Aveva 55 anni (era nato nel 1150), era figlio del doge Sebastiano (1172-1178), ricco, ricchissimo, ma anche saggio.

Infatti, acquisito il diritto di possedere parecchie terre dell’impero latino d’Oriente (ex impero romano d’Oriente), il nuovo doge seppe scegliere con avvedutezza le basi marittime più opportune al commercio, organizzando lo Stato da mar, scegliendo di assegnare la maggior parte di quell’impero a veneziani capaci e desiderosi di emergere, attraverso un rigoroso controllo di vassallaggio.

In altre parole, Venezia, per motivi finanziari, ma anche per accelerare la presa di possesso dell’ereditato impero, scelse la forma di amministrazione militare usata da tutti gli stati latini che partecipavano alla crociata, scelse cioè di non assumersi il controllo diretto di tutti gli immensi territori che includevano tra l’altro l’Epiro, l’Acarnania, l’Etolia, Salamina, Egina, il meridione della Morea, Negroponte, le Cicladi, parte delle Sporadi, le Ionie, Gallipoli sullo Stretto dei Dardanelli.

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