The Savii or Savi del Consiglio ("Wise men of the Council"), also known as the Savi[i] Grandi ("Great Wise Men"), were senior magistrates of the Republic of Venice.
The positions were created in 1380 to assist the councils comprising the government of the Republic. Their duty was to "prepare [the government's] agenda, frame resolutions, defend them, and supervise their execution". The Savii, six in number, were chosen from the members of the Venetian Senate, or Consiglio dei Pregadi, whence their name. As with other higher magistracies of Venice, restrictions were placed on the eligibility to the office: the members served a term of six months and could not be re-elected to the same office for six months thereafter. To ensure continuity, the appointments to the office were staggered: three took office on 1 October, three on 1 January, three on 1 April, and three on 1 July. Like all savi, the office did not carry a salary, but could be held in tandem with other public offices.
The Savii were always present in, and in charge of the agenda of, the daily deliberations of the Full College (the Venetian cabinet). They were also obliged to be present in all sessions of the Council of Ten that had to do with foreign affairs. Consequently, and since no proposal could appear for vote before the Senate without having first been reviewed by the College, the Savii del Consiglio came to be part of a small core of officials who exercised the most control over the governance of the Republic, alongside the Doge of Venice, the six ducal councillors, and the heads of the Ten.
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