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Kingdom of Jerusalem

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Jill Elvgren
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« on: May 23, 2007, 03:36:07 pm »

Royaume latin de Jérusalem
Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
Crusader State

 1099 – 1291  →

 
 


Coat of arms



The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Christian kingdom established in the Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade.

It had close connections with the monarchies of Western Europe, but was a relatively minor kingdom in comparison and often lacked financial and military support from Europe.

The Kingdom had closer ties to the neighbouring Kingdom of Armenia and the Byzantine Empire, which had an "orientalizing" influence on the western crusaders.

At its height, the Kingdom roughly encompassed the territory of modern Israel and Palestine; it extended from modern Lebanon in the north to the Sinai Desert in the south, and into modern Jordan and Syria in the east. There were also attempts to expand the Kingdom into Fatimid Egypt.

At first the Muslim world had little concern for the fledgling Kingdom, but as the 12th century progressed, the notion of jihad was resurrected, and the Kingdom's increasingly-united Muslim neighbours vigorously began to recapture lost territory. Jerusalem itself was lost to Saladin in 1187, and in the 13th century the Kingdom was reduced to a small strip of land along the Mediterranean coast, dominated by a few cities.

It was finally destroyed by the Mamluks in 1291 with the fall of Acre.

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Jill Elvgren
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2007, 03:37:54 pm »





The kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Crusader states (in shades of green) in the context of the Near East in 1135 CE.
Capital Jerusalem (1099-1191)
Acre (1191-1291)
Language(s) French (official)
(Arabic and Greek also common)
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Monarchy
King
 - 1100 - 1118 Baldwin I
 - 1285 - 1291 Henry II
Legislature Haute Cour
Historical era High Middle Ages
 - First Crusade 1099
 - Second Crusade 1145
 - Third Crusade 1189
 - Treaty of Ramla 1191
 - Capture of Acre 1291
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 03:40:24 pm »


Foundation and early history

The First Crusade was preached at the Council of Clermont in 1095 by Pope Urban II, with the goal of assisting the Byzantine Empire against the invasions of the Seljuk Turks. Very soon, however, the capture, or recapture as the participants saw it, of the Holy Land became the main objective. The kingdom came into being with the capture of Jerusalem in July of 1099, the climax of the crusade. Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lower Lorraine and one of the main leaders of the crusade, was chosen as the first king. He refused, however, to take this title, saying that no man should wear a crown of gold where Christ had worn his crown of thorns; instead, he took the title Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri ("Defender of the Holy Sepulchre"). The foundation of the kingdom was secured with the defeat of Fatimid Egypt at the Battle of Ascalon one month later.

There was initially some uncertainty as to the nature of the kingdom. Some crusaders thought it should be ruled as a theocracy by the Pope, an idea the papal legate Daimbert of Pisa tried to impose in 1100. Godfrey may have supported this, and would have exchanged a theocratic kingdom in Jerusalem for a secular one in Cairo if he could conquer Egypt, but during his short reign the rudiments of a secular state were established against Daimbert's efforts. A Catholic church hierarchy was established, replacing local Eastern Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox authorities: a Latin Patriarch was set up in Jerusalem, and had numerous suffragan archbishops and bishops. Godfrey, however, died in 1100, and his brother and successor, Baldwin I, more definitely supported a secular monarchy in the western European style. Baldwin was not as scrupulous as his brother, and had himself crowned King of Jerusalem (though Daimbert, now Latin Patriarch, refused to crown him in Jerusalem itself, and the ceremony took place in Bethlehem).

Baldwin successfully expanded the Kingdom, capturing the port cities of Acre (1104), Beirut (1110), and Sidon (1111), while also exerting his suzerainty over the other Crusader states to the north - the County of Edessa (which he had founded), the Principality of Antioch, and, after Tripoli was captured in 1109, the County of Tripoli. He successfully defended against Muslim invasions, from the Fatimids at the numerous battles at Ramla and elsewhere in the southwest of the kingdom, and from Damascus and Mosul in the northeast in 1113. He also saw an increase in the numbers of Latin inhabitants, as the minor crusade of 1101 brought reinforcements to the kingdom. The Italian city-states of Venice, Pisa, and Genoa also began to play a role in the kingdom. Their fleets assisted in the capture of the ports, where they were given their own autonomous trading quarters which in turn helped further increase the Latin populace. He also repopulated Jerusalem with Franks and native Christians, after his expedition across the Jordan in 1115. The kingdom would however never overcome its geographic isolation from Europe, nor push its borders east to create an easily defensible front. For almost its entire history the kingdom was confined to the narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River; land beyond this was subject to constant raiding and warfare. The kingdom's population centres could also easily be isolated from each other in the event of a major invasion, which eventually led to the kingdom's downfall in the 1180s.

