THE DOGE OF VENICE, FRANCESCO FOSCARI

 

 (image from  Romano 2007, 199)

 

 

Francesco Foscari was born in 1373 into a family of considerable wealth and connections and died in 1457 (Romano 2007, 3, 312). He married twice, first the daughter of a wealthy banker and then of a nobleman, and both these marriages increased his wealth and the power of his family (Romano 2007, 9, 19). In a young age he travelled extensively as a tradesman and as a member of several embassies, but he officially started his political career in 1416, when he was elected procurator of San Marco, the most prestigious office under that of the Doge (Romano 2007, 20, 26). His early work included restoration in San Marco and a series of actions to assist the poor and less powerful of Venice. He was elected Doge in 1423 and throughout his career he tried to quit his office at least two times. His policies were characterised mainly by his handling of foreign affairs, since he re-introduced Venice and its role in the world by placing an emphasis in the terraferma rather than the Venetian colonies in the east Mediterranean (Romano 2007, 1, 67). One of his important goals was to expand the control of Venice over its hinterland, become allies with neighbouring cities which would support his cause and fight against other Italian cities that threatened Venice’s supremacy in the mainland. Another characteristic of his diplomatic policies were the extravagant and pompous display of Venice’s wealth and power with receptions and processions, as described also by Syropoulos (Fortini- Brown 1990, 136-87).

F.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Translation is © Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, IAA, University of Birmingham 2008

 

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Last updated 19 June 2008