Doria, originally de Auria (from de filiis Auriae), meaning "the sons of Auria", and then de Oria or d'Oria, is the name of an old and extremely wealthy Genoese
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 family who played a major role in the history of the Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 and in Italy, from the 12th century to the 16th century.


According to legend, a noble Genoese lady named Auria or Oria della Volta fell in love with a noble pilgrim who was going to Jerusalem for the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

; his name was Arduino di Narbonne but their children were named after the mother—de Oria, the children of Oria. Arduino was a typical name of the Arduinici
The Arduinici were a noble Frankish family that immigrated to Italy in the early tenth century, possibly from Neustria. They were descended from and take their name after one Arduin ....

 family of the Piemonte, some of whose members bore the title of Counts of Auriate; one might then speculate that one of the Arduinici of Auriate gave origin to this family, which suddenly appears in history as a local major power in Liguria in the late 11th century.

Documentary evidence refers to two members of that family, Martino and Genuardo, in 1110; they are called filii Auriae (the sons or children of Oria). The Doria had fiefs in Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 from the 12th century to the 15th century, and also in Dolceacqua
Dolceacqua is a comune in the Province of Imperia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 120 km southwest of Genoa and about 35 km west of Imperia, on the border with France...

, Oneglia
Oneglia was a town in northern Italy on the Ligurian coast that was joined to Porto Maurizio to form the Comune of Imperia in 1923....

 and Portofino
Portofino is a small Italian fishing village, comune and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast...

, in the Riviera
Italian Riviera
The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines...

 to the west of Genoa. Although uncommon, Doria is also known as a beautiful name for a girl.

Notable members

Simon Doria
Simone Doria (admiral)
Simone or Simon Doria was a Genoese merchant, politician, and admiral, a member of the powerful Doria family. He was the son of Ansaldo Doria and Anna Grimaldi. He was elected consul six times between 1175 and 1188. Having been elected admiral in 1189, he led a naval fleet in support of the troops...

 lived in the late 12th century and was an admiral of the Genoese in the crusader's
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

 assault against Saint Jean d'Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

. Percivalle Doria, who died in 1275 fighting for the Ghibelline, was an infamous warlord and a well-known Provençal
Provençal language
Provençal is a dialect of Occitan spoken by a minority of people in southern France, mostly in Provence. In the English-speaking world, "Provençal" is often used to refer to all dialects of Occitan, but it actually refers specifically to the dialect spoken in Provence."Provençal" is also the...

 poet. Also a poet, Simon Doria
Simon Doria
Simon Doria was a Genoese statesman and man of letters, of the important Doria family. As a troubadour he wrote six surviving tensos, four with Lanfranc Cigala, one incomplete with Jacme Grils, and another with a certain Alberto...

 was podestà
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities, since the later Middle Ages, mainly as Chief magistrate of a city state , but also as a local administrator, the representative of the Emperor.The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power...

of Savona
Savona is a seaport and comune in the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea....

 and Albenga
Albenga is a city and comune situated on the Gulf of Genoa on the Italian Riviera in the Province of Savona in Liguria, northern Italy.left|thumb|220px|Towers of Albenga.The economy is mostly based on tourism, local commerce and agriculture-History:...

. The brothers Oberto Doria
Oberto Doria
Oberto D'Oria was an Italian politician and admiral of the Republic of Genoa.-Biography:He was born at Genoa, a member of the powerful Ghibelline family of the D'Oria, and the brother of Lamba Doria. On 28 October 1270, together with latter, as Capitano del Popolo he started a joint dictatorship...

 and Lamba Doria
Lamba Doria
Lamba D'Oria was an Italian admiral of the Republic of Genoa.The brother of the capitano del popolo Oberto Doria, he was one of the best Genoese admirals, together with his descendant Andrea Doria...

 were naval commanders and politicians: Oberto was Captain of the People in Genoa and led its naval forces in the victory of La Meloria
Battle of Meloria (1284)
The Battle of Meloria was fought between 5 and 6 August 1284 near the Meloria islet, in the Tyrrhenian Sea between the Genoese and the Pisan fleet, as part of the Genoese-Pisan War...

 against Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 in 1284 while Lamba won a major battle against Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 Andrea Dandolo
Andrea Dandolo
Andrea Dandolo was elected the 54th doge of Venice in 1343, replacing Bartolomeo Gradenigo who died in late 1342....

 at Curzola
Battle of Curzola
Battle of Curzola was the naval battle which was fought on September 9, 1298 between the fleets of Genoa and Venice; it was a disaster for Venice, a major setback among many battles fought in the 13th and 14th centuries between Pisa, Genoa and Venice in a long series of wars...

 in 1298. Tedisio Doria (or Teodosio) financed the expedition of Vadino and Ugolino Vivaldi in 1291. Branca Doria is mentioned by Dante
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

 in the Divine Comedy because of his treacherous murder of Michele Zanche, his father-in-law, in 1275. Brancaleone Doria
Brancaleone Doria
Brancaleone Doria was the husband of Eleanor of Arborea. He was a scion of an influential family of the Republic of Genoa, the son of the elder Brancaleone and a woman named Giacomina...

 ruled the Giudicato of Arborea and nearly conquered the whole of Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 in the late fourteenth century.

The most remarkable member of the family is Admiral Andrea Doria
Andrea Doria
Andrea Doria was an Italian condottiere and admiral from Genoa.-Early life:Doria was born at Oneglia from the ancient Genoese family, the Doria di Oneglia branch of the old Doria, de Oria or de Auria family. His parents were related: Ceva Doria, co-lord of Oneglia, and Caracosa Doria, of the...

