Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 330 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PIETRO ORSEOLO II. (d. 1009), a son of the previous doge, was himself elected to this office in 991. He was a great builder, but his chief work was to crush the pirates of the Adriatic Sea and to bring a long stretch of the Dalmatian coast under the rule of Venice, thus relieving the commerce of the republic from a great and pressing danger. The fleet which achieved this result was led by the doge in person; it sailed on Ascension Day, the 9th of May 1000, and its progress was attended with uninterrupted success. In honour of this victory the Venetians instituted the ceremony which afterwards grew into the sposalizio del mar, or marriage of the sea, and which was celebrated each year on Ascension Day, while the doge added to his title that of duke of Dalmatia. In many other ways Pietro's services to the state were considerable, and he may be said to be one of the chief founders of the commercial greatness of Venice. The doge was on very friendly terms with the emperor Otto III. and also with the emperors at Constantinople, and in 1003 he sailed against the Saracens and compelled them to raise the siege of Bari. In 1003 his son Giovanni was associated with him in the dogeship, and on Giovanni's death in 1007 another son, Ottone, succeeded to this position.

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