Caterino Domenico Cornaro (H-29)



Born: 27 October 1624, Venice

Died: 13 May 1669, Candia [Crete]

CATERINO DOMENICO CORNARO (H-29), a member of the Cornaro della Regina branch of the Cornaro family in its S. Cassiano line, died as a celebrated military hero of Venice in the defense of Crete against the Turks.

Early in his military career Caterino commanded one of three galleys sent by Venice under the command of his father Cav. Andrea Cornaro (H-24) to defend Canea from the Turks. He was wounded in that engagement by musket fire and returned to Venice following the death of his father in the defense of Rettimo, 1646. He served as Podesta' [governor] of Verona, 1658, Provveditore General for Dalmatia, 1663, and Provveditore General da Mar, 1668. Later in 1668 he succeeded to the command at Candia [Crete] upon the death of the Provveditore General there. He died by a bomb blast there while defending the S. Andrea bastion in the following year.

Caterino is commemorated in a funeral monument by Baldassare Longhena and Giusto LeCourt in the Santo, Padua, commissioned by his brother, Cav. Proc. Federico Prospero Cornaro (H-31). His death was also memorialized by a collection of poems, Hermathena sive Stephani Cosmi . . . orationes funebres . . . (Venice, 1691). The following [subject to errors in transcription] is one elegy composed on his death:

Stabat pro muro, muro costantior ipso
Mavortem spirans ore, manuque ferox.
Ad cretem Venetis Cornelius acer in Armis.
Odriisium serpens tela, facesque Ducum
Cum globus ex alto volat ignibus Etere fletus.
Ac medium penetrat viscera ad usque latus.
Effluxere gravem vitalia fusa per ixtum.
Dat Patrie moriens viscera cara sue
Sint alii Patrie donatos sanquine Patres.
Tu Patria impendens viscera mater eris.
Caterino served, 1657-69, as the 5th owner/manager of Villa Cornaro at Piombino Dese, the family villa designed by Andrea Palladio.


1997 C. I. Gable