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The Emo family between the X and XV century

Despite the many doubts and assumptions about their origins, what we know for sure is that the Emos were present in Venice from the X century as attested to by documents dating back to the year 997 in which they still signed themselves with the archaic forms Aimos or Aemus. But the real proof of their integration into political and noble society is given three centuries later in 1297, in the Serrata del Maggior Consiglio (a measure issued by Maggior Consiglio in Venice), in which the Emos were one of the many families who were officially included in the Venetian nobility. They kept their status till the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797 which led to the dissolution of the aristocratic government.

The Serrata del Maggior Consiglio was a measure taken by the Republic of Venice whereby the office of Member of Maggior Consiglio became temporarily hereditary. The Maggior Consiglio was the highest institution of the Serenissima which was responsible for the election of the Doge. The law that was created to exclude the nouveau riche from the government of Venice became later permanent even though it became flexible in respect of families of recent nobility at times of crisis as, for example, after the war against the League of Cambrai (1509-1517). This shows how real was the prestige of the family and their contribution to the public life of the institutions of the Serenissima. In fact, over the centuries there were four members of the family who were balloted for the Dogado: in the 1500s there was a Leonardo and a Jacopo, in the 1600s there was a Francesco and in the 1700s a Giovanni. Other members held important positions like podestà, ambassadors, general superintendents and procurators of the Serenissima Republic.

Back in the XIV century the descendants of the branch of San Moisè of the Venetian family reached the Veneto mainland and started to buy land in the Podesteria of Castelfranco. Before 1446 in fact there were already assets in the area, possibly 200 fields because they were deducted from the lists of provincial tax as a result of a sentence issued in that year. But around the middle of the 1400s the interest of the Emo family for investment in these lands changed. Those years in fact saw the beginning of the irrigation of the arid high Treviso plain bounded by the rivers Brenta and Piave and the realization of a water supply canal, the Brentella; taking water from the river Piave near Pederobba it supplied an extensive network of seriole, which are secondary canals including those which supplied the mills and the land belonging to the Barbarigo family in Fanzolo which were next to those of the Emo family.

The census of the lands owned by foreigners in the Treviso area which was carried out between 1452 and 1453, revealed that Giovanni Emo (born in 1419 and son of Giorgio Emo one of the first landowners in the Fanzolo area) owned 73 campi, “arable, planted and mal vitigati , grassland and non-arable vegri”, a plot with a “brick house and a straw canopy” rented out and then his own country residence which is described as “a brick casa da statio with horse stables for his household”. In 1483 Giovanni Emo died leaving the inheritance to his two sons Giorgio and Leonardo Emo.

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