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940*4 R93h v*2 53-40634 


History of the Crusades 











and the Prankish East 





London Office : Bentley House, N.W.I 
American Branch : New York 

Agents for Canada, India, and Pakistan: MacmUlan 

Printed in Great Britain at the University Press, Cambridge 
(Brooke CrutMey, University Printer] 


v. z To 



List of Plates page ix 

List of Maps x 

Preface xi 



Chapter I Outremer and its Neighbours 3 

_ ~JI The Crusades of 1 101 18 

III The Norman Princes of Antioch 32 

IV Toulouse and Tripoli 56 
V King Baldwin I 71 

VI Equilibrium in the North 107 


Chapter I King Baldwin II 143 

II The Second Generation 187 

III The Claims of the Emperor 206 

IV TheFallofEdessa 225 

BOOK 10 


Chapter^ The Gathering of the Kings 247 

II Christian Discord 264 

III Fiasco 278 





Chapter I Life in Outremer page 291 

II The Rise of Nur ed-Din 3^5 

IE The Return of the Emperor 345 

IV The Lure of Egypt 3<& 



Chapter I Moslem Unity 403 

II The Horns of Hattin 436 

Appendix I Principal Sources for the History of the 475 

Latin East, 1100-1187 

II The Battle of Hattin 486 

III Genealogical Trees 

1. The Royal House of Jerusalem, the 

Counts of Edessa and the Lords of 
Sidon and Caesarea 

2. The Princes of Antioch and the Kings 

of Sicily 

3. The Counts of Tripoli and the Princes 

of Galilee 

4. The Lords of Toron, Oultrejourdain, 

Nablus and Ramleh 

5. The Ortoqid Princes 

6. The House of Zengi 




Index 50I 



I Templar knights fighting the Saracens frontispiece 

(From the 1 2th century frescoes of Cressac, Charente. 
Photograph by the Muse*e des Monuments frangais) 

II Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives facing p. 10 

(From Syria, Illustrated, Vol. Ill by Bartlett, Allom, etc., 
London, 1838) 

III Tripoli 60 

(From Syria, Illustrated, Vol. I by Bartlett, Purser, etc. 
London, 1836) 

IV The Emperor John Comnenus 208 

(From a mosaic in Agia Sophia, Constantinople, repro 
duced in Whittcmore: The Mosaics of Haghia Sophia 
at Istanbul, Oxford, 1942) 

V Damascus 282 

(From Syria, Illustrated, Vol. I) 

VI Seals of Baldwin III, King of Jerusalem: 308 
Bohemond III, Prince of Antioch : Pons, 

Count of Tripoli : William of Bures, 
Prince of Galilee 

(From designs by Amigo, published in Schlumberger : 
Sigillographie de I* Orient Latin, Paris, 1943) 

VII The Emperor Manuel Comnenus and his 360 

wife, Maria of Antioch 

(Codex Vaticanus Graecus, 1176) 

VIII Aleppo 410 

(From Maundrell: A Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem,, 
Oxford, 1731) 



I Northern Syria in the twelfth century page 109 

II Southern Syria in the twelfth century 145 

III The Kingdom of Jerusalem in the twelfth century 1 89 

IV Jerusalem under the Latin Kings 293 
V Egypt in the twelfth century 363 

VI Galilee 43 8 


In this volume I have attempted to tell the story of the Prankish 
states of Outremer from the accession of King Baldwin I to the 
reconquest of Jerusalem by Saladin. It is a story that has been told 
before by European writers, notably with German thoroughness 
by Rohricht and with French elegance and ingenuity by Ren 
Grousset, and, too briefly, in English by W. B. Stevenson. I have 
covered the same ground and used the same principal sources as 
these writers, but have ventured to give to the evidence an inter 
pretation that sometimes differs from my predecessors . The nar 
rative cannot always be simple. In particular, the politics of the 
Moslem world in the early twelfth century defy a straightforward 
analysis; but they must be understood if we are to understand the 
establishment of the Crusader states and the later causes of the 
recovery of Islam. 

The twelfth, century experienced none of the great racial 
migrations that characterized the eleventh century and were to 
recur in the thirteenth, to complicate the story of the later 
Crusades and the decline and fall of Outremer. For the moment 
we can concentrate our main attention on Outremer itself. But we 
must always keep in view the wider background of western 
European politics, of the religious wars of the Spanish and Sicilian 
rulers and of the preoccupation of Byzantium and of the eastern 
Caliphate. The preaching of Saint Bernard, the arrival of the 
English fleet at Lisbon, the palace-intrigues at Constantinople and 
Baghdad are all episodes in the drama, though its climax was 
reached on a bare hill in Galilee. 

The main theme in this volume is warfare; and in dwelling on 
the many campaigns and raids I have followed the example of the 
old chroniclers, who knew their business; for war was the back 
ground to life in Outremer, and the hazards of the battlefield often 



decided its destiny. But I have included in this volume a chapter 
on the life and organization of the Prankish East. I hope to give 
an account of its artistic and economic developments in my next 
volume. Both of those aspects of the Crusading movement 
reached fuller importance in the thirteenth century* 

In the Preface to my first volume I mentioned some of the great 
historians whose writings have helped me. Here I must pay 
special tribute to the work of John La Monte, whose early death 
has been a cruel blow to Crusading historiography. We owe to 
him, above all others, our specialized knowledge of the govern 
mental system in the Prankish East. I wish also to acknowledge 
my debt to Professor Ckude Cahen of Strasbourg, whose great 
monograph on Northern Syria and whose various articles are of 
supreme importance to our subject. 

I owe gratitude to the many friends who have helped me on 
my journeys to the East and in particular to the Departments of 
Antiquities of Jordan and of Lebanon and to the Iraq Petroleum 

My thanks are again due to the Syndics of the Cambridge 
University Press for their kindness and patience. 

LONDON 1952 





* Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy 
nations! EZEKIEL xxxvi, 13 

When the Prankish armies entered Jerusalem, the First Crusade 
attained its goal. But if the Holy City were to remain in Christian 
hands and if the way thither were to be made easy for pilgrims, 
a stable government must be set up there, with reliable defences 
^nd sure communications with Europe. The Crusaders that 
planned to settle in the East were well aware of their needs. The 
brief reign of Duke Godfrey saw the beginnings of a Christian 
kingdom. But Godfrey, for all his estimable qualities, was a weak, 
foolish man. Qjit of jealousy he quarrelled with his colleagues; 
out of genuine piety he yielded far too much power into the hands 
of the Church. His death and his replacement by his brother 
Baldwin saved the young kingdom. For Baldwin possessed the 
wisdom, the foresight and die toughness of a statesman. But the 
task that lay before him was formidable; and he had few helpers 
on whom he could rely. The great warriors of the First Crusade 
itad all gone northward or returned to their homes. Of the leading 
Actors of the movement only the most ineffectual remained in 
Palestine, Peter the Hermit, of whose obscure life there we know 
nothing, and who himself went back to Europe in ijoi. 1 The 
princes had taken their armies with them. Baldwin himself, 
to, landless younger son, had not brought to the East any vassals of 
3iis own, but had borrowed men from his brothers. He was now 

1 Hagenmeyer, Pierre I Hermite, pp. 330-44. Peter died at an advanced age 
in 1115 (ibid. p. 34?)- 

Outremer and its Neighbours 

dependent upon a handful of devout warriors who had vowed 
before they left Europe to remain in die Holy Land, and of 
adventurers, many of them younger sons like himself, who hoped 
to find estates there and to enrich themselves. 

At the time of Baldwin s accession the Franks maintained a 
precarious hold over the greater part of Palestine. It was most 
secure along the mountainous backbone of the province, from 
Bethlehem northward to the plain of Jezreel. Many of the villages 
there had always been Christian; and most of the Moslems of the 
district had abandoned their homes on the appearance of the 
Prankish armies, even deserting their favourite city of Nablus, 
which they called the Litde Damascus. This was an easy district to 
defend. On the east it was protected by the valley of the Jordan. 
Between Jericho and Beisan there was no ford across the river and 
only one track led up from the valley into the mountains. It was 
almost equally hard of access from the west. Fardier north was the 
principality of Galilee, which Tancred had conquered for Christen 
dom. This included the plain of Esdraelon and the hills from 
Nazareth to Lake Huleh. Its borders were more vulnerable; it 
was easily entered from the Mediterranean coast by Acre and from 
the east along roads to the north and to the south of the Sea of 
Galilee. But, from there too, much of the Moslem population had 
emigrated, and only Christians remained, apart from small Jewish 
colonies in the towns, especially in Safed, long the chief home of 
the Talmudic tradition. But most of the Jews, after the massacre 
of their co-religionists at Jerusalem and at Tiberias and their op 
position to the Christians at Haifa, preferred to follow the Moslems 
into exile. 1 The central, ridge and Galilee were die core of the 
kingdom ; but tentacles were stretching out into the more Moslem 
districts around. The principality of Galilee had recently been 
given an outlet to the sea at Haifa. In the south the Negeb was 
dominated by the Prankish garrison at Hebron. But the Castle of 
Saint Abraham, as it was called by the Franks, was little more than 
an island in a Moslem ocean.* The Franks had no control over the 
1 For the Jews, see below, p. 295. * See above, vol. I, pp. 304, 316. 

The Land of Palestine 

tracks that led from Arabia, round the southern end of the Dead 
Sea, along the course of the old Spice Road of the Byzantines; by 
which the Bedouin could infiltrate into the Negeb and link up with 
the Egyptian garrisons at Gaza and Ascalon on the coast. Jerusalem 
itself had access to the sea down a corridor running through 
Ramleh and Lydda to Jaffa; but the road was unsafe except for 
military convoys. Raiding parties from the Egyptian cities, 
Moslem refugees from the uplands and Bedouins from the desert 
wandered over the country and lay in wait for unwary travellers. 
The Norse pilgrim, Saewulf, who went up to Jerusalem in 1102, 
after Baldwin had strengthened the defences of the kingdom, was 
horrified by the dangers of the journey. 1 Between Jaffa and Haifa 
were the Moslem cities of Arsuf and Caesarea, whose emirs had 
announced themselves the vassals of Godfrey but kept all the while 
in touch by sea with Egypt. North of Haifa the whole coast was 
in Moslem hands for some two hundred miles, up to the outskirts 
of Lattakieh, where the Countess of Toulouse was living with her 
husband s household, under the protection of the Byzantine 
governor. 2 

Palestine was a poor country. Its prosperity in Roman times 
had not outlasted the Persian invasions; and constant wars since 
the coming of the Turks had interrupted its partial recovery under 
the Caliphs. The land was better wooded than in modern times. 
Despite the devastations of the Persians and the slow destruction 
by peasants and by goats, there were still great forests in Galilee 
and along die ridge of Carmel and round Samaria, and a pine- 
forest by the coast, south of Caesarea. They brought moisture to 
a countryside naturally short of water. Cornfields flourished in 
the plain of Esdraelon. The tropical valley of the Jordan produced 
bananas and other exotic fruits. But for the recent wars, the 
coastal plain, with its crops and its gardens where vegetables and 
the bitter orange were grown, would have been prosperous; and 
many of the mountain villages were surrounded with olive-groves 

1 Pilgrimage of Saewulf (m P.T.T.S. vol. iv), pp. 8-^9. 
a See above, vol. I, pp. 318-19. 

Outremer and its Neighbours 

and fruit orchards. But in the main the country was arid and the 
soil shallow and poor, especially round Jerusalem. There was no 
big industry in any of its towns. Even when the kingdom was at 
its zenith, its kings never were as rich as the Counts of Tripoli or 
the Princes of Antioch. 1 The main source of wealth came from 
tolls; for the fertile lands across the Jordan, Moab and the Jaulan, 
found their natural outlet in the ports of the Palestine coast. 
Merchandise travelling from Syria to Egypt passed along Pales 
tinian roads; and caravans laden with spices from southern Arabia 
had, down the ages, travelled through the Negeb to the Mediter 
ranean Sea. But to ensure this source it was necessary to block all 
other outlets. The whole frontier from the Gulf of Akaba to 
Mount Hermon, and even from the Lebanon to the Euphrates, 
must be controlled by the Franks. 

Palestine was, moreover, an insalubrious country. Jerusalem, 
with its mountain air and its Roman sanitation, was healthy enough, 
except when the khamsin blew, sultry and dust-laden from the 
south. But the warmer plains, whose fertility attracted the in 
vaders, were the homes of disease, with their stagnant waters, their 
mosquitoes and their flies. Malaria, typhoid and dysentery 
flourished there. Epidemics such as cholera and the plague spread 
rapidly through the crowded insanitary villages. Lepers abounded. 
The western knights and soldiers, with their unsuitable clothes, 
their heavy appetites and their ignorance of personal hygiene, 
easily succumbed to these diseases. The rate of mortality was even 
* higher among the children that they bred there, especially amongst 
their sons. The cruel prank of nature that makes baby girls tougher 
than their brothers was in future generations to present a constant 
political problem to the Prankish kingdom. Later, as the colonists 
learned to follow native customs, their chances of a long life 
improved; but the death-rate remained formidable among their 
infants. It was soon obvious that if the Prankish population of 
Palestine was to be kept at a sufficient strength to dominate the 

1 A good brief account of Palestine is given in Munro, The Kingdom of the 
Crusaders, pp. 3-9. 

Need for a Seaport 

country, there must be continuous and ample immigration from 

King Baldwin s first task must be to secure the defence of his 
kingdom. This would involve offensive action. Arsuf and 
Caesarea must be taken and their territories absorbed. Ascalon, 
lost to the Christians in 1099 owing to Godfrey s jealousy of 
Count Raymond, 1 must be annexed and the Egyptian frontier 
pushed to the south if the access from Jerusalem to the coast were 
to be made safe. Advance posts must be established in Transjordan 
and to the south of the Dead Sea. He must try to link up his king 
dom with the Christian states to the north, to open the road for 
pilgrims and more immigrants ; he must advance as far as possible 
himself along the coast and must encourage the formation of other 
Christian states in Syria. He must also secure for his kingdom 
a better seaport than either Jaffa or Haifa. For Jaffa was an open 
roadstead, too shallow for larger ships to come close inshore. 
Landings were made in small ferry-boats, and were full of danger 
if any wind were blowing. If the wind were strong, the ships 
themselves were in danger. The day after Saewulf landed there in 
1102, he witnessed the wrecking of more than twenty ships of the 
flotilla with which he had voyaged, and the drowning of over 
a thousand pilgrims. 2 The roadstead at Haifa was deeper and was 
protected from the south and west winds by the rampart of Mount 
Carmel, but was dangerously exposed to the north wind. The only 
port on the Palestinian coast that was safe in all weathers was Acre. 
For commercial as well as strategical reasons the conquest of Acre 
must be achieved. 

For his internal government Baldwin s chief need was for men 
and money. He could not hope to build up his kingdom if he 
were not rich and powerful enough to control his vassals. Man 
power could only be obtained by welcoming immigration and by 
inducing the native Christians to co-operate with him. Money 
could be obtained by encouraging commerce with the neigh 
bouring countries and by taking full advantage of the pious 
1 See above, vol i, p. 297. a Pilgrimage of Saewulf, pp. 6-8, 

Outremer and its Neighbours 

desires of the faithful in Europe to subsidize and endow establish 
ments in the Holy Land. But such endowments would be made in 
favour of the Church. To ensure that they would be used to the 
advantage of the whole kingdom he must be master of the Church. 

The Franks* greatest asset was the disunity of the Moslem world, 
It was owing to the jealousies of the Moslem leaders and their 
refusal to work together that the First Crusade had achieved its 
object. The Shia Moslems, headed by the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, 
loathed the Sunni Turks and the Caliph of Baghdad quite as much 
as they loathed the Christians. Amongst the Turks there was 
perpetual rivalry between the Seldjuks and the Danishmends, 
between the Ortoqids and the house of Tutush, and between the 
two sons of Tutush themselves. Individual atabegs, such as 
Kerbogha, added to the confusion of their personal ambitions, 
while minor Arab dynasties, such as the Banu Ammar of Tripoli 
and the Munqidhites of Shaizar profited by the disorder to 
maintain a precarious independence. The success of the Crusade 
only added to this ineffectual chaos. Despondency and mutual 
recrimination made it still harder for the Moslem princes to 
co-operate. 1 { 

The Christians had taken advantage of the discomfiture o| 
Islam. In the north Byzantium, directed by the supple genius o 
the Emperor Alexius, had utilized the Crusade to recover control 
of western Asia Minor; and the Byzantine fleet had recently 
brought die whole coast-line of the peninsula back into the! 
Emperor s power. Even the Syrian port of Lattakieh was, owing; 
to the help of Raymond of Toulouse, once more an imperial 
possession. 2 The Armenian principalities of the Taurus and Anti- 
Taurus mountains, which had been threatened with extinction by 
the Turks, could now feel hopeful of survival. And the Crusade 
had given birth to two Frankish principalities, which drove * 
wedge into the Moslem world. 

_ I An excellent brief account of the Moslem world at this time is given in die 
introduction to Gibb s The Damascus Chronicle (Ibn al-Oalanisi). 
See above, p. vol. I, pp. 318-19. 

The Principality of Antioch 

Of these the wealthier and more secure was the principality of 
Antioch, founded by the Norman Bohemond, in spite of the 
opposition of his leading Crusader colleague, Raymond of 
Toulouse, and of his own sworn obligations to the Emperor 
Alexius. It did not cover a large area; it consisted of the lower 
Orontes valley, the plain of Antioch and the Amanus range, with 
the two seaports of Alexandretta and Saint Symeon. But Antioch 
itself, despite its recent vicissitudes, was a very rich city. Its 
factories produced silk cloths and carpets, glass and pottery and 
soap. Caravans from Aleppo and Mesopotamia ignored the wars 
between Moslem and Christian to pass through its gates on their 
way to the sea. The population of the principality was almost 
entirely Christian, Greeks and Orthodox Syrians, Syrian Jacobites 
and a few Nestorians, and Armenians, all of them so jealous of each 
other that it was easy for the Normans to control them. 1 The chief 
external danger came less from the Moslems than from Byzantium. 
The Emperor considered that he had been cheated over the pos 
session of Antioch; and now, with the Cilician ports and Lat- 
takieh under his control and his navy based on Cyprus, he awaited 
an opportunity to reassert his rights. The Orthodox within the 
principality were eager to see Byzantine rule restored; but the 
Normans could play off against them the Armenians and the 
Jacobites. Antioch had suffered a severe blow in the summer of 
1 1 oo, when Bohemond led his expedition to the upper Euphrates, 
and his army was destroyed by the Danishmend emir and he him 
self taken into captivity. But apart from the loss of man-power, 
the disaster had not done lasting harm to the principality. The 
prompt action of King Baldwin, who was then still Count of 
Edessa, had prevented the Turks from following up their victory; 
and a few months later Tancred came up from Palestine to take 
over the regency during his uncle s imprisonment. In Tancred 
the Normans found a leader as energetic and unscrupulous as 
Bohemond. z 

1 For Antioch, see Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, pp. 127 ft. 
a See above, vol. i, pp. 320-1 ; and. below, chapter m. 

Outremer and its Neighbours 

The second Prankish state, the county of Edessa, served as a 
buffer to protect Antioch from the Moslems. The county, now 
ruled by Baldwin s cousin and namesake, Baldwin of Le Bourg, 
was larger than the principality. It sprawled on either side of the 
Euphrates, from Ravendel and Aintab to a vague frontier in 
the Jezireh, to the east of the city of Edessa. It lacked natural 
boundaries and a homogeneous population; for though it was 
mainly occupied by Christians, Syrian Jacobites and Armenians, it 
included Moslem towns such as Saruj. The Franks could not hope 
to set up a centralized government. Instead, they ruled by gar 
risoning a few strong fortresses from which they could levy taxes 
and tribute on the surrounding villages and could embark on 
profitable raids across the border. The whole district had always 
been border-country, subject to unending warfare, but it con 
tained fertile land and many prosperous towns. From his taxes 
and his raids the Count of Edessa could raise an adequate revenue. 
Baldwin I was comparatively far wealthier as Count of Edessa 
than as King of Jerusalem. 1 

The chief need of the two states was man-power; and even here 
their need was less than that of Jerusalem. In Palestine the 
Christian population had been forbidden to bear arms sitice first 
the Moslems had invaded the land. There were no native soldiers 
on whom the new rulers could rely. But Antioch and Edessa lay 
within the old frontiers of Byzantium. There were Christians there 
with a long tradition of military prowess, notably the Armenians. 
If the Armenians would work in with the Prankish prince, ha 
would have an army ready-made. Both Bohemond and Tancred: 
at Antioch and Baldwin I and Baldwin II at Edessa, tried at first to- 
conciliate the Armenians. But they proved themselves to be tuir 
reliable and treacherous. They could not be given places of trust 
The rulers of Antioch and of Edessa needed western-born knightsj 
to lead their regiments and to command their castles, and western! 
born clerics to administer their government. But while AntiocJ 
offered to immigrants the prospect of a fairly secure existence, 
1 Cahen, op. cit. pp. no ff. 



Moslem Cities on the Coast 

Edessa could only attract adventurers ready to lead the life of a 

Jerusalem was divided from these two northern Prankish states 
by a long stretch of territory ruled by a number of jealous Moslem 
potentates. The coast immediately to the north of the kingdom 
was held by four rich seaports, Acre, Tyre, Sidon and Beirut, each 
owing an allegiance to Egypt that waxed and waned according to 
the proximity of the Egyptian fleet. 1 North of Beirut was the 
emirate of the Banu Ammar, with their capital at Tripoli. The 
emir of Tripoli had recently profited by the departure of the 
Crusaders to the south to extend his dominion as far as Tortosa. 2 
Jabala, between Tortosa and Lattakieh, was in the hands of a local 
magnate, the Qadi ibn Sulaiha, who in the summer of 1 101 handed 
it over to Toghtekin, the atabeg of Duqaq of Damascus, from 
whom it passed to the Banu Ammar. 3 In the Nosairi mountains, 
behind Tortosa and Jabala, were the small emirates of the Banu 
Muhris of Marqab and Qadmus and the Banu Amrun of Kahf. 4 
The upper Orontes valley was divided between the adventurer 
Khalaf ibn Mula ib of Apamca, a Shiite who therefore acknow 
ledged Fatimid suzerainty, the Munqidhites of Shaizar, the most 
important of these petty dynasties, and Janah ad-Daulah of Horns, 
a former atabeg of Ridwan of Aleppo, who had quarrelled with 
his master and enjoyed virtual independence. 5 Aleppo was still in 
the hands of Ridwan, who as a member of the Seldjuk ruling 
family bore the title of Malik, or King. The Jezireh, to the east, 
was mainly occupied by members of the Ortoqid dynasty, who 
had retired there on the Fatimid reconquest of Jerusalem in 1097, 
and who were considered to be the vassals of Duqaq of Damascus. 
Duqaq, a Malik like his brother Ridwan, ruled in Damasciis. 6 

1 Gibb, op. cit. pp. 15-18 ; Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, pp. 342-52. 
a For the Banu Ammar, see Sobernheim s article * Ibn Ammar , in the Encyclo 
paedia of Islam. 3 Ibn al-Qalanisi (The Damascus Chronicle), pp. 51-2. 

4 Cahen, op. cit. p. 180. 

5 See Honigman, article * Shaizar \ and Sobernheim, article * Horns , mEncyclo- 
paedia of Islam; also introduction to Hitti, An Arab-Syrian Gentleman, pp. 5-6. 

6 See Gibb, op. cit. pp. 22-4. 


Outremer and its Neighbours 

These political divisions were made more unstable by the 
divergent elements in the population of Syria. The Turks formed 
a sparse feudal aristocracy; but the smaller emirs were almost all 
Arabs. In northern Syria and in Damascene territory the urban 
population was largely Christian, Syrians of the Jacobite church, 
with Nestorians in the eastern districts and Armenians infiltrating 


from the north. The territory of the Banu Ammar was largely 
peopled by the Monothelete sect of the Maronites. In the 
Nosairi mountains there was the tribe of the Nosairi, a Shiite sect 
from whom Khalaf ibn Mula ib drew his strength. On the slopes 
of the southern Lebanon there were the Druzes, Shiites who 
accepted the divinity of the Caliph Hakim, and who hated all their 
Moslem neighbours but who hated the Christians more. The 
situation was further complicated by the steady immigration into 
the cultivated lands of Arabs from the desert and of Kurds from 
the northern mountains, and by the presence of Turcoman com 
panies, ready to hire themselves out to any warring chieftain that 
would pay them. 1 

Of Syria s Moslem neighbours the most powerful were the 
Fatimid rulers of Egypt. The Nile valley and the Delta formed the 
most thickly populated area in the medieval world. Cairo and 
Alexandria were great industrial cities whose factories produced 
glass, pottery and metalwork, as well as linens and brocades. The 
cultivated districts grew vast quantities of corn; and there were 
huge sugar-plantations in the Delta. Egypt controlled the trade of 
the Sudan, with its gold and its gum-arabic, its ostrich feathers and 
ivory. The Far Eastern trade was now carried by ships using the 
Red Sea route and therefore reached the Mediterranean through 
Egyptian ports. The Egyptian government could put enormous 
armies into the field; and, though the Egyptians themselves en 
joyed a poor reputation as soldiers, it could afford to hire as many 
mercenaries as it pleased. Moreover, alone of the Moslem powers, 
it possessed a considerable navy. The Fatimid Caliph himself as 
a Shia was the natural protector of the Shia of Syria. But he was 
1 See Gibb, op. cit. pp. 27-9. 


The Rival Caliphs 

traditionally tolerant; and many of the Sunni Arabs who feared 
Turkish domination were ready to acknowledge his suzerainty. 
The Turkish invasions had curtailed die empire of the Fatimids in 
Syria; and the Prankish capture of Jerusalem and victory over the 
Egyptian relieving force at Ascalon had damaged their prestige. 
But Egypt could afford to lose an army. It was clear that Vizier 
al-Afdal, who ruled Egypt in the name of the young Caliph 
al-Amir and was himself an Armenian born at Acre, would seek 
as soon as possible to avenge the defeat and recover Palestine. In 
the meantime the Egyptian fleet kept in touch with the Moslem 
cities of the coast. 1 

The rival Caliph, the Abbasid al-Mustazhir, was a shadowy 
youth, who reigned at Baghdad by the grace of the Seldjuk Sultan. 
But the Sultan himself, Barkiyarok, the eldest son of the great 
Malik Shah, lacked his father s power and ability. His brothers 
continually revolted against him. He had been obliged to enfeoff 
the youngest, Sanjar, with Khorassan, and from 1099 onwards he 
was at war with another brother, Mohammed, who eventually 
secured the province of Iraq. These preoccupations made him a 
useless ally in the struggle against the Christians. 

The head of the youngest branch of the Seldjuk dynasty, the 
Anatolian Malik Kilij Arslan, self-styled Sultan, was at the moment 
little better placed than his cousin. The First Crusade had deprived 
him of his capital, Nicaea, and of most of his treasure, lost on the 
battlefield of Dorylaeum. Much of the land that he had controlled 
had passed back into Byzantine hands. He was on bad terms with 
the Seldjuks of the East, whose supremacy he refused to admit. 
But Turcoman immigrants into Anatolia gave him the means for 
rebuilding his army and a population that would crowd out the 
Christians. 2 More effective was the Danishmend emirate, firmly 
established at Sivas and dominating the north-east of the peninsula. 
The emir, Gumushtekin, had recently won renown by his capture 
of Bohemond. He was the first Moslem leader to win a victory 

1 See Wiet, UEgypte Musulman, pp. 260 ff. 

a See articles, * Seldjuks and Kilij Arslan , in Encyclopaedia of Islam. 


Outremer and its Neighbours 

ovex an army of Prankish knights. He too was being continually 
strengthened by Turcoman immigration. 1 

Between the Turks of Anatolia and the Prankish states of 
northern Syria was a group of Armenian principalities. There 
was Oshin, who controlled the central Taurus mountains, and 
to the east of him the princes of the house of Roupan. There 
was Kogh Vasil in the Anti-Taurus, Thatoul at Marash and 
Gabriel at Melitene. Thatoul and Gabriel belonged to the 
Orthodox Church and were therefore inclined to co-operate with 
Byzantium. They and Oshin based their juridical position on 
titles conferred on them by the Emperor. But the Roupenians, 
who alone of these Armenians succeeded in founding an enduring 
state, were traditionally hostile both to Byzantium and the 
Orthodox Church. 2 

The external Christian power most concerned with Syrian 
affairs was Byzantium. There the Emperor Alexius had been on 
the throne for nearly twenty years. He had found the Empire at 
its nadir ; but by his diplomacy and his thrift, his judicious handling 
of his subjects and his rivals, both at home and abroad, he had 
re-established it on solid foundations. He had used the Crusading 
movement to recover western Asia Minor from the Turks; and 
his reorganized fleet gave him control of the coasts. Even at its 
lowest ebb, Byzantium enjoyed great traditional prestige through 
out the East. It was the Roman Empire, with a thousand years of 
history behind it; and its Emperor was the acknowledged head of 
Christendom, however much his fellow-Christians might dislike 
his policy or even his greed. Constantinople, with its innumerable, 
busy inhabitants, its vast wealth and its formidable fortifications, 
was the most impressive city in the world. The armed forces of the 
Empire were the best equipped of their time. The imperial coinage 
had long been the only sure currency. International exchange was 

1 For the Danishmends, see Mukrimin Halil, article Danifmend , in Islam 

2 For the Armenian background, see Tournebize, Histoire Politique et 
Rttigieuse d Armtnie, pp. 168-70; also above, vol. i, pp. 195 ff. 



calculated in terms of the hyperpyron, often called the besant, the 
gold solidus whose value had been fixed by Constantine the Great. 
Byzantium was to play a dominant role in Oriental politics for 
almost a century to come; but in fact its successes were due more 
to the brilliance of its statesmen and the prestige of its Roman name 
than to its real strength. The Turkish invasions had destroyed the 
social and economic organization of Anatolia, from whence of old 
the Empire had derived the greater part of its soldiers and its food ; 
and though territory might be recovered, it was almost impossible 
to restore the former organization. The army was now almost 
entirely mercenary, and therefore both expensive and unreliable. 
Turkish mercenaries such as the Petchenegs might be safely 
employed against the Franks or the Slavs, but they could not be 
trusted against the Turks in Asia. Prankish mercenaries would not 
willingly fight against fellow-Franks. Early in his reign Alexius 
had been obliged to buy Venetian help by giving commercial 
concessions to the Venetians* to the detriment of his own subjects; 
and these were followed by concessions to the other maritime 
dries, Genoa and Pisa, The trade of the Empire thus began to pass 
into alien hands* A little later, in his need for ready-money, 
Alexius tampered with the coinage, issuing gold pieces that lacked 
their proper gold content. Confidence in the besant began to 
diminish; and soon the clients of the Empire insisted on being 
paid in Michaels*, the currency minted under the Emperor 
Michael VII, the last that was known to be trustworthy. 

The Emperor s chief concern was the welfare of his Empire. 
He had welcomed the First Crusade and had been ready to co 
operate with its leaders; but Bohemond s ambition and perfidy at 
Antioch had shocked and angered him. His first desire was to 
recapture Antioch and to control the roads that led there across 
Asia Minor. When the Crusaders moved southwards into Palestine 
his active co-operation ended. The traditional Byzantine policy 
had been for the past century an alliance with the Fatimids of 
Egypt against the Sunni Abbasids and the Turks. Except under 
the mad Caliph Hakim the Fatimids had treated the eastern 


Outremer and its Neighbours 

Christians with kindly forbearance; and Alexius had no reason to 
suppose that Prankish rule would be more agreeable to them. He 
had therefore dissociated himself from the Prankish march on 
Jerusalem. But at the same time, as patron of the Orthodox, he 
could not be indifferent to the fate of Jerusalem. If the Prankish 
kingdom seemed likely to endure, he would have to take steps to 
see that his rights were recognized. He was ready to show the 
Franks in Palestine signs of good-will; but his active help would 
be restricted to co-operation in opening up the routes across Asia 
Minor. For the Normans at Antioch he felt nothing but hostility 
and was to prove a dangerous enemy. He seems to have enter 
tained no ambition for the recovery of Edessa. Probably he 
recognized the value of the Prankish county there as an outpost 
against the Moslem world. 1 

A new factor had recently been introduced into Oriental politics 
by the intervention of the Italian merchant-cities. They had at 
first been diffident of joining in the Crusade till they saw that it 
promised to be successful. Then Pisa, Venice and Genoa all sent 
fleets to the East, promising help in return for establishments in any 
city in whose conquest they shared. The Crusaders welcomed 
them; for they offered the sea-power without which it would 
be impossible to reduce the Moslem coastal cities; and their 
ships provided a swifter and safer route of communication 
with western Europe than the long journey overland. But the 
concessions that they demanded and obtained meant that the 
Prankish governments in the East lost much of their potential 
revenue. 2 

The complexities of the international situation around him 
did not give Bang Baldwin much cause for optimism. His allies 
were either half-hearted or rapacious, and concerned with their 
selfish interests. The disunity of his enemies was helpful; but 

1 For the position of Byzantium and the policy of Alexius, see above, 
vol. I passim. 

2 The best summary of the part played by the Italians is in Heyd, Histoire du 
Commerce du Levant, vol. I, pp. 131 ff. 


Baldwin s Problems 

were the Moslem world to find a leader who could bind it 
together, there was little chance that the Prankish states in the East * 
would survive, In die meantime he was placed with far too few 
supporters in a land with a deadly climate, that had been down 
the centuries the battlefield of nations. It was with pleasant 
expectation that he learnt of new Crusading expeditions setting 
out from the West* 



But they said, We will not hearken." JEREMIAH vi, 17 

The news that the Christians had recovered Jerusalem reached 
western Europe during the late summer of 1099. It was received 
with enthusiasm and rejoicing. Everywhere chroniclers inter 
rupted their story of local happenings to record the great instance 
of God s mercy. Pope Urban himself had died before he could 
learn of it; but his friends and helpers throughout the Church 
praised God for the success of his policy. During the winter that 
followed, many of the Crusading leaders returned home with their 
men. As is the wont of returning soldiers, the Crusaders no doubt 
exaggerated both the hardships of their journey and the splendours 
of die land to which they had penetrated; and they made much 
of the miracles with which they had been encouraged by Heaven. 
But they all declared that warriors and colonists were needed 
in the East, to carry on God s work, and that welltE^aSSTgreat 
estates lay there to be occupied by the adventurous. They urged 
a new Crusade to which the preachers of the Church gave their 
blessing. 1 

It was not until the early autumn of noo that^the next expedi 
tion could start out. The winter months were unsuitable for 
travel; and then the harvest had to be gathered. But in September 
1 100 a Crusade of Lombards left Italy for the East. At its head was 
the greatest personage in Lombardy, jhe Archbishop of Milan, 
Anselm of Buis. With him were AjKert, Count 64" BiMtett; 

1 E.g. Pope Paschal s letter in Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. dxra, cols. 42 ff. 
It was thought in the East that if reinforcements did not arrive, the conquered 
lands might have to be evacuated (De Translation S. Nicolai in R.H.C., Hist. 
Occ., vol. v, p. 271). 


iioo : The Lombards Assemble 

Count Guibert of Parma and Hugh of Montebello. The Lombards 
had played an undistinguished part in the First Crusade. Many of 
them had journeyed East during its early months and had joined 
up with Peter the Hermit, and, by intriguing with his German 
followers against the French, had helped to wreck his expedition. 
The survivors had then taken service under Bohemond. In conse 
quence, of the Crusading leaders it was Bohemond who enjoyed 
the highest prestige in Lombardy. The present expedition was 
little better organized. It included very few trained soldiers and 
was mainly composed of a rabble drawn from the slums of the 
Lombard cities, men whose Eves had been disorganized by the 
growing industrialism of the province. With them were large 
numbers of clerics and women and children. It was a large com 
pany; though Albert of Aix s estimate of two hundred thousand 
souls should be divided by at least ten. Neither the Archbishop 
nor the Count of Biandrate, who was regarded as the military 
leader, was able to keep it in control. 1 

During the autumn of iioo the Lombards made their leisurely 
way across Carniola and down the valley of the Save, through 
the territory of the King of Hungary, and entered the Byzantine 
Empire at Belgrade. Alexius was ready to deal with them. His 
troops escorted them across the Balkans. Then, as they were too 
numerous to be provisioned and policed in one camp, they were 
divided into three companies. One was to spend the winter in 
a camp outside Philippopolis, the second outside Adrianople and 
the third outside Rodosto. But even so they were too disorderly to 
be kept under control. Each company began to raid the district 
outside its camp, pillaging the villages, breaking into the grain- 
stores and even robbing the churches. At last, in March, the 
Emperor brought them all to a camp outside the walls of Con 
stantinople, intending to transport them as soon as possible across 
into Asia. But they had heard by now that other Crusaders had 
set out to join them. They refused to cross the Bosphorus until 

1 Albert of Aix, vm, i, p. 559; Anna Comnena, xi, viii, i, vol. in, p. 36, 
calling them Normans under the command of two brothers called QAdvTpoc$. 

19 2-2 

The Crusades ofnoi 

these reinforcements arrived. To oblige them to move, the 
imperial authorities cut off their supplies; whereupon they at once 
attacked the city walls and forced their way through into the 
courtyard of the imperial palace of Blachernae. There they killed 
one of the Emperor s pet lions, and tried to open die palace gates. 
The Archbishop of Milan and the Count of Biandrate, who had 
been well received by the Emperor, were horrified. They rushed 
out into the midst of the rioting crowds and succeeded at last in 
persuading them to return to the camp. They then had to face the 
task of pacifying the Emperor. 1 

Peace was made by Count Raymond of Toulouse. Raymond 
had been spending the winter as the guest of Alexius, whose 
complete confidence he now enjoyed. As the senior of all the 
Crusading princes, the friend of Pope Urban and of Bishop 
Adhemar, he still had a great reputation. The Lombards listened 
to him; and on his advice they agreed to move across into Asia. 
By the end of April they were established in a camp close to 
Nicomedia, where they awaited newcomers from the West. 2 

Stephen, Count of Blois, had never been allowed to forget his 
flight from Antioch. He had not fulfilled his Crusading vows and 
he had shown cowardice in the face of the enemy. His wife, the 
Countess Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror, was deeply 
ashamed of him. Even in the private intimacy of their bed 
chamber she would nag at him to go and redeem his reputation. 
He could not claim that he was needed at home; for his wife had 
always been the real ruler of the county. So, wearily and with fore 
boding, he set out again for the Holy Land in the spring of noi. 3 

On the news of his expedition many other French knights 
prepared to join him, under the leadership of Stephen, Count of 
Burgundy, Hugh of Broyes, Baldwin of Grandpr6 and the Bishop 

1 Albert of Aix, vra, 2-5, pp. 559-62; Orderic Vitalis, x, 19, vol. iv, p. 120, 
who muddles the story and says that die Emperor used lions against the Crusaders. 

2 Albert of Aix, vm, 7, p. 563 ; Anna Comnena, xi, viii, 2, vol. in, pp. 36-7. 
It was said that Raymond had the so-called Holy Lance with ham. See 
Runciman, The Holy Lance found at Antioch , in Anakcta Bollandiana, 
voL Lxvm, pp. 205-6. 3 Orderic Vitalis, x, 19, vol. iv, p. 119. 


iioi : Lombards and French at Constantinople 

of Soissons, Hugh of Pierrefonds. They travelled down through 
Italy and across the Adriatic, and reached Constantinople about 
the beginning of May. At some point on their journey they were 
overtaken by a small German contingent, under Conrad, Constable 
to the Emperor Henry IV. 1 

The French Crusaders were delighted to find Raymond at 
Constantinople, and were well satisfied by their reception by the 
Emperor. Probably on the suggestion of Alexius, they decided 
that Raymond should command the whole expedition; and the 
Lombards acquiesced. During the last days of May the whole 
army, Frenchmen, Germans, Lombards, some Byzantines under 
the General Tsitas, with whom were five hundred Turkish 
mercenaries, probably Petcheneg, marched out from Nicomedia 
on the road to Dorylaeum. 

e Emperor s full support "Stephen of Blois therefore 
reTonSaendecTtEaf the army should follow the road taken by the 
First Crusade, through Dorylaeum and Konya. Raymond, in 
conformity with the instructions given him by Alexius, agreed 
with him. But the Lombards, who formed the vast majority of 
the army, held other views. Bohemond was their hero, the one 
warrior that they trusted to carry them to victory. And Bohemond 
lay captive in the Danishmend Emir s castle of Niksar, far away 
to the north-east of Anatolia. They insisted that their first task 
must be to rescue Bohemond. Raymond and Stephen protested in 
vain. Raymond s jealousy of Bohemond was too well known and, 
for all his qualities, he had never shown himself to be a forceful 
leader; whilst Stephen s influence was damaged by memories of 
his past cowardice. The Count of Biandrate and the Archbishop 
of Milan supported the Lombards, who had their way. 2 On 

1 Albert of Aix, vin, 6, pp. 562-3 ; Orderic Vitalis, loc. dt. 

* Albert of Aix, vm, 7, pp. 5*3-4, saying that the decision to inarch east was 
the Lombards ; Anna, loc. dt. She says that the Emperor hoped that Raymond 
and Tsitas would alter this decision. 


The Crusades ofnoi 

leaving Nicomedia the army turned east and took the road to 
Ankara. The country was largely held by the Byzantines; and the 
Crusaders were able to find food as they went. Ankara itself now 
belonged to the Seldjuk Sultan, Kilij Arslan; but when they 
arrived there on 23 June they found it poorly defended and took 
it by assault. Very correctly they handed it over to representatives 
of the Emperor. 

On leaving Ankara the Crusaders took a track that led north 
eastward to Gangra, in southern Paphlagonia, to join the main, 
road to Amasea and to Niksar. On the way to Gangra their 
troubles began. Kilij Arslan retreated before them, devastating 
the country as he went, so that they could find little to eat. 
Meanwhile Malik Ghazi the Danishmend had been thoroughly 
alarmed. He hastened to renew his alliance with Kilij Arslan and 
induced Ridwan of Aleppo to send reinforcements up from the 
south. Early in July the Crusaders reached Gangra; but the 
Seldjuks were there in force. The fortress proved to be im 
pregnable. After ravaging the countryside and taking what food 
they could find, the Crusaders were forced to move on. They 
were weary and hungry; and on the Anatolian tableland the July 
heat was hard to bear. In their disappointment they listened to 
Count Raymond, who advised that they should march northward 
to Kastamuni and from there to some Byzantine city on the Black 
Sea coast. Such a course would save the army from certain destruc 
tion; and no doubt Raymond thought that the Emperor would 
forgive him his disobedience if he returned having recaptured for 
the Empire two great fortresses, Ankara and Kastamuni, the latter 
the Castra Comnenon that had been the home of the imperial 

The journey to Kastamuni was slow and painful. Water was 
short, and the Turks had destroyed the crops. The Turks them 
selves moved quickly along parallel tracks, harassing the Crusaders 
sometimes in the van and sometimes in the rear. They had not 
gone far before the advance-guard, composed of seven hundred 
Lombards, was suddenly attacked. The Lombard knights fled in 


iioi : The Battle ofMersivan 

panic, leaving the infantry to be massacred. It was with difficulty 
that Stephen of Burgundy was able to rally the van and drive off 
the enemy. During the next days Raymond, in command of the 
rear, was engaged in continual combat with the Turks. Soon the 
army was obliged to move in a compact mass, from which it was 
impossible to send out foraging parties or scouts. By the time that 
it reached the neighbourhood of Kastamuni it was clear to the 
leaders that the only chance of safety lay in breaking through as 
directly as possible to the coast. But once again the Lombards 
refused to listen to reason. Perhaps they blamed Raymond s 
choice of the road to Kastamuni for their present troubles ; perhaps 
they thought that when they passed out of Seldjuk territory into 
Danishmend territory everything would be easier. In their 
obstinate folly they insisted on turning once more to the east. The 
princes had to accept this decision; for their small contingents could 
hardly hope to survive if they left the main army. The Crusade 
moved on across the river Halys, into the land of the Danish- 
mend emir. After wantonly sacking a Christian village on the way 
they reached the town of Mersivan, halfway between the river and 
Amasea. There the Constable Conrad was lured into an ambush 
and lost several hundred of his German troops. It was clear now 
that the Danishmends and their allies were massing for a serious 
attack ; and Raymond drew up the Christian army ready for battle. 1 

When the battle began die Turks employed their favourite 
tactics. Their archers swooped down and discharged their arrows, 
then swiftly retreated again, and others would appear from a 
different direction. The Crusaders were never given the chance of 
a hand-to-hand combat, in which their greater physical strength 

1 Albert of Aix, vm, 8-14, pp. 564-7. He says that Raymond was bribed by 
the Turks to lead die army to Kastamuni. This is unconvincing. Anna, loc. tit., 
mentions the sacking of die Christian village. Grousset, Histoire des Croisades, 
vol. n, p. 326 n. 2, is clearly right to reject Tomaschak s identification of 
Albert s Maresch with Amasea (Topographic vonKleinasien, p. 88) and to revert 
to Michaud s identification as Merzifun or Mersivan. Mersivan could easily 
be changed by an ignorant Frenchman into Maresiam or Marescam, a French 
form of Marash, but it is difficult to see how an V could intrude into Amasya, 
the Turkish name for Amasea, or Masa, the Arabic. 


The Crusades ofnoi 

and better arms would have been of advantage. Before long the 
Lombards nerves gave out. With their leader die Count of 
Biandrate at their head, they fled in panic, leaving their women 
and their priests behind them. Soon the Petcheneg mercenaries 
followed, seeing no reason to await certain death. Raymond, who 
was fighting with them, found himself deserted. He managed to 
retreat with his bodyguard to a small rocky hill, where he held out 
till Stephen of Blois and Stephen of Burgundy could rescue him. 
Throughout the afternoon the French knights and Conrad the 
German fought bravely, falling back upon the camp; but by 
nightfall Raymond had had enough. Under cover of the darkness 
he fled with his Provencal bodyguard and his Byzantine escort 
towards the coast. When they learnt that he had fled, his colleagues 
gave up the fight. Before morning dawned the remnants of the 
army were in full flight, leaving the camp and the non-combatants 
in the hands of the Turks. 

The Turks paused to butcher the men and old women in the 
camp, then followed in full cry after the fugitives. Only the 
knights on horseback were able to escape. The infantry was over 
taken and slaughtered almost to a man. The Lombards, whose 
obstinacy had caused the disaster, were annihilated except for their 
leaders. The losses were estimated at four-fifths of the whole army. 
A vast amount of treasure and of arms fell into Turkish hands ; and 
the harems and slave-markets of the East were filled by the younger 
women and children captured on that day. 1 

Raymond and his escort managed to reach the little Byzantine 
port of Bafra, at the mouth of the river Halys. There they found 
a ship to take them to Constantinople. The other knights fought 
their way back across the river and arrived at the coast at Sinope. 
From there they travelled slowly by the coast road, through 
Byzantine territory, to the Bosphorus. They reassembled at 
Constantinople early in the autumn. 2 

Albert of Aix, vm, 14-23, pp. 5^7-73, whose account is consistent with the 
briefer account of Anna (xi, viii, 3, vol. nr, pp. 37-8). 
* Albert of Aix, vni, 24, p. 274. 


iioi : The Results ofMersivan 

Public opinion amongst the Crusaders, seeking to find a scape 
goat, laid the blame for the r d^^ter upon the Byzantin^ Count 
Raymond, it was said, was obeying the Emperor s instructions 
when he led the army out of its course to perish in a prearranged 
Turkish ambush. But in fact Alexius was furious with Raymond 
and his colleagues. He received them politely but icily and made 
no secret of his displeasure. 1 Had the Crusade won for him 
Kastamuni and the Paphlagonian interior, he might have forgiven 
it; but he was far more anxious to secure the direct road to Syria, 
to safeguard his reconquests in the south-west of Asia Minor, and 
to enable him to intervene in Syrian affairs. Moreover, he had not 
wished to embroil himself in war with the Danishmend emir, with 
whom he had opened negotiations to buy the person of Bohemond. 
The folly of the Lombards ruined his scheme. But the disaster had 
more serious effects. The Christian victories during the First 
Crusade had damaged both the reputation and the self-confidence 
of the Turks. Now both were gloriously recovered. The Seldjuk 
Sultan was able to restore his domination over central Anatolia, 
and soon he was to establish his capital at Konya, right on the main 
road from Constantinople to Syria; while Malik Ghazi the 
Danishmend continued his conquest of the Euphrates valley, to 
the borders of the County of Edessa. 2 The land-route from Europe 
into Syria was blocked again both for the Crusaders and for the 
Byzantines. Moreover, relations between the Crusaders and 
Byzantium had worsened. The Crusaders insisted upon considering 
the Emperor as the author of their woes, while the Byzantines 
were shocked and angered by the stupidity, the ingratitude and the 
dishonesty of the Crusaders. 

It was not long before the results of the disaster were apparent. 
A few days after the Lombards had set out from Nicomedia, a 
French army arrived at Constantinople, led by William II, Count 
of Nevers. He had left his home in February and, travelling 

1 Ibid., he. dt. He says that Raymond soothed the Emperor s indignation. 

2 Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 189-91. See Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, 
p. 232. 


The Crusades ofnoi 

through Italy, he had crossed the Adriatic from Brindisi to Avlona. 
His army gave an excellent impression as it marched through 
Macedonia owing to the strictness of its discipline. The Count was 
cordially received by Alexius; but he decided not to linger at 
Constantinople. He had probably expected to join forces there 
with the Duke of Burgundy, whose neighbour he was at home, 
so hurried on as quickly as possible in the hope of overtaking him. 
When he reached Nicomedia he learnt that the Crusade had gone 
on to Ankara, where he arrived towards the end of July. But at 
Ankara no one knew the whereabouts of the Franco-Lombard 
army. William therefore turned back, to take the road to Konya. 
In spite of the difficulties of the journey through country that had 
not recovered from devastations at the time of the First Crusade, 
his army advanced in perfect order. Konya was now held by a 
strong Seldjuk garrison; and William s attempt to take the city 
by assault was a failure. He realized that it would be unwise to 
delay there and moved on. But meanwhile Kilij Arslan and Malik 
Ghazi learnt of the appearance of this new enemy. Hot from their 
triumph over the Lombards they hurried southward, probably 
through Caesarea-Mazacha and Nigde, and reached Heraclea 
before him. The Nivernais troops marched slowly eastward from 
Konya. Food was short; the wells by the road had been blocked 
by the Turks. As they approached Heraclea, weary and weakened, 
they were ambushed and surrounded by the whole Turkish army, 
which outnumbered them by far. After a short battle their 
resistance was broken. The entire French force fell on the field, 
with the exception of Count William himself and a few mounted 
knights, who broke through the Turkish lines and after several 
days of wandering in the Taurus mountains arrived at the 
Byzantine fortress of Germanicopolis, north-west of Isaurian 
Seleucia. There the Byzantine governor seems to have offered 
them an, escort of twelve Petcheneg mercenaries to convey them 
to the Syrian border. A few weeks later Count William and his 
companions entered Antioch, half-naked and unarmed. They said 
that the Petchenegs had despoiled them and abandoned them in 


lioi : The Nivernais and Aquitanian Crusades 

the desert through which they were passing; but what really 
happened is unknown. 1 

The Count of Nevers had hardly crossed the Bosphorus before 

another larger army, composed of Frenchmen and of Germans, 

arrived at Constantinople. The French contingent was led by 

William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, who was the most famous 

troubadour of his time and who was politically the bitter rival of 

Raymond of Toulouse; for his wife, the Duchess Philippa, was the 

daughter of Raymond s elder brother and should have inherited 

his County. With him came Hugh of Vermandois, who had left 

the First Crusade after the capture of Antioch and was anxious to 

fulfil his vow to go to Jerusalem. The Aquitanian army set out 

from France in March and travelled overland, through southern 

Germany and Hungary. On its way it was joined by Duke Welf 

of Bavaria, who after a long and illustrious career in Germany 

planned to spend his declining years fighting for the Cross in 

Palestine. He brought with him a well-equipped army of German 

knights and infantry; and he was accompanied by Thiemo, 

Archbishop of Salzburg, and by the Dowager Margravine Ida of 

Austria, one of the great beauties of her day, who, now that her 

youth was over, sought the pious excitement of a Crusade. Their 

united armies marched together down the Danube to Belgrade 

and on by the high road across the Balkans. They were an unruly 

crowd; and by the time that they reached Adrianople their 

behaviour was so bad that the Byzantine authorities sent Petcheneg 

and Polovtsian troops to block their further progress. A regular 

battle began; and it was only when Duke William and Welf 

intervened in person and guaranteed the future good conduct of 

their troops that they were allowed to proceed. A strong escort 

accompanied them to Constantinople. There William and Welf 

and the Margravine were cordially received by Alexius, who 

1 Albert of Aix, vm, 25-33, pp- 57<5-8. He is the sole source for this expedi 
tion. Hagenmeyer, Chronologic du Royaume de Jerusalem, pp. 438-9, 449> 
459-60, dates the arrival of the Nivernais at Constantinople in mid-June, their 
departure from Ankara on about 25 July and from Konya in mid-August. 


The Crusades ofnoi 

provided men to transport their men as soon as possible across the 
Bosphorus. Some of the civilian pilgrims, including die historian 
Ekkehard of Aura, took ship direct for Palestine, where they 
arrived after a six weeks voyage. 

It should have been possible for the two Dukes to have caught 
up with the Count of Nevers and have strengthened their army 
by the inclusion of his forces. But the Count of Nevers wished to 
unite with the Count of Burgundy, and Duke William could not 
be expected to combine with an army led by his old enemy, 
the Count of Toulouse, while Welf of Bavaria, an old enemy 
of the Emperor Henry IV, probably had little liking for Henry s 
Constable, Conrad. The Count of Nevers hastened ahead to 
Ankara, while the Aquitano-Bavarian army waited for five weeks 
by the Bosphorus, then moved slowly along the main road to 
Dorylaeum and Konya. By the time that it reached Dorylaeum 
the Nivernais army had already passed through the town on its 
return journey and was well on the way to Konya. The passage of 
another army along the road a few days previously did not make 
things easier for the Aquitanians and the Bavarians. The small 
available supplies of food had already been taken; for which, 
characteristically, the Crusaders blamed the Byzantines. Like the 
Nivernais, they found the wells dry or blocked. Philomelium was 
deserted, and they pillaged it. The Turkish garrison at Konya, 
which had withstood the Nivernais, abandoned the city before 
this larger army; but before they left they collected and took 
with them all the foodstuffs there and stripped bare the orchards 
and gardens in the suburbs. The Crusaders found little to refresh 
them. It was about this moment that a hundred miles ahead Kilij 
Arslan and Malik Ghazi were massacring the men of Nevers. 

The Crusaders struggled on from Konya, hungry and thirsty, 
through the desert towards Heraclea. Turkish horsemen now 
appeared on their flank, firing arrows into their midst and cutting 
off foraging parties and stragglers. Early in September they 
entered Heraclea, which they found deserted as Konya had been. 
Just beyond the town flowed the river, one of the few Anatolian 


no i: The Battle ofHeracka 

streams to flow abundantly throughout die summer. The Christian 
warriors, half-mad from thirst, broke their ranks to rush to the 
welcoming water. But the Turkish army lay concealed in the 
thickets on the river banks. As the Crusaders surged on in dis 
order, the Turks sprang out on them and surrounded them. There 
was no time to reform ranks. Panic spread through the Christian 
army. Horsemen and infantry were mixed in a dreadful stampede ; 
and as they stumbled in their attempt to flee they were slaughtered 
by the enemy. The Duke of Aquitaine, followed by one of his 
grooms, cut his way out and rode into the mountains. After many 
days of wandering through the passes he found his way to Tarsus. 
Hugh of Vermandois was badly wounded in the battle; but some 
of his men rescued him and he too reached Tarsus. But he was 
a dying man. His death took place on 18 October and they buried 
him there in the Cathedral of St Paul. He never fulfilled his vow 
to go to Jerusalem. Welf of Bavaria only escaped by throwing 
away all his armour. After several weeks he arrived with two or 
three attendants at Antioch. The Archbishop Thiemo was taken 
prisoner and martyred for his faith. The fate of the Margravine of 
Austria is unknown. Later legends said that she ended her days 
a captive in a far-off harem, where she gave birth to the Moslem 
hero Zengi. More probably she was thrown from her litter in the 
panic and trampled to death. 1 

The three Crusades of the year IIQI had come each of them to 
a disastrous finish; and their disasteTTaffected the whole story of 
the Crusading movement. The Turks had avenged their defeat at 
Dorylaeum. They were not, after all, to be ejected from Anatolia. 

1 Albert of Aix, vm, 34-40, pp. 579-82 (the only full source); Ekkehard, 
xxrv-xxvi, pp. 30-2. He went by sea from Constantinople, and muddles the 
land expeditions, as does Fulcher of Chartres, vn, xvi, 1-3, pp. 42*8-33- There 
are three Passiones S. Thiemonis, describing the Archbishop s martyrdom but 
giving no details of the expedition. Ida s conjectural fate is told in Historia 
Welforum Weingartensis, in M.G.H.Ss., vol. xxi, p. 462. Ekkehard merely says 
that she was killed. Several western chroniclers refer in passing to this expedi 
tion. Hagenmeyer (op. cit. p. 457) dates the pillage of Philomelium on about 
10 August and die battle on about 5 September. 


The Crusades ofnoi 

The road across the peninsula remained unsafe for Christian armies, 
Prankish or Byzantine. When the Byzantines wished later to inter 
vene in Syria, they had to operate at the end of communication 
lines that were long and very vulnerable; while Prankish 
immigrants from the west were afraid to travel overland through 
Constantinople, except in vast armies. They could only come by 
sea; and few of them could afford the fare. And instead of the 
thousands of useful colonists that the year should have brought to 
Syria and Palestine, only a small number of quarrelsome leaders 
who had lost their armies and their reputations on the way pene 
trated through to the Prankish states, where there was already a 
sufficiency of quarrelsome leaders. 

Not all the Christians, however, had cause to regret the disasters 
of the year 1101. To the Italian maritime cities the failure to secure 
the land-route across Ask Minor meant an increase in influence and 
wealth. For they possessed the ships that provided an alternative 
means of communication with the Prankish states of the East. 
Their co-operation was all the more necessary; and they insisted 
on payment in commercial concessions. The Armenians in the 
Taurus mountains, particularly the Roupenian princes, welcomed 
circumstances that made it difficult for Byzantium to re-establish 
its Empire over the districts where they lived; though the 
Armenians farther to the east had less cause for rejoicing. Their 
chief foe was the Danishmend emir, whose triumph soon en 
couraged him to attack them. And the Normans at Antioch, who, 
like the Roupenians, feared the Byzantines more than the Turks, 
were given a useful respite. Bohemond still languished in capti 
vity; but his regent, Tancred, took full advantage of the situation 
to consolidate the principality at the Emperor s expense. Fate soon 
placed a trump-card in his hand. 

The Duke of Aquitaine, the Count of Bavaria and the Count of 
Nevers had already arrived with their few surviving comrades at 
Antioch by the autumn of noi; but the leaders of the Franco- 
Lombard Crusade were still at Constantinople. Alexius found it 
hard to forgive them their follies. Even Raymond, on whom he 


1102: The Arrest of Count Raymond 

had built great hopes, had disappointed him. At the end of the 
year the western princes decided to continue their pilgrimage, and 
Rayttiond asked leave to rejoin his wife and his army at Lattakieh. 
The Emperor willingly let them go and provided ships to convey 
them, to Syria. About the new year Stephen of Blois, Stephen of 
Burgundy, the Constable Conrad and Albert of Biandrate dis 
embarked at Saint Symeon and hastened up to Antioch, where 
Tancred gave them a warm welcome. But Count Raymond s ship 
was separated from the others and put into the port of Tarsus. As 
he stepped ashore, a knight called Bernard the Stranger came up 
and arrested him for having betrayed Christendom by his flight 
from the field of Mersivan. Raymond s small bodyguard was 
powerless to rescue him. He was taken away under escort and was 
handed over to Tancred. 1 

1 Albert of Aix, vm, 42, pp. 582-3. Bernard the Stranger was in command at 
Tarsus in September noi (see below, p. 33^. It is probable that as Radulph 
of Caen (cxlv, p. 708), followed by Cahen (La Syrie du Nord, p. 232, n. 10), 
suggests, Raymond landed at Longiniada, the port of Tarsus, and not at Saint 
Symeon with the other Crusaders as Albert implies. Matthew of Edessa, 
ckxii, p. 242, says that Raymond was imprisoned at Sarouantavi*, i.e. 
Sarventikar, in the Taurus. This seems improbable. 



These all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar. 9 ACTS xvii, 7 

Bohemond s defeat and capture 
alarming though it had seemed aftKe time, had not 
its compensations for the Prankish princes. Antioch was in need 
of a regent; and Tancred was the obvious candidate to take his 
uncle s place. King Baldwin was thus enabled to rid himself of his 
most dangerous vassal in Palestine; while Tancred was glad to 
extricate himself from a position that was embarrassing and in 
secure and to move to a sphere that offered greater scope and 
independence. Tancred left Palestine in March noi, only stipu 
lating that if his uncle returned from captivity within three years 
and Antioch needed him no more, his fief of Galilee should be 
restored to him. It was therefore to Baldwin s interest as well as 
to Tancred s that Bohemond should not be released from his 
prison too soon. No attempt was made to negotiate with his 
captor. 1 

Tancred was a correct regent. He did not assume the title of 
Prince of Antioch. Though he struck coins, the legend, written in 
bad Greek, merely entitled him *the servant of God ; and at times 
he called himself the * Grand Emir . It is probable that public 
opinion in Antioch would have restrained him had his ambitions 
carried him farther. The Normans still regarded Bohemond as 
their leader; and Bohemond had a loyal friend in the Patriarch 
whom he had appointed just before his captivity, the Latin 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, vn, i, pp. 390-3 ; Albert of Aix, vn, 44-5, pp. 537-8. 


1 ioi : Tancred and Byzantium 

Bernard of Valence, in whose favour he had ejected the Greek, 
John the Oxite. Tancred s policy was the same as Bohemond s, 
internally to consolidate the administration of the principality and 
to Latinize the Church, and externally to enrich himself at the 
expense of the Byzantines and of the neighbouring Moslem 
princes. But his ambitions were more local and less world-wide 
than his uncle s. 1 

His first preoccupation was to guard himself against any attack 
from Byzantium. The disastrous Crusades of noi greatly helped 
him; for the resurgence of the Anatolian Turks meant that the 
Emperor could not venture for some time to send an army right 
across the peninsula to the far south-east. Tancred believed that 
attack was the best defence. So, in the summer of I ioi, probably 
as soon as the news of the battle at Mersivan reached him, he sent 
troops into Cilicia to recapture Mamistra, Adana and Tarsus, 
which the Byzantines had reoccupied three years before. The local 
Byzantine forces were not strong enough to oppose him. When 
William of Aquitaine and Hugh of Vermandois arrived as fugitives 
at Tarsus at the end of September they found Tancred s lieutenant, 
Bernard the Stranger, in command of the city. 2 

Next, Tancred turned his attention to Lattakieh, the Byzantine 
port that the Normans had long coveted. It was more formidable ; 
for its Byzantine garrison was reinforced by Raymond s Provencal 
troops and was protected by a squadron of the Byzantine navy. 
Before he dared attack, Tancred negotiated to secure the aid of 
Genoese ships. 3 Meanwhile he occupied the hinterland, and at 
tempted to capture Jabala, to the south. Bohemond had sent a 

1 Schlumberger, Les Prindpautts francjues du Levant, pp. 14-15, discusses 
Tancred s coins, which, show him in imperial robes but wearing a kejieh on his 
head. The legend says in Greek, * Tancred, Servant of God*, with a cross and 
1C XP NIKA (as on Byzantine coins) on the reverse. According to Historia 
Belli Sacri, p. 228, he was not admitted as ruler until he had taken an oath of 
fidelity to Bohemond. He was vested with the regency by the papal legate, 
Maurice of Porto. 

a Radulph of Caen, cxliii, p. 706; Albert of Aix, vm, 40, p. 582; Orderic 
Vitalis, xxra, p. 140. 

3 Caffaro, Liberatio, p. 59; Ughelli, Italia Sacra, iv, pp. 847-8. 

RC 33 3 

The Norman Princes of Antioch 

small unsuccessful expedition against Jabala in the summer of 1 100, 
in the course of which his Constable had been taken prisoner. 
Tancred s expedition in the summer of 1101 was equally ineffec 
tive. But it induced Ibn Sulaiha, the qadi of Jabala, to hand the 
city over to the atabeg of Damascus; and he himself retired to 
Damascus to enjoy a quiet old age. The atabeg, Toghtekin, sent 
his son Buri as Governor. But Buri was an unpopular ruler; and 
the citizens of Jabala after a few months ejected him and put them 
selves under the protection of the Banu Ammar of Tripoli. 
Tancred then withdrew his troops from the district. 1 

His capture of Raymond s person enabled Tancred to resume 
his scheme against Lattakieh. He had incarcerated Raymond at 
Antioch; but the Patriarch Bernard and Raymond s Crusading 
colleagues were shocked by his behaviour. At their request he set 
him free; but Raymond had first to swear an oath that he would 
never again interfere in northern Syrian affairs. a On his release 
Raymond marched southward, to attack Tortosa. In conformity 
with his oath, as he passed by Lattakieh he gave orders to his troops 
and to his Countess to evacuate the town and join him. The 
Byzantine garrison was left without Provensal support. Then, in 
the early spring of 1102 Tancred advanced on Lattakieh. But its 
walls were strong and the garrison fought well, while units of the 
imperial navy ensured their supplies. The siege lasted for nearly 
a year; but during the first weeks of 1103 Tancred, who had by 
now hired ships from the Genoese with which to interrupt com 
munications between Lattakieh and Cyprus, lured the men of 
the garrison by a stratagem outside the city walls and there 
fell on them and made them prisoners. The city then capitulated 
to him. 3 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, Damascus Chronicle, pp. 51-2. 

3 Albert of Aix (vm, 42, pp. 582-3) says that Raymond swore to attempt 
no conquest in Syria north of Acre, but as no objection was made to his attack 
on Tprtosa, his oath was probably limited to the country from Lattakieh 

3 Radulph of Caen, cxliv, cxlvi, pp. 708-9; Anna Comnena, ix, vii, 7, 
vol. m, p. 36. 


1102: The Malevolence of Bishop Manasses 

Such actions did not please the Emperor Alexius. He had 
already been angered by the exile of the Greek Patriarch of 
Anrioch, John the Oxite, and by the news that all the higher Greek 
clergy were now being dismissed and replaced by Latins. Early 
in 1 102 he received a letter from King Baldwin, who had heard 
the rumour that Byzantine non-co-operation had helped to wreck 
the Crusades of noi, and who wrote to beg the Emperor to give 
his full support to any subsequent Crusade. The letter was con 
veyed by a Bishop called Manasses, who had gone to Palestine 
with Ekkehard in noi and was returning from Jerusalem. It 
seems to have been courteously worded and was accompanied by 
gifts; and Alexius therefore thought that he could talk frankly to 
the Bishop and tell him all his grievances. But herein he mis 
judged his man. The Bishop was a better Latin than Christian, and 
had no sympathy with the Greeks. At the Emperor s request he 
went on to Italy and reported to the Pope everything that had been 
said to him; but he did so in such terms that the Pope s fury was 
roused against Byzantium. Had Pope Urban II still been alive, no 
harm would have been done; for Urban had large views and no 
wish to- quarrel with eastern Christendom. But his successor, 
Paschal II, was a smaller man, short-sighted and easily influenced. 
He readily fell in with the vulgar Prankish view that the Emperor 
was an enemy. Alexius obtained no redress. 1 

Tancred next attempted to interfere in the affairs of the kingdom 
of Jerusalem. King Baldwin banished the Patriarch Daimbert in 
iioi. Tancred at once welcomed him to Antioch, where he put 

1 Albert of Aix, vm, 41, 47-8, pp. 582, 584-5. Albert calls Manasses Bishop 
of Barzenona or Barcinona , which, is usually taken to mean Barcelona 
(Chalandon, Regne d Alexis I" Comnene, p. 237; Leib, Rome, Kiev et Byzance, 
pp. 273-4; Norden, Das Papsttum und Byzanz, p. 70). But the Bishop of 
Barcelona at this time was Berengar II, an aged man who never left his diocese 
(BaudriUart, Dictionnaire d Histoire et de Gfographie EccUsiastique, article 
Barcelone ). It is more probable that the Bishop was an Italian, but it is 
impossible to identify his see. His complaint was probably made at the Synod 
which Paschal II is known at have held at Benevento in 1102 (Annales Bene- 
ventani, ad ann. 1102, in M.G.H. Ss., vol. in, p. 183). Albert of Aax says that he 
met the Pope at Benevento. 

35 3 2 

The Norman Princes ofAntioch 

the Church of St George at his disposal. When, a few months later, 
Baldwin was defeated by the Saracens at Ramleh and asked for 
help from the princes in the north, Tancred refused to come unless 
Daimbert were reinstated at Jerusalem. Baldwin agreed; and 
Tancred s reputation was thereby enhanced. But it fell when 
Daimbert was condemned by a council and exiled once more. 
Tancred again offered him hospitality but did not continue to 
press his cause. 1 

Tancred s activities were not altogether to the liking of his 

neighbour at Edessa, Baldwin of Le Bourg. Baldwin s father, 

Count Hugh I of Rethel, was the son of a princess of Boulogne, 

aunt to Godfrey of Lorraine and King Baldwin ; and Baldwin, who 

was a younger son, came out to the East with his cousins. When 

Baldwin I established himself at Edessa he had stayed behind with 

Bohemond and served as intermediary between the two princes. 

On Bohemond s imprisonment he had taken over the government 

ofAntioch, until Baldwin of Edessa was summoned to Jerusalem. 

Baldwin of Le Bourg was then enfeoffed with Edessa by his cousin, 

to rule there autonomously, but under the suzerainty of Jerusalem. 

It was not an easy position that he inherited. His lands had no 

natural frontiers and were constantly liable to invasion. He could 

only rule by garrisoning the principal towns and castles; and for 

that he needed servants and comrades whom he could trust. Being 

ill-provided with men of his own race he made it his business to 

be on excellent terms with the native Christians. Almost his first 

action as Count of Edessa was to marry a local princess, Morphia, 

the young daughter of the ancient Gabriel, lord of Melitene, an 

Armenian by race but an adherent of the Orthodox Church. At 

the same time he wooed and won the support of the Armenians of 

the separated Gregorian Church, whose great historian, Matthew 

of Edessa, was full of praise for his amiable nature and the purity 

of his private life, though he regretted bis ambition and avarice. 

Baldwin particularly favoured the Armenians, because they could 

Be used as soldiers; but he was kindly also towards his Syrian 

1 See below, pp. 81-3. 


1102: Baldwin II pledges his Beard 

Jacobite subjects and even succeeded in healing a schism within 
their Church. The only complaint against him was his rapacity. 
He was perpetually in need of money and raised it wherever he 
could. But his methods were less arbitrary and more gentle than 
Baldwin Ts. His knights were particularly delighted when he 
managed to extort 30,000 besants from his father-in-law by 
declaring that he owed that sum to his men and had sworn to them 
that if he could not pay them he would shave off his beard. The 
Armenians, like the Greeks, considered a beard necessary to manly 
dignity and were shocked at the shaven faces of so many Crusaders. 
Gabriel thought that a beardless son-in-law would be damaging to 
his prestige; and when Baldwin s men, entering into the comedy, 
corroborated that their master had indeed sworn such an oath, 
Gabriel hastened to hand over the necessary cash to prevent so 
dreadful an humiliation, and made Baldwin swear a fresh oath that 
never would he pledge his beard again. 1 

Early in his reign Baldwin II had to face an attack from the 
Ortoqids of Mardin. The emir Soqman led an army against Saruj, 
a Moslem town which Baldwin I had captured and placed under 
Fulcher of Chartres. Baldwin II hastened to help Fulcher; but in 
the ensuing battle he was defeated and Fulcher slain. The town was 
taken by the Moslems; but the citadel held out under Benedict, 
Latin Archbishop of Edessa, while Baldwin hastened to Antioch to 
hire troops to replenish his army. On his return he was more 
fortunate. Soqman was driven out of the town with heavy losses. 
The inhabitants that had had dealings with the Ortoqids were 
massacred ; and many prisoners were made, whose ransom enriched 
Baldwin s exchequer. 3 

Soon afterwards Baldwin acquired a useful lieutenant in the 
person of his cousin, Joscelin of Courtenay. Joscelin, whose 

1 William of Tyre, x, 24, pp. 437-8, xi, II, pp. 469-72, tells the story of 
Baldwin s marriage and his beard. Matthew of Edessa, ccxxv, p. 296, speaks 
with respect but without afTection. for him. 

a Matthew of Edessa, clxviii, pp. 232-3 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 50-1; Al-Azimi, 
p. 494. 


The Norman Princes of Antioch 

mother was Baldwin s aunt, was the younger and penniless son of 
the lord of Courtenay and had probably come to the East with his 
close neighbour, the Count of Nevers. On his arrival Baldwin 
enfeoffed him with all the land of the county that lay to the west 
of the Euphrates, with his headquarters at Turbessel. He proved 
to be a valiant friend; but his loyalty was later to be questioned. 1 

As time went on, Baldwin seems to have grown suspicious of 
Tancred s ambitions, and desired Bohemond s restoration to 
Antioch. Together with the Patriarch Bernard he began negotia 
tions with the Danishmend emir to secure his release. Tancred 
took no part in the transaction. The emir had already been offered 
the large sum of 260,000 besants from the Emperor Alexius in 
return for Bohemond s person, and would have accepted, had not 
the Seldjuk Sultan, Kilij Arslan, come to hear of it. Kilij Arslan, 
as official overlord of the Anatolian Turks, demanded half of any 
ransom that the Danishmend might receive. The resultant quarrel 
between the two Turkish princes prevented the immediate 
acceptance of the Emperor s offer, but it served the useful purpose 
of breaking their alliance. Bohemond, in his captivity, was aware 
of these negotiations. He was still a handsome and glamorous 
man ; and the ladies of the emir s household took an interest in him. 
Perhaps with their assistance, he was able to persuade his captor 
that a private arrangement with the Franks of Syria and the 
promise of their alliance was preferable to a deal with the Emperor, 
in which the Seldjuks intended to interfere. The emir agreed to 
release Bohemond for the sum of 100,000 besants. 2 

While the negotiations were continuing, the Danishmend army 

1 William of Tyre, x, 24, pp. 437. 

* Albert of Aix^ix, 33-6, pp. 610-12; Orderic Vitalis, x, 23, vol. iv, p. 144, 
tells of Bohemond s love affair with, a daughter of the Danishmends, while the 
Miracula S. Leonardi (Aa. Ss., Nov., vol. ra, pp. 160-8, 179-82) makes his lady 
friend a Christian wife of the emir. Matthew of Edessa (clxxviii, p. 252) says 
that Richard of the Principate was ransomed by Alexius ; but Richard was 
already in Syria before Bohemond s release (Miracula S. Leonardi, p. 157). 
Radulph of Caen says that Baldwin acted from dislike of Tancred (cxlvii, 
p. 709). The quarrel between the Seldjuk and Danishmend rulers is reported by 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 59. 


1103 : Bohemond s Release 

attacked Melitene, Its ruler, Gabriel, must have appealed to his 
son-in-law, Baldwin, for help ; but Baldwin did nothing, probably 
because he was unwilling at this juncture to offend the emir. 
Gabriel s subjects disliked him for his Orthodox faith. The 
Syrians, in particular, had never forgiven him for having once put 
one of their bishops to death for treason. He and his capital were 
captured; but one of his castles held out. Gabriel was told by his 
captors to order it to capitulate. When the garrison disobeyed him, 
he was executed before its walls. 1 

It was at Melitene, a few months later, in the spring of 1103, 
that Bohemond was handed over to the Franks. His ransom 
money had been raised by Baldwin and by the Patriarch Bernard, 
with the help of the Armenian princeling, Kogh Vasil, and of 
Bohemond s relatives in Italy. Tancred did not contribute to it. 
Bohemond at once went to Antioch, where he was reinstated in 
his authority. He publicly thanked Tancred for having admini 
stered the principality during his absence, but privately there was 
some friction between the uncle and the nephew, as Tancred did 
not see why he should hand over to Bohemond the conquests that 
he himself had made as regent. Public opinion forced him to give 
way; and he was rewarded by a small fief within the principality. 
He could legally have demanded the return of Galilee from 
Baldwin I, but he did not think it worth his while? 

The Franks celebrated Bohemond s return by a general offensive 
against their neighbours. In the summer of 1 103 Bohemond, with 
Joscelin of Courtenay, raided the territory of Aleppo. They cap 
tured the town of Muslimiye, to the north of Aleppo itself, and 
extracted a large tribute from the Moslems of the district, which 
was used to repay the Franks who had lent money to Baldwin and 
the Patriarch for Bohemond s ransom. 3 Next, they turned against 

1 Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 185-9. 

2 See above, p. 32. Fulcher (p. 460) says that Tancred was compe 
tently rewarded, but Radulph says that he was only given two small towns 
(loc. tit.). 

3 Kemal ad-Din, p. 591; Ibn al-Athir (p. 212) adds that Bohemond extorted 
money from Qinnasrin, 


The Norman Princes ofAntioch 

the Byzantines. Alexius, after writing to Bohemond to require 
him to give back the Cilician cities, sent his general Butumites to 
recover them. But Butumites s force was unreliable. He entered 
Cilicia in the autumn of 1103 but soon decided that the task was 
beyond him; and he learnt that the Franks were planning to 
expand northward against Marash, which the Armenian Thatoul 
held for the Emperor. He hastened there himself, and, probably, 
by so doing, he saved Thatoul for the moment. But he was 
recalled to Constantinople. Early next spring Bohemond and 
Joscelin marched on Marash. Thatoul was powerless. The Byzan 
tine army was far away. The Danishmend Turks were now on 
good terms with the Franks. He surrendered his city to Joscelin, 
who allowed him to retire to Constantinople; while Bohemond 
took the town of Albistan, to the north of Marash. 1 

The Franks now felt secure from attacks from Anatolia. They 
could turn against the Moslems of the east. In March 1104 
Bohemond reinvaded the lands of Ridwan of Aleppo and took the 
town of Basarfut, on the road from Antioch to Aleppo; but his 
attempt against Kafarlata, to the south, failed owing to the re 
sistance of the local tribe of the Banu Ulaim. Joscelin meanwhile 
cut the communications between Aleppo and the Euphrates. 2 
But, if the Moslems of Syria were to be effectively cut off from 
the Moslems of Iraq and Persia, the great fortress of Harran, 
situated between Edessa and the Euphrates, in the northern 
Jezireh, would have to be occupied by the Christians. If they held 
Harran, the Franks could even contemplate an expedition against 
Mosul and into Mesopotamia. In the spring of 1104 conditions 
seemed to be favourable. During 1103 the whole eastern Moslem 
world had been torn by a civil war between the Seldjuk Sultan 
Barkiyarok and his brother Mohammed. Peace was made be 
tween them in January 1 104 by which the Sultan retained Baghdad 

1 Anna Comnena, xi, ix, 1-4, vol. m, pp. 40-1 ; Matthew of Edessa, dbcxxvi, 
p. 257; Radulph of Caen, wrongly places the capture of Marash after the battle 
of Harran (p. 148). 

2 Kemal ad-Din, pp. 59 1-2; Zettersteen Chronicle, p. 239. 


1104: The Importance of Han on 

and the western Iranian plateau. His third brother, Sanjar, already 
had obtained Khorassan and eastern Iran; and Mohammed ob 
tained northern Iraq and the Jezireh and the suzerainty rights over 
Diarbekir and over all Syria. It was an uneasy arrangement. Each 
of the brothers hoped soon to upset it and in the meantime in 
trigued for allies amongst all the Turkish and Arab princes. In the 
Jezireh itself the death in 1102 of the atabeg of Mosul, Kerbogha, 
whom the Franks had defeated at Antioch, had provoked a civil 
war. The Ortoqid prince of Mardin, Soqman, had failed to secure 
the succession for his candidate and was at war with the new atabeg, 
Jekermish, appointed by the Seldjuk Mohammed. Harran itself 
had belonged to a Turkish general, Qaraja, who had been a 
mameluke in Malik Shah s service; but his brutal behaviour had 
caused the inhabitants to rise against him and to hand over the 
government to a certain Mohammed of Isfahan. Mohammed in 
his turn was murdered by a former page of Qaraja s, called Jawali, 
with whom he had rashly become intimate. But Jawali s authority 
was very insecure ; while Harran itself began to suffer severely from 
raids by the Franks of Edessa, who devastated its fields and inter 
rupted its trade. It was clear that they intended soon to go farther. 1 
Both Soqman at Mardin and Jekermish at Mosul were alarmed. 
Their common danger induced them to forget their quarrel and to 
unite in an expedition against Edessa, to attack before they were 
attacked. Early in May 1104 they marched together on Edessa; 
Soqman with a considerable force of Turcoman light cavalry and 
Jekermish with a slightly smaller force c6mposed of Seldjuk 
Turks, Kurds and Arabs. Baldwin II heard that they were massing 
at Ras al-Ain, some seventy miles from his capital. He sent for 
help to Joscelin and to Bohemond, and suggested that they should 
turn the attack by themselves making an attempt on Harran. 

1 For the, background to the Harran campaign, see Cahen, La Syrie ctu 
Nord, pp. 236-7, with references. Nicholson, in his thesis on Tancred, 
pp. 138-42, emphasizes that the campaign was not part of a general policy 
of expansion, but the response to a threat by the Moslems. But Harran was 
certainly an ultimate objective of the Franks. 


The Norman Princes ofAntioch 

Leaving a small garrison at Edessa he made his way to Harran with 
a small company of knights and of Armenian infantry levies. The 
Archbishop of Edessa, Benedict, accompanied him. Close to 
Harran he was joined by Joscelin, with the troops of his lands, 
and by the Antiochene army under Bohemond, Tancred, the 
Patriarch Bernard, and Daimbert, ex-Patriarch of Jerusalem. The 
whole Prankish army numbered nearly three thousand knights 
and perhaps three times that number of infantry. It represented 
the full fighting force of the Franks of northern Syria, apart from 
the garrisons of the fortresses. 

The army assembled before Harran while the Moslem princes 
were still at some distance to the north-east, marching on Edessa. 
Had the Franks attempted to take the fortress by assault, Harran 
would have been theirs ; but they were unwilling to damage the 
fortifications, which they hoped to use later themselves. They 
thought that the garrison could be frightened into surrender. It 
was a reasonable hope. The Moslems within the town were weak; 
almost at once they entered into negotiations. But thereupon 
Baldwin and Bohemond quarrelled over the question, whose 
standard should first be raised over the walls. The delay caused 
their downfall. Before they had settled the quarrel the Turkish 
army had swung southward and was upon them. 

The battle took place on the banks of the river Balikh, close to 
the ancient field of Carrhae, where, centuries before, Crassus and 
the Roman legions had been annihilated by the Parthians. The 
Prankish strategy was for the army of Edessa, on the left, to engage 
the main enemy force, while the Antiochene army lay hidden 
behind a low hill about a mile to the right, ready to intervene at 
the decisive moment. But the Moslems made similar plans. 
A portion of their army attacked the Prankish left, then turned and 
fled. The Edessenes thought that they had won an easy victory and 
hurried in pursuit, losing contact with their comrades on the 
right. They crossed the river and fell straight into an ambush laid 
by the main Moslem army. Many of them were slaughtered on 
the spot; the remainder turned and fled. When Bohemond, who 


1104: The Disaster at Harran 

had driven off the small detachment opposed to him, prepared to 
join in the battle, he only found a stream of fugitives pouring from 
the distance and scrambling back across the river, where fresh 
bands of Turks fell upon them. He saw that all was lost and moved 
quickly away, rescuing only a few of the Edessenes. As the 
combatants passed beneath the walls of Harran, the garrison fell 
on them and in the confusion enthusiastically killed as many of 
the Moslem pursuers as of the Turks. The army of Antioch 
escaped without heavy losses ; but the troops of Edessa were almost 
entirely captured or slain. The Patriarch Bernard was so frightened 
that as he fled he cut off his horse s tail lest some Turk should catch 
him by it, though by then none of the enemy was in sight. 

Amongst the first to be taken prisoner was the Archbishop 
Benedict. But, owing either to the compliance of his jailer, a 
renegade Christian, or to an Antiochene counter-attack, he was 
soon rescued. Baldwin and Joscelin fled together on horseback 
but were overtaken in the river-bed. They were brought as 
prisoners to Soqman s tent. 1 

Righdy fearing that the Turks would next attack Edessa, 
Bohemond and Tancred hastened there to organize its defence. 
Once again the misfortune of a colleague turned to Tancred s 
advantage. The knights remaining in Edessa, with the Archbishop 
at their head, begged him to take over the regency till Baldwin 
should be released from captivity. Tancred gladly accepted the offer ; 
and Bohemond, like Baldwin I four years previously, was relieved 
to see him go. Tancred stayed on in Edessa with the remnants of 
the Edessene army and with such troops as Bohemond could spare, 
while Bohemond himself moved back to Antioch, whose neigh 
bours were preparing to take advantage of the Prankish disaster. 3 

1 Albert of Aix, IX, 38-42, pp. 614-16; Radulph of Caen, cxlviii, pp. 710-11 ; 
Fulcher of Chartres, n, xxvii, 1-13, pp. 468-7?; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 60-1; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 221-3, Sibt ibn al-Djauzi, p. 537; Matthew of Edessa, clxxxii, 
pp. 254-5. Michael the Syrian, in, p. 195; Chron. Anon. Syr. pp. 78-80. 
The accounts of the actual battle are somewhat conflicting. 

2 Radulph of Caen, cxlviii, p. 712; Albert of Aix, loc. cit.; Matthew of 
Edessa, clxxxii, p. 256. 


The Norman Princes of Antioch 

The battle of Harran was the complement to the Crusades of 
noi. Together, they destroyed the legend of Prankish invinci 
bility. The defeats of noi had meant that northern Syria was 
deprived of the reinforcements from the West that were needed 
if Prankish domination was to be firmly established there; and 
Harran meant in the long run that the county of Edessa was 
doomed and that Aleppo would never pass into Prankish hands. 
The wedge that the Franks had intended to maintain between the 
three Moslem centres of Anatolia, Iraq and Syria was insecurely 
driven in. And not only the Moslems would benefit. The Emperor 
was watching angrily in Byzantium and was not sorry to hear of 
the Prankish discomfiture. 

The immediate consequences were not as fatal as might have 
been feared. The alliance between Soqman and Jekermish did not 
long survive their victory. The former s Turcoman troops had 
obtained most of the prisoners and the booty; and the latter was 
jealous. His Seldjuk regiment attacked Soqman s tent and carried 
off Baldwin. The Turcomans were furious; but Soqman showed 
sufficient self-control to restrain them from counter-attacking. He 
reconciled himself to the loss of his valuable prisoner; but, after 
reducing a few small Christian frontier-forts by the simple ruse of 
dressing up his soldiers in their Prankish victims clothes, he retired 
to Mardin and took no further part in the war. 1 Jekermish fought 
on. First, to secure himself against Soqman, he overwhelmed the 
Prankish castles in the Shahbaqtan, to the east of Edessa, then 
marched on the capital. Prankish delay .had saved Harran for 
Islam. Now the Moslems delay saved Edessa for Christendom. 
Tancred had time to repair the city s defences and was able to 
resist Jekermish s first attack, thanks largely to the loyalty and 
valour of the local Armenians. But he was so hard pressed that he 
sent urgently to Bohemond for help. Bohemond had his own 
problems ; but the threat to Edessa must be given precedence. He 
marched at once to his nephew s assistance; but the poor condition 

1 Ibn al-Athir, loc. dt. Soqman is reported to have said: I would rather lose 
ray spoil than let the Christians vaunt us with folly. 


1104 - Bohemond and Tancred leave Baldwin in Captivity 
of die roads delayed him. Tancred, in despair, ordered a sortie of 
bis garrison to take place before dawn. In the darkness his men 
fell upon the sleeping and confident Turks; and their victory was 
completed by Bohemond s arrival. Jekermish fled in panic, 
abandoning the treasures of his camp. Harran was avenged, and 
Edessa was preserved. 1 

Amongst the prisoners that fell into Tancred s hands was a high 
born Seldjuk princess from the Emir s household. So highly did 
Jekermish value this kdy that he at once offered either to pay 
15,000 besants to ransom her or else to exchange Count Baldwin 
Hmselfforher. News of the offer reached Jerusalem; and King 
Baldwin hastened to write to Bohemond to beg him not to lose 
this opportunity for obtaining the Count s release. But Bohemond 
and Tancred needed money, while Baldwin s return would have 
thrown Tancred out of his present post back on his uncle s hands. 
They answered that it would be undiplomatic to appear too eager 
to accept the offer ; Jekermish might raise his price if they hesitated. 
But meanwhile they arranged with the emir to have the money 
payment; and Baldwin remained in captivity .* 

Having thus enriched themselves by sacrificing their comrade, 
Bohemond and Tancred turned to meet the enemies that were 
pressing round them. Jekermish did not again attempt to attack 
Edessa; and Tancred was able to repair the city s defences. But 
Bohemond had at once to face an invasion by Ridwan of Aleppo 
into the eastern districts of his principality. In June the Armenian 
inhabitants of Artah handed over their town to the Moslems, 
delighted to escape from Antiochene tyranny. The towns of 
Maarrat, Misrin and Sarman on the frontier followed suit; and 
the small Prankish garrisons of Maarat al-Numan, Albara and 
Kafartab, who were thus isolated, withdrew back to Antioch. 
Meanwhile Ridwan ravaged the principality as far as the Iron 
Bridge. In the far north Bohemond s garrison at Albistan only 

1 Albert of Aix, rx, 43, PP- 617-18; Ibn al-Athir, p. 223; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 

pp. 69-70. 
* Albert of Aix, EC, 46, pp. 619-20. 


The Norman Princes of Antioch 

maintained itself by imprisoning the leading local Armenians, who 
were plotting with the Turks. The whole of Bohemond s state 
might have been endangered had not Duqaq of Damascus died 
towards the end of June 1104 whereupon Ridwan s attention was 
taken up by the struggle for the succession between Duqaq s two 
sons, Buri and Iltash. 1 

Bohemond s failure to meet Ridwan s attack was due to his 
preoccupation with Byzantine affairs. The Emperor Alexius was 
now on good terms with the Prankish states farther to the south. 
Raymond of Toulouse was still his close friend; and he had won 
the good-will of King Baldwin by himself paying for the ransom 
of many distinguished Franks who were held captive in Egypt. 
His generosity had been wisely calculated. It was in striking con 
trast to Bohemond and Tancred s behaviour over Baldwin of 
Edessa; and it reminded the Franks that he had influence and 
prestige that the Fatimids respected. When therefore he took action 
against Antioch, its prince received no help from his colleagues. 
Alexius had already fortified Corycos and Seleucia on the Cilician 
coast, to prevent Antiochene aggression into western Cilicia. In 
the summer of 1104 a Byzantine army, under the general Monas- 
tras, reoccupied without difficulty the east Cilician cities, Tarsus, 
Adana and Mamistra ; while a naval squadron under the Emperor s 
admiral, Cantacuzenus, which had come to Cyprian waters in 
pursuit of a Genoese raiding fleet, took advantage of Bohemond s 
situation to sail on to Lattakieh, where his men captured the 
harbour and the lower city. Bohemond hastened with the 
Prankish troops that he could muster to reinforce the garrison in 
the citadel and to replace its commander, whom he distrusted. 
But, lacking sea-power, he did not try to expel the Byzantines 
from their position. 3 

By the autumn Bohemond felt desperate. In September he held 
a council of his vassals at Antioch, to which he summoned Tancred. 

1 Radulph of Caen, loc. cit.; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 592-3; Sibt ibn al-Djauzi, 
p. 529; Ibn al-Qalardsi, pp. 62-5. 
a Anna Comnena, xi, x, 9-xi, 7, vol. ni, pp. 45-9. 

1104: Bohemond leaves for the West 

There he told them frankly of the dangers that surrounded the 
principality. The only solution was, he said, to secure reinforce 
ments from Europe. He would go himself to France and use his 
personal prestige to recruit the needed men. Tancred dutifully 
offered to take on this task; but his uncle replied that he did not 
command sufficient authority in the "West. He must remain 
behind as Regent of Antioch. Arrangements were soon made 
for Bohemond s departure. Late in the autumn he set sail from 
Saint Symeon, taking with him all the gold and silver, jewels 
and precious stuffs that were available, and copies of the Gesta 
Francorum, the anonymous history of the First Crusade told from 
the Norman point of view. In these copies Bohemond inserted 
a passage suggesting that the Emperor had promised him the 
lordship of Antioch. 1 

Tancred then took over the government of Antioch, at the same 
time taking an oath that he would restore Edessa to Baldwin 
immediately on his release from captivity. Meanwhile, as Tancred 
could not rule Edessa satisfactorily from Antioch, he appointed his 
cousin and brother-in-law, Richard of Salerno, as his deputy 
across the Euphrates.* 

Bohemond reached his own lands in Apulia early in the new 
year. He remained there till the following September, seeing to 
his personal affairs, which needed his supervision after his nine 
years absence, and organizing parties of Normans to join their 
fellows in the East. Then he went to Rome, where he saw Pope 

1 Anna Comnena, xi, xii, 1-3, vol. m, pp. 50-1, who says that he pretended 
to be dead so as to embark unnoticed; Albert of Aix, ix, 47, p. 620; Fulcher of 
Chartres, n, xxix, I, pp. 482-3; Radulph of Caen, dii, cliii, pp. 712-14; 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, op. dt. p. 66; Matthew of Edessa, cboorii, pp. 255-6. For the 
interpolation in the Gesta, see Krey, A neglected passage in the Gesta 1 , in The 
Crusades and other Historical Essays, presented to D. C. Munro. Bohemond s 
arrival in Italy is recorded in the Annales Barenses, p. 155. 

2 Matthew of Edessa, clxxxix, p. 260; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 195; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 262-3. Tancred in his charters henceforward calls himself 
Tancredus Dux et Princeps Antiochenus (R6hricht,Ree5ta,p.ii). In charters 
during his first regency he is called Princeps without a territorial designation 
(ibid. p. 5). He was still titular Prince of Galilee. 


The Norman Princes ofAntioch 

Paschal. To him Bohemond emphasized that the great enemy of 
the Latins in the East was the Emperor Alexius. Paschal had 
already been prejudiced against Alexius by Bishop Manasses and 
fell in readily with his views. When Bohemond went on into 
France he was accompanied by the papal legate, Bruno, who was 
instructed to preach a Holy War against Byzantium. It was a 
turning-point in the history of the Crusades. The Norman policy, 
which aimed to break the power of the eastern Empire, became the 
official Crusading policy. The interests of Christendom as a whole 
were to be sacrificed to the interests of Prankish adventurers. The 
Pope was later to regret his indiscretion; but the harm was done. 
The resentment of the western knights and populace against the 
haughtiness of the Emperor, their jealousy of his wealth and their 
suspicions of Christians who used a ritual that they could not 
understand were all given official sanction by the western Church. 
Henceforward, though the Pope might modify his views, they 
felt justified in every hostile action against Byzantium. And the 
Byzantines, on their side, found their worst suspicions realized. 
The Crusade, with the Pope at its head, was not a movement for 
the succour of Christendom, but a tool of unscrupulous western 
vrgpp];jp1ktp. This unhappy agreement between Bohemond and 
Pope Paschal did far more than all the controversy between 
Cardinal Humbert and Michael Cerularius to ensure the separation 
between the eastern and western Churches. 

Bohemond was well received in France. He spent some time.at 
the Court of King Philip, who gave him permission to recruit men 
throughout the kingdom; and he enjoyed the active support of 
that eager Crusader-by-proxy, Adela, Countess of Blois. Adela 
not only introduced him to her brother, Henry I of England, 
whom he saw in Normandy at Easter 1106, and who promised 
to encourage his work, but she also arranged for him to make 
an impressive marriage-alliance with King Philip s daughter, 
Constance, the divorced Countess of Champagne. The wedding 
took place in the late spring of 1106; and at the same time King 
Philip agreed to offer the hand of his younger daughter, Cecilia, 


: Bohemond invades the Empire 

child of his adulterous union with Bertrada of Montfort, to Tan- 
cred. Constance never went to the East. Her married life and 
widowhood were spent in Italy. But Cecilia sailed for Antioch 
about the end of the year. These royal connections added to the 
prestige of the Norman princes. 1 

Bohemond remained in France till late in 1106, when he 
returned to Apulia. There he planned his new Crusade, which was 
to begin uncompromisingly with an attack on the Byzantine 
Empire. Cheered by the news that under Tancred s rule Antioch 
was in no immediate peril, he did not hurry. On 9 October 1107 
his army landed on the Epirote coast of the Empire at Avlona; and 
four days later he appeared before the great fortress of Dyrrha- 
chium, the key to the Balkan peninsula, which the Normans had 
long coveted and had held for a while a quarter of a century before. 
But Alexius, too, had had time to make his preparations. To save 
Dyrrhachium he was ready to sacrifice his south-eastern frontier; 
and he made peace with the Seldjuk Sultan, Kilij Arslan, from 
whom he hired mercenaries. Finding the fortress too strong and 
too vigorously defended by its garrison to be taken by assault, 
Bohemond settled down to besiege it. But, as in his earlier wars 
against Byzantium, lack of sea-power was his ruin. Almost at once 
the Byzantine navy cut on ins communications with Italy and 
blockaded the coast. Then, early next spring, the main Byzantine 
army closed in round him. As the summer came on, dysentery, 
malaria and famine weakened the Normans; while Alexius broke 
their morale by spreading rumours and sending forged letters to 

1 Orderic Vitalis, xi, vol. rv, pp. 210-13; Suger, Vita Ludovici, pp. 29-30; 
Chronicon S. Maxentii, p. 423; Chronicon Vindodnense, pp. 161-2; William of 
Tyre, xi, i, p. 450; Anna Comnena, xn, i, I, vol. m, p. 53- The marriage 
between Constance and Bohemond took place according to Luchaire, Louis VI 
k Gros, p. 22, in April or May 1106. It was probably after that date that 
Cecilia set out for the East. Her marriage therefore probably took place later 
in 1106. Matthew of Edessa (loc. cit.) believed that Bohemond was obliged to 
marry a rich lady, whom he calls the wife of Stephen Pol (apparently muddling 
Hugh of Champagne with the Crusader Hugh of Saint Pol who was a friend 
of Bohemond). She imprisoned him till he consented. He would have pre 
ferred to return to the East. 

RC 49 4 

The Norman Princes of Antioch 

their leaders, devices that his daughter Anna described with loving 
admiration. By September Bohemond knew that he was beaten, 
and he surrendered to the Emperor. It was a tremendous triumph 
for Byzantium; for Bohemond was by now the most renowned 
warrior in Christendom. The sight of this formidable hero, 
towering personally over the Emperor yet suppliant before him 
and obedient to his dictation, bore witness which no one could 
forget to the invincible majesty of the Empire. 

Alexius received Bohemond at his camp, at the entrance to the 
ravines of the river Devol. He was courteous but cold to him, and 
wasted no time in setting before him the peace treaty that he was 
to sign. Bohemond hesitated at first; but Nicephorus Bryennius, 
Anna Comnena s husband, who was in attendance on his father- 
in-law, persuaded him that he had no option. 

The text of the treaty is preserved in full in the pages of Anna 
Comnena. In it Bohemond first was made to express contrition 
for the breach of his former oath to the Emperor. Then he swore 
with the utmost solemnity to become the vassal and liege-man of 
the Emperor and of the Emperor s heir, the Porphyrogennete 
John; and he would oblige all his men to do likewise. That there 
might be no mistake the Latin term for liege was employed, and 
the duties of a vassal were enumerated. He was to remain Prince of 
Antioch, which he would govern under the Emperor s suzerainty. 
His territory would include Antioch itself and its port of Saint 
Symeon, and the districts to the north-east, as far as Marash, 
together with the lands that he might conquer from the Moslem 
princes of Aleppo and other inland Syrian states; but the Cilician 
cities and the coast round Lattakieh were to be restored to the 
Emperor s direct rule, and the territory of the Roupenian princes 
was not to be touched. An appendix was added to the treaty care 
fully listing the towns that were to constitute Bohemond s 
dominion. Within his dominion Bohemond was to exercise the 
civil authority, but the Latin Patriarch was to be deposed and 
replaced by a Greek. There were special provisions that if Tancred, 
or any other of Bohemond s men, refused to comply with the 


no8: The Treaty ofDevol 

demands of the treaty, Bohemond was to force them into 
obedience. 1 

The Treaty ofDevol is of interest because it reveals the solution 
that Alexius now contemplated for the Crusader question. He was 
prepared to allow frontier districts and even Antioch itself to pass 
into the autonomous control of a Latin prince, so long as the prince 
was bound to him by ties of vassalage according to the Latin 
custom, and so long as Byzantium kept indirect control through 
the Church, Alexius, moreover, felt himself to be responsible for 
the welfare of the eastern Christians, and even wished to safeguard 
the rights of his unsatisfactory Armenian vassals, the Roupenians. 
The treaty remained a paper agreement. But it broke Bohemond ; 
who never dared show himself again in the East. He retired 
humble and discredited to his lands in Apulia, and died there in 
mi, an obscure Italian princeling, leaving two infant sons by his 
French marriage to inherit his rights to Antioch. He had been a 
gallant soldier, a bold and wily general and a hero to his followers ; 
and his personality had outshone all his colleagues on the First 
Crusade. But the vastness of his unscrupulous ambition was his 
downfall. The time had not yet come for the Crusaders to destroy 
the bulwark of eastern Christendom.* 

As Alexius well realized, the Treaty ofDevol required the co 
operation of Tancred; and Tancred, who was not sorry to see his 
uncle eliminated from eastern affairs, had no intention of becoming 
the Emperor s vassal. His ambition was less extensive than 
Bohemond s, but it was for the creation of a strong independent 
principality. His prospects were unhopeful. Bohemond had left 
him with few men and quite without ready money. Nevertheless 
he decided to take the offensive. A forced loan from the wealthy 
merchants of Antioch replenished his funds and enabled him to 

1 Anna Cotnnena, XH, iv, 1-3, viii, i-ix, 7, xni, ii, i-xii, 28, vol. in, pp. 64-5, 
77-^5, 91-139. See Chalandon, op. dt. pp. 237-50. 

a The date of Bohemond s death is given differently in different chronicles. 
But Rey (Histoire des Princes d Antioche, p. 334) and Hagenmeyer (op. dt.) 
p. 298) both discuss it and give mi (6 March, according to the Ntcrologie de 
I Abbaye de Molesme, quoted by Rey.) 

51 4-2 

The Norman Princes ofAntioch 

hire local mercenaries; and he summoned all the knights and 
cavalrymen that could be spared from Edessa and Turbessel as well 
as from Antiochene territory. In the spring of 1105 he marched 
out to recover Artah. Ridwan of Aleppo had been preparing to 
go to the assistance of the Banu Ammar in their struggle against 
the Franks farther to the south; but on the news of Tancred s 
advance he turned to defend Artah. The two armies met on 20 April, 
at the village of Tizin near Artah, on a desolate plain strewn with 
boulders. Alarmed by the size of the Turkish host, Tancred sug 
gested a parley with Ridwan, who would have agreed, had not his 
cavaky commander, Sabawa, persuaded him to attack without 
delay. The terrain prevented the Turks from using their usual 
tactics. When their first cavalry onrush was driven back by the 
Franks they retired to lure the enemy on; but they were unable 
to re-form their ranks for a second charge, and meanwhile their 
infantry was cut down by the Prankish knights. At the failure of 
their plans they panicked. Ridwan and his bodyguard rode off in 
flight to Aleppo, and most of his cavalry followed. The remainder 
and the foot-soldiers were butchered on the battle-field. 

The victory enabled Tancred to reoccupy all the territory 
lost in the previous year. The Seldjuk garrison abandoned Artah 
to him, while his troops pursued the fugitives to the walls of 
Aleppo and plundered many of the civilian population as they 
fled in terror from the city. Ridwan sued for peace. He agreed 
to give up all his territory in the Orontes valley and to pay 
a regular tribute to Tancred. By the end of 1105 Tancred s 
dominion stretched once more as far south as Albara and Maarat 
al-Numan. 1 

In February 1106 the emir of Apamea, Khalaf ibn Mula ib, who 
had been not unfriendly to the Franks, was assassinated by fanatics 
from Aleppo. The murderers then quarrelled with, their chief ally 
within the town, Abu l Path, who had assumed its government, and 
now asked for help from Ridwan. Tancred, invited by the local 

1 Radulph of Caen, cliv, pp. 714-15; Albert of Aix, ix, 47, pp. 620-1; 
Kemal ad-Din, p. 593; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 69-70; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 227-8. 


no6: The Capture ofApamea 

Armenians, judged it opportune to intervene. He marched south 
and began to besiege the town. But Abul Path restored order; 
and die emirs of Shaizar and Hama promised help. Tancred was 
obliged to retire after three weeks, giving as his excuse that he 
must succour the garrison at Lattakieh, which, after an eighteen 
months blockade by the Byzantines, was faced with famine. He 
revictualled it and returned to Antioch. A few months later one 
of Khalaf s sons, Musbih ibn Mula ib, who had escaped his father s 
fate, appeared at Antioch with a hundred followers and persuaded 
Tancred to attack Apamea once again. With Musbih s help he 
reinvested the town, digging a ditch all round to prevent ingress 
or egress. None of the neighbouring emirs came to Abul Path s 
assistance; and after a few weeks, on 14 September 1106, the 
Moslems capitulated on the condition that their lives should be 
spared. Tancred agreed to their terms and entered the town; 
whereupon, to please Musbih, he put Abu l Path and three of his 
companions to death. The other Apamean notables were taken to 
Antioch, where they remained till Ridwan arranged for their 
ransom. A Prankish governor was installed at Apamea; while 
Musbih was enfeoffed with an estate near by. 1 Soon afterwards 
the Franks reoccupied Kafartab. It was put into the charge of a 
knight called Theophilus, who soon made himself the terror of the 
Moslems of Shaizar. 3 

With his eastern and southern frontiers thus secured, Tancred 
could turn against the foe that he hated the most, Byzantium. In 
die summer of 1107, when Bohemond s attack on the European 
provinces was imminent, Alexius was obliged to remove troops 
from the Syrian frontier in order to face what was a more serious 
menace. Cantacuzenus was recalled with many of his men from 
Lattakieh, and Monastras from Cilicia, which was put under the 
control of the Armenian prince of Lampron, the Sbarabied Oshin. 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, loc. dt.\ Zettersteen Chronicle, p. 240; Kemal ad-Din, 
p. 694; Ibn al-Athir, p. 233 ; Albert of Aix, x, 17-23, pp. 639-42. He says that 
Abu l Path, whom he calls Botherus , committed the murder of the emir. 

2 Usama, ed. Hitti, p. 157; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 73 ; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 594-5. 


The Norman Princes ofAntioch 

In the winter of 1108, or early in 1109, soon after Bohemond s 
humiliation in Epirus, Tancred invaded Cilicia. The Emperor s 
judgment of men had failed him. Oshin came of high lineage and 
had been famed in his youth for his courage; but now he had 
become luxurious and lazy. The key to Cilicia was the fortress of 
Mamistra, on the river Jihan. When Tancred s forces advanced 
by land over the Amanus range and by water up the river to 
besiege the town, Oshin did nothing to stop them. Mamistra fell 
after a short siege; and it seems that during the next months 
Tancred re-established his rule over Adana and Tarsus, though 
western Cilicia remained in imperial hands. Oshin himself retired 
to his lands in the Taurus. 1 

Lattakieh had already been reconquered. Hitherto the Normans 
had been hampered by lack of sea-power. But the Byzantine navy- 
was now concentrated far away in the Adriatic; and Tancred was 
able to purchase the aid of a Pisan squadron. The price that Pisa 
demanded was a street in Antioch, and a quarter in Lattakieh, with 
a church and a godown. Petzeas, who had succeeded Cantacu- 
zenus as Byzantine commander there, was powerless to offer 
resistance. Lattakieh was finally incorporated into the Antiochene 
principality in the spring of 1108. Next year Tancred extended his 
dominion farther to the south, taking Jabala, Buluniyas and the 
castle of Marqab from the dissolving dominions of the Banu 
Ammar. 3 

Thus, when Bohemond surrendered to the Emperor and signed 
away his independence, Tancred was reaching the height of his 
power and was in no way disposed to obey the imperial decree. 
From the Taurus to the Jezireh and central Syria his was the chief 
authority. He was ruler ofAntioch and Edessa, only their regent, 
it is true; but Prince Bohemond now lived discredited in Italy and 

1 Anna Comnena, xn, ii, 1-7, vol. m, pp. 56-9; William of Tyre, x, 23, 
pp. 635-6. (See also Rohricht, Regesta, p. n, and Muratori, Antiquitates 
Italicae, n, pp. 905-6, for Tancred s treaty with the Pisans.) 

* Dal Borgo, Diplomats. Pisana, pp. 85-94. See Heyd, Histoire du Commerce 
du Uvant) vol. i, pp. 145-6. 


1109: Tancred at the Height of his Power 

would never return to the East, and Count Baldwin languished in 
Turkish captivity, from which Tancred would make no effort to 
rescue him. The Prince of Aleppo was his virtual vassal and none 
of the neighbouring emirs would venture to attack him. And he 
had triumphantly defied the heir of the Caesars at Constantinople. 
When the Emperor s ambassadors came to Antioch to remind him 
of his uncle s engagements, he dismissed them with arrogance. He 
was, as he said, Ninus the great Assyrian, a giant whom no man 
could resist 1 

But arrogance has its limitations. For all his brilliance, Tancred 
was distrusted and disliked. It was by his own Crusading colleagues 
that his power was challenged and checked. 

1 Anna Comnena, xiv, ii, 3-5, vol. m, pp. 14.7-8. 




The glory of Lebanon shall come unto theeJ ISAIAH LX, 13 

Of all die princes that set out in 1096 for the First Crusade, Ray 
mond, Count of Toulouse, had been the wealthiest and the most 
distinguished, the man whom many expected to be named as 
leader of the movement. Five years later he was among the least 
considered of the Crusaders. His troubles were of his own making. 
Though he was no greedier and no more ambitious than most of 
his colleagues, his vanity made his faults too clearly visible. His 
policy of loyalty to the Emperor Alexius was genuinely based on 
a sense of honour and a far-sighted statesmanship, but to his fellow- 
Franks it seemed a treacherous ruse, and it won him small advan 
tage; for the Emperor soon discovered him to be an incompetent 
friend. His followers respected his piety; but he had no authority 
over them. They had forced his hand over the march to Jerusalem 
during die First Crusade; and the disasters of noi showed how 
little fitted he was to direct an expedition. His lowest humiliation 
had come when he was taken prisoner by his young colleague 
Tancred. Though Tancred s action, breaking the rules of hos 
pitality and honour, outraged public opinion, Raymond only 
obtained release on signing away any claims to northern Syria and 
incidentally destroying the basis of his agreement with the 
Emperor. 1 But he had the virtue of tenacity. He had vowed to 
remain in the East. He would keep his vow and would still carve 
for himself a principality. 

There was one area that must be conquered by the Christians if 
their establishments in the East were to survive. A band of Moslem 

1 See above, p. 34. 


The Banu Ammar of Tripoli 

emirates separated the Franks of Antioch and Edessa from their 
brothers in Jerusalem. Of these emirates the most considerable 
was that of die Banu Ammar of Tripoli. The head of the family, 
the qadi Fakhr al-Mulk Abu Ali, was a man of peace. Though his 
army .was smaE he ruled a wealthy district, and by a skilful if 
inconsistent attitude of appeasement towards all his neighbours he 
maintained a- prdtarious independence, relying in the last resort 
upon die strength of his fortress-capital, on the peninsula of al- 
Mina. He had shown considerable friendliness towards the 
Franks whenever they approached his dominions. He had re- 
victualled the First Crusade, and he did not oppose its leaders when 
they besieged his city of Arqa. He had given Baldwin of Boulogne 
useful help during his perilous journey to assume the crown of 
Jerusalem. But when the Crusaders receded into the distance he 
had quietly taken over the cities of Tortosa and Maraclea which 
they had occupied. He thus controlled the whole coast-road from 
Lattakieh and Jabala to the Fatimid dependency of Beirut. 1 

The alternative route from northern Syria to Palestine ran up 
the valley of the Orontes, past the Munqidhite city of Shaizar, 
past Hama, which owed allegiance to Ridwan, and Horns, where 
Ridwan s stepfather, Janah ad-Daulah reigned. There it divided. 
One branch, followed by Raymond on the First Crusade, forked 
through the Buqaia to Tripoli and the coast; the other went 
straight on, past the Damescene dependency of Baalbek, to the 
head-waters of the Jordan. 

Raymond, whose ambitions were never modest, contemplated 
the establishment of a principality that would command both the 
coast-road and the Orontes, with its capital at Horns, the city that 
the Franks called La Chamelle. But his first objective, determined 
probably by the presence of Genoese ships that might help him, 
would be the cities of the coast. On his release by Tancred, in 
the last days of noi, he set out from Antioch together with the 

1 See above, p. n, also Sobernheim, article Ibn Ammar*, m Encyclopaedia 
of Islam. Duqaq s son, Buri, had been given Jabala by the local sheikh but had 
been suspended by Fakhr al-Mulk. 


Toulouse and Tripoli 

surviving princes of the Crusades of noi, Stephen of Blois, 
William of Aquitaine, Welf of Bavaria and their comrades, who 
were anxious to complete their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At 
Lattakieh he was reunited with his wife and with his troops, and 
with them he marched on to Tortosa. The Genoese flotilla on whose 
help he counted anchored off the coast as he reached the city walls. 
Before this double menace, the governor madfe little resistance. 
About the middle of February Raymond entered Tortosa, to 
gether with his fellow-travellers, who agreed without discussion 
that it should be his. They supposed that he would then accompany 
them on to Jerusalem. On his refusal diey were angry and, 
according to Fulcher of Chartres, spoke blasphemous words 
against him. But Raymond had decided that Tortosa should be 
the nucleus of his dominion. So they took their leave of him and 
journeyed on to the south. 1 

Raymond had made no secret of his plans ; and the Moslem 
world was alarmed. Fakhr al-Mulk sent to warn the emirs of Horns 
and Duqaq of Damascus. But when Raymond appeared before 
the walls of Tripoli, it was seen that his army numbered little more 
than three hundred men. The Moslems thought that now was the 
moment to destroy him. Duqaq hastily provided two thousand 
horsemen, and Janah ad-Daulah as many more; and the whole 
army of the Banu Ammar was collected. In all the Moslem host 
outnumbered Raymond s by twenty to one as it converged on 
him on the plain outside the city. 

Raymond s deeds were poorly reported by the Crusader 
historians. It is from the Arab Ibn al-Athir that we learn of the 
extraordinary battle that ensued. Raymond placed a hundred of 
his men to oppose the Damascenes, a hundred to oppose the Banu 
Ammar, fifty to oppose the men of Horns, and the remaining 
fifty to be his own bodyguard. The Horns soldiers began the 
attack; but when it failed they suddenly panicked; and the panic 
spread among the troops of Damascus. The Tripolitans were 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xvii, 1-2, pp. 433-5; Albert of Aix, vm, 43, p. 583 ; 
CafFaro, Liberatio, p. 69, says that a Genoese fleet helped. 


1102: Raymond s Victory before Tripoli 

enjoying greater success, when Raymond, finding his other foes in 
flight, swung his whole army against them. The sudden shock was 
too much for them; and they too turned and fled. The Prankish 
cavalry then swept over the battlefield, slaughtering all the 
Moslems that could not escape. The Arab historian estimated that 
seven thousand of his co-religionists perished. 

