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Andrea Dandolo was the doge (leader) of Venice, Italy for eleven years, from 1343 until his death in 1354. At the time of his ascendance to the duccal throne, he was only thirty-six years old, rendering him unusually young for a Venetian doge. He was said to have been a handsome man. Notably, during his dogery, the Black Death decimated the population of Europe, after the bubonic plague was spread across the continent from its source, fleas on rats from the Crimea. Venice also fought a grueling war with the rival state of Genoa during Dandolo's reign. He is a relative, perhaps a descendant, of Doge Enrico Dandolo, the doge whom is said to have held a grudge against Greeks after allegedly being blinded in one eye while in Constantinople. There is also a popular tradition which maintains that Doge Andrea Dandolo died of a broken heart following the defeat of Venice to Genoa in battle. Following his death, Petrarch, who famously stood atop a mountain and declared the advent of humanism, wrote Dandolo's epitaph.

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