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Accreditato di alto lignaggio e di discendenza romana, godeva di ottimi rapporti internazionali: già consigliere ducale e ambasciatore (1050) presso il sacro romano imperatore Enrico III (1039-1056), sposò Teodora, sorella del basileus Michele VII, che gli concesse il titolo di protoproedro, la più alta dignità della magistratura bizantina.

Grazie a Teodora, i rapporti di Venezia con Costantinopoli diventarono se possibile ancora più stretti, ma a Venezia Teodora fu motivo di scandalo e la sua morte fra gli spasimi della cancrena sembrò ai venetici un castigo divino per le sue abitudini considerate lascive: Teodora era accusata di lusso eccessivo perché per portarsi il cibo alla bocca, anziché le mani, come facevano tutti i buoni cristiani, usava una forchetta d’oro, faceva il bagno tutti i giorni in una vasca d’acqua profumata e ogni mattina s’inumidiva il viso con la rugiada raccolta per lei da schiavi premurosi ...

Deposto e costretto a ritirarsi in convento, Domenico Selvo morì tre anni dopo (1087). Le sue spoglie furono sistemate nell’atrio della Chiesa di S. Marco, ma non si sa esattamente dove. 

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