The victory not only re-established Raymond s reputation; it 
also ensured the survival of his Lebanese dominion. The Moslems 
never again dared to take the offensive against him. But his forces 
were too small for him to capture Tripoli itself, with its great 
fortifications on the peninsula of al-Mina. After exacting a heavy 
tribute in money and horses, he returned to Tortosa, to plan his 
next campaign. 1 

After spending the following months in establishing himself in 
the neighbourhood of Tortosa, he set out in the spring of 1103 to 
conquer the Buqaia, a necessary move if he wished to isolate 
Tripoli and himself expand towards the Orontes. His attempt to 
surprise the fortress of Tuban, at the north-eastern entrance to the 
valley, failed; but undaunted, he settled down to besiege Qalat 
al-Hosn, the tremendous castle that dominated the whole plain, 
which his troops had occupied for a week in 1099. These castles 
belonged to Janah ad-Daulah of Horns, who could not afford to 
lose them. He prepared an army for their rescue. But, as he came 
out of the great mosque of Horns, after praying for victory, he 
was murdered by three Assassins. His death caused disorder in his 
city. Raymond at once raised the siege of Qalat al-Hosn and 
marched eastward to profit by it. Public opinion attributed the 
murder to agents of Ridwan, who had never forgiven Janah for 
having attacked him three years before, when he was engaged 
against the Franks of Antioch. But Janah s widow, who was 
Ridwan s mother, terrified by Raymond s approach, sent to Aleppo 
to offer Ridwan the city. Janah s counsellors did not support her, 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 211-12; Sibt ibn al-Djauzi (p. 525) placing the battle 
outside Tortosa, as does CafFaro, Libemtio, loc. dt. Radulph of Caen, CXLV, 

p. 707. 


Toulouse and Tripoli 

but instead summoned Duqaq of Damascus to their rescue. Duqaq 
hastened up in person from the south with his atabeg Toghtekin 
and took over the government, which he entrusted to Toghtekin. 
Raymond was not in a position to fight against him, and withdrew 
to the coast. 1 

When he returned to Tortosa he learnt that a Genoese squadron 
of forty vessels had put into Lattakieh. He at once hired its 
help for an attack on Tripoli. The attack failed; so the allies 
moved southward and captured the port of Jebail, or Gibelet, the 
Byblos of the ancients. The Genoese were rewarded with one- 
third of the town. 2 But Raymond was determined to conquer 
Tripoli itself. During the last months of 1103 he set up a camp in 
the suburbs of the city and began to construct a huge castle on a 
ridge, some three miles inland. Shortly before, to please the 
Byzantines, he had tried to divert Tancred from Lattakieh. In 
return they provided him from Cyprus with materials and with 
skilled masons. By the spring of 1104 it was completed and 
Raymond was in residence. He called it Mount Pilgrim; but to 
the Arabs it was known as Qalat Sanjil, the castle of Saint-GiUes. 3 

Tripoli was now in a state of permanent siege, but it remained 
inviolate. Raymond controlled the land approaches, but he lacked 
permanent sea-power. With their great hoards of wealth the Banu 
Ammar could still maintain a large merchant-fleet and bring in 
provisions to the city from the Egyptian ports to the south. But 
Raymond s castle menaced their freedom. In the late summer they 
made a sortie and burnt the suburbs up to its walls; and Raymond 
himself was injured by a burning roof which fell on him. Early 
next spring Fakhr al-Mulk was induced to arrange a truce with 
the Christians, by which he abandoned the suburbs to them. The 
negotiations were hardly concluded, when Raymond, who had 

1 Ibn al-Athir, p. 213. His dating is obscure. Kemal ad-Din, pp. 590-1. 

a Albert of Aix, ix, 26, pp. 605-6; CaiFaro, Liberatio, p. 71. 

3 Anna Comnena, xi, viii, 5, vol. m, p. 389; Albert of Aix, ix, 32, p. 510; 
CafFaro, Liberatio, p. 70; Radulph of Caen, loc. dt.\ William of Tyre, x, 17, 
p. 441 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 217-18 ; Abul Mehasin, p. 275. 



1105- Death of Raymond 

never fully recovered from his burns six months before, fell 
mortally ill. He died at Mount Pilgrim on 28 February 1105. The 
gallant adventures of his later years had quite restored his fame. 
He was mourned as a great Christian knight who had preferred 
the hardships of the Holy War to all the pleasures of his native 
land. 1 

This tribute w;as deserved. For Raymond, unlike his fellow- 
Crusaders now settled in the East, who were of small account in 
their home-countries, had possessed a rich heritage in Europe. 
Though he had sworn never to return to it, yet he had kept some 
control over its government. His death created a problem of suc 
cession in Toulouse as well as in the Lebanon. He had left 
Toulouse under the rule of his eldest son, Bertrand. But Bertrand s 
right to inherit the county was questioned, probably because he 
was a bastard. Of Raymond s children by the Countess Elvira all 
had died save one small boy, Alfonso-Jordan, born a few months 
ago in the castle of Mount Pilgrim. It was clear that an infant 
could not take over the government of a precarious military state 
in the Lebanon; while his very existence was probably not yet 
known at Toulouse. Bertrand continued to govern his father s 
European lands; and in the East Raymond s soldiers chose as 
Raymond s successor, probably in conformity with Raymond s 
own last wishes, his cousin, William-Jordan, Count of Cerdagne. 
William-Jordan, whose maternal grandmother had been Ray 
mond s maternal aunt, had only recently arrived in the East. He 
regarded himself as regent for his baby cousin and refrained from 
taking any title from his eastern territory. But, so long as Alfonso- 
Jordan lived, neither William-Jordan nor Bertrand could be secure 
in his government. 3 

1 Albert of Aix, loc. dt. ; Caflfaro, Liberatio, p. 72 ; Bartolf of Nangis, Lxvm, 
p. 539. William of Tyre, xi, 2, p. 452; Ibn al-Athir, p. 230 (in the Kamil 
et-Tamwik he makes him die ten days after his accident); William of Tyre 
speaks of him as Bonae memoriae and *vir religiosus et timens Deum, vir per 
omnia commendabilis . 

* Albert of Aix, ix, 50, pp. 123-4. According to Vaissette, Histoire de 
Languedoc t ed. Molinier, vol. iv, i, pp. 195-9, Bertrand was the son of Raymond 


Toulouse and Tripoli 

William-Jordan continued his predecessor s policy, pressing on 
die blockade and preserving the alliance with Byzantium. At the 
Emperor s request, the governor of Cyprus, Eumathius Philocales, 
sent him an ambassador to receive his homage and in return to 
make him valuable presents. As a result of William-Jordan s 
compliance, regular supplies were sent from Cyprus to the Franks 
before Tripoli, and Byzantine troops occasionally helped in the 
blockade of the city. While provender flowed into the Prankish 
camp, Tripoli itself was now threatened with starvation. No food 
could reach it by land. There were ships from the Fatimid ports 
and even from Tancred s territory that ran the blockade; but they 
could not bring enough for its large population. Prices for food 
stuffs rose fantastically; a pound of dates cost a gold piece. Every 
one that could escape from the city emigrated. Within the walls 
there was misery and disease, which Fakhr al-Mulk tried to 
alleviate by distributing food, paid for by special taxes, among the 
soldiers and the sick. Certain city notables fled to the Prankish 
camp; and two of them revealed to the besiegers the paths by 
which goods were still smuggled into the city. Fakhr al-Mulk 
offered William-Jordan vast sums of money for the persons of 
these traitors. When the Count refused to give them up, they were 
found murdered in the Christian camp. 1 

Fakhr al-Mulk did not know where to turn for help. If he 
applied to the Fatimids, they would insist on the annexation of his 
state. He was, for some reason, on bad terms with Toghtekin of 

by his first wife, the daughter of the Marquis of Provence. This marriage was 
later annulled on grounds of consanguinity. Such an annulment did not 
always bastardize the children. But it is clear that though Raymond regarded 
Bertrand as his heir in Toulouse when he went off to the East accompanied by 
his children by Elvira (whose sexes are unknown), Bertrand s claims were 
considered to be inferior to those of the indubitably legitimate Alfonso-Jordan 
in Toulouse; and, later, Alfonso-Jordan s claim to Tripoli alarmed Bertrand s 
grandson, Raymond II (see below, p. 280). WilHam of Malmesbury, who is not 
always very accurate, calls Bertrand Raymond s son by a concubine (n, 9. 456). 
Caffaro (Liberatio, p. 72), writing as a contemporary, calls him a bastard. 

1 Anna Comnena, loc. dt.\ Ibn al-Athir, p. 236, who says that the town 
received good supplies from the Greeks of Lattakieh. 


no8: Fakhr al-Mulk visits the Caliph 

Horns, his most natural ally, who had taken over the government 
of Damascus on Duqaq s death in 1104, and who himself kept up 
constant warfare with William-Jordan. Distant allies seemed the 
safest; so in 1105 he sent an urgent appeal to Mardin, to Soqman 
the Ortoqid. Soqman, who was not unwilling to re-enter the 
arena of the Syrian coast, set out with a large army across the 
desert. But when he reached Palmyra he suddenly died, and his 
generals hurried back to the Jezireh to dispute about the succession. 1 
Thanks to his wealth and his diplomacy Fakhr maintained himself 
in Tripoli, amid increasing misery, throughout 1 106 and 1 107. His 
relations with Toghtekin improved; and Toghtekin s diversions 
against the Franks, as when he recaptured Rafaniya from them in 
1105, were of assistance to him.* But the Franks were now firmly 
established on the Lebanese coast; and no neighbouring Moslem 
power seemed prepared or able to eject them. In the spring of 
1108 Fakhr al-Mulk, in his despair, decided personally to beg for 
help from the head of his religion, the Caliph of Baghdad, and 
from its greatest potentate, the Seldjuk Sultan Mohammed. 

Leaving the government of Tripoli in the hands of his cousin, 
Abu l Manaqib ibn Ammar, and giving all his soldiers six months 
pay in advance, Fakhr set out from Tripoli in March. He had 
already informed Toghtekin of his intentions, and it seems that 
he obtained permission from William-Jordan to pass through 
Frankish-held territory. He took a bodyguard of five hundred 
men, and numerous costly gifts for the Sultan. When he arrived 
at Damascus, Toghtekin received him with every mark of respect, 
and the leading Damascene emirs showered gifts on him though, 
as a precaution, he lodged outside the city walls. When he con 
tinued his journey, Toghtekin s own son, Taj al-Mulk Buri, joined 
his escort. As he approached Baghdad he was honoured with 
every flattering attention. The Sultan sent his own barge to 
transport him across the Euphrates, and he lay on the cushion 
usually honoured by the Sultan s body. Though he had never 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 226-7. 

a Ibn al-Qaknisi, op. cit. p. 60; Ibn al-Athir, p. 230. 


Toulouse and Tripoli 

assumed a title higher than that ofqadi, he entered Baghdad with 
the ceremony accorded to a sovereign prince. Both the Caliph 
and the Sultan showed him brotherly affection and praised him for 
his services to the Faith. But when it came to the discussion of 
business, the emptiness of these compliments was revealed. The 
Sultan promised him that a great Seldjuk army would come to 
relieve Tripoli; but first there were a few little tasks to be com 
pleted nearer Baghdad. For instance, the emir of Mosul, Jawali, 
must be reduced to a more obedient state of mind. Fakhr under 
stood that in fact Mohammed had no desire to intervene. After 
spending four luxurious and fruitless months at the Sultan s Court, 
he began his homeward journey, only to find that now he had no 
home. 1 

Abu l Manaqib and the notables of Tripoli were realists. They 
saw that only one Moslem power was in a position to help them, 
the Fatimids who still had some command of the seas. They in 
vited the Egyptian vizier, al-Afdal, to send a governor to take over 
the city. In response, al-Afdal appointed Sharaf ad-Daulah, who 
arrived in Tripoli in die summer of 1108, laden with supplies of 
corn for the populace. He had no difficulty in assuming control. 
All the partisans of Fakhr al-Mulk were arrested and shipped off 
to Egypt. Fakhr had reached Damascus before he heard of the 
revolution. He still possessed Jabala, to the north of Tortosa, 
and he made his way thither. But his rule in Jabala was of short 
duration. In May 1109 Tancred of Antioch appeared in full 
force before the city. Fakhr at once capitulated on the under 
standing that he should hold the town as a fief from Tancred. But 
Tancred broke his word. Fakhr was forced to leave, and made 
his way without molestation into retirement in Damascus. He 
spent the rest of his life as Toghtekin s pensioner. * 

Though Fakhr al-Mulk lost Tripoli, the Egyptians could not 
hold it; nor did William-Jordan win it. On Raymond s death, the 
barons of Toulouse had accepted Bertrand s succession, because he 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, op. cit. pp. 83-6; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 255-7. 

* Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 86-90; Ibn al-Athir, p. 274; Sibt ibn al-Djauzi, p. 536. 


no8: Bertrand of Toulouse leaves for the East 

had already governed them for nearly ten years and because they 
were not aware that Raymond had left a legitimate son. But when 
they learnt of the existence of the young Alfonso-Jordan, they 
sent out to the East to ask him to take over his rightful inheritance. 
The Countess Elvira cannot be blamed for preferring for her son 
the rich lands of southern France to a precarious lordship in 
the East. She arrived with him at Toulouse in the course of 
noS. 1 

Their coming obliged Bertrand to consider his future. It is 
probable that a family compact was arranged by which Bertrand 
gave up any claims that he might have to his father s lands in 
Europe, and in return Alfonso-Jordan, in order to be well rid of 
him from Toulouse, abandoned in his favour his inheritance in 
the Lebanon. Bertrand set out for the East in the summer of 1 108. 
He was determined to round off his future principality by the con 
quest of Tripoli; and he probably anticipated that he might have 
some difficulty with William-Jordan. To achieve his aims he 
brought with him an army of four thousand cavalry and infantry 
and a flotilla of forty galleys, provided by the ports of Provence. 
His young son, Pons, travelled with him. His first visit was to 
Genoa, from whom he hoped to obtain the naval help needed for 
the reduction of Tripoli. William-Jordan had also tried to arrange 
an alliance with the Genoese; but his embassy found Bertrand 
already accepted as the Republic s ally. Genoa had promised to 
aid Bertrand to take over bis father s conquests in the East and to 
crown them with the capture of Tripoli, in which they would be 
given the favoured commercial position. When Bertrand sailed on 
eastward in the autumn, a Genoese squadron sailed with him.* 

Next, Bertrand planned to visit Constantinople, to secure the 
support of his father s friend, the Emperor. Storms obliged his 
fleet to put into the Gulf of Volo, to the harbour of Almyro, 
where his men made an excellent impression by abstaining from 

1 See above, p. 61. 

* Albert of Aix, xi, 3, p. 664, says that Bertrand visited Pisa when he means 
Genoa; CafFaro, Liberatio, p. 72. 

RC 65 5 

Toulouse and Tripoli 

the usual Western habit of pillaging the countryside. Conse 
quently, when he arrived at Constantinople, Alexius was pre 
judiced in his favour and received him as a son. Bertrand was given 
many valuable presents and the promise of imperial favours to 
come. In return he swore allegiance to the Emperor. 1 

From Constantinople Bertrand and his allies sailed to Saint 
Symeon, the port of Antioch, and sent an envoy to Tancred to ask 
for an interview. Tancred at once came down to see him. But 
their conversation did not go smoothly. Bertrand arrogantly 
demanded that Tancred should hand over to him the portions of 
the city of Antioch that his father once had held. Tancred replied 
that he would consider this if Bertrand would assist him in the 
campaign on which he was about to embark against Mamistra and 
the Byzantine cities of Cilicia. To Bertrand, who had just sworn 
an oath of allegiance to Alexius and who counted on Byzantine 
subsidies, the proposition was unacceptable; but he offered instead 
to conquer for Tancred the town of Jabala, in which Fakhr al- 
Mulk had taken refuge. Tancred insisted on co-operation in the 
Cilician expedition; and when Bertrand categorically refused 
because of his oath to the Emperor, Tancred ordered him to leave 
his principality and forbade his subjects to sell him supplies. 
Bertrand was obliged to move on down the coast, and sailed into 
Tortosa harbour. 2 

Tortosa was held by one of William-Jordan s lieutenants; who 
at once admitted Bertrand into the town and gave him all the 
provisions that he required. Next day Bertrand sent a messenger 
to William-Jordan s headquarters at Mount Pilgrim, requiring 
the surrender of all his father s inheritance in the lands of La 
Chamelle, that is to say the principality of Horns that Raymond 
had hoped to found. But William-Jordan had recently won a 
signal success. When the Egyptians took over Tripoli, the town of 

1 Anna Comnena, xiv, ii, 6, vol. m, p. 149, says that Bertrand sicrpo? 
swore allegiance to Alexius when he was already in Tripoli. But Albert of Aix, 
loc. tit., mentions his visit via Hahnyrus to Constantinople. 

2 Albert of Aix, xi, 5-7, pp. 665-7. 


1109: Bertrand and William-Jordan 

Arqa, tinder the leadership of one of Fakhr s favourite pages, had 
pkced itself tinder the protection of Toghtekin of Damascus. 
Toghtekin set out in person to inspect his new dependency; but 
the winter rains delayed his progress through the Buqaia. While 
waiting for the weather to improve,, he attacked certain forts that 
the Christians had built near the frontier. William-Jordan, with 
three hundred horsemen and two hundred native infantrymen, 
crept over the shoulder of the Lebanon and fell on him un 
expectedly, near the village of Akun. The Damascene army, with 
Toghtekin at its head, fled in panic to Horns, pursued by the 
Franks, who could not venture to attack the city, but then turned 
northward to raid the territory of Shaizar. The Munqidhite 
brothers, Murshid and Sultan, emirs of Shaizar, hearing that the 
prankish army was small, came out in the confident expectation 
that it could easily be captured. But the Franks attacked at once 
so fiercely that the men of Shaizar broke and fled. William-Jordan 
then returned to Arqa, which capitulated to him after a siege of 
only three weeks. 1 

Encouraged by these victories, William-Jordan was in no mood 
to abdicate in Bertrand s favour. He replied that he held Ray 
mond s lands by the right of inheritance and that moreover he had 
defended them and added to them. But the size of Bertrand s 
armada alarmed him. He sent to Antioch to ask Tancred to inter 
vene in his favour. In return he promised to become Tancred s 
vassal. His move obliged Bertrand to take corresponding action. 
He sent a messenger to Jerusalem, to put his case before King 
Baldwin, to whom he appealed as supreme arbiter of the Franks 
in the East and whom he thereby recognized as his suzerain.* 

Baldwin, whose statesmanship saw that the Franks in the East 
must work together and whose ambition pictured himself as their 
leader, at once answered the appeal. He was already angry with 
Tancred over his treatment of Baldwin of Edessa and Joscelin of 

1 Usama, ed. Him, p. 78 ; Ibn Hamdun, p. 456 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 226-7. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xi, i, pp. 526-30; Albert of Aix, xi, 1-2, 8, 
pp. 663-4, ^66. 

67 5-2 

Toulouse and Tripoli 

Courtenay. Bertrand had moved southward to Tripoli, where his 
army was conducting the double task of continuing the blockade 
of the Moslem city and besieging William-Jordan s supporters 
on Mount Pilgrim. William-Jordan had meanwhile left Mount 
Pilgrim and had reoccupied Tortosa, where he awaited Tancred. 
No sooner had Tancred joined him than they were visited by the 
envoys of the King, Eustace Gamier and Pagan of Haifa, who 
ordered them both to appear at the Royal Court before Tripoli, to 
settle the question of Raymond s inheritance as well as the restitu 
tion of Edessa and Turbessel to their rightful owners. William- 
Jordan wished to refuse the summons; but Tancred realized that 
defiance was impracticable. 

In June 1109 all the princes of the Prankish East assembled out 
side the walls of Tripoli. Bertrand was there with his army. King 
Baldwin came up from the south with five hundred knights and 
as many infantrymen. Tancred brought seven hundred of his best 
knights; and Baldwin of Edessa and Joscelin arrived with their 
bodyguards. At a solemn session in the castle of Mount Pilgrim 
Tancred was formally reconciled with Baldwin of Edessa and with 
Joscelin, while the Toulousain inheritance was divided. William- 
Jordan was to keep Tortosa and his own conquest, Arqa; and 
Bertrand was to have Jebail and Tripoli as soon as it was captured. 
The former swore allegiance to Tancred, and the latter to King 
Baldwin; and it was agreed that on the death of either candidate 
the other should inherit his lands. 1 

With peace made between its leaders, the Prankish army set 
seriously about the capture of Tripoli. The Egyptian governor, 
Sharaf ad-Daulah, had been desperately demanding help from the 
authorities in Egypt, who equipped a huge fleet, with transports 
for an army and boats laden with supplies. But intrigues and 
quarrels amongst the Egyptian commanders had delayed its 
departure from the ports of the Delta. Months passed by, while 
the vizier half-heartedly tried to compose the quarrels ; and now at 
last orders were given for it to sail. But the north wind blew 
1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xli, i, p. 531; Albert of Aix, xi, 9-12, pp. 666-8. 


1109: The Surrender of Tripoli 

steadily and the ships could not leave harbour. When at last they 
set out reduced in number, it was too late. 1 

The garrison of Tripoli, cut off from help by sea by the fleets of 
Genoa and Provence, and with their land-wall battered by all the 
machines that the Prankish army could muster, soon abandoned 
all thought of resistance. Sharaf ad-Daulah sent to King Baldwin 
offering to surrender on terms. He asked that the citizens wishing 
to emigrate from the city should be allowed to go in safety with 
their movable goods, and that those wishing to remain should 
become Prankish subjects and should keep all their possessions, 
merely paying a special yearly tax; he himself would be permitted 
to depart with his troops to Damascus. Baldwin agreed; and on 
12 July 1109 the Christians entered Tripoli. 

Baldwin himself kept to his agreement. In the districts that he 
took over there was no pillage or destruction. But the Genoese 
marines, finding the city undefended, forced their own way in. 
They began to sack and to burn houses and to slay every Moslem 
that they met; and it was some time before the authorities could 
restrain them. In the tumult the great library of the Banu Ammar, 
the finest in the Moslem world, was burnt to the ground, and all 
its contents perished. 3 

When the city was fully occupied and order was restored, 
Bertrand was installed as its ruler. He took the title of Count of 
Tripoli and reaffirmed his vassaldom to the Kingdom of Jeru 
salem. His obligations to the Emperor Alexius were ignored. The 
Genoese were rewarded by a quarter in Tripoli, by a castle, known 
as the Castle of the Constable, ten miles south of Tripoli, and the 
remaining two-thirds of the town of Jebail. Jebail was given 
by, them to the Admiral Hugh Embriaco, whose descendants 
formed it into a hereditary fief. 3 

1 Ibn al-Athir, p. 274; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 89. 

* Fulcher of Chartres, II, xli, 2-4, pp. 531-3; Albert of Aix, xi, 13, p. 668; 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 89-90; Ibn. al-Athir, loc. dt.\ Abu l Mehasin, p. 489; 
Ibn Hamdun, p. 455 ; Sibt ibn al-Djauzi, p. 536. 

3 Caffaro, Liberatio, pp. 72-3. See Rey, Les Seigneurs de Gibelet , in 
Revue de I Orient Latin, vol. m, pp. 399-403. 


Toulouse and Tripoli 

Bertrand did not have long to wait before he secured the whole 
of his father s eastern inheritance. While the Prankish army was 
still at Tripoli William-Jordan was shot by an arrow. The cir 
cumstances remained a mystery. It seemed that he rashly inter 
vened in a scuffle that had broken out between two grooms, and 
as he tried to separate the men, someone fired on him. Suspicion 
inevitably fell on Bertrand ; but nothing could be proved. Bertrand 
at once took over all William-Jordan s lands; which thus passed 
under the allegiance of King Baldwin. Tancred had backed the 
wrong horse. 1 

So it was that Raymond s son fulfilled his father s ambition of 
founding a state in the East. It was a lesser principality than 
Raymond had envisaged. The lands of La Chamelle were never to 
form part of it ; and instead of acknowledging the distant suzerainty 
of the Emperor at Constantinople, it had an overlord close at hand 
at Jerusalem. But it was a rich and prosperous heritage. By its 
wealth and by its position, linking the Franks of northern Syria 
with the Franks of Palestine, it was to play a vital part in the history 
of the Crusades. 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, loc. cit.; Albert of Aix, xi, 15, pp. 669-70. 




His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the 
nether millstone* JOB 2x1,24 

King Baldwin s intervention at Tripoli in 1109 revealed him as the 
chief potentate of the Prankish East. He had won his position by 
patient and arduous industry and by boldness of enterprise. When 
he arrived in Jerusalem, against the allied opposition of the 
Patriarch Daimbert and the Prince of Antioch, it was to inherit an 
empty treasury and a scattered dominion, made up of the central 
mountain-ridge of Palestine, the plain of Esdraelon and a few 
outlying fortresses set in a hostile countryside, and a tiny army of 
lawless, arrogant knights and untrustworthy native mercenaries. 
The only organized body in the kingdom was the Church; and 
within the Church there were two parties, Daimbert s and 
Arnulf s. Godfrey s central administration had been conducted by 
his household, which was small and ill-suited to govern a country. 
The barons to whom border castles had been entrusted were left 
to rule their territories as they pleased. 

Baldwin saw that the most pressing danger was of a Moslem 
attack before his state could be set in order. Believing that the 
best defence is to take the offensive, he started out, before he had 
even settled the urgent question of his relations with Daimbert or 
had himself assumed the crown, on a campaign to awe the infidel. 
His exploits at Edessa and his victory at the Dog River had given 
him a terrible reputation, from which he sought to profit. Barely a 
week after his arrival at Jerusalem he marched down to Ascalon and 
made a demonstration in front of its walls. But the fortress was too 
strong for his little army to attack ; so he moved eastward to Hebron 
and thence down into the Negeb to Segor, in the salt land at the 

King Baldwin I 

southern tip of the Dead Sea, turning villages as he went, and 
on through the wilderness of Edom to Mount Hor, and its ancient 
monastery of St Aaron, by Petra. Though he made no permanent 
settlements in the region, his progress cowed the Arabs. For the 
next few years they refrained from infiltrating into his territory. 1 

He returned to Jerusalem a few days before Christmas. The 
Patriarch Daimbert had had time to reflect on his situation. He 
bowed to the inevitable; and on Christmas Day, uoo, he crowned 
Baldwin King of Jerusalem. In return, he was confirmed in the 
Patriarchate. 2 

In the early spring of noi Baldwin heard that a rich Arab tribe 
was passing through Transjordan. At once he led a detachment 
across the river and fell by night on its encampment. Only a few 
of the Arabs escaped. The majority of men were slain in their tents, 
and the women and children were carried off into captivity, 
together with a great hoard of money and precious stuffs. Amongst 
the captives was the wife of one of the sheikhs of the tribe. She 
was on the point of bearing a child; and when Baldwin learnt of 
her condition, he gave orders that she should be released with her 
maid-servant, two female camels and a good supply of food and 
drink. She gave birth successfully by the wayside, where her 
husband soon found her. Deeply moved by Baldwin s courtesy 
he hurried after him to thank him and to promise that some day 
he would repay him for his kindness. 3 

News of the raid added to Baldwin s fame. In March embassies 
came to Jerusalem from the coastal cities, Arsuf, Caesarea, Acre 
and Tyre, bearing valuable gifts; while Duqaq of Damascus sent 
to offer the sum of fifty thousand gold besants for the ransom of 
the captives that Baldwin had made at the battle of the Dog River. 
Baldwin s most pressing financial problem was thereby solved. 4 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, iv, i-5, ii, pp. 370-83 (Fulcher accompanied, the 
expedition) ; Albert of Aix, vn, 28-42, pp. 533-6. There was a Greek monastery 
on the present Jebel Harun (Mount Hor) and a settlement of monks round the 
great Nabatean tomb known now as the Deir, or Monastery. 

2 See above, vol. i, p. 326. 3 William of Tyre, x, n, p. 415. 
4 Albert of Aix, vn, 52, pp. 541-2. 


no i: Capture of Arsuf and Caesarea 

Their tribute did not long benefit Arsuf or Caesarea. In March 
a Genoese squadron was sighted off Haifa, and on 15 April it put in 
at Jaffa. Amongst the passengers was Maurice, Cardinal-Bishop 
of Porto, sent out as Legate by Pope Paschal. Hitherto Baldwin 
had been dependent for sea-power on the small Pisan fleet that had 
accompanied the Pisan archbishop, his enemy Daimbert, to the 
East. An alliance with the Genoese, chief rivals of the Pisans, 
stated him better. He hurried down to Haifa to greet them and to 
receive the Legate, and took their leaders with them to spend 
Easter at Jerusalem. There they made an agreement to serve him 
for a season. Their payment was to be one-third of all the booty 
that might be captured, of goods as well as of money, and a street 
in the bazaar quarter of every conquered town. As soon as the 
pact was signed, the allies moved against Arsuf, Baldwin by land 
and the Genoese by sea. Resistance soon broke down. The 
authorities of the town offered to capitulate on condition that the 
inhabitants might emigrate safely with their families and their pos 
sessions to Moslem territory. Baldwin accepted their terms. They 
were escorted by his troops to Ascalon. Baldwin then garrisoned 
the town, after assigning their share to the Genoese. 1 

From Arsuf the allies went to Caesarea, whose siege began on 
2 May. The garrison, relying on its old Byzantine walls, refused 
to surrender ; but on 17 May it was taken by assault. The victorious 
soldiers were given permission to pillage the city as they pleased; 
and the horrors of the sack shocked even their own leaders. The 
cruellest massacre took place in the Great Mosque, which once 
had been the synagogue of Herod Agrippa. Many of the citizens 
had taken refuge there and begged for mercy. But they were 
butchered, men and women alike, till the floor was a lake of blood. 
In all the city only a few girls and young infants were spared, and 
the chief magistrate and the commander of the garrison, whom 
Baldwin himself saved in order to obtain good ransom-money. 
The ferocity was deliberate. Baldwin wished to show that he 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, viii, 1-7, pp. 393-400; Albert of Aix, vn, 54, 
pp. 452-3. 


King Baldwin I 

would keep his word to all that came to terms with him. 
Otherwise he would be pitiless. 1 

Baldwin had only time to divide the booty according to his pact 
and to instal a Prankish garrison before the news came to him that 
an Egyptian army had entered Palestine. 

The Fatimid vizier, al-Afdal, was eager to avenge the disaster 
at Ascalon, two years before, and had fitted out an expedition 
under the command of the Mameluk, Sa ad ed-Daulah al-Qawasi. 
It reached Ascalon in mid-May and advanced as far as Ramleh, 
hoping, perhaps, to penetrate to Jerusalem while Baldwin was 
still occupied at Caesarea. Baldwin hastened with his forces to 
Ramleh; whereupon Sa ad fell back on Ascalon to await reinforce 
ments. After fortifying Ramleh, Baldwin set up his headquarters 
at Jaffa, so as to be able to watch the Egyptians movements and 
at the same time keep in touch with his maritime communications. 
Apart from a short visit to Jerusalem for administrative purposes 
in July, he remained at Jaffa all through the summer. At the end 
of August an intercepted letter told him that new detachments had 
reached the Egyptians and that they were preparing to march on 

On 4 September Sa ad moved his forces slowly up to the out 
skirts of Ramleh. Two days later Baldwin held a council of war 
and decided to attack at dawn, without waiting to be attacked. 
He had only two hundred and sixty horsemen and nine hundred 
infantrymen; but they were well armed and experienced; while 
the huge army of the Egyptians, which he estimated at eleven 
thousand horsemen and twenty-one thousand infantry, was lightly 
armed and untrained. He divided his troops into five corps, one 
under a knight called Bervold, the second under Geldemar 
Carpenel, lord of Haifa, the third under Hugh of Saint-Omer, 
who had succeeded Tancred as Prince of Galilee, and the fourth 
1 Fulcher of Ckartres, ix, 1-9, pp. 400-4; Albert of Aix, vn, 55-6, pp. 453-4. 
"William of Tyre, x, 16, p. 423, reports that the Genoese took as part of their 
booty a green cup that they believed to be made of a solid emerald. It is still 
in the treasury of the cathedral of San Lorenzo at Genoa, and was later considered 
to be the Holy Grail. See Heyd, Histoire du Commerce du Levant, i, p. 137. 


noi : First Battle ofRamleh 

and fifth under himself. Inspired by the presence of the True 
Cross, by a stirring sermon delivered by Arnulf of Rohes, and by 
a special absolution given by the Cardinal-Legate, the Franks 
inarched out to Ramleh and at sunrise fell on the Egyptians, near 
Ibelin, south-west of the town. 

Bervold led the attack; but his troops were mown down by the 
Egyptians and he himself slain. Geldemar Carpenal hurried to his 
rescue, only to perish also with all his men. The Galilean corps 
followed; but they made no effect on the Egyptian masses. After 
heavy losses Hugh of Saint-Omer extricated his men and fled 
towards Jaffa, pursued by the Egyptian left. It seemed that all was 
lost. But King Baldwin, after publicly confessing his sins before 
the True Cross and then haranguing his company, mounted on 
his brave Arab charger, Gazelle, galloped at the head of his knights 
into the heart of the enemy. The Egyptians, confident of victory, 
were taken by surprise. After a brief struggle their centre turned 
and fled; and the panic spread to their right. Baldwin, forbidding 
his men to stop to pillage corpses or to sack the enemy camp, 
chased them to the walls of Ascalon. Then he rallied his men and 
retired to divide the spoils won on the battlefield. 1 

Meanwhile Hugh of Saint-Omer had arrived at Jaffa, to report 
that the battle was lost. The Queen and her court were waiting 
there. Hearing of the disaster and believing that the King was 
dead, they sent a messenger at once to the only man that they 
thought could help them now, to Tancred at Antioch. Next 
morning an army came into sight. They thought that it was the 
Egyptians; and great was their rejoicing when they discerned the 
Prankish banners and recognized the King. A second messenger 
was dispatched to Antioch, with the news that all was well; and 
Tancred, who had been prepared, with some relish, to set out for 
the south, was told that he could stay at home.* 

For the moment the danger was averted. The Egyptians had 
suffered heavy losses and were not disposed to renew the campaign 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xi, i-xiii, 5, pp. 407-20; Albert of Aix, vn, 66-70, 
PP- 550-3. z Fulcher of Chartres, n, xiv, 1-8, pp. 420-4. 


King Baldwin I 

that season. But the resources of Egypt were enormous. Al-Afdal 
had no difficulty in equipping a second army that should continue 
the struggle next year. In the meantime Baldwin received the 
visit of the princes that had survived the Anatolian Crusades of 
noi. Led by William of Aquitaine, Stephen of Blois and Stephen 
of Burgundy and the Constable Conrad, and accompanied by 
various barons from the Low Countries and by Ekkehard of Aura 
and Bishop Manasses, most of whom had come by sea to Antioch, 
they reached the neighbourhood of Beirut in the early spring 
of 1 1 02. To ensure their safe passage through enemy country 
Baldwin sent an escort to meet them there and to convey them to 
Jerusalem. After celebrating Easter at the Holy Places the leaders 
prepared to return home. William of Aquitaine safely embarked 
for Saint Symeon at the end of April; but the ship in which 
Stephen of Blois and Stephen of Burgundy, with several others, 
had taken their passage was driven ashore by a storm off Jaffa. 
Before another ship could be found to accommodate them, there 
was news that a fresh Moslem host was marching up from Egypt. 
Owing to this fateful mishap they remained to assist in the coming 
struggle. 1 

In mid-May 1102 the Egyptian army, consisting of some 
twenty thousand Arabs and Sudanese, under the command of the 
Vizier s own son, Sharaf al-Ma ali, assembled at Ascalon and 
moved up towards Ramleh. Baldwin had made his preparations. 
An army of several thousand Christians waited at Jaffa; and the 
Galilean garrisons were ready to send detachments when required. 
But Baldwin s scouts misled him. Believing the Egyptians to be 
a small body of raiders he decided to destroy them himself without 
calling upon his reserves. He had with him at Jerusalem his friends 
from the West, Stephen of Blois, Stephen of Burgundy, the Con 
stable Conrad, Hugh, Count of Lusignan and various Belgian 
knights. He proposed to them to set out with his cavalry to finish 
off the job. Stephen of Blois ventured to suggest that it was a rash 
undertaking; a better reconnaissance would be desirable. But 
1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xv, 1-6, pp. 424-8. 

7 6 

1102: Second Battle ofRamkh 

nobody even listened to Stephen, remembering his cowardice at 
Antioch. He joined his comrades without further complaint. 

On 17 May Kong Baldwin set out with some five hundred 
horsemen from Jerusalem. They rode gaily, with little order. 
When they came out into the plain and suddenly saw before them 
the vast Egyptian army, Baldwin realized his mistake. But there 
could be no turning back. They were already seen, and the 
Egyptian light cavalry was riding up to cut off their retreat. Their 
only chance was to charge headlong into the enemy. The Egyptians, 
believing at first that this must be the vanguard of a greater army, 
nearly gave up before the impact; but when they saw that no other 
force followed, they rallied and closed in on the Franks. Baldwin s 
ranks broke. A few knights, led by Roger of Rozoy and Baldwin s 
cousin, Hugh of Le Bourg, cut their way through the Egyptian 
host and reached the safety of Jaffa. Many, such as Gerard of 
Avesnes and Godfrey s former chamberlain, Stabelon, were killed 
on the field. But King Baldwin himself and his chief comrades 
made their way into the little fortress of Ramleh, where they were 
surrounded by the Egyptian army. 

Nightfall saved them from immediate attack. But the defences 
of Ramleh were pitiable. Only one tower, built by Baldwin the 
previous year, might possibly be held; and into that they crowded. 
In the middle of the night an Arab came to the gate and asked to 
see the King. He was admitted and revealed himself as the husband 
of the lady to whom Baldwin had shown courtesy during his 
raid on Transjordan. In gratitude he warned the King that the 
Egyptian assault would begin at dawn and that he must escape at 
once. Baldwin took his advice. However much he may have 
regretted the desertion of his comrades and he was not a man 
with a highly developed sense of honour he saw that on his own 
preservation depended the preservation of the kingdom. With a 
groom and three other companions he slipped out on horseback, 
through the enemy lines, trusting his Gazelle to take bim to 
safety. During the same night, Lithard of Cambrai, Viscount of 
Jaffa, and Gotknan of Brussels separately made their escape. 


King Baldwin I 

Gothman, though severely wounded, managed to reach Jerusalem, 
where he brought tidings of the disaster but counselled resistance; 
for he believed that Baldwin was still alive. 

Early next morning the Egyptians stormed over the walls of 
Ramleh, and piled faggots round the tower in which the knights 
had taken refuge. Rather than perish in the flames, the Prankish 
chivalry charged out at the enemy, with the Constable Conrad at 
their head. But there was no escape. They were all hewn down on 
the spot or captured. Conrad s bravery so impressed the Egyptians 
that they spared his life. He and more than a hundred of his 
companions were sent in captivity to Egypt. Of the other leaders 
Stephen of Burgundy, Hugh of Lusignan and Geoffrey of Ven- 
dome were killed in the battle, and with them died Stephen of 
Blois, who thus by his glorious death redeemed his reputation. 
The Countess Adela could sleep content. 1 

The Queen and the Court were once more at Jaffa. There Roger 
of Rozoy and his fellow-fugitives told them of terrible defeat. 
They feared that the King had fallen with all his knights, and they 
made plans to flee by sea while there was still time. But on 
20 May the Egyptian army came up to the city walls and the 
Egyptian fleet approached over the southern horizon. Their worst 
fears seemed realized when an Egyptian soldier brandished before 
them a head that was recognized as the King s, but which was, in 
fact, that of Gerbod of Winthinc, who greatly resembled him. At 
that moment, as though by a miracle, a little ship was seen sailing 
down from the north with the Bang s own standard at the mast-head. 

On his escape from Ramleh, Baldwin had made for the coast, 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xviii, i-xix, 5, pp. 436-44; Ekkehard of Aura, 
pp. 33-5; Albert of Aix, ix, 2-6, pp. 591-4; Bartolf of Nangis, pp. 533-5; 
William of Tyre, x, 20-1, pp. 429-32, who tells of the intervention of the 
Sheikh; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 213-16 (a garbled account based on two different 
versions). I accept Hagenmeyer s dating (op. cit. pp. 162-6), though the 
Chronicon S.Maxentii, p. 421, says 27 May, and Albert of Aix about Pentecost , 
i.e. about 25 May; of Stephen of Blois s death, according to Guibert of Nogent, 
p. 245, nothing definite was known; Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres, in, 
p. 115, dates it 19 May. 


1102: King Baldwin at Jaffa 

in an attempt to reach the army at Jaffa. But Egyptian troops were 
scouring the countryside. For two nights and two days he wan 
dered through the foothills north of Ramleh, then hastened across 
the plain of Sharon to Arsuf. He arrived there on the evening 
of the ipth, to the astonished delight of its governor, Roger of 
Haifa. That same evening the troops of Galilee, eighty picked 
knights, under Hugh of Saint-Omer, who had hurried south on 
the news of the Egyptian advance, joined him. at Arsuf. Next 
morning Hugh marched south with his men, to try to break his way 
into Jaffa, while Baldwin persuaded an English adventurer called 
Goderic to take him on his ship through the Egyptian blockade. 
To cheer his court, Baldwin hoisted his standard. The Egyptians 
noticed it, and at once sent ships to intercept him. But a strong 
north wind was blowing, against which the Egyptians could not 
get under weigh, while it carried Baldwin swiftly into harbour. 

At once he set about reorganizing his forces. Before the 
Egyptians had entirely closed in round the city he broke his way 
out to meet Hugh of Galilee s company and to take them within 
the walls. Next, he sent up to Jerusalem to summon all the men 
that could be spared from there and from Hebron. A local monk 
was found who was ready to take the message through the enemy 
lines. He left Jaffa under darkness, but it took him three days to 
reach Jerusalem. When he confirmed that the King was alive, 
there was great rejoicing. A troop of some ninety knights and 
rather more mounted sergeants was collected and was fortified by 
a piece of the True Cross. It hastened down to Jaffa. The knights, 
better mounted and better armed, forced their way into the town; 
but the sergeants were driven into the sea. They abandoned their 
horses there and swam round into the harbour. Meanwhile, 
Baldwin wrote to Tancred and to Baldwin of Edessa, to report his 
heavy losses and to ask for reinforcements. 

Before the northern princes could set out, unexpected help 
arrived. In the last days of May a fleet of two hundred ships, 
mostly English, and filled with soldiers and pilgrims from England, 
France and Germany, sailed in Jaffa roads, with the help of the wind, 


King Baldwin I 

through the Egyptian blockade. They provided Baldwin with the 
additional men that he needed. On 27 May he led his army out 
against the enemy. The details of the battle are unknown. It seems 
that the Egyptians vainly tried to lure him on and then encircle 
him, and that eventually a charge of the heavy Prankish cavalry 
broke their ranks and sent them fleeing in panic. After a few hours 
the whole Egyptian force was in headlong flight to Ascalon, and 
their camp, with all its booty, was in Christian hands. 1 

Baldwin and his kingdom had been saved by a series of accidents, 
in which the Christians, not unnaturally, saw the hand of God. 
Not least of these accidents was the incompetent strategy of the 
Egyptians. A small detachment of their troops could have cap 
tured Jerusalem immediately after the battle of Ramleh without 
seriously weakening the encirclement of Jaffa. But the vizier 
al-Afdal was losing his grip. His son Sharaf was weak and ill- 
obeyed. Rivalry between his various lieutenants paralysed his 
movements. Next summer his father sent out a new expedition, 
by sea and land. But while the fleet sailed up to Jaffa, the land 
forces refused to advance beyond Ascalon, as its commander, the 
mameluk Taj al-Ajam, was jealous of the admiral, the qadi Ibn 
Qadus. Taj al-Ajam was subsequently imprisoned for his dis 
loyalty; but the harm was done. The best opportunity for the 
reconquest of Palestine was missed. 2 

Tancred and Baldwin of Le Bourg, when they heard of the 
plight of Jerusalem, made their arrangements to set out as soon as 
possible for the south. With them came William of Aquitaine 
who had been at Antioch when Bang Baldwin s letter arrived 
They travelled all together up the Orontes valley, past Horns, and 
down the upper Jordan, in such force that the local Moslem 
^ttonties made no attempt to stop their passage. They reached 
Judaea towards the end of September. Baldwilby now was no 
longer in urgent need of their help ; but their presence enabled him 


no i: Baldwin and Daimbert 

to attack the Egyptian army at Ascalon. The skirmishes were 
favourable for the Christians; but they did not venture to assault 
the fortress. 1 

The meeting of the Prankish potentates was of use to Baldwin 
for other reasons. Tancred had intended to give his help on his own 
terms ; but in fact he enabled Baldwin to solve his most difficult 
internal problem. The Patriarch Daimbert had crowned Baldwin 
on Christmas Day, noo; but he had done so unwillingly, and 
Baldwin knew it. It was necessary for Baldwin to control the 
Church, for the Church was well organized, and it was to the 
Church, not to the lay authorities, that pious sympathizers from 
the West gave donations and legacies. Daimbert s elevation to the 
Patriarchate had been doubtfully legal, and complaints had been 
laid at Rome. At last Pope Paschal sent out a legate, Maurice, 
Cardinal-Bishop of Porto, to inquire into the situation. He arrived 
in time for Easter, 1101; and at once Baldwin accused Daimbert 
of treachery before him, showing him the letter that Daimbert 
had written to Bohemond on Godfrey s death, calling on 
Bohemond to oppose Baldwin s succession by force if need be. 
He moreover declared that Daimbert had tried to assassinate him 
on his journey southward. However false that latter charge might 
be, the letter was incontrovertible. Maurice forbade Daimbert to 
take part in the Easter ceremonies, which he performed alone. 
Daimbert, fearful for his future, sought out Baldwin and knelt in 
tears before him begging for forgiveness. But Baldwin was 
adamant, till Daimbert murmured that he had three hundred 
besants to spare. Baldwin always needed ready-money. He 
secretly accepted the gift, then went to the legate to announce 
magnanimously that he would forgive Daimbert. Maurice, a man 
of peace, was delighted to effect a reconciliation. 2 

1 Albert of Aix, ix, 15, p. 599; Ibn Moyessar, p. 464; Ibn al-Athir, p. 213, 
who says that the northern princes insisted on retreat. 

2 Albert of Aix, vn, 46-51, pp. 53 8-41, an account that is hostile to Daimbert. 
"William of Tyre (x, 26-7, pp. 43 8-40), who was throughout a defender of Daim- 
bert s cause in the interests of die independence of the Church, disingenuously 
omits to report the investigations of Maurice. Riant, Inventaire, pp. 218-19. 

RC 8l 6 

King Baldwin I 

After some months Baldwin again needed money, and applied 
to Daimbert; who gave him two hundred marks, saying that that 
was all that the Patriarchal coffers contained. But clerics belonging 
to ArnulFs party told the King that in fact Daimbert was con 
cealing vast hoards. It happened that a few days later the Patriarch 
gave a sumptuous banquet in honour of the Legate, whose support 
he was assiduously cultivating. Baldwin burst in upon them and 
harangued them on their luxurious living when the forces of 
Christendom were starving. Daimbert angrily answered that the 
Church could use its money as it pleased and that the King had no 
authority over it, while Maurice anxiously tried to appease them 
both. But Baldwin could not be silenced. His early training as 
a priest enabled him to quote canon law; and his eloquence was 
such that Maurice was impressed. He induced Daimbert to 
promise to pay for a regiment of horsemen. The sums, however, 
were never paid, despite Baldwin s incessant demands. In the 
autumn of noi an envoy came from Prince Roger of Apulia with 
a gift of a thousand besants for the Patriarch. A third was to be 
devoted to the Holy Sepulchre, a third to the Hospital and a third 
to the King for his army. Daimbert rashly kept the whole for 
himself. But the terms of the gift were known. When the King 
made complaint, the legate could no longer support Daimbert, 
who was declared deprived of the Patriarchate. He retired to 
Jaffa, where he spent the winter, and in March he went on to 
Antioch. His old friend Tancred received him gladly and gave 
him the charge of one of the richest churches in the city, that of 
St George. Baldwin meanwhile kept the Patriarchate vacant, on 
the plea that Rome must be informed; and his officials raided the 
Patriarchal treasury, where they found that Daimbert had con 
cealed twenty thousand besants. Maurice acted as locum tenens; 
but his health had been shattered by these scandals. He died in the 
spring of H02. 1 

When Tancred came south in the autumn to rescue Baldwin, he 
announced that his terms were the restitution of Daimbert; and 
1 Albert of Aix, vn, 58-64, pp. 545-9. 


1102: The Deposition of Daimbert 

Daimbert accompanied him. Baldwin was most accommodating. 
But at that moment a new papal legate arrived, Robert, Cardinal 
of Paris. The King therefore insisted that matters must be regu 
larized by the session of a Synod, under Robert s presidency. 
Tancred and Daimbert could not refuse. A council temporarily 
reinstated the latter till a full investigation could be heard. Tancred 
therefore joined his troops to the King s for the campaign against 
Ascalon. Soon afterwards the Synod was held in the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre. The legate presided, assisted by the visiting 
Bishops of Laon and Piacenza; and all the Palestinian bishops and 
abbots attended, as well as the Bishop of Mamistra, from Tancred s 
territory. The accusations against Daimbert were made by the 
prelates of Caesarea, Bethlehem and Ramleh, inspired by Arnulf 
of Rohes. They declared that on his journey to Palestine in 1099 
at the head of his Pisans, he had attacked fellow-Christians in the 
Ionian Islands, that he had sought to provoke a civil war between. 
King Baldwin and Prince Bohemond, and that he had kept for 
himself money given him for the welfare of pilgrims at the 
Hospital and for the soldiers of Christ. The charges were un 
deniably true. The Cardinal-Legate had no option but to declare 
Daimbert unworthy of his see and to depose him. Tancred could 
not object to so canonical a procedure. He had to admit defeat. 
Daimbert accompanied him back to Antioch and was re-established 
in the Church of St George till he could find an opportunity to go 
to Rome. He had shown himself a corrupt and miserly old man; 
and his departure was unregretted in Palestine. His appointment as 
Legate had been the one great error committed by Pope Urban II. 1 
Arnulf of Rohes, who had been Baldwin s willing adjutant in 
the whole affair, was too wily to attempt to take Daimbert s place. 
Instead, when the legate asked for a candidate for the Patriarchate, 
the Palestinian bishops suggested an aged priest from Therouannes, 
called Evremar. Evremar, who had come East with the First 
Crusade, was known for his piety and his charity. Though he was 
a compatriot of Arnulf s he had taken no part in his intrigues but 
1 Albert of Aix, ix, 14, 16-17, pp. 598-600; William of Tyre, be. dt. 

83 6 ~ 2 

King Baldwin I 

was universally respected. The legate was delighted to consecrate 
so blameless a cleric; and Baldwin was satisfied, knowing Evremar 
to be a harmless old man who would never venture to take part 
in politics. Meanwhile Arnulf could continue to make his own 
plans without hindrance. 

Daimbert did not despair. When his protector Bohemond went 
to Italy in 1105 he accompanied him and proceeded to Rome to 
lay his grievance before the Pope. Pascal was cautious at first; but 
after some delay he decided, probably under Bohemond s fatal 
influence, to support him. Baldwin was required to send to Rome 
to answer Daimbert s charges. But the Bong, probably because he 
knew that Bohemond had the Pope s ear, took no notice. Pascal 
therefore cancelled Daimbert s deposition, which, he said, was due 
to the interference of the civil power. Fortunately, the Pope s folly 
was amended by the hand of God. Daimbert, as he prepared to 
set out in triumph to resume his patriarchal throne, fell seriously 
ill. He died at Messina on 15 June noy. 1 

The troubles of the patriarchate were not over. Baldwin grew 
dissatisfied with Evremar. Probably he realized that the Church 
was too important an organization to be allowed to remain in the 
hands of a nonentity. He needed an efficient ally at its head. When 
Evremar had heard of Daimbert s official reinstatement, he set out 
himself for Rome. He arrived there to find his rival dead, with 
his own complaints against the civil power. But when the news 
of Daimbert s death reached Palestine, Arnulf hurried to Rome to 
act for the King there. Paschal now inclined towards Evremar; 
but he understood that the case was more complicated than he had 
thought. He entrusted it to the Archbishop of Aries, Gibelin of 
Sabran, an ecclesiastic of immense age and vast experience. In 
the spring of 1108, Gibelin arrived in Palestine, whither both 
Evremar and Arnulf had preceded him. He saw that Evremar was 
unfitted for the position and that no one wished for his restitution. 
He therefore declared the see vacant and held a synod to appoint 
a successor. To his embarrassed delight, Baldwin proposed that he 
1 William of Tyre, xi, i, pp. 450-1. 


1112: Arnulf elected Patriarch 

should be the candidate. He accepted; and Evremar was consoled 
with the Archbishopric of Caesarea, which had fortunately fallen 

Gossip said that Arnulf had persuaded the King to choose 
Gibelin because of his age. The Patriarchate would soon be vacant 
again. And, indeed, Gibelin only lived for four more years : and 
on his death Arnulf was, at last, elected without opposition to his 
throne. 1 

Arnulf was, from Baldwin s point of view, an ideal Patriarch. 

In spite of trouble later on over the King s remarriage, and in 

spite of the hatred of many of his subordinates, he maintained his 

position. He was undoubtedly corrupt. When his niece Emma 

made a satisfactory marriage with Eustace Gamier, he endowed 

her with a valuable estate at Jericho which belonged to the Holy 

Sepulchre. But he was active and efficient, and devoted to the 

King. Thanks to him, the unworkable scheme envisaged by most 

of the participants in the First Crusade, by which Jerusalem should 

be a theocracy, with a monarch merely as a minister for defence, 

was finally and utterly abandoned. He saw to it that the whole 

Church in Palestine shared his views, even deposing the canons of 

the Holy Sepulchre whom Godfrey of Lorraine had appointed, 

because he did not trust their loyalty. When the kingdom was 

expanded by conquest, he fought hard to see that the civil and 

ecclesiastical jurisdiction coincided, against the opposition of Pope 

Paschal, who, with his disastrous predilection for the Norman 

princes of Antioch, defended the historical but impracticable 

rights of the Antiochene see. Arnulf was not an estimable person, 

but he was a valuable servant of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Its 

great historian, William of Tyre, execrated his memory and 

besmirched his name, unfairly, for he did much to consolidate the 

work of the First Crusade.* 

1 Albert of Aix, x, 589, pp. 650-9, xii, 24, p. 704; William of Tyre, loc. cit. 
I, 4, pp. 456-6. 

2 William of Tyr$, xi, p 
server. See below, p. 104. 

xi, 4, pp. 456-6. 
2 William of Tyr$, xi, 15, p. 479- William disapproved of Arnulf as a rime- 

King Baldwin I 

To Arnulf also, and to his master King Baldwin, must be given 
the credit of the good relations that were established between the 
Latin hierarchy and the native Christians. During his first tenure 
of the Patriarchate in 1099, Arnulf had ejected the eastern sects 
from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and had despoiled them. 
But Daimbert was a worse enemy. His policy was to banish all 
the native Christians not only from the Church itself but from their 
monasteries and establishments in Jerusalem, whether they were 
Orthodox, like the Greeks and the Georgians, or heretics, like the 
Armenians, the Jacobites and the Nestorians. He also offended 
local propriety by introducing women to serve in the Holy Places. 
Because of these enormities all the lamps in the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre went out on the eve of Easter, 1101, and the Sacred Fire 
would not descend from heaven to light them again till the five 
dispossessed communities prayed together that the Franks might 
be forgiven. Baldwin took heed of the lesson. He insisted that the 
wrongs of the natives should be righted. The keys of the Sepulchre 
itself were restored to the Greeks. Thenceforward he seems to have 
enjoyed the support of all the Christians of Palestine. The higher 
clergy were all Franks, though there were Greek canons at the 
Holy Sepulchre. The Orthodox natives accepted this ; for their own 
higher clergy had left the country in the troubled years just before 
the Crusade. The Latin hierarchs were never liked; but local 
Orthodox monasteries carried on without hindrance, and 
Orthodox pilgrims that visited Palestine during the days of the 
Prankish kingdom found no cause for complaint against the lay 
powers either on their own behalf or on behalf of their native 
brothers. The heretic Churches seem to have been equally content. 
It was very different from the position in the Prankish states of 
northern Syria, where both Orthodox and heretic alike resented 
the Franks as oppressors. 1 

1 See below, pp. 320-3 . There is a long account of the ceremony given in one 
MS. of Fulcher of Chartres, which is printed in the edition in the Recueil des 
Historiens des Croisades. Hagenmeyer, in his edition of Fulcher, notes that it 
only appears in one MS. (L) and rejects it all except the introductory words 


1103: Siege of Acre 

The Egyptian defeat at Jaffa in 1102, and the fiasco of the 

expedition in the spring of 1103 did not entirely exhaust al-AfdaTs 

efforts. But it took him longer to raise another army. Baldwin 

used the respite to strengthen his hold on the Palestinian sea-coast. 

Though he possessed the towns on the coast from Jaffa up to Haifa, 

Moslem marauders haunted the roads between them, in particular 

round the slopes of Mount Carmel. Even the road from Jaffa to 

Jerusalem was unsafe, as the pilgrim Saewulf noted. 1 From the 

Egyptian-held ports of Tyre and Acre pirates would slip out to 

intercept Christian merchantmen. In the late autumn of 1102 the 

ships that were transporting home the pilgrims whose coming had 

saved Baldwin at Jaffa in May were driven ashore by storms at 

various parts of the coast, some near Ascalon and some between 

Tyre and Sidon. The passengers were either all slain or sold in the 

slave-markets of Egypt. 2 In the spring of 1103 Baldwin, who still 

had some of the English ships to assist him, undertook the siege of 

Acre. The garrison was about to surrender to him when twelve 

Fatimid galleys and a large transport from Tyre and Sidon sailed 

into the port, laden with men and with engines for firing Greek 

fire. Baldwin had to raise the siege. 3 Later in the summer Baldwin 

attempted to clear Mount Carmel of its robbers. He was only 

partly successful; for in a skirmish he was severely wounded in the 

kidneys; and for a while they despaired of his life. While he lay 

sick in Jerusalem there was news of the double expedition of Taj 

al-Ajam and Ibn Qadus. But Taj al-Ajam s refusal to advance 

conturbati sunt omnes propter ignem quern die sabbati non habuimus ad 
Sepulcrum Domini (n, viii, 2, p. 396). See bis note 5, pp. 395-6, for a full 
discussion. He prints die interpolated text, with, those found in Bartolf of 
Nangis and Guibert of Nogent, in an appendix (ibid. pp. 831-7). As Fulcher 
was Baldwin s chaplain he must himself have been present at the ceremony. 
The Abbot Daniel (ed. de Khitrowo, pp. 75-83) gives an account of the 
ceremony in 1107. It is clear from this narrative that the Greeks had charge of 
the Sepulchre itself. 

1 Pilgrimage of Saewulf (P.P.T.S., vol. iv), pp. 8-9. 

a Albert of Aix, ix, 18, pp. 600-1. 

3 Albert of Aix, ix, 15, p. 599; Ibn al-Athir, p. 213, giving the wrong year 
(495 A.H., instead of 496). 


King Baldwin I 

beyond Ascalon obliged Ibn Qadus to attempt the siege of Jaffa 
alone. His efforts were half-hearted. As soon as Baldwin had 
recovered sufficiently to lead an army down to the coast, the 
Egyptian fleet sailed away. 1 

Next May the Genoese armada of seventy galleys which had 
helped Raymond of Toulouse to capture Jebail sailed into Haifa. 
Baldwin met its leaders there and secured their alliance for the 
reduction of Acre, promising the usual fee of one-third of the 
booty and commercial privileges and a quarter in the bazaar. The 
allies began the siege on 6 May. The Fatimid commander, the 
mameluk Bena Zahr ad-Daulah al-Juyushi, put up a stubborn 
resistance; but he received no aid from Egypt. After twenty days 
he offered to capitulate, on terms similar to those granted at Arsuf. 
Such citizens as wished could leave safely with their movable 
belongings; the others would become subjects of the Prankish 
king. Baldwin for his part accepted and kept to these terms, even 
allowing a mosque to be reserved for his Moslem subjects. But 
the Italian sailors could not bear to see so much wealth escape them. 
They fe]l on the emigrants, slaying many and robbing them all. 
Baldwin was furious. He would have attacked the Genoese to 
punish them had not the Patriarch Evremar arrived and patched 
up a reconciliation.* 

The possession of Acre gave Baldwin what he sorely needed, 
a harbour that was safe in all weathers. Though it was more than 
a hundred miles from the capital, it at once became the chief port 
of the kingdom, replacing Jaffa with its open roadstead. It was 
moreover the chief port through which merchandize from 
Damascus was shipped to the West; and its conquest by the 
Franks did not interrupt this traffic, to which the Moslems still 
resident in Acre gave encouragement. 3 

1 Fulctierof Chartres,n,xxiv, i, pp. 460-1 ; Albert of Aix, ix, 22-3, pp. 103-4. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xxv, 1-3, pp. 462-4; Albert of Aix, IX, 27-9, 
pp. 606-8; CafFaro, Liberatio, pp. 71-2; Charter of Baldwin in Liber Jurium 
Reipublicae Genuensis, vol. I, pp. 16-17. 

3 See below, p. 318. The trade was still continuing in Ibn Jubayr s time 

: Third Battle of Ramleh 

In the summer of 1105 the vizier al-Afdal made a final attempt 
to reconquer Palestine. A well-equipped army of five thousand 
Arab horsemen and Sudanese infantry, under his son Sena al-Mulk 
Husein, assembled at Ascalon at the beginning of August. 
Profiting by the lessons of their previous failures, the Egyptians 
decided to ask for the co-operation of the Turkish rulers of 
Damascus. In 1102 or 1103 Damascus help would have been in 
valuable. But Duqaq of Damascus had died in June 1104 and his 
family disputed the inheritance with his atabeg Toghtekin, while 
Ridwan of Aleppo came south to seek a share of it. Toghtekin 
first placed Duqaq s one-year-old son Tutush on the throne, then 
replaced him by Duqaq s twelve-year-old brother, Irtash. Irtash 
soon suspected his guardian s intentions, and fled to the Hauran, 
whose leading emir, Aytekin of Bosra, gave him asylum. From 
Bosra he appealed to King Baldwin, who invited him to Jerusalem. 
Under these circumstances Toghtekin was glad to help the 
Egyptians but could not venture to send a large force to join them. 
He sent his general Sabawa south with thirteen hundred mounted 
archers. 1 In August the Egyptian army moved up into Palestine, 
where the Damascene troops joined it, after having come down 
through Transjordan and across the Negeb. Baldwin was waiting 
at Jaffa. When the Egyptian fleet hove into sight he took up a 
position on the inevitable battlefield of Ramleh. Jaffa was kept 
under the command of Lithard of Cambrai, with three hundred 
men. With Baldwin was the young Damascene pretender, Irtash, 
and the whole of the rest of the Prankish troops in Palestine, the 
garrisons of Galilee, Haifa and Hebron as well as the central army, 
five hundred horsemen and two thousand infantry. At Baldwin s 
request the Patriarch Evremar came down from Jerusalem with 
one hundred and fifty men that he had recruited there and with 
the True Cross. 

The battle took place on Sunday, 27 August. At dawn the 
Patriarch rode up and down in front of the Prankish lines, in his 
full robes, the Cross in his hand, giving his blessing and absolution. 
1 Ibn al-Qaknisi, p. 71 ; Ibn al-Athir, p. 229. 

King Baldwin I 

Then the Franks attacked. A counter-attack by the Damascene 
Turks nearly broke their ranks; but Baldwin, taking his standard 
into his own hands, led a charge that scattered them. The Egyptians 
fought more bravely than usual; but their left wing had gone off 
in a vain attempt to surprise Haifa, and returned too late. By 
evening the Moslems were beaten. Sabawa and his Turks fled 
back to their own land, and the Egyptians retreated on Ascalon, 
whence their commander, Sena al-Mulk, hurried back to Cairo. 
Their losses had been heavy. The governor of Ascalon was slain, 
and the ex-commanders of Acre and Arsuf captured and later 
ransomed at a high price. Fulcher of Chartres could not help 
regretting that Sena al-Mulk had escaped, because of the rich 
ransom that he would have commanded. But the Prankish losses 
also were heavy. After pillaging their camp Baldwin did not 
further pursue the Egyptians. Nor did he continue his support of 
the young Prince Irtash, who retired disconsolate to ar-Rahba on 
the Euphrates. The Egyptian fleet sailed back to Egypt, having 
achieved nothing except the loss of some ships in a storm. 1 

This third battle of Ramleh ended the last large-scale attempt of 
the Fatimids to reconquer Palestine. But they still were dangerous 
to the Franks; and a smaller raid in the autumn of 1106 nearly 
succeeded where their greater armies had failed. That October, 
when Baldwin was engaged on the Galilean frontier, some 
thousand Egyptian horsemen suddenly attacked a pilgrim camp 
between Jaffa and Arsuf and massacred its inhabitants. They then 
rode on Ramleh, which was defended only by eight knights, who 
were easily overwhelmed. The governor of Jaffa, Roger of Rozoy, 
went out against them but fell into an ambush and only extricated 
himself by flying headlong back to Jaffa. So hotly was he pursued 
that forty of his foot-soldiers were caught outside the gates and 
slain. Next, the Egyptians rode up towards Jerusalem, and 
attacked a small castle, Chastel Arnaud, that Baldwin had not 
quite completed to guard the road. The workmen surrendered, 

1 Albert of Aix, ix, 48-50, pp. 621-4; Fulcher of Chartres, n, xxxi, i-xxxiii, 
3, pp. 489-503 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 228-9; Ibn Moyessar, p. 466. 


uo6-8: Attacks on the Moslem Coastal Cities 

but were killed, with the exception of their commander, Geoffrey, 
Castellan of the Tower of David, who was taken off to be ran 
somed. But by now Baldwin had heard of the raid and marched 
south in force. The Egyptians retired to Ascalon. 1 

The following year an Egyptian expedition nearly captured 
Hebron, but was driven off by Baldwin in person; and in mo the 
Egyptians penetrated to the walls of Jerusalem, only to retire at 
once.* Similar raids on a lesser scale took place from time to time 
during the next ten years, rendering life unsafe for Christian 
settlers and pilgrims in the coastal plain and in the Negeb; but 
they became little more than reprisals for Baldwin s own raids 
into Moslem territory. 

Baldwin therefore felt free to continue his attempt to expand 
the kingdom. His chief objectives were the coastal cities, Ascalon 
in the south and Tyre, Sidon and Beirut in the north. Both 
Ascalon and Tyre were strong fortresses with a large permanent 
garrison; their reduction would need careful preparation. In the 
spring of 1 1 06 the presence in the Holy Land of a krge convoy of 
English, Flemish and Danish pilgrims induced Baldwin to plan an 
expedition against Sidon. The governor of Sidon, learning of this, 
hastened to send the King an enormous sum of money. Baldwin, 
always in need of money, accepted the gift; and for two years 
Sidon was left in peace. 3 

In August 1108 Baldwin marched out again against Sidon, with 
the support of a squadron of sailor-adventurers from various 
Italian cities. The governor at once hired the support of the Turks 
of Damascus for thirty thousand besants, while a powerful 
Egyptian squadron sailed up from Egypt and defeated the Italians 
in a sea-battle outside the harbour. Baldwin was obliged to raise 
the siege. Thereupon the Sidonians refused to admit the Turks into 
the city, fearing, with some reason, that Toghtekin had designs on 
it. The governor even refused to pay the promised besants. The 
Turks threatened to summon back Baldwin; but when he showed 

1 Albert of Aix, x, 10-14, pp. 635-8. 

2 Ibid, x, 33, pp. 646-7; xi, 28, p. 676. 3 Ibid, x, 4-7, pp. 632-4 


King Baldwin I 

signs of returning they agreed to retire, with nine thousand 
besants as compensation. 1 

Next summer Baldwin assisted Bertrand of Toulouse to capture 
Tripoli; and in return, early in mo, Bertrand sent men to help 
Baldwin attack Beirut. Genoese and Pisan ships were at hand to 
blockade the town; and Tripoli provided them with a convenient 
base. Fatimid ships from Tyre and Sidon tried in vain to break the 
blockade. The siege lasted from February till mid-May, when 
the governor, despairing of further help, fled by night through the 
Italian fleet to Cyprus, where he gave himself up to the Byzantine 
governor. The city that he had abandoned was taken by assault on 
13 May. The Italians conducted a general massacre of the inhabi 
tants before Baldwin could restore order. 2 

During that summer further naval reinforcements reached 
Baldwin from the West. In 1107 a fleet set out from Bergen in 
Norway under Sigurd, who shared the Norwegian throne with 
his two brothers, and, sailing across the North Sea and round by 
Gibraltar, calling on the way in England, Castile, Portugal, the 
Balearic Islands and Sicily, arrived at Acre just as Baldwin was 
returning from the capture of Beirut. Sigurd was the first crowned 
head to visit the kingdom; and Baldwin received him with great 
honour, conducting him personally to Jerusalem. Sigurd agreed 
to help the Franks to besiege Sidon. The allies began the siege in 
October. Sidon was vigorously defended. The Norwegian ships 
were nearly dispersed by a powerful Fatimid flotilla from Tyre, 
but were saved by the arrival of a Venetian squadron, under the 
command of the Doge himself, Ordelafo Falieri. Meanwhile, the 
governor of Sidon devised a plan for Baldwin s assassination. 
A renegade Moslem in Baldwin s personal service agreed for a 
large sum to undertake the murder. But the native Christians in 
Sidon heard of the plot and shot an arrow with a message fixed on 

1 Ibid, x, 48-51, pp. 653-5; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 87. 

a Fulcher of Chartres, n, xlii, 1-3, p. 536, giving the date as 13 May in an 
astronomical poem; Albert of Aix, p. 671, gives the date as 27 May; Ibn 
al-Qalanisi, pp. 99-101 (13 May). 


mo : Capture ofSidon 

it into the Prankish camp to warn the King. Sidon eventually 
capitulated on 4 December, on the same terms that had been 
granted to Acre. The notables of the town left with all their 
belongings for Damascus; but the poorer folk remained and 
became subjects of the Prankish king; who promptly levied from 
them a tax of twenty thousand gold besants. The Venetians were 
rewarded by the gift of a church and some property at Acre. 
Sidon was entrusted as a barony to Eustace Gamier, who was 
already governor of Caesarea, and who soon after consolidated his 
position by his politic marriage to the Patriarch Arnulf s niece 
Emma. 1 

The Franks now controlled the whole of the Syrian coast, with 
the exception of the two fortresses of Ascalon at the southern end 
and Tyre in the centre. The governor of Tyre was nervous. In 
the autumn of 1 1 1 1 he sent to Toghtekin at Damascus to hire from 
him for the sum of twenty thousand besants a corps of five 
hundred archers, and at the same time he asked permission for 
hims@lf and his notables to send their more valuable possessions 
to Damascus for their preservation. Toghtekin agreed; and a rich 
caravan containing the money and the goods set out from the 
coast. As it had to pass through the country held by the Franks, 
the Tyrian governor, Izz al-Mulk, bribed a Prankish knight called 
Rainfred to guide it and to guarantee its safety. Rainfred accepted 
the terms and promptly informed Baldwin; who fell upon the 
unsuspecting Tyrians and robbed them of all their wealth. 
Encouraged by this windfall Baldwin brought up his whole army 
at the end of November to attack the walls of Tyre. But he had 
no fleet to help him, apart from twelve Byzantine vessels under 
the Byzantine ambassador Butumites; and the Byzantines were 
not prepared to take hostile action against the Fatimids, with 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xliv, 1-7, pp. 543-8; Albert of Aix, xi, 26, 30-4, 
pp. 675, 677; William of Tyre, xi, 14, pp. 476-9, who tells of the native 
Christians; Sigurdar Saga in Agrip afNoregs Konungasdgum,passimy Sigurdar Saga 
Jdrsalafara ok Broedra Hans, pp. 75 ff. ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 106-8 ; Ibn al-Athir, 
p. 275; Dandolo in Muratori, Ss. R.I. vol. xn, p. 264; Tafel and Thomas, 
I, 86, 91, 145; Riant, Les Scandinaves en Terre Sainte, chap, iv, passim. 


King Baldwin I 

whom their relations were good, unless they were given serious 
compensation. They demanded that Baldwin should in return 
help them to recover the cities that they had lost to the princes of 
Antioch. As Baldwin hesitated to commit himself, the Byzantines 
did no more than supply the Prankish army with provisions. The 
siege of Tyre lasted till the following April. The Tyrians fought 
well, burning down the huge wooden siege-towers that Baldwin 
had constructed; but at least they were reduced to seeking aid 
from Toghtekin. Before taking this step Izz al-Mulk wrote to the 
Egyptian court to justify his action. Toghtekin s first attempt to 
establish contact failed, as a carrier-pigeon was intercepted by an 
Arab in Prankish service. His Prankish comrade wished to let the 
bird go, but he took it to Baldwin. Men were sent in disguise to 
meet the Damascene ambassadors, who were captured and put to 
death. But nevertheless Toghtekin advanced on Tyre, surprising 
a Prankish foraging party and besieging the Franks in their camp 
while he raided the countryside. Baldwin was obliged to lift the 
siege and to fight his way back to Acre. 1 

He was equally unsuccessful at Ascalon. He had marched 
against the fortress immediately after his capture of Sidon. The 
governor, Shams al-Khilafa, being commercially minded, was 
weary of all this fighting. He bought an armistice for a sum 
which he then tried to levy from the people of Tyre, which was 
under his jurisdiction. His actions were reported to Egypt; and 
al-Afdal sent loyal troops there with orders to depose him. Shams 
al-Khilafa, suspecting their purpose, refused to admit them, and 
even dismissed those of his troops that he suspected of Fatimid 
sympathies, recruiting Armenian mercenaries in their place. He 
then went himself to Jerusalem to put himself and his city under 
Baldwin s protection. He returned ^vith three hundred Prankish 
soldiers whom he installed in the citadel. But this treason shocked 
the Ascalonites. In July mi, with help from Egypt, they staged 
a coup d etat, murdering Shams and massacring the Franks. Bald- 

1 Albert of Aix, xn, 3-7, pp. 690-3; Ibn al-Athir, p. 257; Ibn Moyessar, 
p. 467. 


1105: Castles in Galilee 

win hurried down to rescue his men but arrived too late. Ascalon 
was to remain a thorn in the Franks flesh for another forty years. 1 

A similar attempt to establish a protectorate over Baalbek with 
the help of the governor, the eunuch al-Taj Gumushtekin, had 
failed in the spring of mo. Toghtekin heard of the plot and 
replaced Gumushtekin by his own son Taj al-Mulk Buri. 2 

Baldwin s main preoccupation had been to secure for his 
kingdom an adequate coast-line. But he was also concerned to 
give it suitable land frontiers and at the same time to take full 
advantage of its proximity to the great Arab trade-routes from 
Iraq and Arabia to the Mediterranean and to Egypt. When Tan- 
cred had left Palestine for Antioch, Baldwin entrusted the princi 
pality of Galilee, which retained the grandiloquent name that 
Tancred had given it, to his former neighbour in France, Hugh of 
Saint-Omer; and Hugh had been encouraged in an aggressive 
policy against the Moslems. His first action was to construct in 
the mountains, over the road between Tyre and Banyas and 
Damascus, a castle called Toron, the Tibnin of to-day. Then, in 
order the better to conduct raids in the rich lands east of the Sea 
of Galilee, he built another castle on the hills south-west of the 
lake, called by the Arabs al-Al. These two fortresses were com 
pleted by the autumn of 1105 ; but the second had a short life in 
Christian hands. Toghtekin of Damascus could not allow such a 
threat to his territory. At the end of the year, when Hugh was 
returning to al-Al, heavily laden after a successful raid, the 
Damascene army fell on him. He was mortally wounded in the 
battle and his men scattered. Toghtekin was then able without 
difficulty to take over the castle. Hugh s brother, Gerard of 
Saint-Omer, who was seriously ill at the time, did not long survive 
Hugh. Baldwin therefore gave the fief of Galilee to a French 
knight, Gervase of Basoches. 3 

1 Albert of Aix, xi, 36-7, pp. 680-1; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 108-10. 

2 Ibn al-Qalanisi, op. cit. p. 106; Sibt ibn al-Djauzi, p. 537. 

3 William of Tyre, xi, 5, pp. 459-60 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 72, 75 ; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 229-30; Albert of Aix, x, 8, pp. 635-6. 


King Baldwin I 

Guerrilla warfare continued. In 1106 the Tyrians made a raid 
against Toron, to coincide with a Damascene raid against Tiberias. 
Neither raid was successful; and on Baldwin s approach, the 
Damascenes sent to his camp to arrange for a short armistice. His 
gracious and munificent reception of their envoys did much to 
enhance his reputation among the Moslems. But the truce was 
brief. 1 In the spring of 1108 Toghtekin again raided Galilee and 
in a battle outside Tiberias managed to capture Gervase of Baso- 
ches, together with most of his staff. He then sent to Baldwin to 
say that the price for their liberation was the three cities of 
Tiberias, Acre and Haifa. When Baldwin refused the offer, 
Gervase was put to death, and his scalp, with its white locks 
waving, was carried on a pole before the victorious Moslem army. 2 
Baldwin then gave back the title of Prince of Galilee to Tancted, 
but probably administered the principality from Jerusalem. In 
1113, after Tancred s death, when Baldwin of Edessa banished 
Joscelin of Courtenay from his county, the exile was com 
pensated by the King with Galilee. 3 

At the end of 1108 Baldwin and Toghtekin, both of whose main 
interests lay elsewhere, made a ten years truce, dividing the 
revenues of the districts of Sawad and Ajlun, that is to say, 
northern Transjordan, between them. A third was to go to 
Baldwin, a third to Toghtekin and a third was to remain with the 
local authorities. 4 The reasons for the truce were probably com 
mercial. Raids were ruining the carrying trade that went through 
the country; and all parties would benefit by its resumption. The 
truce was purely local. It did not keep Toghtekin from coming 
to the help of the Moslem coastal cities, nor did it restrain Baldwin 
from his attempt to turn Baalbek into a vassal-city. But Arab 
historians remarked with gratitude that owing to it Baldwin did 

1 Albert of Aix, x, 25-6, pp. 642-3 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 75. 

2 Albert of Aix, x, 57, p. 658; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 86-7; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 268-9. He calls Gervase die son of Baldwin s sister. 

3 Albert of Aix, xr, 12, p. 668; William of Tyre, xi, 22, p. 492. 

4 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 92; Ibn al-Athir, p. 269. 

no8: Truce with Damascus 

not invade Damascene land when Toghetin s defeat by William- 
Jordan at Arqa would have offered a useful opportunity. 1 The 
desire for a truce may have arisen on Baldwin s side as a result of 
Gervase s defeat and the consequent danger of raids from Trans- 
Jordan into Galilee, and on the Moslems after two recent raids, 
one conducted by a newly arrived pilgrim to Palestine, Robert of 
Normandy s son, William Cliton, on a wealthy Arab princess who 
was journeying with all her belongings from Arabia to Damascus, 
and the other on a merchant caravan bound from Damascus to 
Egypt. On the first occasion the Franks obtained four thousand 
camels, and on the second all the merchandise of the caravan, whose 
survivors were slaughtered kter by the Bedouin. 3 The treaty was 
broken in 1113, when Baldwin invaded Damascene territory. 3 

From 1 1 1 1, after his failure before Tyre, Baldwin was for a time 
occupied by affairs in northern Syria. He had already made it 
clear, at Tripoli in 1109, that he intended to be master of all the 
Prankish East; and events at Antioch and Edessa enabled him to 
reassert his claim. 4 He could also once more turn his attention to 
the aggrandizement of his personal domain. He had always been 
aware that Palestine was open to invasion and infiltration from the 
south-east, through the Negeb, and that the command of the 
country between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Akaba was neces 
sary in order to cut off Egypt from the eastern Moslem world. In 
1107 Toghtekin had sent a Damascene army into Edom, at the 
invitation of the local Bedouin, to establish a base from which 
Judaea could be raided. The Idumaean wilderness contained 
several Greek monasteries; and one of the monks, a certain Theo 
dore, urged BaMwin to intervene. Baldwin marched down close 
to the Turkish ^ampment in the Wadi Musa, near Petra; but he 
wished to avoid"% battle. Theodore therefore offered to go as 
though a fugitiv^to Toghtekin s general, to warn him that a huge 
Prankish army wf| at hand. The Turks were alarmed and retreated 

t ; 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 269-70. 

2 Albert of Aix, x, 45, p. 653; Ibn al-Athir, p. 272. 

3 See below, p. 126. 4 See above, pp. 67-8 and pp. 115-16. 



King Baldwin I 

at full speed back to Damascus. Baldwin then punished the 
Bedouin by smoking them out of the caverns in which they lived 
and carrying off their flocks. When he returned northward, he 
took with him many of the native Christians, who feared reprisals 
from the Bedouin. 1 

Baldwin returned to the Idumaean country in 1 1 1 5 . He decided 
that it must be permanently occupied. Coming down from 
Hebron round the base of the Dead Sea and across the Wadi 
al-Araba, the stark valley that runs from the Dead Sea towards the 
Gulf of Akaba, he arrived at one of the few fertile spots in that 
bleak region, Shobak, on a wooded range between the depression 
and the Arabian desert. There, almost a hundred miles from the 
nearest Prankish settlement, he constructed a great castle, in which 
he left a garrison, well stocked with arms, and to whom he gave 
the name of The Royal Mountain, le Krak de Montreal. Next 
year, at the head of his army and with a long train of mules bearing 
provisions, he plunged farther into unknown Arabia. He revisited 
Montreal and marched on southward, till at last his weary men 
reached the shores of the Red Sea, at Akaba. There they bathed 
their horses in the sea and caught the fishes for which those waters 
are renowned. The local inhabitants, terrified, took to their boats 
and fled. Baldwin occupied the town, called by the Franks Aila or 
Elyn, and fortified it with a citadel. He then sailed across to the 
little island, the Jesirat Far un, called by the Franks Le Graye, where 
he built a second castle. Garrisons were left in both strongholds. 
Thanks to them, the Franks now dominated the roads between 
Damascus and Arabia and Egypt. They could raid the caravans at 
their ease, and made it difficult for any Moslem army to reach 
Egypt from the East. 2 

On his return from the shores of the Red Sea, Baldwin marched 
again against Tyre, but contented himself with setting up a strict 

1 Albert of Aix, x, 28-9, pp. 644-5; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 81-2. For the 
Greek monasteries in the district see above, p. 72, n. i. 

2 Albert of Aix, xn, 21-2, pp. 702-3 ; William of Tyre, xi, 29, p 505. 
For Aila, see Musil, article Aila , in Encyclopaedia of Islam. 


in8: Baldwin invades Egypt 

blockade of the city from the land. To that end he built a castle at 
Scandelion, where the coast road begins to climb up the side of 
the cliff to the pass known as the Ladder of Tyre. 1 Sidon already 
controlled the approach to Tyre from the north and the castle of 
Toron from the east. Scandelion completed its encirclement. 

Encouraged by his achievements, Baldwin embarked in 1 1 1 8 on 
a bolder expedition. Fatimid armies from Ascalon had twice 
lately conducted successful raids into his territory. In 1113, when 
he was engaged against the Turks in the north, they had advanced 
as far as the walls of Jerusalem, pillaging as they came; and in 
1115 they almost succeeded in surprising Jaffa. Baldwin s answer 
now was to invade Egypt itself. Early in March, after careful 
negotiations with the sheikhs of the desert tribes, he led a small 
army of two hundred and sixteen horsemen and four hundred 
foot-soldiers, well supplied with provisions, from Hebron across 
the Sinai peninsula, to the Mediterranean coast at Farama, well 
within the Egyptian frontier, close to the mouth of the Pelusian 
branch of the Nile. He prepared to take the city by assault, but 
the garrison had fled in panic. He marched on to the Nile itself; 
and his men were agape to see the famous river. But there a mortal 
illness struck him down. He retired back dying towards Palestine. 2 

By his unwearying campaigns and his use of every opportunity 
King Baldwin had raised his inheritance to be a consolidated state 
comprising the whole historic province of Palestine. With only 
Tyre and Ascalon still out of his grasp, he controlled the country 
from Beirut in the north to Beersheba in the south, with the 
Jordan as his eastern frontier and with outposts in the far south-east 
to command the approaches from Arabia. His fellow-Christians 
in the Prankish East acknowledged his hegemony ; and he had won 
the respect of his Moslem neighbours. His work had ensured that 
the kingdom of Jerusalem would not easily be destroyed. 

Of the internal administration of his kingdom we have very 
little evidence. Broadly speaking, it was feudal. But Baldwin 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, bdi, I, pp. 605-6; William of Tyre, xi, 30, p. 507. 
a Albert of Aix, xn, 25, p. 705; Ibn al-Atiir, p. 314. 

99 7 2 

King Baldwin I 

kept most of the country in his own hands, appointing viscounts 
as his deputies. Even the greatest of the fiefs, the principality of 
Galilee, was for some years without its lord. The fiefs were not yet 
considered to be hereditary. When Hugh of Saint-Omer was 
killed, it was thought that his brother Gerard would have suc 
ceeded to his principality had his health permitted, but his right 
was not absolute. Baldwin himself evolved a rough constitution 
for the kingdom. He himself governed through a household that 
was increasing in size; and his feudatories had their own. To 
Baldwin were due the arrangements with the Italians in the sea 
ports, who were not obliged to assist on military campaigns, but 
had to take part in the naval defence of their localities. 1 

Baldwin had made it clear that he intended to control the 
Church. Once he was sure of its support he treated it generously, 
freely endowing it with lands conquered from the infidel. His 
generosity was to some degree mistaken; for the Church was free 
of the obligation to provide soldiers. On the other hand he 
expected it to provide him with money. 

Frequent incidents showed that Baldwin was popular with the 
native Christians. Ever since the episode at Easter, 1101, he had 
been careful to have regard for their susceptibilities. At his courts 
they were allowed to use their own languages and to follow their 
own customs; and the Church was not allowed to interfere with 
their religious practices. In the last years of his reign he encouraged 
the immigration of Christians, heretic as well as Orthodox, from 
the neighbouring countries under Moslem rule. He needed an 
industrious peasant population to occupy the lands left empty in 
Judaea by the departure of the Moslems. He favoured marriage 
between the Franks and the natives, for which he himself had set an 
example. Very few of the barons took local brides; but the prac 
tice became common among the poorer Prankish soldiers and 
settlers. Their cross-bred children were to provide the kingdom 
later with most of its soldiers. 2 

1 See La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, pp. 228-30; see below, p. 292. 

2 See below, p. 294. 


Baldwin and the Eastern Peoples 

Baldwin showed similar affability towards the Moslems and 
Jews that consented to become his subjects. A few mosques and 
synagogues were permitted. In the law courts Moslems might 
swear on the Koran and Jews on the Torah ; and infidel litigants 
could rely on obtaining justice. 1 Intermarriage with Moslems was 
allowed. In 1114 the Patriarch Arnulf was severely scolded by 
Pope Paschal for having performed a marriage ceremony between 
a Christian and a Moslem lady. 3 

Therein Pope Paschal showed once again his misunderstanding 
of the East. For if the Franks were to survive there, they must not 
remain an alien minority but must become part of the local world. 
Baldwin s chaplain, Fulcher of Chartres, in a lyrical chapter in his 
History, remarked on the miraculous work of God in turning 
Occidentals into Orientals. That eastern and western races should 
blend seemed to him admirable; he saw it as a step towards the 
union of nations. Throughout the existence of the Crusading 
states we find the same story. Wise Prankish statesmen in the East 
followed Baldwin s tradition, adopting local customs and forming 
local friendships and alliances, while newcomers from the West 
brought with them chauvinistic ideas that were disastrous for the 

T]ie King had already offended the Pope, when his conquests 
along the Syrian coasts had brought into his power towns, notably 
Sidon and Beirut, whose churches historically belonged to the 
Patriarch of Antioch. The proper administration of the kingdom 
demanded that they should be transferred to the jurisdiction of 
the Patriarch of Jerusalem; and Baldwin thereupon transferred 
them. The Patriarch of Antioch, Bernard, protested to the Pope 
against such an uncanonical act. Paschal had in mo informed 
Jerusalem that in view of changed circumstances the historic 
position could be ignored. In 1112, with his habitual weakness, 
he veered round and supported the claims of Antioch. Baldwin 
blandly ignored the Pope s new decision. In spite of a petulant 

1 See below, p. 304. 

a Rohricht, Regesta, no. 83, p. 19. 


King Baldwin I 

reproof from Paschal, the bishoprics remained under the Patriar 
chate of Jerusalem. 1 

Baldwin himself made one serious lapse with regard to his 
marriage. He had never much cared for his Armenian bride since 
the day that her father, terrified of his ruthless son-in-law, had 
decamped with her promised dowry. Baldwin was fond of 
amorous adventures; but he was discreet and the presence of a 
queen at the court prevented him from indulging in his tastes. The 
Queen also had a reputation for gaiety and had even,, it was said, 
bestowed her favours upon Moslem pirates when she was voyaging 
down from Antioch to take over her throne. There were no 
children to bind them together. After a few years, when there 
was no longer the smallest political advantage to the marriage, 
Baldwin dismissed her from the Court on the grounds of adultery 
and obliged her to enter into the convent of St Anne in Jerusalem, 
which, to salve his conscience, he richly endowed. But the Queen 
had no vocation for the monastic life. She soon demanded and 
received permission to retire to Constantinople, where her parents 
had been living since their ejection from Marash by the Franks. 
There she abandoned her monastic robe and settled down to taste 
all the pleasures that the great city provided. 3 Meanwhile 
Baldwin rejoiced to find himself able to lead a bachelor life once 
more. But he still needed money; and in the winter of 1112 he 
learnt that the most eligible widow in Europe was seeking a 
husband. Adelaide of Salona, Countess-Dowager of Sicily, had 
just retired from the regency of her county on the coming- 
of-age of her young son, Roger II. She was immensely rich; and 
a royal title attracted her. To Baldwin she was desirable not only 
for her dowry but also for her influence over the Normans of 
Sicily; whose alliance would help to supply him with sea-power 
and would act as a counter-weight against the Normans of 
Antioch. He sent to ask for her hand. The Countess accepted on 

1 William of Tyre, xi, 28, pp. 502-5. 

2 Guibert of Nogent, p. 259, telling of her loose life; William of Tyre, 
xi, i, pp. 451-2, suggesting that she took to evil ways after her divorce. 


1113 : Baldwins Marriage with Adelaide 

her own terms. Baldwin was childless. The children of his first 
wife had died in Anatolia during the First Crusade; and his 
Armenian Queen had borne him none. Adelaide insisted that if 
no baby was born of her marriage to Baldwin and the ages of 
the bride and bridegroom gave little promise of a baby the 
crown of Jerusalem was to pass to her son, Count Roger. 

The contract was made ; and in the summer of 1 1 1 3 the Countess 
set out from Sicily in such splendour as had not been seen on the 
Mediterranean since Cleopatra sailed for the Cy dnus to meet Mark 
Antony. She lay on a carpet of golden thread in her galley, 
whose prow was plated with silver and with gold. Two other 
triremes accompanied her, their prows equally ornate, bearing her 
military escort, prominent amongst whom were the Arab soldiers 
of her son s own bodyguard, their dark faces shining against the 
spotless white of their robes. Seven other ships followed in her 
wake, their holds laden with all her personal treasure. She landed 
at Acre in August. There King Baldwin met her, with all the pomp 
that his kingdom could provide. He and all his Court were clad 
in costly silks; and their horses and mules were hung with purple 
and gold. Rich carpets were laid in the streets, and from the 
windows and balconies fluttered purple banners. The towns and 
villages along the road to Jerusalem bore like finery. All the 
country rejoiced, but not so much at the coming of its new, 
ageing mistress as at the wealth that she brought in her train. 1 

Despite its gorgeous beginning, the marriage was not a success. 
Baldwin at once took over the Queen s dowry, which he used to 
pay off the overdue wages of his soldiers and to spend on works 
of fortification; and the money coming into circulation enriched 
the commerce of the country. But the effect soon wore off; and 
the disadvantages of the marriage became apparent. Pious folk 

1 Albert of Aix, xn, 13-14, pp- 696-8 ; William of Tyre, xi, 21, pp. 487-9; 
Fulcher of Chartres, II, li, pp. 575-7- Adelaide was the daughter of a Marquis 
Manfred and niece of Boniface of Salona, and had married Roger I of Sicily 
as his third wife in 1089. For her genealogy, see Chalandon, Histoire de la 
Domination Normande en Italic, n, p. 391 n- 5- 


King Baldwin I 

remembered that Baldwin s previous wife had never been legally 
divorced. They were shocked that the Patriarch Arnulf had 
so willingly performed what was in fact a bigamous marriage 
ceremony; and Arnulf s many enemies were quick to make use of 
this irregularity. Their attack might have been less effective had 
not all Baldwin s subjects been angered when they discovered that 
he proposed to dispose of the succession to the kingdom without 
consulting his council. Complaints against Arnulf poured into 
Rome. A year after the royal marriage a papal legate, Berengar, 
Bishop of Orange, arrived at Jerusalem. When he found that added 
to the charges of simony against Arnulf there was the certainty 
that he had condoned and blessed an adulterous connection, he 
summoned the bishops and abbots of the Patriarchate to a synod 
and declared Arnulf deposed. But Arnulf could not be disposed 
of so easily. He saw to it that no successor was appointed and him 
self went off in the winter of 1115 to Rome. There he used all his 
persuasive charm on the Pope and the Cardinals, whose sympa 
thies were strengthened by the well-chosen gifts that he made to 
them. Paschal fell under his influence and repudiated his legate s 
decision. Arnulf made one concession; he promised to order the 
King to dismiss his Sicilian Queen. On those terms the Pope not 
only declared that Arnulf s deposition was void but himself 
presented him with the pallium, thus placing his position beyond 
all question. In the summer of 1116 Arnulf returned triumphant 
to Jerusalem. 1 

The concession was willingly made; for Arnulf knew that 
Baldwin, now that Adekide s dowry was spent, was half- 
regretful of his marriage. Nor did Adelaide, used to the luxuries 
of the palace at Palermo, find the discomforts of Solomon s 
Temple at Jerusalem much to her liking. But Baldwin hesitated; 
he was unwilling to lose the advantages of the Sicilian alliance. 
He resisted Arnulf s demands; till in March 1117 he fell seriously 
ill. Face to face with death he listened to his confessors, who told 

1 Letter of Paschal II of 15 July 1116, M.P.L., vol. CLxm, cols. 408-9; 
Albert of Aix, xn, 24, p. 704; William of Tyre, xr, 24, pp. 499-500. 


in8: The Death of Princes 

him that he was dying in a state of sin. He must dismiss Adelaide 
and call his former wife to his side. He could not carry out all 
their wishes; for the ex-Queen was not prepared to leave Con 
stantinople, whose gallant pleasures she so richly enjoyed. But 
when he recovered, he announced the annulment of his marriage 
to Adelaide. Adekide herself, shorn of her wealth and almost 
unescorted, sailed angrily back to Sicily. It was an insult that the 
Sicilian Court never forgave. It was long before the kingdom of 
Jerusalem was to receive any aid or sympathy from Sicily. 1 

On 1 6 June 1117 there was an eclipse of the moon and another 
on ii December, and five nights later the rare phenomenon of the 
aurora borealis flickered through the Palestinian sky. It was a 
terrible portent, foretelling the death of princes. 3 Nor did it lie. 
On 21 January 1 1 1 8 Pope Paschal died at Rome. 3 On 16 April the 
ex-Queen Adelaide ended her humiliated existence in Sicily. 4 Her 
false friend the Patriarch Arnulf survived her for only twelve 
days. 5 5 April saw the death of the Sultan Mohammed in Iran. 6 
On 6 August the Caliph Mustazhir died at Baghdad. 7 On 
15 August, after a long and painful illness, the greatest of the 
eastern potentates, the Emperor Alexius, died at Constantinople. 8 
In the early spring King Baldwin returned fever-stricken from 
Egypt. His worn, overstrained body had no resistance left in it. 
His soldiers carried him back, a dying man, to the little frontier- 
fort of el-Arish. There, just beyond the borders of the kingdom 

1 Albert of Aix, loc. dt.; William of Tyre, loc. dt.\ Fulcher of Chartres, n, 
lix, 3, p. 601. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, n, Ixi, 1-3, Ixiii, 1-4, pp. 604-5, 607-8. Hagenmeyer s 
notes discuss the dating. Fulcher mentions the death of Paschal, Baldwin, 
Adelaide, Arnulf and Alexius. 

3 Annales Romani, M.G.H. Ss. 9 vol. v, p. 477; William of Tyre, xn, 5, p. 518. 

4 Necrologia Panormitana, in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, vol. xvra, 
pp. 472, 474; William of Tyre, xn, 5, p. 518. 

5 See below, p. 144. 

6 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 156; Ibn al-Athir, p. 303, dates it 18 April. 

7 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 310-11; Matthew of Edessa, ccxxvi, p. 297. 

8 Zonaras, p. 759; William of Tyre, xn, 5, p. 517; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 157, 
and Matthew of Edessa, ccxxviii, pp. 300-1, also record his death. 


King Baldwin I 

which owed to him its existence, he died on 2 April, in the arms 
of the Bishop of Ramleh. His corpse was brought to Jerusalem, 
and on Palm Sunday, 7 April, it was laid to rest in the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre, by the side of his brother Godfrey. 1 

Lamentations accompanied the funeral procession, from Franks 
and native Christians alike; and even the visiting Saracens were 
moved. He had been a great King, harsh and unscrupulous, not 
loved but deeply respected for his energy, his foresight and the 
order and justice of his rule. He had inherited a tenuous, uncertain 
realm, but by his martial vigour, his diplomatic subtlety and his 
wise tolerance he had given it a solid place amongst the kingdoms 
of the East. 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xiv, 1-5, pp. 609-13 ; Albert of Aix, xn, 26-9, 
pp. 706-9; William of Tyre, xi, 31, pp. 508-9; Ibn al-Qalanisi, loc. cit. 




They shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against 
his neighbour. 9 ISAIAH xix, 2 

Some years before he died, King Baldwin I had established him 
self as the unquestioned leader -of the Franks in the East. It had 
not been an easy achievement; and Baldwin succeeded in it by his 
subde use of circumstances. 

The capture of Baldwin of Le Bourg and Joscelin of Courtenay 
at Harran and the departure of Bohemond to the West had left 
Tancred without a rival among the Franks of northern Syria; and 
dissensions amongst the Moslems had enabled him to take full 
advantage of his opportunities. The Seldjuk empire was crumbling 
to pieces, less from pressure from outside than from the quarrels 
of its princes. The victory at Harran had brought Jekermish, the 
atabeg of Mosul, to the fore amongst the Turkish magnates in 
northern Syria and the Jezireh. The disastrous failure of his 
attempt to pursue the offensive against the Franks had not 
weakened his position among his fellow-Moslems. His former 
ally and rival, Soqman the Ortoqid of Mardin, had died early in 
1105, on his way to help beleaguered Tripoli; and Soqman s 
brother Ilghazi and son Ibrahim disputed the inheritance. 1 Ridwan 
of Aleppo had hoped that the victory of Ilghazi, who had formerly 
served under him, would give him influence in the Jezireh ; but 
Ilghazi forgot past loyalties; and Ridwan himself was too deeply 
involved against the Franks of Antioch to assert his old over- 

1 Ibn al-Fourat, quoted by Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, p. 248, n. 26; Ibn 
al-Athir, pp. 226-7. Ilghazi took Mardin from Ibrahim in 1107. For the com 
plicated history of the Moslem emirs, see Cahen, op. cit. pp. 246-9. 


Equilibrium in the North 

lordship. 1 The great Danishmend emir, Malik Ghazi Gumushte- 
kin, died in 1106, leaving his dominions divided. Sivas and his 
Anatolian lands went to Ghazi, his elder son, and Melitene and his 
Syrian lands to the younger, Sangur. Sangur s youth and in 
experience tempted Kilij Arslan, who had recently made peace 
with Byzantium, to turn eastward and to attack Melitene, which 
he captured in the autumn of 1106.* He then attempted to 
have his self-assumed title of Sultan recognized throughout the 
Turkish world and was ready to make friends with anyone that 
would humour him in this. 3 

Jekermish did not enjoy his pre-eminence for long. He was 
inevitably involved in the quarrels of the Seldjuk Sultanate of the 
East. When the Sultan Barkiyarok in 1104 was obliged to share 
his dominion with his brother Mohammed, Mosul was allotted to 
the latter s sphere. Jekermish tried to achieve independence by 
declaring that his allegiance was to Barkiyarok alone; and defied 
Mohammed s troops; but in January 1105, Barkiyarok died and 
his inheritance passed in its entirety to Mohammed. Jekermish 
was deprived of his excuse and hastened to submit to Mohammed; 
who for the moment professed friendship and retired eastward 
without venturing to make a triumphant entry into Mosul. 4 
Probably at Mohammed s request, Jekermish then set about the 
organization of a new campaign against the Franks. He formed 
a coalition with Ridwan of Aleppo and Ridwan s lieutenant, the 
aspahbad Sabawa, Ilghazi the Ortoqid, and his own son-in-law, 
Albu ibn Arslantash of Sinjar. The allies suggested to Ridwan and 
Albu that it would be more politic and profitable to please the 
Sultan by an attack on Jekermish. They marched together on his 
second city, Nisibin; but there his agents succeeded in embroiling 
Ridwan with Ilghazi, whom Ridwan kidnapped at a banquet 
before the walls of Nisibin and loaded with chains. The Ortoqid 

1 Ibn al-Athir, loc. dt. * Michael die Syrian, ni, p. 192. 

3 See article, * Kilij Arslan , in Encyclopaedia of Islam. Ibn al-Qaknisi, Ibn al- 
Athir, and the other Arab chroniclers carefully only call him. Malik. Matthew of 
Edessa calls him Sultan, as does Michael the Syrian. 4 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 224-5. 



Equilibrium in the North 

troops then attacked Ridwan and forced him to retire to Aleppo. 1 
Jekermish was thus saved, and then himself attacked Edessa; but 
after successfully defeating a sortie of Richard of the Principate s 
troops, he returned home, to face fresh trouble. 2 

Meanwhile Kilij Arslan, who had just taken over Melitene, in 
his turn made an attempt against Edessa; but, finding it too 
strongly defended, he moved on to Harran, which was sur 
rendered to him by Jekermish s garrison. It was clear that the 
Seldjuks of Rum sought to expand their power in the Moslem 
world at the expense of their Persian cousins. 3 

The Sultan Mohammed had never forgiven Jekermish for his 
independent airs, and he suspected some collusion between him 
and Kilij Arslan. In the winter of 1 106 he officially deprived him of 
Mosul and gave it, with the lordship of the Jezireh and Diarbekr, 
to a Turkish adventurer called Jawali Saqawa. Jawali led an army 
against Jekermish, who advanced to meet him but was defeated 
just outside the city and was himself captured. The inhabitants of 
Mosul, where Jekermish had been a popular ruler, at once pro 
claimed his young son Zenki as atabeg ; while friends outside the 
city summoned the help of Kilij Arslan. Jawali thought it prudent 
to retire, especially as Jekermish, whom he had hoped to use as 
a bargaining counter, suddenly died on his hands. Mosul opened 
its gates to Kilij Arslan, who promised to respect its liberties. 4 

Jawali established himself in the Euphrates valley and from there 
he entered into negotiations with Ridwan of Aleppo. They agreed 
first to displace Kilij Arslan and then together to attack Antioch. 
In June 1107 they led four thousand men against Mosul. Kilij 
Arslan, operating far from his home, had an even smaller army, but 
he came out to meet the allies on the banks of the river Khabar. 
Despite his personal bravery, he was utterly defeated, and himself 
perished when fleeing across the river. 5 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 225-6. 3 Matthew of Edessa, clxxxix, pp. 260-1. 

3 Ibn al-Athir, p. 239. 4 Ibid. pp. 260-4. 

5 Ibid. pp. 246-7; Matthew of Edessa, cxcvi, p. 264. He considered Kilij 
Arslan s death a disaster for the whole Christian world, i.e. the Armenians. 


noj: Release ofjoscelin 

The elimination of Kilij Arslan affected the whole Oriental 
world. It removed a potential danger from Byzantium at the 
crucial moment when Bohemond was about to attack the Balkans ; 
it enabled the Seldjuk Sultanate of Persia to endure for nearly a 
century; and it was the first serious stage in the severance of the 
Anatolian Turks from their brothers farther east. At the moment 
it deprived Moslem Syria of the one force capable of bringing it 

Jawali was now able to enter Mosul, where he soon made him 
self odious by the savagery of his rule. Nor did he show more 
deference to his overlord the Sultan Mohammed than Jekermish 
had shown. After a year Mohammed planned to replace him, and 
sent against him an army led by the Mameluk Mawdud, who for 
the next few years became the chief protagonist of Islam. 1 

During all this commotion Baldwin of Le Bourg had been 
living as a prisoner at Mosul, while his cousin, Joscelin of Cour- 
tenay, had passed at Soqman s death into the hands of Ilghazi, who 
was planning to turn his nephew Ibrahim out of Mar din. Ilghazi 
needed money and allies. He therefore agreed to release Joscelin 
for the sum of twenty thousand dinars and the promise of military 
aid. Joscelin s subjects at Turbessel willingly promised the ransom- 
money; and Joscelin was released in the course of noy. 2 Thanks 
to the arrangement, Ilghazi was able to capture Mardin. Joscelin 
then sought to secure the release of Baldwin, who, with all 
Jekermish s belongings, was in Jawali s power. The moment was 
well chosen; for Jawali needed help against the coming attack of 
Mawdud. He demanded sixty thousand dinars, the release of the 
Moslem captives held at Edessa, and a military alliance. While the 
negotiations were in progress, Jawali was driven from Mosul, 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 259-61; Bar Hebraeus, trans. Budge, i, p. 241. 

2 Michael the Syrian, in, pp. 195-6, who says that the citizens of Turbessel 
gave themselves as hostages rill the money should be raised, then escaped, so 
that in fact none was paid. But Joscelin returned into captivity as hostage for 
Baldwin, and made an excellent impression on the Sultan of Mosul who 
specially asked to see him. Ibn al-Athir, p. 261, assumes that the money was 
duly paid. 


Equilibrium in the North 

where he had found no support from the citizens, who opened 
their gates to Mawdud. He established himself in the Jezireh, 
taking Baldwin with him. 1 

Joscelin succeeded in finding thirty thousand dinars without 
great difficulty. He came himself with the money to the castle of 
Qalat Jabar, on the Euphrates, where Jawali now lived, and he 
offered himself as hostage if Baldwin might be released to raise the 
remainder of the ransom. Jawali was moved by the gesture and 
impressed by the gallantry of the Prankish prince. He accepted 
Joscelin in Baldwin s place, then, a few months later, partly from 
chivalry and partly from self-interest for he greatly desired this 
Prankish alliance he set Joscelin free, relying on his word that the 
money would be paid. His trust was justified. 2 

Tancred had now been for four years the master of Edessa,where 
his cousin, Richard of the Principate, governed in his name. He 
had no wish to give it up to Baldwin. When Baldwin appeared at 
Edessa, he agreed to raise the required thirty thousand dinars, but 
he refused to hand back the town unless Baldwin swore allegiance 
to him. Baldwin, as vassal to the King of Jerusalem, could not 
agree, and went angrily to Turbessel, where Joscelin joined him; 
and they sent to Jawali for help. Tancred marched on Turbessel, 
where there was a slight skirmish, after which the combatants sat 
down to an embarrassed banquet together, to discuss the question 
once more. No settlement was reached ; and Baldwin, after sending 
as a present to Jawali a hundred and sixty Moslem captives whom 
he freed and re-equipped, moved north to find other allies. 
Richard s government of Edessa was harsh and extortionate and 
was particularly resented by the Armenians. Baldwin therefore 
went to visit the leading Armenian prince of the neighbourhood, 
Kogh Vasil of Kaisun, who had recently enhanced his prestige by 
inducing the Armenian Catholicus to live under his protection. 
Kogh Vasil received Baldwin at Raban and promised him aid; 

1 Ibn al-Athir, p. 260; Bar Hebraeus, loc. cit. 

2 Michael the Syrian, loc. dt.\ Chron. Anon. Syr. pp. 81-2; Bar Hebraeus, 
trans. Budge, i, p. 243 ; Ibn al-Athir, p. 261. 


iio8: Christian and Moslem against Christian and Moslem 

while die Armenian Oshin, governor of Cilicia under the 
Byzantines, glad, to take any action against Tancred, sent three 
hundred Petcheneg mercenaries to Baldwin. With these con 
federates Baldwin returned to Turbessel. Tancred was not prepared 
to offend the whole Armenian world; and the Patriarch of Antioch, 
Bernard, brought his influence to bear on Baldwin s behalf. With 
a bad grace Tancred withdrew Richard of the Principate from 
Edessa, where Baldwin was received with rejoicing. 1 

It was only a temporary truce. Baldwin was faithful to his 
friendship with Jawali. He sent him back many Moslem captives; 
he allowed the mosques to be rebuilt in the town of Saruj, whose 
population was mainly Moslem; and he disgraced and executed 
the chief magistrate of Saruj, who was particularly unpopular as 
a renegade from Islam. This alliance alarmed Ridwan of Aleppo. 
Jawali threatened his possessions on the Euphrates. He countered 
by raiding a convoy of merchandise, including some of Bald 
win s ransom-money, sent from Turbessel to Jawali s court. In 
September 1108 Jawali attacked and captured the town of Balis, 
on the Euphrates, only fifty miles from Aleppo, and crucified 
Ridwan s chief supporters in the town. Ridwan at once sought 
help from Tancred. Early in October Baldwin and Joscelin 
brought their knights, a few hundred in number, to join Jawali s 
army at Menbij, between Aleppo and the Euphrates. Jawali had 
with him some five hundred Turks and rather more Bedouins, 
who were under the son of the emir Sadaqa of the Banu Ma2yad. 
The united army numbered about two thousand men. Ridwan 
had about six hundred men to oppose to them ; but Tancred came 
up with a force of fifteen hundred. The battle, Christian and 
Moslem against Christian and Moslem, was hard contested. 
Jawali s troops were gradually pushing the Franks of Antioch 
back with heavy losses, when the Bedouin noticed the horses that 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xxviii, 1-5, pp. 477-8i; Albert of Aix, x, 37, 
p. 648; Matthew of Edessa, cxcix, p. 266; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 262-3 (calling 
the Patriarch Bernard the equivalent to the Christians of an imam to the 
Moslems ). 

RC 113 8 

Equilibrium in the North 

Baldwin s knights kept in reserve and could not resist the tempta 
tion that they offered. They deserted the field in order to steal and 
ride off with them. Seeing them go, Jawali s Turks turned and 
fled; and Baldwin and Joscelin were left almost alone. They, too, 
were obliged to fly with the remnant of their troops, each of them 
barely escaping capture. The Christian losses on the battlefield 
were said to have numbered nearly two thousand. 1 

Joscelin retired to Turbessel and Baldwin to Dulak, north of 
Ravendel, where Tancred made a half-hearted attempt to besiege 
him, but desisted on the rumour of Jawali s approach. Eventually 
Baldwin and Joscelin regained Edessa. They found the city in a 
panic. The citizens, fearing that Baldwin was dead and that they 
might again be subjected to the hated rule of Richard of the 
Principate, had held an assembly in the Church of St John, where 
the Latin bishop was invited by the Armenians of the city to join 
in the establishment of an interim government, till the situation 
should be clearer. When Baldwin arrived two days later he sus 
pected treason; he believed that the Armenians had been planning 
to regain their independence. He struck swiftly and severely. 
Many Armenians were arrested and some were blinded. The 
Armenian bishop only saved his eyes by paying a heavy fine sub 
scribed by his flock. There was a forced exodus of Armenians from 
the city. What had really happened is unknown; but it is clear 
that Baldwin must have been thoroughly alarmed so drastically to 
reverse his Armenian policy. 2 

In spite of his own victory and in spite of Jawali s decision a few 
months later to reconcile himself with his overlord the Sultan, 
who gave him a command far away in Persia, Tancred did not 
attempt any further move to evict Baldwin from Edessa. Instead, 
in the autumn of 1108, he led an expedition against Shaizar, where 
after miraculously slaying a small company of the enemy whom 
he caught in a cave, he allowed himself to be bought off by the gift 

1 Matdiew of Edessa, cxcix, pp. 266-7; fl>n al-Athir, pp. 265-7; Kemal 
ad-Din, p. 595 ; Ibn al-Fourat, quoted in Cahen, op. tit. p. 250 n. 34. 
a Matthew of Edessa, ibid. pp. 267-8. 


nog: Reconciliation of Prankish Princes 

of a superb horse. 1 Next spring he became involved in the quarrel 
between William-Jordan and Bertrand of Toulouse for the pos 
session of the Prankish lands in the Lebanon. His acceptance of 
William-Jordan as his vassal was countered by King Baldwin s 
speedy intervention as overlord of all the Franks in the East. When 
the King summoned Tancred with the other Prankish leaders to 
accept his arbitration in the camp before Tripoli, he did not dare 
to disobey. Before the assembled princes the King not only 
divided the Toulousain inheritance, but he obliged Tancred and 
Baldwin of Edessa and Joscelin to be reconciled and to work 
together against the infidel. Tancred, in admitting the King s right 
to arbitrate, acknowledged his suzerainty. In return, he was 
allowed to retain William-Jordan as his vassal, and he was given 
back the tide of Prince of Galilee, and the ownership of the Temple 
at Jerusalem, with the promise that he could resume the govern 
ment of the fief were Bohemond to return to Antioch. These 
advantages were lessened when William-Jordan was murdered 
and his lands passed to Bertrand, who recognized King Baldwin 
alone as his overlord. Tancred was, however, encouraged to 
attack Jabala, the last possession of the Banii Ammar, which he 
captured in July 1109, thus bringing his frontier down to march 
with Bertrand s.^ 

A reconciliation of the Prankish princes under King Baldwin s 
leadership was needed; for early in mo the atabeg Mawdud of 
Mosul, in obedience to the instructions of his master the Sultan, 
organized an expedition against the Franks. With the help of 
Ilghazi the Ortoqid and his Turcoman troops and of the emir of 
Mayyafaraqin, Soqman el-Qutbi, who was popularly known as 
the Shah of Armenia, he marched on Edessa in April. On the 
news that the Moslem troops were mustering Baldwin of LeBourg 
sent Joscelin to Jerusalem to beg urgent help from King Baldwin 
and to voice his suspicion that Tancred was encouraging the 

1 Usama, ed. Him, pp. 99-100. 

2 See above, pp. 66-8, and Albert of Aix, xi, 3-13, pp. 664-8, 685-6; 
Ibn al-Athir, p. 274. 



Equilibrium in the North 

enemy. Tancred s friends, for their part, made a similar, but less 
convincing, charge against Baldwin. The King was engaged in 
the siege of Beirut, and would not move till he had captured it. 
Then he hurried north, avoiding Antioch, partly to save time and 
partly because he did not trust Tancred, and arrived before Edessa 
at the end of June. As he approached the city he was joined by 
Armenian forces sent by Kogh Vasil and by the lord of Birejik, 
Abu lgharib, chief of the Pahlavouni. Mawdud had been besieging 
Edessa for two months, but had not been able to penetrate its 
fortifications. When the knights of Jerusalem came into sight, 
their banners waving and their armour gleaming in the sun, he 
retired to Harran, hoping to lure them to make a rash offensive. 1 

Baldwin of Le Bourg emerged gladly from his fortress to meet 
his cousin and overlord, and at once complained of Tancred. The 
King therefore sent to Antioch to demand that Tancred should 
come in force to join the Christian coalition and to answer these 
accusations. Tancred himself hesitated; but his Great Council in 
sisted that he should obey the summons. On his arrival he 
promptly made a counter-claim against Baldwin of Le Bourg. 
The province of Osrhoene, in which Edessa was situated, had 
always, he said, depended upon Antioch throughout history, and 
he was its rightful overlord. King Baldwin answered sternly that 
as the chosen king he was leader of eastern Christendom, in whose 
name he demanded that Tancred be reconciled with Baldwin of 
Le Bourg. If Tancred refused and preferred to continue his 
intrigues with the Turks, he would no longer be considered as 
a Christian prince but would be combatted mercilessly as an 
enemy. The assembled knights approved the royal words; and 
Tancred was obliged to make his peace. 3 

The united Prankish army then marched in pursuit of Mawdud, 
who retreated farther to draw it on into hostile territory, intending 

1 Albert of Aix, xi, 16-18, pp. 670-2; Matthew of Edessa, cciv, pp. 270-3 ; 
Ibn al-Qalaaisi, p. 103. 

* Albert of Aix, xi, 20-4, pp. 672-4; Fulcher of Chartres, n, xliii, 1-6, 
pp. 532-41; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 102. 


mo: Evacuation ofEdessene Countryside 

to outflank it by a sudden swerve to the north. King Baldwin was 
warned in time and stopped to besiege the castle of Shinav, to the 
north-west of Harran. But there the coalition dispersed. Tancred 
heard rumours that Ridwan of Aleppo was preparing to attack 
Antioch. Messengers came from Palestine to tell the King of 
a threatened Egyptian move against Jerusalem. The campaign in 
the Jezireh was abandoned. Tancred retired to Samosata; and 
Baldwin of Le Bourg, on the King s advice, took the decision that 
it was useless to try and protect the country east of the Euphrates. 
He had wept to see how it was ravaged by Mawdud while he was 
besieged at Edessa. He planned to keep garrisons only in the two 
great fortresses of Edessa and Saruj and in a few smaller castles, 
but to make no attempt to guard the frontiers. The Christian 
population was advised to leave the land for the safer territory on 
the right bank of the great river. The advice was taken. The 
Christians of the countryside, mostly Armenians, collected their 
belongings and -moved slowly westward. But spies had informed 
Mawdud of what was being planned. He came up quickly on 
their tracks. When he reached the Euphrates he found the Prankish 
leaders already across the river; but their two great ferry boats had 
been overladen with soldiers and had sunk before the civilians had 
crossed. He fell on them, unarmed as they were; and scarcely 
a man, woman or child survived. The fierce elimination of these 
Armenian peasants, politically unreliable but prosperous and 
hardworking, who had been settled in Osrhoene since before the 
opening of the Christian era, dealt the province a blow from which 
it never fully recovered. Though Prankish Counts might rule on 
in Edessa itself for a few more years, it had been proved that 
the Prankish dominion beyond the Euphrates was doomed to 
inevitable failure; and the failure brought ruin to the miserable 
native Christians who had submitted to its government. 1 

In his fury Baldwin of Le Bourg led back a contingent across 
the river, to take vengeance upon Mawdud. But his men were 

1 Albert of Aix, loc. cit.; William of Tyre, xi, 7, p. 464; Matthew of Edessa, 
cclv, p. 273 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 103-4. 


