ject of our present study, this I think is the only and true solution of the tedious question, so much discussed by the two opposing schools of thought: whether the government of the Italian communes was purely Roman in its forms and in its conception, or purely Teutonic. The supporters of neither theory can be said to be in the right. You cannot say that the average city government was entirely Roman or entirely Teutonic, either in the laws which guided it, or in the channels by which these laws were executed and expressed. I think much time and much learning have been spent on a discussion both fruitless and unnecessary. We cannot err if we subject the question to a consideration at once critical and impartial.
The widely differing opinions eagerly supported by different writers on this point, form a very good example of the deceiving influence of national feeling on the judgment in matters of historical criticism. For, on the one hand, we find many German writers ignoring entirely the old framework of R