Aveva 85 anni (era nato nel 1107).

Fu il primo doge a giurare la Promissione Ducale, lo statuto che regolava i poteri del doge, ovvero il giuramento costituzionale che lo impegnava solennemente di fronte al patriziato, appena varato dal Consiglio dei Savi.

Sfruttando al massimo l’occasione offerta dalla IV crociata, riuscì prima a riconquistare Zara, ponendo fine alla guerra di Zara (1183-1203) e poi a prendere Costantinopoli (1204), gettando le basi dello Stato da mar veneziano.

Morì a Costantinopoli, fu sepolto in un’arca distrutta dopo l’occupazione turca (1453) e i suoi resti dispersi.

La sua vicenda, legata alla conquista di Costantinopoli, fu celebrata da 9 dipinti collocati a Palazzo Ducale nella Sala del M.C.

È celebrato nel Panteon Veneto con un busto dello scultore Antonio Bianchi conservato a Palazzo Ducale.

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