Equilibrium in the North 

hopelessly outnumbered and would have been annihilated had not 
King Baldwin hastened up, together with a rather unwilling 
Tancred, to rescue him. 1 

King Baldwin returned to the south; and Tancred turned to 
punish Ridwan whose attack on his territory he considered as 
treachery. He took by assault the castle of Naqira, just over the 
frontier, then marched on Athareb, only some twenty miles from 
Aleppo. Ridwan obtained no help from his fellow-Moslems. He 
attempted to buy off Tancred, whose terms were too high ; and 
the negotiations were dropped when Ridwan s own treasurer fled 
with part of his master s treasure to Tancred s camp. At last, when 
Tancred s engines had pounded the walls of Athareb to pieces, the 
town surrendered in December mo. Ridwan purchased peace at 
the price of the loss of Athareb and Zerdana, a little to the south, 
the sum of twenty thousand dinars, and ten of his best Arab 
horses.* Next, Tancred moved on against Shaizar and Hama. The 
Munqidhite emir of Shaizar bought a few months respite at the 
cost of four thousand dinars and another horse; but when the 
truce was ended, in the spring of mi, Tancred advanced again 
and built on a neighbouring hill a strong castle at Ibn Mashar, from 
which he could watch every movement to and from the city. 
Soon afterwards he occupied the fort of Bisikra il, on the road 
from Shaizar to Lattakieh. The emir of Horns paid two thousand 
dinars and was left in peace. 3 

Tancred s successes were helped by two factors. First, the 
Byzantines were not ready to counter-attack. The death of Kilij 
Arslan in 1107 had left the situation in Anatolia fluid. His eldest 
son, Malik Shah, had been captured in the battle of the Khabar 
and was now in the power of the Sultan Mohammed. His widow 
seized Melitene and the eastern provinces for her youngest son, 

1 Albert of Aix, xi, 25, p. 675. 

2 Matthew of Edessa, cciv, p. 274; Bar Hebraeus, trans. Budge, p. 243; 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 105-6; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 596-8; Ibn al-Athir, p. 278. 

3 Albert of Aix, xi, 43-6, pp. 684-6; Usama, ed. Hitti, pp. 95-6; Kemal 
ad-Din, p. 599; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 114. 


The Spread of the Assassins 

Toghrul. Another son, Mas ud, was living at the Danishmend 

court; while a fourth, Arab, seems to have held Konya. The 

Sultan Mohammed, fearing that either Mas ud or Toghrul would 

take over the whole inheritance, added to the confusion by releasing 

Malik Shah, who established himself in Konya and ungratefully 

assumed the tide of Sultan. 1 The breakdown of the central Seld- 

juk government in Anatolia was not entirely beneficial to the 

Byzantines, as it led the Seldjuks to make numerous irresponsible 

raids into Byzantine territory; but it enabled the Emperor Alexius 

to occupy various fortresses on the frontier. He was not, however, 

willing to risk a campaign in Cilicia or Syria/ His enforced inaction 

benefited not only Tancred but also the Armenian Kogh Vasil; 

who, probably with imperial approval, succeeded in strengthening 

his principality in the Anti-Taurus and in warding off Turkish 

attacks. The Roupenian princes in the Taurus, more exposed to 

Seldjuk aggression and prevented by Tancred s troops from 

expansion into Cilicia, were unable to increase their power; and 

Kogh Vasil was thus without a rival in the Armenian world. 3 

More helpful to Tancred, and more disastrous for any Moslem 

counter-Crusade, was the appearance of a new and disruptive sect 

in the Islamic world. During the last decades of the eleventh 

century the Persian Hasan as-Sabah founded and organized the 

religious body known later as the Hashishiyun or the Assassins. 

Hasan had been converted to the Ismaili doctrine, of which the 

Fatimid Caliphs were the patrons, and had become an adept in the 

batanya, its esoteric lore. Wherein exactly his teaching improved on 

the mystical and allegorical theology of the Ismaili is obscure. His 

outstanding achievement was more practical. It was to build up 

an Order, united in strict obedience to himself as Grand Master, 

which he used for political purposes, directed against the Abbasid 

Caliphs of Baghdad, whose legitimacy he challenged, and more 

1 Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 194-5; Ibn al-Qaknisi, p. 81 (a vague story). 
See Cahen, op. dt. pp. 253-4. 

3 Anna Comnena, xrv, i, v-vi, pp. 141-6, 166-72. See Chalandon, op. dt. 
pp. 254-6. 

3 For Kogh Vasil, see Matthew of Edessa, clxxxvii, pp. 258-9 ; ccx, pp. 281-2. 


Equilibrium in the North 

especially against their Seldjuk masters, whose power enabled the 
Caliphate to endure. His chief political weapon was one for which 
his followers were to provide the name, assassination. Murder in 
the interest of religious belief had often been practised by hetero 
dox sects in Islam, but in Hasan s hands it reached a high efficiency ; 
for the unquestioned devotion of his disciples and their readiness 
to travel far and to risk their own lives at his orders enabled him 
to strike at any adversary throughout the Moslem world. In 
1 090 Hasan set up his headquarters in Khorassan, in the impregnable 
citadel of Alamut, the Eagle s Nest. In 1092 the first of his assas 
sinations took place, that of the great vizier Nizam al-Mulk, whose 
ability had been the main prop of the Seldjuk dynasty in Iran. 
Later legend enhanced the horror of the deed by declaring that 
Nizam and Hasan, together with the poet Omar Khayyam, had 
been pupils together of the learned Muwaffaq of Nishapur, and 
each had sworn to aid the others throughout life. The Seldjuk 
Sultans were well aware of the danger that the Assassins created; 
but all their attempts to reduce Alamut were unavailing. Soon 
after the turn of the century lodges of the Assassins were set up in 
Syria. Ridwan of Aleppo, permanently on bad terms with his 
Seldjuk cousins, and perhaps genuinely impressed by Assassin 
doctrines, gave them his patronage. A Persian goldsmith, Abu 
Tahir, who had great influence over Ridwan, was their chief. To 
the Assassins, the Christians were no more odious than the Sunni 
Moslems ; and Ridwan s readiness to co-operate with Tancred may 
have been largely due to his sympathy with their doctrine. Their 
first achievement in Syria was the murder of the emir of Horns, 
Janah ad-Daulah, in 1103. Three years later they slew the emir of 
Apamea, Khalaf ibn Mula ib ; but it was only the Franks of Antioch 
who profited by his death. Though as yet the Assassins only 
revealed their policy by isolated murders, they were an element 
in Islamic politics that even the Christians would have to respect. 1 

1 For the Assassins, see von Hammer, Histoire de I Ordre des Assassins; also 
articles Assassins and Ismaili , in Encyclopaedia of Islam \ Browne, Literary 
History of Persia, vol. n, pp. 193 ff. 


mi : New Moslem Coalition 

In 1 1 ii Mawdud of Mosul once again prepared to lead an army 
against the Franks, at the demand of his master the Sultan. Early 
that year a deputation from the citizens of Aleppo, angered by the 
heterodoxy of their ruler and his subservience to Tancred, arrived 
at the Caliph s court at Baghdad to urge a holy war to free them 
from the Prankish menace. When they were put off with empty 
promises they stirred up the people of Baghdad to riot before the 
mosque of the palace. At the same time the Caliph received an 
embassy from the Emperor at Constantinople. There was nothing 
unusual in this; Constantinople and Baghdad had a common 
interest in their hostility to the Seldjuk dynasty of Rum; but it 
seems that Alexius instructed his envoys to discuss with the Moslem 
authorities the possibility of joint action against Tancred. 1 These 
negotiations enabled the rioters to denounce the Caliph as being 
a worse Moslem than the Christian Emperor. Al-Mustazhir was 
alarmed by all this enthusiasm, especially as the disorders had 
prevented him from receiving his wife in proper state when she 
returned from a visit to her father, the Sultan Mohammed, at 
Ispahan. 2 He sent to his father-in-law; who at once instructed 
Mawdud to form a new coalition, whose nominal leader was to 
be his own young son Mas ud. Mawdud enlisted the help of 
Soqman of Mayyafaraqin, of Ilghazi s son Ayaz, of the Kurdish 
princes Ahmed-Il of Maragha and Abu l Haija of Arbil, and of 
some Persian lords headed by Bursuq ibn Bursuq of Hamadan. In 
July the allies were ready and marched swiftly across the Jezireh 
to besiege Joscelin s fortress of Turbessel. On the news the emir 
Sultan of Shaizar sent to beg them to hurry to his rescue; and 
Ridwan thought it politic to tell them to hasten as he could not 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, op. tit. pp. 112-13, saying that the Emperor (he uses the 
term usurper , mutamelik) sent to warn the Moslems of the designs of the 
Franks and implies that the Embassy visited Damascus. Alexius in fact probably 
only suggested action against Tancred. He could find no support amongst the 
Prankish leaders in his attempt to make Tancred carry out the Treaty of Devol 
(see above, p. 51). Ibn al-Athir, pp. 279-80, reports the Embassy to Baghdad, 
quoting Ibn Hamdun. 

* Ibn al-Athir, loc. at. 


Equilibrium in the North 

hold out long against Tancred. Mawdud was impressed by Rid- 
wan s change of heart; and on the suggestion of Ahmed-Il, with 
whom Joscelin had established secret relations, he raised the siege of 
Turbessel and led the army off to Aleppo. But Ridwan s message 
had not been sincere. On the approach of the Moslem allies, he 
closed the gates against them and took the precaution of im 
prisoning many of the leading citizens as hostages to prevent riots. 
Mawdud was thwarted; so, after ravaging the country round 
Aleppo, he moved south to Shaizar. There he was joined by 
Toghtekin of Damascus, who came to seek his help for the recon- 
quest of Tripoli. 1 

Tancred, who had been encamped before Shaizar, retired to 
Apamea and sent to King Baldwin for help. The Kingxesponded 
and summoned all the chivalry of the Prankish East to join him. 
With him came the Patriarch Gibelin and the chief vassals of the 
kingdom, Eustace Gamier of Sidon and Walter of Hebron. 
Betrand of Tripoli joined him on his way. From the north came 
Baldwin of Edessa with his two great vassals, Joscelin of Turbessel 
and Pagan of Saruj. Tancred brought his vassals from the peri 
meter of the Antiochene principality, Guy, surnamed the Goat, 
from Tarsus and Mamistra, Richard of Marash, Guy, surnamed 
the Beech, of Harenc, Robert of Suadieh, Pons of Tel-Mannas, 
Martin of Lattakieh, Bonaplus of Sarmeda, Roger of Hab and 
Enguerrand of Apamea. Kogh Vasil and the Roupenians sent an 
Armenian detachment; and even Oshin of Lampron provided a 
few men, whose role was probably to spy on behalf of the 
Emperor. The north was denuded of troops, to the advantage of 
Toghrul Arslan of Melitene, who at once captured Albistan and 
the neighbourhood from its small Prankish garrison and carried 
out a raid into Cilicia.* 

Before the Prankish concentration, which numbered some six- 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 114-15; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 600-1; Ibn al-Athir, 
p. 282; Albert of Aix, xi, 38, p. 68 1. 

* Albert of Aix, xr, 39~4O, pp. 682-3, for die list of allies; Matthew of 
Edessa, ccvi, p. 275; Michael die Syrian, m, p. 205, reports the loss of Albistan. 


mi: Mawdud 9 s Failure 

teen thousand men, Mawdud cautiously retired behind the walls 
of Shaizar and refused to be drawn out to fight a pitched battle. 
Things were not going well in his army. Toghtekin would not 
provide help unless Mawdud undertook to campaign farther 
south, a move that was strategically far too risky. The Kurd 
Bursuq was ill and wished to return to his home. Soqman sud 
denly died; and his troops retired north with his corpse. Ahmed- 
II promptly deserted, to try to snatch some of the inheritance. 
Ayaz the Ortoqid remained; but his father, Ilghazi, attacked the 
cortege carrying Soqman s bier, hoping, in vain, to secure his 
treasure. With his forces daily diminishing, Mawdud could not 
take the offensive; and he was unwilling to winter so far from his 
base. In the autumn he retreated back to Mosul. 1 

His failure showed that the Moslems were in no condition to 
counter-attack the Franks so long as the Franks were united; and 
Kong Baldwin had achieved the task of forcing union upon them. 
For the moment the Prankish establishments were saved. Mawdud 
carried out a profitable but inconclusive raid into Edessene terri 
tory next summer; while Toghtekin patched up an alliance with 
Ridwan, somewhat generously, for Ridwan had tried to persuade 
his Assassin friends to murder him. 2 But for the moment the 
Moslem menace was lessened. Inevitably the Christians began to 
quarrel once more. First, the Franks decided to attack Kogh 
Vasil, of whose growing power both Baldwin of Edessa and 
Tancred were jealous. Tancred invaded his lands and captured 
Raban and was preparing to besiege Kaisun before peace was made. 3 
Next, Baldwin of Edessa suddenly turned against his cousin 
Joscelin. When Mawdud had attacked Edessa in the summer of 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, xlv, 1-9, pp. 549-57; Albert of Aix, xi, 41-3, 
pp. 683-4; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 116-19; Usama, ed. Him, pp. 97-8; Kemal 
ad-Din, p. 600; Ibn al-Athir, p. 83, muddles the story, which he derives from 
Ibn al-Qalanisi and Ibn Hamdun. See Cahen, op. cit. p. 363 n. 33. 

2 Kemal ad-Din, pp. 601-2; Albert of Aix (xi, 43, p. 684) reports the capture 
of Azaz about now, but Azaz was still in Moslem hands in 1118. (See below 

p. I34-) 

3 Matthew of Edessa, ccix, pp. 280-1. 


Equilibrium in the North 

1 1 12 Joscelin discovered an Armenian plot to hand the city over 
to the Moslems and had saved Baldwin by warning him and 
joining him in prompt action against the traitors. But during the 
following winter Baldwin heard rumours that Joscelin talked of 
supplanting him. The fief of Turbessel was rich, whereas the land 
of Edessa had suffered terribly from raids and forced emigration. 
The Armenians liked Joscelin, whereas they now hated Baldwin. 
There was nothing in Joscelin s own conduct to account for 
Baldwin s suspicions, which were, perhaps, based on jealousy. At 
the end of the year Joscelin was summoned to Edessa; Baldwin 
said that he was ill and must discuss the succession. On his arrival, 
all unsuspecting, he was accused of having failed to supply Edessa 
with sufficient food from his territory and was thrown into 
prison. It was only when he promised to give up his fief that he 
was released. He retired southward, about the new year, to 
Jerusalem, where King Baldwin enfeoffed him with the princi 
pality of Galilee. 1 

The year 1112 saw many other changes in northern Syria. Kogh 
Vasil died on 12 October. His widow hastily sent presents to 
Tancred, including her own diadem for the Princess Cecilia, to 
secure his help for the succession of her adopted son, Vasil Dgha; 
but Tancred himself coveted the inheritance. 2 Among the Franks, 
Richard of the Principate had died some time in the spring 3 and 
Bertrand of Tripoli in January or February. Bertrand s young son 
and successor, Pons, did not share his father s liking for the 
Byzantines nor his hatred for Tancred; and his council probably 
thought that Tancred s good-will was necessary if the youthful 
count was to hold his position. There was a reconciliation between 

1 William of Tyre, xi, 22, pp. 489-92; Matthew of Edessa, ccviii, p. 280, 
hints of a plot against the Franks during Mawdud s siege; Chron. Anon. Syr. 
p. 86; Ibn al-Qalanisi, op. cit. p. 133. 

2 Matthew of Edessa, ccx, pp. 281-2. The exact date of Richard s death is 
unknown. He was already dead by the time of Tancred s death, but alive the 
previous mater. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 127, says that the news of Bertrand s death reached 
Damascus on 3 February. 


1112: Death ofTancred 

the Courts of Tripoli and Antioch, which added to Tancred s 
influence. 1 With Joscelin in disgrace, the Count of Tripoli his 
friend, and the great prince of the Armenians dead, Tancred s 
supremacy seemed sure. He was planning an expedition to con 
quer Kogh VasiTs land when suddenly he fell ill. There were 
inevitable whispers of poison ; but the illness was probably typhoid. 
When it was certain that he would not recover he named his 
nephew Roger of Salerno, son of Richard of the Principate, as his 
heir, but he forced Roger to swear to hand over his power to 
Bohemond s young son, should the boy come to the East. At the 
same time he requested Pons to marry his girl-widow, Cecilia of 
France. He died on 12 December 1112, aged only thirty-six.* 

Tancred s personality does not shine clearly through the mists 
of history. He was immensely active and able, a subtle diplomat 
and a brilliant soldier; and he grew wiser as he grew older. But 
he never acquired the glamour that surrounded his uncle, 
Bohemond; nor does he seem to have been popular with his men, 
apart from his sycophantic biographer, Radulph of Caen. He was 
hard, self-seeking and unscrupulous, correct and yet disloyal 
towards Bohemond and a faithless colleague to Baldwin of 
Edessa. But for the intervention of King Baldwin, his equal in 
relentlessness and his superior in width of vision, his particularism 
might have gone far to wreck the Prankish East. His aim was the 
firm establishment and the aggrandizement of the Antiochene 
principality; and therein he was superbly successful. Without his 
work Bohemond s foundation would have crumbled. The long 
history of the princes of Antioch was the fruit of his energy. Of 
all the princes of the First Crusade, only King Baldwin, a penniless 
adventurer like himself, enjoyed a more impressive career. Yet, 
when he was being taken to his burial in the porch of the Cathedral 

1 Pons seems to have been attached at some time to Tancred s household and 
to have received knighthood from him. 

a Fulcher of Chartres, n, xlvii, I, pp. 562-3 (12 December); Albert of Aix, 
xn, 8, p. 693 (about Advent); Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 131-2 (n December); 
Michael the Syrian, m, p. 203 (5 December). 


Equilibrium in the North 

of St Peter the chroniclers could find few scenes of grief to report. 
Only the Armenian Matthew of Edessa wrote warmly of him and 
lamented his death. 1 

The accession of Roger as Prince of Antioch for, notwith 
standing his acknowledgement of the claims of Bohemond s son, 
he took the princely title brought harmony to the Franks. He 
was married to Baldwin of Edessa s sister, Cecilia;* and, though 
he was a notoriously unfaithful husband, he was always on 
affectionate terms with his brother-in-law. His sister Maria became 
the second wife of Joscelin of Courtenay. 3 Pons of Tripoli, who, 
following Tancred s wishes, at once married Tancred s widow, 
Cecilia of France, remained his constant friend. 4 And all three 
princes united in regarding King Baldwin as their overlord. This 
rare solidarity, combined with fresh quarrels among the Moslems, 
brought the Prankish dominion in northern Syria to its apogee. 

In 1113 King Baldwin began a campaign against Toghtekin of 
Damascus, who succeeded at last in securing the aid of Mawdud 
and of Ayaz the Ortoqid. The Moslem allies lured the King into 
Damascene territory, to Sennabra on the upper Jordan, where, 
forgetting for once his usual caution, he was attacked and suffered 
a severe defeat. 5 He had summoned Pons and Roger to his aid; 
and their arrival with all their chivalry enabled him to extricate 
himself. The enemy advanced as far as the neighbourhood of 

1 Matthew of Edessa, loc. dt. The greatest of all the Faithful . 

2 WiHiam of Tyre, xi, 9, p. 523, calls Roger Baldwin s brother-in-law, as does 
Walter the Chancellor, n, 16, p. 131. Cecilia s name is given in a Charter of 
1126 (Rohricht, Regesta, Additamenta, p. 9). Orderic Vitalis, x, 23, iv, p. 158, 
gives Roger a Turkish wife called Melaz, the Danishmend emir s daughter who 
according to him secured Bohemond s release. See above, p. 38. 

3 Maria is known only for a quarrel arising later because of her dowry. See 
below, pp. 161, 181. Chron. Anon. Syr. says that Joscelin married her in 1121 
(p. 89), but it is clear that the marriage was arranged in Roger s lifetime. Their 
daughter Stephanie was considered an old woman in 1 161 see below, p. 3 62, n. i. 

4 According to Albert of Aix (xn, 19, p. 701) the marriage did not take 
place till 1115. But Pons s son Raymond II seems to have been twenty-two 
in 1136. 

5 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 132-6. 


: Deaths ofMawdud and Ridwan 

Tiberias, but would not venture to face the whole Prankish army. 
After a few weeks of hesitation, Mawdud retired with Toghtekin 
to Damascus. There on the last Friday in September, as he was 
entering the Great Mosque with his host, he was stabbed to death 
by an Assassin. Toghtekin promptly put the murderer to death, to 
dissociate himself from the crime. Public opinion held him guilty, 
but gave him die excuse that Mawdud had designs on Damascus. 1 
Mawdud s death freed the Franks of a formidable adversary. It 
was followed two months later, on 10 December 1113, by the 
death of Ridwan of Aleppo. 2 His chilly relations with his fellow- 
Moslems had done much to help the establishment of the Franks 
in Syria; but his elimination did not greatly benefit Islam. He 
was succeeded by his son, Alp Arslan, a weak, vicious and cruel 
boy of sixteen, completely in the hands of his favourite eunuch, 
Lulu. The Assassins, whom Ridwan had protected, found them 
selves cold-shouldered by the new administration, at the express 
orders of the Sultan Mohammed. His envoy, the Persian Ibn 
Badi, forced Alp Arslan to issue a warrant for the execution of 
Abu Tahir and the other leaders of the sect; and the popukce of 
Aleppo, who had long loathed the Assassins, set about massacring 
all that they could catch. In self-defence the Order had tried un 
successfully to capture the citadel while Ridwan lay dying. 3 Soon 
afterwards sectarians tried to surprise the citadel at Shaizar, when 
the emir s family were out watching the Christian Easter festival; 
but the townsfolk joined with the emir against them. Their one 
success was to take the fortress of Qolaia, near Balis, where the 
road from Aleppo to Baghdad approaches the Euphrates. Else 
where they went underground, or fled to the protection of the 
Franks; but they were still powerful and began to turn their 
attention to the Lebanon. 4 Alp Arslan s reign was short. He paid 

1 Ibid. pp. 137-42. a Ibid. p. 144; Kemal ad-Din, p. 602. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 145-6; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 603-4. See Cahen, op. cit. 
pp. 267-8. 

4 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 146-8; Usama, ed. Hitti, pp. 146, 153 (without giving 
a date for the coup at Shaizar). 


Equilibrium in the North 

a friendly visit to Damascus, where Toghtekin received him with 
royal honours; but in September 1114 his wanton behaviour in 
duced the eunuch Lulu, terrified for his life, to have him murdered 
in his bed and to place on the throne his six-year-old brother, 
Sultanshah. For the next few years Lulu and his general Shams 
as-Shawas, ex-emir of Rafaniya, held the citadel and controlled 
the army of Aleppo; but the real power was in the hands of the 
notables of the city, whose wishes Lulu did not dare to disregard. 
Its lack of a strong prince and the small size of its army left Aleppo 
powerless to do more than defend its own walls ; while, though the 
Assassins had been banished, the new authorities were considered 
by their neighbours to have dangerously Shian tendencies, due to 
the influence of Persians in the city. In consequence Lulu was ready 
to carry on Ridwan s policy of subservient friendship with the 
Franks of Antioch. 1 

On Mawdud s death the Sultan gave Mosul to his representative 
at the Caliph s court, Aqsonqor il-Bursuqi, a Turkish soldier of 
fortune like his predecessor. It became his duty to direct operations 
against the Franks. In May 1 1 14 he led an army of fifteen thousand 
men against Edessa. With him were the Sultan s son, Mas ud, 
Temirek, emir of Sinjar, and a young Turk called Imad ed-Din 
Zengi, son of an earlier Aqsonqor who had been governor of 
Aleppo and Hama in the years before the Crusade. Ilghazi of 
Mardin had been summoned to join the expedition but refused. 
Its first step therefore was to march on Mardin; whereupon 
Ilghazi agreed to send his son Ayaz with a detachment of Turco 
man troops. For two months the Moslems sat before Edessa; but 
the city was well garrisoned and well provisioned, whereas the 
ravaged countryside could not feed the besieging forces. Il- 
Bursuqi was obliged to lift the siege and contented himself with 
ravaging the countryside, till the Armenians offered him new 
scope for action.* 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 148-9; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 605-6. 
* Matthew of Edessa, ccxii, pp. 282-3; ccxvi, p. 287; Chron. Anon. Syr. 
p. 86; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 292-3. 


in6: Fall of Vasil Dgha 

The Armenian plot to hand over Edessa to Mawdud in 1112 
had been followed by a similar plot next year, when Mawdud was 
about to invade Prankish territory and Baldwin was at Turbessel, 
taking over Joscelin s fief. It was discovered in time; and Baldwin 
firmly transferred the whole Armenian population of his capital 
to Samosata. Having taught the Armenians a lesson, he allowed 
them to return early in 1114; but some had gone on into the 
territory of Vasil Dgha, Kogh VasiTs heir, who was anyhow 
alarmed by Prankish attempts on his inheritance. He and his 
adopted mother now invited Il-Bursuqi to deliver them from the 
Franks. Il-Bursuqi sent one of his generals, Sonqor the Long, to 
negotiate with Vasil Dgha at Kaisun. The Franks heard of it, and 
vainly attacked Sonqor and the Armenians. But before the 
Moslems could take advantage of the new alliance Il-Bursuqi 
quarrelled with Ayaz the Ortoqid and imprisoned him. Ayaz s 
father, Ilghazi, therefore summoned his clan and his Turcomans 
and marched against Il-Bursuqi, whom he severely defeated and 
forced to retreat back to Mosul. Once again the Moslem counter- 
Crusade ended in a fiasco. 1 

The Armenians paid for it. The Franks advanced to punish Vasil 
Dgha. They were unable to take his fortress capital at Raban; but 
he thought it wise to seek the alliance of the Roupenian prince 
Thoros. Thoros, after inviting him to come to discuss a marriage 
alliance, imprisoned him and sold him to Baldwin of Edessa. Vasil 
was only released on a promise to cede all his lands to Baldwin. 
He then was allowed to retire to Constantinople. Having thus 
annexed Raban and Kaisun in 1116, Baldwin decided to suppress 
the remaining Armenian principalities in the Euphrates valley. In 
inyhe first displaced Abu lgharib, lord of Birejik, who had been 
established there with the help of Baldwin during the First 
Crusade. He gave Birejik to his cousin, Waleran of Le Puiset, 
who married Abu lgharib s daughter. Next he attacked Baldwin Ts 
old friend and later enemy, Bagrat, Kogh VasiTs brother, who 

1 Matthew of Edessa, ccxii, pp. 282-4; Michael the Syrian, ni, pp. 216-17; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 292-3. 

R c 129 9 

Equilibrium in the North 

now possessed a small lordship at Khoros, west of the Euphrates. 
Finally, he overran the territory of another of Baldwin s allies, 
Prince Constantine of Gargar, whom he captured and imprisoned 
at Samosata, where the unfortunate victim soon perished in an 
earthquake. The Roupenian prince soon found himself, to his 
satisfaction, the only independent Armenian potentate that re 
mained. But, apart from the Roupcnians, the Armenian people 
lost confidence in the Franks. 1 

Baldwin of Edessa s Armenian conquests were helped by a 
diminution of danger from the East. The previous years had been 
full of anxiety. A tremendous earthquake in November 1114 had 
devastated Prankish territory, from Antioch and Mamistra to 
Marash and Edessa, Roger of Antioch hastily toured his chief 
fortresses to repair their walls; for there was a rumour that the 
Sultan Mohammed was preparing a new expedition.* 

Mohammed was the last of the great Seldjuk Sultans. He had 
taken over a decadent state from his brother Barkiyarok, and he 
had restored order in Iraq and Iran, suppressing the rebel Arabs of 
the eastern desert in 1108 and keeping the Assassins in check. The 
Caliph al-Mustazhir, indolently writing love-poems in his palace 
at Baghdad, obeyed his authority. But his attempts to organize 
a campaign to drive the Franks from Syria had failed one after the 
other ; and he realized that to succeed he must establish his authority 
over the Moslem princes there, whose jealousies and insubordina 
tion had regularly ruined his cause. In February 1115, after 
securing the loyalty of Mosul by sending his son Mas ud to take 
charge of its government, he dispatched a large army westward, 
under the governor of Hamadan, Bursuq ibn Bursuq, with 
Juyush-beg, former governor of Mosul, and Tcmirek, emir of 
Sinjar, to aid him. 

1 Matthew of Edessa, ccxiii-iv, pp. 293-5. Chron. Anon. Syr. p. 86. 
Waleran was probably the brother of Hugh of Le Puisset, whose mother Alice 
was Baldwin II s aunt and Tancred s first cousin. See below, p. 190. 

3 Fulcher of Chartres, n, Hi, 1-5, pp. 578-80; Walter the Chancellor, I, 
pp. 83-4; Matthew of Edessa, ccxvii, pp. 287-9; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 149; 
Kemal ad-Din, p. 607. 


1115: Expedition of Bursuq ibn Bursuq 

The Moslem princes of Syria were as alarmed as the Franks. The 
Sultan s only reliable vassals there were the Munqidhites of Shaizar 
and Ibn Qaraja, emir of Horns. On the rumour of the expedition 
the Ortoqid Ilghazi hastened to Damascus to confirm his alliance 
with Toghtekin, but on his return he was waylaid and captured 
by the emir of Horns; who, however, threatened by Toghtekin, 
let him go on condition that he sent his son Ayaz in his place. 
Ilghazi was able to return to Mardin and collect his troops. Then 
lie retired westward again to join up with Toghtekin. The eunuch 
Lulu, regent in Aleppo, after promising support to both sides, 
decided that the Sultan s victory would not suit him and ranged 
himself with Toghtekin and Ilghazi. Meanwhile Roger of Antioch 
had collected his forces and took up a position by the Iron Bridge 
across the Orontes. There, on whose initiative we cannot tell, he 
made a pact with Toghtekin and his allies and invited their army 
to join his own before the walls of Apamea, a good vantage-point 
for watching Bursuq s movements when he should cross the 
Euphrates and advance towards his friends at Shaizar. The Franks 
provided some two thousand knights and infantrymen and their 
Moslem allies about five thousand. 

Bursuq met with no opposition as he led his great army through 
the Jezireh. He had hoped to make his headquarters at Aleppo, 
but, hearing that Lulu had joined his enemies and that Toghtekin 
was at their head, he turned southward against the latter. With the 
help of the emir of Horns he made a surprise attack on Hama, 
which belonged to Toghtekin and contained much of his baggage. 
The town was captured and pillaged, to the fury of the local 
Moslems; and he then marched on the Prankish fort of Kafartab. 
Roger would have liked to make a diversion, but Toghtekin 
persuaded him that it would be too risky. Instead, the allies 
appealed for help to Baldwin of Jerusalem and Pons of Tripoli, 
who hastened northward, the former with five hundred knights 
and a thousand infantrymen, the latter with two hundred knights 
and two thousand infantrymen. They entered the camp at Apamea 
to the fanfare of trumpets. Bursuq, who was now based on Shaizar, 

131 9-2 

Equilibrium in the North 

thought it prudent to retreat towards the Jezireh. His ruse was 
effective. Baldwin and Pons considered the danger to be ended 
and returned home; and the allied army broke up. Bursuq then 
suddenly swept back again to Kafartab. After a short struggle 
he took the castle and handed it over to the Munqidhites. Lulu of 
Aleppo, whether from treachery or cowardice, at once wrote to 
him apologizing for past sins and asking him to send a detachment 
to occupy Aleppo ; and Bursuq weakened his forces by dispatching 
Juyush-beg and his corps. Roger had not disbanded his army. He 
could not wait for help to arrive from King Baldwin nor from Pons, 
nor even from Toghtekin. After summoning Baldwin of Edessa to 
his rescue and asking the Patriarch Bernard to bless the troops and 
to send with them a fragment of the True Cross, he left Antioch 
on 12 September and marched southward up the Orontes to 
Chastel Rouge, while Bursuq marched northward along a parallel 
line further inland. Neither army knew the other s position, till 
a knight named Theodore Berneville came galloping to the camp, 
at Chastel Rouge from a scouting expedition to say that he had seen 
the Sultan s army moving through the forest towards the hill of 
Tel-Danith, near to the town of Sirmin. On the morning of the 
I4th the Prankish army crept over the intervening ridge and fell 
upon Bursuq as his troops were carelessly marching on. The 
baggage animals were in the van; and already detachments had 
stopped to erect tents for the noonday halt. Some of the emirs had 
taken parties to forage in the neighbouring farms; others had gone 
off to occupy Biza a. When the battle began Bursuq was without 
his best lieutenants. 

The Franks attack was quite unexpected. They sprang out 
suddenly from the trees and quickly stormed the half-prepared 
camp. Soon the whole Moslem army was in disorder. Bursuq 
could not rally his men. He himself barely avoided capture and 
retired with a few hundred horsemen to a spur of the hill of Tel- 
Danith. There he beat off the enemy for a while and sought to be 
killed in the fighting rather than face the disgrace of such a defeat. 
At last his bodyguard persuaded him that nothing more could be 


111$: Prankish Victory at Tel-Danith 

done; and he rode off in flight to the east. The emir of Sinjar, 
Temirek, had at first been more successful and had driven back 
the Prankish right. But Guy Fresnel, lord of Harenc, brought up 
fresh troops ; and soon the men of Sinjar were surrounded, and only 
the swiftest horsemen escaped alive. By evening the remnants of 
the Moslem army were hastening in disorder towards the Jezireh. 1 
The Prankish victory at Tel-Danith ended the last attempt of 
the Seldjuk Sultans of Iran to recover Syria. Bursuq died a few 
months later, humiliated and ashamed; and the Sultan Mohammed 
was not prepared to risk a further expedition. The only danger to 
the Franks from the East came now from the semi-independent 
emirs, who for the moment were disunited and discouraged. The 
prestige of Roger, Prince of Antioch, was at its height. His men 
quickly reoccupied Kafartab, which had been given to the 
Munqidhites by Bursuq. 2 The rulers of Aleppo and Damascus were 
seriously alarmed. The latter, Toghtekin, hastened to make his 
peace with the Sultan Mohammed, who forgave him but pro 
vided him with no material aid. 3 At Aleppo the eunuch Lulu 
watched helpless while the Franks consolidated their positions 
around him. He sought to make a closer alliance with Toghtekin. 
But he was generally discredited; and in May 1117 he was mur 
dered by Turks of his garrison. His successor was a fellow- 
eunuch, the Armenian renegade Yaruqtash, who at once sought 
Prankish support by yielding to Roger the fortress of al-Qubba, 
on the road from Aleppo to Damascus used by the pilgrims to 
Mecca, and the right to levy tolls on the pilgrims. 4 The concession 
did Yaruqtash no good. Lulu s murderers had acted in the name 
of Ridwan s youngest son, Sultanshah, who would not recognize 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, n, liv, 1-6, pp. 586-90; Albert of Aix, xn, 19, p. 701 ; 
Walter the Chancellor, i, 6-7, pp. 92-6 (the fullest account) ; al-Azimi, p. 509; 
Ibn Hamdun in Ibn al-Athir, pp. 295-8; Usama, e& Hitti, pp. 102-6; Michael 
the Syrian, ra, p. 217; Chron. Anon. Syr. p. 86. 

a Usama, ed. Hitti, p. 106. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 151-2, implying that the overtures came from the 
Sultan s side. Ibn Hamdun, loc. cit. 

4 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 155-6. 


Equilibrium in the North 

him. Yaruqtash appealed for help to Ilghazi the Ortoqid; but when 
Ilghazi s troops arrived at Aleppo they found Yaruqtash fallen and 
the government directed by Sultanshah s minister, the Damascene 
Ibn al-Milhi. Dghazi therefore retired, leaving his son Kizil as his 
representative in Aleppo and taking over the fortress of Balis on the 
Euphrates, which was granted him as the price of his help should 
il-Bursuqi, who was now established at ar-Rahba and claimed 
to have been allotted Aleppo by the Sultan, try to make good his 
claim. Ibn al-Milhi then decided that Ilghazi was too uncertain 
an ally and handed over Aleppo and Kizil to Khirkan, emir of 
Horns, and prepared with Prankish help to recover Balis. But 
Ilghazi s alliance with Toghtekin held good. While the latter 
marched on Horns and obliged Khirkan to retire, Ilghazi relieved 
Balis and entered Aleppo in the summer of 1 1 1 8 . Ibn al-Milhi had 
already been displaced by a black eunuch, Qaraja, who, together 
with Ibn al-Milhi and the prince Sultanshah, were imprisoned by 
the Ortoqid. 1 During all these movements and intrigues Prankish 
intervention had been sought by all parties in turn; and though 
Roger was never master of Aleppo itself, he was able to occupy 
the territory to the north of the city, occupying Azaz in 1118 and 
early in 1119 Biza a, thus cutting off Aleppo from the Euphrates 
and the East. 2 

About the same time Roger improved his southern frontier by 
capturing the castle of Marqab, on its high hill overlooking the 
sea behind Buluniyas. 3 

Thus, by the end of 1118, there was an equilibrium in northern 
Syria. The Franks had become an accepted part of the pattern of 
the country. They were still far from numerous, but they were 
well-armed and were building fortresses, and were learning to 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, loc. tit. Kemal ad-Din, pp. 610-15; Ibn al-Atbir, pp. 308-9. 

2 Matthew of Edessa, ccxxvii, pp. 297-8; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 614-15. 

3 For the Arabic sources, see the discussion in Cahen, op. cit. p. 279 n. 16. 
Pons of Tripoli seems to have helped Roger, after a slight quarrel over the 
dower of Pons s wife, Tancred s widow, Cecilia, who claimed Jabala but was 
eventually satisfied with Chastel Rouge and Arzghan (William of Tyre, xrv, 5, 
p. 612). 


ni8: Schism in the Jacobite Church 

adapt themselves to local life. Moreover, for the moment they 
were united. Roger of Antioch was by far the greatest of the 
northern Christian princes; but his hegemony was not resented by 
Baldwin of Edessa nor by Pons of Tripoli; for he made no attempt 
to be their overlord but like them acknowledged the suzerainty of 
the King of Jerusalem. The Moslem princes were numerically 
stronger, but they were disunited and jealous. Only the alliance 
between Toghtekin of Damascus and the Ortoqids kept them from 
chaos. The balance thus was slightly tilted in favour of the Franks. 
No external power was in a position to upset this balance. King 
Baldwin of Jerusalem, with the Fatimid menace in his rear, could 
not often intervene in the north. The Seldjuk Sultan of Iran, after 
the disaster at Tel-Danith, abstained from further practical at 
tempts to assert authority in Syria. The two chief powers of 
Anatolia, Byzantium and the Seldjuks of Rum, for the moment 
were balanced against each other. 

Even the native Christians maintained a balance. The Armenian 
subjects of Edessa and Antioch were disillusioned and disloyal; 
but the only free Armenian state that remained, the Roupenian 
principality on the Taurus, was ready to work in with the Franks. 
Its prince, Leo, had brought a contingent to help Roger of Antioch 
at the siege of Azaz. 1 A schism divided the Jacobite Church. In 
about 1118, its head, the Patriarch Athanasius, who resided at 
Antioch, quarrelled with his metropolitan at Edessa, Bar-Sabuni, 
over the possession of some sacred books, and placed him under 
an interdict. Bar-Sabuni, to make trouble, appealed for help to the 
Latin Patriarch of Antioch, Bernard; who summoned Athanasius 
to discuss the matter at a synod held in the Latin cathedral. 
Athanasius came protesting. The incompetence of an interpreter 
led Bernard to believe that the dispute was over a private debt 
between the two prelates, and he pronounced that it was simoniacal 
of Athanasius not to forgive the debtor. Athanasius was infuriated 
by a decision whose validity he did not recognize and whose sense 

1 Matthew of Edessa, loc. cit. For the history of the Roupenians, see 
Tournebize, op. cit. pp. 168 ff, 


Equilibrium in the North 

he did not understand. He protested rudely; whereupon Bernard 
ordered him to be scourged. On the advice of an Orthodox 
friend, the philosopher Abd al-Massih, Athanasius appealed to 
Roger, who had b.een away at the time. Roger angrily reproved 
Bernard for interfering in a matter that did not concern him, and 
permitted Athanasius to leave Antioch for his former home, the 
monastery of Mar Barsauma. There Athanasius was in the ter 
ritory of the Ortoqids, who gave him their protection. He 
excommunicated Bar Sabuni and placed the Jacobite Church of 
Edessa under an interdict. Many of the Edessene Jacobites, thus 
deprived of the services of their Church, went over to the Latin 
rite. Others obeyed the Patriarch. Peace was not restored for 
many years, till after the death of Athanasius. 1 

The Orthodox congregations in Antioch and Edessa disliked 
Latin rule, but, unlike the Armenians and Jacobites, they were 
never tempted to intrigue with the Moslems. They only sighed 
for the return of Byzantium. But the loathing which Armenians 
and Jacobites united in bearing to them limited their power. 

Nevertheless, though the Franks in Edessa might rightly fear that 
some new danger would arise in the East, to the Franks of Antioch 
Byzantium remained the chief enemy. The Emperor Alexius had 
never forgotten his claim to Antioch. He was prepared to 
recognize a Latin kingdom at Jerusalem; and he had shown his 
good-will by his generous ransom of the Prankish prisoners taken 
by the Fatimids at Ramleh in 1 102 and by the presence of his ships 
at the ineffectual siege of Acre in mi. King Baldwin on his side 
always acted courteously and correctly towards the Emperor, but 
refused to put any pressure on Tancred to carry out the terms of 
the Treaty of Devoid Ever since the Crusade of 1101 Franco- 
Byzantine relations had been darkened by suspicion; while Pope 
PaschaTs intervention on Bohemond s behalf in 1106 had never 
been forgiven by Constantinople. Alexius was too supple a states 
man to allow resentment to colour his policy. During die years 

1 Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 193-4, 207-10. 
^ Anna Comnena, xiv, ii, 12-13, pp- 152-3. 


1111-13: Byzantine Negotiations with the West 

nn and 1 1 12 he carried on a series of negotiations with the Pope, 
using the Abbot of Monte Cassino as an intermediary. With the 
promise to settle the outstanding differences between the Roman 
and Greek Churches he induced the Roman authorities to offer 
the imperial crown of the West to him or to his son, and he sug 
gested that he would visit Rome himself. Paschal, who was at that 
moment in great difficulties with the Emperor Henry V, was 
willing to pay a high price for Byzantine support; but Turkish 
wars and his own ill-health prevented Alexius from carrying out 
his project. 1 The negotiations came to nothing. The Archbishop 
of Milan, Peter Chrysolan, visited Constantinople in 1113 to 
discuss Church affairs; but his theological argument with Eustra- 
tius, Bishop of Nicaea, did not restore better feeling between the 
Churches. 2 It is probable that Alexius himself never took his 
ambitious Italian scheme very seriously. Papal friendship was of 
value to him mainly as a means of putting a break on Norman 
ambitions and of enhancing his authority over the Latins in the 

In the meantime there was little that the Byzantines could do to 
recover Antioch. The Emperor s treaty with Bohemond remained 
a dead letter. Tancred had not only disregarded it but had in 
creased his territory at Byzantine expense. Roger had continued 
Tancred s policy. Alexius had hoped that the Counts of Tripoli 
would be his agents in Syria, and he had provided money to be 
kept at Tripoli for joint Byzantine and Tripolitan enterprises. But 
on Bertrand s death his son Pons worked in co-operation with the 
Antiochenes. The Byzantine Ambassador-at-large to the Latin 
states, Butumites, therefore demanded the return of the money; 
and it was only when he threatened to cut off the provisions that 
Tripoli obtained from Cyprus that it was handed over to him. He 
then judged it prudent to give back to Pons the gold and precious 

1 See Chalandon, op. cit. pp. 260-3, with full references. 

* Landolph, in Muratori, Ss. R.L vol. v, p. 487; Chrysolan s speeches in 
M.P.L. vol. cxxvn, col. 911-19; Eustratius s speeches in Demetracopoulos, 
Bibliotheca Eccksiastico, vol. I, p. 15. 


Equilibrium in the North 

stuffs that had been promised personally to Bertrand. In return 
Pons took an oath of allegiance to the Emperor, probably the oath 
of non-injury that his grandfather Raymond had taken. The money 
recovered by Buturnites was used to buy for the Byzantine army 
horses from Damascus, Edessa and Arabia. 1 

It was clear that Pons could not be inveigled to act against 
Antioch; while Turkish action prevented die Emperor from 
making a direct intervention in Syria. Since the death of the 
Danishmend Malik Ghazi Gumushtekin in 1106 and that of the 
Seldjuk Kilij Arslan in 1107, there had been no great Turkish 
potentate in Anatolia; and Alexius was able, as far as he was not 
distracted by the Normans, slowly to restore his authority in its 
western districts and along the south coast. The leading Moslem 
emir was now the Cappadocian Hasan, who in mo attempted to 
raid Byzantine territory, even advancing towards Philadelphia, 
with Smyrna as his goal. Eustathius Philocales had recently been 
given a land-command in south-west Anatolia, with orders to clear 
the province of the Turks. He managed, with the small forces that 
he controlled, to catch Hasan s army when it was divided up into 
various raiding-parties, which he defeated one by one. Hasan 
speedily retired; and the Aegean coasts were spared further raids. 
But that same year Kilij Arslan s eldest son, Malik Shah, was 
released from his Persian captivity. He made Konya his capital 
and soon held the bulk of his due inheritance, defeating Hasan and 
annexing his lands. Warned by his father s fate he avoided en 
tanglement in the East, but as soon as he felt strong enough, he set 
out to recover the territory lost by Kilij Arslan at die time of the 
First Crusade. During the early months of 1112 he began in 
cursions into the Empire, marching on Philadelphia, where he was 
checked by the Byzantine general, Gabras. He sued for a truce, 
but in 1113 he attacked again, sending a hurried expedition 
through Bithynia to the very walls of Nicaea, while his lieutenant 
Mohammed penetrated to Poemamenum, farther to the west, 
where he defeated and captured a Byzantine general, and another 
1 Anna Comncna, xiv, ii, 14, pp. 153-4. 


1112-15: Seldjuk Wars against Byzantium 

lieutenant, Manalugh, raided Abydos on the Hellespont, with its 
rich custom-houses. Malik Shah himself attacked and captured 
Pergamum. The Emperor set out to meet the invaders, but 
waited to catch them on their return, heavily laden with booty. 
Coming south through Dorylaeum he fell on them near Coty- 
aeum. He won a complete victory and recovered all the loot and 
prisoners that they had taken. In 1115 there was news that Malik 
Shah was preparing to renew the attack; and Alexius spent much 
of the year in patrolling the Bithynian hills. Next year, though 
he was already very ill, he decided himself to take the offensive. 
He marched southward towards Konya and met the Turkish army 
near Philomelium. Once again he was victorious; and Malik 
Shah was forced to sign a peace in which he promised to respect 
the frontiers of the Empire, which now controlled all the coast 
from Trebizond to Cihcian Seleucia and the interior west of 
Ankara, the Salt Desert and Philomelium. Malik Shah s attempts 
at reconquest had failed; and a few months later he was dethroned 
and killed by his brother Mas ud, in alliance with the Danishmend. 
But the Turks remained firmly entrenched in the centre of 
Anatolia, and Byzantium was still unable to take effective action 
in Syria. The chief beneficiaries of these wars were the Armenians 
in the Taurus and the Prankish Prince of Antioch. 1 

1 Anna Comnena, xiv, v-vi, xv, i-ii, iv-vi, pp. 164-72, 187-72, 187-94, 
199-213. See Chalandon, op. tit. pp. 265-71. 






There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel! i KINGS ix,> 

Baldwin I had neglected bis final duty as King; he made no 
arrangement for the succession to the throne. The council of the 
kingdom hastily met. To some of the nobles it seemed unthink 
able that the crown should pass from the house of Boulogne. 
Baldwin I had succeeded his brother Godfrey; and there was still 
a third brother, the eldest, Stephen, Count of Boulogne. Mes 
sengers were hastily dispatched over the sea to inform the Count 
of his brother s death and to beg him to take up the heritage. 
Stephen had no wish to leave his pleasant county for the hazards 
of the East; but they told him that it was his duty. He set out 
towards Jerusalem. But when he reached Apulia he met other 
messengers, with the news that it was too late. The succession had 
passed elsewhere. He refused the suggestion that he should con 
tinue on his way and fight for his rights. Not unwillingly, he 
retraced his steps to Boulogne. 1 

Indeed, few of the council had favoured his succession. He was 
far away; it would mean an interregnum of many months. The 
most influential member of the council was the Prince of Galilee, 
Joscelin of Courtenay; and he demanded that the throne be given 
to Baldwin of Le Bourg, Count of Edessa. He himself had no 
cause to love Baldwin, as he carefully reminded the council; 
for Baldwin had falsely accused him of treachery and had exiled 
him from his lands in the north. But Baldwin was a man of proved 
ability and courage; he was the late King s cousin; and he was the 

1 William of Tyre, xn, 3, pp. 513-16. It is uncertain what arrangements he 
made for Boulogne. His wife, Mary of Scotland, died in 1116. 


King Baldwin II 

sole survivor of the great knights of the First Crusade. Moreover, 
Joscelin calculated that if Baldwin left Edessa for Jerusalem the 
least that he could do to reward the cousin who had requited his 
unkindness so generously was to entrust him with Edessa. The 
Patriarch Arnulf supported Joscelin and together they persuaded 
the council. As if to clinch their argument, on the very day of 
the King s funeral, Baldwin of Le Bourg appeared unexpectedly 
in Jerusalem. He had heard, maybe, of the King s illness of the 
previous year and thought it therefore opportune to pay an Easter 
pilgrimage to the Holy Places. He was received with gladness and 
unanimously elected king by the Council. On Easter Sunday, 
14 April i ii 8, the Patriarch Amulf placed the crown on his head. 1 

Baldwin II differed greatly as a man from his predecessor. 
Though handsome enough, with a long fair beard, he lacked the 
tremendous presence of Baldwin I. He was more approachable, 
genial and fond of a simple joke, but at the same time subtle and 
cunning, less open, less rash, more self-controlled. He was capable 
of large gestures but in general somewhat mean and ungenerous. 
Despite a high-handed attitude to ecclesiastical affairs, he was 
genuinely pious; his knees were callous from constant prayer. 
Unlike Baldwin I s, his private life was irreproachable. With his 
wife, the Armenian Morphia, he presented a spectacle, rare in the 
Prankish East, of perfect conjugal bliss. 2 

Joscelin was duly rewarded with the county of Edessa, to hold 
it as vassal to King Baldwin, just as Baldwin himself had held it 
under Baldwin I. The new King was also recognized as overlord 
by Roger of Antioch, his brother-in-law, and by Pons of Tripoli. 
The Prankish East was to remain united under the crown of 
Jerusalem. 3 A fortnight after Baldwin s coronation the Patriarch 
Arnulf died. He had been a loyal and efficient servant of the state; 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, in, i, i, pp. 615-16; Albert of Aix, xn, 30, pp. 707-16; 
William of Tyre, xn, 4, p. 517. 

* William of Tyre, xn, 2, pp. 512-13. See above, p. 36. 

3 Immediately on his accession Baldwin summoned Roger and Pons to fight 
under him against the Egyptians. (See below, p. 146.) 



Approximate frontiers of the 

Christian states about A.D. 1165 * * 

English miles 

Map 2. Southern Syria in the twelfth century. 

King Baldwin II 

but, in spite of his prowess as a preacher, he had been involved in 
too many scandals to be respected as an ecclesiastic. It is doubtful 
if Baldwin much regretted his death. In his place he secured the 
election of a Picard priest, Gormond of Picquigny, of whose 
previous history nothing is known. It was a happy choice; for 
Gormond combined Arnulf s practical qualities with a saintly 
nature and was universally revered. This appointment, following 
on the recent death of Pope Paschal, restored good relations 
between Jerusalem and Rome. 1 

King Baldwin had barely established himself on the throne 
before he heard the ominous news of an alliance between Egypt 
and Damascus. The Fatimid vizier, al-Afdal, was anxious to 
punish Baldwin I s insolent invasion of Egypt; while Toghtekin 
of Damascus was alarmed by the growing power of the Franks. 
Baldwin hastily sent him an embassy; but confident of Egyptian 
help Toghtekin demanded the cession of all Prankish lands 
beyond Jordan. In the course of the summer a great Egyptian 
army assembled on the frontier and took up its position outside 
Ashdod; and Toghtekin was invited to take command of it. 
Baldwin summoned the militia of Antioch and Tripoli to rein 
force the troops of Jerusalem, and marched down to meet them. 
For three months the armies faced each other, neither side daring 
to move; for everyone, in Fulcher of Chartres s words, liked 
better to live than to die. At last the soldiers on either side dis 
persed to their homes. 2 

Meanwhile, Joscelin s departure for Edessa was delayed. He 
was more urgently needed in Galilee than in the northern county, 
where, it seems, Queen Morphia remained, and where Waleran, 
Lord of Birejik, carried on the government. 3 As Prince of 
Galilee it was for Joscelin to defend the land against attacks from 
Damascus. La the autumn Baldwin joined him in a raid on Deraa 

1 Albert of Aix, loc. cit.\ William of Tyre, xn, 6, p. 519. 
* Fulcher of Chartres, m, ii, 1-3, pp. 617-19; William of Tyre, xn, 6, 
pp. 518-19; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 314-15. 
3 Chron. Anon. Syr. p. 86. 


: Raids in Transjordan 

in the Hauran, the granary of Damascus. Toghtekin s son Buri 
went out to meet them and owing to his rashness was severely 
defeated. After this check Toghtekin turned his attention again 
to the north. 1 

In the spring of 1119 Joscehn heard that a rich Bedouin tribe 
was pasturing its flocks in Transjordan, by the Yarmuk. He set 
out with two leading Galilean barons, the brothers Godfrey and 
William of Bures, and about a hundred and twenty horsemen, to 
plunder it. The party divided to encircle the tribesmen. But 
things went wrong. The Bedouin chief was warned and Joscelin 
lost his way in the hills. Godfrey and William, riding up to attack 
the camp, were ambushed. Godfrey was killed, and most of his 
followers taken prisoner. Joscelin returned unhappily to Tiberias 
and sent to tell Bang Baldwin; who came up in force and 
frightened the Bedouin into returning the prisoners and paying an 
indemnity. They were then allowed to spend the summer in peace. 2 

When Baldwin was pausing at Tiberias on his return from this 
short campaign, messengers came to him from Antioch, begging 
him to hasten with his army northward, as fast as he could travel. 

Ever since Roger of Antioch s victory at Tel-Danith, the un 
fortunate city of Aleppo had been powerless to prevent Prankish 
aggression. It had reluctantly placed itself beneath the protection 
of Ilghazi tJbeOrtoqidj but Roger s capture of Biza a in 1119 left 
it surrounded on three sides. The loss of Biza a was more than 
Ilghazi could endure. Hitherto neither he nor his constant ally, 
Toghtekin of Damascus, had been prepared to risk their whole 
strength in a combat against the Franks; for they feared and dis 
liked still more the Seldjuk Sultans of the East. But the Sultan 
Mohammed had died in April 1118; and his death had let loose 
the ambition of every governor and princeling throughout his 
empire. His youthful son and successor, Mahmud, tried patheti 
cally to assert his authority, but eventually, in August 1119, he 
was obliged to hand over the supreme power to his uncle Sanjar, 
the King of Khorassan, and spent the rest of his short life in the 
1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 315-16. 2 Ibid. pp. 325-6. 

147 I0 -* 

King Baldwin II 

pleasures of the chase. Sanjar, the last of his house to rule over the 
whole eastern Seldjuk dominion, was vigorous enough; but his 
interests were in the East. He never concerned himself with 
Syria. Nor were his cousins of the Sultanate of Rum, distracted 
with quarrels amongst themselves and with the Danishmends and 
by wars with Byzantium, better able to intervene in Syrian affairs. 1 
Ilghazi, the most tenacious of the local princes, at last had his 
opportunity. His wish was not so much to destroy the Prankish 
states as to secure Aleppo for himself, but the latter aim now 
involved the former. 

During the spring of 1 1 19 Ilghazi journeyed round his dominions 
collecting his Turcoman troops and arranging for contingents to 
come from the Kurds to the north and from the Arab tribes of the 
Syrian desert. As a matter of form he applied for assistance from 
the Sultan Mahmud, but received no answer. His ally, Toghtekin, 
agreed to come up from Damascus; and the Munqidhites of 
Shaizar promised to make a diversion to the south of Roger s 
territory. 2 At the end of May, the Ortoqid army, said to be forty 
thousand strong, was on the march. Roger received the news 
calmly; but the Patriarch Bernard urged him to appeal for help to 
King Baldwin and to Pons of Tripoli. From Tiberias Baldwin 
sent to say that he would come as quickly as possible and would 
bring the troops of Tripoli with him. In the meantime Roger 
should wait on the defensive. Baldwin then collected the army of 
Jerusalem, and fortified it with a portion of the True Cross, in the 
care of Evremar, Archbishop of Caesarea. 3 

While the Munqidhites made a raid on Apamea, Ilghazi sent 
Turcoman detachments south-west, to effect a junction with them 
and with the army coming up from Damascus. He himself with 
his main army raided the territory of Edessa but made no attempt 
against its fortress-capital. In mid-June he crossed the Euphrates 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 318-23. See ardcles Sandjur and Seldjuks , in Encyclo 
paedia of Islam. 

* Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 157-7; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 615-16. 
3 Walter die Chancellor, n, i, pp. 100-1. 


nig : The Field of Blood 

at Balis and moved on to encamp himself at Qinnasrin, some 
fifteen miles south of Aleppo, to await Toghtekin. Roger was less 
patient. In spite of King Baldwin s message, in spite of the solemn 
warning of the Patriarch Bernard and in spite of all the previous 
experience of the Prankish princes, he decided to meet the enemy 
at once. On 20 June he led the whole army of Antioch, seven 
hundred horsemen and four thousand infantrymen, across the Iron 
Bridge, and encamped himself in front of the little fort of Tel- 
Aqibrin, at the eastern edge of the plain of Sarmeda, where the 
broken country afforded a good natural defence. Though his 
forces were far inferior to the enemy s, he hoped that he could 
wait here till Baldwin arrived. 

Ilghazi, at Qinnasrin, was perfectly informed of Roger s move 
ments. Spies disguised as merchants had inspected the Prankish 
camp and reported the numerical weakness of the Prankish army. 
Though Ilghazi wished to wait for Toghtekin s arrival, his Turco 
man emirs urged him to take action. On 27 June part of his army 
moved to attack the Prankish castle of Athareb. Roger had time 
to rush some of his men there, under Robert of Vieux-Ponts ; then, 
disquieted to find the enemy so close, when darkness fell he sent 
away all the treasure of the army to the castle of Artah on the 
road to Antioch. 

Throughout the night Roger waited anxiously for news of the 
Moslems movements, while his soldiers rest was broken by a 
somnambulist who ran through the camp crying that disaster was 
upon them. At dawn on Saturday, 28 June, scouts brought word 
to the Prince that the camp was surrounded. A dry enervating 
khamsin was blowing up from, the south. In the camp itself there 
was little food and water. Roger saw that he must break through 
the enemy ranks or perish. The Archbishop of Apamea was with 
the army, Peter, formerly of Albara, the first Prankish bishop in 
the East. He summoned the soldiers together and preached to 
them and confessed them aU. He confessed Roger in his tent and 
gave him absolution for his many sins of the flesh. Roger then 
boldly announced that he would go hunting. But first he sent out 


King Baldwin II 

another scouting-party which was ambushed. The few survivors 
hurried back to say that there was no way through the encircle 
ment. Roger drew up the army in four divisions and one in 
reserve. Thereupon the Archbishop blessed them once more; and 
they charged in perfect order into the enemy. 

It was hopeless from the outset. There was no escape through 
the hordes of Turcoman horsemen and archers. The locally 
recruited infantrymen, Syrians and Armenians, were the first to 
panic; but there was no place to which they could flee. They 
crowded in amongst the cavalry, hindering the horses. The wind 
suddenly turned to the north and rose, driving a cloud of dust into 
the Franks faces. Early in the battle less than, a hundred horsemen 
broke through and joined up with Robert of Vieux-Ponts, who 
had arrived back from Athareb too late to take part. They fled on 
to Antioch. A little later Reynald Mazoir and a few knights 
escaped and reached the little town of Sarmeda, in the plain. No 
one else in the army of Antioch survived. Roger himself fell 
fighting at the foot of his great jewelled cross. Round him fell his 
knights except for a few, less fortunate, who were made prisoners. 
By midday it was all over. To the Franks the battle was known as 
the Ager Sanguinis, the Field of Blood. 1 

At Aleppo, fifteen miles away, the faithful waited eagerly for 
news. About noon a rumour came that a great victory was in 
store for Islam; and at the hour of the afternoon prayer the first 
exultant soldiers were seen to approach. Ilghazi had only paused 
on the battlefield to allot the booty to his men, then marched to 
Sarmeda, where Reynald Mazoir surrendered to him. Reynald s 
proud bearing impressed Ilghazi, who spared his life. His com 
rades were slain. The Prankish prisoners were dragged in chains 

1 Walter die Chancellor, n, 2-6, pp. 101-11 (the fullest account); William 
of Tyre, xn, 9-10, pp. 523-6; Fulcher of Chartres, m, iii, 2-4, pp. 621-3 
(a short account in which he attributed the disaster to God s displeasure at 
Roger s adulterous habits); Matthew of Edessa, ccxxvi, pp. 276-7; Michael the 
Syrian, m, p. 204; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 159-61; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 616-18; 
Usama, ed. Him, pp. 148-9 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 324-5. Fulcher gives the Prankish 
losses as seven thousand and the Turkish as twenty. 


mg: Ilghazi wastes his Victory 

across the plain behind their victors. While Ilghazi parleyed with 
Reynald, they were tortured and massacred amongst the vineyards 
by the Turcomans, till Ilghazi put a stop to it, not wishing the 
populace of Aleppo to miss all the sport. The remainder were 
taken on to Aleppo, where Ilghazi made his triumphant entry at 
sundown; and there they were tortured to death in the streets. 1 

While Ilghazi feasted at Aleppo in celebration of his victory, 
the terrible news of the battle reached Antioch. All expected that 
the Turcomans would come up at once to attack the city; and 
there were no soldiers to defend it. In the crisis the Patriarch 
Bernard took command. His first fear was of treason from the 
native Christians, whom his own actions had done so much to 
alienate. He at once sent round to disarm them and impose a 
curfew on them. Then he distributed the arms that he could 
collect among the Prankish clergy and merchants and set them to 
watch the walls. Day and night they kept vigil, while a messenger 
was sent to urge King Baldwin to hurry faster. 2 

But Ilghazi did not follow up his victory. He wrote round to 
the monarchs of the Moslem world to tell them of his triumph; 
and the Caliph in return sent him a robe of honour and the title of 
Star of Religion. 3 Meanwhile he marched on Artah. The Bishop 
who was in command of one of the towers surrendered it in 
return for a safe-conduct to Antioch; but a certain Joseph, pro 
bably an Armenian, who was in charge of the citadel, where 
Roger s treasure was housed, persuaded Ilghazi that he himself 
sympathized with the Moslems, but his son was a hostage at 
Antioch. Ilghazi was impressed by the story, and left Artah in 
Joseph s hands, merely sending one of his emirs to reside as his 
representative in the town. 4 From Artesia he returned to Aleppo, 
where he settled down to so pleasant a series of festivities that his 
health began to suffer. Turcoman troops were sent to raid the 
suburbs of Antioch and sack the port of Saint Symeon, but 

1 Kemal ad-Din, loc. at.; Walter the Chancellor, n, 7, pp. 111-13. 

2 Walter the Chancellor, u, 8, pp. 114-15. 3 ibn al-Athir, p. 332. 
4 Walter the Chancellor, n, 8, p. 114. 


King Baldwin II 

reported that the city itself was well garrisoned. The fruits of the 
Field of Blood were thus thrown away by the Moslems. 1 

Nevertheless the position was serious for the Franks. Baldwin 
had reached Lattakieh, with Pons close behind him, before he 
heard the news. He hurried on, not stopping even to attack an 
undefended Turcoman encampment near to the road, and arrived 
without incident at Antioch in the first days of August. Ilghazi 
sent some of his troops to intercept the relieving army; and Pons, 
following a day s march behind, had to ward off their attack but 
was not much delayed. The King was received with joy by his 
sister, the widowed Princess Cecilia, by the Patriarch and by all 
the people; and a service giving thanks to God was held in 
St Peter s Cathedral. He first cleared the suburbs of marauders, 
then met the notables of the city to discuss its future government. 
The lawful prince, Bohemond II, whose ultimate rights Roger 
had always acknowledged, was a boy of ten, living with his 
mother in Italy. There was no representative of the Norman 
house left in the East; and the Norman knights had all perished on 
the Field of Blood. It was decided that Baldwin, as overlord of 
the Prankish East, should himself take over the government of 
Antioch till Bohemond came of age, and that Bohemond should 
then be married to one of the Kong s daughters. Next, Baldwin 
redistributed the fiefs of the principality, left empty by the 
disaster. Wherever it was possible, the widows of the fallen lords 
were married off at once to suitable knights in Baldwin s army or 
to newcomers from the West. We find the two Dowager Prin 
cesses, Tancred s widow, now Countess of Tripoli, and Roger s 
widow, installing new vassals on their dower-lands. At the same 
time Baldwin probably rearranged the fiefs of the county of 
Edessa; and Joscelin, who followed the King up from Palestine, 
was formally established as its Count. Having assured the 
administration of the land, and having headed a barefoot pro 
cession to the cathedral, Baldwin led his army of about seven 

1 Usama, ed. Hitti, pp. 148-9; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 332-3. According to Usama, 
if Ilghazi drank wine lie felt drunk for twenty days. 


1119: Drawn Battle at Hab 

hundred horsemen and some thousand infantrymen out against 
the Moslems. 1 

Ilghazi had now been joined by Toghtekin ; and the two Moslem 
chieftains set out on n August to capture the Prankish fortresses 
east of the Orontes, beginning with Athareb, whose small gar 
rison at once surrendered in return for a safe-conduct to Antioch. 
The emirs next day went on to Zerdana, whose lord, Robert the 
Leper, had gone to Antioch. Here again the garrison surrendered 
in return for their lives; but they were massacred by the Turco 
mans as soon as they emerged from the gates. Baldwin had hoped 
to save Athareb; but he had hardly crossed the Iron Bridge before 
he met its former garrison. He went on south, and heard of the 
siege of Zerdana. Suspecting that the Moslems intended to move 
southward to mop up the castles round Maarat al-Numan and 
Apamea, he hurried ahead and encamped on the I3th at Tel- 
Danith, the scene of Roger s victory in 1115. Early next morning 
he learnt that Zerdana had fallen and judged it prudent to retire 
a little towards Antioch. Meanwhile Ilghazi had come up, hoping 
to surprise the Franks as they slept by the village of Hab. But 
Baldwin was ready. He had already confessed himself; the 
Archbishop of Caesarea had harangued the troops and held up the 
True Cross to bless them; and the army was ready for action. 

The battle that followed was confused. Both sides claimed 
a victory; but in fact the Franks came off the best. Toghtekin 
drove back Pons of Tripoli, on the Prankish right wing; but the 
Tripolitans kept their ranks. Next to him Robert the Leper 
charged through the regiment from Horns and eagerly planned to 
recapture Zerdana, only to fall into an ambush and be taken 
captive. But the Prankish centre and left held their ground, and 
at the crucial moment Baldwin was able to charge the enemy with 

1 Walter the Chancellor, n, 9-10, pp. 115-18; Fulcher of Chartres, in, vii, 
1-3, pp. 633-5 ; Orderic Vitalis (xi, 25, vol. iv, p. 245) tells of Cecilia, Countess 
of Tripoli enfeoffing knights. Roger s widow enfeoffed knights in 1126 
(Rohricht, Regesta, Additamenta, p. 9). It was probably at this time that Marash 
was transferred from the suzerainty of Antioch to that of Edessa. 


King Baldwin II 

troops that were still fresh. Numbers of the Turcomans turned 
and fled; but the bulk of Ilghazi s army left the battlefield in good 
order. Ilghazi and Toghtekin retired towards Aleppo with a large 
train of prisoners, and were able to tell the Moslem world that 
theirs was the victory. Once again the citizens of Aleppo were 
gratified by the sight of a wholesale massacre of Christians, till 
Ilghazi, after interrupting the killing to try out a new horse, grew 
disquieted at the loss of so much potential ransom-money. Robert 
the Leper was asked his price and replied that it was ten thousand 
pieces of gold. Ilghazi hoped to raise the price by sending Robert 
to Toghtekin. But Toghtekin had not yet satisfied his blood-lust. 
Though Robert was an old friend of his from the days of 1115, he 
himself struck off his head, to the dismay of Ilghazi, who needed 
money for his soldiers pay. 1 

At Antioch soldiers fleeing from Pons s army had brought news 
of a defeat; but soon a messenger arrived for the Princess Cecilia 
bearing the King s ring as token of his success. Baldwin himself 
did not attempt to pursue the Moslem army but moved on south 
to Maarat al-Numan and to Rusa, which the Munqidhites of 
Shaizar had occupied. He drove them out but then made a treaty 
with them, releasing them from the obligation to pay yearly dues 
that Roger had demanded. The remaining forts that the Moslems 
had captured, with the exception of Birejik, Athareb and Zerdana, 
were also recovered. Then Baldwin returned to Antioch in 
triumph, and sent the Holy Cross southward to arrive at Jerusalem 
in time for the Feast of the Exaltation, on 14 September. He him 
self spent the autumn in Antioch, completing the arrangements 
that he had begun before the recent battle. In December he 
journeyed back to Jerusalem, leaving the Patriarch Bernard to 
administer Antioch in his name, and installing Joscelin in Edessa. 2 
He brought south with him from Edessa his wife and their little 

1 "Walter the Chancellor, n, 10-15, pp. 118-28; William of Tyre, xn, 11-12, 
pp. 527-30; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 620-2; Usama, ed. Him, pp. 149-50. 

2 Walter the Chancellor, n, 16, pp. 129-31; William of Tyre, xn, 12, 
p. 530. 


1119: Failure of the Ortoqid Campaign 

daughters; and at the Christmas ceremony at Bethlehem Morphia 
was crowned queen. 1 

Ilghazi had not ventured to attack the Franks again. His army 
was melting away. The Turcoman troops had come mainly for 
the sake of plunder. After the battle of Tel-Danith they were left 
idle and bored and their pay was in arrears. They began to go 
home, and with them the Arab chieftains of the Jezireh. Ilghazi 
could not prevent them; for he himself had fallen ill once more 
and for a fortnight he hung between life and death. When he 
recovered it was too late to reassemble his army. He returned 
from Aleppo to his eastern capital at Mardin, and Toghtekin 
returned to Damascus. 5 

Thus the great Ortoqid campaign fizzled out. It had achieved 
nothing material for the Moslems, except for a few frontier-forts 
and the easing of Prankish pressure on Aleppo. But it had been 
a great moral triumph for Islam. The check at Tel-Danith had not 
counterbalanced the tremendous victory of the Held of Blood. 
Had Ilghazi been abler and more alert, Antioch might have been 
his. As it was, the slaughter of the Norman chivalry, their Prince 
at their head, encouraged the emirs of the Jezireh and northern 
Mesopotamia to renew the attack, now that they were free from 
the tutelage of their nominal Seldjuk overlord in Persia. And soon 
a greater man than Ilghazi was to arise. For the Franks the worst 
result of the campaign had been the appalling loss of man-power. 
The knights and, still more, the infantrymen fallen on the Field of 
Blood could not easily be replaced. But the lesson had now been 
thoroughly learnt that the Franks of the East must always co 
operate and work as a unit. King Baldwin s prompt intervention 
had saved Antioch; and the needs of the time were recognized by 
the readiness of all the Franks to accept him as an active overlord. 
The disaster welded together the Prankish establishments in 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, ra, vii, 4, p. 635; William of Tyre, xn, 12, p. 531. 

2 Walter the Chancellor, loc. cit\ Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 161; Kemal ad-Din, 
pp. 624-5. 


King Baldwin II 

On his return to Jerusalem Baldwin busied himself over the 
administration of his own kingdom. The succession to the princi 
pality of Galilee was given to William of Bures, in whose family 
it remained. In January 1120 the King summoned the ecclesiastics 
and tenants-in-chief of the kingdom to a council at Nablus to 
discuss the moral welfare of his subjects, probably in an attempt 
to curb the tendency of the Latin colonists in the East to adopt the 
easy and indolent habits that they found there. At the same time 
he was concerned with their material welfare. Under Baldwin I 
an increasing number of Latins had been encouraged to settle in 
Jerusalem, and a Latin bourgeois class was growing up there by 
the side of the warriors and clerics of the kingdom. These Latin 
bourgeois were now given complete freedom of trade to and from 
the city, while, to ensure a full supply of food, the native Christians 
and even Arab merchants were allowed to bring vegetables and 
corn to the city free of customs-dues. 1 

The most important internal event of these years was the founda 
tion of the Military Orders. In the yedr 1070 some pious citizens of 
Ama] had founded a hostel at Jerusalem for the use of poor 
pilgrims. The Egyptian governor then in possession of the city 
had allowed the Amalfitan consul to choose a suitable site; and 
the establishment was dedicated to Saint John the Almsgiver, the 
charitable seventh-century Patriarch of Alexandria. The hostel 
was staffed mainly by Amalfitans, who took the usual monastic 
vows and were under the direction of a Master, who in his turn 
was under the Benedictine authorities established in Palestine. At 
the time of the Crusaders capture of Jerusalem the Master was 
a certain Gerard, probably an Amalfitan. With his co-religionists 
he had been banished from Jerusalem by the Moslem governor 
before the siege began; and his knowledge of local conditions had 
been of value to the Crusaders. He persuaded the new Prankish 
government to make endowments to the Hospital. Many of the 
pilgrims joined his staff, which was soon released from its obedience 

1 Rohricht, Regesta, p. 20; Mansi, Concilia, vol. xxi, pp. 262-6; "William of 
Tyre, xn, xiii, p. 531. 

I 5 6 

1118-20 : Beginnings of the Military Orders 

to die Benedictines and raised to be an Order of its own, under 
the name of the Hospitallers, owing direct obedience to the Pope. 
More lands were conferred on it and most of the great ecclesiastics 
of the realm offered it a tithe from their revenues. Gerard died 
in about 1 1 1 8. His successor, the Frenchman Raymond of Le Puy, 
had larger ideas. He decided that it was not enough for his Order 
to guide and entertain pilgrims; it must be ready to fight to keep 
the pilgrim-routes open. The Order still contained brothers whose 
duties were purely pacific; but its main function was now to keep 
up an establishment of knights bound by the religious vows of 
personal poverty, chastity and obedience, and dedicated to fight 
against the heathen. About the same time, as though to mark the 
greater status of the Hospital, John the Almsgiver was imper 
ceptibly replaced as its patron saint by John the Evangelist. The 
distinctive badge of the Knights Hospitaller was the white cross 
that they wore on their tunics over their armour. 

This transformation was helped by the simultaneous establish 
ment of the Knights Templar. Indeed, the idea of an Order that 
should be both religious and military probably sprang from the 
brain of a knight from Champagne, Hugh of Payens, who in 
1 1 1 8 persuaded King Baldwin I to allow him to instal himself and 
a few companions in a wing of the royal palace, the former 
mosque of al-Aqsa, in the Temple area. Like the Hospitallers the 
Templars first followed the Benedictine rule but were almost at 
once established as an independent Order, with three classes, the 
knights, all of noble birth, the sergeants, drawn from the bour 
geoisie, who were the grooms and stewards of the community, 
and the clerics, who were chaplains and in charge of non-military 
tasks. Their badge was the red cross, worn on a white tunic by 
the knights and on a black by the sergeants. The first avowed duty 
of the Order was to keep the road from the coast to Jerusalem free 
from bandits, but soon they took part in any campaign in which 
the kingdom was involved. Hugh himself spent much of his time 
in western Europe, gaining recruits for his Order. 

King Baldwin gave the military Orders his full support. They 


King Baldwin II 

were independent of his authority, owing allegiance only to the 
Pope. Even the great estates with which he and his vassals began 
to endow them involved no obligation to fight in the King s army ; 
but a generation passed before they were rich enough to challenge 
the royal authority. In the meantime they provided the kingdom 
with what it most needed, a regular army of trained soldiers, 
whose permanent presence was assured. In the lay fiefs the sudden 
death of the lord and the passing of the inheritance to a woman or 
a child might interrupt the organization of his troops and per 
petually involve the suzerain in anxious and tiresome business. 
Nor could he count on replacing the lords that he lost by new 
comers from the West whenever he needed them. But the 
Military Orders, with their efficient organization and with their 
glamour and prestige spreading through western Christendom, 
could ensure a regular supply of devoted fighting-men who would 
not be distracted by thoughts of personal ambition and gain. 1 

In 1 120 Baldwin returned to Antioch. Ilghazi s governor of 
Athareb, Bulaq, had begun to raid Antiochene territory, while 
Ilghazi himself had marched on Edessa. Both raids were checked; 
but Ilghazi passed on to the neighbourhood of Antioch. The 
Patriarch Bernard sent nervously to Jerusalem,, to the King; and 
in June Baldwin started northward, bearing with him once more 
the True Cross, to the distress of the Church of Jerusalem, which 
disliked to see its precious relic exposed to the risk of war. The 
Patriarch Gormond himself accompanied the army, to take charge 
of the relic. When Baldwin arrived in the north he found that 
Ilghazi, weakened by desertions from his Turcoman troops, had 
already retired; and so alarmed were the Moslems that Toghtekin 
was summoned to Aleppo. During the campaign that followed 
each side marched to and fro, till at last the Moslems were 

1 For the Military Orders, see William of Tyre, xn, 7, pp. 520-1 (the 
Templars); xvm, 4, pp. 822-3 (the Hospitallers). For good modern accounts 
see Delaville Le Roulx, Les Hospitallers en Tern Sainte; Curzon, La Regie du 
Temple-, Melville, La Vie des Templiers. A full account of the Templars (called 
the Prankish Phrer ) is given by Michael the Syrian, ra, pp. 201-3. See also 
La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, pp. 217-25. 


H2i: The Georgian Crusade 

wearied. Toghtekin retired to Damascus ; and Ilghazi made a truce 
with Baldwin. A definite frontier-line was drawn between their 
zones of influence, in one place cutting a mill and in another 
a castle in half so that by mutual consent the buildings were 
destroyed. Zerdana, which remained a Moslem enclave, was dis 
mantled. 1 Early next spring Baldwin returned home, having won 
a bloodless moral victory. He was needed in the south, as Togh 
tekin, believing him fully occupied in the north, had carried out 
an extensive raid into Galilee. In July 1121 Baldwin, in reprisal, 
crossed the Jordan and ravaged the Jaulan, occupying and de 
stroying a fort that Toghtekin had built at Jerash. 3 Meanwhile 
Joscelin made a profitable razzia in Ilghazi s lands in the Jezireh. 3 
During the summer of 1121 a new factor made itself felt in 
eastern politics. Away to the north, in the Caucasian foothills, 
the Bagratid Kings of Georgia had established their hegemony 
over the Christian peoples there that still remained independent of 
Moslem domination; and King David II had extended his rule to 
the south of the Araxes valley, where he came into conflict with the 
Seldjuk prince, Toghrul, governor of Arran. After a defeat by 
David s forces Toghrul invited Ilghazi to join him in a Holy War 
against the impudent Christian. The campaign that followed was 
disastrous for the Moslems. In August 1121 the united army of 
Toghrul and Ilghazi was almost annihilated by the Georgians ; and 
Ilghazi barely escaped with his life as he fled back to Mardin. King 
David was able to establish himself in the old Georgian capital of 
Tiflis, and by 1124 he had acquired northern Armenia and the 
metropolis of Ani, the ancient home of his house. Henceforward the 
whole Turkish world was desperately conscious of the danger that 
Georgia, with its superb strategic position, presented to them; nor 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, ix, 1-7, pp. 638-42; Walter the Chancellor, n, 16, 
p. 13 1 ; Matthew of Edessa, ccxxx, pp. 302-3 ; Michael the Syrian, in, pp. 205-6 ; 
Kemal ad-Din, p. 627; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 162; Grousset^op. cit. I, p. 574, 
following Michael the Syrian, confuses Bulaq with Ilghazi s nephew Balak, 
who was now campaigning far farther north (Ibn al-Qalanisi, loc. cit.]. 

* Fulcher of Chartres, m, x, 1-6, pp. 643-5. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, op. cit. p. 163 ; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 623-6. 


King Baldwin II 

was the danger lessened by David II s death in 1 125. 1 His successors 
inherited his vigour. Their prowess, by keeping the Moslems 
perpetually nervous of their northern flank, was of great value to 
the Franks, though there seems to have been no direct contact 
between the two Christian powers. The Georgians, bound by links 
of religion and tradition to Byzantium, had no liking for the Franks ; 
and the chilly treatment accorded to their religious establish 
ments at Jerusalem was not such as would please a proud people. 2 

Nevertheless, Ilghazi s fate at their hands gave Baldwin an 
opportunity that he did not miss. Ilghazi s son, Suleiman, recently 
appointed governor of Aleppo by his father, rashly profited by his 
father s defeat to declare his independence, and, finding himself 
unable to meet the attack that Baldwin at once launched against 
him, he made peace with the Franks, ceding to them Zerdana and 
Athareb, the fruits of Ilghazi s victory. Ilghazi hastened to punish 
his disloyal son, but judged it prudent to confirm the treaty with 
Baldwin; who returned to Jerusalem, well pleased with the year s 
achievements. 3 

Early in 1122 Pons, Count of Tripoli, suddenly refused to pay 
allegiance to the King. The reason for his insubordination is 
unknown. It is difficult to see what support he hoped to find that 
would enable him to maintain it. Baldwin was furious and at 
once summoned his vassals to come and punish the rebel. The 
royal army marched up from Acre; and on its approach Pons 
submitted and was forgiven. 4 His submission was timely; for 

1 Georgian Chronicle (in Georgian), pp. 209-10, 215; Matthew of Edessa, 
ccxxxi-ii, ccxxxix, ccxliii, pp. 303-5, 310-11, 313-14; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 164; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 330-2; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 628-9; Walter the Chancellor, n, 
1 6, p. 130 (who gives the credit of the Georgian victory to Prankish mer 
cenaries) ; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 206. 

2 For the Georgian establishments in Jerusalem, see Georgian Chronicle, 
pp. 222-3 aftd Brosset, Additions et Eclair cissements, x, pp. 197-205. A brief 
notice is given in Rey, Les Colonies Franques, pp. 93-4. It is possible that the 
Georgians, by continually threatening the Ortoqids and the Seldjuks of 
Persarmenia, indirecdy helped the growth of Zengi s power. 

3 Kemal ad-Din, p. 629; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 349-50. 

4 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xi, pp. 647-8; William of Tyre, xn, 17, pp. 536-7. 


ii 22 : Capture of Count Joscelin 

Ilghazi, urged on by his nephew Balak, formerly prince of Saruj 
and now lord of Khanzit, was on the warpath once more. 
Baldwin, when the news was brought to him, refused to believe it. 
He had made a treaty with Ilghazi, and he believed that a gentle 
man the Arab chronicler uses the word sheikh kept his word. 
But Ilghazi was no gentleman; and he had the promise of 
Toghtekin s help. He laid siege to Zerdana, which the Franks had 
rebuilt, and had captured part of the fortifications when Baldwin 
approached. There followed another campaign without a battle, 
as Baldwin refused to be lured by the habitual Turkish stratagem 
of a feigned flight. Once again the Moslems were the first to 
weary of the marching to and fro and returned to their homes. 
Baldwin contentedly sent the Cross back to Jerusalem and him 
self went to Antioch. 1 

Before the Cross had reached its destination, bad news came 
from Edessa. On 13 September 1122, Count Joscelin and 
Waleran of Birejik were riding with a small force of horsemen, 
near Saruj when they suddenly came across Balak s army. They 
charged the enemy; but a heavy shower of rain turned the plain 
into mud. The horses slid and stumbled; and the light-armed 
Turcomans had no difficulty in surrounding the Franks. Joscelin, 
Waleran and sixty of their comrades were captured. Balak at once 
offered them their liberty in return for the cession of Edessa. On 
Joscelin 5 s refusal to listen to such terms, the prisoners were taken 
by Balak to his castle of Kharpurt* 

Joscelin s capture did not much affect the man-power of the 
Crusading states. We find the knights of Edessa successfully 
raiding Moslem territory during the following month. But it was 
a blow to Prankish prestige; and it forced Baldwin to add to his 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xi, 3-7, pp. 648-51; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 632-3; 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 166. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, in, xii, i, pp. 651-2; Matthew of Edessa, ccxxxiv, 
pp. 306-7; Kemal ad-Din, p. 634; Anon. Chron. Syr. p. 90, says that Joscelin 
was bringing home his new wife, Roger s sister. But there is no mention of 
her capture and, as Roger endowed his sister, the marriage must have taken 
place before Roger s death. 

King Baldwin II 

labours by taking over once more the administration of Edessa. 
Fortunately, in November, Ilghazi died at Mayyafaraqin, and his 
sons and nephews divided up the Ortoqid inheritance. His elder 
son Suleiman took Mayyafaraqin and the younger, Timurtash, 
Mardin. Aleppo went to a nephew, Badr ad-Daulah Suleiman; 
and Balak increased his possessions in the north and took Harran 
to the south. 1 

The Moslems had recently reoccupied Athareb; and in April 
next year Baldwin took advantage of the present confusion to 
force the feeble new ruler of Aleppo to give it back once and for 
all. After recapturing Birejik, the Kong then proceeded to Edessa 
to make arrangements for its government. He placed Geoffrey 
the Monk, lord of Marash, at the head of its administration, and 
went on with a small force north-eastward, to reconnoitre the 
scene of Joscelin s captivity. He encamped on 18 April not far 
from Gargar on the Euphrates. As he prepared to enjoy a 
morning s sport with his falcon, Balak, of whose proximity he 
knew nothing, fell upon the camp. Most of the army was mas 
sacred, and the King himself was taken prisoner. He was treated 
with respect and sent under escort to join Joscelin in the fortress 
of Kharpurt. 2 

Once again Baldwin and Joscelin found themselves together in 
captivity. But it was more serious than in 1104, for Baldwin now 
was king, the centrepiece of the whole Prankish fabric. It was 
a testimony to his administrative ability that the structure 
remained standing. Geoffrey the Monk continued to govern in 
Edessa. At Antioch when the news caone there the Patriarch 
Bernard once more made himself the responsible authority. At 
Jerusalem it was first rumoured that the King was Tolled. The 
Patriarch Gormond summoned the council of the kingdom to 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 166; Ibn Hamdun, p. 516; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 632-4; 
Matthew of Edessa, loc. dt. (an ignorant account of the Ortoqid succession). 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xvi, i, pp. 658-9; William of Tyre, xn, n, p. 537; 
Orderic Vitalis, xi, 26, vol. iv, p. 247; Matthew of Edessa, ccxxv, pp. 307-8; 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 167; Ibn al-Athir, p. 352. 


1123: Baldwin andjoscelin attempt to escape 

meet at Acre. By the time that it assembled the truth about his 
captivity was known. The council elected Eustace Gamier, lord of 
Caesar ea and Sidon, to act as constable and bailiff of the kingdom 
till the King should be delivered. In all three territories admini 
strative life went on undisturbed. 1 

The emir Balak had acquired a vast prestige; but he used it, not 
to deliver a death-blow against the Franks, but to establish himself 
in Aleppo. It was a harder task than he expected, for he was 
unpopular there. By June he was its master; and he then attacked 
the Prankish possession farther south, capturing Albara in August, 
only to be summoned north again by extraordinary news from 
Kharpurt. 2 

Joscelin had always been well-liked by the Armenians. Soon 
after his arrival in die East he had, like Baldwin I and Baldwin II, 
married an Armenian wife, die sister of the Roupenian Thoros, 
and she, unlike the two Queens of Jerusalem, was not born 
Orthodox but of the Separated Armenian Church and therefore in 
greater sympathy with most of her compatriots. She was dead 
now, and Joscelin had remarried; but his intimacy with the 
Armenians had continued and he had never shown against them 
the severity shown by his predecessor Baldwin II. The castle of 
Kharpurt lay in Armenian country; and a local peasant agreed to 
take a message to Joscelin s Armenian friends. Fifty of them came 
in various disguises to Kharpurt and were allowed entry as being 
monks and merchants of the district with a grievance that they 
asked to lay before the governor. Once inside the fortress they 
produced arms from beneath their garments and overpowered the 
garrison. Baldwin and Joscelin suddenly found themselves the 
masters of their prison. After a brief conference it was decided 
that Joscelin should leave the fortress before the Ortoqid army 
came up and should seek help, while Baldwin should try to hold 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, in, xvi, 1-3, pp. 659-61; William of Tyre, xn, 17, 

p. 538. 

* Kemal ad-Din, pp. 636-7; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 167-8. For various accounts 
of Balak s capture of Aleppo, see Cahen, op. cit. p. 296 n. 35. 

163 I][ - 2 

King Baldwin II 

the fortress. Joscelin slipped out with three Armenian comrades. 
When he had managed to pass between the gathering Turkish 
forces, he sent one of his men back to reassure the King. He him 
self went on through the dangerous enemy country, hiding by 
day and tramping wearily by night. At last the fugitives reached 
the Euphrates. Joscelin could not swim; but he had two wine 
skins in which he had carried water. Blowing them up with his 
breath he used them as floats; and his two companions, both 
strong swimmers, were able to push him across through the 
darkness. Next day they were found by a peasant, who recognized 
the Count and welcomed him with joy; for Joscelin had given 
him alms in the past. With the help of the peasant and his family 
Joscelin travelled on cautiously to Turbessel, where he revealed 
himself to his wife and the court. He would not stay there but 
hurried to Anrioch to raise troops to rescue the King. But the 
army of Antioch was small and the Patriarch Bernard was nervous. 
At his suggestion Joscelin rode at full speed to Jerusalem. His 
first act was to offer his chains at the altar of Calvary. Then he 
summoned the council of the kingdom and told his story. With 
the eager help of the Patriarch Gormond and of the Constable 
Eustace, troops were collected and, with the True Cross at their 
head, set out under his leadership by forced marches to Turbessel. 
But when they arrived there they heard that it was too late. 

When the news of the revolution at Kharpurt reached Balak 
he at once brought his army up from the south at a speed that 
astounded contemporaries. On his arrival he offered Baldwin 
a safe-conduct to his home if he would surrender the castle. 
Baldwin refused, either distrusting the emir or not wishing to 
abandon his comrades. But the castle was less impregnable than 
he had thought. Balak s engineers soon undermined a wall, and 
the Ortoqid army broke in. Balak now showed no mercy. His 
harem had been in the castle and its sanctity had been violated. 
Every defender of the castle, Frank or Armenian, and every 
woman who had aided them there were, probably, Armenian 
slaves in the harem was hurled over the battlements to death. 


1124: Death ofBalak 

Only the King, a nephew of his and Waleran were spared. They 
were moved for greater safety to the castle of Harran. 1 

Joscelin could not risk the hazards of a campaign against 
Harran. After utilizing his army for a successful raid in the 
neighbourhood of Aleppo he dismissed it and returned to Tur- 
bessel. But Balak was equally unable to profit by the situation. 
His lieutenant in Aleppo could only answer the Franks by con 
verting the churches of Aleppo into mosques, thereby outraging 
the local Christians and in no way harming the Latins. Balak 
himself came to Aleppo to organize a fresh campaign. But, early 
in 1124, the governor of Menbij revolted against his authority. He 
was arrested by the Ortoqid Timurtash, whom Balak asked to 
crush the rebellion; but the rebel s brother Isa held the citadel and 
appealed to Joscelin for help. Balak met Joscelin s army and 
defeated it, slaying Geoffrey the Monk. He went on to Menbij, 
eager to restore order there as he had just received an urgent 
summons from the south, from Tyre. But a stray arrow from the 
citadel ended his life, on 6 May. He died murmuring that his 
death was a mortal blow for Islam. He was right; for of all the 
Turkish leaders that the Crusaders had encountered he had shown 
the greatest energy and wisdom. The power of the Ortoqids did 
not long survive him. 2 
In the kingdom of Jerusalem itself Baldwin s absence in captivity 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xxiii-xxvi, 6, pp. 676-93 ; Orderic Vitalis, xi, 26, 
vol. iv, pp. 248-10. He says that the Armenian-born Queen Morphia helped to 
recruit compatriots for the King s rescue. He adds that captives were sent to 
Persia but later released. William of Tyre, xn, 18-20, pp. 538-41 ; Matthew of 
Edessa, ccxxxvi, pp. 308-10; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 169 (unfortunately with 
a lacuna in the text); Kemal ad-Din, p. 637; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 211. 
Baldwin s nephew was probably a brother of Manasses of Hierges, son of his 
sister Hodierna (see below, p. 233). "We are told by Michael, who calls him 
Bar Noul (Arnulf ?), that he was the son of a sister. Baldwin s other sister 
Mahalda, Lady of Vitry, seems to have had only one son, who married an 
heiress-cousin and succeeded to Rethel. William of Tyre, xn, I, pp. 511-12. 

* Fulcher of Chartres, m, xxxi, i-io, pp. 721-7; Orderic Vitalis, 33, 26, 
vol. iv, p. 260; William of Tyre, xni, II, pp. 57-i ; Matthew of Edessa, ccxl, 
pp. 311-12; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 641-2; Usama, ed. Hitti, pp. 63, 76, 130; 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 168-9 (but does not mention Balak s death). 

I6 5 

King Baldwin II 

had had no harmful effect. It had tempted the Egyptians once 
more to invade the country. In May 1123 a large Egyptian army 
moved out from Ascalon towards Jaffa. Eustace Gamier at once 
led the army of Jerusalem to oppose it. With him went the True 
Cross; while the Christian civilians of Jerusalem made barefoot 
processions to the churches. These pious precautions were barely 
needed; for when the Franks came up with the Egyptians at 
Ibelin, on 29 May, the enemy, despite his vast numerical superi 
ority, turned and fled, leaving his camp to be plundered by the 
Christians. 1 It was Eustace s last achievement. On 15 May he 
died. Following the custom of the kingdom, his widow, the 
Patriarch Arnulf s rich niece Emma, prompdy took a new 
husband, Hugh of Le Puiset, Count of Jaffa, in order that her lands 
should not lack an effective tenant. The office of Constable of the 
Kingdom was given by the council to William of Bures, Prince 
of Galilee. 2 

In 1119, just after the Field of Blood, King Baldwin had written 
to the Republic of Venice to plead for its help. The Egyptians 
might not be formidable on land, but their fleet still dominated 
Palestinian waters. In return he offered Venice commercial 
advantages. The Pope supported his appeal; and the Doge, 
Domenico Michiel, decided to answer it. Nearly three years 
passed before the Venetian expedition was ready. On 8 August 
1 122, a fleet of well over a hundred great men-of-war set sail 
from Venice, carrying a number of men and horses and siege- 
material. But it did not sail direct for Palestine. Venice had 
recently quarrelled with Byzantium, over an attempt of the 
Emperor John Comnenus to reduce its trading privileges. So the 
Venetians paused to attack the Byzantine island of Corfu. For 
some six months, throughout the winter of 1122-3, the Doge laid 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xvi, 3 -xix, i, pp. 661-8; William of Tyre, xn, I, 
Pp. 543-5- 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, in, xxii, pp. 674-5; William of Tyre, loc. cit. For 
Hugh of Le Puiset, see below, p. 191. He had married Emma before April 1124 
(Rohricht, Regesta, p. 25). 


1123: Venetian Squadron arrives at Acre 

siege, ineffectively, to the city of Corfu. At the end of April a ship 
sailing swiftly from Palestine told the Venetians of the disaster 
to the King. Reluctantly the Doge lifted the siege and took his 
armada eastward, merely stopping to attack whatever Byzantine 
ships he met. He arrived at Acre at the end of May and heard that 
the Egyptian fleet was cruising off Ascalon. He sailed down to 
meet it and, to lure it to battle, sent his lighter-armed ships ahead. 
The Egyptians fell into the trap. Thinking to have an easy victory 
they sailed out only to find themselves caught between two 
Venetian squadrons and outnumbered. Scarcely an Egyptian ship 
escaped from disaster. Some were sunk, others captured; and the 
Venetians added to their triumph when, sailing back to Acre, they 
met and captured a merchant-fleet often richly laden vessels. 1 

The presence of the Venetians was too valuable to be wasted. 
There was a debate whether their fleet should be used to capture 
Ascalon or Tyre, the two remaining Moslem strongholds on the 
coast. The nobles of Judea favoured the attack on Ascalon, those 
of Galilee that on Tyre. The Venetians finally decided upon Tyre. 
Its harbour was the best along the coast and it was now the port 
of the rich lands of Damascus ; it was a far more important trading- 
centre than Ascalon, with its open roadstead and its poor hinter 
land. But they insisted on their price. Negotiations about the 
terms dragged on throughout the autumn. At Christmas 1123, 
the Venetian commanders were sumptuously entertained at 
Jerusalem and attended the services at Bethlehem. Early in the 
new year a treaty was signed at Acre between the representatives 
of the Republic on the one hand and the Patriarch Gormond, the 
Constable William and the Chancellor Pagan on the other, in the 
name of the captive King. The Venetians were to receive a street, 
with a church, baths and a bakery, free of all customary obligations, 
in every town of the kingdom. They were to be free to use their 
own weights and measures in all their transactions, not only 
amongst themselves. They were to be excused all tolls and 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xx, 1-8, pp. 669-72; William of Tyre, xn, 23, 
pp. 546-7; Historia Ducum Veneticorum, M.G.H. Ss. vol. xrv, p. 73. 


King Baldwin II 

customs-duties throughout the kingdom. They were to receive 
additional houses in Acre and a third of the cities of Tyre and 
Ascalon, if they helped in their capture. In addition they were to 
be paid an annual sum of three hundred Saracen besants, charge 
able on royal revenues at Acre. They agreed in return to continue 
the customary payment of a third of the fare charged for pilgrims 
to the royal treasury. The Venetians further demanded that the 
kingdom should not reduce the customs-dues charged on other 
nationals without Venetian consent. The Patriarch Gormond 
swore on the Gospel that King Baldwin would confirm the treaty 
when he was released. This was in fact done two years later, though 
Baldwin refused to accept the last ckuse, which would entirely 
have subordinated the commerce of the kingdom to Venetian 
interests. 1 "When the treaty was signed the Prankish army moved 
up the coast to Tyre and the Venetian fleet sailed parallel to it. The 
siege of Tyre was begun on 15 February H24. 2 

Tyre still belonged to the Fatimid Caliphate. In 1 1 12 its citizens, 
shocked by the little support tHat they had received from Egypt 
during the siege of the city in mi, had allowed Toghtekin to 
install a governor. He sent one of his ablest captains, the emir 
Mas ud, to take over the city. At the same time the suzerainty of 
Egypt was recognized and prayers in the mosques were made for 
the Fatimid Caliph, who was periodically asked to send naval help 
to the city. 3 The dyarchy worked smoothly for ten years, largely 
because the vizier al-Afdal was anxious to keep on good terms 
with Toghtekin, whose friendship was needed against the Franks. 
But in December 1121 al-Afdal was murdered by an Assassin in 
the streets of Cairo. The Caliph al-Amir, who then at last became 
his own master, wished to recover control of Tyre. He sent a 
fleet to Tyre in 1122, as though to strengthen its defences. The 
admiral invited Mas ud to inspect the ships and, when he came, 

1 Tafel-Thomas, i, pp. 84-9; Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 23-5; William of Tyre, 
xn, 4-5, pp. 547-53; Fulcher of Chartres, m, xxvii, 1-3, pp. 693-5. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xviii, i, pp. 695-6. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 128-30, 142. 


1124: Siege of Tyre 

kidnapped him and brought him to Cairo. He was well received 
there and sent with every mark of honour to Toghtekin, who 
agreed not to dispute the Fatimid restoration. But when the 
Franks approached the city, al-Amir, declaring that with his fleet 
destroyed he could do nothing to save it, formally handed over its 
defences to Toghtekin; who rushed up seven hundred Turkish 
troops and provisions against the siege. 1 

The city of Tyre was joined to the mainland only by the narrow 
isthmus that Alexander the Great had constructed; and its fortifi 
cations were in good order. But it had one weakness ; the drinking 
water came through an aqueduct from the mainland, for there 
was no well on the peninsula. The day after their arrival the Franks 
cut this aqueduct. But winter rains had filled the city cisterns; it 
was some time before the shortage of water made itself felt. The 
Franks settled down in a camp in the gardens and orchards where 
the isthmus joined the mainland. The Venetians beached their 
vessels alongside of them, but always kept at least one galley at 
sea to intercept any vessel that might attempt to sail through to 
the harbour. The supreme commander of the army was the 
Patriarch Gormond, who was felt to possess greater authority than 
the Constable. When the Count of Tripoli came up with his army 
to join the besieging forces, he showed himself willing to obey 
the Patriarch in everything, a concession that he would not prob 
ably have made to William of Bures. 3 

The siege lasted on throughout the spring and early summer. 
The Franks kept up a steady bombardment of the walls across the 
isthmus from engines whose material had been brought up by the 
Venetians. The defenders on their side were well equipped with 
machines for hurling stones and Greek fire on their assailants. 
They fought magnificently; but they were not sufficiently 
numerous to attempt sorties. Fearing lest hunger and thirst and 
shortage of man-power might force them to capitulate, their 

1 Ibid. pp. 165-6, 170-1; Ibn al-Atkir, pp. 356-8. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xxviii, i-xxx, 13, pp. 695-720 (including a long 
digression on die history of Tyre); William of Tyre, xm, 7, p. 565. 


King Baldwin II 

messengers slipped out of the city to urge Toghtekin and the 
Egyptians to hurry to their rescue. An Egyptian army attempted 
a diversion against Jerusalem itself and reached the outskirts of the 
Holy City. But its civilians, merchants, clerks and priests, 
hastened to man its tremendous walls; and the Egyptian com 
mander did not venture to attack them. Soon afterwards a second 
Egyptain army sacked the little town of Belin, or La Mahomerie, 
a few miles to the north, and massacred its inhabitants. But such 
isolated raids would not save Tyre. Toghtekin was even less 
enterprising. When the siege began he moved with his army to 
Banyas, by the source of the Jordan, waiting for news of an 
Egyptian fleet with which he could concert his attack on the 
Prankish camp. But no Egyptian fleet sailed up the coast; the 
Caliph could not muster one. The Franks had feared this combina 
tion. The Venetian fleet lay for some weeks off the Ladder of Tyre 
to intercept the Egyptians; and the Patriarch detached Pons of 
Tripoli and William of Bures with a considerable army to go to 
meet Toghtekin. When they approached towards Banyas, 
Toghtekin decided not to risk a battle and retired to Damascus. 
The only hope of the besieged city now lay in Balak the Ortoqid, 
the renowned captor of the King. Balak planned to come to their 
aid; but in May he was killed at Menbij. 

By the end of June the situation inside Tyre was desperate. 
Food and water were alike running out, and many of the garrison 
had fallen. Toghtekin was warned that it must surrender. He sent 
to the Prankish camp offering its capitulation on the usual terms; 
that those of the inhabitants that wished to leave the city should 
do so in peace with all their movable belongings and those that 
wished to remain should keep their rights as citizens. The Prankish 
and Venetian leaders accepted the offer, though the common 
soldiers and sailors were furious to hear that there would be no 
looting and threatened mutiny. On 7 July 1124 the gates were 
opened and the Christian army took over the city. The King s 
standard was hoisted over the main gate, and the Count of 
Tripoli s and the Doge s over towers on either side. The leaders 


1124: Ransom of King Baldwin 

kept their word. There was no looting ; and a long procession of 
Moslems passed safely through the Crusader camp. The last 
Moslem town on the coast north of Ascalon thus passed to the 
Christians. Their army returned rejoicing to Jerusalem; and the 
Venetians sailed back to Venice, having extracted their pound of 
flesh. 1 

The good news reached King Baldwin at Shaizar. On Balak s 
death his custody had passed to Ilghazi s son Timurtash, who 
disliked the responsibility of it and preferred the idea of a rich 
ransom. He asked the emir of Shaizar to open negotiations with 
the Franks. Queen Morphia had journeyed to the north to be as 
near as possible to her husband; and she and Count Joscelin 
arranged terms with the emir. The price demanded was high. 
The King was to pay Timurtash eighty thousand dinars and was 
to cede to Aleppo, where Timurtash had succeeded to Balak s 
power, die towns of Athareb, Zerdana, Azaz, Kafartab and the 
Jasr; he must also help Timurtash in suppressing the Bedouin 
leader Dubais ibn Sadaqa, who had settled in the Jezireh. Twenty 
thousand dinars were to be paid in advance; and hostages were 
to be deposited at Shaizar for the payment of die remainder. As 
soon as they were handed over to the Moslems, Baldwin would 
be freed. For hostages Timurtash demanded the King s youngest 
child, the four-year old Princess Joveta, and the son and heir 
of Joscelin, a boy of eleven, and ten scions of the nobility. The emir 
Sultan of Shaizar, to show his good faith, sent various members 
of his family to Aleppo. At the end of June 1124 Baldwin left 
Harran, on his own charger, which had been restored to him by 
Timurtash, together with many costly gifts. He went to Shaizar, 
where the emir, who remembered him kindly for his remission of 
the money due from Shaizar to Antioch five years before, offered 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xxxii, i-xxriv, 13, pp. 728-39, fixing the date of 
the capture (he unfairly blames the Antiochenes for not co-operating) ; William 
of Tyre, xni, 13-14, pp. 573~<5; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 170-2, giving the date; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 358-9 (dating it 9 July); Abul Feda, pp. 15-16 (dating it 
5 July); Matthew of Edessa, ccxliv, p. 314. 


King Baldwin II 

him lavish entertainment. He met there his (laughter and her 
fellow-hostages. On their arrival he was allowed to proceed to 
Antioch, which he reached in the last days of August. 1 

Now that he was free Baldwin did not honour the terms that he 
had accepted. The Patriarch Bernard pointed out to him that he 
was only the overlord and regent of Antioch; he had no right to 
give away its territory, which belonged to the youthful Bohe- 
mond II. Baldwin was willingly convinced by the argument and 
sent to tell Timurtash very apologetically that most unfortunately 
he could not disobey the Patriarch. Timurtash, who was more 
concerned to receive money than territory, forgave the offence for 
fear of losing the remainder of the ransom. Discovering Timurtash 
to be so compliant, Baldwin next dishonoured the clause by which 
he had promised to aid him against the Bedouin emir Dubais. 
Instead, he received an embassy from Dubais to plan common 
action against Aleppo. An alliance was made; and in October the 
armies of Antioch and Edessa joined Dubais s Arabs before the 
walls of Aleppo. Their coalition was soon strengthened by the 
arrival in their camp of the Seldjuk claimant to the throne of 
Aleppo, Sultanshah, who had recently escaped from an Ortoqid 
prison, together with his cousin Toghrul Arslan, brother of the 
Sultan of Rum, who had recently been evicted from Melitene by 
the Danishmends and was searching for allies. 

Timurtash made no attempt to defend Aleppo. His brother 
Suleiman of Mayyafaraqin was dying ; and he wanted to make sure 
of the inheritance. He remained at Mardin, leaving the notables 
of the city to hold out as best they could. For three months they 
resisted, while their emissaries, ill-received by Timurtash, who 
had no wish to be further bothered about them, went on to Mosul 
and aroused the interest of its atabeg, Aqsonqor il-Bursuqi, who 

1 Usama^ed. Hitti, pp. 133, 150; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 643-4; Matthew of 
Edessa, ccxli, pp. 312-13 (mentioning that Joscelin and die Queen arranged the 
ransom and adding that Waleran and the King s nephew were put to death by 
Timurtash this was possibly because the King broke the terms of his ransom). 
Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 212, 225. Joveta is variously called in charters, 
Yvette, Ivetta or Juditta. 


1125: Battle ofAzaz 

had led the Sultan s armies against the Franks in 1114. Il-Bursuqi, 
who hated the Ortoqids, sent officers to take over the citadel of 
Aleppo, and himself, though ill, set out with an army and with 
the Sultan s blessing. When he approached Aleppo he ordered the 
emir of Horns, Khirkan, and Toghtekin of Damascus to join him; 
and both sent contingents. Before this display offeree the Franco- 
Bedouin alliance broke up. Dubais moved with his tribe eastward, 
while Baldwin retired to the fortress of Athareb. At the end of 
January il-Bursuqi entered Aleppo, but made no attempt to 
pursue the Franks. Seeing this, the King returned to Antioch and 
went on to Jerusalem, where he arrived in April 1125, after two 
years absence. 1 

He did not remain there for long; for il-Bursuqi was more 
formidable than the Ortoqids. Master of Mosul and Aleppo, and 
backed by the Sultan s authority, he was able to coalesce the 
Moslems of northern Syria under his rule. Toghtekin and the emir 
of Horns submitted to his hegemony. In March he visited Shaizar, 
whose emir Sultan, always anxious to be the friend of everyone 
of importance, handed over to him the Prankish hostages, the 
Princess Joveta and young Joscelin and their comrades. In May, 
at the head of a new Moslem alliance, he attacked and captured the 
Prankish fort of Kafartab and laid siege to Zerdana. Baldwin 
hastened northward and led the armies of Antioch, Tripoli and 
Edessa, eleven hundred horsemen and two thousand foot-soldiers, 
to save Zerdana. The Moslems moved on to Azaz; and there, at 
the end of May, took place one of the most bloodthirsty battles in 
the history of the Crusades. The Moslems, relying on their 
superior numbers, attempted a hand-to-hand contest; but the 
superior armour and physique of the Franks was too much for 
them, and they were decisively beaten. From the rich booty that 
he acquired, Baldwin was able to amass the eighty thousand 
dinars owing for the ransom of the hostages, each Prankish knight 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, in, xxxviii-xxxix, 9, 2, pp. 751-6; William of Tyre, 
xm, 15, pp. 576-7; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 172-3; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 643-50 
Usama, ed. Him, p. 133 ; Matthew of Edessa, ccxlv, pp. 314-15. 


King Baldwin II 

giving up a portion of his share to rescue the King s daughter. 
Though the money was really due to Timurtash, il-Bursuqi 
accepted it and returned the hostages. Another sum, sent to 
Shaizar, redeemed prisoners and hostages that were still detained 
there. On their release, they were attacked by the emir of Horns ; 
but die Munqidhites hurried to their rescue and sent them on their 

After the battle a truce was made. The Moslems kept Kafartab, 
which was given to the emir of Horns, but no other territorial 
changes were made. After leaving a garrison in Aleppo, il-Bursuqi 
returned to Mosul. For eighteen months the north was left in 
peace. 1 

Baldwin went back to Palestine, where in the autumn of 1125, 
he conducted a raid on Damascene lands and a demonstration 
against Ascalon. In January 1126 he decided to lead a serious 
expedition against Damascus and invaded the Hauran. Toghtekin 
came out to meet him. The armies clashed at Tel es-Saqhab, some 
twenty miles south-west of Damascus. At first the Moslems had 
the better of the fight, and Toghtekin s Turcoman regiment 
penetrated to the royal camp ; but in the end Baldwin won the 
victory. He pursued the enemy half-way to Damascus, but in 
view of his heavy losses he judged it prudent to abandon the 
campaign and retired, laden with booty, to Jerusalem.* 

In March 1126 Pons of Tripoli attacked the Moslem fortress of 
Rafaniya, which dominated the entry to the Buqaia from the 
Orontes valley. It had long been a Christian objective since its 
recapture by Toghtekin in 1105. While its governor appealed for 
help to Toghtekin and to il-Bursuqi, Pons applied for King 
Baldwin s aid. The two Christian princes marched quickly on the 
fortress, long before the Moslems were ready to come to its 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, in, xlii, i-xliv, 4, pp. 761-71 ; William of Tyre, xiii, 
u, pp. 578-80; Sigebert of Gembloux, M.G.H. Ss. vol. vi, p. 380; Kemal 
ad-Din, p. 651; Bustan, p. 519; Usama, loc. dt.\ Matthew of Edessa, ccxlvii, 
pp. 315-18; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 221. 

2 Fulcher of Chartres, m, xlvi, 1-7, 1, 1-15, pp. 77, 784-93 ; William of Tyre, 
xm, 17-18, pp. 581-5; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 574-7. 


