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Domenico Selvo (1033-1087) was Doge of Venice from 1071 to 1084, succeeding Domenico I Contarini and preceding Vitale Faliero.

Biography

Domenico Selvo was born in Venice, Republic of Venice in 1033, and he was a member of a patrician family of ancient Roman origin. He served as ambassador to Holy Roman Emperor Henry III and as ducal counselor to Domenico I Contarini before being elected to succeed Contarini in 1071. During Selvo's reign, Venice enjoyed peace and prosperity, maintaining good relations with Emperor Henry IV. In 1075, he married Teodora Ducas, daughter of Byzantine emperor Constantine X, marking even greater mobility for Venetian merchants in the east. In 1081, Byzantine emperor Alexius I asked for the mobilization of the Venetian fleet to defend Durazzo from Roger Guiscard's invading Norman army, and Selvo's experienced sailors routed the Norman fleet at Durazzo harbor. Alexius responded by giving a tax exemption to Venetian merchants, but the Byzantines' victory would be short-lived, as Guiscard would win in the land campaign in Durazzo. In 1083, Selvo sent the Venetian fleet to recapture both Durazzo and Corfu from the Normans, as Guiscard had returned to Italy to rescue Rome from the Germans. In 1084, Guiscard returned to the Balkans, but his fleet was dealt a shattering defeat by the Greco-Venetian fleet off Corfu. However, the Venetians became complacent, sending some ships home. Guiscard launched a surprise attack on the Venetian fleet, killing 3,000 sailors and taking 2,500 prisoners. Selvo barely managed to escape, and Vitale Faliero deposed Selvo in a popular revolt in December. Selvo was sent off to a monastery, and he died in 1087.

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