assembly, responsible for electing many of the other political offices and the senior councils that ran the Republic, passing laws, and exercising judicial oversight. Following the lockout (Serrata) of 1297, its membership was established on hereditary right, exclusive to the patrician families enrolled in the Golden Book of the Venetian nobility. The Great Council was unique at the time in its usage of lottery to select nominators for proposal of candidates, who were thereafter voted upon.