1126: Arrival ofBohemond II 

rescue; and it surrendered to them after a siege of eighteen days. 
Its capture was valuable to the Franks; for it safeguarded not 
only the county of Tripoli itself but communications between 
Jerusalem and Antioch. 1 

Meanwhile the Egyptians had rebuilt their fleet. In the autumn 
of 1126 it set sail from Alexandria to ravage the Christian coast. 
Hearing of this il-Bursuqi planned a simultaneous attack in the 
north and laid siege to Athareb. Baldwin rightly decided that the 
latter was the greater danger and hurried to Antioch. In fact the 
Egyptians, after attempting a costly raid on the suburbs of Beirut, 
found the coastal cities so well garrisoned that they soon returned 
to the Nile. 2 In the north Baldwin, who was joined by Joscelin, 
obliged the Moslems to retire from Athareb. Neither side would 
risk a battle; and the truce was soon re-made. Il-Bursuqi, after 
installing his son Izz ed-Din Mas ud as governor of Aleppo, went 
home to Mosul. On the very day of his arrival, 26 November, he 
was stabbed to death by an Assassin. 3 

Il-Bursuqi s death brought chaos to the Moslems, which 
worsened when his son Mas ud, with whom Toghtekin had 
already quarrelled, died, probably of poison, a few months later. 
Aleppo passed to and fro between Mas ud s nominee Tuman, 
a Mameluk sent by the Sultan called Kuduh, the Ortoqid Badr 
ad-Daulah Suleiman, and a son of Ridwan s, Ibrahim the 
Seldjuk. 4 

About the same time Baldwin gladly found himself relieved of 
the regency of Antioch. The young Bohemond II was now aged 
eighteen and came to take over his inheritance. Abandoning his 
lands in Italy to his cousin, Roger II of Sicily, he sailed from 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m } li, 4, lii, I, pp. 795-7, 798-9; William of Tyre, 
xin, 19, pp. 585-6; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 180; Kemal ad-Din, p. 652. 

a Fulcher of Chartres, m, Ivi, 1-5, pp. 803-5 ; William of Tyre, xm, 20, 
pp. 587-8. 

3 Fulcher of Chartres, m, Iv, 5, pp. 80-3 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 177-8 ; Kemal 
ad-Din, pp. 653-4. 

4 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 181-2; Kemal ad-Din, p. 654; Michael the Syrian, m, 
p. 225. 


King Baldwin II 

Otranto in September 1126 with a squadron of twenty-four ships, 
carrying a number of troops and horses. He landed at Saint 
Symeon early in October, and came straight up to Antioch, where 
King Baldwin welcomed him with every mark of honour. He 
made an excellent impression. He had his father s magnificent 
appearance, being tall, fair-haired and handsome, and he showed 
an air of high breeding that came from his mother Constance, 
daughter of King Philip I of France. King Baldwin at once handed 
over the principality, with all its possessions, into his hands, with 
the utmost scrupulousness. The ambassador from Shaizar was 
deeply impressed to see that the King henceforward paid cash to 
the Prince for the corn consumed by the horses of the army of 
Jerusalem. With him the King had his second daughter, the 
Princess Alice; and, in conformity with the plan that had been 
made, the young couple were married. Bohemond began his 
reign brilliantly, with an attack on Kafartab, which he recovered 
from the emir of Horns; and soon afterwards we hear of his 
gallantry in skirmishes against the army of Shaizar. 1 

King Baldwin could at last return to the south feeling that the 
death of il-Bursuqi and the coming of Bohemond would leave him 
free to see? to his own kingdom. He spent the year 1127 so peace 
fully that we know nothing of his movements, except for a short 
campaign east of the Dead Sea in August. 2 Early in 1128 his 
faithful friend, the Patriarch Gorrnond, died. His successor was 
another French priest, Stephen of La Ferte, abbot of Saint-Jean-en- 
Vallee at Chartres, a man of noble birth, related to Kong Baldwin. 
If Baldwin had hoped that the ties of cousinhood would make 
for cordial co-operation, he was soon disillusioned. The new 

1 Fulcher of Chartres, m, Ivii, 1-4, bd, 1-5, pp. 805-9, 819-22. (The inter 
vening chapters tell of the perils of the Mediterranean Sea and the species of 
serpents to be found on its shores. After a further chapter on a plague of mice 
in 1127 Fulcher s narrative ends.) William of Tyre, xm, 21, pp. 588-9; Orderic 
Vitalis, xi, 9, vol. rv, p. 266; Matthew of Edessa, ccl, p. 319 (saying that 
Baldwin promised Bohemond the succession to Jerusalem) ; Michael the Syrian, 
m, p. 224; Usama, ed. Him, p. 150. 

2 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 182. 


1 128: The Succession to the Throne 

Patriarch at once revived the question of the agreement that 
Godfrey had made with the Patriarch Daimbert. He claimed 
Jaffa as the autonomous possession of the Patriarchate; and he 
reminded the King that as soon as Ascalon should be conquered 
Jerusalem itself must be yielded up to him. Baldwin refused to 
listen to these demands but did not know how to deal with them. 
Relations between the royal Court and the Patriarchate worsened 
throughout 1129; but an open breach was avoided by Stephen s 
death after a short illness, early in 1130. His friends suspected 
poison. When the King came to visit the dying Patriarch, to ask 
how he was, the latter bitterly remarked : * Sire, I am faring as you 
desire. Indeed, his death was desirable. As his successor Baldwin 
secured the election of the Prior of the Holy Sepulchre, William 
of Messines, a man of great piety and goodness, though a little 
simple and ill-educated. He had no political ambitions and was 
glad to do whatever the King wished. In consequence he became 
universally beloved. 1 

Baldwin s next important task was to arrange for the succession 
to the throne. Queen Morphia had borne him no sons; but there 
were four daughters, Melisende, Alice, Hodierna and Joveta. 
Alice was now Princess of Antioch, Hodierna and Joveta still were 
children. Melisende was to be his successor in conjunction with 
a suitable husband. In 1128, after consulting his council, he sent 
William of Bures, together with the lord of Beirut, Guy Brise- 
barre, to France, to ask the King of France, Louis VI, to select from 
the French nobility a man suitable for this high position. Louis 
recommended the Count of Anjou, Fulk V. Fulk was aged about 
forty, the son of Fulk IV, Rechin, and of Bertrada of Montfort, 
notorious for her adultery with King Philip I of France. He was 
the head of a great house that during the last two centuries had 
built up one of the richest and most formidable appanages in 
France; and he himself, by war, marriage and intrigue, had 
considerably added to its extent. That very year he had achieved 

1 William of Tyre, xra, 25-6, pp. 594-5, 598 ; William, is sometimes called 
of Malines . Messines is in western Flanders. 

RC 177 *2 

King Baldwin II 

a family triumph in marrying his young son and heir, Geoffrey, to 
the Dowager-Empress Matilda, the only surviving child of Henry I 
of England and heiress of England and Normandy. A widower 
now himself, he had decided to abandon the family lands to his 
son and to dedicate himself to the service of the Cross. He had 
already been to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage in 1120 and was there 
fore personally known to Baldwin. So notable a candidate, backed 
by the King of France and endorsed by the Pope, Honorius II, was 
readily accepted by King Baldwin; who had been anxious that his 
arrangements for the succession should be to the liking of the 
barons of his kingdom. It would be impossible for any of them 
to dispute the claims of a warrior-prince of such eminence, 
married to their King s eldest daughter. 

Fulk left France in the early spring of 1129, accompanied by 
William of Bures and Guy Brisebarre. They landed at Acre in 
May and went on to Jerusalem. There, at the end of the month, 
Fulk and Melisende were married amid great festivities and 
rejoicing. The arrangement had the approval of the whole 
country, with perhaps one exception. The Princess Melisende her 
self was unmoved by the short, wiry, red-haired, middle-aged 
man whom political advantages had forced upon her. 1 

With Fulk to aid him Baldwin embarked in 1129 on the great 
project of his reign, the conquest of Damascus. Toghtekin of 
Damascus died on 12 February 1128. He had been for many years 
the complete master of the city and the most respected Moslem 
figure in western Syria. 2 Some years previously a leader of the 

1 William of Tyre, xm, 24, p. 593, xrv, 2, p. 608; Halphen et Poupardin, 
Chroniques des Comtes d Anjou, Gesta Ambaziendum Dominorum, p. 115 and 
Gesta Consulum Andegavowm, pp. 69-70. Fulk had married Arenburga or 
Guiberga, heiress of Maine in about 1109, and had continued wars with 
Henry I of England over her inheritance. The marriage of his son Geoffrey 
(17 June 1128) to the Empress Matilda had solved the quarrel. His daughter 
Sibylla had already married Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders. He had 
already paid a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1120 (William of Tyre, p. 608). 
Pope Honorius II s letter of commendation to Baldwin is given in Roziere, 
Cartuldre du Saint Sepulcre, pp. 17-18. 

* Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 183-6; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 317-18. 


1126: The Assassins at Banyas 

Assassins, Bahram of Asterabad, had fled from Persia to Aleppo 
and established himself as leader of the underground Ismaili move 
ment in northern Syria. But, though he enjoyed the support of 
Ilghazi, the people of Aleppo loathed the sect; and Bahram was 
obliged to move on. Armed with a recommendation from 
Ilghazi, he came to Damascus, where Toghtekin received him 
graciously. He settled there, gradually gathering adherents round 
him, and he won the sympathy of Toghtekin s vizier, al-Mazda- 
ghani. The sect grew in power, to the disapproval of the Sunni 
population of Damascus. Bahram therefore asked al-Mazdaghani 
for protection; and at the vizier s request Toghtekin handed over 
to the sect, in November 1126, the frontier-fortress of Banyas, 
which was menaced by the Franks, hoping thus to make good use 
of its energies. Bahram re-fortified the castle and gathered all his 
followers round him. Soon they began to terrorize the neighbour 
hood; and Toghtekin, though he still officially protected them, 
began to plan their elimination, but he died before he found any 
suitable opportunity. A few months afterwards Bahram was 
killed in a skirmish with an Arab tribe near Baalbek, whose 
sheikh he had murdered. His position was taken over by another 
Persian, called Ismail. 1 

Toghtekin s successor as atabeg of Damascus was his son Taj 
al-Mulk Buri. Buri determined to rid himself of the Assassins. 
His first step, in September 1129, was suddenly to have their pro 
tector, the vizier al-Mazdaghani, murdered as he sat in council in 
the Rose Pavilion at Damascus. At once riots, prepared by Buri, 
broke out in Damascus; and every Assassin found there was 
slaughtered. Ismail, at Banyas, was alarmed. To save his sectaries 
he opened negotiations with the Franks. 

This was the occasion for which King Baldwin had been 
waiting. On hearing of Toghtekin s death he sent Hugh of Payens, 
Grand Master of the Templars, to Europe, to recruit soldiers there, 
stating that Damascus was his objective. When Ismail s emissaries 
arrived, Prankish troops set out to take over Banyas from the 
1 Ibn al-Qalaiusi, pp. 179-80, 187-91; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 382-4. 

179 12-2 

King Baldwin II 

Assassins and to settle Ismail and his sect within Prankish territory. 
There Ismail fell ill of dysentery, dying a few months later; and his 
followers dispersed. 1 Baldwin himself came to Banyas early in 
November, with the whole army of Jerusalem, swelled by newly 
arrived men from the West. He marched on without serious 
opposition and encamped at the Wooden Bridge, some six miles 
south-west of Damascus. Buri drew up his army opposite to them, 
with the city at its rear. For some days neither army moved. 
Baldwin meanwhile sent detachments, mainly composed of the 
new-comers, under William of Bures, to collect food and material 
before he should venture to close in round the city. But William 
was unable to control his men, who were more interested in 
securing booty for themselves than in systematically gathering 
supplies. Buri learnt of this. Early one morning in late November 
his Turcoman cavalry fell on William twenty miles south of the 
Prankish camp. The Franks fought well but were overwhelmed. 
Only William himself and forty-five comrades survived to tell the 
news to the Bang. 2 

Baldwin decided to march at once against the enemy while they 
were celebrating their victory, and gave the order to advance. 
But at that moment rain began to fall in torrents. The plain became 
a sea of mud, with deep rivers cutting across the roads. In such 
conditions an attack was impossible. Bitterly disappointed, the 
King abandoned all idea of continuing the siege. The Prankish 
army retreated slowly in perfect order back to Banyas and into 
Palestine, where it dispersed. 3 

Events in the north made the disappointment particularly cruel. 
Baldwin had hoped that Bohemond II and Joscelin would profit 
by the chaos in Aleppo to take possession at last of the great 
Moslem city. But, though each in turn successfully raided its 
territory during the autumn of 1127, they would not co-operate. 
Each was jealous of the other. Joscelin had obtained by a truce 

1 Ibn al-Qaknisi, pp. 191-5; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 384-6. 

2 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 195-8. 

3 William of Tyre, xni, 26, pp. 595-7; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 198-200. 


between Bohemond II andjoscelin 

with il-Bursuqi districts that had been held for a while by Antioch. 
Worse still, Joscelin s second wife, Roger of Antioch s sister Maria, 
had been promised as her dowry the town of Azaz. Bohemond 
considered that Roger had only been a regent in his name and had 
no right to give away Antiochene territory. He denounced the 
agreement. Joscelin thereupon led his troops, aided by Turkish 
mercenaries, to raid Antiochene villages near his borders. An 
interdict hurled by the Patriarch Bernard against the whole 
county of Edessa did not deter him. News of the quarrel was 
brought to King Baldwin, who was furious. He hurried north, 
early in 1128, and forced the two princes to make peace with each 
other. Fortunately, Joscelin, who was the more truculent, fell 
suddenly ill and saw his illness as a punishment from heaven. He 
agreed to restore to Bohemond the booty that he had taken, and 
apparently abandoned his claim to Azaz. But it was too late. As 
at Damascus the following year, a golden opportunity was missed 
and would never recur. For Islam had found a new and greater 
champion. 1 

During the last months of 1126 the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustar- 
shid, who succeeded the amiable poet al-Mustazbir in 1118, 
thought to utilize the family quarrels of the Seldjuk Sultans to 
free himself of their control. The Sultan, Mahmud, in whose 
dominions Baghdad lay, was obliged to interrupt his hunting to 
send an army there; and he placed it under his captain, Imad 
ad-Din Zengi. Zengi, whose father Aqsonqor, had been governor 
of Aleppo before the period of the Crusades, had already made 
a name in wars against the Franks. After a brief campaign he 
routed the Caliph s forces at Wasit and reduced the Caliph to 
obedience. His tactful behaviour after the victory pleased al- 
Mustarshid; and when on il-Bursuqi s death it was necessary to 
appoint a new atabeg for Mosul, Mahmud, who had first thought 
of naming the Bedouin leader Dubais, agreed with the Caliph that 
Zengi was a better candidate. The Sultan s youthful son Alp 

* William of Tyre, xm, 22, p. 590; Michael the Syrian, in, p. 224; Kemal 
ad-Din, p. 665. 


King Baldwin II 

Arslan was installed as governor of Mosul with Zengi as his 
atabeg. Zengi spent the winter of 1127 at Mosul organizing his 
government there. In the spring of 1 128 he marched on to Aleppo, 
claiming it as part of il-Bursuqi s dominions. The citizens of 
Aleppo, tired of the anarchy through which they had passed, 
received him gladly. He made his solemn entry there on 28 June. 1 

Zengi saw himself as the champion of Islam against the Franks. 
But he was -unwilling to strike until he was ready. He made a 
truce with Joscelin, to last for two years, while he consolidated his 
power in Syria. The emirs of Shaizar and Horns hastened to 
acknowledge his suzerainty. He had no fears of the former. The 
latter was induced to assist him on a campaign against the 
Damascene possession of Hama, with the promise of its reversion. 
But as soon as Hama was conquered, Zengi seized it for himself 
and imprisoned Khirkan of Horns, though he was unable to secure 
Horns itself. Buri of Damascus, who had promised to join him in 
a Holy War against the Christians, was too fully occupied by his 
war against Jerusalem to make any active protest. By the end of 
1130 Zengi was unquestioned master of Syria as far south as Horns. 2 

That same year the Franks suffered a great disaster. It was the 
ambition of Bohemond II to restore to his principality all the lands 
that it had ever contained. In Cilicia Antiochene power had 
declined. Tarsus and Adana were still in Prankish hands; they 
formed, it seems, the dower of Roger s widow Cecilia, King 
Baldwin s sister; and a Prankish garrison remained at Mamistra. 
But farther inland Anazarbus had fallen into the possession of the 
Armenian prince, Thoros the Roupenian, who had established his 
capital at Sis, close by. Thoros died in 1 129 and his son Constantine 
a few months later, in the course of a palace intrigue. The next 
prince was the brother of Thoros, Leo I. 3 Bohemond thought that 
the moment had come to recover Anazarbus. In February 1130 

1 For Zengi s history till 1128, see Cah.cn, op. tit pp. 306-7, and nn. 12 and 13 
(with references). 

2 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 200-2; Kemal ad-Din, p. 658; Matthew of Edessa, 
cclii, p. 320. 3 Vahram, Armenian Rhymed Chronicle, p. 500. 


1130: Death ofBohemond II 

he marched with a small force up the river Jihan towards his 
objective. Leo was alarmed and appealed for help to the Danish- 
mend emir, Ghazi, whose lands now reached the Taurus moun 
tains. Bohemond knew no thing of this alliance. As he progressed 
carelessly up the river, meeting only light resistance from the 
Armenians, the Danishmend Turks fell on him and massacred the 
whole of his army. It was said that had they recognized the Prince 
himself, they would have savfcd him for the ransom that he would 
bring. As it was, his head was brought to the Danishmend emir, 
who had it embalmed and sent it as a gift to the Caliph. 1 

It was due to Byzantine intervention that the Turks did not 
follow up their victory; and Anazarbus remained in Armenian 
hands. 2 But Bohemond s death was a disaster for Antioch. 
Bohemond had succeeded to Antioch by hereditary right. 
Sentiment demanded that his rights should pass to his heir. But 
his marriage with Alice had produced only one child, a daughter 
two years old, called Constance. Without waiting for her father 
the King to appoint a regent, according to his right as overlord, 
Alice at once assumed the regency. But she was ambitious. It was 
soon rumoured in Antioch that she wished to rule not as a regent 
but as a reigning sovereign. Constance was to be immured in a 
convent or, as soon as might be, married off to some ignoble 
husband. The unnatural mother lost popularity in the principality, 
where already many men felt that in such times a warrior was 
needed as regent. When she heard that the King was already on 
his way from Jerusalem, Alice saw power slipping from her 
grasp, and took a desperate step. A messenger leading a splendid 
horse splendidly caparisoned was sent to Aleppo, to the atabeg 
Zengi, to whom she announced that she was ready to pay homage 
if he would guarantee her possession of Antioch. 

1 "William of Tyre, xm, 27, pp. 598-9; Orderic Vitalis, xi, 10, vol. rv, 
pp. 267-8; Romuald, M.G.H. Ss. vol. xiv, p. 420; Michael the Syrian, m, 
p. 227; Chron. Anon. Syr. pp. 98-9; Ibn Hamdun, p. 524; Ibn al-Athir, 
p. 468. 

2 Michael the Syrian (m, p. 230) says that John Comnenus at once started an 
offensive against the Turks. See below, p. 210. 


King Baldwin II 

On the news of BohemoncTs death King Baldwin hastened 
northward with his son-in-law Fulk, to take over the custody of 
its heiress and to nominate the regent. As he approached the city, 
his troops captured Alice s envoy to Zengi. The King at once had 
him hanged. When he appeared before Antioch he found that his 
daughter had shut the gates in his face. He summoned Joscelin to 
his aid and encamped before the city. Within, Alice had won 
temporary support by a lavish distribution of money from the 
princely treasury to the soldiers and people. It is possible that with 
her Armenian blood she was popular amongst tb e native Christians. 
But the Prankish nobility would not support a woman against 
their sovereign. After a few days a Norman knight, William of 
Aversa, and a monk, Peter the Latin, opened the Gate of the Duke 
to Joscelin and the Gate of Saint Paul to Fulk. Next day the King 
entered. Alice barricaded herself in a tower, and only emerged 
when the notables of the city guaranteed her life. There was a 
painful interview between Baldwin and his daughter, who knelt 
in terrified shame before him. The King wished to avoid a scandal; 
and doubtless his father s heart was touched. He forgave her; but 
he removed her from the regency and banished her to Lattakieh 
and Jabala, the lands that had been settled on her by Bohemond II 
as her dower. He himself assumed the regency and made all the 
lords of Antioch take an oath to him and to his granddaughter 
jointly. Then, after charging Joscelin with the guardianship of 
Antioch and its child-princess, he returned to Jerusalem in the 
summer of 1130. 1 

It was his last journey. A long life of endless activity only 
interrupted by two miserable periods of captivity had worn him 
out. In 1131 his health began to fail. When August came he was 
clearly dying. At his wish he was moved from the Palace at 
Jerusalem to the Patriarch s residence, attached to the buildings of 
the Holy Sepulchre, that he might die as near as possible to 
Calvary. As the end approached he summoned the nobles of the 

1 William of Tyre, xm, 27, pp. 599-601; Michael the Syrian, in, p. 230; 
Kemal ad-Din, pp. 660-1. 


: Deaths of Baldwin II and Joscelin I 

realm to his room, and with them his daughter Melisende and her 
husband Fulk and their little one-year-old son, called Baldwin 
after him. He gave Fulk and Melisende his blessing and bade all 
present to accept them as their sovereigns. Then he himself 
assumed the robe of a monk and was admitted a canon of the Holy 
Sepulchre. The ceremony was barely done before he died, on 
Friday, 21 August 1131. He was buried in the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre, amid mourning worthy of a great king. 1 

His cousin and old comrade, Joscelin of Edessa, did not long 
survive him. About the time of Baldwin s death he went to 
besiege a small castle north-east of Aleppo ; and while he was 
inspecting his lines a mine that his men had laid collapsed beneath 
him. He was horribly wounded, and there was no hope of his 
recovery. As he lay dying, news came that the Danishmend emir, 
Ghazi, had marched against the town of Kaisun, the great fortress 
where Joscelin had recently installed the Jacobite Patriarch of 
Antioch. Kaisun was hard pressed by the Turks; and Joscelin 
ordered his son to go to its rescue. But the younger Joscelin 
replied that the army of Edessa was too small to be of use. There 
upon the aged Count hoisted himself from his bed and was 
carried in a litter at the head of his army to fight the Turks. The 
news of his coming startled Ghazi, who had thought him already 
dead. Disquieted, he raised the siege of Kaisun. A messenger rode 
hurriedly to tell Joscelin; who had his litter laid on the ground that 
he might thank God. The effort and the emotion were too much 
for him; and he died there by the roadside.* 

With Baldwin and with Joscelin dead, the old generation of 
pioneer Crusaders was ended. In the years to come we find a new 
pattern of conflict between the Crusaders of the second generation, 
men and women like Joscelin II, like the Princess Alice, or like the 

1 William of Tyre, xin, 28, pp. 601-2; Orderic VitaKs, xn, 23, vol. rv, 
p. 500; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 207-8, dating it Thursday, 25 Ramadan, but giving 
the wrong year (A.H. 526). 

2 William of Tyre, xiv, 3, pp. 609-11; Michael the Syrian, ni, 232; Chron. 
Anon. Syr. pp. 99-100. 


King Baldwin II 

house of Tripoli, ready to fit themselves into the eastern way of 
life and seeking only to hold what they possessed, and the new 
comers from the West, aggressive, unadapted and uncompre 
hending, like Fulk, like Raymond of Poitiers, or like the fatal 
ReynaldofChatillon. 1 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 389-90, realizes the changed circumstances, with the 
disappearance of the pioneer Crusaders on the one hand and the beginning of 
Moslem unity under Zengi on the other. 




They have begotten strange children. HO SEA v, 7 

On 14 September 1131, three weeks after King Baldwin II had 
been laid to rest in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the 
same church witnessed the coronation of Kong Fulk and Queen 
Melisende. The succession of the new sovereign was celebrated 
with joyful festivities. 1 

But while the barons of the Kingdom of Jerusalem accepted 
King Fulk without demur, the Prankish princes of the north were 
less ready to admit him as overlord. Baldwin I and Baldwin II 
had acted as suzerains of all the Prankish states because they had had 
the power and personality to do so. But the juridical position was 
by no means clear. In the case of Edessa Joscelin I had, like 
Baldwin II before him, paid homage to his predecessor when his 
predecessor became King of Jerusalem and personally bequeathed 
him the fief. Did the arrangement make Joscelin s heirs the 
vassals of Baldwin II s ? At Tripoli Count Bertrand had submitted 
to Baldwin I s suzerainty in order to protect himself against 
Tancred s aggression; but his son Pons had already tried to re 
pudiate Baldwin H s rights and had only recognized them because 
he was not strong enough to defy the Bang s forces. At Antioch 
Bohemond I had considered himself a sovereign prince; and 
Tancred, though he had only been regent, not prince, refused to 
regard himself as the King s vassal except for his principality of 
Galilee. Though Roger and Bohemond II had recognized 
Baldwin II as overlord, it could be argued that they had been 
wrong to do so. The position was complicated by the rights that 

1 William of Tyre, xrv, 2, pp. 608-9. 


The Second Generation 

the Byzantine Emperor legitimately claimed over Antiocli and 
Edessa, through, the treaty made between the Princes and the 
Emperor at Constantinople during the First Crusade, and over 
Tripoli because of the homage paid by Count Bertrand to the 

Fulk s accession raised die whole question. The opposition to 
his overlordship was led by Alice, his sister-in-law. She had sub 
mitted to her father, King Baldwin, with a very bad grace. She 
now reasserted her claim to be her daughter s regent. It was not 
ill-founded, if it could be maintained that the King of Jerusalem 
was not overlord of Atitioch; for it was usual, both in Byzantium 
and in the West, for the mother of a child-prince to be given the 
regency. Joscelin I s death, barely a month after Baldwin s, gave 
her an opportunity; for Joscelin had been guardian of the young 
Princess Constance, and the barons at Antioch would not install 
Joscelin II in his father s place. Disappointed, the new Count of 
Edessa listened to Alice s blandishments. He, too, was doubtless 
unwilling to accept Fulk as his suzerain. Pons of Tripoli also 
offered her support. His wife, Cecilia, had received from her 
first husband, Tancred, the dower-lands of Chastel Rouge and 
Arzghan: and through her he was thus one of the great barons of 
the Antiochene principality. He realized that the emancipation of 
Antioch from Jerusalem would enable Tripoli to follow suit. Alice 
had already won over the most formidable barons in the south of 
the principality, the brothers, William and Garenton of Zerdana, 
Lords of Sahyun, the great castle built by the Byzantines in the 
hills behind Lattakieh; and she had her partisans in Antioch itself. 
But the majority of the Antiochene lords feared a woman s rule. 
When they heard rumours of Alice s plot, they sent a messenger 
to Jerusalem to summon King Fulk. 

Fulk set out at once with an army from Jerusalem. It was a 
challenge that he could not ignore. When he reached the confines 
of Tripoli, Pons refused him passage. The Countess Cecilia was 
Fulk s half-sister; but Fulk s appeal to the duties of kinship was 
made in vain. The army of Jerusalem had to proceed by sea, from 


Map 3. The Kingdom of Jerusalem in the twelfth century. 

The Second Generation 

Beirut to Saint Symeon. As soon as he landed in Antiochene ter 
ritory the King marched southward and defeated the rebel allies 
at Chastel Rouge. But he was not strong enough to punish his 
enemies. Pons apologized to him and was reconciled. Alice 
remained unharmed at Lattakieh, in her dower-lands. The brothers 
William and Garenton of Sahyun were forgiven, as was Joscelin 
of Edessa; who had not been present in the battle. It is doubtful 
whether Fulk obtained an oath of allegiance from either Pons or 
Joscelin; nor did he succeed in breaking up Alice s party. William 
of Sahyun was killed a few months later, in the course of a small 
Moslem raid against Zerdana; and Joscelin promptly married his 
widow Beatrice, who probably brought him Zerdana as her 
dower. But for the meantime peace was restored. Fulk himself 
retained the regency of Antioch but entrusted its administration 
to the Constable of the principality, Reynald Mazoir, lord of 
Marqab. He himself returned to Jerusalem, to take part in a 
terrible drama at the Court. 1 

There was amongst his nobles a handsome youth, Hugh of Le 
Puiset, lord of Jaffa. His father, Hugh I of Le Puiset in the Orlean- 
nais, a first cousin of Baldwin II, had been the leader of the 
baronial opposition to King Louis VI of France; who in 1118 
destroyed the castle of Le Puiset and deprived him of his fief. 
Hugh s brothers Gildoin, abbot of Saint Maria Josaphat, and 
Waleran of Birejik had already gone to the East and, as 
Baldwin had recently become King of Jerusalem, Hugh decided 
to follow them with his wife Mabilla. 2 They set out with their 

1 William of Tyre, xiv, 4-5, pp. 611-14; Michael the Syrian, in, p. 233; 
Kemal ad-Din, p. 664, who says that William of Zerdana was killed in the 
civil war. But Ibn al-Qalanisi (p. 215) says that William was killed early in 
1133. Alice s revolt is probably to be dated early in 1132. 

2 Hugh I of Le Puiset s mother, Alice of Montlhe ry, was sister of Baldwin IPs 
mother Melisende. Cuissard, Les Seigneurs du Puiset, p. 89. Abbot Gildoin of 
St Maria Josaphat and Waleran of Birejik were apparently his brothers. 
Mabilla was the daughter of Hugh, Count of Rouey, and Robert Guiscard s 
daughter Sibylla. See below, Appendix III, for genealogical trees, I, i and 2. 
William of Tyre (see reference below, p. 193 n. i) wrongly assumes that 
Hugh II was born in Apulia, in which case he married at the age of six. 


1132: Hugh ofLe Puiset and Queen Melisende 

young son Hugh. As they passed through Apulia the boy fell ill; 
so they left him there at the Court of Bohemond II, who was 
Mabilla s first cousin. On their arrival in Palestine they were given 
by Baldwin the lordship of Jaffa. Hugh I died soon afterwards, 
whereupon Mabilla and the fief passed to a Walloon knight, 
Albert of Namur. Both Mabilla and Albert soon followed him 
into the grave; and Hugh II, now aged about sixteen, sailed from 
Apulia to claim his heritage. Baldwin received him well and 
handed his parents fief over to him; and he was brought to live at 
the royal Court, where his chief companion was his cousin, the 
young Princess Melisende. About 1121 he married Emma, niece 
of the Patriarch Arnulf and widow of Eustace Garnier, a lady of 
mature age but of vast possessions. She delighted in her tall, 
handsome husband; but her twin sons, Eustace II, heir of Sidon, 
and Walter, heir of Caesarea, hated their stepfather who was 
little older than themselves. 1 Meanwhile Melisende was married 
to Fulk, for whom she never cared, despite his great love for her. 
After her accession she continued her intimacy with Hugh. There 
was gossip at the Court; and Fulk grew jealous. Hugh had many 
enemies, headed by his stepsons. They fanned the King s sus 
picions, till at last Hugh in self-defence gathered round him a 
party of his own, of which the leading member was Roman of 
Le Puy, lord of the lands of Oultrejourdain. Soon all the nobility 
of the kingdom was divided between the King and the Count, 
who was known to have the sympathy of the Queen. Tension 
grew throughout the summer months of 1132. Then one day in 
the late summer, when the palace was full of the magnates of the 

1 The names of die sons of Eustace Gamier are uncertain. Walter appears as 
Lord of Caesarea and Sidon in a diploma of 21 September, 1131 (Rohricht, 
Regesta, p. 35); Eustace II was Lord of Sidon in 1126 (Rohricht, Regesta 
Additamenta, p. 8), and Eustace and Walter appear as the sons of Eustace I in 
a diploma of the same year (Rohricht, Regesta, p. 28). But the Lignages calls 
the two sons Gerard and Walter, and Gerard is also called Guy in Assizes. See 
La Monte, The Lords of Sidon , in Byzantion, vol. xvn, pp/iSS-^o, who makes 
Gerard the son of Eustace II, and places the latter s death before 1131 when 
Walter became regent for Gerard. 


The Second Generation 

realm, Walter Gamier stood up and roundly accused his stepfather 
of plotting against the life of the King, and challenged him to 
justify himself in single combat. Hugh denied the charge and 
accepted the challenge. The date for the duel was fixed by the 
High Court; and Hugh retired to Jaffa and Walter to Caesarea, 
each to prepare himself. 

When the day arrived, Walter was ready at the lists, but Hugh 
stayed away. Perhaps the Queen, alarmed that tilings had gone 
too far, begged him to absent himself, or perhaps it was the 
Countess Emma, appalled at the prospect of losing either husband 
or son; or perhaps Hugh himself, knowing his guilt, was afraid 
of God s vengeance. Whatever its cause might be, his cowardice 
was read as the proof of his treason. His friends could support him 
no longer. The Bong s council declared him guilty by default. 
Hugh then panicked and fled to Ascalon to ask for protection from 
the Egyptian garrison. An Egyptian detachment brought him 
back to Jaffa and from there began to ravage the plain of Sharon. 
Hugh s treason was now overt. His chief vassal, Balian, lord of 
Ibelin and Constable of Jaffa, turned against him; and when a 
royal army came hastily down from Jerusalem, Jaffa itself sur 
rendered without a blow. Even the Egyptians abandoned Hugh 
as a profitless ally. He was obliged to make his submission to the 

His punishment was not severe. The Queen was his friend, and 
the Patriarch, William of Messines, counselled mercy. The King 
himself was anxious to smooth things over; for already the 
dangers of civil war had been made clear. On 1 1 December, when 
the royal army had been summoned to march against Jaffa, the 
atabeg of Damascus had surprised the fortress of Banyas and 
recovered it for Islam. It was decided that Hugh should go for three 
years into exile; then he might return with impunity to his lands. 

While awaiting a boat for Italy, Hugh came up to Jerusalem 
early in the new year to say good-bye to his friends. As he was 
playing dice one evening at the door of a shop in the Street of the 
Furriers, a Breton knight crept up behind him and stabbed him 


1132: Attempted Murder of Hugh 

through his head and through his body. Hugh was carried off 
bleeding to death. Suspicion at once fell upon the King ; but Fulk 
acted promptly and prudently. The knight was handed over for 
trial by the High Court. He confessed that he had acted on his 
own initiative, hoping thus to win the favour of the King, and was 
sentenced to death by having his limbs cut off one by one. The 
execution took place in public. After the victim s arms and legs 
had been struck off but while his head remained to him he was 
made to repeat his confession. The King s reputation was saved. 
But the Queen was not satisfied. So angry was she with Hugh s 
enemies that for many months they feared assassination; and their 
leader, Raourt of Nablus, dared not walk in the streets without an 
escort. Even King Fulk was said to be afraid for his life. But his 
one desire was to win his wife s favour. He gave way to her in 
everything; and she, thwarted in love, soon found consolation in 
the exercise of power. 1 

Hugh survived his attempted murder, but not for long. He 
retired to the Court of his cousin, King Roger II of Sicily, who 
enfeoffed him with the lordship of Gargano, where he died soon 

It was no doubt with relief that Fulk turned his attention once 
more to the north. The situation there was more ominous for the 
Franks than in Baldwin II s days. There was no effective prince 
ruling in Antioch. Joscelin II of Edessa lacked his father s energy 
and political sense. He was an unattractive figure. He was short 
and thick-set, dark-haired and dark-skinned; his face was pock 
marked, with a huge nose and prominent eyes. He was capable of 
generous gestures, but was lazy, luxurious and lascivious, and quite 
unfitted to command the chief outpost of Prankish Christendom. 3 

The dearth of leadership among the Franks was the more serious 

1 The story is given at length by William of Tyre, xiv, 15-17, pp. 627-33. 
Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 215, tells briefly of dissensions amongst the Franks not 
usual with them*. v 

a "William of Tyre, xiv, 17, p. 633. 

3 William of Tyre, XXV, 3, p. 610. Joscelin II was born in 1113 (Chron. Anon. 
Syr. p. 3 5). 

RC 193 *3 

The Second Generation 

because the Moslems now had in Zengi a man capable of as 
sembling the forces of Islam. As yet Zengi was biding his time. 
He was too heavily entangled in events in Iraq to take advantage 
of the situation among the Franks. The Sultan Mahmud ibn 
Mohammed died in 1131, leaving his possessions in Iraq and 
southern Persia to his son Dawud. But the dominant member of 
the Seldjuk family, Sanjar, decided that the inheritance should 
pass to Mahmud s brother Tughril, lord of Kazwin. The other 
two brothers of Mahmud, Mas ud of Pars and Seldjuk-Shah of 
Azerbaijan, then put in claims. Dawud soon retired, supported 
neither by Mustarshid nor by his subjects. For a while Tughril, 
armed by Senjar s influence, was accepted at Baghdad; and 
Mas ud was forced by Sanjar to retire. But Sanjar soon lost 
interest; whereupon Seldjuk-Shah came to Baghdad and won the 
Caliph s support. Mas ud appealed to Zengi to help him. Zengi 
marched on Baghdad, only to be severely defeated by the Caliph 
and Seldjuk-Shah near Tekrit. Had not the Kurdish governor of 
Tekrit, Najm ed-Din Ayub, conveyed him across the river Tigris, 
he would have been captured or slain. Zengi s defeat encouraged 
the Caliph, who now dreamed to resurrect the past power of his 
house. Even Sanjar was alarmed; and Zengi as his representative 
once again attacked Baghdad in June 1132, this time in alliance 
with the volatile Bedouin chieftain, Dubais. In the battle that 
followed Zengi was at first victorious; but the Caliph intervened 
in person, routed Dubais and turned triumphantly on Zengi, who 
was forced to retire to Mosul. Mustarshid arrived there next 
spring at the head of a great army. It seemed that the Abbasids 
were to recover their old glory ; for the Seldjuk Sultan of Iraq was 
now little more than a client of the Caliph. But Zengi escaped 
from, Mosul and began relentlessly to harass the Caliph s camp and 
to cut off his supplies. After three months Mustarshid retired. 1 
The Abbasid revival was cut short. During the next year the 
Seldjukprince Mas ud gradually displaced the other claimants to the 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 398-9 (and Atabegs of Mosul, pp. 78-85); see articles 
Mas ud ibn Mohammed , Tughril I , and Sandjar* in Encyclopaedia of Islam. 


1133- Fulk rescues Pons of Tripoli 

Sultanate of Iraq. Mustarshid vainly tried to check him. At a 
battle at Daimarg in June 1135 the Caliph s army was routed 
by Mas ud and he himself captured. He was sent into exile to 
Azerbaijan and there was murdered by Assassins, probably with 
Mas ud s connivance. His son and successor in the Caliphate, 
Rashid, appealed to the Seldjuk claimant Dawud and to Zengi, 
but in vain. Mas ud secured Rashid s deposition by the cadis at 
Baghdad. His successor, Moqtafi, managed by lavish promises to 
seduce Zengi away from Rashid and Dawud. Fortified by fresh 
titles of honour from Moqtafi and from Mas ud, Zengi was able, 
from 1135 onwards, to turn his attention to the West. 1 

While Zengi was engaged in Iraq, his interests in Syria were 
cared for by a soldier from Damascus, Sawar, whom he made 
governor of Aleppo. He could not afford to send him many 
troops; but at his instigation various bodies of freebooting 
Turcomans entered Sawar s services, and with them Sawar pre 
pared in the spring of 1133 to attack Antioch. King Fulk was 
summoned by the frightened Antiochenes to their rescue. As he 
journeyed north with his army he was met at Sidon by the 
Countess of Tripoli, who told him that her husband had been 
ambushed by a band of Turcomans in the Nosairi mountains and 
had fled to the castle of Montferrand, on the edge of the Orontes 
valley. At her request Fulk marched straight to Montferrand; and 
on his approach the Turcomans retired. The episode restored 
cordial relations between Fulk and Pons. Soon afterwards Pons s 
son and heir Raymond was married to the Queen s sister, Hodierna 
of Jerusalem; while his daughter Agnes married the son of Fulk s 
constable at Antioch, Reynold Mazoir of Marqab.* 

Having rescued the Count of Tripoli, Fulk moved on to Antioch. 
There he learnt that Sawar had already successfully raided the 
Edessene city of Turbessel and had assembled an army to use 

1 Abu l Feda, pp. 21-3; Ibn al-Athir, Atabegs of Mosul pp. 88-91; Ibn 
al-Tiqtaqa, Al Fakhiri, pp. 297-8. 

z William of Tyre, xrv, 6, pp. 614-15; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 221-2; Ibn 
al-Athir, pp. 399-400. 



The Second Generation 

against Antioch. After a cautious delay of several days Fulk 
advanced towards the Moslem camp at Qinnasrin and made a 
surprise attack on it by night. He forced Sawar to retire and to 
abandon his tents; but the victory was far from complete. In 
subsequent skirmishes the Moslems annihilated several detach 
ments of Franks. But Fulk made a triumphant entry into Antioch 
before he returned to Palestine in the summer of 1133. As soon 
as he was gone, Sawar s raids on Christian territory recommenced. 1 
Apart from such frontier raids the year 1134 passed peaceably 
enough. Next year the Moslem world was weakened by revolu 
tions. In Egypt the Fatimid Caliph al-Hafiz had attempted to curb 
the power of the vizierate by appointing his own son Hasan as 
vizier. But the young man showed himself to be almost insanely 
ferocious. After forty emirs had been beheaded on a trumpery 
charge, there was a revolt. The Caliph only saved himself by 
poisoning his son and handing over the corpse to the rebels. He 
then appointed as vizier an Armenian, Vahram, who wa,s more 
interested in enriching his friends and fellow-Christians than in 
aggressive action against the Franks. 2 Damascus was equally 
rendered impotent. Toghtekin s son Buri died in 1132 and was 
succeeded as atabeg by his son Ismail. Ismail s rule began bril 
liantly with the recapture of Banyas from the Franks and 
Baalbek and Hama from his rivals ; but soon he began to combine 
a tyrannous cruelty with oppressive taxation. His behaviour pro 
voked an attempt to murder him, which he punished with whole 
sale executions, even walling up alive his own brother, Sawinj, on 
the faintest of suspicions. Next, he planned the elimination of his 
father s trusted counsellor, Yusuf ibn Firuz. His mother, the 
dowager Princess Zumurrud, had borne the death of her son 
Sawinj with equanimity; but Yusuf was her lover. She plotted to 
save him. Ismail became aware that he was unsafe even in his own 
palace. In alarm he wrote to his father s old enemy Zengi, offering 

1 William of Tyre, xrv, 7, pp. 615-16; Ibn al-Qaknisi, pp. 222-3; Kemal 
ad-Din, p. 665. 
a Ibn al-Athir, pp. 405-8. 


- Zengi before Damascus 

to become his vassal if Zengi would maintain him in power. If he 
would not help him, then Ismail would hand over Damascus to 
the Franks. It was inconvenient for Zengi to leave Mosul with 
the Abbasid Caliph Mustarshid still unbeaten. But he could not 
ignore the appeal. He received it too late. He crossed the 
Euphrates on 7 February; but six days previously Zumurrud had 
achieved the assassination of Ismail and the succession of her 
younger son, Shihab ed-Din Mahmud. The new atabeg, with the 
support of his people, gave a polite refusal to the envoys that 
Zengi sent to him asking for his submission. When Zengi ad 
vanced on Damascus, receiving the surrender of Hama as he came, 
he found the city in a state of defence. His attempt to storm the 
walls failed. Soon supplies ran short at his camp ; and some of his 
troops deserted him. At that moment an embassy reached him 
from the Caliph Mustarshid, courteously requesting him to respect 
Damascene independence. Zengi gratefully accepted an excuse 
that enabled him to retire without dishonour. Peace was made 
between Zengi and Mahmud; and Zengi paid a state visit to 
Damascus. But Mahmud did not trust Zengi sufficiently to pay 
a return visit; he sent his brother in his stead. 1 

The episode, coinciding with the weakness of Egypt, offered 
a rare opportunity for recovering Banyas and taking aggressive 
action. But Fulk let the chance go by. Zengi, having extricated 
himself from Damascus, employed his forces in an attack on 
Antiochene territory. While his lieutenant Sawar threatened 
Turbessel, Aintab and Azaz, preventing a junction between the 
armies of Antioch and Edessa, Zengi swept up past the fortresses 
of the eastern frontier, Kafartab, Maarrat, Zerdana and Athareb, 
capturing them one by one. Fortunately for the Franks, he was then 
obliged to- return to Mosul; but the frontier defences were lost.* 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 211-36, a very foil account, but ascribing praiseworthy 
motives to the dowager s murder of her son. He says that Ismail s chief 
minister was a Christian Kurd, Bertrand the Infidel; Bustan, p. 329; Kemal 
ad-Din, pp. 667-70; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 403-5- 

2 Kemal ad-Din, p. 670. 


The Second Generation 

These disasters brought Fulk again to the north. He was still 
nominal regent of Antioch, but authority there was represented 
by the venerable Patriarch Bernard. Bernard died in the early 
summer. He had been an able statesman, energetic, firm and 
courageous, but strict towards the Prankish nobility and intolerant 
towards the native Christians. On his death the populace ac 
claimed as his successor the Latin Bishop of Mamistra, Radulph of 
Domfront, who assumed the Patriarchal throne without waiting 
for a canonical election. Radulph was a very different man, 
handsome, despite a slight squint, a lover of pomp, open-handed 
and affable, not well educated but an eloquent persuasive speaker, 
and, behind a gracious facade, wordly, ambitious and sly. He had 
no wish to be dominated by the King and the King s men; so he 
opened negotiations with the dowager Princess Alice, who was 
still living on her lands at Lattakieh. Alice saw her opportunity 
and appealed to her sister Queen Melisende. Fulk arrived at 
Antioch in August for a short visit. He did not feel strong enough 
to protest against Radulph s irregular election, and he could now 
refuse his wife nothing. Alice was allowed to return to Antioch. 
Fulk remained regent, but the power was shared in an uneasy 
alliance between the dowager and the Patriarch. 1 

Radulph soon quarrelled with his clergy; and Alice was left 
mistress of the city. But her position was precarious. Her main 
support came from the native Christian population. As her 
intrigues with Zengi had shown, she had little regard for Prankish 
sentiment. She thought now of a better scheme. At the end of 
1135 she sent an envoy to Constantinople to offer the hand of her 
daughter the Princess Constance to the Emperor s younger son 
Manuel. Her action may have been, as the horrified Crusaders 
declared, due to the caprice of her ambition; but in fact it offered 
the best solution for the preservation of northern Syria. The 
Greek element was strong in Antioch. The Moslem menace was 
growing under Zengi; and the Empire was the only power strong 

1 William of Tyre, xrv, 9, 20, pp. 619-20, 636. Folk was in Antioch in 
August 1135 (Rohricht, Regesta, p. 39). 


1136: Raymond of Poitiers summoned to Antioch 

enough, to check it. A vassal-state ruled under imperial suzerainty 
first by the half-Armenian Alice and then jointly by a Byzantine 
prince and a Prankish princess, might well have served to weld 
Greek and Frank together for the defence of Christendom. But 
the Prankish nobles were aghast; and the Patriarch Radulph saw 
himself displaced in favour of a hated Greek. It seems that during 
his visit to Antioch King Fulk had been consulted by the barons 
about a suitable husband for Constance. Now a messenger went 
secretly to him to say that one must urgently be found. After 
reviewing all the French princes of his acquaintance, Fulk decided 
upon the younger son of Duke William IX of Aquitaine, Raymond 
of Poitiers, at present in England at the Court of King Henry I, 
whose daughter had recently married Fulk s son Geoffrey. A 
knight of the Hospital, Gerard Jebarre, was sent to England to fetch 
him out. The greatest secrecy was observed. Alice must know 
nothing ; nor would it be safe even to inform the Queen. Another 
danger lay in the hostility of King Roger of Sicily, who had never 
forgiven the Kingdom of Jerusalem for the insult done to his 
mother Adelaide and whose Mediterranean ambitions would 
never let him offer free passage to a claimant for the hand of the 
greatest heiress in the East. Gerard reached the English court, and 
Raymond accepted the proposal. But King Roger learnt of the 
secret; for the Normans of England and of Sicily were always in 
close touch with each other. He determined to arrest Raymond, 
who could not find a ship for Syria except from a south Italian 
port. Raymond was obliged to divide up his company and to 
disguise himself sometimes as a pilgrim, sometimes as a merchant s 
servant. He managed to slip through the blockade, and in April 
1136 he arrived at Antioch. 

His arrival could not be kept hidden from Alice. He therefore 
at once went to see the Patriarch. Radulph offered him help on 
terms. Raymond must pay him homage and defer to him in 
everything. On Raymond s agreement Radulph demanded an 
audience with Alice to tell her that the glamorous stranger had 
arrived as a candidate for her hand. The story was convincing, for 


The Second Generation 

Raymond was aged thirty-seven, Alice was tinder thirty, and 
Constance barely nine. Then, while Alice waited in her palace to 
receive her future betrothed, Constance was kidnapped and taken 
to the cathedral, where the Patriarch hastily wedded her to 
Raymond. Alice was defeated. Against the lawful husband of the 
heiress a dowager had no rights. She retired once more to 
Lattakieh, to remain there disconsolate for the remainder of her 
short existence. 1 

Raymond was in the prime of life. He was handsome and of 
immense physical strength, not well educated, fond of gambling 
and impetuous and at the same time indolent, but with a high 
reputation for gallantry and for purity of conduct. 2 His popularity 
soon awed the Patriarch, whose troubles with his own clergy 
continued, and who found himself treated with deference but in 
fact shorn of power. The nobles solidly supported Raymond; for 
indeed the situation was too serious for them to do otherwise. 
The principality was losing ground. Not only were the eastern 
defences gone. In the south, in the Nosairi mountains, a Turco 
man adventurer captured the castle of Bisikra il from its owner, 
Reynald Mazoir, in 1131, and early in 1136 he was with difficulty 
prevented from taking Balatonos. Bisikra il was recovered soon 
afterwards. Farther to the south, where the Franks had acquired 
the castle of Qadmus in 1129, in 113 1 it passed back to the Moslem 
emir of Kahf, Saif ed-Din ibn Atnran, who next year sold it to 
the Assassin leader Abul Path. In 1135 the Assassins bought Kahf 
itself from Saif ed-Din s sons; and in the winter of 1136 they 
captured Khariba from the Franks. 3 Cilicia had already been lost. 
In 113 1, soon after Bohemondll s death, the Roupenian Prince Leo, 
protected in his rear by an alliance with the Danishmend emir, 
descended into the plain and seized the three cities of Mamistra, 

1 William of Tyre, xrv, 20, pp. 635-6; Cinnamus, pp. 16-17; Robert of 
Torigny (i, p. 184) believed that Raymond, married Bohemond it s widow. 

2 William of Tyre, xrv, 21, pp. 637-8; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 522, 
describes how he could bend an iron bar. Cinnamus (p. 125) compares him 
to Hercules. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 241; Usama, ed. Hitti, p. 157; Kemal ad-Din, p. 680. 


1136: War with the Armenians 

Tarsus and. Adana. His brother and predecessor Thoros had 
already a few years before ejected the small Byzantine garrisons 
from Sis and Anazarbus, farther inland. In 1135 Leo captured 
Sarventikar, on the slopes of the Amanus, from Baldwin, Lord of 
Marash. But the Armenian hold over Cilicia was weak. Bandits 
found refuge there, and pirates hung about its coasts. 1 

The county of Edessa was no better off. Timurtash the Ortoqid 
had recently annexed some of its territory in the east. To the north 
the Armenian Prince of Gar gar, Michael, unable to maintain him 
self against the Turks, ceded his lands to Count Joscelin, who rashly 
handed them over to Michael s personal enemy Basil, brother of 
the Armenian Catholicus. A civil war between the two Armenians 
broke out. Joscelin was obliged to garrison Gargar himself, but 
could not prevent the countryside from being ravaged by 
Armenians and Turks in turn. Sawar raided the district of 
Turbessel in 1135, and in April 1136, about the time of Raymond 
of Poitiers s arrival in the East, his general, Afshin, not only broke 
his way through Antiochene territory to Lattakieh in the south, 
burning and pillaging the villages as he passed, but afterwards 
turned northward past Marash to Kaisun. The chief vassal of the 
Count of Edessa, Baldwin, lord of Marash and Kaisun, was 
powerless to defend his lands.* 

Raymond decided that his first action must be to recover 
Cilicia. His rear must be protected before he could venture to 
oppose Zengi. With King Fulk s approval he marched with 
Baldwin of Marash against the Roupenians. But the alliance was 
incomplete. Joscelin of Edessa, though he was Fulk s vassal and 
Baldwin s suzerain, was also Leo s nephew; and his sympathies 
were with his uncle. The King of Jerusalem s authority was no 
longer sufficient to reunite the Prankish princes. With Joscelin s 
help, Leo drove back the Antiochene army. Triumphant, he 

1 Gregory the Priest, p. 152; Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 230-3; Armenian 
Rhymed Chronicle, p. 499; Sembat the Constable, p. 615. 

2 Michael the Syrian, ra, p. 244; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 239-40; Kemal ad-Din, 
p. 672. 


The Second Generation 

agreed to have a personal interview with Baldwin, who trea 
cherously made him prisoner and sent him off to captivity in 
Antioch. In Leo s absence his three sons quarrelled. The eldest, 
Constantine, was eventually captured and blinded by his brothers. 
But meanwhile the Franks derived no profit. The Danishmend 
emir, Mohammed II ibn Ghazi, invaded Cilicia, destroyed the 
harvests, then moved on into Baldwin s lands, which he ravaged 
as far as Kaisun. Shaken by these disasters, Leo bought his 
freedom by offering to give up the Cilician cities to Raymond; 
but on his return home he forgot his promise. A desultory war 
broke out again, till, early in 1137, Joscelin patched up a truce 
between the combatants, who were terrified by news from the 
north, news that showed Princess Alice not to have been so 
foolish after all. 1 

King Fulk had not been able to give any practical aid to his 
friend Raymond. He had to face dangers nearer home. The 
government of the young atabeg Mahmud of Damascus had been 
dominated by the peaceful influence of his mother s lover, Yusuf; 
but one spring evening, in 1136, as the atabeg was walking on the 
maidan with Yusuf and a mameluk commander, Bazawash, the 
latter suddenly stabbed Yusuf to death and fled to his regiment at 
Baalbek. From there he threatened to march on Damascus and 
depose the atabeg, unless he was made chief minister. Mahmud 
yielded to his wishes. At once the Damascenes took up an aggres 
sive attitude against the Franks. Early next year they invaded 
the County of Tripoli. The local Christians, who felt no loyalty 
towards the Franks, guided them secretly through the passes of the 
Lebanon into the coastal plain. Count Pons was taken by surprise. 
He came out with his small army to meet them and was disastrously 
defeated. Pons himself, who fled into the mountains, was betrayed 
to the Moslems by a Christian peasant, and was instantly put to 
death. The Bishop of Tripoli, Gerard, who was captured in the 
battle, was fortunately not recognized and was soon exchanged as 

1 Gregory the Priest, loc. cit. (and note by Dulaurier) ; Sembat the Constable, 
p. 616; Matthew of Edessa, ccliii, pp. 320-1. 


1137- Accession of Raymond II of Tripoli 

a man of no importance. Bazawash captured one or two frontier 
castles, but did not venture to attack Tripoli itself. He soon retired 
to Damascus laden with, booty. 1 

Pons had ruled over Tripoli for twenty-five years. He seems to 
have been a competent administrator but a feckless politician, 
always anxious to throw off the suzerainty of the King ofjerusalem 
but too weak to achieve independence. His son and successor, 
Raymond II, was of a more passionate temperament. He was now 
aged twenty-two, and had recently married Queen Melisende s 
sister, Hodierna ofjerusalem, to whom he was jealously devoted. 
His first act was to avenge his father s death, not on the mamelukes 
of Damascus, who were too powerful for him, but on the disloyal 
Christians of the Lebanon. Marching on the villages suspected of 
helping the enemy, he massacred all their men-folk and took the 
women and children to be sold as slaves in Tripoli. His ruthlessness 
cowed the Lebanese, but it made them no fonder of the Franks. 2 

Bazawash s activity was not to the liking of Zengi. He was 
unwilling to attack the Franks with an independent and aggressive 
Moslem state on his flank. At the end of June he marched on 
Horns, which was held for the atabeg of Damascus by an elderly 
mameluke, Unur. For about a fortnight Zengi lay before the city, 
when news came that a Prankish army from Tripoli was ap 
proaching. Whatever Count Raymond s intention may have been, 
his move caused Zengi to raise the siege of Horns and turn on the 
Franks. As Raymond retired before him, he advanced to besiege 
the great castle of Montferrand, on the eastern slopes of the 
Nosairi hills, guarding the entrance to the Buqaia. Meanwhile 
Raymond sent to Jerusalem to ask for help from King Fulk. 

Fulk had just received an urgent appeal from Antioch; but 
a Moslem threat to Tripoli could not be ignored. He hurried up 
with all the men that he could collect to join Raymond, and 
together they made a forced march round the Nosairi foothills to 

1 William of Tyre, xrv, 23, p. 640; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 240-1; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 419-20. 

2 William of Tyre, loc. dt. 


The Second Generation 

Montferrand. It was a difficult journey; and their army soon was 
in a pitiable state. Zengi had moved away on their approach, but, 
hearing of their condition, he returned and closed in round them 
as they came out of the hills near to the castle. The weary Franks 
were taken by surprise. They fought bravely, but the battle was 
soon over. Most of the Christians lay dead on the field. Others, 
including the Count of Tripoli, were taken prisoner, while Fulk 
with a small bodyguard escaped into the fortress. 1 

Before Zengi could move up to invest Montferrand, the King 
sent messengers to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, to the Count of 
Edessa and to the Prince of Antioch, begging for immediate help. 
All three, ignoring other risks, answered his appeal; for the capture 
of the King and all his chivalry might well mean the end of the 
kingdom. The Patriarch William gathered together the rest of the 
militia left in Palestine, and led it, with the Holy Cross at its head, 
up to Tripoli. Josceliti of Edessa, forgetting his local worries, came 
down from the north, and on his way was joined by Raymond 
of Antioch, who could ill afford at that moment to leave his 
capital. Fortunately for Palestine, bared as it was of every 
fighting man, its neighbours were not in the mood to be aggres 
sive. Egypt was paralysed by a palace revolution, which had 
replaced the Armenian vizier Vahram by a violent anti-Christian, 
Ridwan ibn al-Walakshi, who was fijly occupied in slaying his 
predecessor s friends and in quarrelling with the Caliph. The 
garrison of Ascalon carried out a raid on Lydda, but no more.* 
The mameluke Bazawash of Damascus was more dangerous; and 
as soon as the Patriarch had left the country, he permitted himself 
to ravage it as far south as the open city of Nablus, whose in 
habitants he put to the sword. But he was too fearful of the 
consequences to Damascus should Zengi enjoy too complete 
a victory to wish to press the Franks very far. 3 

1 "William of Tyre, xrv, 25, pp. 643-5; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 242-3 (tactfully 
omitting to mention the Franco-Damascene alliance) ; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 672-3 ; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 420. 

* William of Tyre, xiv, 26, pp. 645-7. 3 Ibid, xrv, 27, p. 647. 


1137- The Surrender of Montferrand 

At the end of July the relieving force assembled in the Buqaia. 
Meanwhile in Montferrand the King was growing desperate. He 
was cut off from news of the outside world. His supplies were 
running out; and day and night Zengi s ten great mangonels 
pounded at the walls of the castle. At last he sent a herald to 
Zengi to ask for his terms. To his incredulous joy, Zengi demanded 
only the cession of Montferrand. The King might go free with all 
his men. Moreover, the leading knights captured in the battle, 
including the Count of Tripoli, should be set at liberty. No 
ransom would be charged. Fulk accepted at once. Zengi kept to 
his engagement. Fulk and his bodyguard were brought before 
Zengi, who treated them with every mark of honour and pre 
sented the King with a sumptuous robe. Their comrades were 
restored to them; and they were sent peaceably on their way. In 
the Buqaia they met the relieving army, much nearer than they 
had thought. Some of them were vexed to find that had they held 
out longer they might have been rescued; but the wiser were glad 
to have escaped so lightly. 1 

Indeed, Zengi s forbearance has never ceased to astonish his 
torians. But Zengi knew what he was doing. Montferrand was 
no mean prize. Its possession would prevent the Franks from 
penetrating into the upper Orontes valley. It was also admirably 
situated to control Hama and the Damascene city of Horns. To 
obtain it without further fighting was well worth while; for he 
had no wish to risk a battle with the Prankish relieving force so 
near to the frontiers of Damascus, whose rulers would at once take 
advantage of any check that he might suffer. Moreover, like his 
Prankish enemies, he was disquieted by news from the north. 

1 William of Tyre, xiv, 28-9, pp. 545-51 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, loc. dt.\ Kemal 
ad-Din, loc. cit.\ Ibn al-Atbir, pp. 421-3- 




Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be 
his recompence? JOB xv, 31 

The news that had patched up a peace between the Franks and the 
Armenians, that had made Prince Raymond loth to leave Antioch, 
and that now induced Zengi to show mercy to his enemies was of 
a great army marching into Cilicia, led in person by the Emperor 
John Comnenus. Ever since the Emperor Alexius had failed to 
come to Antioch during the First Crusade the politicians of the 
Prankish East had blandly ignored Byzantium. Even though 
Bohemond s attempt to invade the Empire from the west had 
utterly failed, Alexius had been quite unable to secure that the 
terms of his treaty with Bohemond were implemented. As the 
Franks in Antioch well knew, he was distracted by cares nearer 
home. 1 

Theses cares endured for nearly thirty years. There were inter 
mittent wars on all the frontiers of the Empire. There were 
Polovtsian invasions across the lower Danube, as in 1 114 and 1121. 
There was continual tension with the Hungarians on the middle 
Danube, which flared into open war in 1128; the Hungarians 
invaded the Balkan peninsula as far as Sofia, but were driven back 
and defeated in their own territory by the Emperor. The Italian 
merchant cities periodically raided the Empire in order to extract 
commercial privileges. Pisa obtained a favourable treaty in mi ; 
and Venice, after four years of war, following on the Emperor 
John s refusal to renew his father s concessions, recovered all its 
rights in 1126. The Normans of southern Italy, cowed since 

1 See above, pp. 108-9, 137. 

The Later Days of Alexius I 

Bohemond s defeat at Dyrrhachium, became a menace once more 
in 1127, when Roger II of Sicily annexed Apulia. Roger II, who 
assumed the title of King in 1130, possessed to the full his family s 
hatred of Byzantium, though he loved to copy its methods and to 
patronize its arts. But his ambitions were so vast that it was 
usually possible to find allies against him. Not only did he seek 
to dominate Italy, but he claimed Antioch as the only surviving 
representative in the male line of the House of Hauteville, and 
Jerusalem itself in virtue of the treaty made by his mother Adelaide 
with Baldwin I. 1 

In Asia Minor there was no peace. During and after the First 
Crusade Alexius had consolidated his hold over the western third 
of the peninsula and over the northern and southern coasts; and 
had he had only to deal with the Turkish princes he could have 
kept his possessions intact. But groups of Turcomans were still 
seeping into the interior, where they and their flocks multiplied; 
and inevitably they overflowed into the coastal valleys, to seek 
a gentler climate and richer pastures. Their coming inevitably 
destroyed the settled agricultural life of the Christians. Indeed, 
the weaker the princes became, the more unruly and dangerous to 
the Empire were their nomad subjects/ 

At the time of the Emperor Alexius s death in 1118, Turkish 
Anatolia was divided between the Seldjuk Sultan Mas ud, who 
reigned from Konya over the southern centre of the peninsula, 
from the Sangarius to the Taurus, and the Danishmend emir 
Ghazi II, whose lands stretched from the Halys to the Euphrates. 
Between them they had absorbed and eliminated the smaller 
emirates, except for Melitene in the east, where Mas ud s youngest 
brother Toghrul reigned under the regency of his mother and her 

1 For Roger H, see Chalandon, Domination Normande en Italic, n, pp. 1-51. 
The Polovtsian invasion of 1121 was graphically described by the Jacobite 
Basil of Edessa for the benefit of Michael the Syrian (nr, p. 207). 

2 A good summary of the course and effect of the Turcoman invasions is 
given in Ramsay, War of Moslem and Christian for the Possession of Asia 
Minor , in Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman 
Empire, pp. 295-8. 


The Claims of the Emperor 

second husband, the Ortoqid Balak. In spite of the Byzantium 
victory at Philomelion in 1115 and the subsequent attempted 
delineation of the frontier, the Turks had during the following 
years recaptured Phrygian Laodicea. and penetrated into the 
Meander valley, and had cut off the road to Attalia. At the same 
time the Danishmends were pressing westward into Paphlagonia. 
The Emperor Alexius was planning a campaign to restore the 
Anatolian frontiers when his last illness supervened. 1 

The accession of the Emperor John brought new vigour to 
Byzantium. John, whom his subjects called Kaloioannes, John the 
Good, was one of those rare characters of whom no contemporary 
writer, with one exception, had anything derogatory to say. The 
exception was his own sister. Anna Comnena was the eldest of 
Alexius s children. As a child she had been betrothed to the young 
co-Emperor Constantine Ducas, to whom Alexius had promised 
the eventual succession. His early death, which followed closely 
on her brother s birth, was a cruel blow to her ambitions ; and she 
sought ever afterwards to redress the injustice of Providence by 
persuading her father, with her mother s approval, to leave his 
throne to her husband, the Caesar Nicephorus Bryeruiius. Even 
when the Emperor lay dying, devotedly nursed by his wife and 
daughter, the two ladies punctuated their ministrations with 
demands for John s disinheritance. But Alexius had decided that 
his son must succeed him. When John was admitted to bid him 
farewell, the dying man quietly passed him his ring with the 
imperial seal, and John hurried from the death-bed, to secure the 
gates of the palace. His promptness was rewarded. The army and 
the senate acclaimed him at once as reigning Emperor; and the 
Patriarch hastily endorsed their acclamation at a coronation 
ceremony in Saint Sophia. Anna and the Empress-Mother were 
outwitted. But John feared lest their partisans should make an 
attempt on his life. He even refused to attend his father s funeral, 
having good reason to believe that his murder was planned for 

1 Anna Comnena, xv, i, 6-vi, 10, pp. 187-213 ; Chalandon, Rigne d Alexius I 
Comnlne, pp. 268-71. 




in8: The Accession of John Comnenus 

the occasion. A few days later Anna organized a plot to eliminate 
him, while he was staying at the quiet suburban palace of Philo- 
patium. But the plot had one grave weakness. It was to place on 
the throne Nicephorus Bryennius ; and he had no desire for the 
throne. It was possible he that warned the Emperor. John 
punished the conspirators very lightly. The Empress-Mother 
Irene probably was not privy to the plot, but retired nevertheless 
to a convent. Anna s leading supporters had their possessions con 
fiscated, but many of them later received them back. Anna her 
self was deprived of her possessions for awhile, and henceforward 
lived in complete seclusion. Nicephorus went unpunished. Both 
he and his wife consoled themselves for the loss of a crown by 
adopting the less exigent calling of historian. 1 

John was now secure. He was in his thirtieth year, a small, thin 
man, dark-haired, dark-eyed and remarkably dark of complexion. 
His tastes were austere; he did not share in the delight taken by 
most of his family in literature and theological discussion. He was 
above all a soldier, happier on campaigns than in the palace. But 
he was an able and just administrator, and, despite his severity 
towards himself, generous to his friends and to the poor and ready 
to appear himself in ceremonial splendour should it be required. 
He was affectionate and forbearing to his family and faithful to his 
wife, the Hungarian Princess Piriska, rechristened Irene; but she, 
though she shared in his austerities and his charities, had little 
influence over him. His only intimate friend was his Grand 
Domestic, a Turk called Axuch, who had been taken prisoner as 
a boy at the capture of Nicaea in 1097 an< i had been brought up in 
the palace. John s conception of his imperial role was high. His 
father had left him a strong fleet, an army that was made up from 
a medley of races but was well organized and well equipped and 
a treasury that was full enough to permit an active policy. He 
wished not only to conserve the Empire s frontiers but to restore 

1 Anna Comnena, XV, xi, 1-23, pp. 229-42; Zonaras, m, p. 759 (a less 
subjective account); see Chalandon, op. tit. pp. 273-6, and Les Comnlnes, 
pp. 1-8. 

R c 2O9 J 4 

The Claims of the Emperor 

it to its ancient boundaries, and to realize the imperial claims in 
northern Syria. 1 

John began his first campaign against the Turks in the spring 
of 1119. He marched down through Phrygia and recaptured 
Laodicea. Urgent business then recalled him to Constantinople; 
but he returned a month later to take Sozopolis and reopen the 
road to Attalia. While he himself attacked the Seldjuks in the 
west, he had arranged for an attack on the Danishmends in the 
east. Constantine Gabras, Duke of Trebizond, took advantage 
of a quarrel between the emir Ghazi and his son-in-law, Ibn Mangu, 
a Turkish princeling established at Taranaghi in Armenia, to take 
up arms in support of the latter. But Ghazi, with Toghrul of 
Melitene as his ally, defeated and captured Gabras; who had to 
pay thirty thousand dinars to ransom himself. A timely dispute 
between Ghazi and Toghrul prevented the Turks from following 
up their victory.* 

For the next few years John was unable to intervene in Anatolia. 
These years saw an alarming growth in the power of the Danish- 
mends. In 1124, when Toghrul of Melitene s stepfather, Balak the 
Ortoqid, was killed fighting in the Jezireh, the emir Ghazi invaded 
Melitene and annexed it, to the delight of the native Christians 
there, who found his rule mild and just. Next, he turned westward 
and took Ankara, Gangra and Kastamuni from the Byzantines and 
extended his power down to the Black Sea coast. Constantine 
Gabras, thus cut off by land from Constantinople, took advantage 
of his isolation to declare himself independent ruler of Trebizond. 
In 1129, on the death of the Roupenian Prince Thoros, Ghazi 
turned his attention to the south; and next year, in alliance with 
the Armenians, he slew Prince Bohemond II of Antioch on the 
banks of the Jihan. Whatever views John might hold about 
Antioch, he had no wish for it to pass into the possession of a 
powerful Moslem prince. His prompt invasion of Paphlagonia 
kept Ghazi from following up his victory. Fortunately during 
these years the Anatolian Seldjuks were incapacitated by family 
1 Chakndon, op. cit. pp. 8-n, 19. 2 Ibid. pp. 35-48. 


1137 John prepares to invade Syria 

disputes. In 1125 the Sultan Mas ud was displaced by his brother, 
Arab. Mas ud fled to Constantinople, where the Emperor 
received him with every honour. He then went on to his father- 
in-law, the Danishmend Ghazi, whose help enabled him, after 
a struggle of four years, to recover his throne. Arab in his turn 
sought refuge at Constantinople, where he died. 1 

Yearly from 1130 to 1135 John campaigned against the Danish- 
mends. Twice his work was interrupted by the intrigues of his 
brother, the Sebastocrator Isaac, who fled from the Court in 1130 
and spent the next nine years plotting with various Moslem and 
Armenian princes; and in 1134 the sudden death of the Empress 
recalled him from the wars. By September 1134, when the death 
of the emir Ghazi eased the situation, he had reconquered all the 
lost territory except for the town of Gangra, which he recaptured 
next spring. Ghazi s son and successor, Mohammed, harassed 
by family squabbles, could not afford to be aggressive; and 
Mas ud, deprived of Danishmend help, came to terms with the 
Emperor. 2 

With the Anatolian Turks cowed, John was ready to intervene 
in Syria. But first he had to protect his rear. In 1 135 a Byzantine 
embassy arrived in Germany at the Court of the western Emperor 
Lothair. On John s behalf it offered Lothair large financial sub 
sidies if he would attack Roger of Sicily. The negotiations lasted 
some months. Eventually Lothair agreed to attack Roger in the 
spring of 1137.3 The Hungarians had been defeated in 1128 and 
the Serbians reduced to submission by a campaign in 1129. The 
defences on the lower Danube were secure. 4 The Pisans had been 
detached from their Norman alliance by the treaty of 1126; and 
the Empire was now on good terms with both Venice and Genoa. 5 

In the spring of 1137 the imperial army, with the Emperor and 

1 Chalandon, pp. 77-91 ; Nicetas Choniates, p. 45 ; Michael the Syrian, m, 
pp. 223-4, 227, 237. 

a Cinnamus, pp. 14-15; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 27-9; Michael the Syrian, 
m, pp. 237-49- 

3 Peter Diaconus, in M.G.K Ss. vol. vn, p. 833. 

4 Chalandon, op. cit. pp. 59-63, 70-1. 5 Ibid. pp. 158-61. 

211 14-2 

The Claims of the Emperor 

his sons at its head, assembled at Attalia and advanced eastward 
into Cilicia. The imperial fleet guarded its flank. The Armenians 
and the Franks were equally taken by surprise at the news of its 
approach. Leo the Roupenian, master now of the east Cilician 
plain, moved up in an attempt to check its progress by taking the 
Byzantine frontier fortress of Seleucia, but was forced to retire. 
The Emperor swept on, past Mersin, Tarsus, Adana and Mamistra, 
which all yielded to him at once. The Armenian prince relied on 
the great fortifications of Anazarbus to hold him up. Its garrison 
resisted for thirty-seven days; but the siege-engines of the 
Byzantines battered down its walls, and the city was forced to 
surrender. Leo retreated into the high Taurus, where the Emperor 
did not trouble now to follow him. After mopping up several 
Armenian castles in the neighbourhood, he led his forces south 
ward past Issus and Alexandretta, and over the Syrian Gates into 
the plain of Antioch. On 29 August he appeared before the walls 
of the city and encamped on the north bank of the Orontes. 1 

Antioch was without its prince. Raymond of Poitiers had gone 
to rescue King Fulk from Montferrand; andjoscelin of Edessa was 
with him. They reached the Buqaia to find the Bong released. Fulk 
had intended himself to go to Antioch to meet the Byzantines, 
but after his recent experiences he preferred now to return to 
Jerusalem. Raymond hastened back to Antioch to find that the 
Emperor s siege had begun, but the investiture of the city was not 
yet complete. He was able to slip in with his bodyguard through 
the Iron Gate close under the citadel. 

For several days the Byzantine machines pounded at the 
fortifications. Raymond could hope for no help from outside; 
and he was uncertain of the temper of the population within the 
walls. There were many even of his barons who began to see the 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 16-18; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 29-35; William of Tyre, 
xrv, 24, pp. 341-2; Matthew of Edessa, ccliv, p. 323; Sembat the Constable, 
pp. 616-17; Gregory the Priest, pp. 152-3; Michael the Syrian, ni, p. 45; 
Ibn al-Athir, p. 424; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 240-1 (the editor, p. 24011. 2, wishes 
to alter the reading Kiyalyani, i.e. Kaloioannes, for Imanyal, Emmanuel. But 
it is of John that the chronicler is speaking). 


1137 Raymond pays Homage to the Emperor 

wisdom of Alice s thwarted policy. It was not long before 
Raymond sent a message to the Emperor offering to recognize 
him as suzerain if he might keep the principality as Imperial Vicar. 
John in answer demanded unconditional surrender. Raymond 
then said that he must consult King Fulk; and letters were sent 
post-haste to Jerusalem. But Fulk s reply was unhelpful. * We all 
know , said the King, and our elders have long taught us that 
Antioch was part of the Empire of Constantinople till it was taken 
from the Emperor by the Turks, who held it for fourteen years, 
and that the Emperor s claims about the treaties made by our 
ancestors are correct. Ought we then to deny the truth and oppose 
what is right ? When the King whom he regarded as his overlord 
offered such advice, Raymond could not resist longer. His envoys 
found the Emperor ready to make concessions. Raymond was to 
come to his camp and swear a full oath of allegiance to him, 
becoming his man and giving him free access into the city and 
citadel. Moreover, if the Byzantines with Prankish help conquered 
Aleppo and the neighbouring towns, Raymond would hand back 
Antioch to the Empire and receive instead a principality consisting 
of Aleppo, Shaizar, Hama and Horns. Raymond acquiesced. He 
came and knelt before the Emperor and paid him homage. John 
did not insist then on entering Antioch; but the imperial standard 
was hoisted over the citadel. 1 

The negotiations showed the uneasiness of the Prankish attitude 
towards the Emperor. Fulk s reply may have been dictated by 
the immediate needs of the moment. He knew too well that 
Zengi was the great enemy of the Prankish kingdom and he would 
not offend the only Christian power capable of checking the 
Moslems; and it may be that Queen Melisende s influence was 
exerted in favour of a policy that would justify her sister Alice and 
would humiliate the man that had tricked her. But his verdict was 
probably the considered view of his lawyers. Despite all the 
propaganda of Bohemond I, the more scrupulous Crusaders held 

1 William of Tyre, xiv, 30, pp. 651-3 ; Orderic Vitalis, xra, 34, pp- 99-IOI J 
Cinnamus, pp. 18-19; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 3 6-7- 


The Claims of the Emperor 

that the treaty made between Alexius and. their fathers at Constan 
tinople still was valid. Antioch should have been returned to the 
Empire; and Bohemond and Tancred, by violating the oaths that 
they had sworn, had forfeited any claims that they might have 
made. This was a more extreme imperialist view than the Emperor 
himself held. The imperial government was always realistic. It 
saw that it would be impracticable and unwise to try to eject the 
Franks from Antioch without offering compensation. Moreover, 
it liked to line the frontier with vassal-states whose general policy 
would be controlled by the Emperor but who meanwhile would 
bear the brunt of enemy attacks. The Emperor therefore based his 
claims not on the treaty made at Constantinople but on the treaty 
made with Bohemond at Devol. He demanded the unconditional 
surrender of Antioch as from a rebellious vassal; but he was pre 
pared to let Antioch continue as a vassal-state. His immediate 
need was that it should co-operate in his campaigns against the 
Moslems. 1 

It was now too late in the year for a campaign; so John, having 
asserted his authority, returned to Cilicia to finish off its conquest. 
The Roupenian princes fled before him into the high Taurus. 
Three of Leo s sons, Mleh, Stephen and the blind Constantine, 
took refuge with their cousin, Joscelin of Edessa. The family castle 
of Vahka held out for some weeks under its valiant commander 
Constantine, whose personal combat with an officer of the 
Macedonian regiment, Eustratius, impressed the whole imperial 
army. Soon after its fall Leo and his elder sons, Roupen and 
Thoros, were captured. They were sent to prison in Constanti 
nople, where Roupen was soon put to death; but Leo and Thoros 
gained the favour of the Emperor and were allowed to live under 
surveillance at the Court. Leo died there four years later. Thoros 
eventually escaped and returned to Cilicia. When the conquest of 
the province was completed, John went into winter quarters in 
the Cilician plain, where Baldwin of Marash came to pay him 
homage and to ask for protection against the Turks. At the same 
1 See Chalandon, op. dt. pp. 122-7, 130-3, and below, p. 215. 


1138: The Christians lay siege to Shaizar 

time an imperial embassy was sent to Zengi, in order to give him 
the impression that the Byzantines were unwilling to start upon 
an aggressive adventure. 

Next February, by orders from the Emperor, the authorities in 
Antioch suddenly arrested all the merchants and travellers from 
Aleppo and the neighbouring Moslem towns, lest they might 
report to their homes of the military preparations that they had 
seen. Towards the end of March the imperial army moved up to 
Antioch and was joined there by the troops of the Prince of 
Antioch and the Count of Edessa, together with a contingent of 
Templars. On I April the allies crossed into enemy territory and 
occupied Balat. On the 3rd they appeared before Biza a, which 
held out under its commander s wife for five days. Another week 
was spent in rounding up the Moslem soldiers in the district, most 
of whom took refuge in the grottoes of el-Baba, from whence 
they were smoked out by the Byzantines. Zengi was with his 
army before Hama from which he was trying to expel the 
Damascene garrison when scouts told him of the Christian in 
vasions. He hastily sent troops under Sawar to reinforce the 
garrison of Aleppo. John had hoped to surprise Aleppo ; but when 
he arrived before the walls on 20 April and launched an attack he 
found it strongly defended. He decided not to undertake the 
ardours of a siege, but turned southward. On the 22nd he occupied 
Athareb, on the 25th Maarat al-Numan and on the 2yth Kafartab. 
On 28 April his army was at the gates of Shaizar. 

Shaizar belonged to the Munqidhite emir, Abul Asakir Sultan, 
who had managed to preserve his independence from Zengi. 
Perhaps John hoped that Zengi would not therefore concern him 
self with the city s fate. But its possession would give the Christians 
control of the middle Orontes and would hinder Zengi s farther 
advance into Syria. The Byzantines began the siege with great 
vigour. Part of the lower town was soon occupied; and the 
Emperor brought up his great mangonels to bombard the upper 
town on its precipitous hill over the Orontes. Latin and Moslem 
sources alike tell of the Emperor s personal courage and energy 


The Claims of the Emperor 

and of the efficiency of his bombardment. He seemed to be every 
where at once, in his golden helmet, inspecting the machines, 
encouraging the assailants and consoling the wounded. The emir s 
nephew Usama saw the terrible damage done by the Greek 
catapults. Whole houses were destroyed by a single ball, while the 
iron staff on which the emir s flag was fixed came crashing down 
piercing and killing a man in the street below. But while the 
Emperor and his engineers were indefatigable, the Franks held 
back. Raymond feared that if Shaizar were captured he might be 
obliged to live there in the front line of Christendom and to 
abandon the comforts of Antioch; while Joscelin, who privately 
hated Raymond, had no wish to see him installed in Shaizar and 
perhaps later in Aleppo. His whispering encouraged Raymond s 
natural indolence and his mistrust of the Byzantines. Instead of 
joining in the combat, the two Latin princes spent their days in 
their tents playing at dice. The Emperor s reproaches could only 
goad them into perfunctory and short-lived activity. Meanwhile 
Zengi gave up the siege of Hama and moved towards Shaizar. 
His envoys hurried to Baghdad, where at first the Sultan would 
not offer help, till a popular riot, crying for a Holy War, forced 
him to send an expedition. The Ortoqid prince Dawud promised 
an army of fifty thousand Turcomans from the Jezireh. Letters 
were also sent to the Danishmend emir, requesting him to make 
a diversion in Anatolia. Zengi was also well aware of the dis 
sensions between the Byzantines and the Franks. His agents in the 
Christian army fanned the Latin princes resentment against the 

Despite all John s vigour the great cliffs of Shaizar, the courage 
of its defenders and the apathy of the Franks defeated him. Some 
of his allies suggested that he should go out to meet Zengi, whose 
army was smaller than the Christian. But he could not afford to 
leave his siege-machinery unguarded nor could he now trust the 
Franks. The risk was too great. He managed to take the whole of 
the lower city; then, on about 20 May, the emir of Shaizar sent 
to him offering to pay him a large indemnity and to present him 


1138: Johns Entry into Antioch 

with his best horses and silken robes and his two most precious 
treasures, a table studded with jewels and a cross set with rubies 
that had been taken from the Emperor Romanus Diogenes at 
Manzikert, sixty-seven years before. He agreed further to 
recognize the Emperor as his overlord and to pay him a yearly 
tribute. John, disgusted by his Latin alhes, accepted the terms, and 
on 21 May he raised the siege. As the great imperial army moved 
back towards Antioch, Zengi came up towards Shaizar ; but, apart 
from a few light skirmishes, he did not venture to interfere with 
the retreat. 1 

When the army reached Antioch, John insisted on making a 
ceremonial entry into the city. He rode on horseback, with the 
Prince of Antioch and the Count of Edessa walking as his grooms 
on either side. The Patriarch and all the clergy met him at the gate 
and led him through streets hung with bunting to the Cathedral 
for a solemn mass, and on to the palace where he took up his 
residence. There he summoned Raymond and, hinting that the 
Prince had recently failed in his duties as vassal, he demanded that 
his army should be allowed to enter the city and that the citadel 
should be handed over to him. The future campaigns against the 
Moslems must, he said, be planned at Antioch, and he needed the 
citadel to store his treasure and his war-material. The Franks were 
horrified. While Raymond asked for time to consider the request, 
Joscelin slipped out of the palace. Once outside he told his soldiers 
to spread a rumour round the Latin population of the city that the 
Emperor was demanding their immediate expulsion, and to 
incite them to attack the Greek population. Once the rioting was 
started, he rushed back to the palace and cried to John that he had 
come at the risk of his life to warn him of the danger that he ran. 
There was certainly tumult in the streets, and unwary Greeks were 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 1-2, pp. 655-8; Cinnamus, pp. 19-20; Nicetas 
Choniates, pp. 37-41; Michael the Syrian, loc. dt.\ Usama, ed. Hitti, pp. 26, 
124, 143-4; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 248-52 ; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 674-8 ; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 426-8. The congratulatory poem addressed by Prodomus to the Emperor 
suggests that Shaizar was saved by the weather. (M.P.G. vol. cxxxm, cols. 


The Claims of the Emperor 

being massacred. In the East there is no telling where a riot may 
end. John wished neither that the Greeks in the city should suffer 
nor that he himself should be cut off in the palace with only his 
bodyguard, and his main army on the far banks of the Orontes. 
Moreover he had learnt that, thanks to Zengi s diplomacy, the 
Anatolian Seldjuks had invaded Cilicia and raided Adana. He saw 
through Joscelin s trickery; but before he could risk an open 
breach with the Latins he must be absolutely sure of his com 
munications. He sent for Raymond and Joscelin and said that for 
the moment he would ask for no more than a renewal of their oath 
of vassaldom and that he must return now to Constantinople. He 
left the pakce to rejoin the army; and at once the princes stilled 
the riot. But they were still nervous and very anxious to recapture 
the Emperor s goodwill. Raymond even offered to admit 
imperial functionaries into the city, guessing rightly that John 
would not accept so insincere an offer. Shortly afterwards John 
said good-bye to Raymond and Joscelin with an outward show of 
friendship and complete mutual mistrust. He then led his army 
back into Cilicia. 1 

It is remarkable that during all John s negotiations over Antioch 
nothing was said about the Church. By the treaty of Devol the 
Patriarchate was to be given back to the Greek line; and it is clear 
that the Latin church authorities feared that the Emperor might 
insist on that clause; for, in March 1138 almost certainly in answer 
to an appeal from Antioch, Pope Innocent II issued an order for 
bidding any member of his Church to remain with the Byzantine 
army should it take any action against the Latin authorities in 
Antioch. John must have been unwilling to stir up any religious 
trouble till he was politically and strategically on surer ground. 
Had he succeeded in providing Raymond with a principality -in 
lieu of Antioch, then he would have reintroduced a Greek 
Patriarch into the city. But in the meantime he publicly con 
doned the presence of a Latin when on his solemn entry Radulph 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 3-5, pp. 658-65; al-Azimi (p. 352) is the only other 
chronicler to mention the plot. 


- John in Anatolia 

of Domfront came to greet him and conducted him to mass at 
the cathedral. 1 

John journeyed, slowly back to Constantinople, after sending 
part of his army to punish the Seldjuk Mas ud for his raid into 
Cilicia. Mas ud asked for peace and paid an indemnity. During 
1139 and into 1140 the Emperor was occupied with the Danish- 
mend emir, who was a far more dangerous enemy than the 
Seldjuk. In 1139 Mohammed not only invaded upper Cilicia and 
took the castle of Vahka, but he also led an expedition westward 
as far as the Sangarius river. His alliance with Constantine Gabras, 
the rebel Duke of Trebizond, guarded his northern flank. During 
the summer of 1139 John drove the Danishmends out of Bithynia 
and Paphlagonia, and in the autumn he marched eastwards along 
the Black Sea coast. Constantine Gabras made his submission; 
and the imperial army turned inland to besiege the Danishmend 
fortress of Niksar. It was a difficult undertaking. The fortress was 
naturally strong and well defended; and in that wild mountainous 
country it was difficult to keep communications open. John was 
depressed by the heavy losses suffered by his troops and by the 
desertion to the enemy of his nephew John, his brother Isaac s son, 
who became a Moslem and married Mas ud s daughter. The 
Ottoman Sultans claimed to be descended from him. In the 
autumn of 1140 John abandoned the campaign and brought his 
army back to Constantinople, intending to recommence next 
year. But next year the emir Mohammed died, and the Danish- 
mend power was temporarily put out of action by civil war 
between his heirs. John could revert to his larger schemes and 
turn his attention again to Syria.* 

There the benefits of his campaign against the Moslems in 1137 
had been quickly lost. Zengi had recovered Kafartab from the 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 3, p. 659. But Ibn al-Qalanisi (p. 245) says that John 
demanded a Greek Patriarch for Antioch. Possibly he confused John s demands 
with those later made by Manuel. Innocent s letter, dated 25 March 113 8, is 
given in Cartulaire du Saint Sepulcre, ed. Rozire, p. 86. 

2 Nicetas Choniates, pp. 44-9; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 248. 


The Claims of the Emperor 

Franks in May 1137 and Maarat al-Numan, Bizaa and Athareb in 
the autumn. During the next four years, when Zengi was fully 
occupied in his attempt to conquer Damascus, the indolent Franks 
of the north failed to take advantage of his difficulties. Every year 
Raymond and Sawar of Aleppo exchanged raids into each other s 
territories; but no major engagement took place. 1 The county of 
Edessa enjoyed a comparative peace, owing to the internecine 
quarrels of the Moslem princes round the frontiers, intensified by 
the death of the Danishmend Mohammed. To the Emperor John, 
carefully watching events from Constantinople, it seemed clear 
that the Franks of northern Syria were valueless as soldiers of 

Raymond s apparent nonchalance was partly due to shortage of 
man-power and partly to his quarrel with the Patriarch Radulph. 
He had never intended to keep to his oath to obey the Patriarch 
in all things ; and Radulph s arrogance enraged him. He found 
allies in the cathedral chapter, led by the Archdeacon Lambert and 
a canon, Arnulf of Calabria. Encouraged by Raymond they left 
for Rome towards the end of 1137 to complain of Radulph s 
uncanonical election. As they passed through King Roger II s 
dominions, Arnulf, who was born his subject, incited him against 
Radulph by pointing out that Radulph had secured the throne of 
Antioch, which Roger coveted, for Raymond. Radulph was 
obliged to follow them to Rome to justify himself. When he in 
his turn arrived in southern Italy, Roger arrested him; but such 
was his charm of manner and so persuasive his tongue that he soon 
won over the King to his side. He proceeded to Rome, where 
once again his charm triumphed. He voluntarily laid down his 
pallium on the altar of St Peter s and received it back from the 
Pope. When he journeyed back through southern Italy to resume 
his patriarchal throne, King Roger treated him as an honoured 
guest. But when he arrived at Antioch his clergy, backed by 
Raymond, refused to pay him the customary compliment of 
meeting him at the city gates. Radulph, playing the part of a meek, 
1 Kemal ad-Din, pp. 681-5. 


1139 : The Patriarch Radulph deposed 

injured man, retired discreetly to a monastery near St Symeon; 
where he remained till Joscelin of Edessa, always eager to embar 
rass Raymond, invited him to pay a ceremonious visit to his 
capital, where the Archbishop received him as spiritual overlord. 
Raymond soon decided that it was safer to have him back in 
Antioch. When he returned he was greeted with all the honours 
that he could desire. 

But thanks to Raymond s agitations, the inquiry into his 
position was reopened at Rome. In the spring of 1139 Peter, 
Archbishop of Lyon, was sent out to hear the case on the spot. 
Peter, who was very old, went first to visit the Holy Places ; and 
on his journey north he died at Acre. His death discountenanced 
Radulph s enemies; and even Arnulf of Calabria offered his sub 
mission. But Radulph in his arrogance refused to accept it; 
whereupon Arnulf, enraged, returned to Rome and persuaded the 
Pope to send out another legate, Alberic, Bishop of Ostia. The 
new legate arrived in November 1139 and at once summoned 
a synod which was attended by all the Latin prelates of the East, 
including the Patriarch of Jerusalem. It was clear that the sympathy 
of the synod was with the Prince and the dissident clergy. Radulph 
therefore refused to attend its sessions in the Cathedral of St Peter, 
while his only supporter, Serlon, Archbishop of Apamea, when 
he attempted to defend the Patriarch, was ejected from the 
assembly. After disobeying three summonses to appear to answer 
the charges against him, Radulph was declared deposed. In his 
pkce the synod elected Aimery of Limoges, the head of the 
chapter, a gross, energetic and almost illiterate man who had 
owed his first advancement to Radulph but had wisely made 
friends with Raymond. On his deposition the ex-Patriarch was 
thrown into prison by Raymond. Later he escaped and made his 
way to Rome, where once again he won the favour of the Pope 
and the Cardinals. But before he could use their help to restore 
himself he died, it was thought from poison, some time in 1142. 
The episode ensured for Raymond the loyal co-operation of the 
Church of Antioch; but the high-handed treatment of the 


The Claims of the Emperor 

Patriarch left behind an ugly impression, even amongst the 
ecclesiastics who had most disliked him. 1 

In the spring of 1142 John was ready to return to Syria. As in 
1136 he protected his rear by an alliance with the German 
monarch against Roger of Sicily. His ambassadors visited the 
Court of Conrad III, Lothair s successor, to make the necessary 
arrangements and to seal the friendship with a marriage. They 
returned in 1142, bringing with them Conrad s sister-in-law, 
Bertha of Sulzbach, who under the name of Irene was to be the 
wife of John s youngest son, Manuel. The good-will of the Italian 
maritime cities was also assured. 3 In the spring of 1142 John and 
his sons led his army across Anatolia to Attalia, driving back the 
Seldjuks and their Turcoman subjects who once again were trying 
to break through into Phrygia, and strengthening the frontier 
defences. While he waited at Attalia the Emperor suffered a heavy 
loss. His eldest son, Alexius, his appointed heir, fell ill and died 
there. His second and third sons, Andronicus and Isaac, were 
detailed to convey the body by sea to Constantinople; and during 
the voyage Andronicus also died. 3 Despite his grief, John pushed 
on to the east, giving out that he was bound for upper Cilicia, to 
reconquer the fortresses that the Danishmends had taken; for he 
did not wish to rouse the suspicions of the Franks. 4 The army 
passed by forced marches through Cilicia and across the upper 
Amanus range, the Giaour Dagh, and in mid-September it 
appeared unexpectedly at Turbessel, the second capital of Joscelin 
of Edessa. Joscelin, taken by surprise, hurried over to pay homage 
to the Emperor and to offer him as hostage his daughter Isabella. 

1 William of Tyre, xrv, 10, pp. 619-20, xv, 11-16, pp. 674-85. He is our 
only source. 
z Chalandon, op. cit. pp. 161-2, 171-2. 

3 Cinnamus, p. 24; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 23-4. Cinnamus (p. 23) says that 
John had intended that Alexius should inherit the Empire but that Manuel, his 
youngest son, shouldhave a principality consisting of Antioch, Attalia and Cyprus. 

4 William of Tyre, xv, 19, p. 688, indicates that Raymond had invited 
John s intervention out of fear of Zengi, but Nicetas Choniates (p. 52) talks of 
him disguising his plans and his actual arrival in Syria was a surprise (William 
of Tyre, ibid. p. 689). 


n$2: John returns to Cilicia 

John then turned towards Antioch, and on 25 September he 
arrived at Baghras, the great Templar castle that commanded the 
road from Cilicia to Antioch. Thence he sent to Raymond to 
demand that the whole city be handed over to him, and he 
repeated his offer to provide the Prince with, a principality out of 
his future conquests. 

Raymond was frightened. It was certain that the Emperor was 
now determined to follow up his demands with force; and it seems 
that the native Christians were ready to help the Byzantines. The 
Franks tried to gain time. Entirely changing the juridical position 
on which he had based himself in 1131, Raymond answered that 
he must consult his vassals. A council was held at Antioch at which 
the vassals, probably prompted by the new Patriarch, declared 
that Raymond only ruled Antioch as the husband of its heiress and 
therefore had no right to dispose of her territory, and that even the 
Prince and Princess together could not alienate nor exchange the 
principality without the consent of their vassals; who would 
dethrone them should they attempt to do so. The Bishop of Jabala, 
who brought the council s answer to John, backed up the rejection 
of the imperial demand by citing the authority of the Pope; but 
he offered John a solemn entry into Antioch. This answer, com 
pletely counter to all Raymond s previous undertakings, left John 
with no alternative but war. But the season was too far advanced 
for immediate action. After pillaging the property of the Franks in 
the neighbourhood of the city, he retired into Cilicia, to recover 
the castles taken by the Danishmends, and to spend the winter. 1 

From Cilicia John sent an embassy to Jerusalem to King Fulk, to 
announce his desire of paying a visit to the Holy Places, and of 
discussing with the King joint action against the infidel. Fulk was 
embarrassed. He had no wish for the great imperial army to 
descend into Palestine;, the price of the Emperor s aid would 
inevitably be the recognition of his suzerainty. The Bishop of 
Bethlehem, Anselm, accompanied by Roard, castellan of Jeru- 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 19-20, pp. 688-91; Nicetas Ckoniates, pp. 52-3; 
Gregory the Priest, p. 156; Mattkew of Edessa, cclv, p. 325. 


The Claims of the Emperor 

salem, and by Geoffrey, abbot of the Temple, who was a good 
Greek scholar, was sent to John to explain that Palestine was a poor 
country which could not supply provender for the maintenance 
of so large an army as the Emperor s, but if he would care to come 
with a smaller escort the Kong would be delighted to welcome 
him. John decided not to press his request further for the moment. 1 

In March 1143, when the Emperor s preparations for the reduc 
tion of Antioch were made, he took a brief holiday to go hunting 
the wild boar in the Taurus mountains. In the course of a hunt he 
was accidentally wounded by an arrow. He paid little attention to 
the wound; but it became septic and soon he was dying of blood- 
poisoning. John faced his end with composure. To the kst he was 
at work arranging for the succession and the smooth continuance 
of the government. His two elder sons were dead. The third, 
Isaac, who was at Constantinople, was a youth of uncertain 
temper. John decided that the youngest and most brilliant, 
Manuel, should be his heir, and he persuaded his great friend, the 
Grand Domestic Axuch, to support Manuel s claim. With his 
own feeble hands he placed the crown on Manuel s head and 
summoned in his generals to acclaim the new Emperor. After 
making his last confession to a holy monk from Pamphylia he 
died on 8 April. 2 

John s death saved Prankish Antioch. While Axuch hurried to 
Constantinople ahead of the news, to secure the palace and the 
government from any attempt by John s son Isaac to claim the 
throne, Manuel led the army back across Anatolia. Till he was sure 
of his capital there could be no further adventures in the East. The 
imperial project was kid aside, but not for long. 3 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 21, pp. 691-3. John had prepared offerings for the 
Holy Sepulchre (Cinnamus, p. 25). 

a William of Tyre, xv, 22-3, pp. 693-5; Cinnamus, pp. 26-9; Nicetas 
Choniates, pp. 56-64; Matthew of Edessa, p. 325; Gregory the Priest, p. 156; 
Michael the Syrian, nr, p. 254; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 264; Bustan, p. 537. 

3 Cinnamus, pp. 29-32, telling of an insolent Antiochene embassy to Manuel 
who replied that he would return to assert his rights. Nicetas Choniates, 
pp. 65-9; William of Tyre, xv, 23, p. 696. 




An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof 
shall not be blessed. PROVERBS xx, 21 

It was with relief that the Franks of the East learnt of the Emperor s 
death; and in their contentment they did not notice how much 
more greatly relieved was their arch-enemy, the atabeg Zengi. 1 
From 1141 for two years Zengi had been embarrassed by a desire 
of the Sultan Mas ud to reassert his authority over him. It was only 
by a timely show of submission, accompanied by a gift of money 
and the dispatch of his son as a hostage that Zengi averted an 
invasion into the territory of Mosul by the Sultan s army. 2 
A Byzantine conquest of Syria at that moment would have put an 
end to his western schemes. They were further endangered by an 
alliance, formed by common fear of him, between the King of 
Jerusalem and the atabeg of Damascus. 

After the breakdown of the Franco-Byzantine alliance in 1138, 
Zengi returned to the task of conquering Damascus. His siege of 
Horns had twice been interrupted, first by the Prankish advance 
to Montferrand, and secondly by the Byzantine siege of Shaizar. 
He now returned in full force to Horns, and sent to Damascus to 
demand in marriage the hand of the atabeg s mother, the Princess 
Zumurrud, with Horns as her dowry. The Damascenes were in no 
position to refuse. In June 1138 the dowager was married to 
Zengi; and his troops entered Horns. As a gesture of good-will 
he enfeoffed the governor of Horns, the aged mameluke Unur, 

1 The Moslem attitude towards the Byzantines is exemplified by Ibn 
al-Qalanisi (p. 252) who when he talks of the Emperor s retreat in 1138 says 
all hearts were set at rest after their distress and fear . 

2 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 241-2. 

RC 225 *5 

The Fall ofEdessa 

with the newly conquered fortress of Montferrand and some 
neighbouring castles. 1 

Fortunately for the Burid dynasty of Damascus, Unur did not 
take up his residence at Montferrand but came to Damascus. 
There, on the night on 22 June 1139, the young atabeg, Shihab 
ed-Din Mahmud, was murdered in his bed by three of his favourite 
pages. If Zengi, whose complicity was suspected, had hoped 
thereby to take over the government, he was disappointed. Unur 
at once assumed control. The murderers were crucified; and the 
atabeg s half-brother, Jemal ed-Din Mohammed, governor of 
Baalbek, was summoned to take over Mahmud s throne. In 
return Mohammed gave his mother and Baalbek to Unur. But 
Unur stayed on at Damascus, in charge of the government. This 
did not suit Zengi, who was urged on by his wife Zumurrud, and 
by a brother of Mohammed s, Bahram Shah, a personal enemy of 
Unur. In the kte summer of 1139 he laid siege to Baalbek, with 
a large army and fourteen siege-engines. The town capitulated on 
10 October; on the 2ist the garrison of the citadel, formed out of 
the ruins of the great temple of Baal, also surrendered, after Zengi 
had sworn on the Koran to spare the lives of its members. But 
Zengi broke his oath. They were all brutally massacred and their 
women sold into captivity. The massacre was intended to terrify 
the Damascenes, but it only hardened their resistance and led them 
to regard Zengi as a foe outside the pale of the Faith. 2 

During the last days of the year Zengi encamped close to 
Damascus. He offered the atabeg Mohammed Baalbek or Horns, 
in exchange for Damascus; and the young prince would have 
accepted had Unur permitted him. On his refusal Zengi moved 
in to besiege the city. At this crisis, on 29 March 1 140, Mohammed 
died. But Damascus was loyal to the Burids; and Unur without 
difficulty elevated Mohammed s youthful son Mujir ed-Din Abaq, 
to the throne. At the same time he decided that he would be 
justified, religiously as well as politically, to call in the help of the 

1 Ibn al-Qaknisi, p. 252; Kemal ad-Din, pp. 678-9. 
z Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 253-6; Ibn al-Athir, p. 431. 


- Prankish Alliance with Damascus 

Christians against his perfidious enemy. An embassy led by the 
Munqidhite prince Usarna left Damascus for Jerusalem. 1 

King Fulk had been attempting to take advantage of the 
embarrassments of the Damascenes to strengthen his hold of 
Transjordan. During the summer of 1139 he had received a visit 
from Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders, whose wife Sibylla was 
his daughter by his first marriage; and with Thierry s help he 
invaded Gilead and with some difficulty captured a small fortress 
near Ajlun, massacring its defenders.* The effort had brought him 
little profit; and when Unur offered him twenty thousand besants 
a month and the return of the fortress of Banyas if he would drive 
Zengi from Damascus, he was easily persuaded to change his 
policy. The idea of such an alliance was not new. Already early 
in 1138 Usama had journeyed to Jerusalem on Unur s behalf to 
discuss its feasibility. But though the Prankish Court had given 
him an honourable reception, his suggestions were rejected. Now 
the menace afforded by Zengi s growing power was better under 
stood. When Fulk summoned his council to consider the offer 
there was a general feeling that it should be accepted. 3 

After hostages had been received from Damascus, the Prankish 
army set out in April for Galilee. Fulk moved cautiously and 
halted near Tiberias while his scouts went ahead. Zengi came 
down the opposite coast of the Sea of Galilee to watch his move 
ments, but, finding him stationary, returned to the siege of 
Damascus. Thereupon Fulk advanced northward. Zengi would 
not risk being caught between the Franks and the Damascenes. He 
drew away from Damascus; and when Fulk met Unur s forces 
a little to the east of Lake Huleh, early in June, they learnt that 
Zengi had retired to Baalbek. Some of Zengi s troops returned 
later in the month to raid right up to the walls of Damascus, but 
he and his main army retreated on unscathed to Aleppo. 4 The 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 256-9. * William of Tyre, xv, 6, pp. 665-8. 

3 Ibid, xv, 7, pp. 668-9; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 259-60. 

4 William of Tyre, XV, 8, pp. 669-70; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 260; Kemal ad-Din, 
p. 682. 

227 15-2 

The Fall ofEdessa 

alliance had saved Damascene independence without a battle. 
Unur remained true to his bargain. For some months past his 
troops had been conducting a desultory siege of Banyas. Zengi s 
lieutenant, Ibrahim ibn Turgut took advantage of a lull in the 
siege to raid the coast near Tyre. There he was surprised by an 
army led by Raymond of Antioch, who had come south to help 
Fulk in the Damascene campaign. Ibrahim was defeated and killed. 
When Unur himself appeared before Banyas, and was joined by 
Fulk and Raymond, who were further encouraged by the visiting 
papal legate, Alberic of Beauvais, the defenders soon decided to 
capitulate. Unur arranged that they should be compensated with 
lands near Damascus. He then handed the city over to the Franks, 
who installed its former governor, Rainier of Brus, while Adam, 
Archdeacon of Acre, was appointed its bishop. 1 

The alliance between Fulk and Unur was sealed by a visit that 
Unur paid soon afterwards, accompanied by Usama, to the King s 
Court at Acre. They were given a cordial and flattering reception, 
and went on to Haifa and Jerusalem, returning through Nablus 
and Tiberias. The tour was conducted in an atmosphere of the 
greatest good-will, though Usama by no means approved of 
everything that he saw. 2 Fulk further showed his honest desire 
for friendship with the Damascenes, when they complained to 
him of the raids against their flocks committed by Rainier of Brus 
from Banyas. Rainier was sternly ordered to end his forays and 
to pay compensation to his victims. 3 

By about the year 1 140 King Fulk had reason to be satisfied with 
his government. The position in northern Syria had deteriorated 
since his predecessor s days; nor did he enjoy such prestige or 
authority there. It is doubtful whether Joscelin of Edessa even 
recognized him as overlord. But in his own domain he was secure. 
He had learnt the lesson that for the Franks to survive there, they 
must be less intransigent towards the Moslems, but must be ready 
to make friends with the less dangerous of them ; and he had 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 9-11, pp. 770-6; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 260-1. 

2 Usama, ed. Him, pp. 166-7, 168-9, 226. 3 lUd. pp. 93-4. 


1140: Castles on the Southern Frontier 

carried his nobles with him in this policy. At the same time he had 
worked hard for the country s defences. On the southern frontier 
three great castles had heen built to guard against raids from the 
Egyptians at Ascalon. At Ibelin, some ten miles south-west of 
Lydda, at a well-watered spot that commanded the junction of the 
roads from Ascalon to Jaffa and to Ramleh, he used the ruins of the 
old Roman town of Jamnia to erect a splendid fortress that was 
entrusted to Balian, surnamed the Old , brother of the Viscount of 
Chartres. Balian had owned the land under the lords of Jaffa, and 
had won Fulk s favour by supporting the King against Hugh of 
Le Puiset. As chatelain of Ibelin he was raised to the rank of a tenant- 
in-chief; and he married Helvis, heiress of Ramleh. His descendants 
were to form the best-known noble family in the Prankish East. 1 

South of Ibelin the direct road from Ascalon to Jerusalem was 
guarded by the castle of Blanchegarde, on the hill called by the 
Arabs Tel as-Safiya, the shining mound. Its custodian, Arnulf, 
became one of the richest and most powerful barons of the realm. 2 
The third castle was built at Bethgibelin at the village that the 
Crusaders wrongly identified with Beersheba. It commanded the 
road from Ascalon to Hebron; and its maintenance was entrusted 
to the Hospitallers. 3 These fortifications were not complete enough 
to prevent all raids from Ascalon. In 1141 the Egyptians broke 
through and defeated a small Crusader force on the plain of 
Sharon. 4 But they could hold up any serious attack from the 
south on Jerusalem, and were centres for local administration. 

At the same time Fulk took steps to bring the country east and 
south of the Dead Sea under stricter control. The seigneurie of 
Montreal, with its castle in an oasis in the Idumaean hills, had 
given to the Franks a loose command of the caravan-routes leading 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 24, pp. 696-7. For Balian s origin, seeDucange, Families 
d* Outre Mer, ed. Rey, pp. 360-1. 

2 William of Tyre, XV, 25, pp. 697-9. 

3 Ibid, xiv, 22, pp. 638-9. Martin, Les premiers princes croises et les 
Chretiens Jacobites de Jerusalem , n, Revue de I Orient Latin, 8 me serie, 13, 
pp. 34-5, gives Syrian evidence suggesting that the casde was being built in 1 13 5. 

4 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 263. 


The Fall ofEdessa 

from Egypt to Arabia and to Syria; but Moslem caravans still 
passed unscathed along the roads, and raiders from the desert were 
still able to break through into Judaea. At the time of Fulk s 
accession the lord of Montreal and Oultrejourdain had been 
Roman of Le Puy, whom Baldwin I had enfeoffed about the year 
1115. But Roman had supported Hugh of Le Puiset against the 
King, who therefore, in about 1132, dispossessed and disinherited 
his son, and gave the fief to Pagan the Butler, one of the high 
officials of his Court. Pagan was a vigorous administrator who 
tried to establish a tighter control over the large area that he 
governed. He seems to have succeeded in policing the country to 
the south of the Dead Sea; but in 1139, when Fulk was engaged in 
Gilead, a band of Moslems managed to cross the Jordan close to its 
junction with the Dead Sea and to raid Judaea, where they lured 
to its destruction by the tactics of a feigned retreat a company of 
Templar knights sent against them. It was probably to control 
the north as well as the south end of the Dead Sea that Pagan 
moved his headquarters from Montreal in Idumaea to Moab. There, 
in 1142, on a hill called by the chroniclers Petra Deserti, the Stone 
of the Desert, he built with the King s approval a great fortress 
known as Kerak of Moab. It was superbly situated for dominating 
the only practicable roads from Egypt and western Arabia into 
Syria, and it was not too far from the fords of the lower Jordan. 
Baldwin I had already established a look-out post down on the 
shore of the Gulf of Akaba, at Elyn or Aila. Pagan installed a 
stronger garrison there and at the Fort of the Valley of Moses, by 
the ancient Petra. These castles, with Montreal and Kerak, gave 
the lord of Oultrejourdain the mastery of the lands of Idumaea and 
Moab, and their rich cornfields and the saltpans by the Dead Sea, 
though there was no serious Prankish colonization there and the 
Bedouin tribes continued their old nomad life in the barren 
districts, merely paying occasional tribute to the Franks. 1 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 21, pp. 692-3. For the products of the district, see 
Abel, Geographic de la Palestine, i, p. 505. For the effect on Moslem trade, see 
Wiet, op. at. pp. 320-1. See Rey, Les Seigneurs de Montreal et de La Terre 


1143 Queen Melisendes Foundations 

The internal security of the realm improved during Fulk s reign . 
At the time of his accession the road between Jaffa and Jerusalem 
was still unsafe because of the handits who not only molested 
pilgrims but also interrupted the food-supply to the capital. In 
1133, while the King was absent in the north, the Patriarch William 
organized a campaign against the bandits and constructed a castle 
called Chastel Ernaut, near Beit Nuba, where the road from 
Lydda climbs into the hills. Its erection made it easier for the 
authorities to police the road; and after the fortification of the 
Egyptian frontier travellers seldom met with trouble on their 
journey from the coast. 1 

Of the government of the kingdom during Fulk s later years 
we hear little. Once Hugh of Le Puiset s revolt had been crushed 
and the Queen s desire for vengeance had been allayed, the barons 
supported the Crown with perfect loyalty. With the Church of 
Jerusalem Fulk s relations were consistently good. The Patriarch 
William of Messines, who had crowned him and who was to 
survive him, remained a faithful and deferential friend. As she 
grew older, Queen Melisende took to pious works, though her 
chief foundation was intended for the greater glory of her family. 
She was devoted to her sisters. Alice became Princess of Antioch; 
Hodierna was now Countess of Tripoli; but for the youngest, 
Joveta, who had spent a year of her childhood as a hostage with 
the Moslems, there was no suitable husband to be found. She had 
entered religion and became a nun at the Convent of St Anne in 
Jerusalem. The Queen in 1143 bought from the Holy Sepulchre, 
in exchange for estates near Hebron, the village of Bethany ; and 
there she built a convent in honour of Saint Lazarus and his 
sisters Martha and Mary, endowing it with Jericho and all its 
orchards and surrounding farms, and fortifying it with a tower. 

d Oultre Jourdain , in Revue de I Orient Latin, vol. iv, pp. ipff. The castle at 
the Valley of Moses is on the precipitous hill now known as Wueira on the 
outskirts of Petra, where extensive Crusader ruins look across to Wadi Musa. 
There are also ruins of a small medieval fort on the hill of al-Habis in the centre 
of Petra. 
1 William of Tyre, xrv, 8, p. 617. 


The Fall ofEdessa 

Lest her motive should be too clearly apparent she appointed as 
its first abbess an excellent but elderly and moribund nun, who 
tactfully died a few months later. The convent then dutifully 
elected the twenty-four-year-old Joveta as Abbess. Joveta in her 
dual role as princess of the blood royal and abbess of Palestine s 
richest convent occupied a distinguished and venerable position 
for the rest of her long life. 1 

This was the most lavish of Melisende s charitable endowments; 
but she persuaded her husband to make several grants of land to 
the Holy Sepulchre, and she continued to found religious houses 
on a generous scale throughout her widowhood. 2 She was also 
responsible for improving relations with the Jacobite and Armenian 
Churches. Before the Crusaders capture of Jerusalem the 
Jacobites had fled in a body to Egypt. When they returned they 
found that the estates of their church in Palestine had been given 
to a Prankish knight, Gauffier. In 1103 Gaufiier was captured by 
the Egyptians, and the Jacobites recovered their lands. But in 
1137 Gauffier, whom everyone thought dead, returned from his 
captivity and claimed his property. Owing to the direct inter 
vention of the Queen, the Jacobites were allowed to remain in 
possession, after paying Gauffier three hundred besants as a com 
pensation. In 1140 we find the Armenian Catholicus attending 
a synod of the Latin Church there. Melisande also gave endow 
ments to the Orthodox Abbey of St Sabas. 3 

Fulk s commercial policy was a continuation of his predecessors . 
He honoured his obligations to the Italian cities, who now con 
trolled the export trade of the country. But he refused to give any 
one the monopoly; and in 1136 he made a treaty with the mer 
chants of Marseille, promising to give four hundred besants a year, 

1 William of Tyre, xv, 26, pp. 699-700. Joveta was responsible for the 
education of her grand-niece the future Queen Sibylla (see below, p. 407). She 
died some time before 1178, when the Abbess Eva of Bethany refers to her as 
her predecessor (Cartulaire de St Marie dejosephat, ed. Kobler, p. 122). 

2 E.g. Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 43, 44, 45. 

3 Nau, *Le Croise Lorrain Godefroy de Ascha , in Journal Asiatique, ix, 14, 
pp. 421-31; Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 106-7. See below, pp. 321-3. 


