Secret services and spies

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on skype
Share on email
Secret services and spies
"boche de leon" in Serenissima time
Secret services and spies

In the Republic of Venice the protection of public order, economic prosperity and success in military enterprises was protected by a high degree of secrecy.

Already in the first centuries of its history, the Serenissima had to deal with a dangerous internal instability and with the inclination of a part of the patriciate to plot conspiracies for power. In fact, between 717 and 1355, 17 Doges were deposed or executed.

The Conspiracy of Baiamonte Tiepolo and Marco Querini in 1310 marked the decisive moment in which the State was forced to appoint an exceptional tribunal, to investigate and repress seditions and troubles. Permanent authority of the Serenissima since 1335, the Council of Ten specialized in the management of political crimes and secret affairs for state security, with wide autonomy, including economic, towards the other magistrates.

A dense internal intelligence network was set up, consisting of spies and informants, who reported to the chief, the “Missier Grande”, reporting directly to the Council of Ten. International issues were entrusted to investigations by “explorers” coordinated with diplomatic personnel. The killers in charge of bringing the guilty before the judges or (in some cases) to solve the problem in more prominent ways, dealt with repression.

To protect secrecy as much as possible, which became a crucial value for the fate of the Republic, in 1539 the Council of Ten elected a special supervisory authority: the three ‘State Inquisitors’.

For this purpose particular containers, similar to the current mailboxes, were distributed in the city, especially near the institutional offices (Palazzo Ducale was the first place) in which to introduce secret but strictly non-anonymous complaints, under penalty of their destruction and destinated to the Inquisitors.

These containers had the appearance of open jaws on the outside. They were often carved with lion-like features or decorated with masks and took the name of “boche de leon” (lion’s mouth). Currently in the city 16 lion’s mouth are still visible.

Leave a Replay

About Us

We are a Venetian company that produces Murano glass items. We are specialized in glass creations for architecture and interior design. As a sign of love for our wonderful and unique city, the information and services offered on this blog are for educational purposes only and have been carefully selected for quality and reliability.

Disclaimer

Texts and images included in the posts are only partially works by the authors of the articles and their properties. Some images and texts are taken from the web and, therefore, considered to be in the public domain. Where possible, source and author are published for illustrative purposes only, in compliance with the law on the “Protection of copyright and other rights related to its exercise”. If their publication violates specific copyrights, please notify us for timely removal. The authors of the blog are not responsible for the content of comments to posts, nor for the content of the linked sites. Please read the blog disclaimer carefully.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Video

Sign up for our Newsletter

By entering your email address, you agree to receive updates and promotion and accept the privacy  policy and the terms of use.