Orso I Participazio
He was elected, probably by acclamation, after several days of street fighting that followed the assassination of his predecessor, Pietro Tradonico, in September 864. By the end of the year, the assassins were captured, convicted, and executed, probably beheaded.
Orso's most significant accomplishment was his reform of Venetian government. Until his tenure, the practical power of the Doge had been unlimited; the authority of the tribunes, whose role was to check the Doge's power, had declined; and it had become the practice of the Doge to co-opt his son or brother as his fellow Doge, thus introducing a hereditary tendency to the office. Orso instituted elected judges who would serve as magistrates as well as counsellors to the Doge. Orso also reorganized the ecclesiastical structure of the islands of Venice by securing the creation of five new bishoprics, thus thwarting the domination of the Patriarch of Aquileia and the Patriarch of Grado.
- Donald M. Nicol, Byzantium and Venice: A Study in diplomatic and cultural relations (Cambridge: University Press, 1988), p. 35
|Doge of Venice
Giovanni II Participazio