1143 Death of King Fulk 

drawn from the revenues of Jaffa, for the maintenance of their 
establishment there. 1 

In the autumn of 1143 the Court was at Acre, enjoying the lull 
that Zengi s retreat from Damascus had afforded. On 7 November 
the Queen desired to go for a picnic. As the royal party rode out 
into the country a hare was flushed, and the King galloped off in 
pursuit of it. Suddenly his horse stumbled and Fulk was thrown 
off; and his heavy saddle struck him on the head. They carried him 
back unconscious and with ghastly head-wounds to Acre. There, 
three days later, he died. He had been a good king for the realm 
of Jerusalem, but not a great king nor a leader of the Franks in the 
East. 2 

Queen Melisende s vocal grief, much as it moved all the Court, 
did not distract her from taking over the kingdom. Of the 
children that she had born to Fulk two sons survived, Baldwin, 
who was aged thirteen, and Amalric, aged seven. Fulk had pos 
sessed the throne as her husband; and her rights as heiress were 
fully recognized. But the idea of a sole Queen-regnant was 
unthought of by the barons. She therefore appointed her son 
Baldwin as her colleague and herself assumed the government. 
Her action was regarded as perfectly constitutional and was 
endorsed by the council of the realm when she and Baldwin were 
crowned together by the Patriarch William on Christmas Day. 3 
Melisende was a capable woman who in happier times might have 
reigned with success. She took as her adviser her first cousin, the 
Constable Manasses of Hierges, son of a Walloon lord who had 
married Baldwin II s sister, Hodierna of Rethel. Manasses had 
come out as a young man to his uncle s court, where his abilities 

1 Rohricnt, Regesta, p. 40. See La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, p. 272. Sixteen 
years later Baldwin III gave them a quarter in Jerusalem. Rohricht, Regesta, 
p. 70. 

* William of Tyre, xv, pp. 700-2; Matthew of Edessa, cclvi, p. 325; Ibn 
al-Qalanisi, p. 265. St Bernard wrote a letter of condolence to Queen Melisende 
(no. 354, M.P.L. vol. CLXXXH, cols. 556-?)- 

3 William of Tyre, xvi, 3, p. 707. For Melisende s constitutional position, 
see La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, pp. 14-18. 


The Fall ofEdessa 

and his royal connections secured Rim steady advancement. When 
Balian the Old of Ibelin died, soon after King Fulk s death, 
Manasses married his widow Helvis, heiress of Ramleh, who in 
her own right and her sons controlled the whole Philistian plain. 
The barons were in time to resent Manasses s power, for the 
Queen and he inclined towards autocracy; but for the moment 
there was no opposition to the Queen. 1 

Her accession brought one serious disadvantage. Under Fulk 
the King of Jerusalem s position as overlord of the Crusading 
states had been growing theoretical rather than practical; and it 
was unlikely that the princes of the north would pay greater 
attention to the suzerainty of a woman and a child. When 
quarrels broke out between the Prince of Antioch and the Count 
of Edessa, a strong king of Jerusalem, such as Baldwin II, would 
have marched north and forcibly composed the differences. 
Neither a queen nor a boy-king could do so ; and no one else had 
the overriding authority. 

Since the Emperor John s death and Zengi s check before 
Damascus, Raymond of Antioch s self-confidence had revived. 
He sent at once to the new Emperor, Manuel, to demand the 
return of Cilicia to his principality, and when Manuel refused he 
invaded the province. Manuel himself was obliged during the 
first months of his reign to remain at Constantinople; but he sent 
a land and sea expedition under the Contostephanus brothers and 
the converted Turk Bursuk and the admiral Demetrius Branas, 
which not only drove Raymond out of Cilicia but followed his 
troops to the walls of Antioch.* A few months previously 
Raymond had added Aleppan territory as far as Biza a while 
Joscelin of Edessa advanced to the Euphrates to meet him. But 
Joscelin suddenly made a truce with Sawar, governor of Aleppo, 
which ruined Raymond s schemes. Relations between Raymond 

1 William of Tyre, ibid, for a eulogy of the Queen. For Manasses, see below, 
p. 334. His marriage is recorded by William, xvn, 18, p. 780, and Helvis s 
name often appears in charters, e.g. Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 22, 76. 

* Cinnamus, pp 33-4. 


1144- Siege ofEdessa 

and Joscelin were worsening. It seems that since about 1140 
Joscelin had been obliged to accept Raymond as his overlord; 
but there was never any cordiality between them. Joscelin had 
irritated Raymond by his intervention in favour of the Patriarch 
Radulph; and this truce brought them almost to an open rupture. 1 

Zengi was watching these quarrels. The death of the Emperor 
had freed him of his most dangerous potential enemy. The 
Damascenes would take no action against him without FranJdsh 
help ; and the Kingdom of Jerusalem was unlikely now to embark 
on adventures. The opportunity must not be missed. In the 
autumn of 1144 Zengi attacked Kara Arslan, the Ortoqid prince 
of Diarbekir, who had recently made an alliance with Joscelin. 
In support of the alliance Joscelin marched out ofEdessa with the 
bulk of his army down to the Euphrates, apparently to cut off 
Zengi s communications with Aleppo. Zengi was informed by 
Moslem observers at Harran of Joscelin 5 s movements. He sent at 
once a detachment under Yaghi-Siyani of Hama to surprise the 
city. But Yaghi-Siyani lost his way in the darkness of the rainy 
November night, and reached Edessa no sooner than Zengi with 
the main army, on 28 November. By now the Edessenes had 
been warned and the defences had been manned. 

The siege of Edessa lasted for four weeks. Joscelin had taken 
with him all his leading soldiers. The defence was therefore 
entrusted to the Latin archbishop, Hugh II. The Armenian bishop 
John and the Jacobite bishop Basil loyally supported him. Any 
hope that Zengi may have had of seducing the native Christians 
from their Prankish allegiance was disappointed. Basil the Jacobite 
suggested asking for a truce, but public opinion was against him. 
But the defenders, well though they fought, were few in numbers. 
Joscelin himself retired to Turbessel. The historian William of 
Tyre cruelly criticizes him for sloth and cowardice in refusing to 
go to his capital s rescue. But his army was not strong enough to 

1 Azini, p. 537; Ibn al-Qalardsi, p. 266. Joscelin dates a diploma of 1141 
Raimundo Antiochiae principe regnante (Rohricht, Regesta, p. 51), and 
William of Tyre (xvi, 4, p. 710) makes him allude to Raymond as his lor din 1144. 


The Fall ofEdessa 

risk a battle with Zengi s. He had confidence that the great 
fortifications ofEdessa could hold out for some time. At Turbessel 
he could interrupt any reinforcements that Zengi might summon 
from Aleppo; and he counted on help from his Prankish neigh 
bours. He had sent at once to Antioch and to Jerusalem. At 
Jerusalem Queen Melisende held a Council and was authorized 
to gather an army, which she dispatched under Manasses the 
Constable, Philip of Nablus and Elinand of Bures, prince of 
Galilee. But at Antioch Raymond would do nothing. All 
Joscelin s appeals to him as his overlord were in vain. Without his 
help Joscelin dared not attack Zengi. He waited at Turbessel for 
the arrival of the Queen s army. 

It came too late. Zengi s army was swelled by Kurds and 
Turcomans from the upper Tigris ; and he had good siege-engines. 
The clerics and merchants who formed the bulk of the garrison 
were inexpert in warfare. Their counter-attacks and counter- 
minings were unsuccessful. Archbishop Hugh was thought to be 
holding back the treasure that he had amassed, badly though it was 
needed for the defence. On Christmas Eve a wall collapsed near 
the Gate of the Hours; and the Moslems poured in through the 
breach. The inhabitants fled in panic to the citadel, to find the 
gates closed against them by order of the Archbishop, who himself 
stayed outside in a vain attempt to restore order. Thousands were 
trampled to death in the confosion; and Zengi s troops, hard on 
their heels, slew thousands more, including the bishop. At last 
Zengi himself rode up and ordered the massacre to cease. The 
native Christians were spared; but all the Franks were rounded up 
and done to death, and their women sold into slavery. Two days 
later a Jacobite priest, Barsauma, who had taken over command 
of the citadel, surrendered to Zengi. 1 


Zengi treated the conquered city kindly once the Franks were 

, XVIj 4 ~ 5 > PP- 7 8 - I2: Ma hew of Edessa, cclvii, 

pp. 326-8; Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 259-63; Chron. Anon. Syr, pp. 281-6 
(the fuUest account, with details not found elsewhere). Nerses Shnorhal Blew 
on the fall ofEdessa, pp. 2 ff ; Bar-Hebraeus, trans. Budge, pp. 268-70; Kemal 


1145 - Zengi s Policy in Edessa 

removed. He appointed as governor Kutchuk Ali of Arbil; but 
the native Christians, Armenians, Jacobites and even Greeks, were 
allowed a certain measure of autonomy. Though the Latin 
churches were destroyed, theirs were untouched, and they were 
encouraged to bring their co-religionists in to re-people the city. 
In particular the Syrkn bishop Basil enjoyed the favour of the 
conquerors, because of his proud reply, when they questioned if 
he was trustworthy, that his loyalty to the Pranks showed how 
capable he was of loyalty. The Armenians, amongst whom the 
dynasty of Courtenay had always been popular, took less willingly 
to the new regime. 1 

From Edessa Zengi moved on to Saruj, the second great 
Prankish fortress east of the Euphrates, which fell to him in 
January. He then advance to Birejik, the town that commanded 
the chief ford across the river. But the Prankish garrison put up 
a stiff resistance. Joscelin was near at hand; and the Queen s army 
was approaching. At that moment Zengi had rumours of trouble 
in Mosul. He raised the siege of Birejik and hurried eastward. He 
was still in name merely the atabeg of Mosul for the young 
Seldjuk prince Alp Arslan, son of Mas ud. He returned to Mosul 
to find that Alp Arslan, in an attempt to assert his authority, had 
murdered the atabeg s lieutenant Shaqar. It was an ill-chosen 
moment, for Zengi, as the conqueror of a Christian capital, was 
at the height of his prestige in the Moslem world. Alp Arslan was 
dethroned and his advisers were put to death; while the Caliph 
sent Zengi an embassy kden with gifts, to confer on him the honour 
of King and conqueror.* 

The news of the fall of Edessa reverberated throughout the 

ad-Din, pp. 685-6; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 266-8 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 443-6. Many 
European chronicles make some mention of the fall of Edessa. St Bernard s 
letter no. 256, M.P.L. vol. CLXXXH, col. 463, refers to it. Ibn al-Athir tells us 
of a Moslem at King Roger of Sicily s court who had a telepathic vision of the 

1 Michael the Syrian, loc. cit.; Chron. Anon. Syr. loc. cit. 

* Chron. Anon. Syr. pp. 286-8; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 268-9; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 445-8 ; Ibn al-Fourat, quoted by Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, p. 371 n. II. 


The Fall ofEdessa 

world. To the Moslems it brought new hope. A Christian state that 
had intruded into their midst had been destroyed, and the Franks 
restricted to the lands by the Mediterranean. The roads from Mosul 
to Aleppo now were cleared of the enemy, and there was no 
longer a Christian wedge driven between the Turks of Iran and 
the Turks of Anatolia. Zengi had well earned his royal title. To 
the Franks it brought despondency and alarm; and to the Chris 
tians of western Europe it came as a terrible shock. For the first 
time they realized that things were not well in the East. A move 
ment was set on foot to preach a new Crusade. 

Indeed, a Crusade was needed; for the Prankish princes of the 
East, despite their peril, still could not bring themselves to co 
operate. Joscelin attempted to rebuild his principality in the lands 
that he held west of the Euphrates, with Turbessel as his capital. 1 
But, though it was clear that Zengi would soon attack him, he 
could not forgive Raymond for having refused him help. He 
openly broke with him and rejected his suzerainty. Raymond 
was equally averse to a reconciliation. But he was alive to the 
danger of isolation. In 1145, after defeating a Turcoman raid, he 
decided to travel to Constantinople, to ask for help from the 
Emperor. When he arrived, Manuel would not receive him. It 
was only after he had knelt in humble contrition at the tomb of the 
Emperor John that he was allowed an audience. Manuel then 
treated him graciously, loading him with gifts and promising him 
a money subsidy. But he would not promise him immediate 
military aid, for the Byzantines had a Turkish war on their hands. 
There was talk of an expedition in the future; and the visit, 
humiliating though it was to Raymond s pride and unpopular 
amongst his barons, had one useful result. It was not unremarked by 
Zengi; who therefore decided to postpone a further attack on the 
northern Franks and to turn his attention once more to Damascus. 2 

In May 1146 Zengi moved to Aleppo to prepare for his Syrian 

1 Joscelin still owned the territory from Samosata, through Marash (held by 
his vassal Baldwin) south to Birejik, Aintab, Ravendal and Turbessel. 
* Cinnamus, p. 35; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 267. 


ii 46: Murder ofZengi 

expedition. As he passed through. Edessa he learnt of an attempt 
by the Armenians there to shake off his rule and restore Joscelin. 
Kutchuk Ali easily crushed it; and Zengi ordered the ringleaders 
to be executed and a part of the Armenian population to be 
banished. Its place was taken by three hundred Jewish families, 
introduced by Zengi because the Jews were notoriously ready to 
support the Moslems against the Christians. 1 In the summer Zengi 
led his army southward to Qalat Jabar, on the direct route from 
the Euphrates to Damascus, where a petty Arab prince refused to 
recognize him as overlord. While he was besieging the town, on 
the night of 14 September 1146, he quarrelled with a eunuch of 
Prankish origin whom he caught drinking wine from his own 
glass. The eunuch, furious at the rebuke, waited till he slept, then 
murdered him. 2 

Zengi s sudden disappearance was welcome news to all his 
enemies, who hoped that the dynastic disputes that usually fol 
lowed the death of Moslem princes would disrupt his realm. 
While his corpse lay unburied and deserted, the eldest of his sons, 
Saif ed-Din Ghazi, accompanied by the vizier Jamal ed-Din of 
Isfahan, hurried to Mosul to take over the government there, and 
the second, Nur ed-Din, seizing the ring of office from the corpse s 
finger, went to be proclaimed at Aleppo by the Kurd Shirkuh, 
whose brother Ayub had saved Zengi s life when the Caliph 
defeated him in 1132. The division of the realm was the signal for 
its foes to invade. In the south Unur s troops from Damascus 
reoccupied Baalbek and reduced the governor of Horns and 
Yaghi-Siyani, governor of Hama, to vassalage. In the east the 
Seldjuk Alp Arslan made another bid for power, but in vain, 
while the Ortoqids of Diarbekir recovered towns that they had 
lost. 3 In the centre Raymond of Antioch led a raid up to the very 

1 Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 267-8 ; Chron. Anon. Syr. p. 289 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 
p. 270; Ibn al-Furat, loc. cit. 

2 William of Tyre, xvi, 7, p. 714; Michael the Syrian, ni, p. 268; Chron. 
Anon. Syr. p. 291 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 270-1 ; Kemal ad-Din, p. 688. 

3 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 272-4; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 455-6; see Cahen, Le 
Diyarbekr m Journal Asiatique, 1935, p. 352. 


The Fall ofEdessa 

walls of Aleppo, while Joscelin planned to reoccupy Edessa. His 
agents made contact with the Armenians in the city and won over 
the Jacobites. Joscelin then set out himself with a small army, 
which was joined by Baldwin of Marash and Kaisun. Raymond 
once more refused his help, this time with good reason, for the 
expedition was ill-planned. Joscelin had hoped to surprise Edessa; 
but the Moslems were warned. When he arrived before its walls, 
on 27 October, he was able, thanks to native help, to break his way 
into the city itself, but the garrison of the citadel was ready for 
him. His troops were too few to enable him to storm its fortifica 
tions. He lingered in the city uncertain what to do. Meanwhile 
messengers had reached Nur ed-Din at Aleppo. His army was 
now counter-attacking Raymond in Antiochene territory; but he 
at once summoned it back and demanded help from the neigh 
bouring Moslem governors. On 2 November he appeared before 
Edessa. Joscelin was caught between him and the citadel. He saw 
that his only chance lay in an immediate evacuation. During the 
night he managed to slip out with his men and with large numbers 
of the native Christians, and made his way towards the Euphrates. 
Nur ed-Din followed on his heels. Next day a battle was fought. 
The Franks held their ground well till Joscelin rashly ordered 
a counter-attack. It was driven back; and the Prankish army broke 
up in panic. Baldwin of Marash was killed on the field. Joscelin, 
wounded in the neck, escaped with his bodyguard and took refuge 
in Samosata, where he was joined by the Jacobite bishop Basil. The 
Armenian bishop John was captured and taken to Aleppo. The 
native Christians, deserted by the Franks, were massacred to a man, 
and their wives and children enslaved. At Edessa itself the whole 
Christian population was driven into exile. The great city, which 
claimed to be the oldest Christian commonwealth in the world, 
was left empty and desolate, and has never recovered to this day. 1 

1 William of Tyre, xvi, 14-16, pp. 728-32; Matthew of Edessa, cclviii, 
pp. 328-9 (giving the wrong date 1147-8); Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 270-2 
Basil the Doctor, Elegy on Baldwin, p. 205 ; Anon. Chron. Syr. pp. 292-7 Ibn al- 
Qalamsi, pp. 274-5 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 455-8 (and^%5,p.i 5 6);B W 5to,p. 541. 


1147 The Franks break with Unur 

The episode showed Zengi s enemies that they had gained little 
by his death. Moreover his sons, though they had small affection 
for each other, were wise enough not to quarrel. Saif ed-Din 
Ghazi, whose hands were fully occupied with the Ortoqids, took 
the initiative in arranging an interview with his brother, at which 
the division of the inheritance was peaceably confirmed. Saif 
ed-Din took the lands in Iraq and Nur ed-Din those in Syria. 
About the same time Nur ed-Din s position was strengthened by 
an unexpected act of folly committed by the Franks in Jerusalem. 
Early in 1147 one of Unur s lieutenants, Altuntash, governor of 
Bosra and Salkhad in the Hauran, an Armenian converted to 
Islam, declared his independence of Damascus and came to 
Jerusalem for support. He offered to hand Bosra and Salkhad to 
the Franks if they would set him up in a lordship in the Hauran. 
Queen Melisende very correctly summoned her Council to discuss 
the suggestion, ft was an important decision to make, for to 
support Altuntash would mean the rupture of the alliance with 
Damascus. But it was a tempting offer. The population in the 
Hauran was largely Christian, Melkite, of the Orthodox rite. 
With this Christian help it should be easy to colonize the Hauran; 
and its control would put Damascus at the mercy of the Franks. 
The barons hesitated. They ordered the army to be assembled at 
Tiberias; but they sent an embassy to Unur to say that they pro 
posed to reinstate Altuntash. Unur was angry, but for fear of 
Nur ed-Din he wished to avoid a rapture. He answered reminding 
the Queen that, according to her feudal law, a ruler could not 
support the rebellious vassal of a friendly power against his 
master; but he offered to repay her for any expenses that her pro 
posed expedition had involved. The Queen then sent a knight 
called Bernard Vacher to Damascus to say that unfortunately she 
was committed to the support of Altuntash whom her army would 
convey back to Bosra, but she undertook in no way to cause 
damage to Damascene territory. Bernard soon returned, con 
vinced by Unur that the proposal was unwise and wrong. He 
brought the young king Baldwin round to his views ; and, when 

241 l6 

The Fall ofEdessa 

the matter was discussed again before the Council it was decided 
to abandon the expedition. But by now the soldiers enthusiasm 
had been aroused. Demagogues in the army, furious at the can 
cellation of a profitable raid against the infidel, denounced Bernard 
as a traitor and insisted on war. The King and the barons were 
frightened and gave way. 

In May 1147 the Prankish army, with the Bang at its head, 
crossed the Jordan and marched into the Jaulan. But it was not 
the triumphal progress that the soldiers had anticipated. Unur had 
had full warning. His light Turcoman troops combined with the 
Arabs of the district to harrass them as they toiled up the Yarmuk 
valley towards Deraa. Unur himself had already sent an embassy 
to Aleppo to ask for help from Nur ed-Din. It was an appeal that 
Nur ed-Din was delighted to receive. An alliance was made. 
Nur ed-Din received Unur s daughter s hand in marriage and 
promised to come at once to his rescue; he was to be given back 
Hama but was to respect Damascene independence. At the end of 
May the Franks reached Deraa, just over halfway between the 
frontier and Bosra. Meanwhile, Unur had hurried to Salkhad, 
which lay farther to the east. Altuntash s garrison there asked for 
a truce; and Unur moved on westward to join with Nur ed-Din, 
who had come down at full speed from Aleppo. Together they 
marched on Bosra, which was surrendered to them by Altuntash s 
wife. News of the surrender reached the Franks on the evening 
when, weary and short of water, they arrived within sight of 
Bosra. They were in no state to attack the Moslems. There was 
nothing to be done but retreat. The return journey was more 
arduous than the advance. Food ran short; many of the wells had 
been destroyed. The enemy hung on their rear and killed the 
stragglers. The boy King showed great heroism, refusing a sug 
gestion that he should leave the main army and hurry on to safety 
with a picked bodyguard. Thanks to his example, discipline 
remained high. The barons at last decided to make their peace with 
Unur, and dispatched an Arabic-speaking messenger, probably 
Bernard Vacher, to beg for a truce; but the messenger was killed 


1147 The Emergence ofNur ed-Din 

on his way. However, when the army reached ar-Rahub, on the 
edge of the Jebel Ajlun, a messenger came from Unur, to offer to 
revictual the Franks. With Nur ed-Din at hand, he had no wish 
for the Prankish army to be completely wiped out. The King 
haughtily rejected the offer; but it was remarked that a mysterious 
stranger on a white horse with a scarlet banner appeared to lead 
the army safely to Gadara. After a last skirmish there it crossed 
the Jordan back into Palestine. The expedition had been costly and 
pointless. It showed the Franks to be good fighters but foolish in 
their politics and their strategy. 1 

One man alone had profited from it, Nur ed-Din. Unur had 
indeed recovered the Hauran. When Altuntash came to Damascus 
hoping to be pardoned, he was blinded and imprisoned, and his 
friends were disgraced. But Unur was desperately conscious of 
Nur ed-Din s strength. He was alarmed for the future and longed 
to restore his Prankish alliance. Nur ed-Din, however, abode by 
his treaty with Unur. He returned northward to continue the 
task of stripping the principality of Antioch of all its lands east of 
the Orontes. By the end of 1147 Artah, Kafarlata, Basarfut and 
Balat were in his hands.* 

Nur ed-Din thus emerged as the principal enemy of the 
Christians. He was now aged twenty-nine; but he was wise for 
his years. Even his opponents admired his sense of justice, his 
charity and his sincere piety. He was perhaps a less brilliant 
soldier than his father Zengi, but he was less cruel and less 
perfidious and a far better judge of men. His ministers and generals 
were able and loyal. His material sources were less than his 
father s; for Zengi had been able to call on the riches of Upper 
Iraq, which now had passed to Saif ed-Din. But Saif ed-Din had 
therefore inherited Zengi s difficulties with the Ortoqids and with 
the Caliph and the Seldjuk sultanate, leaving Nur ed-Din free to 
give his full attention to the West. Moreover, the sons of Zengi 

1 William of Tyre, xvi, 8-13, pp. 715-28; Ibn al-Qalardsi, pp. 276-9; 
Abu Shama, pp. 50-3. 

z Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blocliet, pp. 515-16; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 461-2. 



The Fall ofEdessa 

remained true to their family pact. Saif ed-Din would send help 
if need be to Nur ed-Din, without any desire to annex his share of 
the family lands. A third brother, Nasr ed-Din, was established as 
Nur ed-Din s vassal at Harran, while the youngest of the family, 
Qutb ed-Din, was growing up at his eldest brother s court at 
Mosul. Secure from danger from his fellow-Moslems by his 
family connections and his alliance with Unur, Nur ed-Din was 
well fitted to lead the counter-attack of Islam. If the Christians in 
the East were to survive, it was against him that they must con 
centrate their efforts. 1 

1 Ibn al-Athir, p. 456, and Atabegs, pp. 152-8. 






* Arise therefore, and be doing, and t1te Lord be with 
thee. i CHRONICLES xxn, 16 

As soon as it was known in Jerusalem that Edessa had fallen, 
Queen Melisende sent to Antioch to consult with the government 
there about the dispatch of an embassy to Rome, to break the news 
to the Pope and to ask for a new Crusade. It was decided that the 
ambassador should be Hugh, Bishop of Jabala, whose opposition 
to the demands of the Emperor John had given him renown 
amongst the Latin Christians. Despite the urgency of his message 
the bishop did not arrive until the autumn of 1145 at the Papal 
Curia. Pope Eugenius III was at Viterbo, as Rome was in the 
hands of a commune resentful of papal rule. With him was the 
German chronicler, Otto of Freisingen, who recorded the Pope s 
reception of the dreadful news, though he himself was more 
interested by information brought by the bishop of a Christian 
potentate who lived to the east of Persia and was conducting a 
successful war against the infidel. His name was John, and he was 
a Nestorian. Already he had conquered the Persian capital of 
Ecbatana, but he had gone northward to a region of ice and snow, 
where he had lost so many men that he had returned to his home. 
This was the first entry of the legendary Prester John into the 
pages of history. 1 

Pope Eugenius did not share the chronicler s hope that Prester 
John would rescue Christendom. He was seriously disquieted. 
About the same time a delegation reached him of Armenian 
bishops from Cilicia, eager for support against Byzantium. 2 The 

1 Otto of Freisingen, Chronica, pp. 363-7. See Gleber, PapstEugen III, p. 36. 

a See Tournebize, Histoire Politique Religieuse de I Armenie, pp. 235-9. 


The Gathering of the Kings 

Pope could not neglect his Oriental duties. While Bishop Hugh 
went on to inform the courts of France and Germany, Eugenius 
decided to preach the Crusade. 1 But the Papacy was not in the 
position to direct the movement as Pope Urban had tried to do. 
Since his accession in February, Eugenius had not been able to 
enter Rome. He could not yet afford to travel beyond the Alps. 
Fortunately he was on good terms with the two chief potentates 
of western Europe. Conrad of Hohenstaufen, King of Germany, 
had owed his throne to ecclesiastical support, and had been 
crowned by the papal legate. With Louis VII, the pious King of 
France, papal relations were even more cordial. After some early 
misdemeanours, due to the influence of his wife, Eleanor of 
Aquitaine, he had repented and allowed himself to be guided in 
all things by ecclesiastical advisers, notably by the great Abbot of 
Clairvaux, Saint Bernard. It was to King Louis that the Pope 
decided to apply for help for the East. He needed Conrad s help 
in Italy, for the subjection of the Romans and the curbing of the 
ambitions of Roger II of Sicily. He did not wish Conrad to assume 
other obligations. But Louis was king of the land from which 
most of the Prankish princes and lords in the East had come ; he was 
the obvious leader for the expedition that was to relieve them. 
On i December 1145, Eugenius addressed a bull to King Louis 
and all the princes and the faithful of the kingdom of France, 
urging them to go to the rescue of eastern Christendom and 
promising them security for their wordly possessions and remis 
sion for their sins. 2 

The news of the fall of Edessa horrified the West. The interest 
and enthusiasm aroused by the First Crusade had quietened down. 
The capture of Jerusalem had fired men s imagination; and 
immediately afterwards large reinforcements had willingly set out 

1 Ckronicon Mauriniacense, R.H.F. vol. xn, p. 88; Otto of Freisingen, Gesta 
Friderid, pp. 54-7. 

2 JafB-Wattenbach, Regesta, no. 8796, vol. n, p. 26. Caspar Die Kreuz- 
zugsbullen Eugens IIT, in Neues Archiv, vol. XLV, pp. 285-306, proves that the 
Bull must definitely be dated I December 1145, which destroys the French 
theory that Louis VII instigated the Crusade. 


Sporadic Crusades 

in answer to appeals from the East, as the Crusades of noi had 
shown. But the Crusades of noi had ended in disaster; and, in 
spite of that, the Prankish states in the East had held and con 
solidated their position. Reinforcements still came, but in 
driblets. There was a steady stream, of pilgrims, many of whom 
would stay long enough to fight in a summer campaign. Among 
these were potentates like Sigurd of Norway; or there might be 
a great company of humbler folk, such as the Englishmen, 
Flemings and Danes who came in 1106. The Italian maritime 
cities would from time to time send a fleet to help in the capture 
of some seaport; but their motive was frankly commercial in 
terest, which also brought in a growing number of individual 
Italian merchants. But since Baldwin Ts reign there had been few 
of these armed pilgrim companies. Of recent years the only one 
of note had been that led by King Fulk s son-in-law, Thierry, 
Count of Flanders. Immigrants had continued to arrive, younger 
sons, like Balian of Chartres, founder of the house of Ibelin, or 
barons like Hugh of Le Puiset or Manasses of Hierges, who hoped 
to take advantage of kinship with the royal house. A more 
constant and valuable element was provided by the knights that 
came out to join the great Military Orders, the Hospitallers and 
the Templars. The Orders were gradually assuming the role of 
the standing army of the kingdom; and the many grants of lands 
made to them by the Crown and its vassals showed how highly 
they were appreciated. But ever since the dispersal of the armies 
of the First Crusade there had not been in the East a Prankish force 
strong enough to undertake a grand offensive against the infidel 1 
It needed the shock of the disaster at Edessa to rouse the West 
again. For meanwhile in the perspective of western Europe the 
Crusader states of Syria had seemed merely to form the left-flank 
of the Mediterranean-wide campaign against Islam. The right 
flank was in Spain, where there were still tasks for a Christian 
knight to perform. The progress of the Cross in Spain had been 
held up during the second and third decades of the century, owing 
1 See above, pp. 91-2, 227. 


The Gathering of the Kings 

to the quarrels between Queen Urraca of Castile and her husband 
King Alfonso I of Aragon. But the Queen s son and heir by her 
first, Burgundian, marriage, Alfonso VII brought about a renais 
sance in Castile. In 1132, six years after his accession, he began 
a series of campaigns against the Moslems, which brought him by 
1147 to the gates of Cordova, where he was recognized as 
suzerain. Already in 1134 he had taken the title of Emperor, to 
show that he was overlord of the peninsula and vassal to no man. 
Meanwhile Alfonso I, freed by Urraca s death of Castilian compli 
cations, spent his last years taking the offensive, with varying 
success, in Murcia; and along the coast Raymond-Berenger III, 
Count of Barcelona, pushed his power southward. Alfonso I died 
in 1134. His brother, the ex-monk Ramiro, reigned disastrously 
for three years; but in 1137 Ramiro s two-year old daughter, 
Queen Petronilla, was married to Raymond-Berenger IV of 
Barcelona, and Catalonia and Aragon were united to form a power 
whose naval strength enabled it to complete the reconquest of 
north-eastern Spain. 1 Thus by 1145 things were going well in the 
Spanish theatre; but a storm was brewing. The Almoravids, who 
had dominated Moslem Spain for the last half-century, had fallen 
into a hopeless decay. Their pkce in Africa had already been taken 
by the Almohads, a sect of ascetic reformers, almost Gnostic in its 
theology and its insistence on a class of adepts, founded by the 
Berber prophet Ibn Tumart, and carried on even more aggres 
sively by his successor Abd al-Mumin. Abd al-Mumin defeated 
and slew the Almoravid monarch, Tashfin ibn Ali, near Tlemcen 
in 1145. In 1146 he completed the conquest of Morocco and was 
ready to move into Spain. 2 With such preoccupations the 
Christian knights in Spain were insensible to an appeal from the 
East. On the other hand, now that the Spanish kingdoms were 
securely founded, they no longer offered the same scope as in the 
previous century to the knights and princes of France. 

1 See Bellasteros, Historia de Espana, rr, pp. 247-62. 

2 For the Almohads, see Codera, Decadenzia y Desuparicion de los Almoravides 
en Espana, and Bel, article Almohads , in Encyclopaedia of Islam. 


Roger II of Sicily 

The centre of the battlefield against Iskm was occupied by King 
Roger II of Sicily. Roger had united all the Norman dominions 
in Italy and assumed the royal title in 1130. He was well aware of 
the strategic importance of his kingdom, which was ideally placed 
to control the Mediterranean. But, to make that control complete, 
it was necessary for him to have a footing on the African coast 
opposite to Sicily. The quarrels and rivalries of the Moslem 
dynasties in northern Africa, intensified by the declining power of 
the Almoravids in Morocco and the ineffectual suzerainty of the 
Fatimids in Tunisia, together with the dependence of the African 
cities upon the import of grain from Sicily, gave Roger his chance. 
But his first campaigns, from 1123 to 1128, brought him no profit 
beyond the acquisition of the island of Malta. In 1134 by judi 
ciously timed assistance he induced El-Hasan, lord of Mahdia, to 
accept him as overlord; and next year he occupied the island of 
Jerba in the Gulf of Gabes. Successful raids on Moslem shipping 
whetted his appetite, and he began to attack the coastal towns. 
In June 1143 his troops entered Tripoli, but were forced to retire. 
Exactly three years later he recaptured the city, just as an internal 
revolution was installing an Almoravid prince as its governor. 
This tune he could not be dislodged; and Tripoli became the 
nucleus for a Norman colony in Africa. 1 

Bang Roger was thus admirably fitted to take part in the new 
Crusade. But he was suspect. His behaviour to the Papacy had 
never been dutiful and seldom deferential. His presumption in 
crowning himself king had been resented by the other potentates 
of Europe; and Saint Bernard had commented to Lothair of 
Germany that * whoever makes himself King of Sicily attacks the 
Emperor . 2 Saint Bernard s disapproval meant the disapproval of 
French public opinion. Roger was still more unpopular among 
the princes in the East; for he had made it clear that he had never 
forgiven the kingdom of Jerusalem for its treatment of his mother 
Adelaide and his own failure to secure the succession promised in 

1 Chalandon, Domination Normande en Italic, pp. 158-65. 

2 Saint Bernard, letter no. 139, in M.P.L. vol. cixxxn, col. 294. 


The Gathering of the Kings 

her marriage-contract, while he claimed Antioch as sole heir in 
the male line of his cousin Bohemond. His presence on the 
Crusade was not desired; but it was hoped that he would carry on 
the war against Islam in his own particular sector. 1 

The Pope s choice of King Louis of France to organize the new 
Crusade was easy to understand; and the King responded eagerly 
to the call. When the papal Bull arrived, following close on the 
news brought by the Bishop of Jabala, Louis had just issued 
a summons to his tenants-in-chief to meet him at Christmas at 
Bourges. When they were assembled he told them that he had 
decided to take the Cross and he begged them to do likewise. He 
was sadly disappointed in their answer. The lay nobility showed 
no enthusiasm. The chief elder statesman of the realm, Suger, 
Abbot of Saint-Denis, voiced his disapproval of the Kong s 
projected absence. Only the Bishop of Langres spoke up in 
support of his sovereign. 2 

Chilled by his vassals indifference, Louis decided to postpone 
his appeal for three months, and summoned another assembly to 
meet him at Easter at Vezelay. In the meantime he wrote to the 
Pope to tell him of his own desire to lead a Crusade; and he sent 
for the one man in France whose authority was greater than his 
own, Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard was now at 
the height of his reputation. It is difficult now to look back across 
the centuries and appreciate the tremendous impact of his per 
sonality on all who knew him. The fire of his eloquence has been 
quenched in the written words that survive. As a theologian and a 
controversialist he now appears rigid and a little crude and unkind. 
But from the day in 1115 when, at the age of twenty-five, he was 
appointed Abbot of Clairvaux, till his death nearly forty years 
later he was the dominant influence in the religious and political 
life of western Europe. It was he who gave the Cistercian Order 
its impetus; it was he who, almost single-handed, had rescued the 
Papacy from the slough of the schism of Anacletus. The fervour 

1 Odo of Deuil, pp. 22-3. 

a Vita Sugerii Abbatis, pp. 393 ff; Odo of Deuil, p. 121. 


1146: The Assembly at Vizilaj 

and sincerity of his preaching combined with his courage, his 
vigour and the blamelessness of his life to bring victory to any 
cause that he supported, save only against the embittered Cathar 
heretics of Languedoc. He had long been interested in the fate of 
eastern Christendom and had himself in 1128 helped in drawing up 
the rule for the Order of the Temple. When the Pope and the King 
begged for his help in preaching the Crusade, he eagerly complied. 1 

The assembly met at Vezelay on 31 March 1146. The news that 
Saint Bernard was going to preach brought visitors from all over 
France. As at Clermont, half a century before, the crowd was too 
great to be fitted into the Cathedral. Saint Bernard spoke from 
a platform erected in a field outside the little town. His words 
have not been handed down. We only know that he read out the 
papal Bull asking for a holy expedition and promising absolution 
to all that took part in it, and that he then made use of his incom 
parable rhetoric to show the urgency of the papal demand. Very 
soon his audience was under his spell. Men began to cry for 
Crosses Crosses, give us Crosses ! It was not long before all 
the stuff that had been prepared to sew into Crosses was exhausted; 
and Saint Bernard flung off his own outer garments to be cut up. 
At sunset he and his helpers were still stitching as more and more 
of the faithful pledged themselves to go on the Crusade. 2 

King Louis was the first to take the Cross; and his vassals forgot 
their earlier coolness in their eagerness to follow him. Amongst 
them were his brother Robert, Count of Dreux, Alfonso-Jordan, 
Count of Toulouse, who had himself been born in the East, 
William, Count of Nevers, whose father had led one of the 
unfortunate expeditions of 1101, Henry, heir to the County of 
Champagne, Thierry of Flanders, who had already fought in the 
East and whose wife was Queen Melisende s stepdaughter, the 

1 Odo of Denil, p. 21. According to Otto of Freisingen the barons wished to 
consult St Bernard before they committed themselves (Gesta Friderici, p. 58). 
For St Bernard and the Templars, see Vacandard, Vie de Saint Bernard, I, 
pp. 227-49. 

3 Odo of Deuil, p. 22; Chronicon Mauriniacense, loc. dt.\ Suger, VitaLudo- 
vici VII, ed. Molinier, pp. 158-60. 


The Gathering of the Kings 

King s uncle, Amadeus of Savoy, Archimbald, Count of Bourbon, 
the Bishops of Langres, Arras and Lisieux and many nobles of the 
second rank. An even greater response came from humbler 
people. 1 Saint Bernard was able to write a few days later to the 
Pope, saying: You ordered; I obeyed; and the authority of him 
who gave the order has made my obedience fruitful. I opened 
my mouth; I spoke; and at once the Crusaders have multiplied 
to infinity. Villages and towns are now deserted. You will scarcely 
find one man for every seven women. Everywhere you see 
widows whose husbands are still alive. >a 

Encouraged by his success Saint Bernard undertook a tour of 
Burgundy, Lorraine and Flanders, preaching the Crusade as he 
went. When he was in Flanders he received a message from the 
Archbishop of Cologne, begging him to come at once to the 
Rhineland. As in the days of the First Crusade, the enthusiasm 
aroused by the news of the movement had been turned against 
the Jews. In France the Abbot of Cluny, Peter the Venerable, 
eloquently complained that they were not paying a financial 
contribution towards the rescue of Christendom. In Germany the 
resentment took a fiercer form. A fanatical Cistercian monk 
called Rudolf was inspiring Jewish massacres throughout the 
Rhineland, in Cologne, Mainz, Worms, Spier and Strassburg. 
The Archbishops of Cologne and Mainz did what they could to 
save the victims, and the latter summoned Bernard to deal with 
the Cistercian. Bernard hastened from Flanders and ordered 

1 The Bishop of Langres was Godfrey de la Roche Faille*e, a monk of 
Clairvaux and. a relative of St Bernard. Of Alvisus, Bishop of Arras, formerly 
Abbot of Anchin, little is known. Later legends made him Suger s brother, 
without any foundation. Arnulf of S6ez, Bishop of Lisieux, was a classical 
scholar of distinctively secular tastes. The bishops of Langres and Lisieux 
considered themselves to have been given the position of Papal Legates, 
though in fact the Legates were the German Theodwin, Cardinal of Porto, and 
the Florentine Cardinal Guido. John of Salisbury (Historia Pontificate, pp. 54-5) 
considered that the quarrels between the two bishops and their joint resentment 
of the Cardinals contributed largely to the failure of the Crusade. He thought 
Godfrey of Langres more reasonable than Arnulf of Lisieux. 

2 St Bernard, letter no. 247, in op. cit. col. 447. 


1146: Saint Bernard in Germany 

Rudolf back into his monastery. When calm was re-established, 
Bernard stayed on in Germany; for it seemed to him that the 
Germans too should join in the Crusade. 1 

The Germans hitherto had played an undistinguished part in the 
Crusading movement. Their Christian zeal had, rather, been 
directed towards the forcible evangelization of the heathen Slavs 
on their eastern frontiers. Since the beginning of the century- 
missionary work and German colonization had been going 
on in the Slav districts in Pomerania and Brandenburg; and the 
German lords regarded this expansion of Christendom as a more 
important task than a war against Islam, whose menace was to 
them remote and theoretical. They were therefore disinclined 
to respond to Saint Bernard s preaching. Nor was their King, 
Conrad of Hohenstaufen, greatly though he admired the Saint, 
much more eager to listen to him. He had Mediterranean interests ; 
but they were restricted to Italy, where he had promised the 
Pope help against the recalcitrant Romans and against Roger 
of Sicily, in return for his much desired imperial coronation. 
And his position was still insecure in Germany itself. Despite 
his victory at Weinsburg in 1140 he still was faced with the 
enmity of the supporters of the house of Welf; while the antics 
of his Babenberger half-brothers and sisters raised trouble for 
him along all his eastern flank. "When Saint Bernard, after writing 
round to secure the co-operation of the German bishops, met the 
King at Frankfort-on-the-Main in the autumn of 1146, Conrad 
prevaricated; and Bernard would have gone back to Clairvaux, 
had the bishops not begged him to continue his preaching. 
He therefore turned southward to preach the Crusade at 
Freiburg, at Basle, at Schaffhausen and Constance. The tour 
was immediately successful, even though the sermons had to be 
translated by a German interpreter. The humbler people flocked 

1 St Bernard, letters nos. 363, 365, in op. at. cols. 564-8, 570-1; Otto of 
Freisingen, Gesta Friderid, pp. 58-9; Joseph ben Joseph ben Meir, Chronicle, 
trans. Biellablotzky, pp. 116-29. The rumours of their murder of a Christian 
child at Norwich helped to rouse feeling against the Jews. See Vacandard, 
op. cit. pp. 274-81. 


The Gathering of the Kings 

to take the Cross. The crops in Germany had failed that year, 
and there was famine in the land. Starvation breeds a mystic 
exaltation; and it is probable that many in Bernard s audiences 
thought, like the pilgrims of the First Crusade, that the journey 
eastward would bring them to the riches of the New Jerusalem. 1 

King Conrad agreed to meet Saint Bernard again at Christmas 
1146, when he would be holding a Diet at Spier. Saint Bernard s 
sermon on Christmas Day, once more asking him to take the 
Cross, failed to move the King. But two days later Bernard 
preached again before the Court. Speaking as though he were 
Christ Himself he rounded on the King, reminding him of the 
benefits that Heaven had showered on him. Man, he cried, 
* what ought I to have done for you that I have not done ? Conrad 
was deeply moved and promised to follow the Saint s bidding. 2 

Saint Bernard left Germany well pleased with his work. He 
travelled through eastern France, supervising the arrangements 
for the Crusade and writing to the Cistercian houses all over 
Europe to bid them encourage the movement. He was back in 
Germany in March to assist at a council at Frankfort, when it was 
decided to send a Crusade against the heathen Slavs east of 
Oldenburg. His presence was intended to show that while he 
advocated an Oriental Crusade, he did not desire the Germans to 
neglect their nearer duties. This German Crusade, though the Pope 
allowed the participants to wear the Cross, was in its outcome 
a fiasco that did much to retard the conversion of the Slavs. From 

1 Bernhardi, Konradlll, pp. 563-78, a full summary of the Crusades against 
the Slavs. Bernard s letter no. 457 (op. cit. coU. 651-2) orders the Christians of 
Germany to crusade in the East and no. 458, coll. 652-4, gives the same order 
to the King ^and people of Bohemia. Chroniclers such as William of Tyre, 
Odo of Deuil, and most modern historians refer to Conrad as Emperor; but 
in fact he never received an imperial coronation. 

2 Otto of Freisingen, Gesta Friderici, pp. 60-3; Vita Bernardi, coll. 381-3. It 
is possible that Conrad was influenced by hearing that his rival Welf VI of 
Bavaria had decided to take the Cross. (See Cosack, Konrad III Entschluss zum 
Kreuzzug , in Mittheilungen des Institute fur ostereickische Geschiditsforschung, 
vol. xxxv; but Welf s decision was made so shortly before Conrad s that the 
latter can hardly have heard of it. See Gleber, op. cit. pp. 53-4.) 


1147- Pope Eugenius in France 

Frankfort Bernard hurried to his abbey at Clairvaux, to receive 
a visit from the Pope. 1 

Pope Eugenius had spent Christmas 1145 in Rome; but diffi 
culties with the Romans forced him soon to withdraw again to 
Viterbo, while Rome itself passed tinder the influence of the anti 
clerical agitator, Arnold of Brescia. Eugenius realized that without 
the help of King Conrad he could not hope to re-establish himself 
in the Holy City. In the meantime he decided to cross the Alps 
into France, to see King Louis and to superintend the Crusade. 
He left Viterbo in January 1147 and reached Lyon on 22 March. 
As he journeyed he received news of Saint Bernard s activities. He 
was not altogether pleased. His practical sense had made him 
envisage a purely French Crusade, under the lay leadership of the 
King of France, without the divided command that had so nearly 
wrecked the First Crusade. Saint Bernard had turned the move 
ment into an international enterprise; and the splendour of his 
conception might well be outweighed in practice by the rivalry 
of the kings. Besides, the Pope could not spare King Conrad, on 
whose aid he was counting in Italy. He gave the news of German 
participation a very chilly reception. But he could not counter 
mand it.* 

Proceeding into France, the Pope met King Louis at Dijon in 
the first days of April and arrived at Clairvaux on 6 April. Conrad 
sent him an embassy there to ask for an interview at Strassburg 
on the i8th; but Eugenius had promised to spend Easter, on 
20 April, at Saint-Denis and would not alter his plans. Conrad 
prepared to depart for the East without the personal blessing of 
the Pontiff. Eugenius meanwhile had many interviews with the 
abbot Suger, who was to govern France while Louis was away. 
He held a council at Paris to deal with the heresy of Gilbert de la 
Poree, and he saw Louis again, at Saint-Denis, on n June. Then, 
while Louis completed his last preparations, he moved slowly 
southward to return to Italy. 3 

1 See Bernard, op. dt. 9 loc. dt.; Vacandard, op. dt. n, pp. 297-8. 

2 See Gleber, op. dt. pp. 22-7, 48-61. 3 Odo of Deuil, pp. 24-5. 

RC 257 i7 

The Gathering of the Kings 

While the Kings of France and Germany were preparing for the 
Crusade, planning a long overland journey, a humbler expedition 
composed of Englishmen, together with some Flemings and 
Frisians, was inspired by the preaching of Saint Bernard s agents 
to set out by sea for Palestine. The ships left England in the late 
spring of 1147; and early in June bad weather forced them to take 
refuge at the mouth of the river Douro, on the Portuguese coast. 
There they were met by emissaries from Alfonso-Henry, Count of 
Portugal. He had recently established his country s independence 
and was negotiating with the Papacy for the title of King, giving 
as its justification his successful campaigns against the Moslems. 
Taking advantage of the difficulties of the Almoravids, he had 
won a great victory at Ourique in 1139, and in March of 1147 he 
had reached the banks of the Tagus and had captured Santarem. 
He now wished to attack the local Moslem capital, Lisbon, and 
needed naval help for it. The Crusaders arrival was timely. His 
chief envoy, the Bishop of Oporto, pointed out to them that there 
was no need to make the long voyage to Palestine if they wished 
to fight for the Cross. There were infidels close at hand, and not 
only spiritual merit but rich estates could be won here and now. 
The Flemings and Frisians agreed at once; but the English 
contingent hesitated. They had vowed to go to Jerusalem; and it 
needed all the influence of their leader, Henry Glanville, Constable 
of Suffolk, whom the Bishop had won over, to persuade them to 
remain. Once the terms were arranged, the flotilla sailed down to 
the Tagus, to join the Portuguese army; and the siege of Lisbon 
was begun. The Moslems defended their city valiantly. It was 
only in October, after four months of fighting, that the garrison 
surrendered, on the guarantee that their lives and property would 
be preserved. The Crusaders promptly broke the terms and 
indulged in a glorious massacre of the infidel, in which the 
English, congratulating themselves on their virtue, only played 
a minor part. After the campaign was over, some of the Crusaders 
continued their journey to the East, but many more remained as 
settlers under tie Portuguese crown. The episode, though it 


H47 : King Conrad leaves Germany 

heralded the long alliance between England and Portugal and 
though it laid the foundations for the spread of Christianity 
beyond the oceans, did little to help Christians in the East, -where 
sea-power would have been invaluable to the cause. 1 

While the northerners delayed in Portugal, the Kings of France 
and Germany set out by land to the East. King Roger of Sicily 
had sent to each of them to offer to transport them and their 
armies by sea. To Conrad, who had long been Roger s enemy, 
the offer was obviously inacceptable, and Louis also declined it. 
The Pope did not wish for Roger s co-operation; and it is doubtful 
whether in fact the Sicilian marine was large enough to carry all 
the soldiers bound for the Crusade. Louis had no desire to entrust 
himself, separated from half his army, to a man whose record 
for duplicity was notorious and who was bitterly hostile to the 
French Queen s uncle. It was safer and cheaper to travel by land.* 

King Conrad intended to leave Germany at Easter, 1147. In 
December he had received a Byzantine embassy at Spier, which he 
told of his immediate departure to the East. In fact it was not till 
the end of May that he started his journey. He left Ratisbon 
towards the last days of the month and passed into Hungary. His 
army was of formidable proportions. Awed chroniclers spoke of 
a million soldiers; and it is probable that the whole company, 
armed men and pilgrims, numbered nearly twenty thousand. 
With Conrad came two vassal-kings, Vladislav of Bohemia and 
Boleslav IV of Poland. The German nobility was headed by 
Conrad s nephew and heir, Frederick, Duke of Swabia. There was 
a contingent from Lorraine, led by Stephen, Bishop of Metz, and 
Henry, Bishop of Toul. It was a turbulent army. The German 
magnates were jealous of each other; and there was constant 

1 The chief original source for the Portuguese Crusade is Osborn, De 
expugnatione Lyxbonensi, printed in Stubbs, Memorials of the Reign of Richard I, 
vol. I, pp. cxKv-ckxxii. See also Erdmann, Die Kreuzzugegedanke in 
Portugal , in Historische Zeitschift, vol. 141, pp- 23-53 . 

a King Louis had announced the Crusade to Roger (Odo of Deuil, p. 22), 
but when Roger suggested active participation he rejected his help to the retro 
spective grief of Odo (ibid. p. 24). 


The Gathering of the Kings 

friction between the Germans, the Slavs and the French-speaking 
Lorrainers. Conrad was not the man to keep it under control. He 
was now well over fifty years of age, of indifferent health and a 
weak, uncertain temperament. He had begun to delegate much 
of his authority into the vigorous but inexperienced hands of his 
nephew Frederick. 1 

During June the German army moved through Hungary. The 
young King Geza was well disposed; and there was no unpleasant 
incident. A Byzantine embassy, led by Demetrius Macrembolites 
and the Italian Alexander of Gravina, met Conrad in Hungary and 
asked him on the Emperor s behalf whether he came as a friend 
or foe and to beg him to take an oath to do nothing against the 
welfare and interests of the Emperor. This oath of non-injury was 
well chosen; for in certain parts of the West it was the usual oath 
for a vassal to take to his overlord; it was the oath that Raymond 
of Toulouse had taken to Alexius during the First Crusade; yet it 
was so framed that Conrad could hardly refuse to take it without 
labelling himself as the Emperor s enemy. He took it; and the 
Byzantine ambassadors then promised him every assistance while 
he should be in imperial territory.* 

About 20 July Conrad crossed into the Empire at Branitchevo. 
Byzantine ships helped to convey his men across the Danube. At 
Nish the governor of the Bulgarian province, Michael Branas, met 
him and provided the army with food that had been stored up 
against its arrival. At Sofia, which it reached a few days kter, 
the governor of Thessalonica, the Emperor s cousin, Michael 
Palaeologus, gave Conrad an official welcome from the Emperor. 
So far all had gone well. Conrad wrote to friends in Germany 
that he was satisfied with everything. But after leaving Sofia his 
men began to pillage the countryside and to refuse to pay the 
villagers for what they took, even slaughtering those who pro 
tested. When complaints were made to Conrad, he confessed that 
he could not discipline the rabble. At Philippopolis there were 

1 Odo of Freisingea, Chronica, p. 354 and Gesta Frideriri, pp. 63-5. 

2 Cinnamus, pp. 67-9. 


1147- The Germans in the Balkans 

worse disorders. More food was stolen, and a riot occurred when 
a local juggler, who had hoped to gain some money from the 
soldiers by showing off his tricks, was accused by the Germans of 
sorcery. The suburbs were burnt down; but the city walls were 
too strong for the Germans to attack. The Archbishop, Michael 
Italicus, protested so vigorously to Conrad that he was shamed 
into punishing the ringleaders. Manuel then sent troops to 
accompany the Crusaders and to keep them to the road. This only 
produced worse disorders, as the Byzantines and Germans fre 
quently came to blows. The climax came near Adrianople, when 
some Byzantine bandits robbed and killed a German magnate who 
had lingered behind sick; whereupon Frederick of Swabia burnt 
down the monastery near which the crime had been committed 
and slew its inhabitants. Drunken stragglers, who were abundant 
amongst the Germans, were slain in retaliation whenever they fell 
into Byzantine hands. When the Byzantine commander Prosuch 
had restored peace and the army resumed its march, an embassy 
came from Manuel, who was now seriously alarmed, to urge 
Conrad to take the road to Sestos on the Hellespont and cross from 
there into Asia. It would be regarded as an unfriendly act were 
the Germans to march on to Constantinople. Conrad would not 
agree. Manuel then seems to have decided to oppose the Crusaders 
by force, but at the last moment countermanded his orders to 
Prosuch. The Germans were soon visited by divine punishment. 
As they lay encamped at Cheravas on the Thracian plain a sudden 
inundation swept through their tents,drowning many of the soldiers 
and destroying much property. Only Frederick s detachment, 
encamped on higher ground, were unliarmed. There was, however, 
no further serious incident till the army reached Constantinople, 
on about 10 September. 1 

King Louis and the French army followed about a month 
behind. The King himself set out from Saint-Denis on 8 June and 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 69-74; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 82-7; Odo of Deuil, p. 38. 
The juggler is mentioned by him earlier, p. 36. Odo of Freisingen, Gesta 
Friderici, pp. 65-7. 


The Gathering of the Kings 

summoned his vassals to meet him at Metz a few days later. His 
expedition was probably a little smaller than Conrad s. All the 
nobles who had taken the Cross with him at Vezelay came to 
fulfil their vows; and with the King was his wife, Eleanor of 
Aquitaine, the greatest heiress in France and niece to the Prince of 
Antioch. The Countesses of Flanders and Toulouse and many 
other great ladies travelled with their husbands. The Grand 
Master of the Temple, Everard of Barre, joined the army with 
a regiment of recruits for his Order. 1 The King himself was aged 
twenty-six. He was famed for piety rather than for a strong 
personality. His wife and his brother both wielded influence over 
him. As a commander he was untried and indecisive. 3 On the 
whole his troops were better disciplined and less wanton than the 
Germans, though there were disorders at Worms at the crossing 
of the Rhine. 3 

When all the French contingents had joined the Bang the army 
set out through Bavaria. At Ratisbon, where it arrived on 29 June, 
ambassadors from the Emperor Manuel were waiting. These were 
Demetrius Macrembolites, who had already interviewed Conrad 
in Hungary, and a certain Maurus. They asked for guarantees that 
Louis would behave as a friend while in imperial territory and that 
he would promise to restore to the Empire any of its former 
possessions that he should conquer. Apparently they did not 
require him to swear the oath of non-injury, whose significance 
he might have realized too well. Louis declared formally that he 
was coming as a friend, but he gave no promise about his future 
conquests, finding the request dangerously vague. 4 From 

1 A list of Crusaders is given in Suger, Vita Ludovid VII, ed. Molinier, 
pp. 158-60. The legend that Queen Eleanor came at the head of a company of 
Amazons is based on a remark of Nicetas (p. 80) that the German army 
contained a number of fully armed women. 

2 The portrait of him given in Suger s Life and in his own letters is not of 
a decisive man. 

3 Odo of Deuil, p. 27. 

4 Cinnamus, p. 82. He calls the Germans AAenccvoC and the French 
rspuccvof ; Odo of Deuil, pp. 28-30. He says that Louis made representatives 
swear on his behalf. 


1147> The French arrive at Constantinople 

Ratisbon the French journeyed peaceably for fifteen days through 
Hungary and reached the Byzantine frontier at the end of August. 1 
They crossed the Danube at Branitchevo and followed the main 
road through the Balkans. They found some difficulty in pro 
curing sufficient food; for the Germans had consumed all that was 
available, and the excesses committed by the Germans made the 
local inhabitants suspicious and unwilling to help. Moreover, the 
local merchants were far too ready to give short measure after 
insisting on pre-payment. But the Byzantine officials were 
friendly, and the French commanders kept their men in order. 
There was no serious trouble till the army drew near to Constanti 
nople, though the French began to feel resentment against both 
the Byzantines and the Germans. At Adrianople the Byzantine 
authorities tried, as with Conrad, to persuade Louis to by-pass the 
capital and cross the Hellespont into Asia, but with equal unsuc- 
cess. Meanwhile, some of the French, impatient with the leisurely 
progress of their army, hurried ahead to join with the Germans. 
But the Germans were unfriendly, refusing to spare them rations. 
The contingents from Lorraine, already on bad terms with their 
German comrades, joined with these Frenchmen and inflamed 
French public opinion against the Germans. 3 Thus, before ever 
the French King arrived at Constantinople, relations between the 
two Crusading armies were suspicious and embittered, and 
Germans and French alike were ill-disposed towards Byzantium. 
It did not augur well for the success of the Crusade. 

1 Odo of Deuil, pp. 30-4. z Ibid. pp. 35~44- 




Debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbiting*, whisperings, swellings, 
tumults. n CORINTHIANS xn, 20 

When the news of the coming of the Crusade first reached 
Constantinople, the Emperor Manuel was engrossed in Anatolian 
affairs. Despite his father s and his grandfather s campaigns, the 
situation in the Asiatic provinces of the Empire was still worrying. 
Only the coastal districts were free from Turkish invasions. 
Farther inland almost yearly a Turkish raiding force would sweep 
over the territory, avoiding the great fortresses and eluding the 
imperial armies. The inhabitants of the frontier-lands had 
abandoned their villages and fled to the cities or to the coast. It 
was Manuel s policy to establish a definite frontier-line, guarded 
by a closely knit line of forts. His diplomacy and his campaigns 
were aimed at securing such a line. 

The Danishmend emir Mohammed ibn Ghazi died in December 
1141. He had been the chief Moslem power in Asia Minor; but 
his death was followed by civil wars between his sons and his 
brothers. Before the end of 1142 the emirate was split into three. 
His son Dhu l Nun held Caesarea-Mazacha, his brothers Yakub 
Arslan ibn Ghazi and Ain ed-Daulat ibn Ghazi Sivas and Melitene 
respectively. The Seldjuk Sultan of Konya, Mas ud, saw in the 
division his chance of establishing a hegemony over the Anatolian 
Turks, He invaded Danishmend territory and established his 
control over districts as far east as the Euphrates. Frightened by 
his aggression the brothers Yakub Arslan and Ain ed-Daulat 
sought the alliance of Byzantium, and by a treaty, probably con 
cluded in 1143, they became to some degree his vassals. Manuel 
then turned his attention towards Mas ud, whose raiders had 


1146: Manuel s Campaign against Konya 

penetrated to Malagina, on the road from Nicaea to Dorylaeum. 
He drove them back, but returned soon to Constantinople owing 
to his own ill-health and the fatal illness of his beloved sister Maria, 
whose loyalty to him had been proved when her husband, the 
Norman-born Caesar John Roger, had plotted for the throne at 
the time of his accession. In 1145 Mas ud invaded the Empire 
again and captured the little fortress of Pracana in Isauria, thereby 
threatening Byzantine communications with Syria, and soon after 
wards raided the valley of the Meander, almost as far as the sea. 
Manuel decided that the time had come to strike boldly at Mas ud 
and to march on Konya. He had recently been married, and it was 
said that he wished to show to his German wife the splendours 
of Byzantine chivalry. In the summer of 1146 he sent die Sultan 
a formal declaration of war and set out in gallant style along the 
road past Dorylaeum down to PhilomeHum. There Turkish 
detachments attempted to check him but were repulsed. Mas ud 
retired towards his capital but, though he strengthened its garrison, 
he kept himself to the open country and sent urgently for rein 
forcements from the East. The Byzantine army encamped for 
several months before Konya, which was defended by the Sultana. 
Manuel s attitude towards his enemies was courteous. When it was 
rumoured that the Sultan was killed, he sent to inform the Sultana 
that the story was untrue; and he attempted, vainly, to make his 
soldiers respect the Moslem tombs outside the city. Suddenly he 
gave the order to retire. It was said later that he had heard rumours 
of the coming Crusade; but he could hardly have been notified yet 
of the decision made at Vezelay that spring. He was definitely 
suspicious of Sicilian intentions, and he may already have realized 
that something was afoot. H6 learnt, too, that Mas ud had 
received a considerable addition to his army, and he was afraid of 
being caught with long and risky lines of communication. He 
retreated slowly in perfect order back to his own territory. 1 

1 See Chalandon, Les ComnZnes, pp. 248-58. Michael the Syrian (m, p. 275), 
says that Manuel made peace with the Turks for fear of the Crusaders and that 
he managed to hold them up for two years. 


Christian Discord 

Before there could be another campaign against Konya, 
Manuel was faced, with the actual prospect of the Crusade. He 
was disquieted, with reason; for the Byzantines experience of 
Crusaders was not reassuring. When, therefore, Mas ud sent to him 
in the spring of 1147 to suggest a truce and to offer to give back 
Pracana and his other recent conquests, Manuel agreed. For this 
treaty he has been called a traitor to Christendom. But Conrad s 
hostility, demonstrated before news of the treaty could have 
reached the Germans, shows that his precautions were wise. He 
had no obligations towards a fellow-Christian who openly thought 
of attacking Constantinople. Nor could Manuel be pleased by an 
expedition which would undoubtedly encourage the Prince of 
Antioch to forget his recent homage and subservience. If he were 
engaged in a serious war against the Turks it might help the 
Crusaders in their passage across Anatolia, but it would permit 
them to do infinite harm to the Empire that was the bulwark of 
Christendom. He preferred to have no entanglement that might 
weaken him at so delicate a time, especially as a war with Sicily 
was imminent. 1 

With Conrad, Manuel s relations had hitherto been good. 
A common fear of Roger of Sicily had brought them together; 
and Manuel had recently married Conrad s sister-in-law. 2 But the 
behaviour of the German army in the Balkans and Conrad s 
refusal to takeHie route across the Hellespont alarmed him. When 
Conrad arrived before Constantinople he was allotted as his 
residence the suburban palace of Philopatium, near the land-walls ; 
and his army encamped around him. But within a few days the 
Germans so pillaged the palace that it was no longer habitable; 
and Conrad moved across the head of the Golden Horn to the 
palace of Picridium, opposite to the Phanar quarter. Meanwhile 
his soldiers committed violence against the local population, and 

1 Chalandon, op. cit. pp. 266-7. The war with Sicily broke out in fact in the 
summer of 1147 (op. cit. p. 318 n. i). Odo of Deuil refers to it (p. 53). 

2 See above, p. 222. The marriage took place in January 1146 (Chalandon, 
op. alp. 262 n. 3). 


1147: The Germans cross into Asia 

Byzantine soldiers were sent out to repress them. A series of 
skirmishes ensued. When Manuel asked for redress Conrad at first 
said that the outrages were unimportant ; then he angrily threatened 
to come back next year and take over the capital. It seems that the 
Empress, Conrad s sister-in-law, was able to pacify the two 
monarchs. Manuel, who had been urging the Germans to cross 
quickly over the Bosphorus, as he feared the consequences of the 
junction with the French, suddenly found the Germans amenable, 
as the Germans were already beginning to quarrel with the first 
French arrivals. An outward concord was restored; and Conrad 
and his army passed over to Chalcedon, enriched by costly 
presents. Conrad himself received some handsome horses. But 
he refused the suggestion that he should leave some of his men to 
take service with the Emperor and should in return be allotted 
some of the Byzantine troops in Cilicia, an arrangement that 
Manuel would have found convenient for his war against Roger 
of Sicily. 1 

When he arrived in Chalcedon, Conrad asked Manuel to pro 
vide him. with guides to take him across Anatolia; and Manuel 
entrusted the task to the head of the Varangian Guard, Stephen. 
At the same time he advised the Germans to avoid the road 
straight across the peninsula but to go by the coast-road round to 
Attalia, thus keeping within imperial-controlled land. He also 
suggested that it would be wise to send home all the non-com 
batant pilgrims whose presence would only embarrass the army. 
Conrad took no notice of this advice, but set out to Nicaea. When 
his army arrived there, he thought again and decided to divide the 
expedition. Otto of Freisingen was to take a party, including most 
of the non-combatants, by a road through Laodicea-on-the-Lycus 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 74-80; Nicetas Choniates, p. 87; letter of Conrad to Wibald 
in Jaffe, Bittiotheca, i, p. 166 (saying that he was well received by the Emperor) ; 
Annales Herbipoknses, pp. 4-5; Romuald of Salerno, p. 424; Odo of Deuil, 
pp. 39-10. He says that according to the Greeks computation 900,566 German 
soldiers and pilgrims crossed the Bosphorus. Possibly 9566 is the correct 
figure. He also says that Conrad did not have a personal interview with 


Christian Discord 

to Attalia, while he himself and the main fighting force would 
follow the route of the First Crusade through the interior. 1 

Conrad s army left Nicaea on 15 October, with Stephen the 
Varangian as chief guide. For the next eight days, whilst they were 
in the Emperor s territory, they were well fed, though they later 
complained that his agents mixed chalk with the flour that was 
provided and also gave them coins of a debased value. But they 
made no provisions for their march into Turkish territory. In 
particular they lacked water. On 25 October, as they reached the 
little river Bathys, near to Dorylaeum, close to the site of the great 
Crusader victory half a century before, the whole Seldjuk army 
fell upon them. The German infantry were weary and thirsty. 
Many of the knights had just dismounted, to rest their exhausted 
horses. The sudden, swift and repeated attacks of the light 
Turkish horsemen caught them unawares. It was a massacre 
rather than a batde. Conrad vainly tried to rally his men; but by 
evening he was in full flight with the few survivors on the road 
back to Nicaea. He had lost nine-tenths of his soldiers and all the 
contents of his camp. The booty was sold by the victors in the 
bazaars throughout the Moslem East, as far as Persia. 3 

Meanwhile King Louis and the French army had passed through 
Constantinople. They arrived there on 4 October, to find their 
advance-guard and the army of Lorraine disgusted on the one 
hand by the savagery of the Germans and on the other by the news 
of Manuel s -truce with the Turks. Despite the pleading of Louis s 
envoy, Everard of Barre, Grand Master of the Temple, the Byzan 
tine authorities made difficulties about the junction of the Lor- 
rainers with the French. 3 The Bishop of Langres, with the 
un-Christian intolerance of a monk of Clairvaux, suggested to the 
King that he should change his policy and make an alliance with 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 80-1. 

2 Cinnamus, pp. 81-2; Nicetas Choniates, p. 89; letter of Conrad to Wibald, 
Epistolae WibaUi, p. i$2\Annales Palidenses, p. foiAnnales Herbipolenses, loc. dt. ; 
Odo of Deuil, pp. 53, 56-8; William of Tyre, xvi, 21-2, pp. 740-4; Michael 
the Syrian, m, p. 276. 

3 Odo of Deuil, pp. 40-1. 


1147 : The French cross into Asia 

Roger of Sicily against the perfidious Greeks. But Louis was too 
scrupulous to listen, to the disappointment of his barons. He was 
satisfied by his reception at the Byzantine Court and preferred the 
suave advice of the humanist Bishop of Lisieux. He was lodged at 
Philopatium, which had been cleaned after the German occupa 
tion, and he was welcomed to banquets at the imperial palace at 
Blachernae and conducted by the Emperor round the sights of the 
great city. Many of his nobility were equally charmed by the 
attentions paid to them. 1 But Manuel saw to it that the French 
army passed soon over the Bosphorus ; and when it was established 
at Chalcedon he used the pretext of a riot caused by a Flemish 
pilgrim who thought he had been cheated to cut off supplies from 
the French. Though Louis promptly had the culprit hanged, 
Manuel would not revictual the camp until Louis at last swore to 
restore to the Empire its lost possessions that he might help to 
recover, and agreed that his barons should pay homage in 
advance for any that they might occupy. The French nobility 
demurred; but Louis considered the demand reasonable, con 
sidering his urgent need for Byzantine assistance, particularly as 
rumours came through of the German disaster.* 

At the beginning of November the French army reached 
Nicaea. There they learnt definitely of Conrad s defeat. Frederick 
of Swabia rode into the French camp to tell the story, and asked 
Louis to come at once to see Conrad. Louis hastened to the 
German headquarters; and the two Kings consulted together. 
They decided both to take the coast route southward, keeping 
within Byzantine territory. For the moment there was amity 
between the two armies. When the Germans could find no food 
in the area where they were encamped, as the French had taken 
all that was available, and they therefore began to raid the 
neighbouring villages, Byzantine police-troops at once attacked 
them. They were rescued by a French detachment under the 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 82-3; Louis VH, letter to Suger, R.H.F. vol. xv, p. 488 
Odo of Deuil, pp. 45-6, 47-8. 

2 Odo of Deuil, pp. 48-51. 


Christian Discord 

Count of Soissons, who hurried up at Conrad s request. Conrad 
was meantime able to restore some sort of order among his troops. 
Most of the pilgrims who survived left him to struggle back to 
Constantinople. Their further history is unknown. 1 

The armies moved on together. On n November they en 
camped at Esseron, near the modern Balikesri. There they made 
a further change of plan. It is probable that reports had come to 
them of the journey made by Otto of Freisingen along the direct 
route to Philadelphia and Laodicea. We know little of that journey 
save that his expedition arrived at last at Attalia weary and reduced 
in numbers, leaving by the wayside the many dead whom their 
own privations or Turkish raiders had slain. The Kings decided 
to keep closer to the coast, through more fertile country, and to 
remain in touch with the Byzantine fleet. They marched on 
down through Adramyttium, Pergamum and Smyrna and came 
to Ephesus. Louis s army was in the van, and the Germans 
struggled on about a day behind, taunted by their allies for their 
slowness. The Byzantine historian Cinnamus records the cry of 
Pousse AUemand which was hurled at them by the contemptuous 

When they arrived at Ephesus Conrad s health was so bad that 
he remained there. Hearing this the Emperor Manuel sent him 
costly presents and persuaded him to return to Constantinople 
where he received him kindly and took him to lodge in the palace. 
Manuel was passionately interested in medicine and insisted on 
being his guest s own doctor. Conrad recovered, and was deeply 
touched by the attentions shown him by the Emperor and the 
Empress. It was during this visit that a marriage was arranged 
between his brother, Henry, Duke of Austria, and the Emperor s 
niece, Theodora, daughter of his brother Andronicus. The German 

1 Odo of Deuil, pp. 58-60; William of Tyre, xvi, 23, pp. 744-5. 

2 Odo of Demi, pp. 61-3. Cinnamus (p. 84) discusses the difference between 
the two armies. The French were better on horseback and with the lance, the 
Germans on foot and with swords. He transliterates Pousse Allemand as 


1147-8: The French in Asia Minor 

King and his household remained in Constantinople till the 
beginning of March 1148, when a Byzantine squadron conveyed 
them to Palestine. 1 

During the four days that he spent at Ephesus King Louis 
received a letter from Manuel informing him that the Turks were 
on the war-path and advising him to avoid any conflict with them 
but to keep as far as possible within the range of shelter afforded by 
the Byzantine fortresses. Manuel clearly feared that the French 
would suffer at the hands of the Turks and he would be blamed; 
at the same time he had no wish, with the Sicilian war on his hands, 
that anything should occur to break his peace with the Sultan. 
Louis returned no answer, nor did he reply when Manuel wrote 
to warn him that the Byzantine authorities could not prevent their 
people from taking vengeance for the damage caused to them by 
the Crusaders. The discipline of the French army was breaking 
down, and complaints were reaching the capital of its lawlessness. 2 

The French army wound its way up the valley of the Meander. 
At Decervium, where Christmas was spent, the Turks made their 
appearance and began to harass the Crusaders till they reached the 
bridge across the river, at Pisidian Antioch. There was a pitched 
battle there; but the Frenchmen forced their way over the bridge, 
and the Turks retired behind the walls of Antioch. Under what 
circumstances the Turks were able to take refuge within this 
Byzantine fortress is unknown. The French not unnaturally saw it 
as treason to Christendom; but whether the local garrison had 
yielded to superior force or had made some private arrangement 
with the infidel, it is unlikely that the Emperor himself had 
sanctioned the plan. 3 

The battle before the bridge at Antioch took place about 
i January 1 148. Three days later the Crusaders arrived at Laodicea, 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 85-6; letter of Conrad to Wibald, Wilaldi Epistolae, p. 153 ; 
Annales Herbipokrtses, p. 6; Odo of Deuil, pp. 63-4; William of Tyre, xvi, 23, 
pp. 745-6. 

2 Cinnamus, loc. dt.\ Odo of Deuil, pp. 63-5. 

3 Odo of Deuil, pp. 65-6; William of Tyre, xvi, 24, pp. 746-7. 


Christian Discord 

to find it deserted; for their reputation had driven the inhabitants 
to the hills, with all their provisions. It was difficult for the army 
to collect any food for the arduous stage that ky ahead. 1 The road 
to Attalia wound over high desolate mountains. It was a hard 
journey at the best of times. For a hungry army, struggling 
through the January storms, with the Turks relentlessly hanging 
on its flanks and picking off the stragglers and the sick, it was 
a nightmare. All along the road the soldiers saw the corpses of the 
German pilgrims who had perished on their march a few months 
before. There was no longer any attempt at discipline, except with 
the company of the Knights Templar. The Queen and her ladies 
shivered in their litters, vowing never again to face such an ordeal. 
One afternoon, as the army began to descend toward the sea, the 
advance-guard, under Geoffrey of Rancon, disobeyed the King s 
orders to camp on the summit of the pass and moved down the 
hill, losing touch with the main army, which the Turks at once 
attacked. The Crusaders held their ground; but it was only the 
falling of darkness that saved the Kong s life, and the losses among 
the Frenchmen were heavy. 3 

Thenceforward the way was easier. The Turks did not venture 
down into the plain. At the beginning of February the Crusade 
arrived at Attalia. The Byzantine governor there was an Italian 
called Landolph. On the Emperor s orders he did what he could 
to succour the Westerners. But Attalia was not a large town 
with great resources of food. It was set in a poor countryside 
ravaged recently by the Turks. Winter stocks were low by now; 
and the German pilgrims had taken what there had been to spare. 
It was no wonder that few provisions were available and that 
prices had soared high. But to the angry disappointed Frenchmen 

1 Odo of Deuil, loc. tit. 

* Ibid. pp. 67-7, 71-2; "William of Tyre, xvi, 25, pp. 747-9. For the baseless 
story that Queen Eleanor was responsible for the disaster, see Walker, Eleanor 
of Aquitaine and the Disaster at Cadmus Mountain 1 , in American Historical 
Review, vol. LV, pp. 857-61. Odo of Deuil was responsible for much good work 
in victualling the array. He is too modest himself to mention ,it. (Dialogus 
Apologeticus ctu Molne Geoffroi, p. 106.) 


1148: The French at Attalia 

all this was just another proof of Byzantine treachery. King Louis 
now decided that the journey must be pursued by sea, and 
negotiated with Landolph for ships. It was not easy at that time 
of year to assemble a flotilla at a port on the wild Caramanian 
coast. While the transports were being collected, the Turks came 
down and made a sudden attack on the Crusader camp. Once 
again the French blamed the Byzantines; who indeed probably 
made no effort to defend the unwanted guests to whose presence 
they owed these Turkish raids. When the ships arrived they were 
too few to take all the company. Louis therefore filled them with 
his own household and as many cavalrymen as could be taken, and 
sailed off to Saint Symeon, where he arrived on 19 March. To 
salve his conscience for his desertion of his army, the King gave 
Landolph the sum of five hundred marks, asking him to care for 
the sick and wounded and to send on the remainder, if possible, 
by sea. The Counts of Flanders and Bourbon were left in charge. 
The day after the King s departure the Turks swept down into the 
plain and attacked the camp. Without sufficient cavalry it was 
impossible to drive them off effectively ; so the Crusaders obtained 
permission to take refuge within the walls. There they were well 
treated and their sick given treatment; and Landolph hastily tried 
to collect more ships. Again he could not find sufficient for all the 
expedition. So Thierry of Flanders and Archimbald of Bourbon 
followed their King s example and themselves embarked with 
their friends and the remaining horsemen, telling the foot-soldiers 
and the pilgrims to make their way by land as best they could. 1 
Deserted by their leaders the unhappy remnant refused to stay in 
the camp prepared for them by Landolph, who wished to move 
them out of the town. They thought that they would be too badly 
exposed there to attacks from Turkish archers. Instead, they set 
out at once along the eastern road. Ignorant, undisciplined and 
distrustful of their guides, continually harassed by the Turks, with 
whom they were convinced the Byzantines were in league, the 

1 Odo of Deuil, pp. 73-6. He tries awkwardly to gloss over the King s 
desertion of the army. William of Tyre, xvi, 26, pp. 749-5 1 - 



Christian Discord 

miserable Frenchmen, with what remained of Conrad s German 
infantry dragging on behind, made their painful way to Cilicia. 
Less than half of them arrived in the late spring at Antioch. 1 

In one of his many letters home to the abbot Suger, letters whose 
unvaried theme is a request for more money, King Louis ascribed 
the disasters in Anatolia to the treachery of the Emperor and also 
our own fault . The charge against Manuel is repeated more 
constantly and more passionately by the official French chronicler 
of the Crusade, Odo of Deuil, and it has been echoed by western 
historians, with few exceptions, to this day. 2 The misfortunes of the 
Crusades did so much to embitter relations between western and 
eastern Christendom that the accusation must be examined more 
closely. Odo complains that the Byzantines provided insufficient 
food-supplies for which they charged exorbitant prices, in 
adequate transport and inefficient guides and, worst of all, that 
they allied themselves with the Turks against their fellow- 
Christians. The first charges are absurd. No medieval state, even 
one so well organized as the Byzantine, possessed sufficient stocks 
of food to be able to supply two exceptionally large armies which 
had arrived uninvited at short notice; and when food is scarce, its 
prices inevitably rise. That many local merchants and some 
government officials tried to cheat the invaders is certain. Such 
behaviour has never been a rare phenomenon in commerce, 
particularly in the Middle Ages and in the East. It was unreason 
able to expect Landolph to supply a sufficient number of ships for 
a whole army at the little port of Attalia in mid-winter; nor could 
the guides, whose advice was seldom taken, be blamed if they did 
not know of the latest destruction of bridges or wells by the Turks, 
or if they fled before the threats and hostility of the men that they 
were conducting. The question of the Turkish alliance is more 
serious, but it must be regarded from Manuel s viewpoint. Manuel 
neither invited nor wished for the Crusade. He had good reasons 

1 Odo of Deuil, pp. 76-80. 

* Louis VII, letter to Suger, R.H.F. vol. xv, pp. 495-6; Odo of Deuil is 
throughout hysterically anti-Greek. 


1147-8 - Byzantine Policy during the Crusade 

for deploring it. Byzantine diplomacy had learnt well by now 
how to play off the various Moslem princes against each other and 
thus to isolate each of them in turn. A well advertised expedition 
like the Crusade would inevitably again bring together a united 
front against Christendom. Moreover, for Byzantine strategy 
against Islam it was essential to control Antioch. Byzantium had 
at last won this control, when Prince Raymond made his abject 
submission at Constantinople. The coming of a Crusade with his 
niece and her husband at its head would inevitably tempt him to 
throw offhis vassalage. The behaviour of the Crusaders when they 
were guests in his territory was not such as to increase the Emperor s 
liking for them. They pillaged; they attacked his police; they 
ignored his requests about the routes that they should take; and 
many of their prominent men talked openly of attacking Con 
stantinople. Seen in such a light his treatment of them seems 
generous and forbearing; and some of the Crusaders so recognized 
it. But the westerners could not comprehend nor forgive his 
treaty with the Turks. The broad needs of Byzantine policy were 
beyond their grasp; and they chose to ignore, though they 
certainly were aware of the fact, that while they demanded help 
from the Emperor against the infidel his own lands were being 
subjected to a venomous attack from another Christian power. 
In the autumn of 1147 King Roger of Sicily captured the island of 
Corfu and from there sent an army to raid the Greek peninsula. 
Thebes was sacked, and thousands of its workers kidnapped to help 
the nascent silk-industry of Palermo; and Corinth itself, the chief 
fortress of the peninsula, was taken and bared of all its treasures. 
Laden with spoil the Sicilian Normans fell back to Corfu, which 
they planned to hold as a permanent threat to the Empire and 
a stranglehold on the Adriatic Sea. It was the imminence of the 
Norman attack that had decided Manuel to retire from Konya in 
1146 and to accept the Sultan s overtures for peace next year. If 
Manuel was to rank as a traitor to Christendom, King Roger 
certainly took precedence over him. 

The Byzantine army was large but not ubiquitous. The best 


Christian Discord 

troops were needed for the war against Roger. Then there were 
rumours of unrest in the Russian Steppes, which was to result in 
the summer of 1148 in a Polovtsian invasion of the Balkans. With 
the Crusade at hand, Manuel could not denude his Cilician frontier 
of men ; and the passage of the Crusaders through the Empire meant 
that a large increase must be made in the military police. With 
these preoccupations, the Emperor could not provide full frontier 
forces to cover his long Anatolian borderlands. He preferred 
a truce that would enable his Anatolian subjects to live their lives 
free from the menace of Turkish raids. The Crusaders endangered 
this truce. Conrad s march on Dorylaeum was a direct provoca 
tion to the Turks; and Louis, though he kept within Byzantine 
territory, publicly announced himself as the enemy of all Moslems 
and refused the Emperor s request to remain within the radius 
guarded by Byzantine garrisons. It is quite possible that Manuel, 
faced by this problem, made an arrangement with the Turks by 
which he condoned their incursions into his territory so long as 
they only attacked the Crusaders, and that they kept to the bar 
gain, thus giving the clear impression that they were in league with 
the local inhabitants; to whom indeed it was indifferent whether 
their flocks and foodstocks were stolen by Crusaders or by Turks, 
and who under these circumstances would naturally prefer the 
latter. 1 But it is impossible to believe with Odo of Deuil that they 
definitely attacked the Crusaders at the Turks side. He makes this 
accusation against the inhabitants of Attalia immediately after 
saying that they were later punished by the Emperor for having 
shown kindness to the Crusaders. z 

The main responsibility for the disasters that befell the Crusaders 
in Anatolia must be placed on their own follies. The Emperor 
could indeed have done more to help them, but only at a grave 

1 For ManueTs preoccupations at this time, see Chalandon. Michael the 
Syrian repeats many of the Prankish accusations against the Greeks (m, p. 276). 
But Moslem sources, e.g. Abu Shama, p. 54, say that Manuel made common 
cause with the Franks. 

2 Odo of Deuil, p. 79. 


1147-8: The Role of the Emperor 

risk to his Empire. But the real issue lay deeper. Was it to the 
better interest of Christendom that there should be occasional 
gallant expeditions to the East, led by a mixture of unwise idealists 
and crude adventurers, to succour an intrusive state there whose 
existence depended on Moslem disunity? Or that Byzantium, 
who had been for so long the guardian of the eastern frontier, 
should continue to play her part unembarrassed from the West? 
The story of the Second Crusade showed even more clearly than 
that of the First that the two policies were incompatible. When 
Constantinople itself had fallen and the Turks were thundering at 
the gates of Vienna, it would be possible to see which policy was 




* Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought. 9 ISAIAH vra, 10 

When news arrived on 19 March. 1 148 that King Louis had landed 
at Saint Symeon, Prince Raymond and all his household rode 
down from Antioch to welcome him and escort him up to the 
city. The next days were spent in feasting and merriment. The 
gallant nobles of Antioch did their best to please the Queen of 
France and the great ladies in her train; and in the cheerful 
weather of the Syrian spring amid the luxuries of the Antiochene 
Court the visitors forgot the hardships through which they had 
passed. As soon as they had recovered Raymond began to discuss 
with the French leaders plans for a campaign against the infidel. 
Raymond hoped for great results from the coming of the Crusade. 
His position was precarious. Nur ed-Din was established now 
along the Christian frontier from Edessa to Hama and had spent 
the autumn of 1147 picking off one by one the Prankish fortresses 
east of the Orontes. Count Joscelin was fully occupied in holding 
his own at Turbessel. If the Moslems were to attack Antioch in 
force the only power that could help Raymond was Byzantium; 
and the Byzantine troops might well arrive too late and would 
anyhow insist on a tighter subservience. The French army, though 
the accidents of the journey had reduced its infantry strength, 
provided such formidable cavalry reinforcements that the Franks 
of Antioch would be able to take the offensive. Raymond urged 
upon the King that they should strike together at the heart of Nur 
ed-Din s power, the city of Aleppo; and he induced many of the 
French knights to join him in a preliminary reconnaissance up to 
its walls, to the consternation of its inhabitants. 1 

1 William of Tyre, xvi, 27, pp. 751-3 ; William of Nangis, i, p. 44. 


1148: Louis and Eleanor at Antioch 

But when it came to the point, King Louis hesitated. He said 
that his Crusader vow obliged him first to go to Jerusalem before 
he started on any campaign; but the excuse was made to veil his 
indecision. All the princes of the Prankish East were demanding 
his help. Count Joscelin hoped to use him for the recovery of 
Edessa; for had not its fall set the whole Crusade in motion? 
Raymond of Tripoli, claiming a cousin s right for his mother 
had been a French princess sought his help for the recovery 
of Montferrand. Then in April there arrived at Antioch the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem himself, sent by the High Court of the 
Kingdom to beg him to hasten south and to tell him that King 
Conrad was already in the Holy Land. 1 In the end a purely 
personal motive made up the King s mind for him. Queen 
Eleanor was far more intelligent than her husband. She saw at 
once the wisdom of Raymond s scheme; but her passionate and 
outspoken support of her uncle only roused Louis s jealousy. 
Tongues began to wag. The Queen and the Prince were seen too 
often together. It was whispered that Raymond s affection was 
more than avuncular. Louis, alarmed for his honour, announced 
his immediate departure; whereat the Queen declared that she at 
least would remain in Antioch, and would seek a divorce from her 
husband. In reply Louis dragged his wife by force from her uncle s 
palace and set out with all his troops for Jerusalem.* 

King Conrad had landed at Acre with his chief princes in the 
middle of April and had been given a cordial and honourable 
reception at Jerusalem by Queen Melisende and her son. 3 Similar 
honours were paid to King Louis on his entry into the Holy Land 
a month later. Never had Jerusalem seen so brilliant an assembly 
of knights and ladies. 4 But there were many notable absentees. 

1 The Patriarch was Fulcher of Angouleme, former Archbishop of Tyre, 
appointed by Melisende on the death of "William of Messines in 1147. 

* William of Tyre, loc. cit. He calls Eleanor a fatuous woman but does 
not suggest that she was unfaithful. The King s suspicions are reported by John 
of Salisbury (Historia Pontificate, p. 53). 

3 Ibid, xvi, 28, pp. 753-4; Otto of Freisingen, Gesta Friderid, pp. 88-9. 

4 William of Tyre, xvi, 29, pp. 754-6- 



Raymond of Antioch, furious at Louis s behaviour, washed his 
hands of the whole Crusade. He could not in any case afford to 
leave his hard-pressed principality for some adventure in the south. 
Nor could Count Joscelin leave Turbessel. The Count of Tripoli s 
absence was due to a sinister family tragedy. Amongst the 
Crusaders to take the vow with King Louis at Vezelay had been 
Alfonso-Jordan, Count of Toulouse. With his wife and his children 
he had travelled by sea from Constantinople and landed at Acre 
a few days after Conrad. His arrival with a strong contingent had 
heartened the Franks in the East to whom he was a romantic 
figure. For he was the son of the old Crusader Raymond of 
Toulouse and he had been born in the East, at Mount Pilgrim, 
while his father was besieging Tripoli. But his coming was an 
embarrassment to the reigning Count of Tripoli, the grandson of 
old Count Raymond s bastard son Bertrand. If Alfonso-Jordan 
put in a claim to Tripoli, it would be hard to deny it; and it seems 
that he liked to mention his rights. On his way up to Jerusalem 
from Acre he paused at Caesarea, and there quite suddenly he died 
in agony. It may have been some acute illness such as appendicitis 
that caused his death; but everyone at once suspected poison, and 
the dead man s son Bertrand openly accused his cousin Raymond 
of Tripoli of instigating the murder. Others believed that the 
culprit was Queen Melisende, acting at the behest of her beloved 
sister, the Countess Hodierna, Raymond s wife. Nothing was 
proven; but Raymond in his indignation at the charge abstained 
from any dealing with the Crusade. 1 

When all the Crusaders had arrived in Palestine Queen Meli 
sende and King Baldwin invited them to attend a great assembly 
to be held at Acre on 24 June 1 148. It was an impressive gathering. 
The hosts were Kong Baldwin and the Patriarch Fulcher, with the 
Archbishops of Caesarea and Nazareth, the Grand Masters of the 
Temple and the Hospital, and the leading prelates and barons 
of the kingdom. With Conrad were his half-brothers, Henry 

1 William of Tyre, xvi, 28, p. 754; William of Nangis, i, p. 43, suggests 
that Melisende was implicated indie murder. 


1148: The Decision to attack Damascus 

Jasimirgott of Austria, and Otto of Freisingen, his nephew, 
Frederick of Swabia, Welf of Bavaria and many lesser princes. 
Lorraine was represented by the Bishops of Metz and Toul. 
With King Louis were his brother Robert of Dreux, his future 
son-in-law Henry of Champagne, Thierry, Count of Flanders, as 
well as the young Bertrand, Alfonso-Jordan s bastard. We do not 
know what was the course of the debate nor who made the final 
proposal. After some opposition the assembly decided to con 
centrate all its strength on an attack against Damascus. 1 

It was a decision of utter folly. Damascus would indeed be a rich 
prize, and its possession by the Franks would entirely cut off the 
Moslems of Egypt and Africa from their co-religionists in 
northern Syria and the East. But of all the Moslem states the 
Burid kingdom of Damascus alone was eager to remain in friend 
ship with the Franks; for, like the farther-sighted among the 
Franks, it recognized its chief foe to be Nur ed-Din. Prankish 
interests lay in retaining Damascene friendship till Nur ed-Din 
should be crushed, and to keep open the breach between Damascus 
and Aleppo. To attack the former was, as the events of the 
previous year had shown, the surest way to throw its rulers into 
Nur ed-Din s hands. But the barons of Jerusalem coveted the 
fertile lands that owed allegiance to Damascus, and they smarted 
under the recollection of their recent humiliation, for which their 
high-spirited young King must have longed for revenge. To the 
visiting Crusaders Aleppo meant nothing, but Damascus was a 
city hallowed in Holy Writ, whose rescue from the infidel would 
resound to the glory of God. It is idle to try to apportion blame 
for the decision; but a greater responsibility must lie with the local 
barons, who knew the situation, than with the new-comers to 
whom all Moslems were the same. 2 

The Christian army, the greatest that the Franks had ever put 
into the field, set out from Galilee through Banyas in the middle 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, i, pp. 758-9; he gives a list of the ecclesiastical and 
secular magnates present; Otto of Freisingen, Gesta Friderici, p. 89; Gesta 
Ludovid pp. 403^4. 2 William t>f Tyre, loc. cit. 



of July. On Saturday, 24 July, it encamped on the edge of the 
gardens and orchards that surrounded Damascus. The emir Unur 
had not at first taken the news of the Crusade very seriously. He 
had heard of its heavy losses in Anatolia, and in any case he had 
not expected it to make Damascus its objective. When he dis 
covered the truth he hastily ordered his provincial governors to 
send him all the men that they could spare; and a messenger 
hurried off to Aleppo, to ask for help from Nur ed-Din. The 
Franks first halted at Manakil al-Asakir some four miles to the 
south of the city, whose white walls and towers gleamed through 
the thick foliage of the orchards ; but they moved quickly up to 
the better watered village of al-Mizza. The Damascene army 
attempted to hold them there but was forced to retire behind the 
walls. On their victory the Crusader leaders sent the army of 
Jerusalem into the orchards to clear them of guerrilla fighters. By 
afternoon the orchards to the south of the city were in the posses 
sion of the Franks, who were building palisades out of the trees 
that they cut down. Next, thanks chiefly to Conrad s personal 
bravery, they forced their way to Rabwa, on the river Barada, 
right under the walls of the city. The citizens of Damascus thought 
now that all was lost and began to barricade the streets ready for 
the last desperate struggle. But next day the tide turned. The 
reinforcements summoned by Unur began to pour in through the 
north gates of the city and with their help he launched a counter 
attack which drove the Christians back from the walls. He 
repeated the attacks during the next two days, while guerrilla 
fighters penetrated once more into the gardens and orchards. So 
dangerous were their actions to the camp that Conrad, Louis and 
Baldwin met together and decided to evacuate the orchards south 
of the city and to move eastward, to encamp in a spot where the 
enemy could find no such cover. On 27 July the whole army 
moved to the plain outside the east wall. It was a disastrous 
decision, for the new site lacked water and faced the strongest 
section of the wall; and Damascene sally parties could now move 
more freely about the orchards. Indeed, many of the Prankish 



1148: Quarrels in the Christian Camp 

soldiers believed that the Palestinian barons who advised the Kings 
must have been bribed by Unur to suggest it. For with the move 
the last chance of their taking Damascus vanished. Unur, whose 
troops were increasing in number and who knew that Nur ed-Din 
was on his way southward, renewed his attacks on the Prankish 
camp. It was the Crusading army, not the beleaguered city, that 
was now on the defensive. 1 

While discouragement and murmurs of treachery passed 
through the Christian army, its leaders openly quarrelled over the 
future of Damascus when they should capture it. The barons of 
the kingdom of Jerusalem expected Damascus to be incorporated 
as a fief of the Kingdom, and had agreed that its lord should be 
Guy Brisebarre, the lord of Beirut, whose candidature was, it 
seems, confirmed by Queen Melisende and the Constable 
Manasses. But Thierry of Flanders coveted Damascus, which he 
wished to hold as a semi-independent fief, of the same type as 
Tripoli. He won the support of Conrad and Louis, and of King 
Baldwin, whose half-sister was his wife. The anger of the local 
baronage when they learnt that the Kings favoured Thierry in 
clined them to skcken their efforts. Those amongst them that had 
always opposed the attack on Damascus won more converts. 
Perhaps they were in secret touch with Unur. There were 
whispers of vast sums, paid, it is true, in money that was found 
to be counterfeit, passing between Damascus and the Court of 
Jerusalem and EHnand, Prince of Galilee. Perhaps Unur told them 
that if they retreated at once he would abandon his alliance with 
Nur ed-Din. This argument, whether or no Unur made specific use 
of it, undoubtedly swayed the nobles of the Kingdom. Nur ed-Din 
was already at Horns, negotiating the terms of his aid to Unur. 
His troops must, he demanded, be allowed entry into Damascus; 
and Unur was playing for time. The Prankish army was in a difficult 
position before Damascus. It could expect no reinforcements, 

1 Wffliam of Tyre, xvn, 2-5, pp. 760-7; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 282-6; Abu 
Shama, pp. 55-9; Usama, ed. Hitti, p. 124. 



whereas in a few days Nur ed-Din s men could be in the field. If they 
arrived, not only might the whole Crusading force be annihilated, 
but Damascus would surely pass into Nur ed-Din s power. 1 

The Palestinian barons were all now, too late, convinced of the 
folly of continuing the war against Damascus ; and they pressed 
their views on King Conrad and King Louis. The westerners were 
shocked. They could not follow the subtle political arguments, 
but they knew that without the help of the local Franks there was 
little to be done. The Kings complained publicly of the disloyalty 
that they had found amongst them and of their lack of fervour for 
the cause. But they ordered the retreat. 2 

At dawn on Wednesday, 28 July, the fifth day after their arrival 
before Damascus, the Crusaders packed up their camp and began 
to move back towards Galilee. Though Unur s money may have 
bought their retreat, he did not let them depart in peace. All day 
long, and during the next few days, Turcomen light horsemen 
hung on their flanks, pouring arrows into their masses. The road 
was littered with corpses, of men and of horses, whose stench 
polluted the plain for many months to come. Early in August the 
great expedition returned to Palestine and the local troops went 
home. All that it had accomplished was to lose many of its men 
and much of its material and to suffer a terrible humiliation. That 
so splendid an army should have abandoned its objective after 
only four days of fighting was a bitter blow to Christian prestige. 
The legend of invincible knights from the West, built up during 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 6, pp. 767-8. Rey, Les Seigneurs de Barut , in 
Revue de I Orient Latin, vol. rv, pp. 14-15, identifies the baronial candidate as 
Guy of Beirut, from Assisses, n, p. 458. Michael the Syrian (m, p. 276) reports 
the rumour of the money paid to King Baldwin and Elinand, which they 
accepted for fear of Conrad s ambitions. Bar Hebraeus (trans. Budge, p. 274), 
says that he does not find the story in any Arab writer. Ibn al-Qalanisi (p. 268) 
says that the Franks were alarmed by the approach of Moslem armies. Ibn 
al-Athir (pp. 469-70) says that Unur definitely warned the local Franks of it 
and sowed dissension between them and the King of Germany. 

2 William of Tyre, xvn, 7, pp. 768-70. The French translation inserts an 
attack on the Pulani. Conrad casts the blame on the local baronage. See letter 
in Wibaldt Epistolae, pp. 225-6. 


1148: King Conrad leaves Palestine 

the great adventure of the First Crusade, was utterly shattered. 
The spirits of the Moslem world revived. 1 

King Conrad did not linger in Palestine after the return from 
Damascus. Together with his household he embarked from Acre 
on 8 September on a ship bound for Thessalonica. When he 
landed there he received a pressing invitation from Manuel to 
spend Christmas at the imperial Court. There was now perfect 
concord between the two monarchs. Though his young nephew 
Frederick might continue to bear rancour against the Byzantines, 
blaming them for the German losses in Anatolia, Conrad only 
thought of the value of Manuel s alliance against Roger of Sicily 
and he was captivated by Manuel s personal charm and his 
delightful hospitality. During his visit the marriage of his brother, 
Henry of Austria, to Manuel s niece Theodora was celebrated with 
the greatest pomp. Shocked Byzantines wept to see the lovely 
young princess sacrificed to so barbarous a fate immolated to 
the beast of the West , as a court poet wrote sympathetically to her 
mother but the wedding marked the complete reconciliation of 
the German and Byzantine Courts. When Conrad left Constanti 
nople in February 1149 to return to Germany an alliance had been 
made between them against Roger of Sicily, whose lands on the 
Italian peninsula it was proposed to divide.* 

While Conrad enjoyed die comforts of Constantinople, King 
Louis lingered on in Palestine. The abbot Suger wrote to him 
again and again to beg him to come back to France; but he could 
not make up his mind. Doubtless he wished to spend an Easter at 
Jerusalem. His return would, he knew, be followed by a divorce 
and all its political consequences. He sought to postpone the evil 
day. In the meantime, while Conrad renewed his friendship with 

1 William of Tyre, loc. dt.\ Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 286-7. 

2 William of Tyre, xvn, 8, pp. 770-1 ; Cinnamus, pp. 87-8 ; Annales Pali- 
denses, p. 83; Otto of Saint Blaise, p. 305; Otto of Freisingen, Gesta Friderid, 
p. 96. A poem by Prodromus in honour of Theodora s marriage is given in 
R.H.C. Grec. n, p. 772; but he refers to her being sacrificed to the beast of the 
West* in a poem to her mother, ibid. p. 768. 



Byzantium, Louis s resentment against the Emperor increased the 
more he thought of it. He changed his policy, and sought the 
alliance of Roger of Sicily. His quarrel with Raymond of Antioch 
had removed the chief obstacle to this alliance, which would 
enable him to gratify his hatred of Byzantium. At last in the early 
summer of 1149 Louis left Palestine in a Sicilian ship, which soon 
joined the Sicilian squadron cruising in eastern Mediterranean 
waters. The Sicilian war against Byzantium was still in progress; 
and as the fleet rounded the Peloponnese it was attacked by ships 
of the Byzantine navy. King Louis hastily gave orders for the 
French flag to be flown on his vessel and was therefore allowed 
to sail on. But a ship containing many of his followers and his 
possessions was captured and taken as a war-prize to Constanti 
nople. Many months passed before the Emperor would agree to 
send back the men and the goods to France. 1 

Louis landed at Calabria at the end of July and was received 
by King Roger at Potenza. The Sicilian at once suggested the 
launching of a new Crusade whose first object should be to take 
vengeance on Byzantium. Louis and his advisers readily agreed 
and went on to France telling everyone as they went of the perfidy 
of the Byzantines and the need to punish them. Pope Eugenius, 
whom King Louis met at Tivoli, was lukewarm; but there were 
many of his Curia who welcomed the scheme. Cardinal Theod- 
win set about finding preachers to promote it. Peter the Venerable 
lent his support. When Louis arrived in France he persuaded Suger 
to agree; and, most important of all, Saint Bernard, puzzled by the 
ways of Providence that had permitted his great Crusade to come 
to so lamentable an end, greedily accepted Byzantium as the source 
of all its disasters, and flung his whole energy into the task of 
abetting divine vengeance on the guilty Empire. But, if the move 
ment were to succeed, it must have the help of Conrad of Germany ; 
and Conrad would not co-operate. He saw too clearly the hand 

1 Cinnamus, p. 87; letter of Suger (Sugeri Opera, ed. de la March, pp. 258-60) ; 
William of Nangis, i, p. 46. The ship containing Queen Eleanor was detained 
for a while by the Byzantines (John of Salisbury, Historia Pontificate, p. 61). 


- Bernard of Toulouse 

of his enemy Roger and saw no reason to break his alliance with 
Manuel in order to add to Roger s power. Vain appeals were made 
to him by Cardinal Theodwin and by Peter the Venerable; and 
Saint Bernard himself besought him and thundered at him in vain. 
The last time that Conrad had taken the Saint s advice had been 
over the Second Crusade. He was not to fall into the trap again. 
With Conrad s refusal to help, the scheme had to be dropped. 
The great betrayal of Christendom, urged by Saint Bernard, was 
postponed for another half-century. 1 

Only one of the princes of the Second Crusade remained on in 
the East; and his sojourn was involuntary. The young Bernard 
of Toulouse, Count Alfonso s bastard son, could not endure to 
see the rich inheritance of Tripoli remain in the hands of a cousin 
whom he suspected as his father s murderer. He stayed on in 
Palestine till King Louis left, then marched his men of Languedoc 
northward, as though he intended to embark from some north 
Syrian port. After passing across the plain where the Buqaia opens 
out towards the sea, he suddenly turned inward and seized the 
castle of Araima. There he defied the troops that Count Raymond 
sent from Tripoli to dislodge him. It was a well-placed eyrie, for 
it dominated the roads from Tripoli to Tortosa and from Tripoli 
inland up the Buqaia. Count Raymond found no sympathy 
amongst his fellow-Christian princes, so he sent to Damascus for 
help from Unur. Unur responded gladly and invited Nur ed-Din 
to join him. He could thus show his willingness to co-operate 
with Nur ed-Din against the Christians without damaging his 
attempt to restore good relations with the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 
Indeed, he would gratify Queen Melisende by helping her brother- 
in-law. The two Moslem princes descended on Araima, which was 
unable to hold out long against so great a host. The Moslem victors 
razed the castle to the ground, after sacking it completely. They th en 

1 For a summary of these negotiations, see Bernhardi, op. cit. p. 810, and 
Vacandard, op. cit. II, pp. 425-8. The letters of St Bernard and Theodwin 
advocating an anti-Greek Crusade are lost but their sense is to be found in 
a letter of Wibald (no. 252, p. 377). 



left it for Count Raymond to reoccupy and retired with a long 
string of captives. Bertrand and his sister fell to Nur ed-Din s 
share. He took them to Aleppo where they were to spend twelve 
years in captivity. 1 

It was a fitting end to the Second Crusade that its last Crusader 
should be held captive by the Moslem alhes of the fellow-Christian 
prince whom he had tried to despoil. No medieval enterprise 
started with more splendid hopes. Planned by the Pope, preached 
and.inspired by the golden eloquence of Saint Bernard, and led by 
the two chief potentates of western Europe, it had promised so 
much for the glory and salvation of Christendom. But when it 
reached its ignominious end in the weary retreat from Damascus, 
all that it had achieved had been to embitter the relations between 
the western Christians and the Byzantines almost to breaking- 
point, to sow suspicions between the newly-come Crusaders and 
the Franks resident in the East, to separate the western Prankish 
princes from each other, to draw the Moslems closer together, and 
to do deadly damage to the reputation of the Franks for military 
prowess. The Frenchmen might seek to throw the blame for the 
fiasco on others, on the perfidious Emperor Manuel or on the 
lukewarm Palestinian barons, and Saint Bernard might thunder 
against the wicked men who interfered with God s purpose; but 
in fact the Crusade was brought to nothing by its leaders, with 
their truculence, their ignorance and their ineffectual folly. 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 287-8; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 470-1, and Atabegs, p. 162; 
Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 517. According to Prankish legend Bertrand s 
sister married Nur ed-Din and was the mother of his heir as-Salih (Robert of 
Torigny, n, p. 53). 






* Ye ... have done after the manners of the heathen that are. 
round about you. EZEKIEL xi, 12 

The failure of the Second Crusade marked a turning-point in the 
story of Outremer. The fall of Edessa completed the first stage 
in the renascence of Iskm; and the gains of Iskm were confirmed 
by the pitiful collapse of the great expedition that was to have 
restored Prankish supremacy. 

Amongst the chief reasons for this failure had been the difference 
in habits and outlook between the Franks resident in the East and 
their cousins from the West. It was a shock for the Crusaders to 
discover in Palestine a society whose members had in the course 
of a generation altered their way of life. They spoke a French 
dialect; they were faithful adherents of the Latin Church, and 
their government followed the customs that we call feudal. But 
these superficial likenesses only made the divergences more 
puzzling to the newcomers. 

Had the colonists been more numerous they might have been 
able to keep up their occidental ways. But they were a tiny 
minority in a land whose climate and mode of life was strange to 
them. Actual numbers can only be conjectural; but it seems that 
at no time were there as many as a thousand barons and knights 
permanently resident in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Their non- 
combatant relatives, women and old men, cannot have numbered 
much more than another thousand. Many children were born, 
but few survived. That is to say, apart from the clergy, who 
numbered a few hundreds, and the knights of the Military 
Orders, there can only have been fiom two to three thousand 

291 *9-2 

Life in Outremer 

adult members of the Prankish, upper classes. 1 The combined 
population of the knightly classes in the Principality of Antioch 
and the counties of Tripoli and Edessa was probably about 
the same.* These classes remained on the whole racially pure. In 
Edessa and Antioch there was some intermarriage with the local 
Greek and Armenian aristocracy; both Baldwin I and Baldwin II 
had, when Counts of Edessa, married Armenian wives of the 
Orthodox persuasion, and we are told that some of their nobles 
followed their example. Joscelin I s wife and the wife of Waleran 
of Birejik were Armenians of the separated Church. But farther 
south there was no local Christian aristocracy; the only eastern 
element was the Armenian blood in the royal family and the house 
of Courtenay and, later, the descendants, royal and Ibelin, of the 
Byzantine Queen, Maria Comnena. 3 

The ckss of the sergeants was more numerous. The sergeants 
were in origin the folly armed infantry of Prankish stock, who 
settled on the lords fiefs. As they had no pride of bkth to main 
tain, they married with the native Christians; and by 1150 they 
were beginning to form a class of poulains already merging with 
the native Christians. By 1180 the number of sergeants was 
estimated at little more than 5000; but we cannot tell what 
proportion remained of pure Prankish blood. The sodeers or 
mercenary soldiers probably also claimed some Prankish descent. 
The Turcopoles , raised locally and armed and trained after 

1 The great army that was defeated at Hattin probably had 1200 knights, of 
which 300 were Templars, and probably nearly as many Hospitallers. The lay 
barons and knights cannot have been more than 700, yet every available knight 
was present. Only two remained at Jerusalem. This army included a few 
knights from Tripoli or Antioch. A certain number of knights had recently 
left the kingdom with Baldwin of Ibelin. See below, pp. 454, 464. John of 
Ibelin estimates that in Baldwin IV s time the kingdom could raise 577 knights 
apart from the Orders and 5025 sergeants (Ibelin, pp. 422-7). 

2 Figures for Antioch and Tripoli can only be conjectured. Edessa probably 
never contained more than 100 noble and knightly Prankish families. The 
County of Tripoli contained perhaps 200 and Antioch considerably more. In 
mi Turbessel is said by Albert of Aix (33, 40-1, pp. 182-3) to have provided 
100 knights and Edessa 200, but many of these must have been Armenians. 

3 See below, genealogical trees. 


The Turcopoks 

the model of the Byzantine light cavalry, whose name they 
took, consisted partly of native Christians and converts and 
partly of half-castes. There was perhaps a difference between the 


I ? - -c - /:*" _rJT. ZKt ^^ *1^". ^" ^L W&F I ^ *- - >> 5- 

rl ?^ Ce S lum - !7 ^^ k^4<-^ % ^ 
I \ ^iv-^^ r !S\ T ^ ***** 

^ \^ f /S/fa$\\\W* Tale of Gehenna f " ]jr<s **n f , 

Map 4. Jerusalem under die Latin Kings, 

half-castes who spoke their fathers tongue and those that spoke 
their mothers . The Turcopoles were probably drawn from the 
latter. 1 

1 See La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, pp. 160-2; Munro, The Kingdom of the 
Crusaders, pp. 106-7, 120-1. 


Life in Outremer 

Except in the larger towns, the settlers were almost all of French 
origin; and the language spoken in the kingdom of Jerusalem and 
the principality of Antioch was the langue d ceil, familiar to the 
northern French and the Normans. In the County of Tripoli, with 
its Toulousain background, the langue d ocwzs probably employed 
at first. The German pilgrim, John of Wurzburg, who visited 
Jerusalem in about 1175, was vexed to find that the Germans 
played no part in Prankish society, although, as he claimed, 
Godfrey and Baldwin I had been of German origin. He was 
delighted when at last he found a religious establishment staffed 
exclusively by Germans. 1 

The towns contained considerable Italian colonies. The Venetians 
and the Genoese each possessed streets in Jerusalem itself. There 
were Genoese establishments, guaranteed by treaty, in Jaffa, Acre, 
Caesarea, Arsuf, Tyre, Beirut, Tripoli, Jebail, Lattakieh, Saint 
Symeon and Antioch, and Venetian establishments in the larger 
of these towns. The Pisans had colonies in Tyre, Acre, Tripoli, 
Botrun, Lattakieh and Antioch, the Amalfitans in Acre and 
Lattakieh. These were all self-governing communes, whose 
citizens spoke Italian and did not mingle socially with their 
neighbours. Akin to them were the establishments owned by 
Marseille in Acre, Jaffa, Tyre and Jebail, and by Barcelona in 
Tyre. Except in Acre, these merchant colonies numbered none of 
them more than a few hundred persons. 2 

The vast majority of the population was composed of native 
Christians. In the kingdom of Jerusalem these were of mixed 
origin, most Arabic-speaking, and carelessly known as Christian 
Arabs, almost all members of the Orthodox Church. In the 
County of Tripoli some of the inhabitants were members of the 
Monothelete sect called the Maronites. Farther north the in- 

1 John of Wurzburg (P.T.T.S. vol. v), passim. 

2 Cahen, Notes sur 1 histoire des Croisades: III, Orient Latin et commerce 
du Levant , in Bulletin de la Faculte des Lettres de Strasbourg, 29me anne e, no. 7, 
points out that the trade activities of the Italians during the twelfth century 
were mainly concentrated on Egypt and Constantinople. The Syrian coastal 
ports were far less important to them. 


Native Christians, Moslems and jews 

digenous inhabitants were mostly Monophysites of the Jacobite 
Church, but there were very large colonies of Armenians, almost 
all of the Separated Armenian Church, and, in Antioch, Lattakieh 
and Cilicia, considerable groups of Greek-speaking Orthodox. 
In addition there were in the Holy Land religious colonies of every 
Christian denomination. The monasteries were mainly Orthodox 
and Greek-speaking; but there were also Orthodox Georgian 
establishments, and, especially in Jerusalem itself, colonies of 
Monophysites, both Egyptian and Ethiopian Copts and Syrian 
Jacobites, and a few Latin groups who had settled there before the 
Crusades. 1 Many Moslem communities had emigrated when the 
Christian kingdom was set up. But there were still Moslem 
villages round Nablus; 2 and the population of many districts that 
were conquered later by the Franks remained Moslem. In 
northern Galilee, along the road from Banyas to Acre, the 
peasants were almost exclusively Moslem. Farther north, in the 
Buqaia, the Nosairi mountains and the Orontes valley there were 
heretical Moslem sects acknowledging Prankish rule. 3 Along the 
southern frontier and in Oultrejourdain there were nomad 
Bedouin tribes. Massacres and the fear of massacre had greatly 
reduced the number of Jews in Palestine and Christian Syria. 
Benjamin of Tudela was distressed to see how small their colonies 
were when he visited the country in about nyo. 4 In Damascus 
alone they were more numerous than in all the Christian states. 5 
But at some time during the twelfth century they purchased the 
monopoly of dye-making from the Crown; and glass manu- 

1 There is little direct evidence about the native Christians in Palestine 
during the twelfth century. See below, pp. 3*9-23, and Key, Les Colonies 
Franques, pp. 75-94. See Gerulli, Etiopi in Pakstina, pp. 8 f, for Copts and 
Ahyssinians . 

* The Moslems round Nablus caused alarm to the Franks after Hattin 
(Abu Shama, p. 302); Ibn Jubayr, ed. Wright, pp. 304-?, for the Moslems in 
and round Acre. 

3 See Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, pp. 170 ff. Burchard of Mt Sibn refers to the 
various Moslem sects in northern Syria (P.T.T.S. vol. xn, p. 18). 

4 Benjamin of Tudela, ed. Adler, Hebrew text, pp. 26-47- 

5 Ibid. pp. 47-8. 


Life in Outremer 

facture was largely in their hands. 1 A small Samaritan community 
lived on at Nablus. 2 

These various communities formed the basis of the Prankish 
states; and their new masters did little to disturb them. Where 
natives could prove their title to lands they were allowed to keep 
them; but in Palestine and Tripoli, with the exception of estates 
owned by the native churches, the landowners had almost all been 
Moslems who had emigrated as a result of the Prankish conquest, 
leaving large territories in which the new rulers could install their 
compatriot vassals. It seems that there were no free villages left, 
such as had existed in earlier Byzantine times. Each village com 
munity was tied to the knd and paid a portion of its produce to 
the lord. But there was no uniformity about this proportion. 
Over the greater part of the country where the villagers followed 
a simple mixed agriculture the lord probably expected enough 
produce to feed his household and his poulains and Turcopoles who 
lived grouped round the castle; for the native peasant was not 
fitted to be a soldier himself. In the rich plains agriculture was run 
on a more commercial basis. Orchards, vineyards and above all 
sugar-cane plantations were exploited by the lord, and the peasant 
probably worked for little more than his keep. Except in the 
lord s household there was no skve labour, though Moslem 
prisoners might temporarily be used on the King s or the great 
lords estates. The villagers dealings with their lord were con 
ducted through their headman, called sometimes by the Arabic 
name ofrais, sometimes by a latinized form regulus. On his side 
the lord employed a compatriot as his factor or drogmannus 
(dragoman), an Arabic-speaking secretary who could keep the 
records. 3 

1 Benjamin of Tudela, ed. Adler, Hebrew text, p. 35 (dye-monopoly at 
Jerusalem). Jews made glass at Antioch and Tyre. Ibid. pp. 26-47. 

