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He was 74 years old (he was born in 1280).

At the time of his election he was in Avignon as ambassador to Pope Innocent VI (1352-1362).

His dogado began in an ominous way and ended worse: on 5 October, on his arrival in Venice, the Bucintoro, who went to pick him up to take him to the Doge's Palace, was forced to dock at the center of the Molo due to the fog and the doge passed between the two columns of Marco and Todaro, where the death sentences were carried out (a sign of great misfortune, so much so that the Venetians avoid going through them, you never know).

Marin Falier was very rich and his family had already given 2 doges: Vitale (1085-1096) and Ordelaf (1102-1118), son of Vitale. In addition, he was a tough guy: it is remembered that as mayor in Treviso he slapped the bishop who arrived late for a ceremony.

The political moment was delicate: the Republic had been at war with Genoa from 1350 and the serious economic difficulties were overturning the exciting economic boom of the first part of the century. Trade appeared to be stagnant, monetary circulation was scarce, the number of poor people rose sharply, interest rates soared enormously. To top it off, the defeat at La Sapienza (November 3, 1354) against the Genoese magnified everything.

A few months after his election, the Council of X discovered a conspiracy (April 15, 1355), or invented it, to get rid of an inconvenient man: no document remained, but two days later the doge was beheaded, while not even 24 hours later the discovery of the supposed conspiracy the accomplices were executed. Other times, other doges had attempted the coup d'état, more or less overtly, but none had been deprived of their life by the Republic. Falier's was an exemplary, severe condemnation, dictated perhaps by contrast by the doge's tough, cynical and despotic character and attitude. Was it perhaps a conspiracy against Marin Falier? We do not know. We know that due to the narrow escape, the day the conspiracy was discovered, by decree of the Council of X, became a national holiday and the place on the wall of the MC Room, where his image should have been placed, was painted blue with the writing in white letters: hic fuit locus ser marini faletri beheaded pro crimine proditionis.

After the fire in the Doge's Palace in 1577, a black cloth was put on with the inscription: hic est locus marini faletri decapitati pro criminibus (This is the place of Marin Falier, beheaded for crimes). Interested and amazed by this story, Lord Byron wrote a play entitled Marin Faliero (1820). Here's how the facts were reconstructed. The doge was angry with the aristocracy for the mild sentence inflicted the previous year on Michele Steno, the future doge, who had offended him. Thus, when the admiral of the Arsenal, Stefano Giazza, known as Gisello, presented himself begging for justice, to complain about the arrogance of the patricians, one of whom, Marco Badoer, had slapped him in public, and another, Giovanni Dandolo, had mistreated the rich shipowner Bertuccio Israello (or Isarello), the doge's anger had exploded: How do you want me to do you justice, if I can't get it either? And that same evening the doge matured his plan.

He secretly called his nephew Bertuccio Falier, the shipowner Bertuccio Israello and his father-in-law, Filippo Calendar (believed to be the architect of Palazzo Ducale together with Pietro Baseggio), a certain Bertrando (or Vendrame) Bergamoso, a rich furrier from Bergamo, and a few others. All together they agreed to choose 16 leaders, each in command of 60 well-armed men stationed in the neighborhoods of the city ready to go into action at the sound of the bell that calls the nobles to a meeting. A strategy was thus hypothesized and prepared, which envisaged spreading panic in the city by shouting that the Genoese fleet had entered the lagoon, to seize the Doge's Palace, to post groups of conspirators in confluence areas, to intercept the nobles who flocked to Palazzo Ducale and pass them to arms, to suppress the MC and appoint the doge lord of Venice. Then the date was also set: April 15. But on the evening of the 14th one of the conspirators, the furrier, had advised a patrician friend of his, Nicolò Lion, not to leave the house the next day. The patrician, suspicious of Bertrando's mysterious behavior, had him locked up and ran to warn the doge, who was upset and contradicted.

Lion then consulted other patricians and finally it was decided to have Bertrand tortured who thus blurted out everything. Another version: Vendrame confides in the patrician Lion and tells him that in the night there will be a riot to overthrow the government. Lion goes to the doge, who reassures him, tells him that he knows, but that they are just gossip. Lion demands that the doge inform the Minor Council. Vendrame is heard, who brings out the names of the conspirators. The noble Giacomo Contarini and his nephew Giovanni confirm, they heard the same story from an informer, Marco Negro who, when questioned, says that the doge is at the head of the conspiracy: on the unproven declarations of hypothetical repentants, the doge lost the head and all the others the neck. The main conspirators were hanged on April 16: Bertuccio and Filippo between the red columns of the Doge's Palace, the others between the two columns of Marco and Todaro.

On April 17, Friday, Marin Falier was beheaded on the first landing of the main staircase of the Doge's Palace (which was located at the other end of the current Scala dei Giganti), where the doges used to swear their promise. Falier's body was exhibited in the Sala del Piovego for a day on a mat with the severed head next to it. On the evening of April 18, the corpse was placed on a gondola and carried without any pomp to the burial, consisting of a stone chest, first placed in the Church of S. Giovanni e Paolo, then emptied and removed (1812), then used as a water tank in the pharmacy of the Civil Hospital, finally finding its location, without coats of arms and inscriptions, in the external loggia of the Fontego dei Turchi. The furrier received a large sum of money for his revelations, but not seeming adequate he protested and blamed him badly: he was exiled for ten years and found death in Hungary at the hands of some friends of Marin Falier. Of his friend Negro it is known that he received a small sum of money and the license to go around armed.

(gidi)

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