Era stato il primo duca o doge di Candia/Creta, poi podestà di Costantinopoli (1218-1220 e 1224-1227).

Con la sua elezione a doge di Venezia, il principio della sovranità comunale, già presente nella Promissione Ducale del 1192, si ritrovò attuato fino alle sue estreme conseguenze onde evitare che il Dogado diventasse una monarchia: la Promissione di Jacopo Tiepolo offrì lo schema definitivo che subì ritocchi e aggiunte per ridurre sempre più il potere del doge fino all’ultima Promissione del 1789.

Il nuovo doge, oltre a ereditare la situazione lasciata dal suo predecessore, dovette far fronte alle mire degli Ezzelini da Romano i quali, appoggiati dall’imperatore Federico II, diventarono signori di Vicenza e poi puntarono su Bassano, Verona e Padova (1226-1237) e fecero anche un pensierino su Treviso; ma non bastò, c’erano da tener d’occhio le mire di Ancona, che alleatasi con il sacro romano imperatore e con il re di Ungheria, Bela IV, tentò l’assedio e il blocco navale di Costantinopoli e c’erano infine da considerare le mire dei feudatari di Creta che tentarono di sottrarsi al controllo veneziano.

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