2 Ibid. pp. 33-4, 1000 families according to Benjamin, who found others at 
Caesarea and Ascalon (pp. 32, 44). 

3 See Cahen, Notes sur Fhistoire des Croisades. II, Le R6gime rural Syrien 
au temps de la domination franque , in Bulletin de la Faculte des lettres de 
Strasbourg, 2pme annee, no. 7, an invaluable study of this very obscure question. 


The Fiefs of the Kingdom 

Though there was little change in the lives of the peasants, the 
kingdom of Jerusalem was superficially reorganized according to 
the pattern of fiefs that we call feudal . The royal domain con 
sisted of the three cities of Jerusalem, Acre and Nablus and, later, 
the frontier town of Daron, and the territory around them. It 
had occupied a larger proportion of the kingdom, tut the first 
kings and especially Queen Melisende were lavish in the gifts of 
land that they -made to friends and to the Church and the religious 
Orders. Further portions might be temporarily alienated as 
dowers for widowed queens. The four chief fiefs of the kingdom 
were the County of Jaffa, usually reserved for a cadet of the royal 
house; the principality of Galilee, which owed its grandiose title 
to Tancred s ambition; the Seigneurie of Sidon; and the Seigneurie 
of Oultrejourdain. The holders of these fiefs seem to have had 
their own high officers in imitation of the King s. So also did the 
Lord of Caesarea, whose fief was almost as important, though it 
ranked with the twelve secondary fiefs. After Baldwin II s reign 
tenure was based on hereditary right, females succeeding in default 
of the direct male line. A tenant could only be evicted by a 
decision of the High Court after some gross misdemeanour. But 
he owed the King, or his superior lord, a fixed number of soldiers 
whenever it was required of him; and it seems that there was no 
time-limit to their service. The Count of Jaffa, the Lord of Sidon 
and the Prince of Galilee owed a hundred fully armed knights, 
and the Lord of Oultrejourdain sixty. 1 

The size of the fiefs was variable. The secular fiefs had been set 
up by conquest and formed solid blocks of land. But the estates 
of the Church and the Military Orders, which had grown chiefly 
through charitable gifts and bequests or, in the case of the Orders, 
from strategical convenience, were scattered throughout the 
Prankish territories. The unit in which estates were measured was 
the village, or cased, or, very rarely, a half or a third of a village; 
but villages also varied in size. Round Safed, in northern Galilee, 
they seem to have averaged only forty male inhabitants, but we 

1 La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, pp. 138-65; Rey, op. dt. pp. 1-56, 109-64. 


Life in Outremer 

hear of larger villages round Nazareth, and smaller villages round 
Tyre, where, however, the general population was thicker. 1 

Many of the lay-lords also owned money-fiefs. That is to say, 
they were granted a fixed money revenue from certain towns and 
villages and in return had to provide soldiers in proportionate 
numbers. These grants were heritable and almost impossible for 
the King to annul. 2 As with the landed fiefs he could only hope 
that the possessor would die without heirs, or at least with only 
a daughter, for whom he had the right to choose a husband or 
to insist on the choice of a husband out of the three candidates that 
he proposed. 3 

The royal cities were obliged to produce soldiers, according to 
their wealth. Jerusalem was scheduled for sixty-one, Nablus for 
seventy-five and Acre for eighty. But they were provided not by 
the bourgeoisie but by the nobility resident in the city, or owners 
of house-property there. The leading ecclesiastics also owed 
soldiers in respect of their landed estates or house-property. The 
bourgeoisie paid its contribution to the government in money 
taxes. Regular taxes were levied on ports and exports, on sales 
and purchases, on anchorage, on pilgrims, on the use of weights 
and measures. There was also the terraticum, a tax on bourgeois 
property, of which little is known. In addition there might be a 
special levy to pay for some campaign. In 1166 non-combatants 
had to pay ten per cent on the value of their movables; and in 
1183 there was a capital levy of one per cent on property and 
debts from the whole population, combined with two per cent 
on income from the ecclesiastical foundations and the baronage. 
Beside the produce that their villages had to provide, every 
peasant owed a personal capitation-tax to his lord; and Moslem 

1 Cahen, op. dt. pp, 291-8. 

3 La Monte, op. dt. pp. 144-51. 

3 The assize allowing the heiress to choose one of three husbands suggested 
hy the King is dated by Grandclaude, Liste d Assises de Jerusalem , in Melanges 
Paul Fournier, p. 340, after 1177. But Baldwin HI offered Constance of Antioch 
the choice of three suitors in 1150. He could not, however, force her to accept 
any of them (see below, p. 331). 


The Constitution 

subjects were liable to a tithe or dime which, went to the Church. 
The Latin hierarchs continually tried to extend the dime to apply 
to Christians belonging to the heretic churches. They did not 
succeed, though they forced King Amalric to refuse an offer made 
by the Armenian prince Thoros II to send colonists to the depopu 
lated districts of Palestine by their insistence that they should pay 
the dime. 1 But even with the dime the Moslems found the general 
level of taxation lower under the Franks than under neighbouring 
Moslem lords. Nor were Moslems excluded from minor govern 
mental posts. They, as well as Christians, could be employed as 
customs-officers and tax-collectors. 2 

It is impossible to give a precise account of the constitution of 
the Prankish states because at no moment was there a fixed consti 
tution. Customs developed or were modified by particular pro 
nouncements. When later lawyers produced such compilations as 
the Livre au Roi or the Assises de Jerusalem, they were attempting 
to find out where definite decisions had altered accepted custom 
rather than to lay down an established governmental code. There 
were local variants. The Prince of Antioch and the Counts of 
Edessa and Tripoli normally had little trouble from their vassals. 
The King of Jerusalem was in a weaker position. He was the 
Lord s Anointed, the accepted head of the Franks in the East, with 
no rival after Baldwin I had demolished the pretensions of the 
Patriarchate. But, while the lords of Antioch and Tripoli could 
hand on their power by the accepted rules of hereditary succession, 
the kingship was elective. Public feeling might support a heredi 
tary claim. In 1174 Baldwin IV was accepted without question 
to succeed his father, though he was only thirteen years old and 
a leper. But the confirmation by election was needed. Sometimes 
the electors made their terms, as when Amalric I was obliged to 
divorce his wife Agnes before they would allow him the crown. 
When the natural heir was a woman there were further complica 
tions. Her husband might be elected as King; but it seems that he 

1 Caken, op. cit. pp. 299-302. The offer of Thoros is reported by Ernoul, 
pp. 27-30. 2 Ibn Jubayr, ei Wrigkt, p. 305- 


Life in Outremer 

was regarded as deriving his rights through her. In the case of 
Queen Melisende and her son Baldwin III no one quite knew what 
was the juridical position; and the whole constitutional problem 
was disastrously illustrated after Baldwin V s death in H86. 1 

The King was at the apex of the social pyramid, but it was a low 
apex. As the Lord s Annointed he commanded some prestige. It 
was high treason to do him an injury. He presided at the High 
Court, and he was commander-in-chief of the forces of the realm. 
He was responsible for the central administration and he appointed 
its officials. As his vassals suzerain he could prevent them from 
alienating their lands, and he could choose husbands for their 
heiresses. Having no superior lord to consider, he could make 
grants as he pleased from his own domain, though, like his nobles 
when they alienated lands, he usually associated his wife and 
children in the grant, lest there should be some later complaint over 
the widow s dower or the son s inheritance. But there the royal 
power ended. The royal revenues were restricted and were 
reduced by over generous gifts. The King was always short of 
money. He was at die head of the kingdom but he was under the 
kw of the kingdom; and the law was represented by the High 
Court. The High Court consisted of the tenants-in-chief of the 
realm, the lords who owed allegiance direct to the Crown. 
Leading ecclesiastics attended in virtue of their knded holdings, 
and foreign communities who possessed land in the kingdom, 
such as the Venetians or Genoese, sent representatives. Dis 
tinguished visitors might be invited to be present, though they 
did not form part of the Court and had no vote in it. 2 

The High Court was fundamentally a court of law. As such it 
had two main functions. First, it had to elucidate what was the 
kw on particular points. This meant that it passed legislation; for 
each assise was in theory merely a statement of the law, but in fact 
was also the definition of a new kw. Secondly, it tried those of 

1 La Monte, op. dt. pp. 87-137, passim. See above, p. 233, and below, 
pp. 334, 443. 
a Ibid. pp. 87-104. 


The High Court 

its members who were guilty of crime and. heard cases that they 
might bring against each other. Trial by peers was an essential 
feature of Prankish custom; and the King ranked with his tenant- 
in-chief as primus inter pares, their president but not their master. 
The theory behind it was that the kingdom had not been conquered 
by a king but by a company of peers who then elected their king. 
This theory justified the Court in electing subsequent kings and, 
in the case of a minority or the King s captivity, a regent or bailli. 
The High Court was also consulted on major matters of policy; 
this was an inevitable development, for without the co-operation 
of his vassals the King would seldom have been able to carry out 
his policy. In 1166 the High Court was enlarged to include 
tfm ^re-vassals, as part of Amalric I s scheme to find support for the 
Crown against the chief vassals. In 1162 he had obliged the Court 
to pass an assise allowing ^mere-vassals to appeal against their lords 
to the High Court, and if the lord refused to answer the summons 
his tenants could put themselves under the Crown. Though this 
law provided the King with a useful weapon against the nobility, 
in the long run it merely added to the power of the High Court 
and could be used against the King. The Court seems to have 
heard cases carefully and conscientiously, though the result of 
trial by battle was accepted as proof. It had no fixed seat but could 
be summoned by the King wherever was convenient. During the 
First Kingdom this was usually at Jerusalem or at Acre. The nobles, 
in their desire to attend, began to neglect their fiefs and to 
establish residences in either city. 1 But their power as a collective 
body was weakened by their perpetual quarrels and family feuds, 
which were intensified and complicated as time went on and 
almost all the noble houses were connected by intermarriage. 

In accordance with the principle of trial by peers, non-noble 
Prankish settlers had their own cours des bourgeois. These Bourgeois 
Courts were to be found in every large city. Their president was 
always the Viscount of the city. There were twelve jurors to each 

1 Ibid. pp. 106-113. Usama gives instances of trial by single combat and by 
water (ed. Him, pp. 167-9). 


Life in Outremer 

Court, chosen by the lord from his free-born Latin subjects. They 
acted as judges, though a litigant could engage one of them as 
counsel. In this case the counsel-juror took no part in the verdict. 
Jurors were also required to witness any deed or charter made in 
court. Unlike the practice in the High Court, careful records were 
kept of all proceedings. The Bourgeois Courts met regularly on 
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, except on feast-days. A case 
between a noble and a bourgeois was held before the Bourgeois 
Court. The Bourgeois Court admitted the ordeal by battle and the 
ordeal by water. 1 

The native communities had at first their own courts for petty 
cases, under the presidency of the local headman, appointed by the 
Viscount, where their customary law applied. But during King 
Almaric Ts reign a Cour de la Fonde was instituted in each of the 
thirty-three chief market towns. This dealt with commercial 
questions and took over all cases, even criminal, that involved the 
native population. It was under a bailli appointed by the local lord 
and six jurors, two Franks and four natives. Native litigants took 
the oath each on his own holy book. Moslems could use the Koran ; 
and Moslem visitors admired the fairness of the proceedings. The 
Cour de la Fonde also registered sales and gifts of all property other 
than real and was an office for the collection of purchase taxes. 
There was a right of appeal to the Bourgeois Court whose general 
procedure it copied. Amalric also set up a Cour de la Chaine in all 
maritime cities, to cover cases to do with shipping and to be a 
registry of customs and anchorage dues. Its jurors were drawn 
from merchants and sailors. In addition, the Italian and Provencal 
commercial communities had their own consular courts for their 
internal affairs. The chief feudatories had their own courts baron 
to deal with disputes between their knightly vassals. There were 
twenty-two of them, as well as four for the King s domain. Each 
of these many courts had its clearly defined sphere; but where a 
case involved litigants of different rank, it was heard in the Court 
appropriate to the inferior. 2 

1 La Monte, op. dt. pp. 105-8. 2 Ibid. pp. 108-9. 


The Administration 

Owing to the medieval concept of kw which demanded specific 
laws only when the need arose to define a particular point, the 
legislative activity of the government seems arbitrary and fitful. 
Of the laws given in the thirteenth-century Assises de Jerusalem it 
is probable that six date from Duke Godfrey s time and another 
nineteen, of which eleven can be roughly dated, from the period 
up to 1 1 87.* 

The administration was in the hands of the chief officers of the 
household, who were chosen from the tenants-in-chief of the 
kingdom. First in precedence came the Seneschal. He was master 
of ceremonies, and as such he carried the sceptre before the King 
at the coronation; and he was head of the civil service. In parti 
cular he was in charge of the treasury, the Secrete, the office into 
which moneys due to the Crown were paid and from which 
salaries were taken, and which kept a register of all financial 
dealings in which the government was involved. The Secrete was 
a loosely organized bureau, which the Franks took over from the 
Arabs who in their turn had taken it from the Byzantines. Next after 
the Seneschal came the Constable, who was greater in actual power. 
He was head of the Army, under the King, and was responsible 
for all its organization and administration. At the coronation he 
carried the King s banner and held the Kong s horse, which became 
his perquisite. He was responsible for military supplies and military 
justice. Mercenaries, whether hired by the King or by a lord, were 
under his special jurisdiction and he saw to it that they were paid 
properly. If the King or his bailli were absent from a campaign, 
he had complete control of the expedition. He was assisted by the 
Marshal, who was his lieutenant in everything. The Chamberlain 
was in charge of the King s personal household and finances. On 
ceremonial occasions he acted as chief Lord-in-Waiting. His was 

1 Grandclaude, op. dt. pp. 322 ff., gives a list of the assizes that can be assigned 
to the period 1099-1187. He assigns six to Godfrey s rule and eleven to the 
Kings from Baldwin I to Baldwin IV (though one ordering the sale of fiefs 
without heirs to pay for the King s ransom is believed by him to postdate Guy s 
capture at Hattin. It might, however, refer to Baldwin If s captivity). There 
are also eight to which no precise date can be given. 


Life in Outremer 

a profitable office, as vassals paying homage were expected to make 
a gift to him. Certain lands were assigned to the office; but in 1179 
the Chamberlain John of Bellesme sold them without apparently 
causing offence to the King. The functions of the Butler are 
unknown. His duties were probably purely ceremonial. The 
Chancellor, as in the West, was always an ecclesiastic, though he 
was not, as often in the West, the royal chaplain. As head of the 
chancery, it was his business to draw up and register all charters 
and to fix the royal seal on them. The chancery remained a records 
office. As there was no royal justice nor common law, it was never 
required to issue writs nor set up its own court. Its records seem to 
have been well kept, though few have survived. The language of 
the chancery in the twelfth century was Latin. The dating was by 
the anno Domini and the Roman Indiction, with sometimes the 
regnal year or the year from the capture of Jerusalem added. The 
year began at Christmas. The Kings numbered themselves from 
Baldwin I, regardless of their names. Their title did not at first 
follow a fixed formula but was eventually standardized as per Dei 
gratiam in sancta civitate Jerusalem Latinorum Rex . 1 

The chief local official was the Viscount, who represented the 
King in the royal cities and the lord in the baronial cities. He 
collected local taxes and transmitted them to the treasury after 
taking out what he needed for the expenses of local government. 
He was responsible for the local law-courts and for keeping order 
generally in his city. He was chosen from a noble family, but his 
post was not hereditary. His second in command was known by 
the Arabic title of mathesep, or sometimes the Master-Sergeant, 
who had originally been the official responsible for marketing 
regulations. 11 

The King of Jerusalem claimed suzerainty over all the Prankish 
states in the East and considered that he was entitled to demand 
their rulers to send troops to join him on his expeditions. In fact 
the suzerainty existed only when the King was strong enough to 

1 La Monte, op. clt. pp. 114-37, the best summary of the functions of the 
Officers of State. a Hid. pp. 135-6, 167-8, 


The Vassal States 

enforce it, and even in theory neither Antioch nor Tripoli was 
considered to be part of the kingdom. The earlier kings achieved 
a personal suzerainty over Tripoli. Count Bertrand paid homage 
to Baldwin I for his lands in 1109. Count Pons endeavoured to 
renounce his allegiance to Baldwin II in 1122 but was forced to 
submit by his own High Court. In 113 1 he refused to allow King 
Fulk to pass through his lands but was punished by the King and 
forced again into submission. From 1164 to 1171 King Amalric 
was regent of Tripoli for the child Count Raymond III, but this 
was probably as the boy s nearest male relative rather than as his 
overlord. Raymond III, when he grew up, never admitted the 
suzerainty, though he was the King s vassal in respect of his wife s 
principality of Galilee. During the campaign of 1187 in which he 
took part as Prince of Galilee his County of Tripoli deckred itself 
neutral. With the County of Edessa the Kings had a personal bond. 
Baldwin I, when he appointed Baldwin II to succeed him there, 
took from him an oath of vassaldom, and Baldwin II followed his 
example with Joscelin of Courtenay. But Joscelin in his later days 
acknowledged the Prince of Antioch also as his overlord. Antioch 
was in a different position, Bohemond I admitted no one as his 
suzerain; nor did die regents Tancred and Roger, both of them 
appointed by the High Court of the Principality. Baldwin II 
acted as regent for the young prince Bohemond II from 1119 to 
1 126, but, it seems, not by legal right but by invitation of the High 
Court. He was invited again in 1131, with the additional reason 
that he was grandfather to the young Princess Constance, whose 
interests appeared to the Court to be endangered by her mother 
Alice. After his death, when Alice once again tried to seize power, 
the High Court invited King Fulk to take over the regency in his 
place. But here again the King was the young Princess s nearest 
male relative, as the husband of her aunt. Had there been in the 
East a male member of the house of Hauteville he would have 
been selected. Similarly when the King chose a husband for the 
Princess he was acting at the request of the High Court and not 
as suzerain. Baldwin II had asked the King of France to select 

RC 305 ao 

Life in Outremer 

a husband for his heiress Melisende, without any suggestion that 
he accepted French suzerainty. When the time came for Constance 
to take a second husband she made her own choice as a sovereign 
princess. If she asked permission from King Baldwin III it was 
because her chosen husband Reynold was his vassal. In 1160 the 
Antiochenes invited Baldwin II to take over the regency ; but here 
again the King was their young Prince s nearest male relative. The 
legal position was never clearly defined. Probably the Prince of 
Antioch regarded the King of Jerusalem as his senior but not as 
his superior. 1 

Antioch was also distinct from Tripoli and Edessa in its govern 
mental system. Of the Edessene we know little. Such charters as 
the Count may have issued are lost. Presumably he had a court 
of his vassals like any great feudal lord; but the position of the 
county on the very outpost of Christendom prevented any 
constitutional development. He lived more like one of the 
Turkish emirs who surrounded him. The Prankish colonists were 
few, and there were few great fiefs. The Count depended largely 
on Armenian officials trained in Byzantine methods. Almost 
perpetual warfare compelled him to act more autocratically than 
would have been allowed in a more tranquil land. The constitu 
tion of the County of Tripoli seems to have resembled that of 
Jerusalem. The Count had his High Court by whose rulings he was 
bound. But his title was hereditary not elective, and his personal 
domains were far larger than those of any of his vassals. Except on 
one or two grave matters of policy, as when Pons defied the King 
of Jerusalem, the Count had little trouble from his barons, who, 
with the exception of the Genoese lords of Jebail, were descended 
from his ancestors Toulousain vassals. The chief officials of the 
Court had the same titles and functions as those of Jerusalem. The 
towns were similarly administered by viscounts.* 

1 La Monte, pp. 187-202. See also Cahen, La Syne du Nord, pp. 436-7. 
Bohemond n was, however, Amalric Ts vassal because of a money-fief that he 
held at Acre. 

a La Monte, op. cit., loc. cit.; Richard, La Comtede Tripoli, pp. 30-43. 


The Principality of Antioch 

In the principality of Antioch the institutions superficially 
resembled those of the kingdom of Jerusalem. There was a High 
Court and a Bourgeois Court and the same high officials. Antioch 
had its own Assises, but their general tenour conformed with that 
of the Assises of Jerusalem. Under the surface there were, how 
ever, many differences. The princely title was hereditary, and the 
High Court only intervened to appoint a regent if need be. The 
Prince from the outset kept in his own hands the chief towns of the 
principality and much of its lands and was chary of making grants 
of territory except in frontier districts. The money-fief suited him 
better. It seems that jurors appointed by the Prince sat in the High 
Court and his personal representatives controlled the Bourgeois 
Courts. For the administration of the towns and the princely 
domain, the Prince took over the Byzantine system with its 
competent bureaucracy and its careful means for raising taxes. 
Antioch, Lattakieh and Jabak had each its Duke, who was in 
complete charge of the municipality. He was appointed by the 
Prince and could be dismissed at his pleasure; but during his period 
of office he seems to have sat in the High Court. The Dukes of 
Lattakieh and Jabala were often drawn from the native popula 
tion. The Duke of Antioch was of noble Prankish birth but was 
aided by a viscount who might be a native. Like their cousins in 
Sicily, the Princes of Antioch strengthened themselves against 
the nobility by making use of native-born officials who were 
entirely dependent upon the princely favour. They had found in 
Antioch an educated local society, Greek, Syrian and Armenian 
in origin, surviving from Byzantine times. A further control of 
the High Court was secured by appointing jurors, as in the 
Bourgeois Courts, to sit in it to decide on purely legal questions. 
The Princes inherited the Byzantine system of assessing and col 
lecting taxes; their Secrete had its own bureaucracy and was not 
dependent for revenue on local courts as in Jerusalem. They 
directed policy with little regard to the High Court. They made 
their own treaties with foreign powers. The whole organization 
of the principality was closer knit and more effective than that of 

307 2 - 2 

Life in Outremer 

the other Prankish states. Had it not been for constant wars, for 
minor or captive princes and the substitution of a French for a 
Norman dynasty, Antioch might have developed a government 
as efficient as that of Sicily. 1 

The peculiar position of Antioch was further enhanced by its 
special relationship with the Byzantine Emperor. According to 
Byzantine theory the Emperor was the head of the Christian 
commonwealth. Though he never made any attempt to establish 
suzerainty over the monarchs of the West, he considered eastern 
Christendom to be his own sphere. Orthodox Christians under 
the Caliphate had been under his protection, and his obligations 
to them were recognized by the Moslems. He had no intention 
of abdicating his duties because of the Prankish conquest. But 
there was a difference between Antioch and Edessa on the one 
hand and Jerusalem and Tripoli on the other. The latter two 
countries had not been part of the Empire since the seventh 
century, but the former had been imperial provinces within the 
lifetime of Alexius I. Alexius, when he induced the leaders of the 
First Crusade to pay him homage, distinguished between former 
imperial lands, like Antioch, which were to be restored to him, 
and further conquests, over which he only ckimed an undefined 
suzerainty. The Crusaders failed to keep their oaths; and Alexius 
was unable to enforce them. Byzantine policy was always realist. 
After his victory over Bohemond Alexius modified his demands. 
By the Treaty of Devol he allowed the Norman dynasty to rule 
at Antioch but strictly as a vassal; and he demanded certain safe 
guards, such as the installation of a Greek as Patriarch. This treaty 
formed the basis of Byzantine claims; but the Franks ignored it. 
Prankish public opinion seems to have been that Bohemond had 
indeed behaved badly towards the Emperor, but the Emperor had 
ruined his case by failing to appear in person. When, however, an 
Emperor did appear in person, his rights were recognized. That is 
to say, to judge from King Fulk s advice in 1137, his claim to 

Calien, op. cit. pp. 435 ff., a full account of the Antiochene constitution 
and its development. 






Imperial Suzerainty 

suzerainty was accepted as being juridically sound when he was 
in a position to enforce it. If he did not choose to do so, it could 
be disregarded. There were a few other occasions when the 
Emperor was treated as overlord, as when the Princess Constance 
applied to Manuel to choose her a husband. But as his choice was 
displeasing to her she ignored it. Imperial suzerainty was thus 
fitful and lightly borne, but the Princes of Antioch and their 
lawyers were uneasy about it; and it remained a potential limita 
tion to the Prince s sovereign independence. 

The Count of Edessa admitted imperial overlordship in 1137; 
bat Edessa was further from the imperial frontier, and the question 
was less urgent. Prankish opinion approved of the Countess of 
Edessa selling the remaining Edessene lands to the Emperor in 
1150; but that was because they were obviously untenable against 
.the Moslems. Raymond of Toulouse had been willing to admit 
the Emperor as suzerain; and his son Bertrand did homage to 
Alexius for his future county in 1109. Raymond II repeated this 
homage to the Emperor John in 1137. Raymond III, though he 
attacked Byzantium in 1151, received help from the Byzantines in 
1163, which may have been a gesture by Manuel to show his over- 
lordship. But it may be that this homage was limited to Tortosa 
and its neighbourhood which traditionally belonged to the 
territory of Antioch as part of the theme of Lattakieh. 

With the kingdom of Jerusalem Byzantine juridical relations 
were still less precise. Baldwin III paid homage to the Emperor 
Manuel at Antioch in 1158; and Amalric visited Constantinople 
as a vassal, though as a highly honoured vassal, in 1171. Both 
Baldwin and Amalric regarded Byzantine friendship as being 
essential to their policy and were therefore ready to make con 
cessions. But it seems that their lawyers never regarded this 
vassaldom as more than a temporary expedient. 1 

1 Calien, op. dt. pp. 437-8, for the relations of Antioch. with Byzantium. 
Richard, op. dt. pp. 26-30, for those of Tripoli with Byzantium. For the whole 
question of Byzantine pretensions over the Crusader states, see La Monte, 
*To what extent was the Byzantine Empire the Suzerain of the Crusading 
States? in Byzantion, vol. vn. See also below, p. 391. 


Life in Outremer 

If the King of Jerusalem had any overlord it was the Pope. The 
First Crusade anticipated a theocratic state in Palestine; and, had 
Adhemar of Le Puy lived on, some such organization might have 
been evolved. It was probably this idea that kept Godfrey from 
accepting a royal crown. Adhemar s successor Daimbert en 
visaged a state controlled by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Baldwin I 
countered by assuming the crown and by making use of Daim- 
bert s enemies within the Church. It was clear that the Papacy 
would not approve of an over-powerful Patriarchate in Jerusalem, 
which might from its special position and its increasing wealth 
have set itself up, as Daimbert hoped, to be an Oriental equal of 
Rome. It was thus easy for the King to play off Pope against 
Patriarch. He was traditionally obliged to pay homage to the 
Patriarch at his cpronation, but he sought confirmation of his title 
from the Papacy. The vassaldom was little more than nominal and 
no stricter than that claimed by the Popes over the Spanish king 
doms; but it was useful to the kingdom, for the Popes felt them 
selves responsible for keeping up supplies of men and money for 
the Holy Land and for giving diplomatic help whenever it was 
needed. The Papacy could also be used to put a check on the 
Patriarchate and to exercise some control on the Military Orders. 
But on the other hand the Pope might support the Military Orders 
against the King ; and he often intervened when the King attempted 
to put some curb on the Italian merchant-cities. 1 

The Church in the kingdom was under the Patriarch of 
Jerusalem. After the initial trouble caused by Daimbert s ambition, 
he was in effect a servant of the Crown. He was elected by the 
Chapter of the Holy Sepulchre, who nominated two candidates of 
which the King selected one. Under the Patriarch were the four 
archbishops of Tyre, Caesarea, Nazareth and Rabboth-Moab, and 
nine bishops, nine mitred abbots and five priors ; but certain other 
abbeys depended directly on the Papacy, as did the Military- 
Orders. The Palestinian Church was immensely wealthy in lands 
and in money-fiefs. The leading ecclesiastics usually owed 
1 La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, pp. 203-16. 


Ecclesiastical Organization 

sergeant-service rather than knights-service. The Patriarch and the 
Chapter of the Holy Sepulchre each owed five hundred sergeants, 
the Bishop of Bethlehem two hundred, the Archbishop of Tyre 
a hundred and fifty, as did the abbots of Saint Mary Josaphat and 
Mount Sion. The Convent of Bethany, founded by Queen 
Melisende for her sister, possessed the whole town of Jericho. In 
addition the Patriarchate and many of the more celebrated abbeys 
had been given vast estates all over western Europe, from which 
the revenues were sent to Palestine. The Church had its own 
courts, to deal with cases concerning heresy and religious dis 
cipline, marriage, including divorce and adultery, and testaments. 
They followed the usual rules and procedure of the Canon Law 
Courts in the West. 1 

The territories of Antioch, Tripoli and Edessa, were ecclesias 
tically under the Patriarch of Antioch. The delineation of the 
Patriarch s spheres had given rise to difficulties; for traditionally 
Tyre was included in the Patriarchate of Antioch, though it 
formed by conquest part of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Paschal II 
ruled that Tyre, with its dependent bishoprics of Acre, Sidon and 
Beirut, should be transferred to Jerusalem. This was done, as it 
corresponded to political realities. But the attempts of the 
Patriarchs of Jerusalem to obtain jurisdiction over the three 
Tripolitan bishoprics of Tripoli, Tortosa and Jabala failed, in spite 
of fitful support from the Papacy. Raymond of Toulouse seems to 
have hoped for an autonomous Church in his future county; but 
his successors admitted the ecclesiastical suzerainty of Antioch. It 
weighed lightly on them; for they appointed their bishops with 
out interference. 

Like his brother of Jerusalem the Patriarch of Antioch was 
elected by the Chapter but in fact appointed by the secular ruler, 
who could also secure his deposition. We know that certain 
Princes paid homage to the Patriarch at their coronation; but it 
was probably only under exceptional circumstances. Under the 
Patriarch were the Archbishops of Albara, Tarsus and Mamistra, 
1 La Monte, op. cit. pp. 215-16; Rey, op. cit. pp. 268-9. 

Life in Outremer 

as well as Edessa. The archbishopric of Turbessel was set up later, 
with the official title of Hierapolis (Menbij): The number of 
bishoprics varied according to political circumstances. There were 
nine Latin abbeys and two priories. The chief monastic establish 
ments were those of Saint Paul and Saint George, where the 
Benedictines seem to have displaced Greek monks, and Saint 
Symeon, where the two rites existed side by side. The Antiochene 
Church was not quite so wealthy as that of Jerusalem; indeed, 
many Palestinian establishments owned estates in the principality. 1 
Long before the end of the twelfth century the secular Church 
in the Prankish states was completely overshadowed by the 
Military Orders. Since their establishment they had grown 
steadily in numbers and in wealth, and by 1187 they were the 
chief landowners in Outreoner. Gifts and purchase continually 
increased their estates. Many Palestinian nobles joined their ranks ; 
and recruits came in steadily from the West. They answered an 
emotional need of the time, when there were many men anxious 
to take up the religious life but wishful still to be active and to do 
battle for the Faith. And they answered a political need. There 
was a perpetual shortage of soldiers in Outremer. The feudal 
organization depended too much on the accidents of family life 
in the noble houses to provide a replacement for the men that died 
in battle or of sickness. Visiting Crusaders would fight well for a 
season or two, but then they returned home. The Military Orders 
produced a constant supply of devoted professional soldiers who 
cost the King nothing and who were rich enough besides to build 
and maintain castles on a scale that few secular lords could under 
take. Without their assistance the Crusader-states would have 
perished far sooner. Of their actual numbers we have only 
incidental evidence. The Hospitallers sent five hundred knights 
with a proportionate number of other ranks on the Egyptian 
campaign of 1158; and the Templar knights taking part in the 
campaign of 1187 numbered about three hundred. In each case 
these probably represented knights from the kingdom of Jerusalem 
1 Cahen, op. dt. pp. 501-10. 


The Military Orders 

alone; and a certain number would have been kept back for gar 
rison duties. Of the two Orders the Hospitallers were probably 
the larger and the richer; but they were still busily concerned with 
charitable activities. Their hostel in Jerusalem could house a 
thousand pilgrims; and they maintained a hospital for the needy 
sick there that survived the Saracen reconquest. They distributed 
alms daily amongst the poor with a generosity that astounded 
visitors. Both they and the Templars policed the pilgrim-routes, 
taking particular care of the sacred bathing-places in the Jordan. 
The Templars also distributed alms, but less lavishly than the 
Hospitallers. Their attention was given more exclusively to 
military affairs. They were famed for their courage in attack and 
regarded themselves as being dedicated to offensive warfare. They 
devoted themselves also to banking and soon made themselves the 
financial agents for visiting Crusaders ; and they were later to win 
unpopularity by the suspicion of strange esoteric rites; but as yet 
they were universally esteemed for their bravery and chivalry. 1 
The advantages brought by the Military Orders were balanced 
by grave disadvantages. The King had no control over them, for 
their only suzerain was the Pope. Lands that were given to them 
were held in mortmain; no services were due from them. They 
refused to let their tenants pay the dime due to the Church. The 
knights fought with the King s armies merely as voluntary allies. 
Occasionally the Kong or a lord might put a castle under their 
temporary control, and they were sometimes asked to act as 
trustees for a minor. In such cases they were liable for the proper 
services. The Grand Masters or their deputies sat in the High 
Court of the kingdom; and their representatives on the High 
Courts of the Prince of Antioch and the Count of Tripoli. But the 
advice that they gave there was apt to be irresponsible. If they 
disliked the official policy they might refuse to co-operate, as 
when the Templars boycotted the expedition to Egypt in 1158. 
The perpetual rivalry between the two Orders was a constant 
danger. It was seldom that they could be induced to campaign 
1 For references about the Orders, see above, p. 158 n. I. 


Life in Outremer 

together. Each Order followed its own line in diplomacy, regard 
less of the official policy of the kingdom. We find both Orders 
making their treaties with Moslem rulers ; and the story of the 
negotiations with the Assassins in 1172 shows the Templars 
readiness to upset an obviously desirable arrangement in the 
interest of their financial advantages and their frank disdain of the 
authority of the royal courts. The Hospitallers were throughout 
more temperate and unselfish; but even with them the Order took 
precedence over the kingdom. 

A similar balance of advantage and disadvantage was shown 
in the relations between the Prankish states and the Italian and 
Provencal merchant-cities. 1 The Prankish colonists were soldiers, 
not sailors. Tripoli and Antioch each later developed a small fleet, 
and the Orders built flotillas, but the kingdom itself, with its few 
good harbours and general shortage of timber, never had an 
adequate naval establishment. For any expedition that involved 
sea-power such as the conquest of the coastal towns or the 
campaigns against Egypt, it was necessary to invoke the help 
of some maritime power. The two great sea-powers of the East 
were Byzantium and Egypt. But Egypt was always a potential 
and often a real enemy, and Byzantium was always suspect. The 
Sicilian fleet could have been useful; but Sicilian policy was 
untrustworthy. The Italians and southern French were better 
allies; and their help was further needed to keep open the sea- 
routes to the West and to transport pilgrims, soldiers and colonists 
to Outremer. But the merchant-cities had to be paid. They 
demanded trading facilities and rights, their own quarters in the 
larger towns, and the complete or partial freedom from customs- 
dues ; and their colonies had to be given extra-territorial privileges. 
These concessions were not on the whole resented by the Prankish 
authorities. Any loss in revenue was balanced by the trade that 
they stimulated; and the royal courts had no wish to have to 
administer Genoese or Venetian law, especially as cases involving 
a citizen of the kingdom, or of serious crime, such as murder, were 
1 See below, chapters n and m, passim. 


The Italian Merchant Cities 

reserved to them. Occasionally there were disputes. The Venetians 
were at perpetual enmity with the Archbishop of Tyre; and the 
Genoese had a long quarrel with King Amalric I. In both cases the 
Papacy supported the Italians, who probably had legal right on 
their side. But the merchant-cities were out not for the welfare of 
Christendom but for their own commercial gain. Usually the two 
interests coincided; but if they clashed the immediate commercial 
interest prevailed. The Italians and Provenals were therefore 
unsteady friends for the King. Moreover, the jealousy between 
the two great Orders was pale beside that between the various 
merchant-cities. Venice would far sooner help the Moslems than 
help Genoa or Pisa or Marseille; and her rivals held similar views. 
Thus, while the help given by them all was essential in maintaining 
the existence of Outremer, intrigues and riots between their 
colonists and their bland readiness to betray the common cause for 
momentary profit cancelled out much of its value. 1 

To pilgrims in particular they seemed shamefully greedy and 
un-Christian. The conquest greatly stimulated the pilgrim-traffic; 
the huge hostel of the Hospitallers was usually full. Despite the 
original purpose of the Crusade the route across Anatolia was still 
unsafe. Only a well-armed company could brave its dangers. The 
average pilgrim preferred to travel by sea. He had to obtain a 
berth in an Italian ship ; and the fares were very high. A number 
of pilgrims might band together to charter a whole ship, but even 
so a captain and crew were costly to hire. It was cheaper for 
a pilgrim from northern France or England to travel in one of the 
small convoys that sailed yearly from the Channel ports to the 
East. But that was a long, perilous journey. Atlantic storms had 
to be faced; there were Moslem corsairs lying in wait in the 
Straits of Gibraltar and along the African coast. From Oporto or 
Lisbon to Sicily there were no ports at which water or provisions 
could be safely obtained, and it was difficult to carry sufficient 
supplies for the men and horses on board. It was far simpler to go 
overland to Provence or Italy and there embark in vessels well 
1 Heyd, op. cit. pp. 129-63, a full summary. 


Life in Outremer 

used to the voyage. For a single pilgrim a berth was found more 
easily and cheaply in ports in the King of Sicily s domain ; but large 
parties were dependent on the fleets of the great merchant-cities. 1 
When he landed at Acre or Tyre or St Symeon, the traveller 
found himself at once in a strange atmosphere. Beneath the feudal 
superstructure Outremer was an eastern land. The luxury of its 
life impressed and shocked Occidentals. In western Europe life 
was still simple and austere. Clothes were made of wool and 
seldom laundered. Washing facilities were few, except in some 
old towns where the tradition of Roman baths lingered on. Even 
in the greatest castle furniture was rough and utilitarian and carpets 
were almost unknown. Food was coarse and lacked variety, 
especially during the long winter months. There was little comfort 
and little privacy anywhere. The Prankish East made a startling 
contrast. There were not, perhaps, many houses as large and 
splendid as the palace built early next century by the Ibelins at 
Beirut, with its mosaic floors, its marble walls and its painted 
ceilings, and great windows looking, some westward over the sea, 
and others eastward over gardens and orchards to the mountains. 
The Royal Palace at Jerusalem, lodged in part of the el-Aqsa 
Mosque, was certainly humbler, though the palace at Acre was 
a sumptuous edifice. But every noble and rich bourgeois filled 
his town-house with similar splendour. There were carpets and 
damask hangings, elegantly carved and inlaid tables and coffers, 
spotless bed-linen and table-linen, dinner-services in gold and 
silver, cutlery, fine faience and even a few dishes of porcelain from 
the Farther East. In Antioch water was brought by aqueducts and 
pipes to all the great houses from the springs at Daphne. Many 
houses along the Lebanese coast had their private supplies. In 
Palestine, where water was less abundant, the cities had well- 
organized storage tanks; and in Jerusalem the sewerage system 
installed by the Romans was still in perfect order. The great 

1 See Cahen, Notes sur 1 Histoire des Croisades et de TOrient Latin/ IH, 
*L Orient Latin et commerce du Levant , in Bulletin de la Faculte de Lettres de 
Strasbourg, 1951, p. 333. 



frontier-fortresses were almost as comfortably appointed as the 
town-houses, grim and fierce though life might be outside the 
walls. They had baths, elegant chambers for the ladies of the 
household and sumptuous reception halls. Castles belonging to 
the Military Orders were slightly more austere; but in the great 
family seats, such as Kerak in Moab or Tiberias, the chatelain 
lived more splendidly than any king in western Europe. 1 

The clothes of the settlers soon became as Oriental and luxurious 
as their furnishings. When a knight was not in armour he wore a 
silk burnous and usually a turban. On campaigns he wore a linen 
surcoat over his armour, to protect the metal from the heat of the 
sun, and a kefieh in the Arab style over his helmet. The ladies 
adopted the traditional eastern fashion of a long under-robe and 
a short tunic or coat, heavily embroidered with gold thread and 
maybe with jewels. In winter they wore furs, as did their husbands. 
Out of doors they were veiled like the Moslem women, but less 
from modesty than to protect their complexions, which were 
generously covered with paint; and they affected a mincing gait. 
But, for all their airs of delicacy and langour, they were as 
courageous as their husbands and brothers. Many a noblewoman 
was called upon to lead the defence of her castle in the absence of 
her lord. The wives of merchants copied the ladies of the aristo 
cracy and often outshone them in the richness of their apparel. 
The successful courtesans a class unknown hitherto in western 
society were equally gorgeous. Of Paschia de Riveri, the 
shopkeeper s wife from Nablus whose charms ensnared the 
Patriarch Heraclius, the chronicler says that you would have 
thought her a countess or a baroness from her silks and jewels. 2 

Strange though this luxury seemed to the western pilgrim, it 

1 Rey, op. tit. pp. 3-10. Calien, La Syrie du Nord, pp. 129-32, giving an 
account of Antioch and its amenities. 

* Tancred s coins show him in a turban (see above, p. 33). In 1192 Henry 
of Champagne, thanking Saladin for the gift of a turban, announces that such 
things are liked by his compatriots and he will often wear it (see Rey, op. ciL 
pp. 11-12). Ibn Jubayr (ed. Wright, p. 309) describes the clothes at a Christian 
wedding at Acre in 1184. For Paschia, see below, p. 425, 


Life in Outremer 

was natural to a visitor from the Moslem East or from Byzantium. 
The Prankish colonists had inevitably to try to fit into their new 
environment, and they could not escape contact with their sub 
jects and their neighbours. There was the climate to consider. 
Winters in Palestine and Syria can be almost as bleak and cold as 
in western Europe, but they are short. The long, sweltering sum 
mers soon taught the colonists that they must wear different 
clothes, eat different foods and keep different hours. The vigorous 
habits of the north were out of place. Instead, they must learn 
native ways. They must employ native servants. Native nurses 
looked after their children, and native grooms their horses. There 
were strange diseases about, for which their own doctors were 
useless ; they soon had to rely on native medicine. 1 Inevitably they 
learnt to understand the natives and to work in with them. In the 
Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli the absence of 
a native aristocracy to challenge their rule, once the Moslems had 
fled, made this easy. Farther north, the Greek and Armenian 
aristocracy were jealous of them and politics interfered with their 
mutual understanding; though the Armenians in the end met 
them half-way and adopted many Prankish habits.* 

Between the Franks and their Moslem neighbours there could 
never be lasting peace, but there was increasing contact. The 
revenues of the Prankish states came largely from tolls levied on 
the trade between the Moslem interior and the coast. Moslem 
merchants must be allowed to come down freely to the seaports 
and must be treated fairly. Out of their commercial connections 
friendship grew. The Order of the Temple, with its great banking 
activities, was ready to extend its operations to oblige infidel 

1 The Tripolitan doctor who was supposed to have poisoned Baldwin HI 
was a native (see below, p. 361). Native doctors proved themselves wiser than 
the Prankish over Amalric I s death-bed (see below, p. 399). Amalric employed 
a certain Suleiman ibn Daoud and his elder son as Court doctors, while 
Suleiman s second son was Court riding master. See Cahen, Indigenes et 
CroiseV, Syria, 1934. Usama was unimpressed by Prankish medicine (see 
below, p. 320). 

2 See Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, pp. 561-8. 


Friendship with the Moslems 

clients and kept officials who could specialize in Moslem affairs. 
At the same time the wiser statesmen amongst the Franks saw that 
their kingdom could only last if the Moslem world were kept dis 
united; and for this purpose diplomatic missions passed to and fro. 
Prankish and Moslem lords were often received with honour at 
courts of the rival faith. Captives or hostages often spent years in 
the enemies castles or palaces. Though few Moslems troubled to 
learn French, many Franks, nobles as well as merchants, spoke 
Arabic. A few, like Reynald of Sidon, even took an interest in 
the Arabic literature. In times of war each side appreciated 
gestures of gallantry and chivalry. In times of peace lords from either 
side of the frontier would join together in hunting expeditions. 1 
Nor was there complete religious intolerance. The two great 
Faiths shared a common background. The Moslem chroniclers 
were as interested as the Christian when relics believed to be of 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were discovered at Hebron. 2 Even 
in times of hostility Prankish pilgrims could penetrate to the shrine 
of our Lady of Sardenay in the hills behind Damascus; 3 and the 
protection given by the Bedouins to the great monastery of 
St Catherine in the Sinai desert was usually extended to its 
visitors. 4 Reynald of Chatillon s brutal treatment of Moslem 
pilgrims shocked his fellow-believers almost as much as it in 
furiated Saladin. William of Tyre was ready to pay tribute to 
Nur ed-Din s piety, though he disagreed with his creed. Moslem 
writers often showed admiration of Prankish chivalry. 5 

1 For Reynald of Sidon, see below, p. 469. The Moslems insisted on financial 
guarantees by Knights Templars when negotiating with Christian rulers, e.g. 
Abu Shama, p. 32. Raymond IK of Tripoli spoke Arabic, William of Tyre 
almost certainly read Arabic, or employed secretaries who knew Oriental 
languages. See below, p. 476. n 

* Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 161, refers to the discovery. See also Kohler, Un 
nouveau recit de Tinvention des Patriarches Abraham, Isaac et Jacob a Hebron , 
in Revue de V Orient Latin, vol. iv, pp. 477 ff. 

3 For Our Lady of Sardenay, see Rey, op. dt. pp. 291-6. 

4 For Saint Catherine and its pilgrims, see Rey, op. dt. pp. 287-91. 

5 E.g. William of Tyre (xx, 31, p. 1000) calls Nur eel-Din princeps Justus, 
vafer et providus, et secundum gentis suae traditiones religiosus . 


Life in Outremer 

The atmosphere of the time is best illustrated in the memoirs of 
the Munqidhite prince Usama of Shaizar. The Munqidhites were 
a petty dynasty in constant fear of absorption by more powerful 
co-religionists. They were therefore ready to come to terms with 
the Franks; and Usama himself spent many years at the courts of 
Damascus and Cairo when both were in close diplomatic con 
nection with Jerusalem. As an envoy, a tourist and a sportsman 
Usama often visited Prankish lands, and, though when writing he 
consigns them all piously to perdition, he had many Prankish 
friends whose conversation he enjoyed. He was shocked by the 
crudity of their medicine, though he learnt from them a sure cure 
for scrofula, and he was astounded by the latitude allowed to their 
women; and he was embarrassed when a Prankish acquaintance 
offered to send his son to be educated in western Europe. He 
thought them a little barbarous, and would laugh about them with 
his native Christian friends. But they were people with whom he 
could reach an understanding. The one bar to friendship was 
provided by newcomers from the West. Once when he was 
staying with the Templars at Jerusalem and was praying with their 
permission in the corner of the old Mosque of al-Aqsa, a knight 
roughly insulted him; whereupon another Templar hurried up to 
explain that the rude man had only just arrived from Europe and 
did not as yet know any better. 1 

It was indeed the immigrants, come to fight for the Cross and 
determined to brook no delay, whose crudity continually ruined 
the policy of Outremer. They were particularly strong in the 
Church. Not one of the Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem in the 
twelfth century was born in Palestine, and of the great ecclesiastics 
only William, Archbishop of Tyre, to whom the Patriarchate was 
refused. The influence of the Church was seldom in favour of an 
understanding with the infidel; and it was even more disastrous 
in its relations with the native Christians. The native Christians 
had great influence at the Moslem courts. Many of the best-known 

1 Usama, ed. Hitti, passim, esp. pp. 161-70. 


The Orthodox Church 

Arabic writers and philosophers and almost all the physicians were 
Christian. They could have formed a bridge between the eastern 
and western worlds. 

The Orthodox communities in Palestine had accepted the Latin 
hierarchy because at the time of the conquest its own upper clergy 
were all in exile. The Patriarch Daimbert had attempted to deprive 
their clergy of their positions at the Holy Sepulchre, but strange 
events at the ceremony of the Holy Fire in noi and the influence 
of the King had restored Greek canons to the church and had 
allowed the celebration of the Orthodox rite there. The Crown 
throughout was friendly to the Orthodox. Morphia, Baldwin H s 
queen and Melisende s mother was an Orthodox princess as were 
the queens of Melisende s two sons. The Abbot of St Sabas, 
the leading Orthodox hierarch left in Palestine, was treated with 
honour by Baldwin I; and Melisende gave lands to the abbey, 
which probably owed service to the Crown. The Emperor 
Manuel was able to maintain a protective interest in the Orthodox, 
illustrated by the repairs for which he was responsible in the two 
great Churches of the Holy Sepulchre and the Nativity. The 
monastery of St Euthymius in the Judaean wilderness was rebuilt 
and redecorated about the same time, perhaps with his help. But 
there was no increase in cordiality between the Latin and Greek 
clergy. The Russian pilgrim, Daniel, in 1104 was hospitably 
received in Latin establishments; but the Greek pilgrim, Phocas, 
in 1184, though he visited Latin establishments, had no liking for 
Latins, except for a Spanish hermit who had at one time lived in 
Anatolia; and he relates with glee a miracle that discomfited the 
Latin ecclesiastic whom he calls the intruder Bishop of Lydda. 
It is probable that the attempt of the Latin hierarchy to make the 
Orthodox pay the dime, together with resentment that their rite 
was seldom permitted in the great churches of their Faith, lessened 
the liking of the Orthodox for Prankish rule, and made them 
ready, once Manuel s protection had ended, to accept and even to 
welcome Saladin s reconquest. In Antioch the presence of a 
powerful Greek community and political developments had 

RC 321 2I 

Life in Outremer 

caused an open hostility between Greeks and Latins which 
seriously weakened the principality. 1 

In the kingdom itself the heretic sects were of little importance 
outside of Jerusalem, where almost all of them kept establish 
ments at the Holy Sepulchre. Daimbert had tried to eject them 
too, without success. The Crown protected their rights. Indeed, 
Queen Melisende gave her personal support to the Jacobite 
Syrians when they had a lawsuit against a Prankish knight. 2 In the 
County of Tripoli the chief heretic Church was that of the 
Maronites, the surviving adherents of Monothelete doctrine. 
With them the western Church acted with rare tact and for 
bearance; and about 1180 they agreed to admit the supremacy of 
the Roman See, provided that they might keep their Syriac liturgy 
and customs; nor did they renounce their heretical doctrine of 
Christ s single will. The negotiations, of which too little is known, 
were ably managed by the Patriarch Aimery of Antioch. The 
admission of this first Uniate Church showed that the Papacy was 
ready to permit divergent usages and even doubtful theology, 
provided that its ultimate authority was recognized. 3 

1 See the Pilgrimages of Daniel the Higumene a&Ajohn Phocas, passim. See also 
Rey, op. cit. pp. 75-93, and Cahen, loc. tit. The Russian pilgrim Euphrosyne 
of Polotsk, when dying in Palestine, applied to the Abbot of Saint Sabas as the 
chief Orthodox ecclesiastic to find her a suitable burying place. See de Khitrovo, 
Pilgrimage en Palestine de 1 Abbesse Euphrosyne , in Revue de V Orient Latin, 
vol. m, pp. 32-5. Later Orthodox writers such as the seventeenth-century 
Dositheus, disliking to admit that the Orthodox had accepted the Latin 
Patriarchs from 1099 to 1187, have evolved a list of six or seven Patriarchs 
between Symeon s death in 1099 and 1187 (Dositheus, n, p. 1243; Le Quien, 
Oriens Christianus, m, pp. 498-503). There is a John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, 
who subscribed to the condemnation of Soterichus in 1157, and a John of 
Jerusalem, presumably the same, wrote a treatise against the Latins about this 
time (Krumbacher, Gesck. der Byz. Literatur, p. 91). It is possible that Manuel 
had the recapture of the Jerusalem Patriarchate in mind and kept a Patriarch 
in storage against that day. But it is clear that the Orthodox in Palestine 
submitted to the Latin Patriarch. The presence of Greek canons at the Holy 
Sepulchre is attested in the Cartulaire du Saint Sepulchre, ed. Roziere, p. 177. 

2 See above, p. 232. 

3 See Dib, article Maronites , in Vacard et Mangenot, Dictionnaire de 
Theologie Catholique, vol. X, I. 


The Luxury ofOutremer 

In the principality of Antioch the separated Armenian Church 
was powerful and was encouraged by the Princes, who found it 
a useful counter against the Orthodox ; and in Edessa the Armenians, 
though they were distrusted by Baldwin I and Baldwin II, en 
joyed the friendship of the house of Courtenay. Many Armenian 
bishops came to recognize papal supremacy, and some attended 
Synods of the Latin Church, forgiving in the Latin doctrines what 
they thought unpardonable in the Greek. The Jacobite Syrians 
were at first frankly hostile to the Crusaders and preferred Moslem 
rule. But, after the fall of Edessa, they became reconciled to the 
Prince of Antioch, nominally because of a miracle at the tomb of 
St Barsauma, but actually from a common fear and hatred of 
Byzantium. The Jacobite Patriarch Michael, one of the great 
historians of the time, was a friend of the Patriarch Aimery and 
paid a cordial visit to Jerusalem. None of the other heretic 
churches was of .importance in the Prankish states. 1 

The Franks Moslem subjects accepted their masters calmly and 
admitted the justice of their administration; but they would 
obviously be unreliable if things went badly for the Christians. 
The Jews, with good reason, preferred the rule of the Arabs, who 
always treated them honestly and kindly, if with a certain 

To the contemporary western pilgrim Outremer was shocking 
because of its luxury and licence. To the modern historian it is 
rather the intolerance and dishonourable barbarity of the Crusaders 
that is to be regretted. Yet both aspects can be explained by the 
atmosphere that reigned there. Life amongst the Prankish colonists 
was uneasy and precarious. They were in a land where intrigue and 
murder flourished and enemies lay in wait across the near-by 
frontiers. No one knew when he might not receive a knife-thrust 
from a devotee of the Assassins or poison from one of his servants. 
Mysterious diseases of which they knew little were rife. Even 

1 See below, p. 371, also the preface to Nau s edition of Micliael the Syrian. 
z Ibn Jubayr, ed. Wright, pp. 304-5. Benjamin of Tudela s statistics show the 
greater prosperity of the Jews under the Moslems. 

323 2I -2 

Life in Outremer 

with the help of local doctors, no Frank lived for long in the East. 
Women were more fortunate than men. They avoided the risks 
of battle and, owing to better medical knowledge, childbirth was 
less dangerous there than in the West. But infant mortality was 
high, especially among the boys. Fief after fief fell into the hands 
of an heiress, whose inheritance might lure gallant adventurers 
from the West; but too often great estates lacked a lord at the hour 
of crisis, and every marriage was a matter of dispute and of 
plotting. Marriages were often sterile. Many of the toughest 
warriors failed to father a child. Intermarriage between the few 
noble families increased personal rivalries. Fiefs were joined and 
divided with little regard to geographical convenience. There 
were perpetual quarrels between the next-of-kin. 

The social structure that the Franks brought from the West 
demanded a steady hereditary succession and a maintenance of 
man-power. The physical decline of the human element was full 
of danger. Fear made them brutal and treacherous, and uncer 
tainty encouraged their love of frivolous gaiety. As their tenure 
weakened,! their feats and tournaments grew more lavish. Visitors 
and natives alike were horrified by the extravagance and, the 
immorality that they saw all around them, and the worst offender 
was the Patriarch Heraclius. 1 But a wise visitor would understand 
that beneath the splendid surface all was not well. The King, for all 
his silk and gold, often lacked the money to pay his soldiers. The 
proud Templar, counting his money bags, might at any moment 
be summoned to battles more cruel than any that the West had 
known. Revellers like the wedding guests at Kerak in 1183 might 
rise from the table to hear the mangonels of the infidel pounding 
against the castle walls. The gay, gallant trappings of life in 
Outremer hung thinly over anxiety, uncertainty and fear; and an 
onlooker might well wonder whether even under the best of rulers 
the adventure could endure for long. 

1 Estoire f Erodes, n, p. 88; Ernoul, pp. 83-7; Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, 
pp. 5-6; Caesarius of Heisterbach, Dialogus Miraculorum, i, p. 188, attributing 
the fall of Jerusalem to the corruption of the Franks of Outremer. 




6 He went forth conquering, and to conquer. 9 REVELATION vi, 2 

Raymond of Antioch had been right to urge the leaders of the 
Second Crusade to march against Aleppo. His failure to persuade 
them cost him his life. The chief enemy of Christendom was Nur 
ed-Din ; and in 1 147 a great army could have crushed him. He was 
master of Aleppo and Edessa; but Unur of Damascus and the 
petty independent emirs of the Orontes valley would not have 
come to his rescue; nor could he have counted on help from his 
brother Saif ed-Din at Mosul, who had troubles of his own in 
Iraq. But the folly of the Crusaders drove Unur into alliance with 
him for as long as the danger lasted; and the chance given him of 
intervention in the affairs of Tripoli allowed him to strengthen his 
hold on central Syria. 

Raymond was further justified in refusing to join the Crusade. 
Neither he nor Joscelin of Edessa could afford to leave their lands 
exposed to Nur ed-Din. Even while the Crusaders were before 
Damascus troops from Aleppo raided Christian territory. Under 
a flag of truce Count JosceHn went himself to Nur ed-Din s camp 
to beg for clemency. All that he obtained was a temporary 
respite. 1 Meanwhile, the Sultan of Konya, Mas ud, at peace with 
Byzantium, took advantage of the discomfiture of the Franks to 
attack Marash. Raymond prepared to meet him; so Mas ud sent 
to ask Nur ed-Din to make a diversion. His request was granted; 
but Raymond with the alliance of a Kurdish chief of the Assassins, 
Ali ibn Wafa, who hated Nur ed-Din far more than the Christians, 
surprised Nur ed-Din in November 1148 as he swept through the 

1 Ibn al-Furat, quoted by Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, p. 382. 

The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

villages in the plain of the Aswad at Famiya, on the road from 
Antioch to Marash. Nur ed-Din s two chief lieutenants, the Kurd 
Shirkuh and the Aleppan notable Ibn ed-Daya, had quarrelled. 
The former refused to take part in the battle; and the whole 
Moslem army was forced into a hasty and ignominious retreat. 
Next spring Nur ed-Din invaded the country again and defeated 
Raymond at Baghras, close to the former battlefield. He then 
turned south to besiege the fortress of Inab, one of the few 
strongholds left to the Christians east of the Orontes. Raymond 
with a small army and a few Assassin allies under All ibn Wafa 
hurried to its rescue; and Nur ed-Din, misinformed of the strength 
of his force, retreated. In fact the Moslem army of six thousand 
horse outnumbered the Prankish of four thousand horse and one 
thousand infantrymen. Against Ali s advice Raymond then 
decided to reinforce the garrison of Inab. But Nur ed-Din was 
now aware of Raymond s weakness. On 28 June 1149 the 
Christian army encamped in a hollow by the Fountain of Murad, 
in the plain between Inab and the marsh of Ghab. During the 
night Nur ed-Din s troops crept up and surrounded them. Next 
morning Raymond realized that his only chance was to charge his 
way out. But the terrain was against him. A wind rose and blew 
dust in the eyes of his knights as they pressed their horses up the 
slope. In a few hours his army was annihilated. Amongst the dead 
were Reynald of Marash and the Assassin leader Ali. Raymond 
himself perished by the hand of Shirkuh, who thus regained his 
master s favour lost at Famiya. The Prince s skull, set in a silver 
case, was sent by Nur ed-Din as a gift to his spiritual master, the 
Caliph of Baghdad. 1 

Joscelin of Edessa, enjoying an uneasy truce with the Moslems, 
had refused to work in with his old rival, Raymond. His turn 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 9, pp. 771-3; letter of Seneschal of Temple to the 
Grand Master Everard in R.H.F. vol. xv, p. 541; Cinnamus, pp. 122-3; 
Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 288-9; Chron. Anon Syr. (Syriac edition), p. 296; 
Matthew of Edessa, cclix, p. 329; Gregory the Priest, p. 142; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 
pp. 288-92; Abn Shama, pp. 10-12; Ibn al-Furat, loc. dt. identifying the site as 
Ard al-Hatim. 


1150: The Capture of Count Joscelin 

came next. Nur ed-Din passed on through, Antiochene territory 
completing his hold on the middle Orontes by the capture of 
Arzghan and Tel-Kashfahan, then overpowering the garrisons of 
Artah and Harenc farther north and turning west to appear before 
the walls of Antioch itself and raid as far as Saint Symeon, 1 
Joscelin made no attempt to rescue his fellow-Franks but marched 
on Marash in the hope of taking over the inheritance of Reynald, 
who was his son-in-law. He entered the city but retired when the 
Sultan Mas ud approached. The garrison that he left behind sur 
rendered to the Seldjuks on the promise that Christian lives should 
be spared; but as they and the clergy were taking the road to 
Antioch they were massacred one and all. Mas ud pursued 
Joscelin to the neighbourhood of Turbessel. But Christian rein 
forcements were approaching; while Nur ed-Din had no wish to 
see Joscelin, who was still his client, lose his lands to the Seldjuks. 
Mas ud found it politic to retire. Next, the Ortoqids of the 
Jezireh, limited on the south by Nur ed-Din and his brothers, 
sought to expand along the Euphrates at the expense of the 
Armenians of Gargar, who had been tributaries to Reynald. 
Joscelin dissipated bis energies in vainly sending help to Basil of 
Gargar. The Ortoqid Kara Arslan took over the whole district of 
Gargar and Kharpurt, to the delight of the Jacobite Christians to 
whom his rule was infinitely preferable to that of Reynald with 
his strong pro-Armenian and anti-Jacobite sentiments. 2 In the 
winter of 1149 Nur ed-Din broke with Joscelin. His first attacks 
were unsuccessful; but in April 1150, as Joscelin was riding to 
Antioch to consult with the government there, he was separated 
from his escort and fell into the hands of some Turcoman free 
booters. They were ready to release him for a heavy ransom; but 
Nur ed-Din heard of his capture and sent a squadron of cavalry to 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 10, pp. 774-5; letter of Everard, loc. dt.\ Chron. 
Anon. Syr. (Syriac edition), p. 299; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 293; Ihn al-Athir, 
Atabegs, p. 180. 

2 Matthew of Edessa, pp. 330-1; Gregory the Priest, p. 162; Michael the 
Syrian, m, pp. 209-11, 294-6, and Armenian version, p. 346. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

take him from his captors. He was blinded and imprisoned at 
Aleppo. There he died, nine years later, in H59- 1 

Thus, by the summer of 1150, both the Principality of Antioch 
and the remains of the County of Edessa had lost their lords. But 
Nur ed-Din did not venture to go farther. When news reached 
Antioch of the death of Prince Raymond, the Patriarch Aimery 
put the city into a state of defence and sent urgently south to 
ask King Baldwin to come to its rescue. He then obtained 
a short truce from Nur ed-Din by promising to surrender 
Antioch if Baldwin did not arrive. The arrangement suited Nur 
ed-Din, who was shy of attempting the siege of the city and 
who meanwhile was able to capture Apamea, the last Antiochene 
fortress in the Orontes valley. King Baldwin hastened north 
with a small company, mostly composed of Knights Templar. 
His appearance induced Nur ed-Din to accept a more lasting 
truce, and it served to help to keep Mas ud from attacking 
Turbessel. But though Antioch was saved, the Principality was 
now reduced to the plain of Antioch itself and the coast from 
Alexandretta to Lattakieh.* 

It then remained to settle the government of the two lordless 
domains. On Joscelin s capture, Nur ed-Din had attacked 
Turbessel; but the Countess Beatrice put up so spirited a defence 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, n, pp. 776-7; Matthew of Edessa, cclix, pp. 331-2; 
Michael the Syrian, in, p. 295; Chron. Anon. Syr., p. 300; Ibn al-Furat, 
quoted by Cahen, op. dt. p. 386: Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, pp. 523-4; 
Bustan, p. 544; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 300; Ibn al-Athir, p. 481 ; Sibt ibn el-Djauzi, 
p. 12,2. The circumstances vary in each account. William says that he was going 
to Antioch to answer an appeal from the Patriarch; Matthew of Edessa and 
Ibn al-Furat to seek help there; the Anonymous Chronicle to secure the 
regency. William attributes his separation from his company to the demands of 
nature, Sibt to an amour with a Turcoman girl ; Ibn al-Furat to a fall when his 
horse collided with a tree, which, according to Michael, only existed in his 
imagination (the Syriac chroniclers saw Joscelin s capture as divine vengeance 
for ids persecution of the Jacobites); the Syriac chroniclers say that he was 
identified by a Jew. The Anonymous Chronicle alone says that he was blinded. 
Michael adds that he was not allowed a Latin confessor but was confessed on 
his death-bed by the Jacobite Bishop of Edessa. 

2 William of Tyre, xvn, 15, pp. 783-4; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 293-4, 300-1. 


1150: Turbessel ceded to Byzantium 

that he withdrew. It was clear, nevertheless, that Turbessel could 
not be held. It was overcrowded with Prankish and Armenian 
refugees from the outlying districts. The Jacobite Christians were 
openly disloyal; and the whole area was cut off from Antioch by 
Nur ed-Din s conquests. The Countess was preparing to abandon 
her lands when a message came through from the Emperor 
Manuel. He was aware of the situation, and he offered to purchase 
from her all that was left of her county. Beatrice dutifully referred 
the offer to King Baldwin, who was at Antioch. The lords of his 
kingdom who were with him and the lords of Antioch discussed 
the offer. They were loth to hand over territory to a hated Greek; 
but they decided that it would at least be the Emperor s fault now 
if the places were lost to Christendom. The Byzantine governor 
of Cilicia, Thomas, brought bags of gold how many, we are not 
told to the Countess at Antioch; and in return she handed over 
to his soldiers the six fortresses of Turbessel, Ravendel, Samosata, 
Aintab, Duluk and Birejik. The King s army accompanied the 
Byzantine garrisons on their journey, and escorted back the many 
Prankish and Armenian refugees who distrusted Byzantine rule and 
preferred the greater safety of Antioch. The Countess reserved 
one fortress from the sale, Ranculat or Rum Kalaat, on the 
Euphrates near Samosata, which she gave to the Armenian 
Catholicus. It remained his residence, under Turkish suzerainty, 
for a century and a half. As the royal army and the refugees 
travelled back, Nur ed-Din tried to surprise them at Aintab; but 
the King s excellent organization preserved them. His chief 
barons, Humphrey of Toron and Robert of Sourdeval, vainly 
begged him to allow them to take possession of Aintab in his 
name; but he abode by the bargain with the Emperor. 1 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 16-17, pp. 784-9. The Byzantine historians make 
no mention of tie transaction. For the dating and Moslem evidence, see Cahen, 
op. at. p. 388 n. 24. Michael the Syrian, in, p. 297, and Armenian version, 
p. 343. Vartan, p. 435, and Vahram, Rhymed Chronicle, p. 618, tell of the cession 
of Rum Kalaat to the Catholicus. Michael s Syriac version says that the 
Countess asked the Catholicus to aid an Armenian lord in Rum Kalaat, hut the 
Catholicus installed himself there by trickery. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

Why the Emperor made the bargain is uncertain. The Franks 
believed that in his pride he thought that he could hold them. It 
is unlikely that he was so badly misinformed. Rather, he was 
looking ahead. He hoped before long to come in force to Syria. 
If he lost them now he could recover them then; and his claim 
would be beyond dispute. In fact, he lost them in less than a year, 
to an alliance between Nur ed-Din and the Seldjuk Mas ud. The 
alliance had been made on the morrow of Joscelin s capture, and 
had been sealed by the marriage of Nur ed-Din to Mas ud s 
daughter. Turbessel was to be her dowry. But Mas ud had not 
joined his son-in-law in his attack on Beatrice; he contented him 
self with capturing Kaisun and Behesni, in the north of the 
county, giving them to his son Kilij Arslan. But in the spring of 
1151 he and Nur ed-Din both attacked the Byzantine garrisons; 
and the Ortoqids hurried to take their share. Aintab and Duluk 
fell to Mas ud, Samosata and Birejik to the Ortoqid Timurtash of 
Mardin, and Ravendel to Nur ed-Din. At Turbessel itself the 
Byzantines resisted for a while but were starved out and sur 
rendered to Nur ed-Din s lieutenant, Hasan of Menbij, in July 
H5I. 1 All traces of the County of Edessa were gone. The Countess 
Beatrice retired to Jerusalem with her children, Joscelin and Agnes ; 
who in time to come were to play disastrous parts in the downfall 
of the kingdom? 

Edessa was gone, but Antioch remained. Raymond s death left 
the Princess Constance a widow with four young children. The 
throne was hers by right; but it was felt that in such times a man 
must govern. Her elder son, Bohemond III, was five years old at 
his father s death. Till he came of age there must be a male regent. 
The Patriarch Aimery had taken charge at the moment of crisis; 
but lay opinion disliked the idea of a clerical regency. It was clear 

1 William of Tyre, loc. dt.\ Bar Hebraeus, trans. Budge, p. 277; Michael, 
Armenian version, p. 297; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 309; Ibn al-Athir, Atdbegs, p. 132 
(with the wrong date). 

2 Joscelin II s other daughter Isabella (see above, p. 222) was probably dead, 
though William of Tyre (p. 777) mentions her as alive when her father died. 


ii So: Princess Constance s Suitors 

that the young Princess ought to remarry. In the meantime the 
proper regent should be her cousin, King Baldwin, acting as her 
nearest male relative rather than as an overlord. Baldwin had 
hastened to Antioch on the news of Raymond s death. He dealt 
with the situation with a wisdom rare in a boy of nineteen, and 
his authority was universally accepted. He returned in the early 
summer of 1150, to give his authority to the sale of Countess 
Beatrice s lands. But he had too many anxieties in the south to 
wish to remain responsible for Antioch. He urged Constance, who 
was only twenty-two, to choose another husband and himself 
suggested three alternative candidates, first, Yves of Nesle, Count 
of Soissons, a wealthy French noble who had come to Palestine in 
the wake of the Second Crusade and was ready to make his home 
there; secondly, Walter of Falconberg, of the family of Saint- 
Omer, which had held the lordship of Galilee in the past; and 
thirdly Ralph of Merle, a gallant baron of the County of Tripoli. 
But Constance would have none of them; and Baldwin had to 
return to Jerusalem leaving her in possession of her government. 1 
Irritated by her young cousin s importunities, Constance at 
once changed her policy and sent an embassy to Constantinople 
to ask the Emperor Manuel as her overlord to choose her a 
husband. 2 Manuel was eager to comply with her wishes. Byzan 
tine influence had been declining along the south-eastern frontier 
of the Empire. About the year 1 143 the Armenian Prince, Thoros 
the Roupenian, had escaped from Constantinople and taken refuge 
at the Court of his cousin, Joscelin II of Edessa. There he gathered 
a company of compatriots, with which he recaptured the family 
stronghold of Vahka, in the eastern Taurus mountains. Two of his 
brothers, Stephen and Mleh joined him, and he made friends with 
a neighbouring Prankish lord, Simon of Raban, whose daughter 
he married. In 1151, while the Byzantines were distracted by the 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 18, pp. 789-91- He suggests that the Patriarch 
Aimery encouraged Constance to refuse the candidates, for fear of his power 
being reduced. 

* Cinnamus, p. 178. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

Moslem attack on Turbessel, he swept down into the Cilician 
plain and defeated and slew the Byzantine governor, Thomas, at 
the gates of Mamistxa. Manuel at once sent his cousin Andronicus 
with an army to recover the territory lost to Thoros; and now 
there came the timely chance to place his own candidate on the 
throne of Antioch. 

Neither project succeeded. Andronicus Conrnenus was the 
most brilliant and fascinating member of his talented family, but 
he was rash and careless. As he moved up to besiege Thoros at 
Mamistra, the Armenians made a sudden sortie and caught him 
unawares. His army was routed and he fled back in disgrace to 
Constantinople. In choosing a husband for Constance, Manuel 
showed greater ingenuity than sense. He sent his brother-in-law, 
the Caesar John Roger, the widower of his favourite sister Maria. 
John Roger was a Norman by birth, and though he had once 
plotted to secure the imperial throne, he was now a proved and 
trusted friend of the Emperor; who knew that he could count on 
his loyalty but believed that his Latin birth would make him 
acceptable to the Prankish nobility. He forgot about Constance 
herself. John Roger was frankly middle-aged and had lost all his 
youthful charm. The young Princess, whose first husband had 
been famed for his beauty, would not consider so unromantic 
a mate. She bade the Caesar return to the Emperor. It would 
have been better if Manuel had sent Andronicus to Antioch and 
John Roger to fight in Cilicia. 1 

King Baldwin would have welcomed almost any husband for 
his cousin; for he had recently acquired a new responsibility. The 
married life of Count Raymond II of Tripoli and his wife Hodierna 
of Jerusalem was not entirely happy. Hodierna, like her sisters 
Melisende and Alice, was headstrong and gay. Doubts were 
whispered about the legitimacy of her daughter Melisende. 
Raymond, passionately jealous of her, attempted to keep her in 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 121-4, 178; Matthew of Edessa, ccbdii, pp. 334-6; Gregory 
the Priest, p. 166; Sembat the Constable, p. 619; Vahram, Rhymed Chronicle, 
pp. 504-6; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 281. 


1152: The Murder of Raymond II 

a state of Oriental seclusion. Early in 1152 their relations were so 
bad that Queen Melisende felt it her duty to intervene. Together 
with her son the King, she travelled to Tripoli to patch up a recon 
ciliation. Baldwin used the opportunity to summon Constance to 
Tripoli, where her two aunts scolded her for her obstinate widow 
hood. But, perhaps because neither of them had made an out 
standing success of married life, their lectures were unavailing. 
Constance returned to Antioch promising nothing. With Ray 
mond and Hodierna the Queen was more effective. They agreed 
to compose their quarrel; but it was thought best that Hodierna 
should enjoy a long holiday at Jerusalem. Baldwin decided to 
stay on at Tripoli for a while as there were rumours that Nur 
ed-Din was going to attack the County. The Queen and the 
Countess set out on the road southward, escorted for a mile or 
so by the Count. As he rode back through the south gate of his 
capital a band of Assassins leapt out on him and stabbed him to 
death. Ralph of Merle and another knight who were with him 
tried to protect him, only to perish themselves. It was all over so 
quickly that his guard were unable to catch the murderers. The 
King was playing at dice in the castle when cries came up from the 
city below. The garrison rushed to arms and poured into the 
streets, slaying every Moslem that they saw. But the Assassins 
escaped; nor was the motive of their act ever known. 1 

Messengers were sent to bring back the Queen and the Countess, 
and Hodierna assumed the regency in the name of her twelve- 
year old son, Raymond III. But, as at Antioch, a man was needed 
as guardian of the government; and Baldwin, as the nearest male 
relative was obliged to take on the guardianship. Nur ed-Din at 
once made an incursion as far as Tortosa, which his troops held for a 
while. They were soon driven out; and Baldwin, with Hodierna s 
consent, handed over Tortosa to the Knights of the Temple? 

Baldwin was glad to be able to return to Jerusalem. Queen 
Melisende, conscious of her hereditary right, was unwilling to 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 18-19, pp. 789-92. 
* Ibid., loc. dt.\ Ibn al-Qalamsi, p. 312. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

hand power over to her son. But lie was now over twenty-two 
years of age and public opinion demanded his coronation as an adult 
ruler. The Queen therefore arranged with the Patriarch Fulcher 
that she should be crowned again by his side, in order that her 
joint authority should be explicitly admitted. The coronation was 
to take place on Easter Sunday, 30 March; but Baldwin postponed 
it. Then, on the Tuesday, when his mother suspected nothing, he 
entered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with an escort of 
knights and forced the angry Patriarch to crown him alone. It 
was the signal for an open breach. The Queen had many friends. 
Manasses of Hierges, her protege, was still Constable; his family 
connections included the great Ibelin clan, which controlled the 
Philistian plain; and many of the nobles of southern Palestine were 
of his party. It was noticeable that when Baldwin went to 
Antioch in 1149, few of the nobility would accompany an expedi 
tion in which the Queen was not interested. Baldwin s friends 
came from the north. They were led by Humphrey of Tor on and 
William of Falconberg, whose estates were in Galilee. The King 
did not venture to have recourse to force. He summoned a great 
council of the realm, before which he pleaded his claims. Thanks 
to the influence of the clergy, he was obliged to accept a com 
promise. He could have Galilee and the north as his realm; but 
Melisende would retain Jerusalem itself and Nablus, that is to say, 
Judaea and Samaria; and the coast, where the Bong s young brother 
Amalric held the County of Jaffa, was under her sovereignty. It 
was an impossible solution; and before many months were 
passed, the King demanded from his mother the cession of 
Jerusalem. Without Jerusalem, he said, he could not undertake the 
defence of the kingdom. With Nur ed-Din s power growing 
daily, the argument was forceful; and even her best supporters 
began to desert the Queen s cause. But she held firm and fortified 
Jerusalem and Nablus against her son. Unfortunately, the Con 
stable Manasses was surprised and captured by the King s troops 
at his castle of Mirabel, on the edge of the coastal plain. His life 
was spared on his promise to leave the East and never to return. 


1152: Melisende yields to her Son 

Nablus thereupon surrendered to the King. Melisende, deserted 
by the lay nobility but supported still by the Patriarch, tried to 
hold out in Jerusalem. But the citizens also turned against her and 
obliged her to give up the struggle. After a few days she yielded 
the city to her son. He took no strong action against her; for legal 
opinion seems to have held that right, if not expediency, was on 
her side. She was allowed to retain Nablus and the neighbourhood 
as her dower; and, though she retired from lay politics, she 
retained the patronage over the Church. Baldwin, supreme now 
in the lay government, replaced Manasses as Constable with his 
friend Humphrey of Toron. 1 

These dynastic troubles in the ruling Prankish families had been 
very much to Nur ed-Din s liking. He did not trouble to make 
any serious attacks against the Christians during these years ; for he 
had a more urgent task to complete, the conquest of Damascus. 
After the failure of the Second Crusade Unur of Damascus kept 
up a desultory war against the Christians for a few months; but 
fear of Nur ed-Din made him glad to accept peace overtures from 
Jerusalem. In May 1149 a two-years truce was arranged. Unur 
died soon afterwards, in August; and the Burid emir, Toghtekin s 
grandson Mujir ed-Din, in whose name Unur had ruled, took 
over the government.* His weakness gave Nur ed-Din his 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 13-14, pp. 779-83. Nablus was held by Philip of 
MiUy, who had supported the Queen. On 31 July, 1161, a few weeks before 
the Queen s death, he was given the seigneurie of Oultrejourdain in exchange 
for Nablus (Rohricht, Regesta, p. 96). Queen Melisende was not consulted, 
probably because she was too ill, though her sister, Hodierna, Dowager 
Countess of Tripoli, approved the transaction. Presumably Philip held his 
lands from Melisende, not from Baldwin, and it was only on her death-bed 
that Baldwin was able to make a change, which would have deprived her of her 
friend and chief vassal. Philip s wife Isabella or Elizabeth was the niece of 
Pagan of Oultrejourdain, and eventual heiress to his successor Maurice. On her 
death he joined the Templars. Her sister Maria s husband Walter Brisebarre IE 
of Beirut seems later to have been lord of Oultrejourdain, for which he 
exchanged his own fief of Beirut, but on the death of his wife and her infant 
daughter he presumably lost the fief, which passed to Philip s daughter 
Stephanie. See Rey, Les Seigneurs de Montreal and Les Seigneurs de Barut, passim. 

2 Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 295. Unur died of dysentery, jusantirya . 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

opportunity. He did not act at once; for his own brother Saif 
ed-Din died in November, and a rearrangement of the family 
lands ensued. The youngest brother, Qutb ed-Din, inherited 
Mosul and the territory in Iraq, but he seems to have recognized 
Nur ed-Din as his superior. 1 In March next year Nur ed-Din 
advanced on Damascus; but heavy rains slowed his progress and 
gave Mujir ed-Din time to ask for help from Jerusalem. Nur 
ed-Din therefore retired on receiving a promise that his name 
should be mentioned on the coinage and in the public prayers at 
Damascus after those of the Caliph and the Sultan of Persia. His 
rights to a vague overlordship were thus admitted. 2 

In May 1151 Nur ed-Din again appeared before Damascus, and 
again the Franks came to the rescue. After camping for a month 
close to the city Nur ed-Din retreated to the neighbourhood of 
Baalbek, which was governed by his lieutenant, Shirkuh s brother 
Ayub. Meanwhile the Franks under King Baldwin moved up to 
Damascus. Many of them were allowed to visit the bazaars 
within the walls, while Mujir ed-Din paid a cordial visit to the 
King in the Christian camp. But the allies were not strong enough 
to go in pursuit of Nur ed-Din. Instead, they marched on Bosra, 
whose emir, Sarkhak, had accepted help from Nur ed-Din in 
a revolt against Damascus. The expedition was unsuccessful; but 
soon afterwards Sarkhak, with the usual volatility of the minor 
Moslem princes, made friends with the Franks; and Mujir ed-Din 
was obliged to call in Nur ed-Din s help to reduce him to 
obedience. When Nur ed-Din went north again, Mujir ed-Din 
followed him on a visit to Aleppo, where a treaty of friendship was 
signed. 3 But the Damascenes still refused to renounce their 
alliance with the Franks. In December 1151 a band of Turcomans 
tried to raid Banyas, probably at Ayub s orders. The garrison 
countered by a raid on the territory of Baalbek, which Ayub 
drove off. Mujir ed-Din carefully disclaimed any connection with 

1 Ibn al-Athir, Atdbegs, pp. 171-5 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 295-6. See Calien, 
op. tit. p. 393 n. 12, for MS. sources. 
21 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 97-300. 3 jjjj. pp. 302-11. 


ii So: Intrigue in Egypt 

the warfare. 1 He was more embarrassed when suddenly, in the 
autumn of 1152, the Ortoqid prince Timurtash of Mardin ap 
peared with a Turcoman army that he had taken by forced 
marches round the edge of the desert and asked for help for a 
surprise attack on Jerusalem. He had probably heard of the 
quarrels between Baldwin and Melisende and thought that a bold 
stroke might succeed. Mujir ed-Din compromised by allowing 
him to purchase supplies but sought to dissuade him from going 
farther. Timurtash then dashed across the Jordan, and, while the 
Prankish nobility was attending a council at Nablus, doubtless to 
arrange for Melisende s dower, pitched his camp on the Mount of 
Olives. But the garrison of Jerusalem made a sudden sortie on the 
Turcomans, who, finding that their surprise had failed, retreated 
to the Jordan. There, on the river bank, the army of the Kingdom 
fell on them and won a complete victory.* 

During the next months the attention of Christians and 
Moslems alike was turned to Egypt. The Fatimid Caliphate 
seemed near to complete disruption. Since the murder of the 
vizier al-Afdal there had been no competent ruler in Egypt. The 
Caliph al-Amir had reigned on till October 1129 when he, too, 
was murdered; but the government had been conducted by a 
series of worthless viziers. Al-Amir s successor, his cousin al-Haz, 
showed more character and tried to free himself from the shackles 
of the vizierate by appointing bis own son Hasan to the post. But 
Hasan was disloyal and was put to death at his father s orders in 
1135. The next vizier, the Armenian-born Vahram, filled the 
administration with his compatriots, only to provoke a reaction 
in 1137, when for days the streets of Cairo ran with Christian 
blood. Nor was al-Hafiz luckier with bis kter viziers, though he 
clung precariously to his throne till his death in 1149. The reign of 
his son, al-Zafir, began with open civil war between his two 
leading generals. Amir ibn Sallah won and became vizier, only 
to be murdered himself three years afterwards. 3 This unending 

1 Ibid. p. 311-12. * William of Tyre, xvn, 20, pp. 792-4- 

3 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 475, 486-7. See Wiet, VEgypte Arabe, pp. 190-5. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

story of intrigue and blood raised the hopes of Egypt s enemies. 
In 1150 King Baldwin began to repair the fortifications of Gaza. 
Ascalon was still a Fatimid fortress, and its garrison still made 
frequent raids into Christian territory. Gaza was to be the base 
for operations against Ascalon. The vizier Ibn Sallah was alarmed. 
Amongst the refugees at the Fatimid court was the Munqidhite 
prince Usama, who had previously been in Zengi s service. He was 
sent to Nur ed-Din, who was now encamped before Damascus, 
to ask him to make a diversion into Galilee; the Egyptian fleet 
would meanwhile raid the Prankish seaports. The mission was un 
successful; Nur ed-Din had other preoccupations. Usama on his 
way back stopped at Ascalon for two years to conduct operations 
against the local Franks; then he returned to Egypt in time to 
witness the intrigues that followed the murder of Ibn Sallah by 
the son of his stepson Abbas, with the connivance of the Caliph. 1 
This drama, following soon on his own triumph over his 
mother, decided King Baldwin to attack Ascalon. He made 
careful preparations; and on 25 January 1153 the whole army of 
the Kingdom, with all the siege engines that the King could amass, 
appeared before its walls. With the King were the Grand Masters 
of the Hospital and the Temple, with the pick of their men, the 
great lay lords of the realm, the Patriarch, the Archbishops of 
Tyre, Caesarea and Nazareth, and the Bishops of Bethlehem and 
Acre. The relic of the True Cross accompanied the Patriarch. 
Ascalon was a tremendous fortress, spreading from the sea in a 
great semicircle, with its fortifications in excellent repair; and the 
Egyptian government had always kept it well stocked with 
armaments and provisions. For some months the Frankish army, 
though it could completely blockade the city, could make no 
impression on its walls. The pilgrim-ships that arrived about 
Easter-time added reinforcements to its ranks. But they were 
countered by the arrival of an Egyptian fleet in June. The Fatimids 

1 Usama, ed. Him, pp. 40-3 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 314. The Egyptian raid on 
die Frankish coast in 1151 is reported by Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 307-8, who also 
reports an Egyptian raid from Ascalon in April 1152 (p. 3 12). 


1153: The Capture ofAscalon 

did not venture to attempt to relieve Ascalon by land, but they 
sent a squadron of seventy ships laden with men and arms and 
supplies of all sorts. Gerard of Sidon, who commanded the twenty 
galleys that were all that the Christians could muster, dared not 
attack them, and the Egyptian ships sailed triumphantly into the 
harbour. The defenders were heartened; but the ships sailed away 
again after they had been unloaded; and the siege dragged on. 
Most formidable of the Prankish siege-machines was a great 
wooden tower that overtopped the walls, from which stones and 
flaming faggots could be shot right into the city streets. One 
night, in late July, some of the garrison crept out and set fire to it. 
But a wind arose, and the flaming mass was blown against the 
wall. The intense heat caused the masonry to disintegrate, and by 
morning a breach was made. The Templars, who manned that 
sector, determined that they alone should have the credit of the 
victory. While some of their men stood by to prevent any other 
Christian approaching, forty of their knights penetrated into the 
city. The garrison at first thought that all was lost, but then, 
seeing how few the Tempkrs were, rounded on them and slew 
them. The breach was hastily repaired, and the Templar corpses 
were hung out over the city walls. 

While a truce was held to enable each side to bury its dead, the 
King held a Council in his tent, before the relic of the Holy Cross. 
The lay nobles, discouraged by the reverse, wished to abandon the 
siege; but the Patriarch and the Grand Master of the Hospitallers, 
Raymond of Le Puy, persuaded the King to continue with it; and 
their eloquence moved the barons. The attack was renewed more 
vigorously than before. 

On 19 August, after a fierce bombardment of the city, the gar 
rison decided to surrender, on condition that the citizens should be 
allowed to depart in safety with their movable belongings. 
Baldwin accepted the terms and abode by them loyally. As a 
great stream of Moslems poured out of the city, by road and sea, 
to retire to Egypt, the Franks entered in state and took over the 
citadel, with its vast store of treasure and of arms. The lordship of 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

Ascalon was given to the King s brother, Amalric, Count of Jaffa. 
The great mosque became the Cathedral of St Paul, and the 
Patriarch consecrated as bishop one of his canons, Absalom. 
Later, the Bishop of Bethlehem, Gerard, secured a ruling from 
Rome that the see depended on his own. 1 

The capture of Ascalon was the last great triumph of the Kings 
of Jerusalem, and it raised their prestige to a formidable height. 
To have won at last the city known as the Bride of Syria was 
a resounding achievement; but in fact it brought no great sub 
stantial gain. Though the fortress had been the base for petty raids 
into Prankish lands, Egypt no longer seriously threatened the 
Christians; but now, with Ascalon in their hands, the Franks were 
lured on to dangerous adventures by the Nile. It was perhaps for 
that reason that Nur ed-Din, with his far-sighted policy, had not 
attempted to interfere in the campaign, except for a projected 
expedition against Banyas which he planned with Mujir of 
Damascus, but which came to nothing owing to mutual quarrels. 
He could not regret that Egypt was weakened, nor that Prankish 
attention should be diverted to the south. Mujir of Damascus was 
more easily impressed. He hastened to assure Baldwin of his 
devoted friendship, and he agreed to pay him a yearly tribute. 
While Prankish lords journeyed and raided as they pleased over 
Damascene territory, Prankish ambassadors came to the city to 
collect the money for their King? 

To Mujir and his counsellors, mindful of their own safety, 
a Prankish protectorate was preferable to their fate should Nur 
ed-Din become their master. But to the ordinary citizen of 
Damascus the insolence of ^the Christians was unbearable. The 
Burid dynasty was proving itself traitor to the Faith. Ayub, Emir 
of Baalbek, took advantage of this sentiment. His agents pene 
trated the city, spreading resentment against Mujir. There 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 1-5, 27-30, pp. 794-802, 804-13; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 
pp. 314-17; Abu Shama, pp. 77-8; Ibn al-Athir, p. 490. 

2 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 315-16 (he is reticent about Prankish influence in 
Damascus); Ibn al-Atlur, p. 496, and Atabegs, p. 189. 


1154 : Nur ed-Din takes Damascus 

happened at this time to be a food-shortage in Damascus; so Nur 
ed-Din held up the convoys that were bringing corn from the 
north, and Ayub s agents spread the rumour that this was Mujk s 
fault for refusing to co-operate with his fellow-Moslems. Next, 
Nur ed-Din persuaded Mujir that many of the Damascene 
notables were plotting against him; and Mujir in panic took action 
against them. When Mujir had thus lost the favour of both the 
rich and the poor, Ayub s brother Shirkuh arrived as Nur ed-Din s 
ambassador before Damascus, but he came truculently, with an 
armed force unusual for a friendly mission. Mujir would not 
admit him to the city nor would he go out to meet him. Nur 
ed-Din took this as an insult to his ambassador and advanced with 
a large army to Damascus. Mujk s desperate appeal to the Franks 
was sent out too late. Nur ed-Din encamped before the walls on 
1 8 April 1154. Exactly a week later, after a brief skirmish outside 
the eastern wall, a Jewess admitted some of his soldiers into the 
Jewish quarter, and at once the populace opened the eastern gate 
to the bulk of his army. Mujir fled to the citadel, but capitulated 
after only a few hours. He was offered his life and the emirate of 
Horns. A few weeks later he was suspected of plotting with old 
friends in Damascus and was ejected from Horns. He refused the 
offer of the town of Balis on the Euphrates, and retired to 

Meanwhile the citizens of Damascus received Nur ed-Din with 
every sign of joy. He forbade his troops to pillage, and he at once 
filled the markets with foodstuffs and removed the tax on fruit and 
vegetables. When Nur ed-Din returned to Aleppo, he left Ayub 
in charge of Damascus. Baalbek was given to a local noble, 
Dhahak, who later revolted against Nur ed-Din and had to be 
suppressed. 1 

Nur ed-Din s capture of Damascus heavily outbalanced 
Baldwin s capture of Ascalon. His territory now stretched down 
the whole eastern frontier of the Prankish states, from Edessa to 

1 Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 318-21 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 496-7, ^ Atabegs, pp. 190-2 ; 
Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, pp. 527-8. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

Oultrejourdain. Only a few petty emirates in Moslem Syria 
retained their independence, such as Shaizar. Though Prankish 
possessions were larger in area and richer in resources, Nur ed- 
Din s had the advantage of union under one master who was far 
less trammelled by arrogant vassals than the rulers of the Franks. 
His star was in the ascendant. But he was too cautious to follow 
up his triumph too quickly. He seems to have reaffirmed the 
afiiance between Damascus and Jerusalem and to have renewed 
the truce for another two years in 1156, when he made a payment 
of 8000 ducats in continuance of the tribute paid by Mujir ed-Din. 
His forbearance was chiefly due to his rivalry with the Anatolian 
Seldjuks, from whom he wished to take their share of the former 
County of Edessa. 1 

The Sultan Mas ud died in 1155; and his sons, Kilij Arslan n 
and Shahinshah, at once quarrelled over the inheritance. The 
former won the support of the Danishmend princes, Dhu l Nun 
of Caesarea and Dhu l Qarnain of Melitene; the latter that of the 
eldest Danishmend, Yaghi Siyan of Sivas. Yaghi Siyan asked Nur 
ed-Din for help; and Nur ed-Din readily responded by attacking 
and annexing the Seldjuk share of the Edessan towns, Aintab, 
Dukuk and probably also Samosata. Kilij Arslan defeated his 
brother; but, though he tried to build up an alliance with the 
Armenians and Franks against Nur ed-Din, he was obliged to 
accept the loss of his Euphratesian province.* 

Secure in the north, Nur ed-Din turned south again. In 
February 1157 Baldwin broke his truce with Nur ed-Din. Relying 
on the truce, large numbers of Turcomans had brought their 
flocks of sheep and their horses to graze on the rich pastures near 
the frontier at Banyas. Kong Baldwin, heavily in debt owing to 
a taste for luxury, could not resist the temptation to attack the 
unsuspecting shepherds and make off with their animals. This 
shameless breach of his engagements brought him the most 
valuable booty that Palestine had seen for many decades, but it 

1 Ibn al-Qaknisi, pp. 322, 327. 

2 Ibid. pp. 324-5 ; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 152-4; Gregory the Priest, p. 176. 


1156: Earthquakes in Syria 

roused Nur ed-Din to vengeance. While he paused at Baalbek, to 
reduce its rebellious emir, his general Shirkuh defeated some Latin 
raiders from the Buqaia; and his brother Nasr ed-Din routed a 
company of the Hospitallers near Banyas. In May Nur ed-Din 
himself set out from Damascus to besiege Banyas. Shirkuh 
defeated a small relieving force, and joined his master before the 
walls. The lower town was soon taken, but the citadel, two miles 
away up a steep mountain, held out under the Constable, Hum 
phrey of Toron. Humphrey was on the point of surrendering 
when news came of the King s approach. Nur ed-Din set fire to the 
lower town and retired, letting Baldwin enter Banyas and repair 
its walls. As the Franks returned south down the Jordan, Nur 
ed-Din fell on them just north of the Sea of Galilee and won a 
great victory. The King barely escaped to Safed; and the Moslems 
were able to return to the siege of Banyas. But after a few days, 
on news from the north of a projected attack by Kilij Arslan, 
Nur ed-Din abandoned the attempt and hurried back to Aleppo. 1 
There were other reasons for wishing to avoid an open 
war at that moment. In the early autumn of 1156 a series of 
earthquakes was felt throughout Syria. Damascus was not 
severely damaged, but news of destruction came in from Aleppo 
and Hama, while a bastion collapsed at Apamea. In November 
and December there were further shocks, in which the town of 
Shaizar suffered. Cyprus and the coastal cities north of Tripoli 
were affected by shocks during the following spring. In August 
1157 the Orontes valley underwent even more serious shocks. 
Many lives were lost at Horns and Aleppo. At Hama the damage 
was so appalling that the earthquake was called by the chroniclers 
the Hama earthquake. At Shaizar the family of the Munqidhites 
were gathered together to celebrate the circumcision of a youthful 
prince when the great walls of the citadel crashed down on them. 
Only the Princess of Shaizar, rescued from the ruins, and Usama, 
away on his diplomatic missions, survived of all the dynasty. Both 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 11-15, pp. 834-45; Ibn. al-Qalanisi, pp. 


The Rise ofNur ed-Din 

Moslems and Franks were too busy repairing shattered fortresses 
to think of serious aggressive expeditions for some time to come. 1 
In October 1157, two months after his return from Banyas, 
Nur ed-Din suddenly fell desperately ill at Sarmin. Thinking that 
he was dying he insisted upon being carried in a litter to Aleppo. 
There he made his will. His brother, Nasr ed-Din was to succeed 
to his states, with Shirkuh ruling Damascus under his suzerainty. 
But when Nasr ed-Din entered Aleppo to be ready to take over 
the heritage, he met with opposition from the governor, Ibn 
ed-Daya. There were disturbances in the streets that were only 
quelled when the notables of Aleppo were summoned to their 
prince s bedside and saw that he still lived. Indeed, the crisis was 
now past, and he began slowly to recover. But he seemed to have 
lost something of his initiative and energy. He was no longer 
the invincible warrior. Other forces were appearing in Syria 
to dominate the scene. 2 

1 Robert of Torigny, i, p. 309; Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 315-16, Armenian 
version, p. 356; Chron. Anon. Syr. (Syriac edition), p. 302; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 
pp. 338-41 ; Ibn al-Athir, p. 503 ; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 529. According 
to Ibn al-Qalanisi Nur ed-Din feared that the Franks would attack his defence 
less fortresses and kept his army assembled to prevent any such move. Usama s 
elegy on the destruction of his family, with which he had quarrelled, is given 
in Abu Shama, Cairo edition, vol. I, p. 112. 

2 William of Tyre, xvm, 17, pp. 847-8 ; Ibn al-Qalanisi, p. 341 ; Kemal ad-Din, 
ed. Blochet, pp. 531-1 ; Abu Shama, p. no (in R.H.C. Hist. Or.). 




For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude 
greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with 
a great army and with much riches? DANIEL xi, 13 

In 1 1 5 3 , while Nur ed-Din s attention was fixed upon Damascus and 
while King Baldwin and his army lay before Ascalon, the Princess 
of Antioch decided her own destiny. Amongst the knights that 
followed King Louis of France to the Second Crusade was the 
younger son of Geoffrey, Count of Gien and lord of Chatillon- 
sur-Loing. Reynald of Chatillon had no prospects in his own 
country; so he had stayed behind in Palestine when the Crusaders 
returned home. There he took service under the young King Bald 
win, whom he accompanied to Antioch in 1151. The widowed 
Princess soon took notice of him. He seems to have remained in 
her principality, no doubt in possession of some small fief; and it 
may have been his presence that induced her to refuse the husbands 
suggested for her by the King and the Emperor. In the spring of 
1 1 5 3 she decided to marry him. Before she announced her intention 
she asked permission of the King ; for he was official guardian of her 
state and the overlord of her bridegroom. Reynald hastened to 
Ascalon, where the King s camp had just been established, and 
delivered Constance s message. Baldwin, knowing Reynald to be 
abrave soldier, and, above all, thankful to berelieved of the responsi 
bility for Antioch, made no difficulty. As soon as Reynald arrived 
back in Antioch the marriage took place and Reynald was installed 
as Prince. It was not a popular match. Not only the great families 
of Antioch but also the humbler subjects of the Princess thought 
that she was degraded by giving herself to this upstart. 1 

1 William of Tyre, xvn, 26, p. 802, saying that she was secretly married 
before obtaining the King s permission. Cirmamus, p. 178, calling him 


The Return of the Emperor 

It would have been courteous and correct of Constance to have 
asked permission also from the Emperor Manuel. The news of the 
marriage was ill-received at Constantinople. But Manuel was at 
the moment involved in a campaign against the Seldjuks. He 
could not give practical expression to his wrath. Conscious of his 
rights, he therefore sent to Antioch offering to recognize the new 
Prince if the Franks of Antioch would fight for him against the 
Armenian Thoros. He promised a money-subsidy if the work were 
properly done. Reynald willingly complied. Imperial approval 
would strengthen him personally; moreover, the Armenians had 
advanced into the district of Alexandretta, which the Franks 
claimed as part of the Antiochene principality. After a short 
battle near Alexandretta he drove the Armenians back into Cilicia; 
and he presented the reconquered country to the Order of the 
Temple. The Order took over Alexandretta, and to protect its 
approaches reconstructed the Castles of Gastun and Baghras, 
which commanded the Syrian Gates. Reynald had already decided 
to work in with the Templars and thus started a friendship that 
was to be fatal for Jerusalem. 1 

Having secured the land that he wanted, Reynald demanded his 
subsidies from the Emperor, who refused them, pointing out that 
the main task had yet to be done. Reynald changed his policy. 
Encouraged by the Templars he made peace with Thoros and his 
brothers; and while the Armenians attacked the few remaining 
Byzantine fortresses in Cilicia, he decided to lead an expedition 
against the rich island of Cyprus. But he lacked money for the 
enterprise. The Patriarch Airnery of Antioch was very rich; and 
he had been outspoken in his disapproval of Constance s marriage. 
Reynald determined to punish him to his own profit. Aimery had 

*a certain Reynald PevdAScp Tivf; Michael the Syrian, Armenian version, 
p. 310. Schlumberger (Renaud de Chatillon, p. 3) establishes his origin. The 
marriage took place before May, when Reynald confirmed Venetian privileges 
in Antioch (Rohricht, Regesta, p. 72). 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 10, pp. 834-5; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 314 and 
Armenian version, p. 349, giving a version more favourable to Thoros; Bar 
Hebraeus, trans. Budge, p. 283. 


1156: Reynold s Raid on Cyprus 

earned the respect of the Antiochenes by his courage and energy 
in the dark days after Prince Raymond s death; but his illiteracy 
and the looseness of his morals damaged his reputation and made 
him vulnerable. Reynald demanded money from him and on his 
refusal lost his temper and cast him into prison. There the prelate 
was cruelly beaten on the head. His wounds were then smeared 
with honey, and he was left for a whole summer day chained in 
blazing sunshine on the roof of the citadel to be a prey for all the 
insects of the neighbourhood. The treatment achieved its object. 
The miserable Patriarch hastened to pay rather than face another 
day of such torment. Meanwhile the story reached Jerusalem. 
King Baldwin was horrified and sent at once his chancellor, Ralph, 
and the Bishop of Acre to insist on the Patriarch s immediate 
release. Reynald, having secured the money, let him go; and 
Aimery accompanied his rescuers back to Jerusalem, where he was 
received with the highest honours by the King and Queen 
Melisende and his brother-Patriarch. He refused meanwhile to 
return to Antioch. 1 

The Patriarch s experience shocked responsible Prankish circles; 
but Reynald was unabashed. He could now attack Cyprus; and 
in the spring of 1156 he and Thoros made a sudden landing on the 
island. Cyprus had been spared the wars and invasions that had 
troubled the Asian continent during the last century. It was con 
tented and prosperous under its Byzantine governors. Half a 
century before, Cypriot food-parcels had done much to help the 
Franks of the First Crusade when they lay starving at Antioch; 
and, apart from occasional administrative disputes, relations 
between the Franks and the island government had been friendly. 
As soon as he heard of Reynald s plan, King Baldwin sent a hasty 
message to warn the island. But it was too late; reinforcements 
could not be rushed there in time. The governor was the Emperor s 
nephew, John Comnenus; and with him in the island was the 
distinguished soldier Michael Branas. When news came of the 
Prankish landing, Branas hurried with the island militia down to 
1 William of Tyre, xvra, i, pp. 816-17; Cinnamus, p. 181. 


The Return of the Emperor 

the coast and won a small initial victory. But the invaders were 
too numerous. They soon overpowered his troops and captured 
him himself; and when John Comnenus came to his aid, he too 
was taken prisoner. The victorious Franks and Armenians then 
marched up and down the island robbing and pillaging every 
building that they saw, churches and convents as well as shops and 
private houses. The crops were burnt; the herds were rounded up, 
together with all the population, and driven down to the coast. 
The women were raped; children and folk too old to move had 
their throats cut. The murder and rapine was on a scale that the 
Huns or the Mongols might have envied. The nightmare lasted 
about three weeks. Then, on the rumour of an imperial fleet in the 
ofEng, Reynald gave the order for re-embarkation. The ships were 
loaded up with booty. The herds and flocks for which there was 
no room were sold back at a high price to their owners. Every 
Cypriot was forced to ransom himself; and there was no money 
left in the island for the purpose. So the governor and Branas, 
together with the leading churchmen, the leading proprietors and 
the leading merchants, with all their families, were carried off to 
Antioch to remain in prison till the money should be forthcoming ; 
except for some who were mutilated and sent in derision to 
Constantinople. 1 The island of Cyprus never fully recovered from 
the devastation caused by the Frenchmen and their Armenian 
allies. The earthquakes of 1157, which were severe in Cyprus, 
completed the misery; and in 1158 the Egyptians, whose fleet had 
not ventured into Cypriot waters for many decades, made some 
raids on the defenceless island, possibly without the formal per 
mission of the Caliph s government; for amongst the prisoners 
captured was the governor s brother, who was received honour 
ably at Cairo and sent back at once to Constantinople. 2 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 10, pp. 834-5; Cinnamus, pp. 78-9; Michael die 
Syrian, m, p. 315, and Armenian version, p. 350; Bar Hebraeus, trans. Budge, 
p. 284; Gregory die Priest p. 187, who says that Reynald cut off the noses of 
the Greek priests that he captured. 

3 Ibn Moyessar, p. 473. 


The Franks attack Shaizar 

In 1157 Thierry, Count of Flanders, returned to Palestine with 
a company of knights; and in the autumn Baldwin III determined 
to profit by his arrival and by Nur ed-Din s illness to re-establish 
the Prankish positions on the middle Orontes. Reynald was 
persuaded to join the royal army in an attack upon Shaizar. After 
the disastrous earthquake in August the citadel had fallen to a band 
of Assassin adventurers. The Christian army arrived there at the 
end of the year. The lower town fell at once to them; and the 
ruined citadel seemed likely to surrender, when a quarrel broke 
out amongst the besiegers. Baldwin promised the town and its 
territory to Thierry as the nucleus of a principality to be held under 
the Crown; but Reynald, ckiming that the Munqidhites had been 
tributaries to Antioch, demanded that Thierry should pay him 
homage for it. To the Count the idea of paying homage to a man 
of such undistinguished origin was unthinkable. Baldwin could 
only solve the difficulty by abandoning the disputed territory. The 
army moved away northwards to occupy the ruins of Apamea, 
then laid siege to Harenc. This was undeniably Antiochene 
property; but Baldwin and Thierry were prepared to help Reynald 
recapture it in view of its strategic importance. After a heavy 
bombardment by mangonels it capitulated in February 1158, and 
was given a little later to one of Thierry s knights, Reynald of 
Saint-Valery, who held it under the Prince of Antioch. 1 

The Prince of Antioch s conduct had not been satisfactory; and 
the King decided to reorientate his policy. He knew of Reynald s 
bad relations with the Emperor, who was unlikely to forgive the 
raid on Cyprus, and he knew that the Byzantine army was stiH the 
most formidable in Christendom. In the summer of 1157 he had 
sent an embassy to Constantinople to ask for a bride from the 
imperial family. It was led by Achard, Archbishop of Nazareth, 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 17-19, pp. 84.7-53; Robert of Torigny, I, p. 316; 
Michael the Syrian, Armenian version, pp. 351-3; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 342, 
344; Reynald of Saint Valery was still a baron of Jerusalem in 1160 (Rohricht, 
Regesta, p. 94) but returned to the West soon afterwards. Robert of Torigny 
alone tells us that he was given Harenc. 


The Return of the Emperor 

who died on the journey, and Humphrey II of Toron. The 
Emperor Manuel received them well. After some negotiation he 
offered his niece Theodora, with a dowry of 100,000 golden 
hyperperi, and another 10,000 for wedding expenses, and gifts 
worth 30,000 more. In return she was to be given Acre and its 
territory as her dower, to keep should her husband die childless. 
When his embassy came back and Baldwin had confirmed the 
terms, the young princess set out from Constantinople. She arrived 
at Acre in September 1158 and travelled in state to Jerusalem. There 
she was married to the King by the Patriarch Aimery of Antioch, 
as the Patriarch-elect of Jerusalem had not yet been confirmed by 
the Pope. She was aged thirteen, but well-grown and very lovely. 
Baldwin was delighted with her and was a faithful husband, 
abandoning the easy morals of his bachelor days. 1 

During the negotiations it seems that Manuel promised to join 
in an alliance against Nur ed-Din, and that Baldwin agreed that 
Reynald should be humbled. Meanwhile the King campaigned on 
the Damascene frontier. In March 1158 he and the Count of 
Flanders made a surprise march on Damascus itself and on i April 
laid siege to the castle of Dareiya in the suburbs. But Nur ed-Din, 
now convalescent, was already on his way south to put an end 
to the intrigues that had flourished there during his illness. He 
arrived in Damascus on 7 April to the great delight of its in 
habitants; and Baldwin thought it prudent to retire. Nur ed-Din 
then made a counter-offensive. While his lieutenant Shirkuh 
raided the territory of Sidon, he himself attacked the castle of 
Habis Jaldak, which the Franks had built as an outpost south-east 
of the Sea of Galilee, by the banks of the river Yarmuk. The 
garrison was so hard pressed that it soon agreed to capitulate if 
help did not arrive within ten days. Baldwin therefore set out 
with Count Thierry to its relief, but instead of going straight to it 
he took the road north of the lake leading to Damascus. The ruse 
worked. Nur ed-Din feared for his communications and raised the 

x William of Tyre, xvm, 16, 22, pp. 846, 857-8; Gregory die Priest, 
pp. i 6-9; Matthew of Edessa, ccbodii, pp. 352-3. 


1158: Manuel enters Cilida 

siege. The two armies met at the village of Butaiha, on the east of 
the upper Jordan valley. At the first glimpse of the Moslems, the 
Franks attacked, believing them to be only a scouting party; when 
the whiimy of a mule that the King had given to a sheikh whom 
they knew to be with Nur ed-Din it had recognized the smell of 
its old friends amongst the Prankish horses showed them that the 
whole Moslem force had arrived. But the impetus of their attack 
had been so great that the Moslems wavered. Nur ed-Din, whose 
health was still frail, was persuaded to leave the battlefield; and on 
his departure his whole army turned and retired in some disorder. 
The Prankish victory was sufficient to induce Nur ed-Din to ask 
for a truce. For the next few years there was no serious warfare on 
the Syro-Palestinian frontier. Both Baldwin and Nur ed-Din 
could turn their attention to the north. 1 

In the autumn of 1 1 5 8 the Emperor set out from Constantinople 
at the head of a great army. He marched to Cilicia; and while the 
main force followed slowly along the difficult coast-road eastward, 
he hurried ahead with a force of only five hundred horsemen. So 
secret were his preparations and so quick his movements that no 
one in Cilicia knew of his coming. The Armenian Prince Thoros 
was at Tarsus, suspecting nothing, when suddenly, one day in late 
October, a Latin pilgrim whom he had entertained came rushing 
back to his Court to tell him that he had seen Imperial troops only 
a day s march away. Thoros collected his family, his intimate 
friends and his treasure and fled at once to the mountains. Next 
day Manuel entered the Cilician plain. While his brother-in-law, 
Theodore Vatatses, occupied Tarsus, he moved on swiftly; and 
within a fortnight all the Cilician cities as far as Anazarbus were in 
his power. But Thoros himself still eluded him. While Byzantine 
detachments scoured the valleys he fled from hill-top to hill 
top and at last found refuge on a crag called Dadjig, near the 
sources of the Cydnus, whose ruins had been uninhabited for 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 21, pp. 855-6; Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 346-8: Abu 
Shama, pp. 97-100 ( who says that Baldwin asked for a truce, probably relying 
on an equivocal sentence in Ibn al-Qalanisi). 


The Return of the Emperor 

generations. Only his two most trusted servants knew where he 
lay hidden. 1 

The Emperor s arrival terrified Reynald. He knew that he 
could not resist against this huge Imperial army; and this know 
ledge saved him. For by making an immediate submission he 
could obtain far better terms than if he were defeated in battle. 
Gerard, Bishop of Lattakieh, the most perspicacious of his coun 
sellors, pointed out to him that the Emperor s motive was prestige 
rather than conquest. So Reynald sent hastily to Manuel offering 
to surrender the citadel of Antioch to an Imperial garrison. When 
his envoy was told that that was not enough, he himself put on 
a penitent s dress and hurried to the Emperor s camp, outside the 
walls of Mamistra. Envoys from all the neighbouring princes were 
arriving to greet the Emperor, from Nur ed-Din, from the 
Danishmends, from the King of Georgia, and even from the 
Caliph. Manuel kept Reynald waiting a little. It seems that about 
this moment he received a message from the exiled Patriarch 
Aimery suggesting that Reynald should be brought before him in 
chains and be deposed. But it suited the Emperor better to have 
him a humble client. At a solemn session, with the Emperor 
seated enthroned in his great tent, his courtiers and the foreign 
ambassadors grouped around him and the crack regiments of the 
army lining the approaches, Reynald made his submission. He 
and his suite had walked barefoot and bareheaded through the 
town and out to the camp. There he prostrated himself in the dust 
before the imperial platform, while all his men raised their hands 
in supplication. Many minutes passed before Manuel deigned to 
notice him. Then pardon was accorded to him on three conditions. 
Whenever it was asked of him he must hand his citadel over to an 
Imperial garrison; he must provide a contingent for the Imperial 
army; and he must admit a Greek Patriarch of Antioch instead of 
the Latin. Reynald swore to obey these terms. Then he was dis 
missed and sent back to Antioch. 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 179-81; Matthew of Edessa, loc. dt.; Gregory the Priest, 
p. 187. 


The Emperor in Antioch 

The news of Manuel s approach had brought King Baldwin, 
with his brother Amalric and the Patriarch Aimery, hastening 
from the south. They arrived at Antioch soon after Reynald s 
return. Baldwin was a little disappointed to hear of Reynald s 
pardon and he wrote at once to Manuel to beg for an audience. 
Manuel hesitated, apparently because he believed that Baldwin 
desired the principality for himself. This may have been part of 
Aimery s suggestion. But when Baldwin insisted, Manuel 
yielded. Baldwin rode out from Antioch escorted by citizens 
praying him to reconcile them with the Emperor. The interview 
was an immense success. Manuel was charmed by the young 
King, whom he kept as his guest for ten days. While they dis 
cussed plans for an alliance, Baldwin succeeded in securing a 
pardon for Thoros, who went through the same procedure as 
Reynald had done, and who was allowed to keep his territory in 
the mountains. It was probably due to Baldwin that Manuel did 
not insist on the immediate installation of the Greek Patriarch. 
Aimery was re-established on his patriarchal throne and was 
formally reconciled with Reynald. When Baldwin returned to 
Antioch, laden with gifts, he left his brother behind with the 

On Easter Sunday, 12 April 1159, Manuel came to Antioch and 
made his solemn entry into the city. The Latin authorities tried to 
keep him away by saying that there was a plot to assassinate him 
there; but he was not intimidated. He merely insisted that the 
citizens should give him hostages and that the Latin princes who 
were to take part in the procession should be unarmed. He him 
self wore mail beneath his robes. There was no untoward incident. 
While the imperial banners floated over the citadel, the cortege 
passed over the fortified bridge into the city. First came the 
superb Varangians of the Imperial Guard. Then the Emperor 
himself, on horseback, in a purple mantle, and on his head a 
diadem dripping with pearls. Reynald, on foot, held his bridle, 
and other Prankish lords walked beside the horse. Behind him 
rode Baldwin, uncrowned and unarmed. Then there followed the 

RC 353 23 

The Return of the Emperor 

high functionaries of the Empire. Just inside the gates waited the 
Patriarch Aimery, in full pontificals, with all his clergy, to lead the 
procession through streets strewn with carpets and with flowers, 
first to the Cathedral of St Peter, then on to the palace. 

