The Sanudo or Sanuto was a patrician family that had risen to prominence in Venice in the twelfth century, when they were regarded as one of the noblest families in Venice. In the seventeenth century they were thought to be descended from Cassia the wife of the historian Titus Livius, who gave her name to the Cassiani or Candiani.1 This story may be mythical but the Sanudi do seem to have had close links with the Candiani. In the mid-fourteenth century the doge and chronicler Andrea dandolo (1306-54) noted: ‘Candiani que hodie secundum plurimos Sanuti vocati sunt.’2 Whether Sanudi was an alternative name for Candiani is unclear but they were ranked among the ‘casa vecchia’ or old families of Venice, which are families supposed to be descended from the ancient tribunes that had first moved to the rialto from Heraclea in the early fifth century. The Candiani were certainly one of the founding families of Venice and there is a chronological concurrence between their disappearance from the record and the first occurrence of the name Sanudo. J.K. Fotheringham suggests that the Sanudi belonged to a collateral branch of the family and that the belief that the Sanudi were descended from the Candiani was at least as old as the twelfth century. However, no explanation for this change of name was or is forthcoming.3