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the First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #135 on: March 02, 2009, 05:13:14 am »

Death

In 1117 Baldwin fell ill. He was convinced that the sickness was due to his bigamous marriage to Adelaide, and in response Adelaide was sent back to Sicily, much to her disgust. Baldwin recovered, however, and in 1118 he marched into Egypt and plundered Farama. According to Fulcher of Chartres,

"Then one day he went walking along the river which the Greeks call the Nile and the Hebrews the Gihon, near the city, enjoying himself with some of his friends. Some of the knights very skillfully used their lances to spear the fish found there and carried them to their camp near the city and ate them. Then the king felt within himself the renewed pangs of an old wound and was most seriously weakened."

As 17th century historian Thomas Fuller remarked more succinctly, Baldwin "caught many fish, and his death in eating them."

Baldwin was carried back to Jerusalem on a litter but died on the way, at the village of Al-Arish on April 2. Fulcher of Chartres says "The Franks wept, the Syrians, and even the Saracens who saw it grieved also." His cousin Baldwin of Bourcq was chosen as his successor, although the kingdom was also offered to Eustace III, who did not want it.

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