Orso Ipato
Orso Ipato was the third traditional Doge of Venice
Doge of Venice
The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

 (726–742) and the first historically known. Sometime in the early 8th century, he was elected to lead the Venetians and granted the title of dux
Dux is Latin for leader and later for Duke and its variant forms ....

or duke, which has morphed in the Venetian dialect into doge.

Orso himself came from Heraclea
Heraclea (Lucania)
Heraclea was an ancient city of Magna Graecia, situated in Lucania on the Gulf of Tarentum , but a short distance from the sea, and between the rivers Aciris and Siris , the site of which is located in the modern comune of Policoro, Province of Matera, Basilicata,...

. He was eventually recognised by the Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian or the Syrian , was Byzantine emperor from 717 until his death in 741...

, who gave him the title hypatos. His descendants surnamed themselves Ipato on the basis of this imperial honorific. The Orseolo
Orseolo, the name of a Venetian family, three members of which filled the office of doge.*Pietro I Orseolo acted as ambassador to the emperor Otto I before he was elected doge in August 976. Just previous to this event part of Venice had been burned down and Pietro began the rebuilding of St....

 family was also descended from him. After Orso's violent death (assassinated perhaps at the instigation of Eutychius
Eutychius was the last Exarch of Ravenna .The exarchate had risen in revolt in 727 at the imposition of iconoclasm; the Exarch Paul lost his life attempting to quash the revolt. In response, Emperor Leo III sent the patrician Eutychius to take control of the situation. Eutychius landed in Naples,...

, Exarch of Ravenna
Exarchate of Ravenna
The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a centre of Byzantine power in Italy, from the end of the 6th century to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards.-Introduction:...

), there was an interregnum filled by four magistri militum
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

before his son, Teodato
Teodato Ipato
Teodato Ipato was the doge of Venice after a brief interregnum following the death of his father, Orso Ipato, in 742. His surname is in fact the Byzantine title hypatos...

, was elected as the second historical doge of Venice.


  • Norwich, John Julius
    John Julius Norwich
    John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich CVO — known as John Julius Norwich — is an English historian, travel writer and television personality.-Early life:...

    . A History of Venice. Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house, founded by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. in 1915. It was acquired by Random House in 1960 and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House. The publishing house is known for its borzoi trademark , which was designed by co-founder...

    : New York, 1982.
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