Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Doge (a corruption of Latin ducem, ace. of dux, leader), the chief magistrates of the republics of Venice and Genoa. In the former the Doge was originally elected by the whole people for life. The first Doge, Paolo Luca Anafesto, was elected in 697. The election was transferred to the Council of Forty [Venice] in 1172, and the first Doge elected by them was Sebastiano Ziani. The growth of a hereditary aristocracy who monopolised the real power of government practically deprived the Doge of all but ceremonial functions, such as the well-known annual wedding of the Adriatic. At the same time an extraordinarily complicated method of election was introduced. The office was abolished in 1797 on the French occupation. The last Doge was Ludovico Manin. At Genoa, Doges were elected for life till 1528, afterwards for two years only.