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the First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #135 on: March 02, 2009, 05:10:53 am »

Count of Edessa

Another invitation came from Thoros of Edessa, where Baldwin was adopted as Thoros' son and successor. When Thoros was assassinated in March of 1098, Baldwin became the first count of Edessa, although it is unknown if he played any role in the assassination. He ruled the county until 1100, marrying Arda, the daughter of Thoros of Marash, and acting as an ambassador between the crusaders and Armenians.

During these two years he captured Samosata and Suruç (Sarorgia) from the Muslims, and defeated a conspiracy by some of his Armenian subjects in 1098. During the Siege of Antioch he sent money and food to his fellow crusaders, although he himself did not participate. Kerbogha, the governor of Mosul, was marching to relieve Antioch but first stopped at Edessa, which he besieged for three weeks, to no avail. Kerbogha was later defeated at Antioch and the crusaders established a principality there. Later that year Baldwin had consolidated his power enough that he was able to march out with his brother Godfrey and besiege Azaz where they defeated the forces of Ridwan of Aleppo.

At the end of 1099 he visited Jerusalem along with Bohemund I of Antioch, but he returned to Edessa in January, 1100. After returning to Edessa, Baldwin aided in relieving the siege of Melitene, at which Bohemund was captured by the Danishmends. The Armenian ruler of the city, Gabriel, then recognized Baldwin as overlord of the city.

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