Baldwin died without heirs in 1118, and was succeeded by his cousin, Baldwin of Le Bourg, Count of Edessa. Baldwin II was also an able ruler, and he too successfully defended against Fatimid and Seljuk invasions. During his reign the first military orders were established, and the boundaries of the kingdom continued to expand, with the city of Tyre captured in 1124. The influence of Jerusalem was further extended over Edessa and Antioch, where Baldwin II acted as regent when their own leaders were killed in battle, although Baldwin himself was defeated and imprisoned by the Seljuk Turks several times throughout his reign, leading to regency governments in Jerusalem as well. Baldwin's daughters were also married into the families of the Count of Tripoli and Prince of Antioch, while in Jerusalem his eldest daughter Melisende was his heir and succeeded him upon his death in 1131.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_jerusalem
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 12:51:30 am »



Crusader Jerusalem.

Life in the early kingdom

The Latin population of the kingdom was always small; although a steady stream of settlers and new crusaders continually arrived, most of those who fought in the First Crusade simply went home. The Latins were little more than a colonial frontier exercising rule over the native Muslim, Greek and Syrian population who were more populous in number. But Jerusalem came to be known as Outremer, the French word for "overseas," and as new generations grew up in the kingdom, they also began to think of themselves as natives, rather than immigrants. Although they never gave up their core identity as Western Europeans or Franks, their clothing, diet, and commercialism integrated much of the East, particularly the Byzantine influence. They often learned to speak Greek, Arabic, and other eastern languages, and intermarried with the native Christians (whether Greek, Syrian, or Armenian) and sometimes with converted Muslims: as the chronicler Fulcher of Chartres wrote, "we who were Occidentals now have been made Orientals". Nonetheless, the Frankish principalities remained a distinctive Occidental colony in the heart of Islam.

Fulcher, a participant in the First Crusade, continued his chronicle up to 1127. Other chronicles include those of individual pilgrims which are collected together in the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society (London, 1884-); "Recueil de voyages et mémoires", published by the Société de Géographie (Paris, 1824-66); "Recueil de voyages et de documents pour servir à la géographie" (Paris, 1890-). Aside from these, thereafter there is no eyewitness to events in Jerusalem until William of Tyre, archbishop of Tyre and chancellor of Jerusalem, who began writing around 1167 and died around 1184, although he includes much information about the First Crusade and the intervening years from the death of Fulcher to his own time. From the Muslim perspective, there is Usamah ibn Munqidh, a soldier and frequent ambassador from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt, whose memoirs, Kitab al i'tibar, include lively accounts of crusader society in the east. Further information can be gathered from travellers such as Benjamin of Tudela and Ibn Jubayr.

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 12:52:52 am »

Demographics

In the 13th century, John of Ibelin drew up a list of fiefs and the number of knights owed by each; unfortunately this probably reflects the 13th-century kingdom, not the 12th, and gives no indication of the non-noble, non-Latin population. The Kingdom at first was virtually bereft of a loyal subject population and had few knights and peers to implement the laws and orders of the realm. However, as trading firms from Europe and knights from the military orders arrived, the affairs of the Kingdom improved. Further immigration continued over time to increase the Frankish population to an estimated 25-35% of the realm by the 1180s. Many Muslims also returned to the Kingdom, having fled the initial conquest, and others emigrated from further east.

The kingdom was essentially based on the feudal system of contemporary western Europe, but with many important differences. First of all, the kingdom was situated within a relatively small area, with little agricultural land. Since ancient times it had been an urban economy, unlike medieval Europe; in fact, although the nobility technically owned land, they preferred to live in Jerusalem or the other cities, closer to the royal court. As in Europe the nobles had their own vassals and were themselves vassals to the king. However, agricultural production was regulated by the iqta, a Muslim system of land ownership and payments roughly (though far from exactly) equivalent to the feudal system of Europe, and this system was not heavily disrupted by the Crusaders.

