Pietro IV Candiano

Pietro IV Candiano (died 976) was the twenty-second (traditional) or twentieth (historical) Doge of Venice from 959 to his death. He was the eldest son of Pietro III Candiano, with whom he co-reigned and whom he was elected to succeed.


By associating his son with him in the dogeship, Pietro III was trying to establish a hereditary monarchy in Venice. This incurred the wrath of the people, who, in a popular assembly, tried to kill the doge. Pietro IV intervened to save his father's life and exiled him with a small group of followers to Ivrea, where the Margrave Guy took him to his father, the king of Italy, Berengar II.

Pietro III then participated with Guy in an expedition against Theobald II, Duke of Spoleto, and gained the support of Berengar for an assault on Venice. At the head of a band of partisans, Pietro IV defeated his father, but did not kill him. He was then elected sole doge.


One of his first acts as doge was the blinding and expulsion of the Bishop of Castello, accused of simony. In June 960, he reconvened the popular assembly and had them approve of a law prohibiting the slave trade.

For political reasons, Pietro repudiated his first wife, Joan, forcing her into the convent of Santa Zaccaria. He had had two children through her: his son Vitale was later elected doge and his daughter Marina was married to Tribuno Memmo, a future doge. In 966, Pietro remarried to the Lombard Waldrada of Tuscany, daughter of Hubert, Duke of Spoleto, and a relative of the Emperor Otto I. As a relative also of the king of Italy, Waldrada brought him a large dowry including the possession of Treviso, Friuli, and Ferrara.

On 2 December 967, Pietro obtained from the emperor the renewal of a series of commercial privileges, for the Venetians in general, but also for himself and his family in particular. While this tightened the ties with the empire of the West, it greatly angered the emperor of the East, John I. John threatened war if the Venetians would not stop contrabanding with the Saracens against whom John was then battling fiercely on multiple fronts. In 971, Pietro had to consent to end the trade with the Moslems.


In 973, Otto I, protector of Pietro IV, died. His successor, Otto II, was busy with revolts in Germany and so the Venetians opposed to Pietro found their opportunity to depose him then. They locked him in his ducal palace and set it on fire. However, the fire spread to the Limitrofe and to Saint Mark's. Shortly, a greater part of the city was burnt. The doge and his young son by Waldrada, Pietro, were killed and their bodies thrown in the slaughterhouse, but were after recovered and respectfully buried in the church of Sant'Ilario. Waldrada survived and the succeeding doge, Pietro I Orseolo, left her an inheritance in order not to irk the emperor and direct his attention to recent events and their perpetrators in Venice. Vitale, surviving son of Pietro IV, fled to Saxony, where he conspired against the new doge.


Political offices
Preceded by
Pietro III Candiano
Doge of Venice
Succeeded by
Pietro I Orseolo
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