Ducal elections, institutional usages, and popular practices: Drawing lots in the Republic of Venice

2. The medieval world and the modern world
By Claire Judde de Larivière

The Republic of Venice occupies a privileged place in the history of the political uses of drawing lots because of the procedure for the election of the Doge. The complexity of the voting process, which has long attracted commentary and interpretations, should not, however, overshadow the importance of draws within Venetian society and institutions. This chapter highlights the diversity of procedural uses in the Republic of Venice, taking into account the different areas in which draws were employed, focusing on practices and uses. The ubiquity of drawing lots revealed how the ideal Venetian policy was based on the principles of justice, equality, and the distribution of resources and power.


  • Venice
  • sortition
  • election
  • vote
  • doge
  • popolo
  • Middle Ages
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