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Son of Doge Angelo from whom he had been sent on a mission to Constantinople to strengthen the Republic's ties with Basileus Leo V the Armenian, at whose court he received the title of ipato.

Back in Rivoalto, Justinian brought with him, as a further sign of Leo's friendship, the relics of St Zacharias and enough money to erect a church and convent in honour of the saint.

Upon his arrival he found that during his absence his father had appointed his younger brother John as co-ruler. Justinian reacted by going into voluntary exile together with his wife in his own palace

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