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Dandolo (dän´dōlō), ancient Venetian family that produced four doges, many admirals, and other prominent citizens. Enrico Dandolo, c.1108–1205, became doge in 1192. He is considered the founder of the Venetian colonial empire. In the Fourth Crusade (see Crusades) he acted to divert the Crusaders in 1202 to Zara (see Zadar) and in 1203 to Constantinople. Though aged and blind, he commanded the fleet in the capture (1204) of Constantinople and secured for Venice the most valuable share of the spoils and of the conquered Greek territories. In 1205 he and Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople were defeated near Adrianople by the Bulgars. Baldwin having been captured, Dandolo led the remnants of the Latin forces back to Constantinople, where he soon died. Andrea Dandolo, c.1307–1354, doge of Venice (1343–54), was professor of jurisprudence at Padua before his election. He subdued rebellious Zara, fought successfully against Genoa, and reorganized the laws of Venice. He wrote a chronicle of Venetian history and was a friend of Petrarch.

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