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Cornaro, Caterina

Caterina Cornaro (kätārē´nä kōrnä´rō), 1454–1510, queen of Cyprus. A celebrated Venetian beauty, she was married in 1472 to James II of Cyprus, who was eager to secure Venetian support. James II died in 1473, and his infant son, James III, in 1474. Caterina reigned amidst diplomatic intrigue and local hostilities until Venice forced her to abdicate (1489) and took control of Cyprus. Caterina returned to Venice and retired to Asolo. There she held a small but brilliant court, depicted by Pietro Bembo in his Platonic dialogue, Gli Asolani.

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