Giovanni Dolfin

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Giovanni Dolfin, also known as Giovanni Delfino or Delfin (died July 12, 1361) was the fifty-seventh Doge of Venice, appointed on August 13, 1356. Despite his value as general, during his reign Venice lost Dalmatia. He was blind from one eye after a wound received in battle.


He was born in Venice into a noble and wealthy family, and in his youth he fought for Venice. His family was allied with the Gradenigo, whose member Giovanni was doge before him. Dolfin was elected while defending Treviso, then besieged by Hungarian troops; he broke the encirclement and reached Venice to be enthroned.

In the war which had broken out under Dolfin's predecessor, Hungary had conquered Dalmatia and were pushing other Venetian colonies to revolt. The Venetian defeat at Nervesa in February 1358 forced the Republic to sue for peace, losing Dalmatia, Zara and Split, but maintaining their naval predominance in the Adriatic Sea as the King of Hungary accepted not to build a fleet of his own. Also in 1358–1359 Padua started to menace the Venetian trades on the Brenta River and forced the city to stop trading with Egypt. These events triggered an economical crisis in Venice, which ended only after the War of Chioggia, in 1382. He was interred in the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, a traditional burial place of the doges.

Political offices
Preceded by
Giovanni Gradenigo
Doge of Venice
Succeeded by
Lorenzo Celsi