Although Muslims (as well as Jews and Eastern Christians) had virtually no rights in the countryside, where they were in theory the property of the Crusader lord who owned the land, tolerance for other faiths was in general higher than that found elsewhere in the Middle East. Greeks, Syrians, and Jews continued to live as they had before, subject to their own laws and courts, with their former Muslim overlords simply replaced by the Crusaders; Muslims now joined them at the lowest level of society. The ra'is, the leader of a Muslim or Syrian community, was a kind of vassal to whatever noble owned his land, but as the Crusader nobles were absentee landlords the ra'is and their communities had a high degree of autonomy. In the cities, Muslims and Eastern Christians were free, although no Muslims were permitted to live in Jerusalem itself. However, they were second-class citizens and played no part in politics or law, and owed no military service to the crown; likewise, citizens of the Italian city-states owed nothing despite living in their own quarters in the port cities.

At any given time there were also an unknown number of Muslim slaves living in the Kingdom. No Christian, whether Western or Eastern, was permitted by law to be sold into slavery, but this fate was as common for Muslim prisoners of war as it was for Christian prisoners taken by the Muslims. Escape was probably not difficult and fugitive slaves were always a problem, but the only legal means of manumission was conversion to (Catholic) Christianity.

There were many attempts to attract settlers from Europe, which would free the Kingdom economically from reliance upon the suspect Arab, Syrian, and Greek populations, but large-scale immigration and colonisation was beyond the ability of medieval Europe. Thus, although there was an incipient and growing free Frank peasant population in the countryside, it was relatively small, and crusader armies also tended to be small, drawn from the French families of the cities. This meant that a minority of Westerners were left to govern a large and very foreign population of Arabs, Greeks and Syrians, who could not be relied upon for manpower or ultimate allegiance to the kingdom.

The problem of lack of manpower was solved to some extent by the creation of the military orders. The Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller were both founded in the early years of the kingdom, and they often took the place of the nobles in the countryside. Although their headquarters were in Jerusalem, the knights themselves often lived in vast castles and bought land that the other nobles could no longer afford to keep. Templar and Hospitaller houses were established throughout Europe as well, and new recruits were sent to the Holy Land, further bolstering the manpower of the military orders. However, the military orders were under the direct control of the Pope, not the king; they were essentially autonomous and technically owed no military service, though in reality they participated in all the major battles.

After the loss of Jerusalem in 1187, virtually the entire population of Franks and Italians fled back to Europe. The recovery of the Mediterranean littoral during the Third Crusade allowed for some Frankish repopulation of the coastal cities. The remaining cities had a more homogenous Western, Catholic, population, and for the remainder of the Kingdom, the population remained predominantly Frankish and Italian.

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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2007, 12:53:37 am »

Economy

The urban composition of the area, combined with the presence of the Italian merchants, led to the development of an economy that was much more commercial than it was agricultural. Palestine had always been a crossroads for trade; now, this trade extended to Europe as well. European goods, such as the woolen textiles of northern Europe, made their way to the Middle East and Asia, while Asian goods were transported back to Europe. Jerusalem was especially involved in the silk, cotton and spice trade; other items that first appeared in Europe through trade with crusader Jerusalem included oranges and sugar, the latter of which chronicler William of Tyre called "very necessary for the use and health of mankind." In the countryside, wheat, barley, legumes, olives, grapes, and dates were also grown. The Italian city-states made enormous profits from this trade, thanks to commercial treaties like the Pactum Warmundi, and it influenced their Renaissance in later centuries.

Jerusalem also collected money through tribute payments, first from the coastal cities which had not yet been captured, and later from other neighbouring states such as Damascus and Egypt, which the crusaders could not conquer directly. After Baldwin I extended his rule over Oultrejordain, Jerusalem also gained revenue from the taxation of Muslim caravans passing from Syria to Egypt or Arabia. The money economy of Jerusalem meant that their manpower problem could be partially solved by paying for mercenaries, an uncommon occurrence in medieval Europe. Mercenaries could be fellow European crusaders, or, perhaps more often, Muslim soldiers, including the famous Turcopoles.

