Post-classical history

Michiel, Domenico (d. 1130)

Doge of Venice (1118-1129) and leader of the Venetian Crusade of 1122-1124.

A member of one of Venice’s most illustrious families, Michiel was at Doge Ordelafo Falier’s side when the latter died during a failed attempt to restore the port of Zara (mod. Zadar, Croatia) in Dalmatia to Venetian control. As doge, Michiel made peace with Hungary in preparation for a new crusade in response to serious losses in Outremer. He assembled a fleet of approximately 120 major vessels and personally took the cross, leaving his son and another kinsman to act as vice-doge in his absence. He commanded the crusade fleet, which destroyed the Fātimid navy (1123) and assisted in the conquest of Tyre (mod. Soûr, Lebanon) in 1124. He also ordered the fleet to attack Byzantine assets in retaliation for Emperor John II Komnenos’s refusal to honor Venetian commercial privileges. His successes made Michiel a symbol of the crusading doge for generations of Venetians. He died in 1130 as a monk.

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