The first enlargement of the square was effected by Doge Sebastiano Ziani in 1176, when he filled up the canal and rebuilt the church on a new site at D, thus nearly doubling the size of the square.
At the close of the 12th century (1173-1179) Sebastian Ziani restored and enlarged the palace.
At this point, perhaps out of regard for the remains of Ziani's palace, the work seems to have been arrested for many years, but in 1424 the building was resumed and carried as far as the north-west, or judgment, angle, near St Mark's, thus completing the sea and piazzetta facades as we now see them.
The grey column is surmounted by a fine bronze lion of Byzantine style, cast in Venice for Doge Ziani about 1178 (this was carried off to Paris by Napoleon in 1797, and sent back in pieces in 1816; but in 1893 it was put together again); and in 1329 a marble statue of St Theodore, standing upon a crocodile, was placed on the other column.
As the duties of this council were to appoint all officers of state, including the doge, it is clear that by its creation the aristocracy had considerably curtailed the powers of the people, who had hitherto elected the doge in general assembly; and at the creation of Michiel's successor, Sebastiano Ziani (1172), the new doge was presented to the people merely for confirmation, not for election.
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