The life of Marco Barbo to a certain extent coincides with Pietro Barbo’s, a member of the same family who became pope with the name of Paul II from 1464 to 1471. Born in Venice in 1420, Marco Barbo received a full humanistic education by his uncle Ludovico, abbot of St. Justine at Padua. After Ludovico’s death, Pietro Barbo, who was cardinal at that time, undertook young Marco’s patronage and appointed him master of his house (1449). In 1455 Marco Barbo was promoted bishop to the see of Treviso; in 1464 he was transferred to the diocese of Vicenza. From the bishopric of Vicenza in March 1471 he was appointed to the patriarchate of Aquileia that he ruled through his vicar Angelo Fasolo, bishop of Feltre, given his impossibility to leave the Roman curia. From February 1472 to November 1474 he was entrusted with promoting the anti-Turkish crusade before German, Polish and Hungarian princes. This mission was a failure, even though Barbo had not spared himself; as a reward for the rendered service on 9 January 1478 he was appointed camerlengo and in the conclave following Sixtus IV’s death he got large number of votes, a mark of the consideration he was granted by the Sacred College, as well as of the popularity he had among the people of Rome. Here he died on 2 March 1491. He never resided at Udine, nevertheless he was able to look after his Aquileian diocese with shrewdness and concern even from far away through the written prescriptions he sent to his vicars so as to achieve a decisive improvement of the ecclesiastical discipline in times that were marked by a widespread moral corruption.
For further information see the entry Barbo Marco, patriarca d’Aquileia written by Giuseppe Gullino, in Nuovo Liruti, Dizionario biografico dei Friulani, 2, L’Età veneta, edited by C. Scalon, C. Griggio, U. Rozzo, Udine, Forum, 2009, 400-402.