This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Ludovico Manin, portrait by Bernardino Castelli
|Doge of Venice|
|Reign||10 March 1789 – 12 May 1797|
(Fall of Venice, annexation to the Austrian Empire)
|Born||Ludovico Giovanni Manin|
14 May 1725
Venice, Republic of Venice
|Died||24 October 1802 (aged 77)|
Venice, Habsburg Empire
; her death
|Father||Lodovico Alvise Manin|
Ludovico Giovanni Manin (IPA /.ma'niŋ/, 14 May 1725 – 24 October 1802) was a Venetian politician, a Patrician of Venice and the last Doge of Venice. He governed the Venetian Republic from 9 March 1789 until 1797, when he was forced to abdicate by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Lodovico Manin was the eldest of five sons of Lodovico III Alvise (1695–1775) and Lucrezia Maria Basadonna, the great-granddaughter of cardinal Pietro Basadonna. He attended the University of Bologna and was a boarder at the noble College of St. Xavier. Manin printed propositions of natural law, which he studied during this period. When Manin began public life he was quickly noticed for his generosity, honesty, kindness, and wealth. He married Elisabetta Grimani (d 1792) on 14 September 1748; she bore him a dowry of 45,000 ducats. Elisabetta had been educated in a monastery in Treviso and was in poor health since childhood. She did not give birth to any children.
At 26 he was elected captain of Vicenza, then of Verona, where he had to cope with a flood in 1757, and finally Brescia. In 1764, he was appointed procurator de ultra of Saint Mark's Basilica. Fond of religious meditations, in 1769 he asked and obtained permission to not hold an office because of ill health and bad hearing. In 1787, he was chosen to honor Pope Pius VI as he crossed the possessions of Venice and the Pope rewarded him with a knighthood.
As the eldest son, he owned the Villa Manin di Passariano which was later inherited by his nephew, Lodovico Leonardo I (1771–1853). Lodovico Leonardo was the son of his brother Giovanni (1736–1774) and Caterina (Pesaro), the heiress of a wealthy noble Israelite family who claimed to descend from Cyrus the Great.
Lodovico was elected Doge of Venice on 9 March 1789, approximately four months before the start of the French Revolution, on the first ballot (the electoral assembly was composed of 41 members). His traditional coronation ceremony required him to throw coins to the Venetians, which cost more than 458,197 Lira, less than a quarter of which was paid from the funds of the Republic of Venice, the rest coming out of his own pocket. By the year 1792, he had allowed the once great Venetian merchant fleet to decline to a mere 309 merchantmen.
When Napoleon invaded Italy, Venice, along with the Republic of Genoa, did not initially join the coalition of Italian states formed in 1795, instead maintaining neutrality. On 15 April 1797, French general Jean-Andoche Junot gave the Doge an ultimatum which he refused. A secret addition to the Treaty of Leoben, signed on 17 April 1797, gave Venice, alongside Istria and Dalmatia, to Austria. On 25 April 1797, the French fleet arrived at the Lido. Venetian cannons sank one of the ships, but did not succeed in repelling the invasion since the Venetian war fleet numbered only 4 galleys and 7 galliots. The Doge surrendered on 12 May 1797 and left the Doge's Palace two days later.
On 16 May French troops entered Piazza San Marco and the surrender contract was officially signed, submitting Venice to French rule.
Later life and death
Following his abdication, Manin refused an offer to become the interim head of the municipality and withdrew from society. Manin resided in the Palazzo Dolfin Manin, reportedly refusing even to answer his door to friends. He returned the ducal insignia (principally the distinctive ducal crown known as the corno ducale) alongside the "Golden Book" that served as a register of the oligarchical families of Venice to the Piazza San Marco, where they were hidden by the new city authorities.
Due to health reasons, he was forced to walk outside frequently and was sometimes made the object of insults from former citizens. These antagonizers lamented Venice's changed fortunes and were angered by his decision to surrender to France. He wanted to end his days in a monastery, but this proved impossible.
Lodovico died in his villa of dropsy and heart problems on 24 October 1802. His will ordered that his funeral should take place "with the least possible pomp". He left 110,000 ducats to the Manin Foundation for the benefit of the city's lunatics, orphans, and girls from poor families needing a dowry. His remains were interred in the chapel of the Church of the Scalzi in Venice, near the present railway station of Venice Saint Lucia in the family tomb of Manin where his late wife already lay. The tomb slab survives and bears the simple inscription Manini Cineres ("ashes of Manin").
- Lodovico Manin. Memorie del dogado, preface and notes by Attilio Sarfatti, Venice, 1886 (in Italian)
| Doge of Venice