1628, Venice, Doge Giovanni Cornaro. Large Silver Scudo (140 Soldi) Coin. aXF!
Mint Period: 1628-1629 AD Reference: Davenport 4244, KM-143. R! Doge: Giovanni Cornaro (Doge, 1625-1629) Denomination: Scudo della Croce (140 Soldi) Condition: Numerous bag-marks and circulation marks, crudely struck as usual, otherwise about XF! Weight: 31.65gm Diameter: 42mm Material: Silver
Obverse: Lion of San Marco emblazoned on shield. Value (140 soldi) in exergue. Legend: . SANCTVS . MARC . VENET . Exergue: * 140 * (140 Soldi)
Reverse: Large floriate Venetian double cross. Mint master`s initials (G.C) in exergue. Legend: * IOAN . CORNEL . DVX. VEN * Exergue: G . C
The Doge (Venetian language, also Doxe, derived from Latin Dux military leader, duke; cf. English Duke, Italian Duce) was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city. The Venetian combination of elaborate monarchic pomp and a republican constitution with intricate checks and balances makes La serenissima a textbook example of a crowned republic.
DOGE GIOVANNI CORNARO, a member of the Cornaro della Regina branch of the family in its S. Polo line, served in a succession of increasingly prestigious and responsible offices until his ultimate election as Doge of Venice, January 1624/5. Among numerous other posts, he was Capitano [military commander] at Verona, a member of the Council of Ten, 1597, Podestà [governor] at Padua, 1600, and Podestà at Brescia, 1603. He was named a Procurator di S. Marco, May 1609.
Interestingly, his election as Doge [Duke] was strongly opposed by his sons, especially Sen. Alvise Cornaro (G-20), who lamented that their own careers would be thwarted because of Venice's rule prohibiting the appointment of a Doge's children to Church or governmental posts. In fact, a great political furor erupted later over Pope Urban VIII's appointment of Doge Giovanni's son Federico Cornaro (G-17) as a Cardinal, 1626; that appointment was ultimately ratified by the Venetian Senate, but later attempts to name Cardinal Federico first as Bishop of Vicenza and then of Padua were thwarted.
In honor of Doge Giovanni's election, Benedetto Salvatico composed "Oratione . . . per l'assontone del. Sereniss. Giovanni Cornaro al Principato" [Oration for the Ascension of His Serene Highness Giovanni Cornaro to the Princeship] (Padua, 1625). In addition, one of the outstanding collections of 16th century poems, Varie Compositioni Scritte in Lode dell'Illustriss. G. C. Capitano di Verona [Various Compositions Written in Honor of the Most Illustrious G. C., Capitano of Verona] (Verona, 1596), edited by P. Palermo, was published in his honor. He was also the subject of the dedication of Ludovico Grota's heroic poem "L'Honorata Giostra Fatta" (Padua, 1600).
Doge Giovanni Cornaro is buried beside his wife in the Church of S. Nicolò da Tolentino. Their family, it is said, was known not only for its wealth, but for also for its modesty and piety.
Doge Cornaro was likely the patron of Villa Cornaro at Romano Alto, which was constructed during his lifetime and later owned by his descendants.
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