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2007, 12:54:25 am »

Education

Jerusalem was the centre of education in the kingdom. There was a school in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; the relative wealth of the merchant class meant that their children could be educated there along with the children of nobles - it is likely that William of Tyre was a classmate of future king Baldwin III. The basic skills of reading and writing Latin were taught at the school in the Holy Sepulchre, but higher education had to be undertaken at one of the universities in Europe; the development of a university was impossible in the culture of crusader Jerusalem, where warfare was far more important than philosophy or theology. Nonetheless, the nobility and general Frankish population were noted for the high literacy: lawyers and clerks were in abundance, and the study of law, history, and other academic subjects was a beloved pastime of the royal family and the nobility. Jerusalem also had an extensive library not only of ancient and medieval Latin works but also of Arabic literature, much of which was apparently captured from Usamah ibn Munqidh and his entourage during a raid in the 1150s. The Holy Sepulchre also contained the kingdom's scriptorium, where royal charters and other documents were produced. Aside from Latin, the standard written language of medieval Europe, the populace of crusader Jerusalem also communicated in vernacular forms of French and Italian; Greek, Armenian, and even Arabic were also not uncommonly mastered by Frankish settlers.

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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007, 12:55:47 am »



Krak des Chevaliers, Syria. UNESCO World Heritage Site
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 12:56:31 am »

Art and architecture

Krak des Chevaliers, Syria. UNESCO World Heritage SiteIn Jerusalem itself the greatest architectural endeavour was the expansion of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in western Gothic style. This expansion consolidated all the separate shrines on the site into one building, and was completed by 1149. Outside of Jerusalem, castles and fortresses were the major focus of construction: Kerak and Montreal in Oultrejordain and Ibelin near Jaffa are among the numerous examples of crusader castles.

Crusader art was a mix of Western, Byzantine, and Islamic styles. The major cities featured baths, interior plumbing, and other advanced hygienic tools which were lacking in most other cities and towns throughout the world. The foremost example of crusader art are perhaps the Melisende Psalter, an illuminated manuscript commissioned between 1135 and 1143 and now located in the British Library, and the sculpted Nazareth Capitals. Paintings and mosaics were popular forms of art in the kingdom, but many of these were destroyed by the Mamluks in the 13th century; only the most durable fortresses survived the reconquest.

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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 12:57:55 am »



 
The Tower of David in Jerusalem as it appears today
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2007, 12:58:42 am »

Government and legal system


The Tower of David in Jerusalem as it appears todayImmediately after the First Crusade, land was distributed to loyal vassals of Godfrey, forming numerous feudal lordships within the kingdom. This was continued by Godfrey's successors. The king was also assisted by a number of officers of state. Because the nobles tended to live in Jerusalem rather than on estates in the countryside, they had a larger influence on the king than they would have had in Europe. The nobles formed the haute cour (high court), one of the earliest forms of parliament that was also developing in western Europe. The court consisted of the bishops and the higher nobles, and was responsible for confirming the election of a new king (or a regent if necessary), collecting taxes, minting coins, allotting money to the king, and raising armies. The haute cour was the only judicial body for the nobles of the kingdom, hearing criminal cases such as murder, ****, and treason, and simpler feudal disputes such as recovery of slaves, sales and purchases of fiefs, and default of service. Punishments included forfeiture of land and exile, or in extreme cases death. The first laws of the kingdom were, according to tradition, established during Godfrey of Bouillon's short reign, but were more probably established by Baldwin II at the Council of Nablus in 1120, although no written laws survive from earlier than the 13th century (the so-called Assizes of Jerusalem).

There were other, lesser courts for non-nobles and non-Latins; the Cour des Bourgeois provided justice for non-noble Latins, dealing with minor criminal offences such as assault and theft, and provided rules for disputes between non-Latins, whose had fewer legal rights. Special courts such as the Cour de la Fond (for commercial disputes in the markets) and the Cour de la Mer (an admiralty court) existed in the coastal cities. The extent to which native Islamic and Eastern Christian courts continued to function is unknown, but the ra'is probably exercised some legal authority on a local level. For capital crimes, however, non-Latins would be tried in the Cour des Bourgeois (or even the Haute Cour if the crime was sufficiently severe).

The king was recognised as head of the Haute Cour, although he was legally only primus inter pares. The king and the royal court were normally located in Jerusalem, but due to the prohibition on Muslim inhabitants, the capital was small and underpopulated. The king just as often held court at the far more important cities of Acre, Nablus, Tyre, or wherever else he happened to be. In Jerusalem, the royal family lived firstly on the Temple Mount, before the foundation of the Knights Templar, and later in the palace complex surrounding the Tower of David; there was another palace complex in Acre.

