Rocco, Italian surgeon, 1828-1920. See: Gritti operation, Gritti-Stokes amputation.
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As a commander in the war and as doge of Venice after 1523, Andrea Gritti was the foremost proponent of this strategy, earning for himself the appellation of "Fabius Maximus," the Roman general who opposed Hannibal by delay and defense in the Second Punic War.
The character of Doge Andrea Gritti (r.1523-1538) of the Venetian Republic is vividly captured in Titian's famous portrait: brow furrowed, mouth grimly set, massive chest swelling beneath a cape, the head of state violently clutches his crimson robe and glares at the viewer.
A dynamic, authoritarian individual, Gritti exercised the prestige and power of his office to the full.
In 1530, the humanist Pierro Bembo was appointed official historian of Venice with the support of Gritti. [7] Marco Foscari, a leading patrician and a cousin of Gritti, liberally laced his report to the Senate and Signoria on his term as ambassador in Florence in 1527 with quotations from Aristotle and Livy.
In Gritti's eyes, those virtues were best safeguarded by a military policy of avoiding battlefield encounters, which itself was part of a diplomatic strategy of maintaining a balance between the great powers of France and the Empire.
Andrea Gritti was the leading Venetian figure to draw significant lessons from the Cambrai conflict and, as doge, to apply them to the Republic's role in international politics.
Examination of Andrea Gritti's position as a commander in the War of Cambrai and as doge during the War of Cognac reveals his central role in the relative decline of Venice.
In Paolo Giovio's Elogia, a collection of portraits of famous men, Gritti is praised for his commanding presence, exceptional refinement, and civic virtue.
In an oration to the doge, a representative of Vicenza stated that before the war, Gritti "in a brief time became more expert than everyone else" in military affairs; thus when "almost all Europe conspired at Cambrai to destroy this holy Republic, he was a modern Scipio, offering his body to his beloved country." [21] Fulsome praise aside, Gritti's military service was indeed extraordinary; especially considering that he had spent much of his life as a grain merchant in Istanbul (from 1479 to 1502) and had no military background or training.
Gritti addressed all the condottieri in the sacristy of Santa Giustina, exhorting the commanders to defend the Republic and achieve "la liberation de Italia"; he then had them take a solemn oath of fealty to Venice upon a missal left open on the altar.
[25] When captain-general Niccolo Orsini, Count of Pitigliano, fell ill, the Collegio told Gritti that he could take charge of the army, thereby ranking him above professional soldiers.
Still, Gritti seldom enjoyed victory in the War of Cambrai.