Agostino Barbarigo

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Portrait of Doge Agostino Barbarigo formerly attributed to Giovanni Bellini
An undated portrait of Barbarigo

Agostino Barbarigo (c. 1420 – 20 September 1501) was Doge of Venice from 1486 until his death in 1501.

While he was Doge, the imposing Clock Tower in the Piazza San Marco with its archway through which the street known as the Merceria leads to the Rialto, was designed and completed. A figure of the Doge was originally shown kneeling before the lion of Venice on the top storey below the bell but this was removed by the French in 1797 after Venice had surrendered to Napoleon.[1][2]

In 1496 he created an Italian coalition to push back Charles VIII of France from Italy, which led to the Battle of Fornovo during the French retreat from Italy. During his reign Venice gained several strongholds in Romagna and annexed the island of Cyprus.

His relationships with the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II were initially amicable, but they became increasingly strained starting from 1492, eventually leading to open war in 1499. The Venetian merchants in Istanbul were arrested, while Bosnian troops invaded Dalmatia and reached Zara. The Venetian fleet was defeated at the Battle of Zonchio, and the Republic lost its base in Lepanto. The latter was soon followed by Modone and Corone, which meant the loss of all the main intermediate stops for the Venetian ships sailing towards the Levante.

After four years of war, a peace treaty was signed in 1503. By it, Venice maintained in Morea only Nafplion, Patras and Monemvasia.

His dogaressa was Elisabetta Soranzo.[3] Agostino's brother was Marco Barbarigo, who had preceded him as Doge but survived in office for less than a year;[4] their tomb, originally in the church of the Carita, has been demolished. Part (a relief of the Resurrection of Christ) is in the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista, attributed to the workshop of Antonio Rizzo.[5]

Popular culture[edit]

  • Agostino Barbarigo makes a cameo as the doge-elect for his brother Marco in the video game Assassin's Creed II. Marco's short reign as Doge is ended when the main character assassinates him. In Facebook game Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy it is discovered that he has become corrupt like his brother before, and is subsequently killed by the Assassins on the 20th of September 1501 via a series of poison-coated letters.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howard, Deborah (2002). The Architectural History of Venice (Revised & enlarged ed.). Yale University Press. pp. 146–149. ISBN 0300090293. 
  2. ^ Lorenzetti, Giulio (1975). Venice and its Lagoon (English ed.). Trieste. pp. 141–142. 
  3. ^ Staley, Edgcumbe: The dogaressas of Venice : The wifes of the doges. London : T. W. Laurie
  4. ^ Norwich, John J. (1983). A History of Venice. Penguin Books. p. 363. ISBN 0140066233. 
  5. ^ Lorenzetti, Giulio (1975). Venice and its Lagoon (English ed.). Trieste. p. 614. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Marco Barbarigo
Doge of Venice
1486–1501
Succeeded by
Leonardo Loredan