32 Facts About Angelo Emo


Angelo Emo was a Venetian noble, administrator, and admiral.


Angelo Emo is notable for his reforms of the Venetian navy and his naval campaigns, being regarded as the last great admiral of the Venetian Republic.


The scion of a distinguished family, Emo received an excellent education, and began his naval career as a cadet in 1752.


Angelo Emo was quickly recognized for his ability and given his first command of a ship of the line two years later.


Angelo Emo's body was returned to Venice, where he received a hero's funeral, and a funerary monument by the sculptor Antonio Canova was commissioned in his honour.


Angelo Emo was educated at the Jesuit college in Brescia, before returning to Venice, where which his father chose as his tutors the scholars Giovanni Battista Bilesimo, Jacopo Stellini, and Carlo Lodoli.


The beneficiary of an excellent humanistic education, the young Angelo Emo was an ardent student of Venetian history, whose military achievements he sought to emulate, as well as the ancient Roman historian Tacitus, who became his favourite author.

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Angelo Emo proved a quick learner in naval matters, and his first commander remarked on his promise as a naval officer.


Angelo Emo then commanded the second-rate Speranza of 58 guns.


Angelo Emo realized the mistake and tried to correct course, but the heavy wind made the manoeuvre difficult.


Angelo Emo had to reduce sail, and had to go through three sets of sails as they were ripped apart by the wind.


Some of his officers panicked and suggested beaching the ship, but Angelo Emo managed to restore discipline.


Angelo Emo made contact with the shore, and with the help of the British vice-consul at Figueira arranged for Portuguese ships to tow the San Carlo to Lisbon.


Angelo Emo sailed to Algiers and threatened to bombard the city.


Angelo Emo fulfilled his instructions in exemplary fashion, providing constant updates on Russian operations and perceptive reports on Russian strategy during the war.


Angelo Emo pursued them at Kythira and recovered two captured ships.


Angelo Emo himself was swept into the sea during the manoeuvre and was rescued with difficulty by his crew.


Distraught over what he perceived as a personal failure, Angelo Emo offered to donate his private fortune to make up for the losses.


Angelo Emo entered the Venetian Senate, as well as going abroad, visiting the courts of Frederick II of Prussia and Maria Theresa of Austria.


Angelo Emo's mission was to confront the Pashalik of Tripolitania, which tried to exploit the "right of search" accorded to them by treaty on Venetian shipping beyond the agreed-upon limits.


Angelo Emo led his fleet in a demonstration of force in front of Tripoli, leading the pasha to conclude a new peace agreement with the Republic.


Angelo Emo's appointment was renewed for the year after, but in the event it was not required for him to set sail.


In 1779, as a, Angelo Emo promoted reforms such as the reduction of tax on silk, the opening of new shops at Sibenik and the transfer of the Venetian consulate in Egypt from Cairo to the port city of Alexandria.


When Venice resolved to send a permanent envoy to Saint Petersburg shortly after, Angelo Emo's name was on top of the list, but he managed to avoid the costly and unattractive appointment by pleading ill health.


In 1783 Angelo Emo led the negotiations with the Habsburg envoy Philipp von Cobenzl on freedom of navigation in Istria and Dalmatia.

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Angelo Emo imported new models of ships from England and France, introduced copper sheathing of warships to improve their speed and reduce the maintenance costs, and improved the methods for the manufacture of hawsers and rigging.


Angelo Emo increased the salaries of non-noble officers, introduced a theoretical training for naval cadets, as well as a publicly funded welfare scheme for invalid and aged sailors.


Negotiations with the Bey of Tunis failed, and Angelo Emo sailed back to Malta and Sicily.


Angelo Emo too had appreciated the effect of his floating batteries, and had built more of them, with still heavier mortars; in nightly operations they were led up to the sea walls, and bombarded the city's interior with such devastating effect that the inhabitants of Sfax pleaded with the Bey to resume negotiations, to little effect.


Angelo Emo's recall was likely connected to the imminent outbreak of another war between Russia and the Ottomans.


Until 1791, Angelo Emo spent his time in anti-piracy cruises off the western coasts of Greece, with the exception of a foray into the Aegean in 1790 that brought him to Paros.


In late 1790, the Senate named Angelo Emo, but did not entrust him with leading the fleet against the Tunisian coast.