For eight days Manuel remained in Antioch; and festivity 
followed festivity. He himself, though proud and majestic on 
solemn occasions, radiated a personal charm and friendliness that 
captivated the crowds ; and the lavishness of his gifts, to the nobles 
and the populace alike, enhanced the general rejoicing. As a 
gesture to the Occident he organized a tournament and made his 
comrades join him in the jousts. He was a fine horseman and 
acquitted himself with honour; hut his commanders, to whom 
horsemanship was a means, and not an end, were less impressive in 
comparison with the knights of the West. The intimacy between 
the Emperor and his nephew-by-marriage, the King, grew closer. 
When Baldwin broke his arm out hunting, Manuel insisted on 
treating it himself, just as he had acted as medical adviser to 
Conrad of Germany. 1 

This splendid week marked the triumph of the Emperor s 
prestige. But Gerard of Lattakieh was right. It was prestige, not 
conquest, that he wanted. When all the feasts were ended, he 
rejoined his army outside the walls and moved eastward to the 
Moslem frontier. He was met almost at once by ambassadors from 
Nur ed-Din, with full powers to negotiate a truce. To the fury of 
the Latins, who had expected him to march on Aleppo, he received 
the embassy, and discussions began. When Nur ed-Din offered to 
release all the Christian captives, to the number of six thousand, 
that were in his prisons and to send an expedition against the 
Seldjuk Turks, Manuel agreed to call off the campaign. 

He had probably never intended to carry on with it ; and though 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 23-5, pp. 859-64; Cinnamus, pp. 181-90; Nicetas 
Choniates, pp. 141-5; Prodromus, in R.H.C. Gre.cs, n, pp. 752, 766; Matthew 
of Edessa, cclxxiv, pp. 354-5; Gregory the Priest, pp. 188-9; Vahram, Rhymed 
Chrmick, p. 505: Ibn al-Qalanisi, pp. 349, 353. See also La Monte, To what 
extent was the Byzantine Empire the suzerain of the Latin States ?* in Byzantion, 
vol. vn. 


1159 Manuel s Truce with Nur ed-Din 

the Crusaders and their modern apologists might cry treason, it is 
hard to see what else he could have done. To the Crusaders Syria 
was all-important, but to Manuel it was only one frontier-zone 
out of many and not the most vital to his Empire. He could not 
afford to remain for many months at the end of a long and 
vulnerable line of communications, nor, magnificent though his 
army was, could he risk heavy losses to it with impunity. More 
over he had no wish to cause the break-up of Nur ed-Din s power. 
He knew from bitter experience that the Franks only welcomed 
him when they were frightened. It would be folly to remove 
their chief source of fear. And Nur ed-Din s alliance was a valuable 
asset in the wars against a far more dangerous enemy to the 
Empire, the Turks of Anatolia. But, as the sequel showed, he 
would give help to prevent Nur ed-Din s conquest of Egypt; for 
that would fatally upset the equilibrium. Perhaps, had he been less 
precipitate, he might have obtained better terms. But he had 
received worrying news of a plot at Constantinople and troubles 
on his European frontier. He could not anyhow afford to stay 
much longer in Syria. 1 

Nevertheless his truce with Nur ed-Din was a psychological 
mistake. For a moment the Franks had been prepared to accept 
him as leader; but he had shown himself, as wiser men would have 
foreseen, more interested in his Empire s fate than in theirs. Nor 
were they much consoled by the release of the Christian captives. 
They included some important local warriors, such as the Grand 
Master of the Temple, Bertrand of Blancfort; but they were for 
the most part Germans captured during the Second Crusade, and 
amongst them was the claimant to Tripoli, Bertrand of Toulouse, 
whose reappearance might have been embarrassing had his health 
not been broken by captivity/ 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 25, p. 864 (in no way blaming the Emperor); 
Otto of Freisingen, Gesta Friderid, p. 229; Cinnamus, pp. 188-90; Gregory the 
Priest, pp. 190-1; Matthew of Edessa, cclxxv, pp. 355-8; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 
pp. 3535. 

2 William of Tyre, loc. c\t.\ Cinnamus, p. 188, specially mentioning *TV 

viecc (the son of Saint Gilles) and *T6v T^-irAou {jiataropa . 

355 **- 2 

The Return of the Emperor 

When the trace was concluded, the Emperor and his army 
retreated westward, slowly at first, then faster as more alarming 
news arrived from his capital. Some of Nur ed-Din s followers 
tried to harass it, against their master s wishes; and when, to save 
time, it cut through Seldjuk territory, there were skirmishes with 
the Sultan s troops. But it arrived intact at Constantinople in the 
late summer. After some three months, Manuel crossed again into 
Asia to campaign against the Seldjuks, to try out against them 
a new and more mobile form of tactics. Meanwhile his envoys 
were building up the coalition against the Seldjuk Sultan, Kilij 
Arslan II. Nur ed-Din, deeply relieved by Manuel s departure, 
advanced into Seldjuk territory from the middle Euphrates. The 
Danishmend prince Yakub Arslan attacked from the north-east, 
so successfully that the Sultan was obliged to cede to him. the lands 
round Albistan in the Anti-Taurus. Meanwhile the Byzantine 
general, John Contostephanus, collected the levies that Reynald 
and Thoros were bound by treaty to provide, and, with a con 
tingent of Petchenegs, settled by Manuel in Cilicia, moved up 
through the Taurus passes; and Manuel and the main Imperial 
army, reinforced by troops provided by the Prince of Serbia and 
Prankish pilgrims recruited when their ships called in at Rhodes, 
swept up the valley of the Meander. The Sultan had to divide his 
forces. When Contostephanus won a complete victory over the 
Turks sent to oppose him, Kilij Arslan gave up the struggle. He 
wrote to the Emperor offering in return for peace to give back all 
the Greek cities occupied in recent years by the Moslems, to see 
that the frontiers were respected and that raiding ceased, and to 
provide a regiment to fight in the Imperial army whenever it 
might be required. Manuel agreed to the terms; but he kept in 
reserve the Sultan s rebellious brother Shahinshah, who had come 
to him for protection. So, to confirm the treaty, Kilij Arslan sent 
his Christian chancellor, Christopher, to Constantinople to suggest 
an official visit to the imperial Court. Hostilities ended in the 
summer of 1161; and next spring Kilij Arslan was received at 
Constantinople. The ceremonies were splendid. The Sultan was 


1160: Reynold taken Prisoner 

treated with great honour and showered with gifts, but was 
treated as a vassal-prince. The news of the visit impressed all the 
princes of the East. 1 

It is in this general light that we must judge Manuel s eastern 
policy . He had won a very valuable victory of prestige and he had, 
temporarily at least, humbled the Seldjuks, who had been the main 
threat to his Empire. This success brought certain advantages to 
the Franks. Nur ed-Din had not been defeated, but he had been 
scared. He would not attempt a direct attack on Christian 
territory. At the same time the peace with the Seldjuks reopened 
the land route for pilgrims from the West. There was an increase 
in their numbers ; and that more did not arrive was due to western 
politics, to the wars between the Hohenstaufen and the Papalists in 
Germany and Italy and between the Capetians and the Planta- 
genets in France. But, though Byzantium was to remain for the 
next twenty years the greatest influence in northern Syria, its 
genuine friends among the Franks were very few. 

Events in 1160 showed both the nature and the value of the 
Imperial suzerainty over Antioch, King Baldwin had returned to 
the south and was engaged on a few minor raids in Damascene 
territory, taking advantage of Nur ed-Din s preoccupations in the 
north, when he heard that Reynald had been taken prisoner by 
Nur ed-Din. In November 1160 the seasonal movement of herds 
from the mountains of the Anti-Taurus into the Euphratesian plain 
tempted the Prince to make a raid up the river valley. As he 
returned, slowed down by the droves of cattle and camels and horses 
that he had rounded up, he was ambushed by the governor of 
Aleppo, Nur ed-Din s foster-brother Majd ed-Din. He fought 
bravely; but his men were outnumbered and he himself was 
unhorsed and captured. He was sent with his comrades, bound, on 
camel-back, to Aleppo, where he was to remain in gaol for sixteen 
years. Neither the Emperor nor the King of Jerusalem nor even the 

1 Cinnamus, pp. 191-201, 204-8; Nicetas Chroniates, pp. 152-64; Gregory 
the Priest, pp. 193-4, 199; Matthew of Edessa, cclxxxii, p. 364*- Michael the 
Syrian, m, p. 320; Citron. Anon. Syr. p. 302; Ibn al-Athir, p. 544. 


The Return of the Emperor 

people of Antioch showed any haste to ransom him. In his 
prison he found young Joscelin of Courtenay, titular Count 
of Edessa, who had been captured on a raid a few months 
previously. 1 

Reynald s elimination raised a constitutional problem in Antioch, 
where he had reigned as the husband of the Princess Constance. 
She now claimed that the power reverted to her; but public 
opinion supported the rights of her son by her first marriage, 
Bohemond, surnamed the Stammerer, who was however only 
aged fifteen. It was a situation similar to that of Queen Melisende 
and Baldwin III in Jerusalem a few years previously. There was no 
immediate danger, because Nur ed-Din s fear of Manuel kept him 
from attacking Antioch itself But some effective government 
must be provided. Strictly speaking, it was for the Emperor as 
the accepted suzerain of Antioch to settle the question. But 
Manuel was far away, and the Antiochenes had not accepted him 
without reservations. The Norman princes of Antioch had con 
sidered themselves as sovereign princes ; but the frequent minorities 
amongst their successors had obliged the Kings of Jerusalem to 
intervene, more as kinsmen than as suzerains. There had, however, 
grown up in Antioch a sentiment that regarded the King as 
suzerain; and there is little doubt that Manuel had only been 
accepted so easily because Baldwin was present to give his approval 
to the arrangement. It was to Baldwin, not to Manuel, that the 
people of Antioch looked now for a solution. On their in 
vitation he came to Antioch, declared Bohemond III to be the 
rightful prince, and entrusted the government to the Patriarch 
Aimery till the Prince should be of age. The decision displeased 
Constance, and its method displeased Manuel. The Princess 
promptly appealed to the Imperial Court. 2 " 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 28, pp. 868-9; Matthew of Edessa, cclxxxi, 
pp. 363-4.; Chron. Anon. Syr. p. 302; Gregory the Priest, p. 308 ; Kernal ad-Din, 
ed. Blochet, p. 533; Cahen (op. dt. p. 405 n. i) gives additional sources and 
discusses the topography. 

2 William of Tyre, xvm, 30, p. 874; Michael the Syrian, ni, p. 324, who says 
that Constance was removed from the rule of Antioch by Thoros. 


1161: Melisende of Tripoli 

About the end of the year 1159 the Empress Irene, born Bertha 
of Sulzbach, had died leaving only a daughter behind her. In 1160 
an embassy led by John Contostephanus, accompanied by the 
chief interpreter of the Court, the Italian Theophylact, arrived at 
Jerusalem to ask the King to nominate one of the eligible princesses 
of Outremer as bride for the widowed Emperor. There were two 
candidates, Maria, daughter of Constance of Antioch, and 
Melisende, daughter of Raymond II of Tripoli, both of them 
Baldwin s cousins and both famed for their beauty. Distrusting 
a close family alliance between the Emperor and Antioch, 
Baldwin suggested Melisende. The ambassadors went on to 
Tripoli to report on the Princess, whom the whole Prankish East 
saluted as the future Empress. Raymond of Tripoli proudly 
determined to give his sister a worthy dowry and spent vast sums 
on her trousseau. Presents poured in from her mother Hodierna 
and her aunt Queen Melisende. Knights from all parts hurried to 
Tripoli in the hope of being asked to the wedding. But no con 
firmation came from Constantinople. The ambassadors sent to 
Manuel glowing and intimate accounts of Melisende s person, but 
they also recorded a rumour about her birth, based on her mother s 
known quarrel with her father. There seems to have been in fact 
no doubt about her legitimacy; but the gossip may have made the 
Emperor hesitate. Then he heard of Baldwin s intervention at 
Antioch and received Constance s appeal. In the early summer of 
1161 Raymond, having grown impatient, sent one of his knights, 
Otto of Risberg, to Constantinople to ask what was afoot. About 
August Otto returned with the news that the Emperor repudiated 
the engagement. 1 

The shock and humiliation were too much for Melisende. She 
fell into a decline and soon faded away, as the Princesse Lointaine 

1 William of Tyre, xvni, 30, pp. 874-6; Cinnamus, pp. 208-10, who says 
that Melisende s health was unsatisfactory, in addition to the rumours about 
her legitimacy. Melisende is mentioned as futurae Imperatricis Constantino- 
politanae* in the charter of 31 July 1161, when Oultrejourdain was given to 
Philip of Milly. She and her brother were then with the King at Nazareth 
(Rohricht, Regesta, p. 96). 


The Return of the Emperor 

of medieval French romance. Her brother Raymond was furious. 
He demanded angrily to be recouped for the sums that he had 
spent on her trousseau; and when that was refused, he fitted out 
the twelve galleys that he had ordered to convey her to Constanti 
nople as men-of-war and led them to raid the coasts of Cyprus. 1 
King Baldwin, who was staying with his cousins waiting for news, 
was seriously disquieted, especially when the Byzantine ambas 
sadors received orders to go to Antioch. He hurried after them, 
to find in Antioch a splendid embassy from the Emperor, headed 
by Alexius Bryennius Comnenus, son of Anna Comnena, and the 
Prefect of Constantinople, John Camaterus. They had already 
negotiated a marriage contract between their master and the 
Princess Maria of Antioch; and their presence had sufficed to 
establish Constance as ruler of the principality. Baldwin had to 
accept the situation. Maria, who was lovelier even than her 
cousin Melisende, set sail from Saint Symeon in September, proud 
to be an Empress and happy in her ignorance of her ultimate 
destiny. She was married to the Emperor in December in the 
Church of Saint Sophia at Constantinople by the three Patriarchs, 
Luke of Constantinople, Sophronius of Alexandria and the titular 
Patriarch of Antioch, Athanasius II. 2 

Baldwin had seen the value of a Byzantine alliance ; but Manuel s 
success had been greater than he wished in the Christian north and 
less effective against Nur ed-Din, though it kept the Moslems 
quiet for the next two years. After this diplomatic check over the 
Emperor s marriage, the King returned towards his kingdom. 
There his government had gone smoothly ever since his mother s 
fall from power. She had emerged in 1 1 57 to preside over a coun 
cil of regency when Baldwin was away at the wars; and she kept 
ecclesiastical patronage in her hands. When the Patriarch Fulcher 
died in November 1157 she secured the appointment as his 
successor of a simple cleric whom she knew, Amalric of Nesle, 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 31, 33, pp. 876, 878-9. 

* Ibid, xvm, 31, pp. 875-6; Cinnamus, p. 210-11; Nicetas Choniates, 
p. 151, a great eulogy of the beauty of the new Empress. 




1162: Death of Baldwin III 

well-educated but unworldly and unpractical. Hernes, Archbishop 
of Caesarea, and Ralph, Bishop of Bethlehem, opposed his eleva 
tion; and Amalric was obliged to send Frederick, Bishop of Acre, to 
Rome to secure papal support. Frederick s tact and, it was hinted, 
his bribes obtained confirmation from the papal Curia. 1 In her 
church-patronage, Melisende was seconded by her stepdaughter, 
Sibylla of Flanders, who refused to return to Europe with her 
husband Thierry in 1158 but stayed on as a nun in the abbey that 
Melisende had founded at Bethany. When Melisende died in 
September 1 161, while the King was at Antioch, Sibylla succeeded 
to her influence in the royal family and in the Church till her own 
death four years later/ 

While he was passing through Tripoli, King Baldwin fell ill. 
The Count of Tripoli sent his own doctor, the Syrian Barac, to 
tend him; but the Kong grew worse. He moved on to Beirut, and 
there, on 10 February 1162, he died. He had been a tall, strongly- 
built man, whose florid complexion and thick fair beard suggested 
good health and virility; and all the world believed that Barac s 
drugs had poisoned him. He was in his thkty-third year. Had he 
lived longer, he might have been a great king; for he had energy 
and a far-sighted vision and a personal charm that was irresistible. 
He was well-lettered, learned both in history and in law. His 
subjects mourned him bitterly; and even the Moslem peasants 
came down from the hills to pay respect to his body as the 
funeral cortege moved slowly to Jerusalem. Some of Nur ed-Din s 
friends suggested to the Atabeg that now was the time to attack 
the Christians. But he, just returned from a long-postponed 
pilgrimage to Mecca, refused to disturb a people bewailing the loss 
of so great a prince. 3 

1 William of Tyre, xvm, 20, p. 854. Examples of Melisende s religious 
charities in 1159 and 1160 are given in Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 88, 94. 

3 William of Tyre, loc. cit. mentions Sibylla s participation. Ernoul, p. 21, 
for Sibylla s refusal to leave tne Holy Land. 

3 William of Tyre, xvi, 2, pp. 705-6, gives a character sketch of Baldwin El. 




No; lut we will go into the land of Egypt. JEREMIAH xxn, 14 

Baldwin III left no children. His Greek Queen, Theodora, was 
still only sixteen when she was widowed. The heir to the kingdom 
was his brother Amalric, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon. Eight days 
after Baldwin s death he was crowned king by the Patriarch 
Amalric. There had, however, been some question about his 
succession. The barons were unwilling to abandon their right of 
election, even though there was no other possible candidate. They 
had one legitimate- grievance. Some four years before, Amalric 
had married Agnes of Courtenay, daughter of Joscelin II of 
Edessa. She was his third cousin, and therefore within the degrees 
prohibited by the Church; and the Patriarch had re&sed to con 
firm the marriage. There were other reasons for disliking Agnes. 
She was considerably older than Amalric. Her first husband, 
Reynald of Marash, had been killed in 1149, when Amalric was 
aged thirteen; and her reputation for chastity was not good. The 
Patriarch and the barons demanded that the marriage be annulled. 
Amalric consented at once, but he insisted that the legitimacy 
and rights of inheritance of his two children, Baldwin and Sibylla, 
should be recognized. 1 

1 William of Tyre xn, i, 4, pp. 883-4, 888-90. Robert of Torigny i 
P " 3 . MV Ama ] riC S arria g e "57- For Agnes s first husband, see above 
p. 326 William of Tyre s continuators disliked her intensely for good reasons 
(see below, p. 407). They may have exaggerated her faults, but it is unlikely 
that the distant consanguinity alone would have made the barons insist on the 
divorce. According tc .William the relationship was pointed out by the Abbess 
Stephanie, daughter of Joscelin I, and Maria of Salerno : but it must have been 
well-known that Baldwin I and Joscelin I were first cousins, and the Patriarch 


1162: King Amalric 

Amalric was now twenty-five. He was as tall and handsome as 
his brother, with the same high colouring and thick blond beard, 
though critics considered him too plump in the chest. He was less 
learned, though well informed on legal matters. While his brother 
loved to talk, he stammered a little and was taciturn, but was 

*- " ..... . . . 

Map 5. Egypt in the twelfth century. 

given to frequent paroxysms of loud laughter, which somewhat 
impaired his dignity. He was never as popular as his brother, 
lacking his charm and open manner; and his private life was 
unpraiseworthy. 1 His quality as a statesman was shown within 

had already refused to bless the wedding. Agnes was probably born in 1133 
her mother Beatrice s first husband died in 1132, and she married Joscelin of 
Edessa very soon afterwards. 
1 William of Tyre, XEX, 2-3, pp. 884-8. 


The Lure of Egypt 

a few months of his accession, when Gerard, lord of Sidon and 
Beaufort, dispossessed one of his vassals without due cause, and 
the vassal appealed to the Crown. Amalric insisted upon the case 
being heard before the High Court of the realm. He then passed 
an assise, based on other such precedents, which empowered 
vassals to appeal against their lord to the High Court. If the lord 
failed to appear before the Court, the case was held to have gone 
by default and the vassal was reinstated. This law, by bringing the 
vassals of tenants-in-chief into direct relation with the King, to 
whom they had to pay liege homage, gave immense power to a 
strong king who dominated the High Court. But the High Court 
itself was composed of that very class against which the law was 
directed. If the king were weak, it could be used against him by 
applying it to the tenants of the royal domain. 1 This assise was 
followed by others regulating the King s relations with his vassals. 
When he had firmly established his royal authority at home, 
Amalric could attend to foreign affairs. In the north he was ready 
to sacrifice Antioch to the Byzantines. About the end of 1162 
there were disturbances in Cilicia following the murder of 
Thoros s brother Stephen, who was on his way to attend a 
banquet given by the Imperial governor Andronicus. Thoros, who 
had his own reasons for desiring Stephen s elimination, accused 
Andronicus of complicity and swept down on Mamistra, 
Anazarbus and Vahka, surprising and murdering the Greek 
garrisons. Amalric hastened to offer support to the Emperor; who 
replaced Andronicus with an able general of Hungarian birth, 
Constantine Coloman. Coloman came with strengthened forces 
to Cilicia; and Thoros retired with apologies back to the moun 
tains. 2 Bohemond of Antioch was now eighteen and of an age to 
govern. In her desire to keep her power Constance appealed to 

1 For this important assize, see above, p. 301. La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, 
pp. 22-3, 99, 153; also Grandclaude, Liste d Assises de Jerusalem. in. Melanges 
Paul Fournier, pp. 329 He dates this assize 1166 and lists the other assizes that 
can be attributed to Amalric. 

2 Cinnamus, p. 227; Gregory the Priest, p. 200; Sembat the Constable, 
p. 621 ; Michael the Syrian, in, p. 3 19, Armenian version, pp. 349, 3 56. 


1154 Intrigues in Cairo 

Coloman for military aid. The rumour of her appeal provoked 
a riot in Antioch. Constance was exiled and Bohemond III in 
stalled in her place. She died soon afterwards. 1 The Emperor made 
no objection to the change of regime, probably because Amalric 
gave guarantees that his suzerainty would be respected. But as 
a safeguard he invited Constance s second son Baldwin and, later, 
her children by Reynald, to Constantinople. Baldwin joined the 
imperial army and died in battle.* While King Amalric openly 
supported the Byzantines, he wrote at the same time to King 
Louis VII of France to ask if there was any hope of his sending 
help to the Latins of Syria. 3 

Byzantine good-will was necessary to Amalric to carry out his 
chief political ambition, which was the control of Egypt. The 
existence of the Latin states depended, as he well understood, on 
disunion amongst their Moslem neighbours. Moslem Syria was 
now united; but so long as Egypt was at enmity with Nur ed-Din, 
the situation was not desperate. The Fatimid Caliphate was, how 
ever, in such decadence that its end seemed imminent. It was 
essential that it should not fall into Nur ed-Din s hands. Since the 
loss of Ascalon there had been increasing chaos at the Caliph s 
Court. The vizier Abbas survived the disaster for a year. His son 
Nasr was the favourite of the young Caliph al-Zafir; and their 
intimacy gave rise to scandalous gossip. This infuriated Abbas, not 
for moral reasons but because he rightly suspected that al-Zar 
intended to play off the son against the father. Usama, who was 
still at the Court, learnt that Nasr had indeed agreed to murder 

1 Michael the Syrian, m, p. 324, confirmed by Chron. Anon. Syr. They seem 
to coalesce the events of 1160 and 1162-3. Ughelli, Italia Sacra, vn, p. 203, 
quotes a charter of 1167 where Bohemond III calls himself Prince of Antioch, 
Lord of Laodicea and Gibel . As Lattakieh andjabala were his mother s dower, 
she had presumably died. 

2 For Baldwin, see below, p. 413. Constance s daughter by Reynald, Agnes, 
was married later to the Hungarian pretender Alexius or Bela III, who became 
King of Hungary in 1173 (Nicetas Choniates, p. 221). 

3 Letters of Amalric in Bouquet, R.H.F. vol. xvi, pp. 36-7, 39-40. The 
second letter speaks of the Byzantine threat to Antioch. Bohemond IE wrote 
about the same time to King Louis (ibid. pp. 27-8). 


The Lurej}f Egypt 

Abbas. He hastened to reconcile them and soon persuaded Nasr 
that it would be better to murder the Caliph instead. Nasr 
invited his benefactor to a midnight orgy at his house and there 
stabbed him. Abbas affected to believe that the murderers were 
the Caliph s own brothers. He put them to death and, while 
seizing the Caliph s treasure for himself, placed on the throne 
al-Zafir s young son, al-Fa iz, a boy of five, who had witnessed his 
uncles deaths and thereafter suffered from chronic convulsions. 
The princesses of the family suspected the truth and summoned 
the governor of upper Egypt, Ibn Ruzzik, an Armenian by birth, 
to rescue them. He marched on Cairo and won round the officers 
of the garrison. Abbas and Nasr packed up their treasure and on 
29 May 1154 fled from the capital, taking with them Usama, who 
had begun to intrigue with Ibn Ruzzik. As they emerged from 
the deserts of Sinai, Prankish troops from Montreal fell on them. 
Usama escaped safely and eventually reached Damascus. But 
Abbas was slain, and Nasr and all the treasure was captured. Nasr 
was handed over to the Templars and at once announced his wish 
to become a Christian. But the Court of Cairo offered the Order 
60,000 dinars for his person; so his instruction was interrupted and 
he was sent in chains to Cairo. There the late Caliph s four widows 
personally mutilated him. He was then hanged, and his body 
swung for two years at the Zawila Gate. 1 

Ibn Ruzzik governed till 1161. In n 60 the boy-Caliph died, to 
be succeeded by his nine-year old cousin, al-Adid, who next year 
was forced to marry Ibn Ruzzik s daughter. But the Caliph s aunt, 
al-Zafir s sister, distrusted the vizier s ambition. She induced her 
friends to stab him in the hall of the palace. Before he died, in 
September 1161, he was able to summon the princess to his 
presence and killed her himself. His son, al-Adil, succeeded as 
vizier and ruled for fifteen months. Then he in his turn was dis- 

1 Usama, ecL Hitti, pp. 43-54 (whose account does not quite conceal kis 
volatile disloyalties); Ibn al-Athir, pp. 492-3; William of Tyre, xvm, 9, 
pp. 832-4. For the history of Egypt at this period, see Wiet, L Egypte Musul- 
nume, pp. 191 fF. 


1163: Nur ed-Din defeated at Krak 

placed and killed by the governor of upper Egypt, Shawar, who 
survived for eight months, till August 1163 when he was ejected 
by his Arab chamberlain, Dhirgham. Dhirgham, to consolidate 
his power, put to death everyone whose ambition he feared; 
which left, the Egyptian army almost entirely void of senior 
officers. 1 

In 1 1 60 Baldwin III had threatened to invade Egypt and had 
been bought off by the promise of a yearly tribute of 160,000 
dinars. It had never been paid; and in September of 1163 Amalric 
made this the excuse for a sudden descent on Egypt. He crossed 
the isthmus of Suez without difficulty and laid siege to Pelusium. 
But the Nile was in flood; and by breaking one or two dykes 
Dhirgham forced him to retire. 2 His intervention had been 
remarked by Nur ed-Din, who profited by his absence to attack 
the weakest of the Crusading states, Tripoli. He invaded the 
Buqaia in order to lay siege to the Castle of Krak, which dominated 
the narrow plain. Fortunately for the Franks, Hugh, Count of 
Lusignan, and Geoffrey Martel, brother of the Count of Angou- 
leme, were passing through Tripoli with their following on their 
return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They joined Count 
Raymond; and an urgent appeal to Antioch brought not only 
Bohemond III but also the Imperial general Constantine Coloman 
down from the north. The united Christian army marched 
swifdy through the hills, and surprised the Moslems at their camp 
below Krak. After a short battle, in which Coloman and his troops 
particularly distinguished themselves, Nur ed-Din fled in disorder 
to Horns. There he regrouped his army and received reinforce 
ments. The Christians therefore abandoned the pursuit. 3 

1 Ibn al-Athir, p. 529; Abu Shama, p. 107. 

2 William of Tyre, xre, 5, pp. 890-1; letter of Amalric, R.H.F. vol. xvi, 
pp. 59-60. He assures King Louis that Egypt could be conquered with a little 
additional aid; Michael the Syrian, ra, p. 317. 

3 William of Tyre, xix, 8, pp. 894-5; *bn al-Athir, p. 531, and Atabegs, 
pp. 207-9; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 534- Michael the Syrian, m, p. 324. 
Ibn al-Athir mentions the Byzantines as being the most formidable element in 
the Christian army. 


The Lure of Egypt 

Soon afterwards the ex-vizier, Shawar, who had escaped from 
Egypt, appeared at Nur ed-Din s Court and offered, if Nur 
ed-Din would send an army to re-establish him in Cairo, to pay 
the expenses of the campaign, to cede districts on the frontier, to 
recognize Nur ed-Din s suzerainty and to provide a yearly tribute 
of a third of his country s revenues. Nur ed-Din hesitated. He 
feared to risk an army along roads dominated by the Franks of 
Oultrejourdain. It was only in April 1164, after seeking advice by 
opening the Koran at random, that he ordered his most trusted 
lieutenant, Shirkuh, to set out with a large detachment and go 
with Shawar across the desert, while he himself made a diversion 
by attacking Banyas. With Shirkuh went his nephew Saladin, son 
of Najm ed-Din Ayub, a young man of twenty-seven, who was 
not over anxious to join the expedition. Dhirgham in terror sent 
off to ask help from Amalric; but so quickly did Shirkuh move 
that he was across the Isthmus of Suez before the Franks were 
ready to intervene. Dhirgham s brother, with the few troops that 
he could muster, was defeated near to Pelusium. By the end of 
May 1 1 64 Shawar was reinstalled in Cairo and Dhirgham was dead. 1 

Restored to power, Shawar repudiated his bargain and told 
Shirkuh to go back to Syria. Shirkuh refused, and seized Bilbeis. 
Shawar then appealed to King Amalric, and bade him make haste, 
offering him a thousand dinars for each of the twenty-seven stages 
of the journey from Jerusalem to the Nile and promising a further 
present to the Knights of the Hospital that accompanied him and 
the expenses for the fodder of their horses. After putting his 
kingdom into a good state of defence, Amalric marched swifdy 
early in August to Faqus on the Nile. There Shawar joined him 
and they moved to besiege Shirkuh in Bilbeis. The fortress held 
out for three months and was likely to fall when Amalric, who had 
news from Syria, decided to raise the siege on condition that 
Shirkuh evacuated Egypt. Shirkuh agreed and the two armies, 
Prankish and Syrian, marched on parallel routes out across the 

1 William of Tyre, xix, 5, 7, pp. 891-2, 893; Abu Shama, p. 107; Ibn 
al-Adiir, p. 533, and Atabegs, pp. 215-6; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 46-8. 


1164: Disaster at Artah 

Sinai peninsula, leaving Shawar in control of his realm. Shirkuh 
was the last of his company to leave. When he bade farewell to 
the Franks, one of them, newly come to the East, asked him, was 
he not afraid of treachery? He answered proudly that his whole 
army would avenge him, and the Frank replied gallantly that he 
now understood why Shirkuh s reputation stood so high with the 
Crusaders. 1 

The news that had brought Amalric hurrying home came from 
Antioch. When he knew that Amalric had left for Egypt, Nur 
ed-Din struck at the northern principality and laid siege to the key- 
fortress of Harenc. With him was his brother s army from Mosul 
and troops of the Ortoqid princes of Diarbekir and Mardin and 
Diert and Kir. While the lord of Harenc, Reynald of Saint-Valery, 
put up a brave defence, Prince Bohemond called upon Raymond 
of Tripoli, Thoros of Armenia and Constantine Coloman to come 
to his rescue. They set out together in mid-August. At the news 
of their coming, Nur ed-Din raised the siege. He was, we are told, 
particularly alarmed by the presence of the Byzantine contingent. 
As he retired, Bohemond, who had some six hundred knights 
with him, decided to follow in pursuit, against the advice of 
Reynald of Saint-Valery; for the Moslem army was considerably 
larger. The armies made contact on 10 August, near Artah. 
Ignoring a warning from Thoros, Bohemond attacked at once 
and when the Moslems feigned flight rushed headlong after them, 
only to fall into an ambush and to find himself and his knights 
surrounded by the army of Mosul. Thoros and his brother Mleh, 
who had been more cautious, escaped from the batdefield. The rest 
of the Christian army was captured or slain. Amongst the prisoners 
were Bohemond, Raymond of Tripoli, Constantine Coloman 
and Hugh of Lusignan. They were taken, bound together, to 

1 William of Tyre, xix, 7, pp. 893-4; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 534~6 ^d Atabegs, 
pp. 217-9; Abu Shama, p. 125. 

2 William of Tyre, xix, 9, pp. 895-7, dating it erroneously 1165; Robert of 
Torigny, I, p. 355; letters of Almalric I and of Gaufred Fulcker to Louis YE, 



The Lure of Egypt 

Nur ed-Din s advisers urged him to inarch on the defenceless 
city of Antioch. But he refused. If he moved towards Antioch, 
he said, the Greeks would hastily send a garrison into the citadel; 
and though he might take the city, the citadel could hold out until 
the Emperor arrived. It was better, he thought, to have a petty 
Prankish state there than to let it become part of a great Empire. 
So anxious was he not to offend Byzantium that he freed Con- 
stantine Coloman almost at once, in return for a hundred and 
fifty silken robes. Once again Antioch was saved for Christendom 
by the prestige of the Emperor. 

Amalric, as he hurried northwards, was joined by Thierry of 
Flanders, who had come on his fourth pilgrimage to Palestine. 
With this reinforcement he paused at Tripoli to establish his right 
to be regent of the County during the Count s captivity, then 
moved on to Antioch. There he entered into negotiations with 
Nur ed-Din, who agreed to release Bohemond and Thoros for 
a large ransom, but only because they were the vassals of the 
Emperor; he would not allow Raymond of Tripoli to go, nor his 
older prisoner, Reynald of ChatiUon. 1 Amalric himself was dis 
quieted when an Imperial envoy came to ask him what he was 
doing at Antioch. He replied by sending to Constantinople the 
Archbishop of Caesarea and his Butler, Odo of Saint- Amand, to 
ask the Emperor for the hand of an Imperial princess and to 
suggest an alliance for the conquest of Egypt.* Manuel kept the 
embassy waiting two years for an answer. Meanwhile Amalric 
had to return south; for Nur ed-Din, instead of attacking Antioch, 
had suddenly appeared in October before Banyas, whose lord, 
Humphrey II of Toron, was with Amalric s army. He had spread 

in R.H.F. vol. xvi, pp. 60-2; Cinnamus, p. 216 (a very brief reference to 
Coloman s capture); Michael die Syrian, m, p. 324; Chron. Anon. Syr. p. 304; 
Boston, p. 559; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 510; Abu Shama, p. 133; 
Ibn al-Athir, Atabegs, pp. 220-3. 

1 William of Tyre, XDC, 10, n, pp. 898, 900-1 ; Buston, p. 561 ; Michael the 
Syrian, m, p. 326, Armenian version, p. 360, saying that Thoros, who was 
released first, insisted on Bohemond s release. 

a Cinnamus, pp. 237-8; William of Tyre, xx, I, p. 942. 


11 6$: A Greek Patriarch at Antioch 

rumours that his objective was Tiberias; and the local Prankish 
militia was concentrated there. The garrison at Banyas put up a 
brave resistance at first. It was hoped that Thierry of Flanders, 
who had just arrived in Palestine, would come to the rescue, when 
suddenly, owing perhaps to treason, the fortress capitulated. 
Nur ed-Din occupied the surrounding country and threatened to 
march on into Galilee, whose barons bought him off by promising 
a tribute. 1 

Bohemond of Antioch, as soon as he was released, went to 
Constantinople to visit his sister and to beg his brother-in-law for 
money with which to pay part of his ransom that he still owed to 
Nur ed-Din. Manuel gave the required aid. In return Bohemond 
journeyed back to Antioch with a Greek Patriarch, Athanasius II. 
The Latin Patriarch Aimery went protesting into exile to the 
Castle of Qosair. a For the next five years the Greeks dominated 
the Antiochene Church. It does not seem that Latin bishops were 
ejected; but vacant sees were filled by Greeks. The dependent 
Latin Church of Tripoli was unaffected. The coming of the Greeks 
threw the Jacobite Church into the arms of the Latins. They had 
been on friendly terms since 1152 when a miracle at the tomb of 
the Syrian Saint Barsauma had cured a lame Prankish child; and 
in 1156 the Jacobites, to the delight of their Patriarch, Michael the 
historian, had been allowed to build a new cathedral, at whose 
dedication the Princess Constance and the Armenian Prince 
Thoros assisted. Now the Patriarch Michael went to visit Aimery 
at Qosair to assure him of his sympathy. Michael s dislike of the 
Greeks went so far that he refused in 1169 a friendly invitation 
from the Emperor to come to Constantinople for one of the 
religious debates in which Manuel delighted. 3 

Nur ed-Din spent 1165 and 1166 in making surprise attacks on 

1 William of Tyre, XDC, 10, pp. 898-900; Ibn al-Athir, p. 540-2, and Atalegs, 
p. 234; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 541. 

* William of Tyre, xrx, n, p. 901; Michael the Syrian, m, p. 326. 
Athanasius E had been appointed Patriarch of Antioch in 1157 when the 
Patriarch-designate, Panteugenes Soterichus, was accused of heresy. 

3 Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 301-4, 33^, 334-6- 

371 24 2 

The Lure of Egypt 

fortresses on the eastern slopes of the Lebanon, while Shirkuh 
raided Oultrejourdain, destroying a castle that the Templars had 
built in a grotto south of Amman. 1 At the end of 1166 Shirkuh 
at last obtained permission from his master to invade Egypt once 
more. He persuaded the Caliph at Baghdad to represent the pro 
ject as a holy war against the heretic Caliphate of the Shia Fatimids ; 
and this argument probably affected Nur ed-Din, who had grown 
deeply religious since his illness. He provided reinforcements 
from Aleppo for Shirkuh and his army. Shirkuh set out from 
Damascus in January 1 167. Once again he took Saladin with him. 
He had made no secret of his intentions; and Shawar had time 
again to call on Amalric s help. The King was at Nablus and sum 
moned his barons to meet him there. After he had pointed out 
the danger to Palestine should the Sunni Syrians conquer Egypt, 
the High Court agreed on a full expedition to save Shawar. The 
whole fighting force of the kingdom was to take part or else to 
stay on the frontiers to guard against attacks in the King s absence. 
Anyone who could not come was to pay a tenth of his year s 
income. Before the army was ready news came that Shirkuh was 
passing through the Sinai desert. Amalric sent the troops that 
were at hand to intercept him, but it was too late. 2 

A terrible sand-storm almost overwhelmed Shirkuh s army; but 
he reached the isthmus about the first days of February. There he 
heard that the Prankish army had set out on 30 January. He there 
fore marched south-westward, through the desert, to reach the 
Nile at Atfih, forty miles above Cairo. There he crossed and came 

1 William of Tyre, xix, n, pp. 901-2; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 501, 
dating the capture of Munietra after die Egyptian campaign of 1167; Ibn al- 
Athir, pp. 545-6, and Atc&egs, pp. 235-6. Nur ed-Din took Munietra, on the 
road from Jebail to Baalbek, while Shirkuh took Shaqif Titun, or the Cave of 
Tyron, identified by Rey (Colonies Franques, p. 513) as Qalat an-Ninha, about 
15 miles east of Sidon. The location of the Templar fortress near Amman is 
unknown. Beha ed-Din calls it Akaf. It may be the grotto of Kaf, south-east 
of Amman, which contains Romain remans but no sign of medieval masonry. 

a William of Tyre, xix, 13, 16, pp. 902-4, 907-8; Behn ed-Din, P.T.T.S., 
p. 48, saying that Nur ed-Din obliged Saladin to accompany Shirkuh; Ibn al- 
Athir, p. 547, and Atolegs, p. 236. 


: Prankish Ambassadors at Cairo 

down the west bank and set up his camp at Giza, opposite the 
capital. Meanwhile the Prankish army approached Cairo from the 
north-east. Shawar met it some way from the city and guided it 
to an encampment on the east bank of the Nile, a mile from the 
city walls. After he had refused a suggestion from Shirkuh to 
unite against the Christians, he made a pact with Amalric. The 
Franks were to be paid 400,000 besants, half at once, half a little 
later, on condition that Amalric solemnly swore not to leave 
Egypt until Shirkuh had been driven out. The King sent Hugh, 
Lord of Caesarea, and a Templar called Geoffrey, who probably 
spoke Arabic, into Cairo to obtain the Caliph s formal confirma 
tion of the treaty. Their reception at the palace was superb. They 
were led past colonnades and fountains and gardens where the 
Court menageries and aviaries were kept, through hall after hall, 
heavy with hangings of silk and golden thread, studded with 
jewels, till at last a great golden curtain was raised, to show the 
boy-Caliph seated veiled on his golden throne. The oaths to keep 
the treaty were sworn ; and Hugh then, as his Bang s deputy, wished 
to seal the pact in the western fashion by shaking the Caliph s 
bare hand. The Egyptian courtiers were horrified; but at last 
their sovereign, smiling contemptuously, was persuaded to remove 
his glove. The ambassadors then retired, deeply impressed, as was 
% intended, by the accumulated wealth of the Fatimid Empire. 1 

For a month the armies glared at each other, neither able to 
cross the river in face of the other s opposition. Then Amalric 
managed to effect a crossing on to an island at the head of the 
Delta, a little to the north, and from there on to the left bank; 
where be surprised one of Shirkuh s corps. Shirkuh, whose army 
was outnumbered by the Franco-Egyptian, retired southward up 
the Nile. Amalric and Shawar followed, but as a precaution they 
left a strong garrison in Cairo under Shawar s son Kamil and Hugh 

1 William of Tyre, xrx, 17-19, pp. 908-13; Ernoul, p. 19, comments that 
only the Emperor s court at Constantinople was richer than diat of Cairo; 
Abu Shama, p. 130. William continues his narrative with an account of the 
difference between the Sunni and the Shia sects. 


The Lure of Egypt 

of Ibelin. The entry of Hugh s regiment into Cairo and the free 
access to the palace allowed to the officers horrified the stricter 
Moslem circles in the city. 

Not far from Minya in middle Egypt Shirkuh prepared to cross 
the Nile again with the idea of falling back to invade the Syrian 
frontier. He encamped at Ashmunein, amongst the ruins of the 
ancient Hermoupohs. There the Franco-Egyptian army caught up 
with him. It was larger than his, even without the garrison left at 
Cairo ; but Shirkuh s army was chiefly composed of light Turkish 
horse, whereas the Egyptians were infantrymen, and the Franks 
had only a few hundred knights with them. Against the advice of 
his emirs he decided to give battle. Amalric on his side hesitated. 
But Saint Bernard then made one of his unfortunate interventions 
into Crusading history. He appeared in a vision to the King and 
taunted him as being unworthy of the fragment of the True 
Cross that he wore round his neck. Only when the King vowed 
to be a better Christian would he bless the relic. Thus encouraged, 
Amalric next morning, 18 March 1167, led an attack on the 
Syrians. Shirkuh adopted the usual Turkish tactics. His centre, 
under Saladin, yielded, and when the King and his knights 
galloped on in pursuit, he flung his right wing against the Franco- 
Egyptian left, which crumbled. Amalric found himself sur 
rounded. That he escaped alive was due, it was thought, to his 
blessed relic; but many of his best knights were slain, and others, 
including Hugh of Caesarea, taken prisoner. Amalric and Shawar 
and the remnants of their army retreated precipitately to Cairo, to 
join the forces of the garrison. 1 

Shirkuh was victorious ; but there was still an allied army in the 
field. Instead of attempting an attack on Cairo he recrossed the 
river and moved swiftly north-west through the Fayyum. 
Within a few days he appeared before Alexandria; and the great 

1 William of Tyre, xrx, 22-5, pp. 917-28 (including a description of Egypt 
and the Nile); Ibn al-Athir, pp. 547-9, dating the batde of Ashmunein 
18 March, and Atabegs, p. 23, daring the batde 18 April. Vita St Bernardi, 
M.P.L. vol. CLXXXV, cols. 366-7, dating the battle, 19 March. 


1167: Saladin besieged in Alexandria 

city, where Shawar was hated, opened its gates to him. Mean 
while Amalric and Shawar reformed their army outside Cairo. 
Despite its losses it still was larger than Shirkuh s. They therefore 
followed him to Alexandria and blockaded the city. A few rein 
forcements arrived from Palestine; and Prankish ships sailed in 
to complete the blockade. After about a month Shirkuh was 
threatened with starvation. Leaving Saladin with about a thousand 
men to hold the city, he slipped out one night in May with the 
greater part of his army, past Amalric s camp, and made for upper 
Egypt. Amalric was furious and wished to go in pursuit; but 
Shawar advised that Shirkuh should be allowed if he wished to 
pillage the upper Egyptian towns. It was more important to 
recover Alexandria. By the end of June Saladin s position within 
the city was so desperate, that he had to beg his uncle to return. 
Shirkuh realized that nothing more could be done. He approached 
Alexandria and sent one of his Prankish prisoners, Arnulf of 
Turbessel, after Hugh of Caesarea had refused the task, to 
Amalric s camp to suggest peace on the basis that both he and the 
Franks should evacuate Egypt, and that Shawar should promise 
not to penalize those of his subjects who at Alexandria and else 
where had supported the invaders. Amalric, who was nervous 
about affairs in Palestine and Tripoli, accepted his terms. On 
4 August, the Prankish army, with the King at its head, entered 
Alexandria. Saladin and his army were escorted out with full 
military honours, though the local population would have gladly 
torn him to pieces, blaming him for their recent misery. But their 
troubles were not over. No sooner did Shawar s officials enter the 
city than anyone suspected of collaboration with the Syrians was 
arrested. Saladin complained to Amalric, who ordered Shawar to 
let the prisoners go. He himself provided boats to convey 
Shirkuh s wounded by sea to Acre; where unfortunately those 
that had recovered were sent to work in the sugar-plantations till 
the King came in person to release them. During the negotiations 
Saladin made many friends amongst the Franks; and it was 
believed afterwards that he had been knighted by the Constable 


The Lure of Egypt 

Humphrey of Toron. Shirkuh and Saladin left Egypt about 
10 August and. reached Damascus in September. Amalric and his 
army went to Cairo, to relieve Hugh of Ibelin from his garrison 
duty; but Shawar was made to sign a pact promising to pay a 
yearly tribute of 100,000 pieces of gold and to keep a Prankish 
high commissioner and a small Prankish garrison in Cairo, in 
control of the gates of the city. The King then returned to 
Palestine, reaching Ascalon on 20 August. 1 

Some of the Prankish lords thought that a better bargain could 
have been made. But Amalric was unwilling to risk his forces 
further in Egypt without safeguarding Prankish Syria against Nur 
ed-Din s attacks. While he was still in Egpyt Nur ed-Din had led 
a raid into the territory of Tripoli but without capturing any 
important fortresses. It was necessary to reorganize the defence 
of the country. The chief problem was always man-power. The 
resident families were reduced by death or by capture. Visiting 
Crusaders like Thierry of Flanders could only be used for specific 
campaigns. Amakic therefore mainly depended on the Military 
Orders, to whom in 1167 and the succeeding years a large number 
of fortresses with the surrounding lands were handed over. The 
gifts were particularly important in Tripoli, whose Count was 
still a captive and where there were few great noble families. 
Tortosa and almost the whole of the north of the county passed to 
the control of the Templars, while the Hospitallers, who probably 
already held Krak, known after them as des Chevaliers , were 
given charge of the Buqaia. In the kingdom the Templars, 
already installed at Gaza in the south, were given Safed in the north, 
while the Hospitallers acquired Belvoir, which commanded the 
fords of the Jordan to the south of the Sea of Galilee. In Antioch 
Bohemond in followed Amalric s example. The Templars 5 
holdings round Baghras, on the Syrian Gates, were increased, and 

1 William of Tyre, xrx, 26-32, pp. 928-39; Abu Shama, pp. 130-4; Ibn 
al-Athir, pp. 547-51, aa&Atabegs, pp. 23 6-46 ; Bella ed-Din, P. T. T.S., pp. 49-51 ; 
Imad ed-Din. The story of Saladin s knighthood is given in the Itinerarium 
Regis Ricardi, p. 9. 


1166-7: The Adventures of Andronicus Comnenus 

the Hospitallers were allotted a huge wad of territory at the south 
of the principality, most of which was actually in Moslem hands. 
Had the Orders been less irresponsible and jealous, their power 
might well have preserved the kingdom s defences. 1 

While the Orders were to lead the defence of the realm, 
Amalric also sought a closer alliance with Byzantium. In August 
1 167, when he had just come back from Egypt, news reached him 
that his ambassadors to Constantinople, the Archbishop of Caesarea 
and the Butler Odo, had landed at Tyre with the Emperor s lovely 
young grand-niece, Maria Comnena. He hastened to meet her; 
and their marriage was celebrated pompously in the Cathedral of 
Tyre by the Patriarch Amalric on 29 August. The Queen was 
given Nablus and its territory as her dower. With her were two 
high officials of her uncle s Court, his cousins George Palaeologus 
and Manuel Comnenus, who were empowered to discuss with 
Amalric the question of an alliance. 2 

Good relations between the Prankish princes and the Emperor 
had recently been endangered by the irresponsibility of another of 
Manuel s cousins, Andronicus Comnenus. This prince, the most 
brilliant and handsome of his family, had already been in disgrace 
for seducing one of his relatives, the Emperor s niece Eudocia, of 
whom gossip said that the Emperor himself was too fond. He 
had moreover proved himself an unwise governor of Cilicia in 
1152. But in 1166 he was appointed again to this post. His pre 
decessor, Alexius Axuch, who had been sent out when Coloman 
was captured, had failed to carry out the Emperor s orders to 
reconcile the Armenians; and it was hoped that Andronicus s 
personal charm, together with extensive subsidies, would be more 
successful with Thoros. But Andronicus, though already aged 
forty-six, was more interested in adventure than administration. 
He soon had occasion to visit Antioch. There he was struck by the 
beauty of the young Princess Philippa, Bohemond s sister. 

1 See Dekville Leroulx, op. cit. pp. 74-6- Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 109 f, 
gives frequent examples of grants to the Orders. 
a William of Tyre, xx, i, pp. 942-3; Ernoul, pp. 17-18; Cinnamus, p. 238. 


The Lure of Egypt 

Forgetful of his governmental duties he stayed on in Antioch 
wooing Philippa in a series of romantic serenades till she was 
dazzled and could refuse him nothing. Bohemond was furious 
and complained to his brother-in-law Manuel; who angrily 
recalled Andronicus and reinstalled Constantine Coloman in his 
place. Coloman was also ordered to proceed to Antioch and to 
try to capture Philippa s affection. But the Princess thought him 
plain and short and middle-aged in comparison with her splendid 
lover. Andronicus, however, whose motive had largely been to 
annoy the Empress whom he detested, found it prudent to 
abandon Antioch and his mistress. Taking with him a large share 
of the imperial revenues from Cilicia and Cyprus, he rode south 
ward and offered his services to King Amalric. The deserted 
princess was married off hastily to an elderly widower, the 
Constable Humphrey II of Toron. 

Amalric, charmed by Andronicus and impressed by his personal 
bravery, gave him the fief of Beirut which was then vacant. Soon 
afterwards Andronicus went to Acre, the dower of his cousin, the 
widowed Queen Theodora. She was now twenty-one and at the 
height of her beauty. It was a case of love on both sides. They were 
too closely related ever to marry; but the Queen shamelessly came 
to Beirut and lived there as his mistress. When Manuel heard of 
this new liaison, probably from the ambassadors that had escorted 
Queen Maria to Palestine, his rage was unbounded. His next 
ambassadors to Palestine secretly demanded the extradition of the 
culprit. Their instructions fell into Theodora s hands. As Amalric 
was known to be seeking Manuel s good-will, Andronicus 
thought it wise to depart. He gave out that he was returning 
home; and Theodora came once again from Acre to bid him 
good-bye. As soon as they were together they abandoned all their 
possessions and fled unattended over the frontier to Damascus. 
Nur ed-Din received them kindly; and they spent the next years 
wandering round the Moslem East, even visiting Baghdad, till at 
last a Moslem emir gave them a castle near the Paphlagonian 
border of the Empire, where Andronicus, excommunicated by the 


n68: Alliance with Byzantium 

Church, settled down happily to the life of a brigand. Amalric 
was not sorry to see them, go ; for it enabled him to take back his 
sister-in-law s rich dower of Acre. 1 

Amalric had apparently sent back to Manuel with George 
Palaeologus a proposition for the conquest of -Egypt. Manuel s 
next embassy, led by two Italians, Alexander of Conversano, 
Count of Gravina, and Michael of Otranto, brought back his 
conditions, which were, it seems, a share in the spoils of Egypt 
and a completely free hand in Antioch, and perhaps the cession of 
other Prankish territory. The terms were high; and Amalric 
therefore sent the Archdeacon of Tyre, William, the future 
historian, to Constantinople, to resume discussions. When William 
arrived there he learnt that the Emperor was campaigning in 
Serbia. He followed him and met him at Monastic. Manuel 
received him with his usual lavish generosity and brought him 
back to his capital; where a treaty was made, by which the 
Emperor and the King would divide their conquests in Egypt. 
William returned to Palestine late in the autumn of u68. 2 

Unfortunately, the barons of the kingdom would not wait for 
his return. News from Egypt emphasized the insecurity of 
Shawar s rule there. He was known to resent the Prankish gar 
rison at Cairo, and he was late in paying his tribute. There were 
rumours, too, that his son Kamil was negotiating with Shirkuh 
and had asked for the hand of Saladin s sister. The arrival in 
Palestine in the late summer of Count William IV of Nevers with 
a fine company of knights encouraged those that wanted im 
mediate action. The King summoned a council to Jerusalem. 
There the Grand Master of the Hospital, Gilbert of Assailly, urged 
vehemently that there should be no more delay; and the majority 
of the lay baronage agreed with him. The Count of Nevers and 
his men, who had come to fight for the Cross, added their support. 
The Templars flatly opposed any expedition and announced that 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 2, pp. 943-4*, Cinnamus, pp. 250-1; Nicetas 
Choniates, pp. 180-6. For Andronicus s subsequent history, see below, pp.4-27-9- 
* William of Tyre, xx, 4, pp. 945-7- 


The Lure of Egypt 

they would not take part. Their opposition may have been due to 
jealousy of the Hospital, which had already decided to take 
Pelusium as its portion, as a counter to the Templar fortress of 
Gaza. But the Temple was also financially connected with the 
Moslems and with the Italian merchants, whose trade was now 
greater with Egypt than with Christian Syria. King Amalric 
agreed that some action would soon be needed, in view of 
Shawar s weakness and unreliability; but he wished to wait till the 
Emperor s help was available. He was overruled. Against the 
vigorous determination of the Hospitallers and his own vassals, 
who saw no reason why the Greeks should share in the spoils, he 
gave way. An expedition was planned for October. 1 

William of Tyre came back with his treaty from Constantinople 
to find the King already gone. Amalric had given out that he was 
to attack Horns, so as to deter Nur ed-Din from action ; and indeed 
Nur ed-Din, who had troubles of his own in north-east Syria, was 
anxious to avoid a war with the Franks. Shawar also did not 
realize what was on foot till the Prankish army marched out from 
Ascalon on 20 October, to arrive ten days later before Bilbeis. He 
was horrified. He never expected Amalric so wantonly to break 
his treaty with him. His first ambassador, an emir named Bedran, 
met the King at Daron, on the frontier, but was bought over by 
him. The next ambassador, Shams al-Khilafa, found the King in 
the desert a few days out from Bilbeis. He reproached Amalric 
bitterly for his perfidy ; to which the King replied that he was 
justified by the negotiations that Shawar s son Kamil was con 
ducting with Shirkuh; and anyhow, he said, the Crusaders newly 
come from the West had determined to attack Egypt and he was 
there to restrain them. He might, he added, retire if he were paid 
another two millions of dinars. But Shawar now suspected the 
King s good faith. To Amalric s surprise he decided on resistance. 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 5, pp. 948-9 (he mentions the arrival of the Count 
of Nevers in the previous chapter); Michael the Syrian (m, pp. 332-3) and the 
Arab historians (Ihn al-Athir, pp. 553-4, and Atabegs, pp. 246-6, and Abu 
Shama, pp. 112-13) were aware that the King was overridden by his Council. 


n68: Amalric advances on Cairo 

His son Taiy, who commanded the garrison at Bilbeis, refused to 
open his gates to the Franks. But his forces were small. After 
three days of desperate fighting, of which Amalric had not thought 
the Egyptians capable, the Prankish army entered the fortress 
on 4 November. There followed an appalling massacre of the 
inhabitants. The protagonists were probably the men from Nevers, 
ardent and lawless like most newcomers from the West. Their 
Count had died of fever in Palestine before the expedition started; 
and there was no one that could control them. Amalric tried to 
restore order; and when at last he succeeded he himself bought 
back from the soldiers the survivors that they had taken captive. 
But the harm was done. Many of the Egyptians who disliked 
Shawar had been ready to welcome the Franks as deliverers; and 
the Coptic communities, particularly numerous in the Delta 
cities, had hitherto worked with their fellow-Christians. But 
Copts as well as Moslems had perished in the slaughter. The whole 
Egyptian people was united in hatred of the Franks. A few days 
later a small Prankish fleet, manned mainly by westerners, which 
was to sail up the Tanitic mouth of the Nile, arrived in Lake 
Manzaleh and fell suddenly on the town of Tanis. The same scenes 
of horror followed; and it was the Copts above all that suffered. 
Amalric delayed a few days at Bilbeis, no doubt to re-establish 
control over his army. He missed the chance of taking Cairo by 
surprise, and only appeared before the walls of Fostat, the old 
suburb at the south of the great city, on 13 November. Shawar, 
doubting his ability to hold Fostat, set fire to it, and sent his 
ambassador Shams once again to the King to say that sooner than 
let Cairo itself fall into Prankish hands he would burn it too to the 
ground with all its wealth. Amalric, whose fleet was held up in 
the Delta by barriers placed across the river-bed, saw that the 
expedition had gone wrong. On the advice of his Seneschal, Miles 
of Plancy, he let Shawar know that he could be bought off. 
Shawar played for time; he began to haggle over the sum that he 
could afford. He paid 100,000 dinars down to ransom his son Taiy 
and talked of further payments. Meanwhile the Prankish army 


The Lure of Egypt 

moved a few miles northwards and encamped at Mataria, by the 
sycamore beneath whose shade the Virgin had halted on the 
Flight into Egypt. They waited eight days there, when suddenly 
the news came that Shirkuh was marching into Egypt on the 
invitation of the Fatimid Caliph. 1 

Shawar had not wished to take so desperate a step ; but his son 
Kamil overruled him and forced his titular sovereign al-Adid to 
write to Aleppo, offering Nur ed-Din a third of the land of Egypt 
and fiefs for his generals. The young Caliph must have seen the 
danger of calling on a protector in whose eyes he was a heretic 
and a pretender. But he was powerless. When the invitation 
reached him, Nur ed-Din sent to Horns where Shirkuh was 
residing; but his messenger found Shirkuh already at the gates of 
Aleppo. This time Nur ed-Din did not hesitate. He gave Shirkuh 
eight thousand horsemen and a war-chest of 200,000 dinars to use 
with the army of Damascus for the conquest of Egypt, and he 
ordered Saladin to accompany him. Shawar, uncertain still where 
his interests lay, warned Amalric, who moved with his army 
towards the Isthmus, hoping to fall on Shirkuh as he emerged 
from the desert. But Shirkuh slipped past him to the south. There 
was no alternative now for the Franks but evacuation. Ordering 
his fleet to return to Acre and summoning the garrison left 
in Bilbeis to join him, Amalric began his retreat on 2 January 

Six days later Shirkuh entered Cairo. Leaving his army en 
camped at the Gate of el-Luq, he went to the Palace, where the 
Caliph gave him ceremonial gifts and promised money and food 
for his troops. Shawar greeted him cordially. For the next days 
he visited him daily to discuss financial arrangements and a 
partition of the vizierate. Shirkuh received these overtures 

1 "William of Tyre, xx, 6-9, pp, 949~5<5; Abu Shama, pp. 114-15, 136-40, 
quoting Imad ed-Din.; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S., p. 52; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 554-6, 
and. Atabegs, pp. 247-50. 

a Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.5., pp. 52-3 ; Ibn al-Athir, p. 563, and^4ta%5, p. 250; 
Abu Shama, p. 117. According to Beha ed-Din, repeated more fully by 
Ibn al-Athir, Saladin was again very unwilling to join the expedition. 


n6g: Shirkuh wins Egypt for Nur ed-Din 

graciously; but his nephew Saladin, who was his chief adviser, 
insisted on further action. The Caliph was persuaded to come in 
disguise to Shirkuh s headquarters. Then, on 1 8 January, Shawar 
was invited to join Shirkuh on a little pilgrimage to the tomb of 
the holy as-Shafii. As he set out, Saladin and his emirs fell on him. 
His escort was disarmed and he himself taken prisoner. In less 
than an hour an order from the Caliph for his decapitation had 
been produced and his head was lying at the Caliph s feet. Then, 
to avoid any attempt against himself, Shirkuh announced that 
anyone who wished could pillage the late vizier s house. As the 
mob rushed there, he and the Caliph moved to the palace and 
quietly took over the government. Shawar s rule had been too 
unpopular and Shirkuh s regard for legitimacy too scrupulous for 
any of the provincial governors to oppose the new regime. 
Within a few weeks Shirkuh was master of all Egypt. His emirs 
took over the fiefs that had belonged to Shawar and his family; 
and he himself had the title of vizier and king. 1 

Shirkuh did not long survive his elevation. He died from over 
eating on 23 March 1169. His fame in history has been outshone 
by those of his master Nur ed-Din and of his nephew Saladin. Yet 
it was he who saw, more clearly than any other Moslem, that the 
conquest of Egypt, with its strategic position and its boundless 
resources, was the necessary preliminary to the recovery of 
Palestine; and, in spite of the hesitations and scruples of Nur 
ed-Din, he had worked ceaselessly to this end. His nephew reaped 
the harvest of his persistence. His appearance was insignificant. 
He was short and stout, red-faced and blind in one eye; and his 
features revealed his low birth. But he was a soldier of genius; 
and few generals have been so devotedly loved by their men.* 

1 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 53-5 (quoting Imad ed-Din); Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 558-60 and Atabegs, pp. 251-3; Abu Shama, pp. 118-19, 142-5; William 
of Tyre, xx, 10, pp. 956-8. 

* Beha ed-Din, P.T.r.S. p. 55; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 560-1; "William of Tyre 
(XEC, 5, p. 892) describes him in much the same terms as the Arabic writers. 
Beha ed-Din (pp. 50-1) describes his anxious determination to annex Egypt 
to his master s realm. 


The Lure of Egypt 

The fateful importance of Shirkuh s triumph was well realized 
by the Franks. While some of them blamed it on the greed of 
Miles of Plancy, who had made his King accept money rather 
than fight, others sought a scapegoat in the Master of the Hospital, 
who was forced to retire from his post and go home to the West. 
Amalric himself appealed to the West for a new Crusade. An 
impressive embassy, led by the Patriarch Amalric and the Arch 
bishop of Caesarea, was dispatched early in 1169 with letters to the 
Emperor Frederick, to Louis VII of France, to Henry II of England, 
to Margaret, Queen Regent of Sicily, and to the Counts of 
Flanders, Blois and Troyes. But after two days at sea the ambas 
sadors ships ran into so severe a storm that they were driven back 
to Acre; and none of the passengers would consent to risk again 
the perils of the deep. A second embassy was sent out, led by 
Frederick, Archbishop of Tyre, accompanied by his suffragan, 
John, Bishop of Banyas, and Guibert, Preceptor of the Order of 
the Hospital. They reached Rome in July 1169; and Pope 
Alexander HI gave them letters of recommendation to all his 
clerics. But none of their letters was of avail. King Louis kept 
them for many months at Paris, where the Bishop of Banyas died, 
while he explained to them his preoccupations with the Planta- 
genets. They went on to England where King Henry talked of his 
troubles with the Capetians. The quarrels between the Pope and 
the Emperor made a visit to Germany pointless. After two years 
of ineffectual begging they returned disconsolate to Palestine. 1 

An embassy to Constantinople was more successful. Manuel 
was well aware that the balance of power in the East had been 
dangerously upset. He offered Amalric the co-operation of the 
great Imperial fleet for his next campaign/ The King accepted 
gladly. Egypt might yet be recovered. Nur ed-Din seemed to be 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 12, pp. 960-1 ; letters of Amalric in R.H.F. vol. xvi, 
pp. 187-8; Ibn al-Athir, Atabegs, pp. 258-9. The Master of the Hospital was 
drowned in 1183 crossing from Dieppe to England. See Delaville Leroulx, 
Les Hospitatiers , pp. 76 ft. 

2 William of Tyre, xx, 13, pp. 961-2. 


1169: Allied Campaign against Egypt 

fully occupied in the north. The death of Kara Arslan, the Ortoqid 
emir of Diarbekir in 1168, and the quarrels over the inheritance 
had embroiled him with his brother Qutb ed-Din of Mosul; and 
the revolt of Ghazi ibn Hassan, governor of Menbij, had followed 
soon afterwards and took several months to liquidate. Now Qutb 
ed-Din was dying, and the question of the succession to Mosul 
would soon arise. 1 In Egypt Shirkuh s titles and power had passed 
to his nephew Saladin. But Saladin was untried as a ruler. Others 
of Shirkuh s emirs had hoped for the succession; but the Caliph 
had chosen Saladin, trusting that his inexperience would force him 
to rely on Fatimid officials. Meanwhile al-Adid s chief eunuch, 
a Nubian called al-Mutamen, or the Confidential Adviser, wrote 
secretly to Jerusalem to promise help should the Franks invade 
Egypt. Unfortunately, one of Saladin s agents, puzzled by the 
shape of a pair of sandals worn by a court messenger, took them 
and unstitched them, and found the letter within. Saladin waited 
to take vengeance. But news of his insecurity encouraged the 
Christians. 2 

Amalric had urged haste on the Emperor; and on 10 July 1169, 
the Imperial armada set out from the Hellespont, under the com 
mand of the Grand Duke Andronicus Contostephanus. The main 
fleet sailed to Cyprus, capturing two Egyptian ships on the way; 
and a smaller squadron made straight for Acre, bringing money- 
subsidies for Amalric s soldiers. Amalric was asked to send to 
Cyprus as soon as he wished the fleet to sail on. But Amalric was 
not ready. The campaign of 1168 had disorganized his forces. The 
Hospitallers losses had been very heavy. The Templars still 
refused to take part; and the barons, discouraged by their previous 
experience, were no longer as enthusiastic as before. It was only 
in late September that he summoned the fleet to Acre, where its 

1 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 52; Abu Shama, pp. 188-9; Ibn al-Athir, 
Atabegs, p. 264; Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 339-4-2; Qutb ed-Din died the 
following year (1170), 

2 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 55-6; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 566-8; Abu Shama, 
p. 146. The diploma of Saladin s appointment by the Caliph exists in Berlin, 
98 folios long. 

RC 385 2 5 

The Lure of Egypt 

splendid appearance thrilled the inhabitants; and it was only in 
mid-October that the whole expedition was ready to leave for 
Egypt. The delay was doubly unfortunate. Manuel, who was 
given to optimism, had counted on a short campaign and had 
provisioned his ships for three months only. The three months 
were nearly over. Cyprus, not yet recovered from Reynald s 
ravaging, had not been able to help in the revictualment; nor were 
provisions obtainable at Acre. 1 At the same time Saladin received 
ample warning of the expedition. To secure himself in Cairo, on 
20 August 1169, he arrested and beheaded the eunuch al-Mutamen, 
then dismissed all the palace servants known to be faithful to the 
Caliph, replacing them by his own creatures. The dismissed 
officers, encouraged by the Caliph, incited the Nubian Palace 
Guard to revolt and attack Saladin s troops. Saladin s brother, 
Fakhr ed-Din, counter-attacked but could do nothing, till Saladin 
set fire to the Guards barracks at Fostat. Knowing their wives and 
families to be there the Nubians fled to rescue them. Fakhr ed-Din 
then fell on them and slaughtered them almost to a man. The 
Caliph, who had been watching the battle, hastened to assure 
Saladin of his loyalty. His desertion of the Nubians completed 
their rout. The Armenian Guard, which had not taken part in the 
fighting, was burnt to death in the barracks. The opposition to 
Saladin in Cairo was silenced. a 

The Christian army set out at last on 16 October. Andronicus 
Contostephanus, chafing at Amalric s delays, offered to convey 
the bulk of the soldiers by sea; but the Franks insisted on the land- 
route. On 25 October the army entered Egypt at Farama, near 
Pelusium. Saladin expected an attack on Bilbeis and concentrated 
his forces there; but the Franks, ferried over the eastern branches 
of the Nile by the Byzantine ships, who had kept pace with them 
along the coast, marched swiftly to Damietta, the rich fortress that 
commanded the main branch of the Nile, up which the fleet could 
sail towards Cairo. Saladin was taken by surprise. He dared not 

1 Nicetas Choniates, pp. 208-9; William of Tyre, loc. dt. 

2 Abu Shama, pp. 147-8 ; Ibn al-Athir, p. 568. 


n6(): Siege ofDamietta 

leave Cairo himself, for fear that the Fatimid supporters might be 
encouraged to revolt. But he sent reinforcements to Damietta, 
and wrote himself to Syria to beg for help from Nur ed-Din. The 
garrison at Damietta had thrown a great chain across the river. 
The Greek ships, already delayed by contrary winds, could not 
sail up past the city and intercept the troops and the provisions 
that came downstream from Cairo. A sudden assault might have 
captured the fortress; but though Contostephanus, anxious about 
his dwindling supplies, urged immediate action, Amalric was 
awed by the huge fortifications. He wished to construct more 
siege-towers. His first tower, by some error of judgement, had 
been placed against the strongest part of the walls. The Greeks, to 
the horror of local Christians and Moslems, used their engines to 
bombard a quarter sanctified by a chapel dedicated to the Virgin,- 
who had halted there in her flight. Every day fresh troops arrived 
in the city. Every day the Greek sailors and their compatriots on 
shore had their rations reduced; and their Prankish allies, who 
were amply supplied, would give them no help. Every day 
Contostephanus pleaded with Amalric to risk a full-scale attack on 
the walls, and Amalric answered that the risk was too great; and 
his generals, always suspicious of the Greeks, whispered that 
Contostephanus s zeal was caused by a desire to have Damietta as 
part of the Imperial spoils. By the beginning of December it was 
clear that the expedition had failed. Without food the Greeks 
could go on no longer. A fire-boat launched by the defenders into 
the middle of the fleet had caused heavy losses, though Amalric s 
prompt intervention had restricted the damage. The fortress was 
now well manned and well supplied; and a Moslem army was 
said to be approaching from Syria. When the rains came early 
and turned the Christian camp into a morass, it was time to raise 
the siege. Whether Amalric or Contostephanus was the first to 
begin negotiations with the Saracens is uncertain; nor are the 
terms that were arranged known to us. A money-indemnity was 
probably given to the Christians; and Amalric certainly hoped 
that a show of friendship towards Saladin might detach him from 

387 25-2 

The Lure of Egypt 

Nur cd-Din with whom his relations were suspected of lacking 

On 13 December the Christians burnt all their siege-machines to 
prevent them falling into Moslem hands, and moved from 
Damictta. The army reached Ascalon on the 24th* The fleet was 
less fortunate. As it sailed northward a great storm arose. The 
starving sailors could not control their ships, and many of them 
foundered. For days Greek corpses were washed ashore on the 
coast of Palestine. Contostephanus himself escaped and sailed to 
Cilicia and thence travelled overland to report to the Emperor. 
Ther emnants of the armada reached the Bosphorus early in the 
new year. 1 

The disastrous outcome of the expedition inevitably gave rise 
to recriminations. The Franks blamed the Greeks for their 
shortage of supplies; the Greeks, more reasonably, blamed the 
Franks for their endless delays. But both Amalric and the 
Emperor realized that the alliance must not be broken. For 
Saladin was now unquestioned master of Egypt. 

Saladin was too wise to fall into the diplomatic trap prepared 
for him by Amalric. Nur cd-Din had trusted Shirkuh, but he was 
suspicious of the ambitions of the new ruler of Egypt. Saladin, 
however, behaved with perfect correctitude. In April 1 1 70 his 
father, Najm ed-Din Ayub, was sent to him by Nur ed-Din with 
a company of Syrian troops, partly as a gesture of friendship, 
partly perhaps as a hint; for Ayub was devoted to his master. 
As a large number of Damascene merchants travelled with the 
convoy, eager to open up trade with Cairo, Nur ed-Din himself 

1 William of Tyre, xx 14-17, pp. 962-71; Cinnamus, pp. 278-80, He says 
that after the campaign Saladin sent to offer Manuel a yearly tribute bur Manuel 
refused it; Nicetas Chomatcs, pp. 209-19, implies on the other hand that 
Manuel made a peace with Egypt; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp, 56-9; Abu 
Shama, pp. 151-3; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 668-70, and Atabcgs. Michael the Syrian 
(ni, p. 335, and Armenian version, pp. 369-70) suggests that the Greeks were 
bribed by Saladin to give up the campaign. His evidence is so consistently anti- 
Greek as to be of little value, "William or Tyre says that Contostephanus was the 
first to ask for an armistice, Nicetas that it was die King. 


: Earthquake at Antioch 

led a demonstration against Kerak, in order to allow the great 
caravan to pass safely through the territory of Oultrejourdain. 1 It 
was Nur ed-Din s only move against the Franks. During their 
Egyptian expedition he had left them in peace, and in January 
1170 they had even been able to recover the castle of Akkar, 
on the south of the Buqaia, which had been lost probably in 
1165. Amalric, as regent of Tripoli, assigned it together with 
the town of Artja to the Hospitallers, who now controlled the 
whole valley. 3 

On 29 June 1170 Syria was visited by a terrible earthquake, as 
destructive as those of 1 1 5 7 ; and for the next few months Christians 
and Moslems alike were busy repairing ruined fortresses. Aleppo, 
Shaizar, Hama and Horns were all severely damaged, as were 
Krak des Chevaliers, Tripoli and Jebail. At Antioch the damage 
was enormous; but the Franks saw divine justice in it. For the 
Greek Patriarch and his clergy were celebrating Mass in the 
Cathedral of St Peter, when the edifice collapsed on them. As 
Athanasius lay dying tinder the ruins, Prince Bohemond and 
his court hurried to Qosair, to his rival Aimery, to beg him to 
return to his see. The brief episode of Greek ecclesiastical rule 
was ended. 3 

The Emperor could not intervene, angry though he was at the 
news; for things were going badly in Cilicia. The Armenian 
prince Thoros died in 1168, leaving a child, Roupen II, to succeed 
him, under the regency of a Prankish lord called Thomas, whose 
mother had been Thoros s sister. But Thoros s brother Mleh 
disputed the succession. He had at one time taken vows as a 
Templar, then, after quarrelling with Thoros and attempting to 
assassinate him, he had fled to Nur ed-Din and become a Moslem. 
Early in 1 170 Nur ed-Din lent him troops with which he was able 

1 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 59-60; Abu Shama, pp. 153-4; Ibn al-Athir, 
Aiabegs, pp. 260-1. 

a Abu Shama, p. 149. The gift of Akkar and Arqa to the Hospital was 
made after the earthquake in June (Rohricht, Regesta, p. 125). 

3 Michael the Syrian, m, p. 339; Ibn al-Athir, Atabegs, p. 262; "William of 
Tyre, xx, 18, pp. 971-3- 


The Lure of Egypt 

not only to dethrone his nephew hut also to invade the Cilician 
plain and take Mamistra, Adana and Tarsus from their Greek 
garrisons. He then attacked the Templars at Baghras. Bohemond 
appealed to Amalric, who marched up into Cilicia and temporarily, 
it seems, restored Imperial rule. This friendly action may have 
reconciled Manuel to his loss of ecclesiastical control in Antioch. 
But Mleh was irrepressible. A year or so later he managed to 
capture Constantine Coloman and again overrun Cilicia. 1 

Nur ed-Din was meanwhile occupied farther east. His brother, 
Quth ed-Din of Mosul died in the summer of 1 170. His two sons, 
Saif ed-Din and Imad ed-Din disputed the inheritance; and some 
months passed before Nur ed-Din could settle the matter to his 
liking. 5 The respite was useful for the Franks. But the problem of 
Egypt remained unsolved. Amalric remained faithful to his 
policy of a close alliance with the Emperor and constant appeals to 
the West. In the spring of 1171 he decided to pay a personal visit 
to Constantinople. 

His departure was delayed by a sudden offensive made by 
Saladin against his southern frontier. Early in December 1170 a 
great Egyptian army appeared before Daron, the southernmost 
Prankish fortress on the Mediterranean coast. Its defences were 
weak; and though Saladin had no siege-engines with him, its fall 
seemed imminent. Amalric, taking with him the Patriarch and the 
relic of the True Cross, hastened with a small but well-trained force 
to Ascalon, arriving there on 18 December and moving on to the 
Templars fortress at Gaza, where he left Miles of Plancy in charge, 
as the Templar knights joined him in the march on Daron. He 
managed to break through the Egyptian army and enter Daron; 
whereupon Saladin raised the siege and marched on Gaza. The 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 26, pp. 991-2; Nicetas Choniates, p. 183; Michael 
the Syrian, m, pp. 331, 337; Sembat die Constable, pp. 622-5; Vabram, 
Rhymed Chronicle, pp. 508-9; the dating is impossible to disentangle. William 
of Tyre places it after Amalric s visit to Constantinople, Michael before the 
earthquake of 1170. Tarsus was still Greek when Henry the Lion returned from 
his Crusade in 1172 (Arnold of Lubeck, pp. 22-3). 

3 See references above, p. 385 n. i, and below, p. 393. 


1171: Amalric at Constantinople 

lower town was taken, despite a futile resistance ordered by Miles ; 
and its inhabitants were massacred. But the citadel was so formid 
able that Saladin did not venture to attack it. As suddenly as he 
had come he disappeared back to the Egyptian frontier. He then 
sent a squadron up the Gulf of Akaba, which captured the 
Prankish outpost of Aila, at the head of the Gulf, during the last 
days of the year. 1 

Amalric left Acre for Constantinople on 10 March, with a large 
staff, including the Bishop of Acre and the Marshal of the Court, 
Gerard of Pougi. The Master of the Temple, Philip of Milly, 
resigned his post in order to go ahead as ambassador. After calling 
in at Tripoli the King sailed on to the north. At Gallipoh he was 
met by his father-in-law, who, as the wind was contrary, took him 
overland to Heraclea. There he embarked again in order to enter 
the capital through the palace gate at the harbour of Bucoleon, an 
honour reserved for crowned heads alone. 

Amalric s reception delighted him and his staff. Manuel liked 
westerners in general, and he found Amalric sympathetic. He 
showed his usual lavish generosity. His family, particularly the 
King s father-in-law, all joined in offering hospitality. There were 
endless religious ceremonies and festivities. There was a dancing 
display in the Hippodrome and a trip in a barge up and down the 
Bosphorus. 3 In the midst of it all the Emperor and the King dis 
cussed the future. A treaty was made and signed, but its terms are 
unrecorded. It seems that the Kong recognized in some vague way 
the Emperor s suzerainty over the native Christians; that Manuel 
promised naval and financial help whenever another expedition 
against Egypt should be planned; and that common action should 
be taken against Mleh of Armenia. There were probably clauses 
about the Greek Church in Antioch, and even perhaps in the 
kingdom, where Manuel had already in 1169 taken charge of the 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 19-20, pp. 973-7; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 577-8. 

* William of Tyre, xx, 22-4, pp. 980-7; Cinnamus, p. 280 (a very brief 
account, in which he says that Amalric promised * SouAstocv to the Emperor). 
Michael the Syrian, m, p. 343. 


The Lure of Egypt 

redecoration of the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. An 
inscription on the mosaic attests that the artist Ephraim made them 
on the orders of the Emperor. He was also responsible for the 
repairs at the Holy Sepulchre. 1 

Whatever were the details of the treaty, the Franks were well 
satisfied by their visit and full of admiration for their host. They 
sailed homeward from Constantinople on 15 June, hopeful for the 

The appeal to the West was less successful. Frederick of Tyre 
was still wandering ineffectually through the courts of France and 
England. About the end of 1170 Amalric wrote to him to invite 
Stephen of Champagne, Count of Sancerre, to Palestine, to marry 
the Princess Sibylla.* The suggestion was prompted by a tragedy 
that had befallen the royal family. Amalric s son Baldwin was 
now nine years old and had been sent with comrades of his own 
age to be instructed by William, Archdeacon of Tyre. He was 
a handsome, intelligent boy; but one day, when his pupils were 
testing their endurance by driving their nails into each other s 

1 de Vogue, Les Eglises de la Terre Sainte, pp. 99-103, gives the inscription 
on the mosaics of Bethlehem. The Greek traveller Phocas refers to them and 
tells of the repairs at the Holy Sepulchre (pp. 19, 31). La Monte, To what 
extent was the Byzantine Empire the suzerain of the Crusading States ? discusses 
the question of Imperial suzerainty, and decides that it was never admitted. 
But Manuel, like his predecessors before the Crusades, probably considered 
himself responsible for the welfare of the Orthodox in Palestine and his right 
to interfere on their behalf was admitted. See above, p. 321 n. I, for the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem whom Manuel kept in reserve at Constantinople. It was 
probably due to Manuel s help that repairs were made about this time to 
Orthodox establishments in Palestine, such as the Lavra of Calamon (see 
Vailhe*, *Les Laures de Saint Gerasime et de Calamon , in Echos Orient, 
vol. n, p. 117), and the monastery of St Euthymius. (See Johns, The Attempt 
to colonise Palestine and Syria , in Royal Central Asiatic Society Journal, 
vol. xxi, pp. 292-3.) 

a "William of Tyre, xx, 25, p. 988. Stephen was the grandson of the 
crusading Count of Blois and youngest son of Tibald, Count of Blois, Chartres 
and Troyes. He was born about 1130, and made a runaway marriage, in 1151, 
with Matilda of Douzy. (See Anselme, Hist. Gfafalogique de la France, n, 
p. 847). But as his wife is sometimes called Alix, sometimes Maria, it is 
probable that he was married more than once and was a widower in 1170. 


ii yi : End of the Fatimid Dynasty 

arms, William noticed that the prince alone never flinched. He 
watched carefully and soon realized that the boy was insensitive to 
pain because he was a leper. 1 It was the judgment of God for the 
incestuous marriage of his parents, Amalric and Agnes; and it 
boded ill for the kingdom. Even if Baldwin grew up he could 
never carry on the dynasty. The young Greek Queen might yet 
bear a son; but meanwhile, for safety s sake, Amalric would be 
wise to marry his eldest child, Sibylla, to some rich experienced 
western prince who could act if need be as regent or even as king. 
Stephen accepted the invitation and landed with a party of knights 
in Palestine in the summer of 1171, a few days before Amalric 
arrived back from Constantinople. But he did not like the look 
of Palestine. He brusquely broke off the marriage negotiations 
and, after paying his vows at the Holy Places, left with his com 
pany for the north, intending to visit Constantinople. As he 
passed through Cilicia he was waylaid by Mleh of Armenia, who 
robbed him of all that he had with him. 2 

Next year an even more important visitor came to Jerusalem, 
Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, grand-son of the 
Emperor Lothair and son-in-law of Henry II of England. But he, 
too, refused to fight for the Cross. He had come merely as a 
pilgrim and left as soon as possible for Germany. 3 

The indifference of the West was bitterly disappointing; but 
perhaps an expedition against Egypt was not needed at once. For 
Saladin s relations with Nur ed-Din seemed close to breaking- 
point. By January 1171 Nur ed-Din had installed a garrison of his 
own at Mosul, where his nephew Saif ed-Din ruled, and had 
annexed Nisibin and the Khabur valley for himself and Sinjar 
for his favourite nephew Imad ed-Din. Then, piously anxious for 
the triumph of orthodox Islam, he wrote to Saladin demanding 

1 William of Tyre, xxi, i, pp. 1004-5. 

2 Hid. xx, 25, p. 988. 

3 His crusade is described at length by Joranson, Trie Crusade of Henry 
the Lion , in Medieval Essays presented to W. Thompson. The chief source is 
Arnold of Lubeck. 


The Lure of Egypt 

that prayers in the Egyptian mosques should no longer mention 
the Fatimid Caliph but the Caliph of Baghdad. Saladin did not 
wish to comply. After two centuries of Fatimid rule Shia in 
fluences were strong in Egypt. Moreover, though he might own 
Nur ed-Din as his master, his authority in Egypt came from the 
Fatimid Caliph. He prevaricated, till in August Nur ed-Din 
threatened to come himself to Egypt if he were not obeyed. After 
taking police precautions Saladin prepared for the change; but no 
one dared make the first move till on the first Friday of the 
Moslem year 567 a visiting divine from Mosul boldly stepped into 
the pulpit of the Great Mosque and prayed for the Caliph al- 
Mustadi. His lead was followed throughout Cairo. In the palace 
the Fatimid Caliph al-Adid lay dying. Saladin forbade his servants 
to tell him the news. If he recovers, he will learn soon enough , 
he said. If he is to die, let him die in peace. But when the poor 
youth a few hours before his death asked to see Saladin his request 
was refused for fear of a plot. Saladin repented of his refusal when 
it was too late, and spoke of him with affection. With al-Adid the 
Fatimid dynasty perished. The remaining princes and princesses 
were rounded up, to spend the rest of their lives in luxury cut off 
from any contact with the world. 1 

A few days later Saladin set out to attack the castle of Montreal, 
south of the Dead Sea. He pressed the siege hard; and Amalric, 
owing to misinformation, left Jerusalem too late to come to its 
rescue. But, just as the garrison was preparing to capitulate, sud 
denly Nur ed-Din appeared on the road to Kerak; whereat 
Saladin raised the siege. He told Nur ed-Din that his brothers 
wars in upper Egypt obliged him to return to Cairo. To Nur 
ed-Din his action seemed mere treachery that must be punished 
by force. Hearing of his anger Saladin was alarmed and sum 
moned a council of his family and his chief generals. The younger 
members of the family counselled defiance. But Saladin s father, 
old Najm ed-Din Ayub, rose to say that he for one was loyal to 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 575-80, and Atabegs, pp. 202-3; Kemal ad-Din, ed. 
Blodiet, p. 551; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 61-2. 


1172 : Raymond of Tripoli released 

his master and berated Hs son for his ambition, and scolded him 
again in private for letting his ambition be so obvious. Saladin 
took his advice and sent abject apologies to Nur ed-Din; who 
accepted them for the moment. 1 

In the summer of 1171 Nur ed-Din planned but gave up an 
expedition into Galilee. In the late autumn, angered by an act of 
piracy committed by Franks from Lattakieh on two Egyptian 
merchant ships, he devastated Antiochene and Tripolitan ter 
ritory, destroying the castles of Safita and Araima, and had to be 
bought off with a heavy indemnity. 2 But in 1172 he kept the 
peace, partly because of his distrust of Saladin and pardy because 
he wished to gain Seldjuk help for an attack on Antioch. But the 
Seldjuk Sultan, after a stern warning from Constantinople, 
rejected his advances and instead began a two years war against 
the Danishmends. The Byzantine alliance, though it was to achieve 
little else, at least saved Antioch from a coalition between Aleppo 
and Konya. 3 About the same time Nur ed-Din at last consented 
to release Raymond of Tripoli for the sum of 80,000 dinars. The 
King and the Hospitallers together raised the bulk of the money; 
and Raymond was allowed to return home. He never paid some 
30,000 dinars that remained owing to Nur ed-Din. 4 

War began again in 1173. Amalric felt secure enough to march 
north into Cilicia to punish Mleh for his outrage against Stephen 
of Champagne and to carry out his promise to the Emperor. The 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 27, pp. 992-4 ; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 581-3, and Atabegs, 
pp. 286-8 ; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 552 ; Maqrizi, ed. Blochet, p. 506. 
Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 62-3, a tactfully vague account, mixing the 
expeditions of 1171 and 1173. He also makes Saladin say that he alone refused 
to consider opposition to Nur ed-Din (p. 65). 

2 Ibn al-Athir, Atabegs, p. 279; Kemal ad-Din, p. 584; Beha ed-Din, 
P.T.T.S. p. 62, says that Nur ed-Din captured Arga, a mistake for Aryma. 

3 Cinnamus, pp. 291-2; Imad ed-Din, pp. 159-60. Henry the Lion was 
hospitably received by Kilij Arslan when he passed through Anatolia on his 
return from Palestine. 

4 Abu Shama, p. 168 ; William of Tyre, xx, 28, p. 995. The circumstances of 
Raymond s release are obscure. See Baldwin, Raymond III of Tripoli* , p. II and 
n. 23. The date was between September 1173 and April 1176. 


The Lure of Egypt 

campaign achieved nothing except to check Mich s further ex 
pansion. 1 Nur ed-Din used the opportunity to invade Oultro 
jourdain, and summoned Saladin to come to his support. Saladin, 
faithful to his father s advice, came up with an army from Egypt 
and laid siege to Kcrak. Meanwhile Nur ed-Din moved down 
from Damascus. On his approach Saladin raised the siege and 
returned to Egypt, saying, with truth, that his father was danger 
ously ill. But it was clear that he had no wish to destroy the 
Prankish buffer-state that lay between him and his imperious 
master. Nur ed-Din in his turn encamped before Kerak. The fief 
of Oultrejourdain, of which it was the capital, belonged to an 
heiress, Stephanie of Milly. Her first husband, Humphrey, heir 
of Toron, had died a few years before. Her second husband, 
Amalric s seneschal Miles of Plancy, was away with the King. It 
was her first father-in-law, the old Constable, Humphrey II of 
Toron, who came to her rescue. On the mobilization of the forces 
left in the kingdom, Nur ed-Din retired. His fury against Saladin 
was unbounded. When he heard of the death, in August, of 
Najm ed-Din Ayub, his most loyal servant in Cairo, he vowed to 
invade Egypt himself in the coming spring. 3 

Tliis disunity in the Moslem world was consoling to the Franks; 
and in the autumn of 1173 they received overtures from another 
unexpected quarter. Little had been heard of the Assassins during 
the last decades, apart from their arbitrary murder of Raymond II 
of Tripoli in 1152. They had been quietly consolidating their 
territory in the Nosairi mountains. In general they showed no 
animosity towards the Franks. Their hated enemy was Nur ed-Din 
whose power restricted them on the east. But he had been unable 
to suppress them; and a dagger found on his pillow one night 
warned him not to go too far. Shia rather than Sunni in their 
sympathies, they had been shocked by the end of the Fatimid 

1 William of Tyre, xx, 26, pp. 991^; see references above, p, 393 n. i, 
William probably confused Amalric*s two expeditions, 

* Ibn al-Athir pp. 587-93, &n& Atdl^$, p. 293 ; Kenul ad-Din, ed. Blochct, 
P* 553 J Maqrifci, ea. Blochct, pp. 509-11. Najm ccUDim Ayub died as the 
result of a fall when playing polo. 


1173- Murder of the Assassin Ambassadors 

Caliphate. In 1169 the Assassin headquarters at Alamut in Persia 
sent a new governor for the Nosairi province, Rashid ed-Din 
Sinan of Basra. This formidable sheikh, who was to be known to 
the Franks as the Old Man of the Mountains, began a more active 
policy. He now sent to Amalric suggesting a close alliance against 
Nur ed-Din and hinting that he and all his flock were considering 
conversion to Christianity. In return he apparently asked that 
a tribute which the Templars at Tortosa had succeeded in imposing 
on various Assassin villages should be cancelled. Whether or not 
Amalric believed that the Assassins would ever become Christians, 
he was glad to encourage their friendship. The sheikh Sinan s 
envoys returned towards the mountains with the promise of a 
Prankish embassy to follow soon after. As they journeyed past 
Tripoli a Templar knight, Walter of Mesnil, acting with the con 
nivance of his Grand Master, ambushed them and slew them all. 
King Amalric was horrified. His policy was ruined and his 
honour stained, just because the Order was too greedy to sacrifice 
a small portion of its revenues. He ordered the Grand Master, 
Odo of Saint-Amand, to hand over the culprit. Odo refused, 
merely offering to send Walter to be judged by the Pope, whose 
sole authority he recognized. But Amalric was too angry to trouble 
about the Order s constitution. He hurried with some troops to 
Sidon, where the Grand Master and the Chapter were staying, 
forced his way into their presence and kidnapped Walter, whom 
he cast into prison at Tyre. The Assassins were assured that justice 
had been done; and they accepted the King s apologies. Mean 
while Amalric planned to demand from Rome that the Order 
be dissolved. 1 

The year 1174 opened well for the Christians. The Assassins 
were friendly. The Byzantine alliance held good. The young King 
of Sicily, William II, promised naval help for the spring. The 
discord between Nur ed-Din and Saladin was reaching a crisis; 
and Saladin himself was none too secure in Egypt, where the Shia 
nobility was again intriguing against him and was in contact with 
1 William of Tyre, xx, 29-30, pp. 995~9- 


The Lure of Egypt 

the Franks. In 1173 lie had sent his eldest brother, Turan Shah, to 
conquer the Sudan, so that it might serve as an asylum for the 
family, should the worst occur. Turan occupied the country as far 
as Ibrim, near Wady Haifa, where he slew the Coptic bishop and 
his flock, both his congregation and his seven hundred pigs. But 
he reported that the land was unsuitable as a refuge. Saladin then 
sent him to southern Arabia, which he preferred. He conquered 
it in his brother s name and ruled there as viceroy till H76. 1 

But there was no need to flee from the wrath of Nur ed-Din. 
In the spring of 1174 the atabeg came to Damascus to plan his 
Egyptian campaign. As he rode out one morning with his friends 
through the orchards he talked to them of the uncertainty of 
human life. Nine days later, on 15 May, he died of a quinsy. 
He had been a great ruler and a good man, who had loved above 
all things justice. After his illness nineteen years before, something 
of his energy had left him ; and more and more of his time was 
spent on pious exercises. But his piety, narrow though it was, 
won him the respect of his subjects and of his enemies. He was 
austere and smiled seldom. He lived simply and forced his family 
to do likewise, preferring to spend his vast revenues on works of 
charity. He was a careful and watchful administrator ; and his wise 
government consolidated the realm that his sword had won. In 
particular he sought to curb the restlessness of his Turkish and 
Kurdish emirs by settling them on fiefs for which they paid the rent 
in soldiers, but his own law courts kept them strictly under control. 
This mitigated feudalism did much to restore the prosperity of Syria 
after nearly a century of the rule of nomads. In appearance he was 
tall and dark-skinned, almost beardless, with regular features and a 
gende, sad expression. Polo-playing was his only recreation. 2 

Nur ed-Din s heir was his son, Malik as-Salih Ismail, a boy of 
eleven, who had been with him at Damascus. There the emir Ibn 
al-Muqaddam, backed by the boy s mother, seized the regency, 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 599, 602-3, and Aic&egs, p. 293 ; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S., 
pp. 65-6. 

2 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 604-5; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S., p. 65. 


1174 Death of King Amalric 

while Gumushtekin, governor of Aleppo, which had been Nur 
ed-Din s chief capital, proclaimed himself there as regent The 
boy s cousin, Saif ed-Din of Mosul, intervened to annex Nisibin 
and all thejezireh as far as Edessa. Saladin, as the governor of Nur 
ed-Din s richest province, wrote to Damascus to claim that the 
regency was his. But he was powerless at the moment to follow 
up his claim. 1 The collapse of Moslem unity offered the Franks a 
chance that Amalric was swift to take. In June he marched on 
Banyas. Al-Muqaddam came out from Damascus to meet him and, 
probably as Amalric intended, at once proposed to buy him off with 
the promise of a large sum of money, the release of all the Prankish 
prisoners at Damascus and an alliance in the future against Saladin.* 
Amalric, who was beginning to suffer from an attack of dysentery, 
accepted the proposals. After apact was signed he rode back through 
Tiberias and Nablus to Jerusalem, refusing the comfort of a litter. 
He arrived there seriously ill. Greek and Syrian doctors were sum 
moned to his bedside, and he told them to bleed him and give him 
a purge. They refused, for they thought him too weak to stand the 
strain. So he had recourse to his own Prankish doctor, who had no 
such scruples. The treatment seemed to do him good, but only for 
a day or two. On n July 1174, he died, at the age of thirty-eight. 3 
If history is only a matter of challenge and response, then the 
growth of Moslem unity under Zengi, Nur ed-Din and Saladin 
was the inevitable reaction to the First Crusade. But fate too often 
capriciously loads the dice. At the beginning of 1174 Saladin s 
star seemed to be setting. The death of Nur ed-Din and the death of 
Amalric, neither of them expected, saved him and opened the gate 
way for his victories to come. For the Franks of the East the death 
of Amalric, at such a moment, and the accidents that had befallen his 
family foreboded the end of their kingdom. Amalric was the last 
king of Christian Jerusalem worthy of his throne. He had made 

1 Ibn al-Atbir, pp. 606-9; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, pp. 558-60. 
71 William of Tyre, xx, 31, p. 1000; Abu Skama, p. 162; Ibn al-Athir, p. 611. 
3 William of Tyre, ibid, pp. looo-i. The Syrian, doctor was probably 
Suleiman ibn Daoud. See above, p. 318 n. i. 


The Lure of Egypt 

mistakes. He had been swayed by the enthusiasm of his nobles in 
1168 and by their hesitations in 1169. He had been too ready to ac 
cept gifts of money, which his government needed for the moment, 
rather than carry out a policy far-sightedly. But his energy and his 
enterprise had been boundless. He had shown that neither his 
vassals nor the Orders could defy him unscathed. Had he lived 
longer he might have challenged the inevitability of the triumph 
of Islam. 






The wise shall inherit glory : but shame shall lie the promotion 
of fools/ PROVERBS m, 35 

To Saladin* watching anxiously in Cairo, King Amalric s death 
came as a sign of God s favour. Shia intrigues against him had 
come to a head in April when a plot to kill him was betrayed to 
him. He struck at once and crucified the ring-leaders; but he 
could not be sure that there were not others ready to conspire, 
should a Christian army come to their aid. And in the meantime 
Nur ed-Din s heritage might pass firmly into other hands. 1 Now, 
with Amakic dead, there was no danger of an invasion by land. 
A Sicilian fleet was, it is true, in the offing; for King William II 
had heard neither of the collapse of the Shia conspiracy nor of 
the death of Amalric. On 25 July 1174 the Sicilians, with two 
hundred and eighty-four ships to convey their men, their beasts 
and their provisions, under Tancred, Count of Lecce, appeared 
suddenly before Alexandria. But they found themselves deprived 
of the support on which they had counted; and they had already 
refused to countenance any help from the Emperor, for William 
had quarrelled with Manuel, who had offered him the hand of his 
daughter Maria and then had withdrawn the offer; and anyhow 
he wished to show that he could do better than the Byzantines in 
1169. On their failure to surprise the city and on Saladin s 
approach with an army, they took to their ships again and sailed 
away on I August. Saladin was free now to march into Syria.* 

1 Ibn al-Athir, p. 600. 

* Abu Sbanaa (quoting Imad ed-Din), pp. 164-5; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. 
pp. 66-7, dating the arrival of the Sicilians 7 September; William of Tyre, xxi, 3, 
p. 1007. 



Moslem Unity 

Ibn al-Muqaddam, governor at Damascus, was frightened and 
appealed to the Franks for help . His fear increased when the young 
as-Salih fled with his mother to Aleppo to the more vigorous 
guardianship of Gumushtekin. Ibn al-Muqaddam next appealed 
to Saif ed-Din of Mosul to come to his rescue; but Saif ed-Din 
preferred to consolidate his gains in the Jezireh. The people of 
Damascus then insisted on their governor summoning Saladin. 
Saladin set out at once, with seven hundred picked horsemen. He 
rode swiftly through Oultrejourdain where the Franks made no 
attempt to stop him, and arrived at Damascus on 26 November. 
He was received there with joy. He spent the night at his father s 
old house. Next morning Ibn al-Muqaddam opened the citadel 
gates to him. He installed his brother Toghtekin as governor in 
as-Salih*s name and, after delighting the Damascenes by generous 
gifts to them from as-Salih s treasury, marched on northward 
against Gumushtekin. 1 

King Amalric s death had left the Franks powerless to intervene. 
The only remaining prince of the royal house was the thirteen- 
year old leper, Baldwin. His sister Sibylla, a year older, was still 
unmarried. His step-mother, Queen Maria Comnena, had only 
given birth to daughters, of whom one had died and the other, 
Isabella, was aged two. The barons accepted Baldwin as their king 
without demure. Four days after his father s death he was 
crowned by the Patriarch. No regent was appointed. The Senes 
chal, Miles of Plancy, the late King s closest friend and lord in his 
wife s right of the great fief of Oultrejourdain, carried on the 
government. But Miles was unpopular, particularly amongst the 
locally-born aristocracy, with whose support Count Raymond of 
Tripoli claimed the regency. Next to the Bang s sisters Raymond 
was his closest relative on the royal side of the family. His mother, 
Hodierna of Jerusalem, had been Amalric s aunt. Though 
Bohemond of Antioch was descended from Hodierna s elder 
sister, Alice, he was a generation further away from the Crown. 

1 Bdba ect-Dia, P.T.T.S. pp. 67-70; Ibn al-Atbir, pp. 614-16; Maqrisi, 
ecL Blodiet, p. 517. 


1174 Raymond of Tripoli Regent 

Moreover, he lived far off; whereas Raymond had recently mar 
ried the second great heiress in the Kingdom, Eschiva of Bures, 
Princess of Galilee, widow of Walter of Saint-Omer. Raymond s 
supporters, led by the old Constable, Humphrey II of Toron, by 
the Ibelin family and by Reynald of Sidon, insisted on his rights 
being heard before the High Court. Miles prevaricated for as long 
as he could, but had to yield. Late in the autumn Raymond was 
installed as Regent. A few weeks later Miles, who had taken his 
fall from power with an ill grace, was assassinated one dark night 
in the streets of Acre. 1 

Raymond was now aged thirty-four, a tall, thin man, dark- 
haired and dark-skinned, his face dominated by a great nose, in 
character cold and self-controlled and a little ungenerous. There 
was nothing in him of the enthusiastic chivalry of the early 
Crusaders. During his long years in captivity he had read deeply, 
he had learnt Arabic and he had studied the ways of the Moslems. 
He saw the problems of the Prankish states from a local standpoint. 
He was interested in their survival, not in their role as the spear 
head of aggressive Christendom. He was able and ably supported 
by his friends, but he was only regent and he had enemies, 2 

His regency began a cleavage within the kingdom. There had 
been factions before, especially in the days of Queen Melisende. 
But they had been short-lived. The Crown had kept control. Now 
two definite parties arose, the one composed of the native barons 
and the Hospitallers, following the leadership of Count Raymond, 
seeking an understanding with their foreign neighbours and un 
willing to embark on risky adventures; the other composed of 
newcomers from the West and the Templars. This party was 
aggressive and militandy Christian; and it found its leaders in 
1175, when at last Reynald of Chatillon was released from his 
Moslem prison, together with Joscelin of Edessa, a Count without 
a county, whom fate had turned into an adventurer. 3 Personal 

1 William of Tyre, xxx, 3~4 pp. 1007-9. 

* William of Tyre, xxi, 5, pp. 1010-12. 

3 For the release of Reynold and Joscelin, see below, p. 408. 


Moslem Unity 

animosities were even stronger than differences in policy. Most 
of the nobles now were cousins of each other; and family quarrels 
are always the most bitter. The two wives of King Amalric hated 
each other. Agnes of Courtenay, Count Joscelin s sister, had 
married twice since her divorce. Her next husband, Hugh of 
Ibelin, had died a few years after the marriage; his successor, 
Reynald of Sidon, was glad to discover that he, like Amalric, was 
too closely related to his wife and secured an annulment. 1 While 
Agnes sided with her brother and the Templars, he joined the other 
party. Queen Maria Comnena was soon remarried, to Hugh of 
Ibelin s brother Balian, to whom she brought her dower-fief of 
Nablus. This marriage was happy; and the Dowager-Queen 
played a great role in her husband s party. 2 Reynald of Chatillon, 
a few months after his release, married the heiress of Oultre- 
jourdain, Stephanie, the widow of Miles of Pkncy, who considered 
Count Raymond to be her husband s murderer. 3 Raymond s long 
quarrel with the Templars began on a personal question. A 
Flemish knight, Gerard of Ridfort, came to Tripoli in 1173 and 
took service under the Count, who promised him the hand of the 
first suitable heiress in his county. But when the lord of Botrun 
died a few months later, leaving his lands to his daughter Lucia, 
Raymond ignored Gerard s claim and gave her to a rich Pisan 
called Plivano, who ungallandy put the girl on to a weighing- 
machine and offered the Count her weight in gold. Gerard, 
angry and disappointed, joined the Order of the Temple and soon 
became its most influential member and its seneschal. He never 
forgave Raymond. 4 

1 Hugh of Ibelin, who had been Amalric s commissioner in Cairo in 1167, 
died about 1169. He had been engaged to Agnes hefore she married Amalric 
(William of Tyre, xrx, 4, p. 890). William also tells of Reynald of Sidon s 
divorce. Reynold s father showed that he and Agnes were related. It was 
doubtless through her mother, Beatrice widow of William of Sahyun, whose 
maiden name is not recorded. 

* William of Tyre, xxi, 18, p. 1035; Ernoul, p. 44. 3 Ernoul, pp. 30-1. 
^ 4 Ernoul, p. 114; Estoire d Erodes, pp. 51-2. Plivano paid 10,000 besants for 
his bride. If they were of full gold content her weight would have been about 
10 stone. 


n?4 : Saladin attacks Aleppo 

The young King, precociously aware of the intrigues around 
him, tried to hold the balance between the parties. Raymond 
remained his regent for three years; but ties of kinship drew him 
closer to the Courtenays. He made his uncle Joscelin seneschal in 
1176; and his mother, the Lady Agnes, returned to the Court. 
Her influence was disastrous. She was vicious and greedy, in 
satiable for men and for money. She had not been allowed to 
bring up her children. Baldwin had been given to the care of 
William of Tyre and Sibylla to that of her great-aunt, the 
Princess- Abbess Joveta of Bethany. But now she began to inter 
fere in their lives. Baldwin listened to her, against his better 
judgment; and Sibylla fell under her domination. 1 

Raymond s first duty as regent was to curb the growth of 
Saladin s power. The Franks had been unable to prevent the union 
of Damascus with Cairo ; but at least Aleppo was still separate. As 
soon as reinforcements came from Egypt Saladin had marched to 
Aleppo from Damascus. On 9 December 1174 he entered Horns 
and left troops to invest the castle, which held out against him. He 
passed on through Hama to Aleppo. When Gumushtekin closed 
the gates in his face, he began a regular siege of the city, on 
30 December. The citizens were half inclined to surrender to him; 
but the young as-Salih came down himself into their midst and 
pleaded with them to preserve him from the man who had 
filched his heritage. Touched by his plight the defenders never 
flagged. Meanwhile Gumushtekin sent for help from the 
Assassins and from the Franks. A few days later some Assassins 
were found in the heart of Saladin s camp, at his very tent. They 
were slain after a desperate defence. On I February Count 
Raymond and a Prankish army appeared before Horns, and with 
the help of the castle garrison began to attack the city walls. This 

1 Joscelin is attested as Seneschal from 1177 onwards (Rohricht, Regesta, 
p. 147). He is always called Count Joscelin . In charters Agnes is called 
Countess, having been Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon during her marriage to 
Amalric. She was never Queen and is never so called. William of Tyre, xxi, 2, 
p. 1006, for Sibylla s upbringing, and above, p. 392, for Baldwin s. 


Moslem Unity 

had the desired effect. Saladin raised the siege of Aleppo and came 
hurrying south. Raymond did not stay to meet him. For the next 
month Saladin was held up by the siege of the castle of Horns. 
By April he was master of all Syria as far north as Hama; but 
Aleppo was still independent. In gratitude to the Franks Gumush- 
tekin released Reynald of Chatillon andjoscelin of Courtenay and 
all the other Christian prisoners languishing in the dungeons of 
Aleppo. 1 

Saladin s successes roused Nur ed-Din s nephew, Saif ed-Din of 
Mosul, who sent his brother, Izz ed-Din, with a large army into 
Syria to join Gumushtekin. Saladin, hoping perhaps to cause 
trouble between Aleppo and Mosul, offered to cede to Gumush 
tekin Hama and Horns. The offer was rejected. But the allied 
army was caught in a ravine amongst the hills north of Hama and 
cut to pieces by Saladin s veterans. Saladin did not feel strong 
enough to follow up his victory. A truce was arranged, which 
allowed Saladin to occupy a few towns north of Hama but other 
wise left things as they were. 3 

Saladin now threw off his alleged vassaldom to as-Salih. He 
had, he said, done his best to serve him loyally, but as-Salih had 
preferred other counsellors and rejected his help. He therefore 
took the title of King of Egypt and Syria and struck coins in his 
own name alone. The Caliph at Baghdad graciously approved 
and sent royal robes that reached him at Hama in May. 3 

The truce with the house of Zengi was short-lived. In March 
1176 Saif ed-Din of Mosul himself crossed the Euphrates with a 
large army and joined with Gumushtekin s troops outside Aleppo. 
Saladin, whose army had been reinforced again from Egypt, went 

1 William of Tyre, xxi, 6, pp. 1012-13, 1023; Abu Shama, pp. 167-8; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 618-20; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, pp. 562-4. 

2 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 70-1; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 621-2, calls the site of 
die battle die Horns of Hama; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, p. 564. 

3 The first of the coins bearing Saladin s royal tide are dated A.M. 570 
(1174-5). He never assumed the tide of Sultan, but Arab writers, even his 
contemporaries, usually give it to him, (e.g. Ibn Jubayr and Beha ed-Din). 
See "Wiet, op. cit pp. 335-6. 


1176: Saladin defeats Saif ed-Din of Mosul 

up to meet him. An eclipse of the sun on n April alarmed his 
men as they crossed the Orontes near Hama; and they were caught 
by surprise ten days kter by Saif ed-Din, as they were watering 
their horses. But Saif ed-Din hesitated to attack at once. Next 
morning, when Saif ed-Din brought all his forces up to attack 
Saladin s camp on the Mound of the Sultan, some twenty miles 
south of Aleppo, it was too late. Their first onrush almost suc 
ceeded; but Saladin counter-charged at the head of his reserves 
and broke the enemy s lines. By evening he was master of the 
field. The treasure that Saif ed-Din had left in his camp on fleeing 
was all given by Saladin to reward his own men. The prisoners 
that were taken were well treated and soon sent back to their 
homes. His generosity and clemency made an excellent impression. 1 

Aleppo still refused to open its gates to Saladin; so he attacked 
and captured the fortresses between the city and the Euphrates, 
Biza a and Menbij, then laid siege to Azaz, the great fortress that 
commanded the road to the north. There, once again, he nearly 
perished at the hands of one of the Assassins, who entered the tent 
where he was resting. Only the cap of mail that he wore under his 
turban saved him. Azaz capitulated on 21 June. On 24 June he 
appeared again before Aleppo. But now he agreed to come to 
terms. As-Salih and the Ortoqid princes of Hisn Kaifa and 
Mardin who had supported him agreed to cede to Saladin all the 
land that he had conquered; and they and Saladin swore solemnly 
to keep the peace. When the treaty had been signed on 29 July, 
as-Salih s little sister came out to visit Sakdin s camp. He asked 
her kindly what gift she would like; and she answered: The 
Castle of Azaz/ Saladin thereupon gave it back to her brother. 2 

Though Aleppo was still unconquered, as-Salih and his cousins 
were cowed. Saladin could turn to deal with the Assassins and the 

1 Beta ed-Din, P.T.T.5. pp. 71-4; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 625-6. Beta ed-Din 
makes the batde take place at Tel es-Sultan and at the Horns of Hama. 

2 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 74-5; Kemal ad-Din, ei Blochet, pp. 146-7; 
Ibn al~Athir, loc. clt. According to Kemal ad-Din public opinion in Aleppo 
was against a treaty and strongly supported as-Salih. 


Moslem Unity 

Franks. He entered the Nosairi mountains to lay siege to Masyaf, 
the chief Assassin stronghold. Sheikh Sinan was away; and as he 
hurried home, Saladin s soldiers could have captured him had not 
some mysterious power restrained them. There was magic about. 
Saladin himself was troubled by terrible dreams. One night he 
woke suddenly to find on his bed some hot cakes of a type that 
only the Assassins baked, and with them a poisoned dagger and 
a piece of paper on which a threatening verse was written. 
Saladin believed that the Old Man of the Mountains had himself 
been in the tent. His nerves gave way. He sent a messenger to 
Sinan asking to be forgiven for his sins and promising, in return 
for a safe-conduct, henceforward to leave the Assassins undis 
turbed. The Old Man pardoned him, and the treaty between them 
was kept. 1 

With the Franks no such treaty could be made. There had been 
a truce in 1175, when Saladin, in order to be able to deal with Saif 
ed-Din, had released the Christian prisoners in his possession. 3 
But next year the Franks broke the truce. While Saladin was 
besieging Aleppo, Raymond of Tripoli invaded the Beqa a from 
the Buqaia, while the royal army under Humphrey of Toron and 
the fifteen-year old King came up from the south. Raymond 
seems to have suffered a slight defeat at the hands of Ibn al- 
Muqaddam, now governor of Baalbek; but the Christians made 
a junction and severely defeated Saladin s brother Turan Shah and 
the militia of Damascus. They retired again as soon as Saladin 
approached from the north. He did not follow after them. He 
was anxious to return to Egypt. Leaving Turan Shah in command 
of a strong army in Syria, he once more slipped through Oultre- 
jourdain and arrived at Cairo at the end of September. 3 

1 Abu-Eras, ed. Guyard, Journal Asiatique, 7th series, vol. ix, 1877, Arabic 
text, pp. 455-9; Ibn al-Athir (loc. cit.) reports a threatening letter sent by Sinan 
to Saladin s maternal nude, Shihab ed-Din. 

3 William of Tyre, xxi, 8, pp. 1017-19. He reproaches Humphrey of Toron, 
who was responsible for the truce, for missing an opportunity for striking at 
Saladin when he was embarrassed. 

3 William of Tyre, xxi, n, pp. 1021-3; && al-Athir, p. 627. 




1176: Sibylla s first Marriage 

For a year there was a respite from fighting, for which both 
sides were thankful. While Saladin reorganized Egypt and rebuilt 
and refortified Cairo, the government at Jerusalem faced its main 
internal problem. In 1177 Bang Baldwin came of age, at sixteen, 
and Raymond gave up the regency. But the King s leprosy was 
growing worse ; he surely could not live for many years. To provide 
for the succession the Princess Sibylla must be married, in 1175, 
probably at the suggestion of Louis VII of France, Baldwin had 
invited William Long-Sword, eldest son of the Marquis of 
Montferrat, to come to Palestine and accept Sibylla s hand. It was 
a good choice. William was well-connected. His father was the 
richest prince in northern Italy. He was cousin both of the 
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and of King Louis. He himself, 
though no longer young, was gallant and handsome enough to 
please the gay Princess. He knded at Sidon in October 1176. On 
his marriage to Sibylla a few days later he was given the county of 
Ascalon and Jaffa and generally accepted as heir to the throne. 
But the hopes based on his vigour and his high connections were 
vain. Early in 1177 he fell ill of malaria. His illness dragged on 
for some months; and in June he died. His widow gave birth to 
a son in the kte summer, an heir to the kingdom but one that made 
a regency inevitable. The King s envoys scoured Europe once more 
to find a second husband for the Princess. 1 

His envoys also scoured Europe to find allies against Saladin; 
for the lull in the war would certainly not last long. But the 
princes of the West were fully occupied in their own affairs; and 
even Constantinople could not provide the same help as before. 
The year 1176 was a turning-point in the history of Byzantium. 
The Seldjuk Sultan, Kilij Arslan II, had grown restive against the 
Emperor. While Nur ed-Din lived he had been kept under 
control; for Nur ed-Din had intervened in Anatolia in 1173, to 

1 William of Tyre, xxr, 13, pp. 1025-6; William s mother was half-sister to 
King Conrad and to Frederick Barbarossa s father. His father and King Louis s 
mother, Adelaide of Maurienne, were the children by two different marriages 
of Gisela of Burgundy. 


