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Electoral Anti-Corruption Law... Looks Good

Realizing the Venice merchant families are corrupting the elections, a complex lottery is adopted to select the people who will elect a city manager. In ten rounds of voting, a voting committee selects the members of a second voting committee which in turn selects a third voting committee... etc, etc, ... until a final committee votes to elect a Doge to run the city.

The title "Doge" suggests a military commander but the Doge will be severely limited in power. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The system used to select the final Venetian electoral college is more complex than I am making it sound here, but it is a well-defined system that even a computer programmer can understand. It is also complex enough to make it difficult to predetermine who will be a member of the final committee that elects the leader thus making the process less corruptible.

Massive Death Toll

A massive earthquake in what is today southern Turkey kills 60,000 people. While this is a large death toll in any age, the world population is around 120 million. If a similar proportion of the world population were killed TODAY, assuming 7.13 billion world population, would be 3,565,000 dead...in a day or two. [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Can you imagine 60,000 deaths? Who would be left to bury the dead? This is how I did the calculation for an equivalent number of deaths today: I Googled the population for the world at that time and got a number around 120,000,000. So... 60,000 divided by 120,000,000 equals 0.0005. Then I found an estimate of current world population of 7.13 billion and then... 7,130,000,000 multiplied by 0.0005 equals 3,565,000.

No New Pope

Pope Clement IV is dead, but it will take three years to elect another Pope. The Vatican controls a large military force. To be leaderless for so long will be a significant lapse. [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One wonders why the Cardinals took so long to elect a new Pope. Apparently the townspeople thought it was because the Cardinals didn't want to give up their cushy time away from home but one can think of worse reasons. The treasury and military must have been controlled by someone or some committee. That coveys considerable power that some might covet.

France Hops on New Beer Law

The first recorded use of hops in beer dates to 822 in France, but now King Louis IX of France passes a law REQUIRING beer to be made with malt and hops. [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am not a beer brewer so I don't know the importance of this event but I know Jack will be able to throw more light onto this.

See Also


  1. "Electing the Doge of Venice: analysis of a 13th Century protocol" by Miranda Mowbray, Dieter Gollmann, 2007. (PDF)
  2. 1268 - Wikipedia
  3. "18-year-old pope, three-year election: Quirky facts about papal conclaves", originally from Associated Press, March 11, 2013
  4. "The Oxford Companion to Beer", edited by Garrett Oliver, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 464.
  5. "Hops: the Bitter Herb", summarized by Master Rhys Terafan Greydragon from various sources listed on his site

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