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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2007, 12:59:57 am »

Jerusalem in the mid-12th century


Edessa and Damascus



Baldwin II was succeeded in 1131 by his daughter Melisende, who ruled jointly with her husband Fulk, the former Count of Anjou. During their reign Jerusalem exercised its greatest economic and artistic expansion. Fulk, a renowned military commander, was faced with a new and more dangerous enemy - the Atabeg Zengi of Mosul. Although Fulk held off Zengi throughout his reign, William of Tyre criticized Fulk for not securing the borders; the northern crusader states were also beginning to resent Jerusalem's suzerainty and fought back against Fulk. Fulk died in a hunting accident in 1143, and Zengi took advantage of his death by successfully conquering Edessa in 1144. Queen Melisende, now regent for her elder son, Baldwin III, appointed a new constable, Manasses of Hierges, to head the army after Fulk's death, and a Second Crusade arrived by 1147.

Meeting in Acre in 1148, the crusading kings Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany decided to attack the friendly Emir of Damascus, with whom peace had been established during the reign of Fulk in order for both states to avoid the advances of Zengi and his son and successor Nur ad-Din. The western crusaders saw Damascus as an easy target, and young Baldwin III, perhaps eager to impress the famous European monarchs, agreed with their plan. This was in direct opposition to the advice of Queen Melisende and constable Manasses, as they and the other crusader states saw Aleppo as the main target that would allow for the recapture of Edessa. The crusade ended in defeat by 1148 with the disastrous Siege of Damascus.

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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2007, 01:01:26 am »



Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, who became a close ally of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Alliance with the Byzantine Empire

Melisende continued to rule as regent long after Baldwin came of age, until her government was overthrown by Baldwin in 1153: the two agreed to split the kingdom in half, with Baldwin ruling from Acre in the north and Melisende ruling from Jerusalem in the south, but both knew that this situation was untenable. Baldwin soon invaded his mother's possessions, defeated Manasses, and besieged his mother in the Tower of David in Jerusalem. Melisende surrendered and retired as regent, leaving Baldwin the sole monarch, but Baldwin appointed her his regent and chief advisor the next year. Baldwin III then conquered Ascalon from the Fatimids, the last Egyptian outpost on the Palestinian coast. At the same time, however, the overall crusader situation became worse, as Nur ad-Din succeeded in taking Damascus and unifying Muslim Syria under his rule.

Baldwin now faced formidable difficulties. He was chronically short of men and resources with which to defend his realm, and to make matters worse the supply of help from the west had dried up almost completely. Therefore, he turned to the only other source of aid available: the Byzantine Emperor. In order to bolster the defences of the Kingdom against the growing strength of the Muslims, Baldwin III made the first direct alliance with the Byzantine Empire in the history of the kingdom, marrying Theodora Comnena, a niece of emperor Manuel I Comnenus; Manuel also married Baldwin's cousin Maria. As crusade historian William of Tyre put it, the hope was that Manuel would be able "to relieve from his own abundance the distress under which our realm was suffering and to change our poverty into superabundance". Although Baldwin died childless in 1162, a year after his mother Melisende, the kingdom passed to his brother Amalric I, who renewed the alliance negotiated by Baldwin. The value of the alliance was soon demonstrated in 1164 when, the crusaders suffered a very serious defeat at the Battle of Harim just outside Antioch. The Prince of Antioch, Bohemund III, was captured by Nur ed-Din along with many other important barons. As Amalric was away campaigning far to the south at the time, there seemed every chance that Antioch would fall to Nur ad-Din. The emperor Manuel immediately sent a large Byzantine force to the area, and Nur ad-Din retreated. Manuel also paid the ransom to release the Prince of Antioch. The new alliance had saved the kingdom from disaster.

Amalric was forced to divorce his first wife Agnes of Courtenay in order to succeed to the throne. Amalric's reign was characterized by competition between himself and Manuel on the one hand, and Nur ad-Din and his wily some-time subordinate Saladin on the other, over control of Egypt. Amalric's first expedition to Egypt came in 1163, and a long series of alliances and counter-alliances between Amalric, the viziers of Egypt, and Nur ad-Din led to four more invasions by 1169. The Egyptian campaigns were supported by Emperor Manuel, and Amalric married a great-niece of the emperor, Maria Comnena. In 1169, Manuel sent a large Byzantine fleet of some 300 ships to assist Amalric, and the town of Damietta was placed under siege. However, due to the failure of the Crusaders and the Byzantines to co-operate fully, the chance to capture Egypt was thrown away. The Byzantine fleet sailed only with provisions for three months: by the time the crusaders were ready, supplies were already running out, and eventually the fleet retired. Each side sought to blame the other for failure, but both also knew that they depended on each other: the alliance was maintained, and plans for another campaign in Egypt were made, which ultimately were to come to naught. Amalric ultimately failed in his bid to conquer Egypt. In the end, Nur ad-Din was victorious and Saladin established himself as Sultan of Egypt. The death of both Amalric and Nur ad-Din in 1174 ensured the dominance of Saladin, whose power soon spread over Nur ad-Din's Syrian possessions as well, completely surrounding the crusader kingdom. And with the death of the pro-western Emperor Manuel in 1180, the Kingdom of Jerusalem also lost its most powerful ally.

