Venetian Ship Names of 1498 and 1499

by Maridonna Benvenuti  © 2016 Andrea Hicks

These ship names come from the Venetian historian Marino Sanuto's Diarii, volume II, October 1498 to September 1499, pub. 1879.  Sanuto lived 1466 to 1535. The Diarii was a massive work that filled over 55 volumes; its final volume was published in 1903. The editor retains many of the Venetian spellings. Most index spellings are modern Italian, e.g. Figaruol, p.60 in the text is found as Figarolo in the index.

Venetian masculine names and surnames can end with a consonant. In most dialects of the Veneto the letter Z is found rather than the Florentine G, and X rather than the Florentine S.  You will see the use of both in the book.  Some names have been found in other onomastic articles. The authors' names are in Notes.  See Bibliography.

The ship names are feminine. Venetian ships were named after their captains.(L. Campana.)

Ship names examples in Sanuto's diary are found as la Figa, and la nave Zustignana.


Ship name and notes

la nave Armera.  Nave grosse, large ship, elsewhere.

la nave Bernarda.  Possibly out of Cyprus.

la nave Choresa.  Possibly out of Candia, Crete.

nave Contarina.  Possibly out of Palermo. Feminization of surname Cantarini.

la Contessa.     

la nave Donada.  Possibly out of Palermo. Feminization of surname Donado.

la Figa.  Possibly associated with the locative Figaroul

la Gradeniga.  Possibly out of Padova. Feminized Venetian surname Gradenigo (de Luna; Benicoeur & Gwynek).

la nave Grimana.  Feminized Venetian surname Grimani (Candido).

la Liona.  Probable feminization of the Venetian surname Lion.

la nave Malipiera.  Feminized Venetian surname Malpiero. (Benicoeur & Gwynek).

la Marcella.  Ship possibly out of Napoli. Feminized surname Marcello.

la nave Marzella.  Nave grosse, large ship.  Fem. given name, cfr. Vicentine Marzelo (Benvenuti).

la Micella.        

La nave dita la Mema.  Translated, the ship called the Mema.

la nave Mosta.  Probably from the Venetian da Mosto surname, e.g. Sier Zuam da Mosto.

la nave Pandora.  Listed as Pandora, nave grosse elsewhere.

la nave Panthea.           

la nave Pasqualiga.  Feminization of surname Pasqualigo.

la Permarina.  Possibly out of Candia, Crete. Probable feminization of surname Permarín.

la Simitecola.  Feminization of surname Simitecolo.

la nave Soranza.  Feminization of surname Soranzo. Also masc. given Soranzo (Benicoeur & Gwynek).

la nave Vendramina.  Feminization of surname Vendramin. Cfr. fem. given name, Vendramina (de Luna).

la nave Veniera.  Feminization of surname Venier.  Also fem. given name (de Luna).

la nave Zustignana.  Feminization of surname Zustignan.


de Luna, Julia (Julia Smith). Names from Sixteenth Century Venice.

Benicoeur, A. and T. Gwynek (Josh Mittleman and Brian M. Scott) Fourteenth Century Venetian Personal Names.

Benvenuti, M. (Andrea Hicks) Vicentine Names from the 14th to 16th Centuries.

Campana, Lilia. The Immortal Fausto: The Life, Works, And Ships Of The Venetian Humanist And Naval Architect Vettor Fausto (1490-1546). TAMU Dissertation, 2014, pg.70, fn. 211. Accessed 9/27/2016.,d.eWE&cad=rja

Candido, Giovanni, Commentarii, 1544.

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. Marino Sanuto the Younger, accessed 9/24/2016.

Sanuto, Marino. I Diarii di Marino Sanuto volume II, 1879.