Domenico Grimani

Domenico Grimani was born in Venice on 22 February 1461, the first born of the future doge Antonio and Caterina Loredan. At Padua he graduated to the title of doctor in 1487 and here he for long resided to study philosophy in depth and cultivate a friendship with men of such great calibre as Gregorio Amaseo, Pico della Mirandola, Poliziano. Then he chose the ecclesiastical career: in October 1491 Innocent VIII appointed him Apostolic secretary and two years later Alexander VI bestowed him cardinalship upon payment of a large amount of money. The presence of the new-made cardinal in Rome was since then steady and his prestige in the curia quickly increased thanks to his non-common culture and richness that allowed him to practise the highest level of patronage and collecting. Before being ordained to priesthood, on 13 September 1497, he was appointed patriarch of Aquileia. Only a few months later Domenico Grimani went to his new see to take it over: on 19 September 1498 he had his entry in San Daniele, and then went to San Vito, Aquileia and Cividale. He stayed in his diocese all winter, then (March 1499) he went back to Rome, while Turks were setting out to devastate Friuli again. Grimani played a primary role in the conclaves that brought to the election of Leo X and Adrian VI; in this second occurrence in fact, since Grimani’s father had become doge, he was on the verge of being elevated to the papal throne, albeit his precarious health conditions, or maybe thanks to them. He died in Rome in the night between 26 and 27 of August 1523; as early as on 19 January 1517, in favour of his nephew Marino he had renounced the patriarchate of Aquileia, where he had never set foot after his first official entry.

For further information see the entry Grimani Domenico, patriarca d’Aquileia written by Giuseppe Gullino, in Nuovo Liruti, Dizionario biografico dei Friulani, 2, LEtà veneta, edited by C. Scalon, C. Griggio, U. Rozzo, Udine, Forum, 2009, 1375-1378.

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