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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2007, 01:02:54 am »



Saladin, from a 12th-century Arab codex.

Disaster and recovery

Saladin, from a 12th-century Arab codex.Amalric was succeeded by his young son, Baldwin IV, who was discovered at a very young age to be a leper. Baldwin nevertheless proved an effective and energetic king and military commander. His mother, Agnes of Courtenay, returned to court, but her influence has been greatly exaggerated by earlier historians. Her role in appointing Eraclius, archbishop of Caesarea, as Patriarch of Jerusalem, followed the precedent of Queen Melisende: however, it sparked a grudge in Eraclius's rival, William of Tyre. His writings, and those of his continuators in the Chronicle of Ernoul, damaged her political and sexual reputation until recent years.

Count Raymond III of Tripoli, his father's first cousin, was bailli or regent during Baldwin IV's minority. Baldwin reached his majority in 1176, and despite his illness he no longer had any legal need for a regent. Since Raymond was his nearest relative in the male line, with a strong claim to the throne, there was concern about the extent of his ambitions (although he had no direct heirs of his body). To balance this, the king turned from time to time to his uncle, Joscelin III of Edessa, after he was ransomed in 1176: as his maternal kin, the Courtenay family had no claim to the throne.

As a leper, Baldwin would never produce an heir, so the focus of his succession passed to his sister Sibylla and his younger half-sister Isabella. Baldwin and his advisors recognised that it was essential for Sibylla to be married to a Western nobleman in order to access support from Europe in a military crisis. In 1176, he married her to William of Montferrat, a cousin of Louis VII and of Frederick Barbarossa. Unfortunately, William died only a few months later in 1177, leaving Sibylla pregnant with the future Baldwin V. Meanwhile, Baldwin IV's stepmother Maria, mother of Isabella, married Balian of Ibelin.

Baldwin defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard in 1177, giving Jerusalem a brief respite from Saladin's continual attacks. The succession, however, remained a difficult issue. In 1180 Baldwin blocked moves by Raymond of Tripoli to marry Sibylla off to Baldwin of Ibelin by arranging her marriage to Guy of Lusignan. Guy was the younger brother of Amalric of Lusignan, who had already established himself as a capable figure in the kingdom, supported by the Courtenays. More importantly, internationally, the Lusignans were useful as vassals of Baldwin and Sibylla's cousin Henry II of England. Baldwin also betrothed Isabella (aged Cool to Humphrey IV of Toron, stepson of the powerful Raynald of Chatillon - thereby removing her from the influence of the Ibelin family and her mother. Guy was appointed bailli during the king's bouts of illness.

In 1183 Isabella married Humphrey at Kerak, during a siege by Saladin. Baldwin, now blind and crippled, went to the castle's relief on a litter, tended by his mother. He became disillusioned with Guy's military performance there (he was less competent than his brother Amalric), and was reconciled with Raymond. To cut Sibylla and Guy out of the succession, he had Sibylla's son Baldwin of Montferrat crowned Baldwin V, as co-king, although the boy was only 5.

