Definitions for podestapoʊˈdɛs tə, ˌpoʊ dəˈstɑ
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word podesta
one of the chief magistrates of the Italian republics in the Middle Ages
a mayor, alderman, or other magistrate, in some towns of Italy
Origin: [It. podest, fr. L. potestas power, magistracy. See Potent.]
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities beginning in the later Middle Ages. Mainly it meant the chief magistrate of a city state, the counterpart to similar positions in other cities that went by other names, e.g. rettori, but it could also mean the local administrator, who was the representative of the Holy Roman Emperor. Currently, Podestà is the title of mayors in Italian-speaking municipalities of Graubünden in Switzerland. The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power. Like the development of the Islamic term "Sultan", a term meaning "Power" or "Authority" eventually became the title of the person holding power.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the name given to the chief magistrate of an Italian town, with military as well as municipal authority; he was salaried, and annually elected to the office by the council, and had to give an account of his administration at the end of his term.
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