Marcantonio Memmo

Portrait of Marcantonio Memmo by Leandro Bassano
Arms of Marcantonio Memmo

Marcantonio Memmo (Venice, November 11, 1536 – Venice, October 31, 1615) was the 91st Doge of Venice, reigning from July 24, 1612 until his death.

Background, 1536–1612

The son of Giovanni Memmo and Bianca Sanudo, he was born into a family of average wealth. He went into business as a merchant and made a fortune through his careful management.

As a prominent Venetian, he traversed the Venetian cursus honorum, becoming in turn, provveditore, podestà, and procurator of San Marco. He was set to become doge in 1606, but was not helped by the fact that the Memmo were one of the "vecchie" ("old"), Venetian noble families and every doge from 1382 on had been a member of one of the "nuove" ("new") Venetian noble families. He was thus unable to win support for his election in 1606, and lost out to Leonardo Donato.

Reign as Doge, 1612–1615

Memmo used the years of Donato's reign to maneuver behind the scenes, swinging into high gear following Donato's death on 16 July 1612. When the election was held on July 24, 1612, Memmo was elected on the first ballot, with 38 of the 41 votes, a shock to the nuove faction that had dominated the position of Doge for centuries. Great festivals were organized to celebrate Memmo's victory, and, like previous Doges, he would use the celebrations that attended great holidays as a way to curry favor with the population of Venice.

Little of note happened in Memmo's reign as Doge, except for an incursion of Uskoci pirates in 1613. He died on October 31, 1615.


This article is based on this article from Italian Wikipedia.

Political offices
Preceded by
Leonardo Donato
Doge of Venice
Succeeded by
Giovanni Bembo

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