, Prince of Melfi (1466–1560), who re-established the Genoese Republic. His nephew was Giovanni Andrea Doria
Giovanni Andrea Doria
Giovanni Andrea Doria, also Giannandrea Doria , was an Italian admiral from Genoa. He was the son of Giannettino Doria and the great-nephew of the famed Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, by whom he was later adopted...

, another admiral; Giovanni Andrea's son was Giovanni Doria
Giovanni Doria
Giovanni Doria , called Giannettino, the son of Giovanni Andrea Doria, 6th Prince of Melfi, and Princess Zenobia Doria del Carretto, 5th Princess of Melfi, who studied philosophy and theology in Spain being promoted to the Cardinalate at the instance of King Felipe II of Spain...

, a cardinal of the Catholic church.

The family had relationships with political entities both in and out of Europe. During the attempts by the Mongol ilkhanate ruler Abaqa
Abaqa Khan
Abaqa Khan , also Abaga , or Abagha Khan, was the second Mongol ruler of the Persian Ilkhanate. The son of Hulagu Khan and Yesuncin Khatun, he reigned from 1265–1282 and was succeeded by his brother Tekuder Khan...

 to form a Franco-Mongol alliance
Franco-Mongol alliance
Franco-Mongol relations were established in the 13th century, as attempts were made towards forming a Franco-Mongol alliance between the Christian Crusaders and the Mongol Empire against various Muslim empires. Such an alliance would have seemed a logical choice: the Mongols were sympathetic to...

, his strategy included a strengthening of ties with the Genoese. Many male children of the Doria family were named after foreign rulers, such as Abaga (Abaqa Khan
Abaqa Khan
Abaqa Khan , also Abaga , or Abagha Khan, was the second Mongol ruler of the Persian Ilkhanate. The son of Hulagu Khan and Yesuncin Khatun, he reigned from 1265–1282 and was succeeded by his brother Tekuder Khan...

), Casano (Ghazan Khan), and Aitone, named after Hayton, or Hethum I, king of Cilician Armenia.

Titled branches

Members of the Doria family bore the titles of Princes of Melfi (Doria-Pamphili
Doria-Pamphili-Landi is a princely Roman family of Genoese extraction. Legend has that the origins of the Doria family go back to the early 11th century, but the authentic pedigree is traced to Ansaldo d'Oria, consul of Genoa in the 12th century...

 branch), of Princes of Centola (Doria d'Angri branch), of Counts of Montaldeo, Marquesses of Ciriè e del Maro, Marquesses of San Columbano, Lords of Oneglia, among many others. Agnatic members of the family are marchesi al cognome, that is, bear the title of marquess attached to the family name as a courtesy title.

Non-agnatic princely branches like the Colonna-Doria are still flourishing. There are also titled branches outside Italy, such as the Porrata Doria family in Spain, which rank as marquesses.

Role in the great explorations

The Doria clan helped finance the Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 navigations in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Francesco Doria, a banker at Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, financed Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

's expeditions, and his son Aleramo Doria was a banker to King John III of Portugal
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

 until 1556. Finally, Aleramo's daughter Clemenza Doria was one of the earliest settlers in the 16th century Portuguese colonization of Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Clemenza Doria married twice; her second husband was Fernão Vaz da Costa (c. 1520–1567), son of Portuguese Chief Justice Cristóvão da Costa
Cristóvão da Costa
Cristóbal Acosta , was a Portuguese doctor and natural historian. He is considered a pioneer in the study of plants from the Orient, especially their use in pharmacology...

 and a great-grandson of the legendary navigator Soeiro da Costa; they originated the Costa Doria family which is still thriving today as one of their members, José Carlos Aleluia [da Costa Doria], is a representative in the Brazilian congress, and businessman João Doria Jr. or João Agripino da Costa Doria III held a cabinet-level position in the José Sarney administration in Brazil (1985–1989).

The genoese Lodisio Doria, knight of Christ's Order, settled in the island of Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

. Their descendants are the Teixeira Doria, lords of Pena d'Aguia, and França Doria families, which also have as direct ancestor the Portuguese navigator Tristão Vaz. The França Doria branch is headed by the Count of Calçada, with a younger branch headed by the Viscount of Torre Bela.

In literature

The name Doria was used in Cornelia Funke
Cornelia Funke
Cornelia Funke is a multiple award-winning German author of children's fiction. She was born on 10 December 1958, in Dorsten, North Rhine-Westphalia. Funke is best known for her Inkworld trilogy, with the English translation of the third book, Inkdeath, released on 6 October 2008. Many of her...

's "Inkheart
Inkheart is a young adult-child fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, and the first book of the Inkworld trilogy....

" series (specifically, the book "Inkdeath") for a semi-main character who eventually fell in love with the teenage heroine.

See also

  • Doria Pamphilj Gallery
    Doria Pamphilj Gallery
    The Doria Pamphilj Gallery is a large art collection housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome, Italy. It is situated between the Via del Corso and Via della Gatta. The principal entrance is on the Via del Corso...

  • Doria-Pamphili-Landi
    Doria-Pamphili-Landi is a princely Roman family of Genoese extraction. Legend has that the origins of the Doria family go back to the early 11th century, but the authentic pedigree is traced to Ansaldo d'Oria, consul of Genoa in the 12th century...

  • Ambrosio Spinola, marqués de los Balbases
    Ambrosio Spinola, marqués de los Balbases
    Don Ambrogio Spinola Doria, 1st Marquis of the Balbases was an Italian aristocrat, who, as a General in Spanish service, won a number of important battles for the Spanish crown...

    , Ambrosio Spinola Doria
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