The Minor Council was also called the Ducal Council or the Council of Six. The six ducal councilors, one for each district of the city, remained in office for eight months. Terms could be renewed twice and three at the time and could not be re-elected before two years had passed. The Doge could open his personal correspondence and discuss hearings only in the presence of at least 4 Ducal councilors. The most senior councillor covered the role of Vice-Doge, in the absence of the Doge.
The Minor Council, together with the Doge and the three heads of the Criminal Forty (or heads of the Council of the Criminal Forty, who were in charge of voting on many issues and had the possibility to replace an absent ducal counselor), formed the Venetian Signoria (until 1423, Commune Veneciarum), the supreme executive body of the republic, set to preside over the Senate, the Great Council and the Council of Ten. In these meetings, proposals for debate were made in accordance with the Elders.
- Donald E. Queller, The Venetian patriaziato, The Greyhound Editrice, Rome 1987
- Frederic C. Lane, History of Venice, Einaudi, Turin, and 1978
- Charles Diehl, The Republic of Venice, Newton & Compton publishers, Rome 2004