The succession crisis had prompted a mission to the west to seek assistance: in 1184, Patriarch Eraclius travelled throughout the courts of Europe, but no help was forthcoming. The chronicler Ralph Niger reports that his enormous retinue and opulent dress offended the sensibilities of many westerners, who felt that if the east was so wealthy, no help was needed from the west. Eraclius offered the kingship to both Philip II of France and Henry II of England; the latter, as a grandson of Fulk, was a first cousin of the royal family of Jerusalem, and had promised to go on crusade after the murder of Thomas Becket, but he preferred to remain at home to defend his own territories. However, William V of Montferrat did come to support his grandson Baldwin V

Baldwin IV died in spring 1185, and Baldwin V became king, with Raymond of Tripoli as regent and his great-uncle Joscelin of Edessa as his guardian. However, he was a sickly child and died in the summer of 1186. The kingdom passed to his mother Sibylla, on the condition that her marriage to Guy be annulled; she agreed, if only she could chose her own husband next time. The annulment did not take place: after being crowned, Sibylla immediately crowned Guy with her own hands. Raymond and the Ibelins attempted a coup, in order to place Baldwin IV and Sibylla's half-sister Isabella on the throne, with her husband Humphrey of Toron. Humphrey, however, defected to Guy. Disgusted, Raymond returned to Tripoli, and Baldwin of Ibelin also left the kingdom.

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Jill Elvgren
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2007, 01:04:07 am »

Loss of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade

Guy proved a disastrous ruler. His close ally Raynald of Chatillon, the lord of Oultrejourdain and of Kerak, provoked Saladin into open war by attacking Muslim caravans and threatening to attack Mecca itself. To make matters worse, Raymond had allied with Saladin against Guy and had allowed a Muslim garrison to occupy his fief in Tiberias. Guy was on the verge of attacking Raymond before Balian of Ibelin effected a reconciliation in 1187, and the two joined together to attack Saladin at Tiberias. However, Guy and Raymond could not agree on a proper plan of attack, and on July 4, 1187, the army of the Kingdom was utterly destroyed at the Battle of Hattin. Raynald was executed and Guy was imprisoned in Damascus. Over the next few months Saladin easily overran the entire Kingdom, save for the port of Tyre, which was ably defended by Conrad of Montferrat, the paternal uncle of Baldwin V, lately arrived from Constantinople.

The subsequent fall of Jerusalem essentially ended the first Kingdom of Jerusalem. Much of the population, swollen with refugees fleeing Saladin's conquest of the surrounding territory, was allowed to flee to Tyre, Tripoli, or Egypt (whence they were sent back to Europe), but those who could not pay for their freedom were sold into slavery, and those who could were often robbed by Christians and Muslims alike on their way into exile. The capture of the city shocked Europe, resulting in the Third Crusade, which was launched in 1189, led by Richard Lionheart and Philip Augustus (Frederick Barbarossa died along the way).

Guy of Lusignan, who had been refused entry to Tyre by Conrad, began to besiege Acre in 1189. During the lengthy siege, which lasted until 1191, Patriarch Eraclius, Queen Sibylla and her daughters, and many others died of disease. With the death of Sibylla in 1190, Guy now had no legal claim to the kingship, and the succession passed to Isabella. Her mother Maria and the Ibelins (now closely allied to Conrad) argued that Isabella and Humphrey's marriage was illegal, as she had been underage at the time; underlying this was the fact that Humphrey had betrayed his wife's cause in 1186. The marriage was annulled amid some controversy. (The annulment followed the precedents of Amalric I and Agnes, and - though not carried out - Sibylla and Guy - of succession dependent on annulling a politically inconvenient match.) Conrad, who was nearest kinsman to Baldwin V in the male line, and had already proved himself a capable military leader, then married Isabella, but Guy refused to concede the crown.

When Richard arrived in 1191, he and Philip took different sides in the succession dispute. Richard backed Guy, his vassal from Poitou, while Philip supported Conrad, a cousin of his late father Louis VII. After much ill-feeling and ill-health, Philip returned home in 1191, soon after the fall of Acre. Richard defeated Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf in 1191 and the Battle of Jaffa in 1192, recovering most of the coast, but could not recover Jerusalem or any of the inland territory of the kingdom. Conrad was unanimously elected king in April 1192, but was murdered by the Hashshashin only days later. Eight days later, the pregnant Isabella was married to Count Henry II of Champagne, nephew of Richard and Philip, but politically allied to Richard. Guy was sold the Kingdom of Cyprus, after Richard had captured the island on the way to Acre, as compensation.

The crusade came to an end peacefully, with the Treaty of Ramla negotiated in 1192; Saladin allowed pilgrimages to be made to Jerusalem, allowing the crusaders to fulfill their vows, after which they all returned home. The native crusader barons set about rebuilding their kingdom from Acre and the other coastal cities. Shortly after Richard left, Saladin died and his realm fell into civil war, leaving the Crusader lords further embittered at what could have been accomplished had the European princes remained to help rebuild.

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