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Sebastiano Venier at the Battle of Lepanto. Painting by Tintoretto
The Victors of Lepanto (from left: John of Austria, Marcantonio Colonna, Sebastiano Venier)

Sebastiano Venier or Veniero (c. 1496 – March 3, 1578) was Doge of Venice from June 11, 1577 to March 3, 1578.

Contents

Ancestry

Venier was born in Venice around 1496. He was a son of Moisè Venier and wife Elena Donà, and a nephew of Zuan Francesco Venier, Co-Lord of Cerigo.[1] He was a paternal grandson of Moisé Venier (ca. 1412 - ca. 1476)[2] and wife (m. 1437) Caterina Vitturi, great-grandson of Biagio Venier (- 1449)[3] and wife (m. 1406) Lucia Contarini, great-great-grandson of Francesco Venier (- 1424)[4] and wife and cousin Fantina Venier, daughter of Pietro Venier and wife, and great-great-great-grandson of Pietro Venier, Governor of Cerigo,[5] and wife.

Biography

He worked as a lawyer from a very early age, though without holding formal qualifications, and subsequently was an administrator for the government of the Republic of Venice. In 1570 he was procurator and, in the December of the same year, capitano generale da mar ("Chief admiral") of the Venetian fleet in the new war against the Ottoman Turks.

He was one of the protagonists of the Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571), in which the Christian League decisively defeated the Turks. After the peace he returned to Venice as a very popular figure, and in 1577, at the age of 81, he was unanimously elected Doge.

Marriage and issue

He was married to Cecilia Contarini, who bore him a daughter, Elena Venier, and two sons. One of his sons, Francisco Venier, went to France and had his name Frenchified to Francisque Venier and married Jeanne de la Touche-Limouzinière. Their daughter Marie Venier married Jean II de Bruc, Seigneur de la Grée, and had a daughter Jeanne de Bruc de la Rabaliere, who married Paul, Comte de Trécesson, and had Jeanne Marie de Trécesson, mistress of Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy (d. 1675), by whom she had issue.[6]

Death

Sebastiano Venier died in 1578, allegedly of broken heart after a fire that had heavily damaged the Doge's Palace of Venice.

Relations

He was a first cousin once removed of Cecilia Venier-Baffo, known as Nurbanu Sultan after her conversion to Islam, daughter of his first cousin Nicolò Venier, Lord of Paros. He sold her to the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1536[7] in order to counter the ascension of Roxelana. She became eventually the wife of his rival Selim II and the mother of Murad III, from whom descend all succeeding Sultans.[8]

Preceded by
Alvise I Mocenigo
Doge of Venice
1577–1578
Succeeded by
Nicolò da Ponte

References

  1. ^ http://www.wargs.com/royal/venier.html Ancestry of Sultana Nur-Banu (Cecilia Venier-Baffo)
  2. ^ Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, Dictionnaire Historique et Généalogique des Grandes Familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople, Paris: Sturdza, 1983, p. 446
  3. ^ Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, Dictionnaire Historique et Généalogique des Grandes Familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople, Paris: Sturdza, 1983, p. 445
  4. ^ Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, Dictionnaire Historique et Généalogique des Grandes Familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople, Paris: Sturdza, 1983, p. 445
  5. ^ Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza, Dictionnaire Historique et Généalogique des Grandes Familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople, Paris: Sturdza, 1983, p. 445
  6. ^ http://www.wargs.com/royal/venier.html Ancestry of Sultana Nur-Banu (Cecilia Venier-Baffo)
  7. ^ [http://www.wargs.com/royal/venier.html Ancestry of Sultana Nur-Banu (Cecilia Venier-Baffo)
  8. ^ See A. D. Alderson, The structure of the Ottoman dynasty [Oxford: Clarendon, 1956], Table XXXI et seq., for details.
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