Moslem Unity 

prevent die Seldjuks from swallowing the lands of the Danish- 
mends. Nur ed-Din s general Abdalmassih, his brother Qutb 
ed-Din s former minister at Mosul, restored Caesarea-Mazacha to 
the Danishmend Dhu 1-Nun and himself remained with a garrison 
in Sivas. Kilij Arslan s brother Shahinshah was at the same time 
confirmed in the possession of Ankara, where the Emperor had 
installed him some years before. But Nur ed-Din s death removed 
this restraint on Kilij Arslan. By the end of 1 174 Abdalmassih was 
back in Mosul, Dhu 1-Nun and Shahinshah were in exile at 
Constantinople, and Kilij Arslan was in possession of their lands. 
He then turned against Byzantium. In the summer of 1176 
Manuel determined to deal once and for all with the Turks. Some 
slight successes the previous summer had encouraged him to write 
to the Pope to announce that the time was propitious for a new 
Crusade. Now he would make the road across Anatolia safe for 
ever. While an army under his cousin Andronicus Vatatses was 
sent through Paphlagonia to restore Dhul Nun to his territory, 
Manuel himself led the great Imperial army, swelled by all the 
reinforcements that he could muster, against the Sultan s capital 
at Konya, Kilij Arslan, hearing of the expedition, sent to ask for 
peace. But Manuel no longer had faith in his word. 

Early in September the Paphlagonian expedition came to 
disaster before the walls of Niksar. The head of Vatatses was sent 
as a trophy to the Sultan. A few days later Manuel s army moved 
out of the Meander valley, past the fortress that he had built at 
Sublaeum the year before, and round the top of the Lake of 
Egridir into the hills that led up toward the great range of the 
Sultan Dagh. Heavy wagons containing siege-machinery and 
provender slowed its progress; and the Turks had devastated the 
land through which it must travel. The road led through a pass 
called Tzibritze by the Greeks, with the ruined fort of Myrio- 
cephalum standing at the far end. There the Turkish army was 
gathered visible on the bare hill-side. Manuel s more experienced 
generals warned him not to take his lumbering army through the 
difficult passage in face of the enemy; but the younger princes 


nj6: Battle of Myriocephalum 

trusted in their prowess and were eager for glory. They persuaded 
him to march on. The Sultan had gathered troops from all his 
allies and vassals. His army was as large as Manuel s, less well- 
armed but more mobile. On 17 September 1176 the vanguard 
forced its way through the pass. The Turks yielded before them, 
to swing round into the hills and charge down the slopes into the 
pass as the main Imperial army pressed along the narrow road. 
The Emperor s brother-in-law, Baldwin of Antioch, at the head 
of a cavalry regiment, counter-charged up the hill into the enemy; 
but he and all his men were killed. The soldiers in the valley saw his 
defeat. They were so tightly packed together that they could 
scarcely move their hands. Brave leadership might still have saved 
the day. But Manuel s courage deserted him. He was the first to 
panic and fled back out of the pass. The whole army now tried to 
follow him. But in the chaos the transport wagons blocked the 
road. Few of the soldiers could escape. The Turks, waving the 
head of Vatatses before them, massacred as they pleased till dark 
ness fell. Then the Sultan sent a herald to the Emperor as he tried 
to rally his troops in the plain, and offered him peace on condition 
that he retired at once and dismantled his two new fortresses of 
Sublaeum and Dorylaeum. Manuel gratefully accepted the terms. 
His unconquered vanguard came back safely through the pass, and 
joined up with the pathetic remnant that Manuel now led home 
wards, harassed by Turks who could not understand Kilij Arslan s 
forbearance. It is probable that the Sultan did not comprehend 
the completeness of his victory. His main interest was now in the 
East. He was not at the moment interested in expanding west 
ward. All that he wanted there was security. 1 

Manuel, however, was well aware of the significance of the 
disaster, which he himself compared to that of Manzikert, just 

1 Nicetas Chonktes, pp. 236-48; Michael the Syrian, m, pp. 369-72- 
See Chalandon, Les Comnenes, pp. 506-13, and Calien, La Syrie du Nord, 
p. 417 n. 3, and for die battle itself, Ramsay, Report on Exploration in 
Phrygia , in History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire, 
pp. 235-8. 


Moslem Unity 

over a century before. 1 The great war-machine that his grandfather 
and father had built up had suddenly been destroyed. It would 
take many years to rebuild it; and indeed it was never rebuilt. 
There were troops enough left to defend the frontiers and even to 
win a few petty victories in the next three years. But nevermore 
would the Emperor be able to march into Syria and dictate his 
will at Antioch. Nor was there anything left of his great prestige 
which had in the past deterred Nur ed-Din at the height of his 
power from pressing too far against Christendom. For the Franks 
the disaster at Myriocephalum was almost as fateful as for 
Byzantium. Despite all the mutual mistrust and misunderstanding, 
they knew that the existence of the mighty Empire was an ulti 
mate safeguard against the triumph of Islam. At the moment, 
when the ruler of northern Syria was the weak boy as-Salih, they 
did not notice the importance of the battle. But when William 
of Tyre visited Constantinople three years kter and learnt fully 
what had happened, he realized the dangers ahead. 2 

Though Manuel s army had perished, his fleet was still strong, 
and he was ready to use it against Saladin. Once again, in 1177, 
he promised to send it in support of a Prankish attack against 
Egypt. During that summer there had been rumours of a new 
Crusade from the West; both Louis VII and Henry II of England 
were said to have taken the Cross. 3 But only one western poten 
tate appeared in Palestine. In September, while King Baldwin was 
recovering from a bad attack of malaria, Philip, Count of Flanders, 
landed with a considerable following at Acre. He was the son of 
Count Thierry and of Sibylla of Anjou; and the Franks, remem- 

1 Nicetas Choniates, p. 249. Manuel on. the other hand tried to minimize 
the disaster in his letter about it to Henry II of England (quoted in Roger of 
Hoveckn, Chronicle, n, p. 101). The hatde was noticed by many western 
chroniclers, e.g. Vita Alexandri, in Liber Pontifaalis, n, p. 435, and Annales 
S. Rufixrti Salisburgensis, p. 777. 

% William of Tyre, xxi, 12, p. 1025, 

5 Henry n and Louis VII agreedin the Treaty of Ivry, 21 September 1177, to 
go on a joint Crusade (Benedict of Peterborough, i, pp. 191-4). The scheme was 
dropped soon afterwards. 


: Philip of Flanders in Palestine 

Bering his father s four Crusades and his mother s pious love of 
the Holy Land, hoped great things of him. The news of his coming 
brought four high-born ambassadors from the Emperor, offering 
money for an Egyptian expedition; and on their heels a Byzantine 
fleet of seventy well-fitted men-of-war arrived off Acre. Kong 
Baldwin, too ill to fight himself, hastened to offer him the regency 
if he would lead an expedition into Egypt. But Philip hesitated 
and prevaricated. He had come, he said first, merely for the 
pilgrimage, next that he could not assume such responsibilities 
alone; and when the King suggested that Reynald of Chatillon 
should be joint leader, he criticized Reynald s character. It was 
pointed out to him that the Byzantine fleet was there ready to 
co-operate. He merely asked why he should oblige the Greeks. 
At last he revealed that his only object in coming to Palestine had 
been to marry off his two cousins, the Princesses Sibylla and 
Isabella, to the two young sons of his favourite vassal, Robert of 
Bethune. This was more than the barons of Jerusalem could bear. 
We thought you had come to fight for the Cross and you merely 
talk of marriages , cried Baldwin of Ibelin when the Count made 
his demand before the Court. Thwarted and furious, Philip pre 
pared to depart again. The wrangling had shocked the Emperor s 
ambassadors. It was clear that there was going to be no expedition 
to Egypt. They waited about a month, then disgustedly sailed 
away with the fleet, to give warning to their master of the in 
curable frivolity of the Franks. 1 

The Count of Flanders left Jerusalem for Tripoli at the end of 
October. Perhaps his conscience now troubled him, for he agreed 
to accompany Count Raymond on an expedition against Hama; 

1 William of Tyre, xxi, 14-18, pp. 1027-35. He suggests that Raymond of 
Tripoli and Bohemond of Antioch were both, of them opposed to an Egyptian 
expedition and discouraged Philip. But the Ibelins were disgusted by Philip, 
and as they habitually worked in with Raymond, it is possible that William 
exaggerated. He was responsible for the Byzantine alliance and therefore upset 
by its abandonment, and Philip s willingness kter to help both Raymond and 
Bohemond may have led him to suspect them. See also Ernoul, p. 33, who 
tells of Baldwin of Ibelin s taunt. 


Moslem Unity 

and King Baldwin provided troops from the kingdom to reinforce 
him. While a small contingent raided the territory of Horns, only 
to fall into an ambush and lose all the booty that it had collected, 
the two Counts laid siege to Hama, whose governor was seriously 
ill. But when troops came up from Damascus, they retired, having 
achieved nothing. From Tripoli Count Philip moved on to 
Antioch, and there agreed to help Prince Bohemond attack the 
town of Harenc. Harenc had belonged to as-Salih s former 
minister Gumushtekin; but he had quarrelled with his master, who 
had put him to death. His vassals at Harenc had therefore revolted 
against as-Salih, but on the Franks approach their mutiny ended. 
Bohemond and Philip half-heartedly kid siege to the town. Their 
mining operations were unsuccessful; and as-Salih was able to send 
a detachment through their lines to reinforce the garrison. When 
as-Salih sent envoys to point out to them that Saladin, the real 
enemy both of Aleppo and Antioch, was back in Syria, they 
agreed to raise the siege. Philip of Flanders returned to Jerusalem 
for Easter, then took a ship from Lattakieh for Constantinople. 1 
Saladin had crossed the frontier from Egypt on 18 November. 
His intelligence service was always excellent. He knew that the 
Franco-Byzantine alliance had collapsed and that the Count of 
Flanders was away in the north. He decided on a sudden counter 
attack up the coast into Palestine. The Templars summoned all the 
available knights of the Order to defend Gaza; but the Egyptian 
army marched straight on to Ascalon. The old Constable Hum 
phrey of Toron was seriously ill, and the King had only recently risen 
from a sickbed. With the troops that he could muster, five hundred 
knights in all, and with the Bishop of Bethlehem bearing the True 
Cross, Baldwin hurried to Ascalon and entered the fortress just 
before the enemy came up. He had summoned every man of 
arms in the kingdom to join him there; but the first levies were 
intercepted by Saladin and taken prisoner. Leaving a small force 

1 Wiflkm of Tyre, xxi, 19, 25, pp. 1036, 1047-9; Ernoul, p. 34; Michael 
die Syrian, in, pp. 75-6; Abu Shama, pp. 189-92; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. 
pp. 76-7; Ibn al-Adhir, pp. 630-3 ; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, pp. 148-53. 


1 177- Saladin s Defeat at Montgisard 

to contain the King in Ascalon, Saladin marched on towards 
Jerusalem. For once, Saladin was over-confident. There was no 
enemy left between him and the Christian capital; so he loosened 
the discipline of his troops and allowed them to wander round 
the countryside pillaging. "With the courage of despair, Baldwin 
managed to send a message to the Templars telling them to 
abandon Gaza and join him. When they came near he broke out 
of Ascalon and rode with all his men up the coast to Ibelin and 
then swung inland. On 25 November the Egyptian army was 
crossing a ravine near the castle of Montgisard, a few miles south 
east of Ramleh, when suddenly the Prankish knights fell on it 
coming from the north. It was a complete surprise. Some of 
Saladin s troops were absent foraging; and he had no time to 
regroup the remainder. Many of diem fled before the first 
shock. Saladin himself was only saved by his personal Mameluke 
Guard. The regiments that held their ground were almost 
annihilated. Among the Christians the King was in the forefront. 
The bravery of the Ibelin brothers, Baldwin and Balian, and 
of Raymond s stepsons, Hugh and William of Galilee, helped on 
the victory; and Saint George himself was seen fighting by their 

Within a few hours the Egyptian army was in full flight home 
wards, abandoning all the booty and the prisoners that it had taken. 
The soldiers even threw away their weapons in order to flee the 
quicker. Saladin managed to restore some measure of order; but 
the crossing of the Sinai desert was painful, with Bedouins 
harassing the almost defenceless fugitives. From the Egyptian 
frontier Saladin sent messengers on dromedaries to Cairo to assure 
any would-be rebels that he was still alive; and his return to Cairo 
was announced by pigeon-post all over Egypt. But his prestige 
had suffered terribly. 1 

It had been a great victory and it had saved the kingdom for the 

1 William of Tyre, xxi, 20-24, pp. 1037-47; Ernoul, pp. 41-5; Michael the 
Syrian, m, p. 375; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 75~<5; Abu Shama, pp. 184-7; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 627-35. 

RC 417 2 ? 

Moslem Unity 

moment. But it had not in the long run changed the situation. 
The resources of Egypt are limitless ; whereas the Franks were still 
short of men. Had it been possible for King Baldwin to pursue 
the enemy into Egypt or to make a swift attack upon Damascus, 
he might have crushed Saladin s power, but without help from 
outside he could not risk his own small army on an offensive. 
Instead, he decided to erect strong fortifications along the 
Damascene frontier, where the loss of Banyas had upset the 
defensive system of the kingdom. While Humphrey of Toron 
fortified the hill of Hunin, on the road from Banyas to Toron, the 
Bang set about building a castle on the upper Jordan between Lake 
Huleh and the Sea of Galilee, to command the ford by which 
Jacob had wrestled with the angel, a ford known also as the Ford 
of Sorrows. The land on either side was inhabited by Moslem 
peasants and herdsmen, some owing allegiance to Damascus, some 
to the Christians. They passed to and fro freely across the 
frontier, which was marked only by a great oak tree; and the 
Franks had undertaken never to fortify the crossing. Baldwin had 
wished to abide by the treaty and build a castle elsewhere; but the 
Templars overruled him. The local Moslems complained of the 
breach of faith to Saladin, who offered Baldwin first 60,000, then 
100,000 gold pieces to give up the work. On the King s refusal, 
he vowed to take action himself. 1 

After his disaster at Montgisard he had remained for several 
months in Egypt, till he was sure that everything was well under 
control. In the kte spring of 1178 he returned to Syria and spent 
the rest of the year at Damascus. The only warfare of the year 
consisted of a few raids and counter-raids. 2 Farther north there 
was peace between Antioch and Aleppo, and an alliance between 
Antioch and Armenia, whose renegade Prince Mleh had been 

1 "William of Tyre, xxi, 26, pp. 1050-1; Ernoul, pp. 51-2; Abu Shama, 
pp. 194-7; Ibn al-Athir, p. 634. Saladin was occupied at the time by a local 
revolt at Baalbek. Jacob s Ford is now crossed by a bridge known as the 
Bridge of die Daughters of Jacob. 

z Ibn al-Athir, p. 633. 


- Death of Humphrey of Tor on 

overthrown soon after Nur ed-Din s death, by his nephew 
Roupen III. Roupen was a friend of the Franks, whom he had 
assisted at the ineffectual siege of Harenc. 1 Bohemond III also 
sought the friendship of the Emperor, and in 1177 married as his 
second wife a relative of Manuel s, called Theodora.* 

In the spring of 1179, when the seasonal movement of flocks 
began, King Baldwin set out to round up the sheep that would be 
passing towards Banyas from the plains of Damascus. Saladin sent 
his nephew Faruk-Shah to see what was happening. He was to 
inform his uncle by pigeon-post of the direction taken by the 
Franks. On 10 April Faruk-Shah suddenly came upon the enemy 
in a narrow valley in the forest of Banyas. The King was taken by 
surprise. He was only able to extricate his army owing to the 
heroism of the old Constable, Humphrey of Toron, who held up 
the Moslems with his bodyguard till the royal army had escaped. 
Humphrey was mortally wounded; he died at his new castle at 
Hunin on 22 April. Even the Moslems paid tribute to his character. 
His death was a terrible blow to the kingdom; for he had been its 
one universally respected elder statesman. 

Saladin followed up the victory by laying siege to the castle at 
Jacob s Ford. But the defence was so vigorous that he retired after 
a few days to encamp before Banyas. From there he sent raiders 
into Galilee and through the Lebanon to destroy the harvests 
between Sidon and Beirut. King Baldwin gathered together the 
forces of the kingdom and summoned Raymond of Tripoli to join 
him. They marched up through Tiberias and Safed to Toron. 

1 Sembat the Constable, p. 624; Vahram, Rhymed Chronicle, p. 509. For 
Roupen s marriage, see below, p. 422. 

2 William of Tyre, xxn, 5, p. 1069. The date of this marriage arid even the 
bride s name are disputed. The Llgnages (v, p. 446) call her Irene and give 
her a daughter called Constance, otherwise unknown. It is unknown whether 
she was a Comnena or related to the Emperor through her mother. Rey, 
Histoire des Princes d Antioch , R.O.L. 1896, n, pp. 379-82, believes her to 
have been Bohemond s first wife. It is more probable that his first wife was 
Orgillosa of Harenc, who appears on charters 1170-5 (Rohricht, Regesta, 
pp. 125, 139). William definitely says that Bohemond left Theodora to live 
with Sibylla. 

419 27-2 

Moslem Unity 

There they learnt that Faruk-Shah and a party of raiders were 
coming back from the coast laden with booty. They moved north 
to intercept them in the valley of Marj Ayun, the Valley of Springs, 
between the Litani river and the upper Jordan. But Saladin. had 
noticed from an observation post on a hill north of Banyas that 
the flocks on the opposite side of the Jordan were scattering in 
panic. He realized that the Prankish army was passing by and set 
out in pursuit. On 10 June 1179, while the royal army routed 
Faruk-Shah at Marj Ayun, Count Raymond and the Templars 
moved on a little ahead towards the Jordan. By the entrance of 
the valley they came on Saladin s army. The Templars joined battle 
at once; but Saladin s counter-attack drove them back in confusion 
on Baldwin s troops. These, too, were forced back; and before 
long the whole Christian army was in flight. The King and Count 
Raymond were able with part of their men to cross the Litani and 
shelter at the great castle of Beaufort, high above the western 
bank. All the men left beyond the river were massacred or later 
rounded up. Some of the fugitives did not stop at Beaufort but 
made straight for the coast. On the way they met Reynald of 
Sidon with his local troops. They told him that he was too late; 
so he turned back, though had he advanced to the Litani he might 
have saved many other fugitives. 

Amongst Saladin s prisoners were Odo of Saint-Amand, Grand 
Master of the Temple, whose rashness had been the prime cause 
of die rout, Baldwin of Ibelin and Hugh of Galilee. Hugh was 
soon ransomed by his mother, the Countess of Tripoli, for 55,000 
Tyrian dinars. For Baldwin of Ibelin Saladin demanded 150,000 
dinars, a King s ransom, so highly did he rate Baldwin s im 
portance. After a few months Baldwin was released on the 
return of a thousand Moslem prisoners and on his promise to 
find tie money. It was proposed to exchange Odo for an 
important Moslem prisoner; but the Grand Master was too 
proud to admit that anyone could be of equal value to him. He 
remained in a dungeon at Damascus till his death the following 


n8o: Two Years Truce 

Saladin did not follow up his victory by an invasion of Palestine, 
perhaps because he had heard of the arrival there of a great com 
pany of knights from France, led by Henry II of Champagne, 
Peter of Courtenay and Philip, Bishop of Beauvais. Instead, he 
attacked Baldwin s castle at Jacob s Ford. After a siege of five 
days, from 24 to 29 August, he succeeded in mining the walls and 
forcing an entrance. The defenders were put to death and the 
castle rased to the ground. The French visitors would not go out 
to try to save the castle but soon returned home. Once more the 
Crusaders from the West had been utterly ineffectual. 1 

After the Egyptian fleet had carried out a successful raid in 
October on the shipping in the very port of Acre, and after a great 
Moslem foray into Galilee early in the new year, King Baldwin 
sent to ask Saladin for a truce. Saladin agreed. There had been 
a terrible drought throughout the winter and early spring ; and the 
whole of Syria was faced with famine. No one desired raids that 
might damage the meagre harvests. And Saladin had probably 
decided that the conquest of Aleppo should precede the conquest 
of Jerusalem. A two-years truce was fixed by a treaty signed by 
representatives of Baldwin and of Saladin in May 1180. Tripoli 
was excluded from the truce; but after the Egyptian navy had 
raided the port of Tortosa and Saladin had been checked in a raid 
on the Buqaia, he made a similar treaty with Raymond. 2 In the 
autumn he marched northwards to the Euphrates, where the 
Ortoqid prince, Nur ed-Din of Hisn Kaifa, who had become his 
ally, had quarrelled with Kilij Arslan the Seldjuk. Nur ed-Din 
had married the Sultan s daughter, but neglected her in favour 
of a dancing-girl. On 2 October 1180 Saladin held a congress 
near Samosata; the Ortoqid princes were there and envoys from 

1 William of Tyre, xxi, 27-30, pp. 1052-9; Ernoul, pp. 53-4 ; Abu Shama, 
pp. 194-202; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 635-6; Maqrizi, eel. Blochet, pp. 53O-I- There 
is some doubt whether Odo of St Armand was in fact killed, as a Bull of Pope 
Alexander III suggests that he lived on as a prisoner. See d Albon, La Mort 
d Odon de St Amand in Revue de I 3 Orient Latin, vol. xn, pp. 279-82. 

2 William of Tyre, xxn, 1-3, pp. 1053-6; Abu Shama, p. 211 ; Ibn al-Athir, 
p. 642. 


Moslem Unity 

Kilij Arslan, from Saif ed-din of Mosul and. from Roupen of 
Armenia. They solemnly swore to keep peace with one another 
for two years to come. 1 

King Baldwin spent the respite in an attempt to build up a 
Christian front against Islam. William of Tyre, Archbishop since 
1175, went to Rome to a Lateran council in 1179 and on his way 
back visited Constantinople during the last days of the year. The 
Emperor Manuel was as courteous and friendly as ever; but 
William could see that he was a dying man. He had never 
recovered from the shock of the battle of Myriocephalum. But 
he still showed great interest in Syria. William stayed there for 
seven months. He was present at the great ceremonies when 
Manuel s daughter Maria, a spinster of twenty-eight, married 
Rainier of Montferrat, Sibylla s brother-in-law, and Manuel s son, 
Alexius, aged ten, married the Princess Agnes of France, aged nine. 
He returned with Imperial envoys as far as Antioch. 2 The Armenian 
Prince Roupen was eager to strengthen his alliance with the 
Franks. Early in 1181 he came on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and 
there he married the Lady Isabella of Toron, the daughter of 
Stephanie of Oultrejourdain. 3 Even the Syrian Jacobites pro 
claimed their loyalty to the united Christian cause when their 
Patriarch, the historian Michael, visited Jerusalem and had a long 
interview with the King. 4 

There were hopes, too, of an ally from the Farther East. Since 
1150 a letter purporting to be written by that great potentate 
Prester John to the Emperor Manuel had been circulating through 
western Europe. Though it was almost certainly the forgery of a 
German bishop, its account of the Priest-King s wealth and piety 
was too good not to be believed. In 1177 the Pope sent his doctor 
Philip with a message asking for information and for aid. It 

1 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 639-40. 

a William of Tyre, xxn, 4, pp. 1066-8. 

3 Sembat the Constable, p. 627. Ernoul, p. 31, refers to the marriage, calling 
Roupen the son of Thoros. He also (pp. 25-30) tells of a visit of Thoros to 
Jerusalem, unrecorded elsewhere and probably mythical. 

4 Michael the Syrian, m, p. 379. 


n8o: Sibylla and Baldwin oflbelin 

seems that Philip ended his journey in Abyssinia; but it had no 
concrete result. 1 

But still no powerful knight came from the West, not even to 
accept the offer of the hand of Princess Sibylla and the succession 
to the throne. Frederick of Tyre, when he was in Rome, had sent 
to Hugh III of Burgundy, of the royal Capetian line, to beg him 
to accept the candidature. Hugh agreed at first, but preferred to 
remain in France. Meanwhile, Sibylla herself had fallen in love 
with Baldwin oflbelin. The family oflbelin, though its origins 
had been modest, was now in the forefront of the Palestinian 
nobility. On the death of Balian the Old, the founder of the 
family, Ibelin itself was given to the Hospitallers ; but Ramleh 
passed to his eldest son Hugh, and on Hugh s death to his brother 
Baldwin, who had married but repudiated, on the convenient 
excuse of kinship, the heiress of Beisan. The youngest brother, 
Balian, was now the husband of Queen Maria Comnena, and lord 
of her dower-town of Nablus. Baldwin and Balian were the most 
influential of all the local nobles; and despite his undistinguished 
pedigree Baldwin s marriage to Sibylla would have been popular 
throughout the land. Before any betrothal was arranged, Baldwin 
was captured at Marj Ayun. Sibylla wrote to him to his jail to 
assure him of her love. But when he was released she told him 
coldly that she could not contemplate marriage while he still owed 
a vast ransom. Her argument was reasonable, if discouraging; so 
Baldwin, not knowing how to raise the money, journeyed to 
Constantinople and begged it from the Emperor. Manuel, with 
his love of generous gestures, paid it all. Baldwin came back 
triumphant to Palestine in the early spring of 1180, only to find 
Sibylla betrothed to another man. 2 

The Lady Agnes never liked the relatives of her various 

1 Rohricht, Regesta, pp. 67, 145. For the Prester John Legend, see Marinescu, 
*Le Pretre Jean in Bulletin de la Section Historique de I* Academic Roumaine, 
vol. x. 

2 The story of Baldwin of Ibelin s love affair is given only by Ernoul, 
pp. 48, 56-9. Ernoul was in the service of Baldwin s brother Balian and was 
therefore well informed about the family. 


Moslem Unity 

husbands and disapproved of die Ibelins. Some years before a 
knight fromPoitou, Amalric, second son of the Count of Lusignan, 
had arrived in Palestine. He was a good soldier; and on Hum 
phrey of Toron s death he was appointed Constable. About the 
same time he married Baldwin of Ibelin s daughter Eschiva. He 
was also Agnes s lover. He had in France a young brother called 
Guy. With Agnes s backing he began to tell Sibylla of the extra 
ordinary good looks and charm of this youth till at last she begged 
him to bring him out to Palestine. While Baldwin was at Con 
stantinople Amalric hurried home to fetch Guy, and to prepare 
him for the part that he was to play. Sibylla found him as hand 
some as she had been told and announced that she intended to 
marry him. The King, her brother, protested in vain; for Guy, as 
anyone could see, was a weak and foolish boy. The Palestinian 
barons were furious to realize that they might have as their future 
king this youngest son of a petty French noble whose only dis 
tinction was his descent from the water-fairy Melusine. But Agnes 
and Sibylla pestered the sick weary King till he gave his consent. 
At Easter 1 1 80 Guy was married to Sibylla and was enfeoffed with 
the counties of Jaffa and Ascalon. 1 

For political as well as for personal reasons the Ibelins were 
disgusted, and the breach between them and the Courtenays, sup 
ported by Reynald of ChatilLon, grew greater. In October 1180 
the King tried to bring them together by betrothing his half-sister 
Isabella to Humphrey TV of Toron. Isabella was Balian of Ibelin s 
stepdaughter and Humphrey Reynald of Chatillon s stepson. 
Humphrey was, moreover, as grandson and heir of the great 
Constable and heir-apparent through his mother of the fief of 
Oultrejourdain, the most eligible of the local nobility, whom the 
marriage might be expected to gratify. Owing to the youth of 
the Princess, who was only eight, the actual ceremony was post- 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, i, pp. 1064-5; Ernoul, pp. 59-60; Benedict of 
Peterborough, i, p. 343, who reports that SibyEa had already taken Guy as her 
lover. "When the King discovered this, he wished to put Guy to death, but at 
the request of the Templars he spared him and allowed the marriage. 


n8o: The Patriarch Heradius 

poned for three years. 1 But the betrothal did no good. A few 
days later the Courtenays showed their power in the appointment 
of a new Patriarch. The Patriarch Amalric died on 6 October. On 
16 October the Chapter of Jerusalem, under pressure from the 
Lady Agnes, elected as his successor Heraclius, Archbishop of 
Caesarea. He was a barely literate priest from the Auvergne whose 
good looks Agnes had found irresistible; and her favour had pro 
cured his steady advancement. His present mistress was the wife 
of a draper at Nablus, Paschia de Riveri, who was soon to be 
known throughout the realm as Madame la Patriarchesse. William 
of Tyre came bustling from his diocese to try to prevent the 
election, but in vain. The electors named him as their second 
choice; but the Kong, at his mother s bidding, confirmed the 
appointment of Heraclius. 2 

Power was now firmly in the hands of the Courtenays and the 
Lusignans and their allies, Reynald of Chatillon and the new 
Patriarch. In April 1181 they struck at William of Tyre, who, as 
the King s old tutor, was dangerous to them. On a trivial excuse 
Heraclius excommunicated him. After fruitless attempts to heal 
the breach, William left in 1182 or 1183 for Rome, to plead his 
cause at the papal Court. He stayed on there; and there he died, 
poisoned, men said, by an emissary sent by the Patriarch. 3 
Raymond of Tripoli was the next to be attacked. When early in 

1 WiUiam of Tyre, xxn, 5, pp. 1068-9; Ernoul, pp. 81-2. According to 
William, Humphrey ceded his lands in Galilee to the King in return for the 
engagement. Baldwin gave Toron to his mother. Ibn Jubayr, ed. Wright, 
p. 304, says that it belongs to the sow, the mother of the pig who is lord of 
Acre and Hunin to his uncle Joscelin. 

a William of Tyre, xxn, 4, p. 1068, a brief notice carefully omitting any 
question of his own candidature. Ernoul, pp. 82-4, specifically saying that 
Agnes insisted on Heraclius s election, because *pour sa Haute" Fama*; she had 
already made him Archbishop of Caesajrea. He adds that William warned the 
canons against electing him. Estoire d Bracks, n, pp. 57-9, saying that William 
prophesied that the Cross, recovered by a Heraclius, would be lost by 
a Heraclius. 

3 Ernoul, pp. 84-6: Estoire f Bracks, n, pp. 57-9, saying that William was 
poisoned by a doctor that Heraclius sent to Rome, and that Heraclius subse 
quently visited Rome himself. The dates of William s departure and death are 


Moslem Unity 

1182 he prepared to cross from his county into his wife s territory 
of Galilee, the King s officers forbade him to enter the kingdom; 
for Agnes and her brother Joscelin had persuaded Baldwin that he 
was plotting against the Crown. Only after furious protests from 
the barons of the kingdom would Baldwin relent. He reluctantly 
consented to see Raymond, who convinced him of his innocence. 1 
The intrigues round the dying leper King would have been 
less dangerous had not the foreign situation been critical. On 
24 September 1180, the Franks lost their most powerful ally, when 
the Emperor Manuel died at Constantinople. He had genuinely 
liked them and had genuinely worked for their benefit, except 
when it had clashed with the interests of his Empire. He had been 
a brilliant and impressive man, but not a great Emperor; for his 
ambition to dominate Christendom had led him into adventures 
that the Empire could no longer afford. His troops had been sent 
into Italy and into Hungary when they were needed on the 
Anatolian frontier or in the Balkans. He had treated his treasure- 
chest as though it were inexhaustible. The disaster at Myrio- 
cephalum was a deadly blow to his over-strained army ; and in a long 
series of commercial concessions made to the Italian cities in return 
for immediate diplomatic advantages he had sapped the economic 
life of his subjects; and in consequence the Imperial treasury would 
never be full again. The splendour of his Court had dazzled the 
world into the belief that the Empire was greater than in fact it 
had become; and, had he lived longer, his fleet and his gold might 
yet have been of value to the Franks. His personality had held the 
Empire together; but with his death its decline became evident. 
He had fought against death, determinedly clinging to prophecies 

unknown. His history breaks off at 1183. Heraclius visited Rome in 1184 (see 
below, p. 444). On the other hand William is mentioned in a charter of 
Pope Urban IE, dated 17 October, n 86, as an assessor in a law suit between the 
Hospital and the Bishop of Buluniyas. (Rohricht, Regesta, Additamenta, p. 44.) 
Rohricht therefore assumes that he had returned to die Holy Land (Geschickte 
der Kreuzzugen, p. 491 n. 5). It is more likely that the papal chancery made 
a mistake over the name. Josias was Archbishop of Tyre by 21 October 1186 
(Rohricht, Regesta, p. 173). * William of Tyre, xxn, 9, pp. 1077-9. 


n8o-2: The Reign of Alexius II 

that offered him fourteen more years of life, and he made no 
effort to arrange for the regency that his son would need. 1 

The new Emperor, Alexius II, was aged eleven. According to 
the old-established precedent the Empress-Mother took over the 
regency. But the Empress Mark was a Latin from Antioch, the 
first Latin to be ruler of the Empire, and as a Latin she was disliked 
by the people of Constantinople. Manuel s love for the Latins had 
long been resented. The long sequence of ecclesiastical wrangles 
at Antioch had added to the bitterness of the Byzantines. The 
tumultuous passage of the Crusaders through imperial territory 
had never been forgotten, and there were memories of the mas 
sacres of Cyprus, and massacres by Venetians, Pisans and Genoese. 
Most hated of all were the Italian merchants who strutted through 
Constantinople, complacent in their control of the Empire s trade, 
obtained, often, by attacks on peaceful citizens in the provinces. 
The Empress took as her adviser and, it was thought, as her lover, 
a nephew of her husband, the Protosebastus Alexius Comnenus, 
the uncle of Queen Maria of Jerusalem. He was unpopular and 
unwise. Together they leaned on the Latin element and especially 
on the Italian merchants. The opposition to the Empress was led 
by her stepdaughter, the Porphyrogennete Maria and her husband 
Rainier of Montferrat. Their plot to murder the favourite failed; 
but when they took refage in the Church of St Sophia he further 
offended the populace by attempting to profane the sanctuary. 
The Empress was forced to pardon the conspirators; but in her 
insecurity she begged her brother-in-law, Bek III of Hungary, 
to come to her rescue. Her husband s cousin, Andronicus 
Comnenus, forgiven after his career of seduction in the East, was 
now living in retirement in Pontus. His compatriots remembered 
his gallantry and glamour; and when his friends put him forward 
as a national leader there was a ready response. In August 1182 he 
marched across Anatolia. The few troops that did not rally to him 
were easily defeated. Soon the Empress was left in Constantinople 

1 See CKalandon, op. cit pp. 605-8. William of Tyre, xxn, 5, p. 1069, 
reports liis death- 


Moslem Unity 

with only the Latins to support her. As Andronicus approached 
the Bosphorus the people of Constantinople suddenly fell on all the 
Latins in the city. Latin arrogance had provoked the massacre; 
but its horrible course shocked many of the most patriotic of the 
Byzantines. Only a few Italian merchants survived. They took to 
their ships and sailed westward, raiding the coasts that they passed. 
The road to Constantinople was open to Andronicus. 

His first action was to eliminate his rivals. The Protosebastus was 
imprisoned and cruelly blinded. The Porphyrogennete Maria and 
her husband suffered mysterious deaths. Then the Empress was 
condemned to be strangled and her young son was forced himself 
to sign the warrant. Andronicus became joint-Emperor; then, 
two months later, in November 1182, the boy Alexius II himself 
was murdered, and Andronicus, at the age of sixty-two, married 
his widow, the twelve-year-old Agnes of France. 

Apart from these murders Andronicus began his reign well. He 
purged the civil service of its corrupt and supernumerary members ; 
he insisted on the strict administration of justice ; he forced the rich 
to pay their taxes and he protected the poor against exploitation. 
Never for centuries had the provinces been so well governed. But 
Andronicus was frightened, with good cause. Many of his kin 
were jealous of him and the aristocracy resented his policy; and 
foreign affairs were menacing. He realized the dreadful impression 
made in the West by the massacre of 1 1 82 and hastened not only to 
make a treaty with Venice in which he promised a yearly in 
demnity as compensation for Venetian losses, but he also sought 
to placate the Pope by building a church for the Latin rite in the 
capital; and he encouraged western merchants to return. But the 
main enemies of Byzantium were the Hohenstaufen Emperor and 
the King of Sicily; and in 1184 an ominous marriage took pkce 
between the Emperor Frederick s son Henry and William H s 
sister and heiress, Constance. Knowing that the Sicilians were 
certain to attack him soon, Andronicus wished to be sure of his 
eastern frontier. He saw that Saladin was in the ascendant there; 
so, entirely reversing Manuel s policy, he made a treaty with 


1185: The Fall ofAndronicus Comnenus 

Saladin, giving him a free hand against the Franks in return for his 
alliance against the Seldjuks. It seems that details of the divisions 
of future conquests and spheres of influence were planned. But 
the treaty came to nothing ; for Andronicus, fearful for his position 
at Constantinople, began to take repressive measures that in 
creased in ferocity till no one in the capital felt safe. Not only did 
he strike at the aristocracy, but even merchants and humble work 
men were arrested by his police on the flimsiest suspicion of con 
spiracy, and were blinded or sent to the scaffold. When in August 
1 1 8 5 a Sicilian army landed in Epirus and marched on Thessalonica, 
Andronicus panicked. His wholesale arrests and executions drove 
the populace into revolt; which broke out when an elderly and 
inoffensive cousin of the Emperor s, Isaac Angelus, succeeded in 
escaping from his jailers to the altar of St Sophia and appealed 
from there for help. Even his own bodyguard deserted Androni 
cus. He tried in vain to flee across to Asia, but he was captured 
and paraded round the city on a mangy camel, then tortured and 
torn to death by the furious mob. Isaac Angelus was proclaimed 
Emperor. He restored some sort of order and made a humiliating 
peace with the King of Sicily. But he was utterly ineffectual as 
a ruler. The ancient Empire had become a third-rate power with 
little influence in world-politics. 1 

The decline of Byzantium upset the balance of power in the 
East. The Princes of Armenia and Antioch were delighted, and 
celebrated their relief by quarrelling with each other. On the 
news of Manuel s death Bohemond HI repudiated his Greek wife 
in order to marry a loose lady of Antioch called Sibylla. The 
Patriarch Aimery had not liked the Greek marriage, but he was 
shocked by the adultery. He excommunicated Bohemond, put 
the city under an interdict, and retired once more to Qosair. The 
nobles of Antioch hated Sibylla, with reason; for she was a spy 
who received an income from Saladin in return for information 

1 For the reign. ofAndronicus, see Nicetas Choniates, pp. 356-463. William 
of Tyre, xxn, 10-13, pp. 1079-86, gives a fairly well-informed account of 
Andronicus s accession. 


Moslem Unity 

about the strength, and movements of the Prankish armies. 
They supported Aimery. A civil war was breaking out, when 
King Baldwin sent an ecclesiastical deputation, headed by the 
Patriarch Heraclius, to arbitrate. In return for financial compensa 
tion Aimery agreed to raise the interdict but not the excom 
munication, but Sibylla was recognized as Princess. Many of the 
nobles were dissatisfied with the settlement and fled to Roupen s 
court. Relations between the two Princes were further compli 
cated at the end of 1182, when the Byzantine governor of Cilicia, 
Isaac Comnenus, in revolt against Andronicus, sought help from 
Bohemond against Roupen and admitted his troops into Tarsus. 
Bohemond promptly changed his mind and sold Tarsus and the 
governor to Roupen, then repented of it. The Templars ransomed 
Isaac on the understanding that the Cypriots, who sympathized 
with him, should pay them back. Isaac thereupon retired to 
Cyprus, where he set himself up as an independent Emperor and 
forgot about the debt. Roupen next alarmed his neighbours by 
swallowing up the little Armenian principality of the Hethou- 
mians, which had lasted on at Lampron in the north-west of 
Cilicia tinder the patronage of Constantinople. His extension of 
power alarmed Bohemond, who in 1185 invited him to a banquet 
of reconciliation at Antioch and arrested him on his arrival. But 
Roupen s brother Leo finished off the conquest of the Hethou- 
mians and attacked Antioch. Roupen was released on ceding 
Mamistra and Adana to Bohemond; but on his return to Cilicia 
he soon recovered them and made himself master of the whole 
province. Bohemond made various ineffectual raids but achieved 
nothing more. 1 

These deplorable squabbles between the petty Christian rulers 
were very convenient for Saladin. Neither Byzantium nor even 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 6-7, pp. 1071-4; William of Tyre Contdnuatus, 
p. 208; Ernoul, p. 9; Nicetas Choniates, pp. 376-7; Neophytus, De Calamitati- 
vus Cypri, p. clxxxvii; Michael the Syrian, in, pp. 3 89-94; Sembat the Constable, 
p. 628 ; Vahram, Rhymed Chronicle, pp. 508-10. For Sibylla s spying, see Ibn 
al-Athir, pp. 729-30; Abu Sharna, p. 374. 


n8i : Reynold ofChdtillon breaks the Truce 

the Franks of northern Syria would impede his progress nor send 
help to the kingdom of Jerusalem. The only Christian state in the 
East that commanded respect amongst the Moslems was the distant 
kingdom of Georgia, at present engaged in growing at the expense 
of the Seldjuk princes of Iran, whose difficulties were very con 
venient to the Sultan. 1 Under these circumstances it was essential 
for the kingdom to keep the truce of 1180. But Reynald of 
Chatillon, lord now of Oultrejourdain, could not understand a 
policy that ran counter to his wishes. By the terms of the truce 
Christian and Moslem merchants could pass freely through each 
other s territory. It irked Reynald to see the rich Moslem caravans 
passing unscathed so close to him. In the summer of 1181 he 
yielded to temptation and led his local troops out eastward into 
Arabia, to Taima, near the road from Damascus to Mecca. Close 
to the oasis be fell upon a caravan that was travelling peacefully to 
Mecca and made off with all its goods. He seems even to have 
contemplated moving down to attack Medina; but Saladin, who 
was in Egypt, sent a hasty expedition under his nephew Faruk- 
Shah from Damascus into Oultrejourdain, which brought Reynald 
hurrying home. Saladin complained to King Baldwin of the breach 
of the treaty and demanded compensation. Baldwin admitted the 
justice of the claim; but in spite of his urgent representations, 
Reynald refused to make any amends. His friends at the Court 
supported him, till Baldwin weakly let the matter drop. But Saladin 
followed it up. A few months kter a convoy of fifteen hundred 
pilgrims was forced by the weather to land in Egypt near Damietta, 
ignorant that the truce had been violated. Saladin threw them all 
into chains and sent to Baldwin offering to release them as soon as 
the merchandise pillaged by Reynald was returned. Once again 
Reynald refused to give anything back. War was now inevitable. 2 

1 For Georgian history under King George HI (1156-84), see Georgian 
Chronicle, pp. 231-7. He was succeeded by his daughter, the great Queen 
Thamar. See Allen, History of the Georgian People, pp. 102-4. 

2 William of Tyre, xxn, 14, p. 1087, omitting to tell why Saladin arrested 
the pilgrims; Ernoul, pp. 54-6"; Abu Shama, pp. 214-18; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 647-50- 


Moslem Unity 

Reynald and his friends persuaded the King to concentrate the 
royal army in Oultrejourdain, to catch Saladin as he came up from 
Egypt. The Ibelins and Raymond vainly pointed out that this 
would expose Palestine to him should he get by. Saladin left 
Egypt on ii May 1182. As he bade a ceremonious farewell to his 
ministers, a voice from the crowd shouted out a line of poetry 
whose meaning was that he would never see Cairo again. The 
prophecy came true. He took his army across the Sinai desert to 
Akaba, and moved northward without difficulty, well to the east 
of the Prankish army, destroying the crops as he went. When he 
arrived at Damascus he found that Faruk-Shah had already raided 
Galilee and sacked the villages on the slopes of Mount Tabor, 
taking twenty thousand head of cattle and one thousand prisoners. 
On his return Faruk-Shah attacked the fortress of Habis Jaldak, 
carved out of the rock above the river Yarmuk beyond the Jordan. 
A tunnel that he cut through the rock put it at his mercy; and the 
garrison, Christian Syrians with no great wish to die for the 
Franks, promptly surrendered. Saladin spent three weeks in 
Damascus, then with Faruk-Shah and a large army left on 11 July 
and crossed into Palestine round the south of the Sea of Galilee. 
The King, aware now of the folly of his previous strategy, had 
come back from Oultrejourdain and marched up the west bank 
of the river, bringing the Patriarch and the True Cross to bless his 
arms. The two armies met beneath the Hospitallers castle of 
Belvoir. In the fierce battle that followed the Franks held their 
ground against Saladin s attacks, but their counter-attacks did not 
break the Moslem lines. At the end of the day each side retired, 
claiming the victory. 1 

It had been a check for Saladin as the invader, but only tem 
porary. In August he once again crossed the frontier in a Hghtning 
march through the mountains to Beirut. At the same moment 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 14-16, pp. 1087-95; Abu Shama, pp. 218-22; 
Dm atAthir, pp. 651-3. The verse sung at Saladin when, he left Cairo ran, 
* Enjoy the perfume of the ox-eyes of NejcL After tonight there will be no 
more ox-eyes. 


n8i: Death ofas-Salih 

his fleet, summoned from Egypt by the pigeon-post that operated 
between Damascus and Cairo, appeared off the coast. But Beirut 
was well-fortified; and its bishop, Odo, organized a brave, 
vigorous defence. Baldwin, on the news, rushed his army up from 
Galilee, only pausing to collect the ships that lay in the harbours 
of Acre and Tyre. Failing to take the city by assault before the 
Franks arrived, Saladin withdrew. 1 It was time for him to deal 
with business that was more urgent. 

Saif ed-Din of Mosul died on 29 June 1180, leaving only young 
children. The emirs of Mosul invited his brother, Izz ed-Din, to 
succeed him. Eighteen months later, on 4 December 1181, as- 
Salih of Aleppo died suddenly of a colic, universally attributed to 
poison. He was only eighteen, a bright, intelligent boy who might 
have been a great ruler. On his death-bed he begged his emirs to 
offer the succession to his cousin of Mosul, so as to unite the 
family lands against Saladin. Izz ed-Din arrived at Aleppo at the 
end of the year and was given an enthusiastic welcome. Mes 
sengers came from the emir of Hama to offer him allegiance. But 
the two years truce with Saladin had not run out; and Izz ed-Din 
refused their offer, more from indolence than from honour. He 
had enough to worry him: for in February 1182 his brother Imad 
ed-Din of Sinjar claimed a share in the inheritance and intrigued 
with the commander of the army of Aleppo, Kukburi. In May 
Izz ed-Din returned to Mosul, and Imad ed-Din gave him Sinjar 
in return for Aleppo. Kukburi was rewarded with the emirate of 
Harran. From there he plotted with his Ortoqid neighbours, the 
princes of Hisn Kaifa and Birejik, against the princes of Aleppo 
and Mosul and the Ortoqid Qutb ed-Din of Mardin; and the con 
spirators called Saladin to their aid. The truce among the Moslem 
princes ended in September. The day that it was over Saladin 
crossed the frontier and after a feint attack on Aleppo he moved 
over the Euphrates at Birejik. The towns of the Jezireh fell before 
him, Edessa, Saruj, and Nisibin. He pressed on to Mosul and began 

1 "William of Tyre, xxn, 17-18, pp. 1096-1101; Abu Shama, p. 223; Ibn 
al-Athir, pp. 653. 

RC 433 28 

Moslem Unity 

the siege of the city on 10 November. Once again he was thwarted 
by fortifications too strong to storm. His spiritual master, the 
Caliph an-Nasir, shocked at this war between fellow-Moslems, 
tried to negotiate a peace. The Seldjuk ruler of Persarmenia and 
the Prince of Mardin prepared to send a relieving force. So 
Saladin retired to Sinjar, which he took by storm after a fort 
night s siege. For once he was unable to restrain his soldiers from 
pillaging the city; but he released the governor and sent him 
honourably attended to Mosul. Izz ed-Din and his allies marched 
out to meet him near Mardin, but sent ahead to suggest a truce. 
When Saladin answered truculently that he would meet them on 
the battlefield, they dispersed and fled to their homes. He did not 
pursue them, but went north to conquer Diarbekir, the richest 
and greatest fortress of the Jezireh, with the finest library in Islam. 
He gave the city to the Prince of Hisn Kaifa. After reorganizing 
the Jezireh, setting each city to be held as a fief under an emir that 
he trusted, he appeared again, on 21 May, before Aleppo. 1 

When Saladiti moved against them, both Imad ed-Din and Izz 
ed-Din had sought help from the Franks. An embassy from Mosul 
promised them a yearly subsidy of 10,000 dinars, with the retro 
cession of Banyas and Habis Jaldak, and the release of any 
Christian prisoner that might be found in Saladin s possession, if 
they would make a diversion against Damascus. It was a hopeful 
moment; for a few days after Saladin invaded the Jezireh, his 
nephew Faruk-Shah, governor of Damascus, suddenly died. King 
Baldwin, accompanied by the Patriarch and the True Cross, 
thereupon led a raid through the Hauran, which sacked Ezra and 
reached Bosra, while Raymond of Tripoli recaptured Habis 
Jaldak. Early in December 1182 Raymond led a cavalry raid that 
again penetrated to Bosra; and a few days later the royal army set 
out against Damascus and encamped at Dareiya in the suburbs. 
It has a famous mosque, which Baldwin spared after receiving 
a delegation from the Christians of Damascus warning that 

1 Beha ed-Din, P. T. T.S. pp. 79-86 ; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blocnet, pp. 1 59-60 ; 
Ibn al-Atik, pp. 656-7. 


1183: Saladin takes possession oj Aleppo 

reprisals would be taken against their churches should it be harmed. 
The King did not try to attack the city itself, and soon retired kden 
with booty, to spend Christmas at Tyre. He planned a further cam 
paign for the spring, but early in the new year he fell desperately 
ill of a fever at Nazareth. For some weeks he lay between life 
and death; and his disease immobilized his army. 1 Farther north, 
Bohemond III was powerless to take any action against Saladin. 
He sent to his camp before Aleppo and concluded a four years 
truce with him. It enabled him to repair the defences of his capital. 2 

At Aleppo Imad ed-Din made little effort to oppose Saladin. 
He was unpopular there; and when Saladin offered to give him his 
old home at Sinjar together with Nisibin, Saruj and Rakka, to 
hold as a fief, he gladly complied. On 12 June 1183 Saladin took 
possession of Aleppo. Five days later Imad ed-Din departed for 
Sinjar, honourably escorted, but mocked by the crowds of the 
city that he abandoned so lightly. On 18 June Saladin made his 
formal entry and rode up to the castle. 3 

On 24 August the Sultan returned to Damascus, which was to 
be his capital. 4 His Empire now stretched from Cyrenaica to the 
Tigris. For more than two centuries past there had not been so 
powerful a Moslem prince. He had the wealth of Egypt behind 
him. The great cities of Damascus and Aleppo were under his direct 
government. Around them and north-eastward as far as the walls 
of Mosul were military fiefs on whose rulers he could rely. The 
Caliph at Baghdad supported him. Izz ed-Din at Mosul was cowed 
by him. The Seldjuk Sultan in Anatolia sought his friendship, and 
the Seldjuk princes of the East were powerless to oppose him. The 
Christian Empire of Byzantium was no longer a danger to him. 
It only remained now to suppress the alien intruders whose posses 
sion of Palestine and the Syrian littoral was a lasting shame to Islam. 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 20-22, 25, pp. 1102-16; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 155-9- 

a Ibn al-Adiir, p. 662. 

3 Bella ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 86-8; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 662; Abu Shama, 
pp. 225-8; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blocnet, p. 167; William of Tyre, xxn, 24, 
pp. 1113-14, who well understood the significance of Saladin s conquest of 
Aleppo. 4 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 89. 

435 28 2 



Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end 
is come. LAMENTATIONS rv, 18 

When King Baldwin rose from his sick-bed at Nazareth it was 
clear that he would no more be able to govern the country. His 
leprosy had been aggravated by his fever. He had lost the use of 
his arms and legs; and they were beginning to decay. His sight 
had almost gone. His mother, his sister Sibylla and the Patriarch 
Heraclius kept guard over him and persuaded him to hand the 
regency to Sibylla s husband, Guy of Lusignan. Guy was to be in 
complete control of the kingdom, except only the city of Jeru 
salem, which, with a revenue of 10,000 besants, the King reserved 
for himself. The barons of the realm reluctantly accepted the 
King s decision. 1 

Reynald of Chatillon was absent from these deliberations. 
When he heard of Saladin s departure to the north in the autumn 
of 1182, he set in motion a project that he had long had in mind, 
to launch a squadron on the Red Sea to raid the rich sea-caravans 
to Mecca and even to attack the Holy City of Islam itself. Towards 
the end of the year he marched down to Aila at the head of the 
Gulf of Akaba, bringing galleys that he built with timber from 
the forests of Moab and tried out on the waters of the Dead Sea. 
Aila, which had been held by the Moslems since 1170, fell to him; 
but the fortress on the island close by, the lie de Graye of the 
Prankish historians, held out; and Reynald remained with two of 
his ships to blockade it. The rest of his fleet set gaily out, with local 
pirates to pilot them. They sailed down the African coast of the Red 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 25, pp. 1116-17. 

ii 82: Reynold s Red Sea Expedition 

Sea, raiding the little coastal towns that they passed, and eventually 
attacked and sacked Aidib, the great Nubian port opposite to 
Mecca. There they captured richly laden merchantships from 
Aden and from India; and a landing-party pillaged a huge defence 
less caravan that had come over the desert from the Nile valley. 
From Aidib the corsairs crossed over to the Arabian coast. They 
burnt the shipping at al-Hawra and Yambo, the ports of Medina, 
and penetrated to ar-Raghib, one of the ports of Mecca itself. 
Close by they sank a pilgrim-ship bound for Jedda. The whole 
Moslem world was horrified. Even the Princes of Aleppo and 
Mosul, who had called upon Prankish help, were ashamed to have 
allies that planned such an outrage on the Faith. Saladin s brother 
Malik al-Adil, governor of Egypt, took action. He sent the 
Egyptian admiral, Husam ed-Din Lulu, with a fleet manned by 
Maghrabi sailors from North Africa, in pursuit of the Franks. 
Lulu first relieved the castle of Graye and recaptured Aila, from 
which Reynald himself had already retired; then he caught up 
with the corsair fleet off al-Hawra, destroying it and capturing 
almost all the men on board. A few of them were sent to Mecca, 
to be ceremoniously executed at the Place of Sacrifice at Mina 
during the next Pilgrimage. The rest were taken to Cairo, and 
there they were beheaded. Saladin vowed solemnly that Reynald 
should never be forgiven for his attempted outrage. 1 

On 17 September 1183 Saladin left Damascus with a great 
army to invade Palestine. On the 2pth he crossed the Jordan, just 
south of the Sea of Galilee and entered Beisan, whose inhabitants 
had all fled to the safety of the walls of Tiberias. On the news of 
his coming Guy of Lusignan summoned the full force of the 
kingdom, strengthened by two rich visiting Crusaders, God 
frey ffl, Duke of Brabant, and the Aquitanian Ralph of Mauleon, 
and their men. With Guy were Raymond of Tripoli, the Grand 

1 Abu Shama, pp. 231-5; Urn alr-Athir, p. 658: Maqrisi, ed. Blochet, Rjevue 
de rOrient Latin, vol. 30, pp. 500-1. Ernoul (pp. 69^70), die only Prankish 
chronicler to mention die raid, speaks of it as a scientific expedition, Ibn Jubayr 
(ed. Wright, p. 49) saw the Prankish prisoners at Cairo. 


The Horns ofHattin 

Master of the Hospital, Reynald of Chatillon, the Ibelin brothers, 
Reynald of Sidon and Walter of Caesarea. Young Humphrey IV 
of Toron came to join them with his stepfather s forces from 
Oultrejourdain; but he was ambushed by the Moslems on the 
slopes of Mount Gilboa, and most of his men were slain. Saladin 

Map 6. Galilee. 

then sent detachments to capture and destroy the little forts of the 
neighbourhood, while others sacked the Greek convent on Mount 
Tabor but failed to break through the strong walls of the Latin 
establishment on the summit of the hill. He himself encamped 
with his main army by the fountain of Tubaniya, on the site of 
the ancient city of Jezreel. 


1183: Guy quarrels with the King 

The Franks had assembled at Sephoria and marched on into the 
plain of Jezreel on I December. The advance-guard, tinder the 
Constable Amalric, was at once attacked by the Moslems, but the 
timely arrival of the Ibelins with their troops rescued it. The 
Christians encamped at the Pools of Goliath opposite to Saladin, 
who then extended his wings so as almost to encircle them. For 
five days the armies remained stationary. It was difficult for sup 
plies to come through to the Christians. After a day or two the 
Italian mercenaries complained of hunger; and only the timely 
discovery of fish in the Pools of Goliath saved the army from 
starvation. Most of the soldiers, including the knights from 
France and the irrepressible Reynald, wished to attack the 
Moslems. Guy hesitated and dithered; but Raymond and the 
Ibelins firmly insisted that to provoke a fight against such superior 
numbers would be fatal. The army must remain on the defensive. 
They were right. Saladin many times tried to lure them out. 
When he failed he lifted his camp on 8 October and moved back 
behind the Jordan. 1 

Guy s behaviour had shocked both the soldiery who believed 
him to be a coward and the barons who knew him to be weak. 
On his return to Jerusalem he quarrelled with the King. Baldwin 
felt that the air of Tyre would be kinder to him than the windy 
heights of Jerusalem. He asked his brother-in-law to make an 
exchange of the two cities. Guy received the request rudely; 
whereupon Baldwin with an access of angry energy summoned 
his chief vassals and on their advice deposed Guy from the 
regency. Instead, on 23 March 1183, he proclaimed as his heir his 
nephew Baldwin, Sibylla s son by her first marriage, a child of 
six years, and tried to persuade his sister to have her marriage 
annulled. Meanwhile, though he could not move without help, 
and could no longer sign his name, he resumed the government 
himself. Guy s response was to retire to his county of Ascalon and 
Jaffa and there throw off his allegiance to the Crown. Baldwin 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 26-7, pp. 1118-24; Ernoul, pp. 96-102; Beha 
ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 90-1; Abu Shama^ pp. 243-6. 


The Horns ofHattin 

seized Jaffa, which he put under the direct authority of the Crown, 
but Guy defied him in Ascalon. In vain the Patriarch Heraclius 
and the Grand Masters of the Temple and the Hospital interceded 
for the rebel. The King lost his temper with them and banished 
them from the Court. He had summoned them to order them to 
preach the Crusade in western Europe, but some months passed 
before they would now consent to go. 1 

The council of barons on whose advice the King deposed Guy 
was composed of Bohemond of Antioch, Raymond of Tripoli, 
the Lord of Caesarea, and the two Ibelins. The Lord of Oultre- 
jourdain was not present. The time had come for the marriage to 
take place between the Princess Isabella, now aged eleven, and 
Humphrey of Toron, aged about seventeen. Reynald determined 
that the ceremony should be celebrated with all the pomp at his 
disposal at his castle of Kerak, to which the bridegroom was heir. 
During the month of November guests began to arrive at the 
castle. Many of them, such as the bride s mother, Queen Maria 
Comnena, were Reynald s personal enemies; but they came in a 
last attempt to heal the breach between the warring factions. With 
the guests arrived entertainers, dancers, jugglers and musicians 
from all over the Christian East. Suddenly the festivities were 
interrupted by the terrible news that Saladin was approaching 
with his army. 

The destruction of Kerak and its godless lord ranked high among 
Saladin s ambitions. So long as Reynald held his great castle he 
could intercept all the traffic that tried to pass between Syria and 
Egypt; and experience had shown that no treaty could restrain 
him. On 20 November Saladin was joined by reinforcements 
from Egypt and encamped before the walls. The farmers and 
shepherds of the countryside, Christian Syrians, drove their flocks 
for safety within the town, and many took refuge in the court 
yards of the castle. Saladin at once attacked the lower town and 
forced an entrance. Reynald was only able to escape back into the 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 29, pp. 1127-8. William says that Baldwin V was 
crowned on dais occasion. 


1183: The Marriage at Kerak 

castle owing to the heroism of one of his knights, who single- 
handed defended the bridge over the fosse between the town and 
the citadel till it could be destroyed behind him. With a fine show 
of bravura the wedding-ceremonies were continued in the castle. 
"While rocks were hurled at its walls, the singing and dancing went 
on within. The Lady Stephanie, mother of the bridegroom, her 
self prepared dishes from the bridal feast which she sent out to 
Saladin. He in return asked in which tower the young pair were 
housed and gave orders that it should not be bombarded by his 
siege-engines. But otherwise he did not relax his efforts. His nine 
great mangonels were in continuous action, and his workmen 
almost filled up the fosse. 

Messengers had hurried tq Jerusalem to beg the King for help. 
He summoned the royal army which he put under the command of 
Count Raymond; but he insisted on coming himself in his litter 
with his men. T^hey hastened down past Jericho and up the road 
by Mount Nebo. On his approach Saladin, whose engines had 
made little effect on the strong walls of the fortress, lifted the siege 
and on 4 December moved back towards Damascus. The King 
was carried in triumph into Kerak; and the wedding-guests were 
free to go home. 1 Their experience had not ended their discord, 
from which the young bride suffered the most. Her mother-in- 
law, no doubt at Reynald s request, forbade her to see her mother; 
and her mother, deep in party intrigues that were dear to her 
Greek blood, regarded her as half a traitor. Only her husband was 
kind to her. Humphrey of Toron was a youth of extraordinary 
beauty and great learning, more fitted in his tastes to be a girl than 

1 William of Tyre, xxn, 28, 30, pp. 1124-7, 1129-30; Ernoul, pp. 102-6; 
he alone tells of the marriage feast at which, as Balian s squire, he may have 
been present. He believed that Sakdin as a boy had been a hostage at Kerak, 
where the Lady Stephanie had dandled him on her knee. No other source 
mentions Saladin s early captivity. As Saladin was born in 1137 and Stephanie 
probably not before 1145 she married her first husband about 1162/3 and girls 
married young in Palestine the story is improbable. Abu Shama, p. 248; 
Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 91-2; Maqrisi, ed. Blochet, Revue de I Orient Latin, 
vol. xn, pp. 13-14- 


The Horns ofHattin 

a man. But he was gentle and considerate to his child-wife; and 
she loved him. 1 

Next autumn Saladin once again marched against Kerak, with 
an army to which his Ortoqid vassals sent contingents. Once 
again the huge fortifications were too much for him. He could 
not lure the defenders out to fight on the slopes below the town; 
and once again, when an army from Jerusalem approached, he 
retired into his own territory, only leaving a detachment to raid 
Galilee and to pillage the country as far south as Nablus. Saladin 
himself returned to Damascus. There was still much to be done 
in the reorganization of his Empire. The time had not quite come 
for the elimination of the Christians. 2 

In Jerusalem the leper-King kept the reins of the government 
in his decaying hands. Guy still held Ascalon, refusing to admit 
royal officers into the town. But his friends the Patriarch and the 
Grand Masters were away in Europe, trying vainly to impress 
the Emperor Frederick and King Louis and King Henry with the 
perils awaiting the Christian East. The western potentates received 
them with honour and discussed plans for a great Crusade. But 
they each made excuses why they could not themselves participate. 
All that came of the mission was that a few individual knights took 
the Cross. 3 

In the autumn of 1184 Guy once again infuriated his brother- 
in-law. Ever since the Christian capture of Ascalon the Bedouin 
of the district had been allowed, on the payment of a small tribute 
to the King, to move as they pleased to pasture their flocks. Guy, 

1 See below, p. 448. The later history of the marriage belongs to the story 
of the Third. Crusade. The author of the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi (p. 120) 
describes Humphrey as Vir feminae quam viro proprior, gestu rnollis, sermone 
fructus . Beha ed-Din (P.T.T.S. p. 288) reports of his beauty and says that he 
spoke Arabic well. Estoire d Bracks, n, p. 152, tells of Isabella being forbidden 
to see her mother. 

* Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 95-8; Abu Shama, pp. 249-56; letter of 
Baldwin IV to Heraclius, in Radulph of Diceto, n, pp. 27-8. 

3 For the mission, see Benedict of Peterborough, i, p. 3 3 8 ; Radulph of Diceto, 
n, pp. 32-3. Henry II consulted his council which told him not to go crusading. 


1185: King Baldwin IV s Will 

annoyed because the tribute went to the Kong and not to himself, 
fell on them one day and massacred them and annexed their 
flocks. 1 

Baldwin was now bedridden and was never to rise again. He 
saw how fatal had been the influence of his mother and her friends, 
and sent for his cousin Raymond of Tripoli to take over the 
administration. Meanwhile he prepared for his death. Before an 
assembly of the barons, early in 1185, he announced his will. His 
little nephew was to succeed to the throne. At the express wish 
of the assembly Guy was not to have the regency, which was to go 
to Raymond of Tripoli, who was to hold Beirut as payment for 
his services. But Raymond refused the personal guardianship of 
the little King, lest the boy, who seemed delicate, should die 
young and he be accused of hastening his death. In view of the 
boy s health the barons further swore that, should he die before he 
reached the age often, Count Raymond should keep the regency 
till the four great rulers of the West, the Pope, the Western 
Emperor and the Kings of France and England, should arbitrate 
between the claims of the Princesses Sibylla and Isabella. Mean 
while, in a last attempt to bring the factions together, the personal 
guardianship of the boy was given to his great-uncle, Joscelin of 
Courtenay, who now began to profess a cordial friendship 
towards Raymond. 2 

1 Estoire d Eracles, n, p. 3. 

a Estoire d Eracles, n, p. 7; Ernoul, pp. 115-19 (the fullest account). He 
places it after Saladin s second siege of Kerak (September 1184) and says that 
Baldwin IV died soon afterwards. But "William of Tyre (see above, p. 440 
n. i) tells of Baldwin V s coronation, giving the date of 20 November 1183. 
As William probably died before the end of 1184, but wrote his last pages in 
Rome, he may have known of Baldwin s decision to crown his nephew, ever 
since Guy s disgrace in 1183, but have been mistaken in thinking that an actual 
coronation had taken place. The legal rights of Sibylla and Isabella raised 
a problem. An assize passed by Amalric I in 1171 allowed sisters to share fiefs, 
according to the usual feudal custom in western Europe. Grandclaude, op. dL 
p. 340, believes that it concerned the succession to the throne. Queen Maria 
had probably just given birth to her elder daughter. On the other hand the 
children of a first marriage male and female were specifically given precedence 
over those of a second marriage. (See La Monte, Feudal Monarchy, p. 36.) But 


The Horns ofHattin 

All the assembled barons swore to carry out the Kong s wishes. 
Among them was the Patriarch Heraclius, just back from the 
West, with the Grand Master of the Hospital, Roger of Les 
Moulins. The Grand Master of the Temple, Arnold of Toroga, 
had died during the journey. As his successor the Order had 
elected, after a stormy debate, Raymond s old enemy Gerard of 
Ridfort. Gerard also gave his assent to the King s will. The child 
was taken to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and there, held in 
Balian of Ibelin s arms, he was crowned by the Patriarch. 1 

A few weeks later, in March 1185, King Baldwin IV was 
released by death from the agonies of his long disease. He 
was only twenty-four. Of all the Kings of Jerusalem he was 
the most unhappy. His ability was undoubted and his courage 
was superb. But from his sickbed he was powerless to control 
the intrigues around him and too often had yielded to the 
nagging influence of his evil mother and his foolish sister. At 
least he was spared the final humiliations that were to come to 
the kingdom. 2 

When the King s pathetic corpse had been buried in the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre, Raymond as regent summoned the barons 
once more to ask them what policy he should follow. The winter 
rains had failed and there was a threat of famine. The only 
Crusader to come eastward was the old Marquis William of 
Montferrat, grandfather of the child-Bang ; and he, after satisfying 
himself that all was well with his grandchild, settled down quietly 
in a fief in Galilee. His son Conrad, the King s uncle, set out to 
follow him but stopped on the way at Constantinople, where his 
brother Rainier had perished a few years before. There he offered 
his help to Rainier s avenger, the Emperor Isaac Angelus, whose 

did the issue of the annulled marriage to Agnes take precedence over that of 
the imperial marriage to Maria? It is clear from the events of 1186 that public 
opinion supported Sibylla s claims (see below, p. 447). But the case was obscure 
enough to need mediation. 

1 Estoire d Bracks, n, pp. 7-9; Ernoul, pp. 114, 118. 

* Ernoul, pp. 118-19; Estoire f Bracks, H, p. 9. Imad ed-Din (Abu Shama, 
p. 258) pays a tribute to Baldwin IV s memory. 


1185: Saladin s Illness 

sister he married. He forgot about his nephew and Palestine. It 
was clear to all the barons assembled in Jerusalem that till a large 
new Crusade could come the starving country could not face 
a war. They approved of Raymond s suggestion that a four-years 
truce should be sought from Saladin. 

Saladin on his side was willing. There had been a quarrel 
amongst his relatives in Egypt that needed a settlement; and he 
had heard that Izz ed-Din of Mosul was restive once more. The 
treaty was signed. Commerce was renewed between the Prankish 
states and their neighbours; and a flow of corn from the east 
saved the Christians from starvation. 1 

In April 1185 Saladin marched northward, crossing the 
Euphrates at Birejik on the isth. There he was joined by Kukburi 
of Harran and by envoys from Izz ed-Din s vassals, the lords of 
Jezireh and Irbil. Izz ed-Din sent embassies to the Seldjuk rulers 
of Konya and of Persarmenia. The latter sent some troops to his 
aid; the former sent a threatening message to Saladin, but took no 
action. In June Saladin was before Mosul, refusing all Izz ed-Din s 
offers of peace, even when the Prince s aged mother came herself 
to plead with him. But Mosul was still too formidable a fortress. 
His troops began to sicken in the summer heat. When in August 
the Seldjuk Sultan of Persarmenia, Soqman II, suddenly died, 
Saladin moved northward to capture the Sultan s vassal cities of 
Diarbekir and Mayyafaraqin and to rest his men in the cooler air 
of the uplands. There he fell ill himself and rode, almost dying, to 
his friend Kukburi s castle at Harran. His brother, al-Adil, now 
governor of Aleppo, hastened to come with the best doctors of 
the East; but they could do nothing. Believing his end to be near 
and knowing that all his kinsmen were plotting for the inheritance, 
he made his emirs swear allegiance to his sons. Then, unexpectedly 
he began to mend. By January 1186 he was out of danger. At the 
end of February he received an embassy from Izz ed-Din and 
agreed to make peace. In a treaty signed by the ambassadors on 

1 Ernoul, pp. 121-8; Estoire d Eracles, n, pp. 12-13; Beta ed-Din, P.T.T.S. 
pp. 104-5. 


The Horns ofHattin 

3 March Izz ed-Din became Saladin s vassal and was confirmed in 
his own possessions; but the lands across the Tigris south of 
Mosul, including Arbil and Shahrzur were put under emirs 
appointed by Saladin and owing him direct allegiance. Their 
presence guaranteed Izz ed-Din s loyalty. 1 Saladin himself was 
then at Horns, where Nasr ed-Din, Shirkuh s son and his own 
son-in-law, was emir. Nasr ed-Din had plotted for the throne of 
Syria during Saladin s illness. No one therefore was surprised 
when he was found dead in his bed on 5 March, after celebrating 
the Feast of Victims. The victim s child, Shirkuh II, a boy of 
twelve, was given the succession to Horns. Saladin confiscated 
much of his money, but the boy aptly quoted a passage from 
the Koran threatening torment to those that despoiled orphans 
and had it restored to him. In April Saladin was back in 
Damascus. His empire now stretched securely to the borders 
of Persia. 2 

The truce between the Christians and the Moslems was bringing 
back some prosperity to Palestine. Trade between the interior and 
the ports of Acre and Tyre was eagerly renewed, to the advantage 
of merchants of both religions. If peace could be maintained till 
some great Crusade could arrive from the West, then there might 
still be a future for the Kingdom. But fate was once more unkind 
to the Christians. About the end of August 1186 King Baldwin V 
died at Acre, not yet nine years old. 3 

The Regent Raymond and the Seneschal Joscelin were present 
at the death-bed. Professing himself anxious to work in with 
Raymond, Joscelin persuaded him to go to Tiberias and to invite 
the barons of the realm to meet him there, in security from the 
plots of the Patrkrch, in order that the terms of Baldwin IV s will 
should be carried out. He himself would convey the little corpse 

1 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 98-103 ; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, pp. 123-6; 
Abu Shama, p. 288; Bustan, p. 581. 

* Abu l Feda, p. 55. See Lane Poole, Saladin, pp. 194-5 (Shirkuh II quoted 
the verse, Koran iv, 9); Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 103-4. 

3 Ernoul, p. 129; Estoire d Bracks, n, p. 25. 


11 86: Sibylla proclaimed Queen 

to Jerusalem for burial. Raymond fell into the trap and went off 
in good faith. As soon as he was gone Joscelin sent troops that he 
could trust to occupy Tyre and Beirut and remained himself in 
Acre, where he proclaimed Sibylla as Queen. He dispatched the 
royal body to Jerusalem in charge of the Templars. His mes 
sengers summoned Sibylla and Guy from Ascalon to attend the 
funeral; and Reynald of Chatillon hurried to join them from 

Raymond discovered that he had been tricked. He rode down 
to Nablus, to Balian of Ibelin s castle, and, as lawful Regent of the 
realm, summoned the High Court of the barons. All his supporters 
hurried to join him. With Balian and his wife, Queen Mark, were 
her daughter Isabella with Humphrey of Toron, Baldwin of 
Ramleh, Walter of Caesarea, Reynald of Sidon, and all the 
tenants-in-chief of the Crown, with the exception of Reynald of 
Chatillon. There they received an invitation from Sibylla to 
attend her coronation. They replied by sending two Cistercian 
monks as envoys to Jerusalem, to remind the conspirators of the 
oath sworn to King Baldwin IV and to forbid any action to be 
taken till the Court had held its deliberations. 

But Sibylla held Jerusalem and the seaports. The troops of the 
Seneschal Joscelin and the Constable Amalric, Guy s brother, were 
on her side, and Reynald had brought his men from Oultre- 
jourdain. The Patriarch Heraclius, her mother s old lover, issured 
her of the support of the Church organization. The Grand Master 
of the Temple, Gerard of Ridfort, would do anything to spite his 
old enemy Raymond. Alone in Jerusalem the Grand Master of 
the Hospital was true to the oath that had been sworn. Amongst 
the people of Jerusalem there was much sympathy for Sibylla, 
She represented hereditary right; and though the throne was still 
nominally elective the claims of the heir could not be easily 
ignored. At the time of her mother s divorce Sibylla s legitimacy 
had been confirmed. Her brother had been King, and her son. 
Her one disadvantage was that her husband was disliked and 


The Horns ofHattin 

The Patriarch and the Templars closed the gates of Jerusalem and 
posted guards, to prevent any attack from the barons at Nablus. 
They then made arrangements for the coronation. The royal 
insignia was kept in a coffer with three locks whose keys were in 
the care of the Patriarch and the two Grand Masters, each holding 
one. Roger of the Hospital refused to surrender his key for a pur 
pose that he considered contrary to his oath; but at last, with 
a gesture of disgust, he threw it from his window. Neither he nor 
any of his knights would take part in the ceremony; which was 
held as soon as everything could be made ready. In view of Guy s 
unpopularity the Patriarch crowned Sibylla alone. But a second 
crown was placed by her side; and Heraclius after crowning her 
bade her use it to crown whatever man she thought worthy to 
govern the realm. She summoned Guy to approach her and kneel 
before her and placed the crown on his head. The assembled com 
pany then did homage to their new King and Queen. As he 
passed out of the church Gerard of Ridfort cried out aloud that 
this crown paid back the marriage of Botrun. 

Against the fact of the coronation the High Court at Nablus 
could do little. Baldwin of Ibelin rose in the assembly to say that 
he for one would not stay in a country to be ruled by such a king 
and he advised all the barons to do likewise. But Raymond 
answered that all was not yet lost. They had with them, he said, 
the Princess Isabella and her husband Humphrey of Toron. Let 
them be crowned and brought to Jerusalem. Their rivals could not 
stand up against the united armies of all the barons, save only 
Reynald of Chatillon, and the sympathy of the Hospital. Raymond 
added that so long as he was Regent he could guarantee that 
Saladin would keep the truce. The barons agreed with him and 
swore to support him, even though it might mean civil war. But 
they counted without one of the principal actors. Humphrey was 
terrified at the fate in store for him; he had no wish to be king. 
He slipped away at once from Nablus and rode to Jerusalem. 
There he asked to see Sibylla. She spurned him at first, but as he 
stood sheepishly before her, scratching his head, she relented and 


ii 86: King Guy s First Assembly 

let him pour out his story. She listened graciously and herself took 
him to see Guy, to whom he paid homage. 1 

Humphrey s defection defeated the barons. Raymond released 
them from their oath, and one by one they went to Jerusalem and 
offered their submission to Guy. Even Balian of Ibelin, the most 
respected of them all, saw that nothing else could now be done. 
But his brother Baldwin repeated his decision to abandon the 
realm rather than accept Guy; and Raymond of Tripoli retired to 
his wife s lands in Galilee, vowing that he, too, would never pay 
homage to the new King. He would have loyally accepted 
Isabella as Queen; but Humphrey s cowardice convinced him that 
he himself was now the only worthy candidate for the throne.* 

Soon afterwards King Guy held his first assembly of barons at 
Acre. Raymond did not appear; and Guy announced that Beirut, 
which Raymond had held as regent, was taken from him, and he 
sent to tell him to render accounts for public money that he had 
spent during his regency. Baldwin of Ibelin, who was present, 
was summoned to pay homage by Reynald of Chatillon standing 
at the King s side. He merely gave the King a formal salute, 
telling him that he left his lands of Ramleh for his son Thomas who 
would pay homage when he was old enough; he himself would 
never do so. He left the kingdom a few days later and took service 

1 Ernoul, pp. 129-36, the fullest and most graphic account; Estoire d Bracks, 
n, pp. 25-31 ; Radulph of Diceto, n, p. 47; Arnold of Lubeck, pp. 116-17. The 
first two sources (the more reliable) date the coronation September, Radulph 
August and Arnold 20 July. Guy s first charter is dated October, Rohricht, 
Regesta, p. 873. 

* It is clear that Raymond considered himself as a candidate for the throne. 
Ibnjubayr reports rumours of his ambition as early as 1183 (Ibnjubayr, p. 304). 
Abu Shama (pp. 257-8) quotes Imad ed-Din s report that he was ready to turn 
Moslem to achieve it, and Ibn al-Athir (p. 674) says that he counted on 
Saladin s help. The kte Historia Regni Hierosolymitani (pp. 51-2) says that he 
claimed the crown because his mother (here called Dolcis) was born after her 
father s coronation, whereas Melisende was born before. As only the youngest 
of Baldwin E s daughters, the Abbess Joveta, was born in the purple, he cannot 
have used this argument. Perhaps he put forward a similar argument to justify 
the barons at Nablus in choosing Isabella rather than. Sibylla, and the chronicler 
muddled the story. 

RC 449 29 

The Horns ofHattin 

tinder Bohemond of Antioch, who welcomed him gladly and 
gave him a fief larger than that which he had left. Other lesser 
lords joined him Acre; for Bohemond made no secret of his 
sympathy with Raymond and his party. 1 

With the kingdom so torn into embittered factions it was as 
well that the trace with the Saracens held firm. Guy would have 
maintained it; but he reckoned without his friend Reynald of 
Chatillon. Protected by the truce the great caravans that travelled 
between Damascus and Egypt had been passing again without 
hindrance through Prankish lands. At the end of 1 1 86 an enormous 
caravan was journeying up from Cairo, with a small convoy of 
Egyptian troops to protect it from Bedouin raiders. As it moved 
into Moab Reynald suddenly fell on it, skying the soldiers and 
taking the merchants and their families with all their possessions 
to his castle of Kerak. The booty was larger than he had ever 
taken before. News soon reached Sakdin of the outrage. 
Respectful of the treaty, he sent to Reynald to demand the release 
of the prisoners and compensation for their losses. Reynald refused 
to receive the envoys ; who went on to Jerusalem to complain to 
King Guy. Guy listened sympathetically and ordered Reynald 
to make reparations. But Reynald, knowing that it was to his 
support that Guy owed and kept his throne, paid no attention 
to his order; and Guy could not or would not force his 

So shameless a breach of the truce made war inevitable, a war 
which the divided country was ill-fitted to face. Bohemond of 
Antioch hastened to renew his truce with Saladin. 3 Raymond of 
Tripoli made a truce for his county and extended it to cover his 
wife s principality of Galilee, even though its suzerain the King 
might be at war with the Moslems. At the same time he secured 

1 Bmoul, pp. 137-9; Estoire f Erodes, n, p. 33 ; Les Gestes des Chiprois (p. 659) 
says that Guy would have struck Baldwin had it not been for his high birth. 

* Estoire d Eracks, H, p. 34. He says that Saladin s sister was captured in the 
caravan. Actually she was travelling back from Mecca in a subsequent caravan 
(sec below, p. 454); Abu Shama, pp. 259-11. 

3 Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 109. 


n8j: Raymond s Treason 

Saladin s sympathy and promise of support in his aim of making 
himself king. Wise though Raymond s policy may have been it 
was undoubtedly treasonable. Encouraged by Gerard of the 
Temple, Guy summoned his loyal vassals and marched north to 
Nazareth, to reduce Galilee to submission before the Moslem 
attack should begin. Civil war was only averted by the inter 
vention of Balian of Ibelin, who when he arrived at the camp 
roughly asked the King what he was doing. When Guy replied 
that he was going to besiege Tiberias, Balian pointed out the 
folly of the plan; for Raymond, with the Saracen help on which 
he could call, would have stronger forces than the King. Balian 
asked that instead he should be sent to talk to Raymond. But his 
appeal for unity had no effect on the Count, who would only 
submit to Guy if Beirut was returned to him. It was a price that 
Guy thought too dear. 1 But as news came of Saladin s prepara 
tions for the coming war, Balian pleaded once again with the King 
for reconciliation with Raymond. You have lost your best 
knight in Baldwin of Ramleh/ he said, mentioning his brother 
with pride. If you lose the help and counsel of Count Raymond 
too, you are finished/ Guy, usually ready to agree with anyone 
that spoke firmly to him, allowed Balian to go on a new em 
bassy to Tiberias, together with Josias, Archbishop of Tyre, and 
the Grand Masters of the Hospital and Temple. It was essential 
that the latter, Raymond s bitterest enemy, should be involved in 
any peaceful settlement that was made. 2 

The delegates, escorted by ten Hospitallers, set out from 
Jerusalem on 29 April 1187. They spent that night at Balian s 
castle of Nablus. There Balian had business to transact; so he told 
the Grand Masters and the Archbishop to ride ahead; he would 
pass the day there and overtake them on the morrow at the Castle 
of La Feve, in the Plain of Esdraelon. Late in the evening of the 

1 Ernoul, pp. 141-2 ; Estoire d Bracks, n, pp. 3 1-5. Ernoul says that Raymond 
actually received reinforcements from Sakdin. 

z Ernoul, pp. 142-3. Reynald of Sidon was to have joined the delegation, 
but set out independently. 

451 2 9-2 

The Horns ofHattin 

30th Balian left Nablus with a few attendants intending to ride oix 
through the night. But he suddenly remembered that it was the 
eve of Saint Philip and Saint James. So he turned aside from the 
road at Sebastea, the Samaria of the ancients, and knocked at the 
door of the Bishop s palace. The Bishop was awakened and admit 
ted him; and they sat talking through the night till the dawn came 
and mass could be celebrated. He then said good-bye to his host 
and rode on his way. 

On 30 April, while Balian was discussing business with his 
stewards, and the Grand Masters were riding over the hills to 
La Feve, Count Raymond at Tiberias received an envoy from the 
Moslems at Banyas. Saladin s young son al-Afdal, commandant 
of the camp there, was told by his father to send a reconnaissance 
into Palestine and very correctly asked permission for his men to 
traverse the Count s territory in Galilee. Raymond, bound by his 
private treaty with Saladin, could not refuse the embarrassing 
request. He only stipulated that the Moslems should cross the 
frontier after daybreak on the morrow and return before dark and 
that they should do no harm to any town or village in the land. 
He then sent messengers round aE his fief to tell the people to keep 
themselves and their flocks within their walls for the whole day 
and to have no fear. At that moment he heard of the coming of 
the delegation from Jerusalem. Another message was sent out to 
give it the same warning. Early in the morning on I May 
Raymond watched from his castle the Emir Kukburi and seven 
thousand mamelukes ride gaily by. 

About the middle of that morning Balian and his company 
arrived at La Feve. From afar they had seen tents of the Templars 
dressed below the walls ; but when they drew near they found that 
they were empty; and in the castle itself there was silence. Balian s 
groom Ernoul entered the building and wandered from room to 
room. There was no one there, except two soldiers lying in one of 
the upper galleries, sick to death and unable to speak. Balian was 
perplexed and worried. He waited for an hour or two, uncertain 
what to do, then set out again along the road to Nazareth. 


ii #7- The Springs ofCresson 

Suddenly a Templar knight galloped up dishevelled and bleeding, 
shouting out of a great disaster. 

At the same hour Raymond at Tiberias watched the mamelukes 
ride home. They kept to the pact. It was well before nightfall, and 
they had not harmed a building in the province. But on the lances 
of the vanguard were fixed the heads of Templar knights. 

Raymond s message had reached the Grand Masters at La Feve 
on the evening of the soth. Though Roger of the Hospital pro 
tested, Gerard of the Temple at once summoned the Templars 
from the neighbourhood to join him there. The Marshal of the 
Temple, James of Mailly, was at the village of Kakun, five miles 
away, with ninety knights. He came and spent the night before 
the castle. Next morning the cavalcade rode to Nazareth, where 
forty secular knights joined them. The Archbishop of Tyre 
remained there; but Gerard paused only to shout to the townsfolk 
that there would be a battle soon and they must come to collect 
the booty. As the knights passed over the hill behind Nazareth 
they found the Moslems watering their horses at the Springs of 
Cresson in the valley below. At the sight of such numbers both 
Roger and James of Mailly advised retreat. Gerard was furious. 
He turned scornfully from his fellow Grand Master and taunted 
his Marshal. You love your blond head too well to want to lose 
it , he said. James proudly replied; I shall die in battle like a 
brave man. It is you that will flee as a traitor/ Fired by Gerard s 
insults the company charged down into the mamelukes. It was 
a massacre rather than a battle. James s blond head was one of the 
last to fall; and the Grand Master of the Hospital fell by his side. 
Very soon every Templar knight was slain except three, of whom 
Gerard was one. They galloped back wounded to Nazareth. It 
was one of them that rode on to find Balian. The secular knights 
were taken alive. Some of the greedy citizens of Nazareth had 
gone out to the battlefield to find the booty that Gerard had 
promised. They were rounded up and taken off as prisoners. 

After sending to his wife to urge her to collect all her knights, 
Balian joined Gerard at Nazareth and tried to persuade him to 


The Horns ofHattin 

come to Tiberias. Gerard pleaded that his wounds were too bad, 
so Balian went on with the Archbishop. They found Raymond 
aghast at the tragedy, for which he felt that his policy had been to 
blame. He gladly accepted Balian s mediation and, annulling his 
treaty with Saladin, he rode south to Jerusalem and made his sub 
mission to the King. Guy, for all his faults, was not vindictive. He 
gave Raymond a cordial welcome and even apologized for the 
manner of his coronation. At last the kingdom seemed to be 
united again, 1 

It was as well. For Saladin was known to be gathering a great 
army across the frontier in the Hauran. In May, while the host 
was assembling from all over his empire, he had made a journey 
down the road towards Mecca to escort a pilgrim-caravan in which 
his sister and her son were returning from the Holy City, to be 
sure that Reynald would not try another of his bandit raids. 
Meanwhile troops poured in from Aleppo and Mosul and Mardin 
till his army was the largest that he had ever commanded. Across 
the Jordan King Guy summoned all his tenants-in-chief and their 
tenants to bring their men to meet him at Acre. The Orders of the 
Hospital and the Temple, eager to avenge the massacre at Cresson, 
brought all their available knights, leaving only small garrisons to 
defend the castles under their care. The Templars gave further aid 
in handing to the King their share of the money sent recently to 
the Orders by King Henry II in expiation of the murder of 
Thomas Becket. They had been told to bank it against the 
Crusade that Henry had sworn to undertake, but the present need 
was too urgent The soldiers that it served to equip carried with 
them a banner with Henry s arms. Moved by an appeal from 

1 The story is reported very fully by Ernoul, who was with Balian as his 
squire (pp. 143-54). Estoire d Bracks, n, pp. 37-44; Imad ed-Din, in Abu 
Shama, p. 262 ; Ihn al-Athir (p. 678) says that al-Afdal sent Kukburi in command, 
of the expedition and gives tie number of horsemen as 7000. The De Expugna- 
tione (pp. 210-11) gives the same number but its short account denies that 
Raymond insisted on no damage being done to property and tries to whitewash 
the Templars. La Feve is the Arab village of el-Fuleh (both names mean 
The Bean) half-way between Jenin and Nazareth. 


n8j: Saladin crosses the Jordan 

Raymond and Balian, Bohemond of Antioch promised a con 
tingent under Baldwin of Ibelin, and sent his son Raymond to join 
the Count of Tripoli who was his godfather. By the end of June 
1200 fully armed knights, a larger number of light native cavalry, 
half-caste Turcopoles and nearly ten thousand infantrymen were 
gathered at the camp before Acre. The Patriarch Heraclius was 
asked to come with the True Cross. But he said that he was 
unwell, and entrusted the relic to the Prior of the Holy Sepulchre 
to give to the Bishop of Acre. He preferred, his enemies said, 
to remain with his beloved Paschia. 

On Friday, 26 June, Saladin reviewed his troops at Ashtera, in 
the Hauran. He himself commanded the centre, his nephew Taki 
ed-Din the right wing and Kukburi the left. The army marched 
out in battle formation to Khisfin and on to the southern tip of the 
Sea of Galilee. There he waited for five days, while his scouts 
collected information about the Christian forces. On I July he 
crossed the Jordan at Sennabra, and on the second he encamped 
with half his army at Kafr Sebt, in the hills five miles west of the 
Lake, while his other troops attacked Tiberias. The town fell into 
their hands after an hour of fighting. Raymond and his stepsons 
were with the King s army; but the Countess Eschiva, after 
sending a messenger to tell her husband what was happening, held 
out with her small garrison in the castle. 

When news came that Saladin had crossed the Jordan, King Guy 
held counsel with his barons at Acre. Count Raymond spoke first. 
He pointed out that in tremendous summer heat the army that 
attacked was at a disadvantage. Their own strategy should be purely 
defensive. With the Christian army undefeated Saladin would 
not be able to maintain his great forces for long in the parched 
country. After a while he would have to retire. In the meantime 
the reinforcements from Antioch would arrive. Most of the knights 
inclined to follow this advice; but both Reynald of Chatillon and 
the Grand Master Gerard accused Raymond of being a coward and 
sold to the Saracens. King Guy was always convinced by the last 
speaker and gave orders for the army to move out towards Tiberias. 


The Horns ofHattin 

On the afternoon of 2 July the Christians encamped at Sephoria. 
It was an excellent site for a camp, with ample water and good 
pasturage for the horses. Were they to remain there, as they had 
remained by the Pools of Goliath four years before, Saladin 
would never risk attacking them. Their army was nearly as large 
as his own, and they had the advantage of the terrain. But that 
evening the messenger from the Countess of Tripoli arrived. Once 
again Guy held a council in his tent. The chivalry of the knights 
was moved to think of the gallant kdy holding out desperately by 
the lake. Her sons with tears in their eyes begged that their 
mother should be rescued. Others followed to support their plea. 
Then Raymond rose. He repeated the speech that he had made 
at Acre but with more desperate emphasis. He showed the folly 
of leaving the present strong position and making a hazardous 
march in the July heat over the barren hillside. Tiberias was his 
city, he said, and its defender his wife. But he would rather that 
Tiberias and all within it were lost than that the kingdom was lost. 
His words carried conviction. The council broke up at midnight, 
resolved to remain at Sephoria. 

When the barons had retired to their quarters the Grand Master 
of the Temple crept back to the royal tent. Sire, he said, are 
you going to trust a traitor? It was shameful to let a city be lost 
that was only six leagues away. The Templars, he declared, would 
sooner abandon their Order than abandon their chance of 
vengeance on the infidel. Guy, who had been sincerely persuaded 
by Raymond an hour before, vacillated and let Gerard over- 
persuade him. He sent his heralds through the camp to announce 
that the army would march at dawn for Tiberias. 

The best road from Sephoria to Tiberias went slightly north of 
east across the Galilean hills and came down to the lake a mile 
north of the town. The alternative road ran to the bridge at 
Sennabra, where a branch followed the shore of the lake north 
ward. Saladin s camp at Kafr Sebt ky across the Senriabra road, 
by which he had come from over the river. It is possible that 
traitors from the Christian camp went to tell him that Guy was 


1187: The Franks encamp at Lubieh 

moving out from Sephoria along the northern road. He therefore 
led his army for some five miles across the hills to Hattin, where 
the road began to descend towards the lake. It was a village with 
broad pastures and abundant water. He was joined there by most 
of his troops from Tiberias, where only those needed to blockade 
the castle remained. 

The morning of Friday, 3 July, was hot and airless, as the 
Christian army left the green gardens of Sephoria to march over 
the treeless hills. Raymond of Tripoli as lord of the fief had the 
right by feudal custom to command the van. The King com 
manded the centre, and Reynald with the Orders and Balian of 
Ibelin brought up the rear. There was no water along the road. 
Soon men and horses alike were suffering bitterly from thirst. 
Their agony slowed up the pace of the march. Moslem skirmishers 
continuously attacked both the vanguard and the rearguard, 
pouring arrows into their midst and riding away before any 
counter-attack could be made. By the afternoon the Franks had 
reached the plateau immediately above Hattin. Ahead of them 
a rocky hill with two summits rose about a hundred feet, and 
beyond it the ground fell steeply to the village and on to the lake. 
It was called the Horns of Hattin. The Templars sent to the King 
to say that they could go no farther that day. Some of the barons 
begged him to order the army to press on and fight its way 
through to the lake. But Guy, moved by the weariness of his men, 
decided to halt for the night. On the news Raymond rode in from 
the front crying : c Ah, Lord God, the war is over; we are dead men; 
the kingdom is finished/ On his advice Guy set up his camp just 
beyond Lubieh, toward the slope of the Horns, where there was 
a well, and the whole army grouped itself around him. But the 
site was ill-chosen, for the well was dry. 

Saladin, waiting with all his men in the verdant valley below, 
could hardly restrain his joy. His opportunity had come at last. 

The Christians passed the night in misery, listening to the 
prayers and songs that came from the Moslem tents below. A few 
soldiers broke out of the camp in a vain search for water, only to 


The Horns ofHattin 

be killed by the enemy. To make their sufferings worse, the 
Moslems set fire to the dry scrub that covered the hill, and hot 
smoke poured in over the camp. Under cover of the darkness 
Saladin moved up his men. When the dawn broke on Saturday, 
4 July , the royal army was encircled. Not a cat, says the chronicler, 
could have slipped through the net. 

The Moslem attack began soon after daybreak. The Christian 
infantry had only one thought, water. In a surging mass they tried 
to break through down the slope towards the lake gleaming far 
below. They were driven up a hillock, hemmed in by the flames 
and by the enemy. Many of them were slaughtered at once, many 
others were taken prisoner; and the sight of them as they lay 
wounded and swollen-mouthed was so painful that five of 
Raymond s knights went to the Moslem leaders to beg that they 
might all be slain, to end their misery. The horsemen on the hill 
fought with superb and desperate courage. Charge after charge of 
the Moslem cavalry was driven back with losses; but their own 
numbers were dwindling. Enfeebled by thirst, their strength 
began to fail them. Before it was too late, at the King s request, 
Raymond led his knights in an attempt to burst through the 
Moslem lines. With all his men he bore down on the regiments 
commanded by Taki ed-Din. But Taki opened his ranks to let 
them through, and then closed up again behind them. They could 
not make their way back again to their comrades so, miserably, 
they rode from the battlefield, away to Tripoli. A little later 
Balian of Ibelin and Reynald of Sidon broke their way out. They 
were the last to escape. 

There was no hope left now for the Christians; but they still 
fought on, retiring up the hill to the Horns. The King s red tent 
was moved to the summit, and his knights gathered round him. 
Saladin s young son al-Afdal was at his father s side witnessing 
his first battle. Many years afterwards he paid tribute to the 
courage of the Franks. When the Prankish King had withdrawn 
to the hill-top, he said, his knights made a gallant charge and 
drove the Moslems back upon my father. I watched his dismay. 


1187: In Saladin s Tent 

He changed, colour and pulled at his beard, then rushed forward 
crying: "Give the devil the lie." So our men fell on the enemy 
who retreated up the hill. "When I saw the Franks flying I cried out 
with glee: " We have routed them." But they charged again and 
drove our men back again to where my father stood. Again he 
urged our men forward and again they drove the enemy up the 
hill. Again I cried out: "We have routed them." But my Ether 
turned to me and said: "Be quiet. We have not beaten them so 
long as that tent stands there." At that moment the tent was 
overturned. Then my father dismounted and bowed to the ground, 
giving thanks to God, with tears of joy. 

The Bishop of Acre had been killed. The Holy Cross which he 
had borne into the battle was in the hands of an infidel. Few of 
the knights horses survived. When the victors reached the hill 
top, the knights themselves, the King amongst them, were lying 
on the ground, too weary to fight any more, with hardly the 
strength to hand their swords over in surrender. Their leaders 
were taken off to the tent that was erected on the battlefield for 
the Sultan. 1 

There Saladin received King Guy and his brother the Constable 
Amalric, Reynald of Chatillon and his stepson Humphrey of 
Toron, the Grand Master of the Temple, the aged Marquis of 
Montferrat, the lords of Jebail and Botrun, and many of the lesser 
barons of the realm. He greeted them graciously. He seated the 
King next to him and, seeing his thirst, handed him a goblet of 
rose-water, iced with the snows of Hermon. Guy drank from it 
and handed it on to Reynald who was at his side. By the laws of 
Arab hospitality to give food or drink to a captive meant that his 
life was safe; so Saladin said quickly to the interpreter: Tell the 
King that he gave that man drink, not I. He then turned on 
Reynald whose impious brigandage he could not forgive and 
reminded him of his crimes, of his treachery, his blasphemy and 
his greed. When Reynald answered truculently, Saladin himself 

1 For the complicated and contradictory evidence about the Hattin campaign, 
see below, Appendix IE. 


The Horns ofHattin 

took a sword and struck off his head. Guy trembled, thinking 
that his turn would come next. But Saladin reassured him. 
A king does not kill a king , he said, but that man s perfidy and 
insolence went too far. 5 He then gave orders that none of the lay 
barons was to be harmed but that all were to be treated with 
courtesy and respect during their captivity. But he would not 
spare the knights of the Military Orders, save only the Grand 
Master of the Temple. A band of fanatical Moslem sufis had 
joined his troops. To them he gave the task of slaying his Templar 
and Hospitaller prisoners. They performed it with relish. When 
this was done he moved his army away from Hattin; and the 
bodies on the battlefield were left to the jackals and the hyenas. 

The prisoners were sent to Damascus, where the barons were 
lodged in comfort and the poorer folk were sold in the slave- 
market. So many were there that the price of a single prisoner fell 
to three dinars, and you could buy a whole healthy family, a man, 
his wife, his three sons and his two daughters, for eighty dinars the 
lot. One Moslem even thought it a good bargain to exchange a 
prisoner for a pair of sandals. 1 

The Christians of the East had suffered disasters before. Their 
Kings and Princes had been captured before; but their captors 
then had been petty lordlings, out for some petty advantage. On 
the Horns ofHattin the greatest army that the kingdom had ever 
assembled was annihilated. The Holy Cross was lost. And the 
victor was lord of the whole Moslem world. 

With his enemies destroyed, it only remained for Saladin to 
occupy the fortresses of the Holy Land. On 5 July, knowing that 
no help could come to her, the Countess of Tripoli surrendered 
Tiberias to him. He treated her with the honour that she deserved 
and allowed her to go with all her household to Tripoli. 3 Then he 
moved the bulk of his army down to Acre. The Seneschal Joscelin 

1 Beta ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 114-15 ; Kemal ad-Din (ed. Blochet, pp. 180-1) 
gives a slightly different version but with the same sense; Ernoul (pp. 172-4) 
tells roughly die same story. 

2 Ernoul, p. 171 ; Estoire d Erades, n, p. 69 ; Abu Shama, pp. 266-7. 


1187: Palestine surrenders to Saladin 

of Courtenay, who commanded the city, thought only of his own 
safety. He sent a citizen called Peter Brice to meet Saladin when 
he arrived before the walls on the 8th, offering its surrender if the 
lives and possessions of the inhabitants were guaranteed. To many 
in the city this tame capitulation seemed shameful. There was a 
short riot in which several houses were burnt; but order was 
restored before Saladin took formal possession of Acre on the loth. 
He had hoped to persuade most of the Christian merchants to stay 
there. But they feared for the future and emigrated with all their 
movable possessions. The immense stores of merchandize, silks 
and metals, jewels and arms, that were abandoned were distri 
buted by the conquerors, particularly by Saladin s young son 
al-Afdal, to whom the city was given, amongst their soldiers and 
comrades. The great sugar-factory was pillaged by Taki ed-Din, 
to Saladin s annoyance. 1 While Saladin remained at Acre, detach 
ments of his army received the submission of the towns and castles 
of Galilee and Samaria. At Nablus Balian s garrison held out for 
a few days and obtained honourable terms when it surrendered; 
and the castle of Toron resisted for a fortnight before its garrison 
capitulated. There was little other resistance. 2 Meanwhile Saladin s 
brother al-Adil came up from Egypt and laid siege to Jaffa. The 
town would not yield to him; so he took it by storm, and sent 
all the inhabitants, men, women and children, into captivity. 
Most of them found their way to the slave-markets and harems of 
Aleppo. 3 

When Galilee was conquered Saladin moved up the Phoenician 
coast. Most of the survivors from Hattin had fled with Balian to 
Tyre. It was well garrisoned and the great walls that guarded it 
from the land were too formidable. When his first attack failed he 

1 Ernoul, loc. dt*\ Estolre Erodes, n, pp. 70-1; Abu Shama, pp. 295-7; 
Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 116; Ibn al-Atbir, pp. 688-90. 

2 Estoire d Erodes, n, p. 68 ; De Expugnotione, pp. 31-4; Beha ed-Din, loc. at. 
(only mentioning Toron); Abu Shama, pp. 300-6; Ibn al-Athir, loc. at. 

3 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 690-1. He himself bought a skve in the Aleppo market, 
a young girl who had lost a husband and six babies (p. 691); De Expugnatione, 
p. 229. 


The Horns ofHattin 

passed on. Sidon surrendered without a blow, on 29 July. Its lord, 
Reynald, fled to his impregnable inland castle of Beaufort. Beirut 
attempted to defend itself but capitulated on 6 August. Jebail 
surrendered a few days later, on the orders of its lord, Hugh 
Ebriaco, whom Saladin released on that condition. By the end of 
August there only remained to the Christians south of Tripoli 
itself Tyre, Ascalon, Gaza, a few isolated castles and the Holy City 
of Jerusalem. 1 

In September Saladin appeared before Ascalon, bringing -with 
him his two chief captives, Kong Guy and the Grand Master 
Gerard. Guy had been told that his liberty could be bought by 
the surrender of Ascalon; and on his arrival before the walls he 
harangued the citizens telling them to give up the struggle. 
Gerard joined his plea to Guy s; but they answered them both 
with insults. Ascalon was bravely defended. The siege cost 
Saladin the life of two of his emirs. But on 4 September the 
garrison was forced to capitulate. The citizens were allowed to 
leave with all their portable belongings. They were escorted by 
Saladin s soldiers to Egypt and housed in comfort at Alexandria, 
till they could be repatriated to Christian lands. 2 At Gaza, whose 
Templar garrison was obliged by the laws of the Order to obey 
the Grand Master, Gerard s command that it should surrender was 
carried out at once. In return for the fortress he obtained his 
liberty. 3 But King Guy was kept for some months longer in 
prison, first at Nablus and later at Lattakieh. Queen Sibylla was 
allowed to come from Jerusalem to join him. As Saladin doubtless 
expected, their release next spring added to the embarrassment of 
the Christians. 4 

1 Bella ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 116-17; Abu Shama, pp. 306-10; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 692-3 ; De Expugnatione, p. 236. 

* Emoul, p. 184; Estoire d Erades, n, pp. 78-9; De Expugnatione, pp. 236-8; 
Bella ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 117; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 696-7. 

3 Abu Shama, pp. 312-13 ; Bella ed-Din, loc. dt.\ Ibn al-Athir, p. 697. 

4 According to Ernoul (pp. 175, 185) Sibylla was at Jerusalem up to the 
eve of the siege and was allowed then to go to Nablus (p. 185). Ibn al-Athir, 
p. 703 ; Estoire d Erodes, n, p. 79, and the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, pp. 21-3, say 


11 87: The Defence of Jerusalem 

The day that Saladin s troops entered Ascalon there was an 
eclipse of the sun; and in the darkness Saladin received a delega 
tion from the citizens of Jerusalem, which he had summoned to 
discuss terms for the Holy City s surrender. But there was no 
discussion. The delegates refused to hand over the city where their 
God had died for them. They returned proudly to Jerusalem; and 
Saladin swore to take it by the sword. In Jerusalem an unexpected 
helper had arrived. Balian of Ibelin, who was with the Prankish 
refugees at Tyre, sent to ask Saladin for a safe-conduct to Jerusalem. 
His wife, Queen Maria, had retired there with her children from 
Nablus, and he wished to bring them down to Tyre. Saladin 
granted his request on condition that he only spent one night in 
the city and did not bear arms. When he came there, Balian found 
the Patriarch Heraclius and the officials of the Orders trying to 
prepare the city s defence; but there was no leader whom the 
people trusted. They all clamoured that Balian should stay and 
lead them and would not let him go. Deeply embarrassed, Balian 
wrote to Saladin to explain the violation of his oath. Saladin was 
always courteous to an enemy that he respected. He not only for 
gave Balian but himself sent an escort to convey Queen Maria, with 
her children, her household and all her possessions, down to Tyre. 1 
With her went Balian s young nephew Thomas of Ibelin, and the 
young son of Hugh of Jebail. Saladin wept to see these children, 
heirs to vanished grandeur, pass through his camp into exile. 

In Jerusalem Balian did what he could. The population was 
swollen by refugees from all the neighbouring districts, few of 

that Sibylla was in Jerusalem throughout the siege and then went to Nablus only 
for a short interview. Beha ed-Din (P.T.T.S. p. 143) says that Guy was taken 
to Tortosa by Saladin and released there while Saladin was besieging Krak des 
Chevaliers. That was in July 1188, a few days before Saladin took Tortosa. 
Possibly Tortosa (Antartus) is*a mistake of Beha ed-Din s for Tripoli, but the 
release is dated definitely July 1188. Ernoul, however (p. 185), says that Guy 
was released in March 1188, but (p. 252) dates it when Saladin was besieging 
Tripoli (July 1188). The Itinerarium says that Guy was released at Tortosa, 
where Sibylla eventually joined him (p. 25). 

1 Ernoul, pp. 174-5, 185-^7; Estoire d Bracks, n, pp. 81-4; De Expugnatione, 
p. 238. 


The Horns ofHattin 

them of use as fighters. For every man there were fifty women 
and children. There were only two knights in the city; so Balian 
knighted every boy over sixteen that was born of a noble family 
and thirty men of the bourgeoisie. He dispatched parties to 
collect all the food that could be found before the Moslem armies 
closed round. He took over the royal treasury and the money that 
Henry II had sent to the Hospital. He even stripped the silver from 
the roof of the Holy Sepulchre. Arms were given to every man 
that could bear them. 

On 20" September Saladin encamped before the city and began 
to attack the north and north-west walls. But the sun was in his 
soldiers eyes and the defences there were strong. After five days 
he moved his camp. For a short moment the defenders believed 
that he had lifted the siege; but on the morning of 26 September 
his army was established on the Mount of Olives and his sappers, 
flanked by his horsemen, were mining the wall near the Gate of 
the Column, not far from the spot where Godfrey of Lorraine 
had broken into the city eighty-eight years before. By the 2pth 
there was a great breach in the wall. The defenders manned it as 
best they could and fought furiously; but they were too few to 
hold it for long against the hordes of the enemy. The Prankish 
soldiers wished to make one tremendous sortie and if need be die. 
But the Patriarch Heraclius had no mind to be a martyr. If they 
did so, he said, they would leave their women and children to 
inevitable slavery and he could not give his blessing to so impious 
an action. Balian supported him ; he saw the folly of wasting more 
lives. On 20 October he went himself to the enemy camp to ask 
Saladin for terms. 

Saladin had the city at his mercy. He could storm it when he 
wished; and within the city he had many potential friends. The 
pride of the Latin Church had always been resented by the 
Orthodox Christians who formed the majority of the humbler 
folk in the city. There had been no definite schism. The royal 
family and the lay nobility, except in Antioch, had shown 
friendliness and respect to the Orthodox clergy. But the upper 


The Surrender of Jerusalem 

hierarchy had been exclusively Latin. In the great shrines of their 
faith the native Christians had been made to attend ceremonies 
whose language and ritual were alien to them. They looked back 
longingly to the days when under just Moslem rulers they had 
been able to worship as they pleased. Saladin s confidential 
adviser for his dealings with the Christian princes was an Ortho 
dox scholar from Jerusalem, called Joseph Batit. He now made 
contact with the Orthodox communities in the city; and they 
promised to open the gates to Saladin. 

Their intervention was not needed. When Balian came before 
his tent Saladin declared that he had sworn to take Jerusalem by 
the sword and only unconditional surrender would absolve him 
from that oath. He reminded Balian of the massacres committed 
by the Christians in 1099. Was he to act differently? The battle 
raged as they spoke; and Saladin showed that his standard had 
now been raised on the city wall. But at the next moment his men 
were driven back; and Balian warned Saladin that unless he gave 
honourable terms the defenders in desperation before they died 
would destroy everything in the city, including the buildings in the 
Temple area sacred to the Moslems, and they would slaughter the 
Moslem prisoners that they held. Saladin, so long as his power 
was recognized, was ready to be generous, and he wished 
Jerusalem to suffer as little as possible. He consented to make 
terms and offered that every Christian should be able to redeem 
himself at the rate of ten dinars a man, five a woman and one a 
child. Balian then pointed out that there were twenty thousand 
poor folk in the city who could never afford such a sum. Could 
a lump-sum be given by the Christian authorities that would free 
them all ? Saladin was willing to accept 1 00,000 dinars for the whole 
twenty thousand. But Balian knew that so much money could not 
be raised. It was arranged that for 30,000 dinars seven thousand 
should be freed. On Balian 5 s orders the garrison laid down its 
arms; and on Friday, 2 October, Saladin entered Jerusalem. It was 
the 2yth day of Rajab, the anniversary of the day when the Prophet 
in his sleep had visited Jerusalem and been wafted thence to Heaven. 

RC 465 30 

The Horns ofHattin 

The victors were correct and humane. Where the Franks, 
eighty-eight years before, had waded through the blood of their 
victims, not a building now was looted, not a person injured. By 
Saladin s orders guards patrolled the streets and the gates, pre 
venting any outrage on the Christians. Meanwhile each Christian 
strove to find the money for his ransom and Balian emptied the 
treasury to raise the promised 30,000 dinars. It was with difficulty 
that the Hospital and the Temple could be made to disgorge their 
riches; and the Patriarch and his Chapter looked after themselves 
alone. It shocked the Moslems to see Heraclius paying his ten 
dinars for his ransom and leaving the city bowed by the weight of 
the gold that he was carrying, followed by carts laden with 
carpets and plate. Thanks to the remains of Henry iTs donation, 
the seven thousand poor were freed; but many thousands could 
have been spared slavery if only the Orders and the Church had 
been more generous. Soon two streams of Christians poured out 
through the gates, the one of those whose ransoms had been paid 
by themselves or by Balian s efforts, the other of those who could 
afford no ransom and were going into captivity. So pathetic was 
the sight that al-Adil turned to his brother and asked for a 
thousand of them as a reward for his services. They were granted 
to him and he at once set them free. The Patriarch Heraclius, 
delighted to find so cheap a way of doing good, then asked that 
he might have some slaves to liberate. He was granted seven 
hundred; and five hundred were given to Balian. Then Saladin 
himself announced that he would liberate every aged man and 
woman. When the Prankish ladies who bad ransomed themselves 
came in tears to ask him. where they should go, for their husbands 
or fathers were slain or captive, he answered by promising to 
release every captive husband, and to the widows and orphans he 
gave gifts from his own treasury, to each according to her estate. 
His mercy and kindness were in strange contrast to the deeds of 
the Christian conquerors of the First Crusade. 

Some of his emirs and soldiers were less kindly. There were 
tales of Christians being smuggled out in disguise by Moslems 


1187: The Refugees 

who then blackmailed them of all that they possessed. Other 
Moslem lords professed to recognize escaped slaves and charged 
high ransoms privately to let their victims go. But wherever 
Saladin found such practices, his punishment was sharp. 1 

The long line of refugees moved slowly down to the coast, 
unmolested by the Moslems. They travelled in three convoys, the 
first led by the Templars, the second by the Hospitallers, and the 
third by Bahan and the Patriarch. At Tyre, already overcrowded 
with other refugees, only fighting men could be admitted. Near 
Botrun a local baron, Raymond of Niphin, robbed them of many 
of their goods. They moved on to Tripoli. There, too, earlier 
refugees filled the city, and the authorities, short of food, would 
admit no more and closed the gates against them. It was not till 
they reached Antioch that they found any resting-place, and even 
there they were not allowed willingly into the city. The refugees 
from Ascalon were more fortunate. When Italian merchant 
captains refused to take them on to Christian ports without heavy 
fees, the Egyptian government refused to allow die ships to sail 
till they -accepted them free.* 

The Orthodox Christians and the Jacobites remained in 
Jerusalem. Each had officially to pay a capitation-tax in addition 
to his ransom, though many of the poorer classes were excused 
the payment. The rich amongst them bought up much of the 
property left vacant by the Franks departure. The rest was bought 
by Moslems and by Jews whom Saladin encouraged to settle in 
the city. When the news of Saladin s victory reached Constanti 
nople the Emperor Isaac Angelus sent an embassy to Saladin to 

* Ernoul, pp. 174-5, 211-30, the fullest and most authentic account. Ernoul 
was w IkL in Jerusalem; Estoire trades, n, 8i-*>; De ^F| 
pp. 241-51, an account supplied by an eye-witness who was wounded during 
?he siege and who disapproved of me surrender; Abu Shama pp. 3*0-40, 
Beha ed-Din P T.T.S. pp. II&-20; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 699-703- The story of 
Joseph Babit is told in The History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, p. 207, a hosde 
Coptic source. The author adds that the Orthodox Christians regretted the 
capitulation, as they would have liked to massacre the Franks. 

2 Ernoul, pp. 320-4; Estoire d Eracks, n, pp. 100-3. 


The Horns ofHaitin 

congratulate him and to ask that the Christian Holy Places should 
revert to the Orthodox Church. After a little delay his request was 
granted. Many of Saladin s friends had urged him to destroy the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But he pointed out that it was the 
site, not the building, that the Christians venerated; they would 
still wish to make pilgrimages there. Nor did he want to dis 
courage that. In fact the Church was only closed for three days. 
Then Prankish pilgrims were admitted on payment of a fee. 1 

The Christian refugees had not left the city before the Cross 
over the Dome of the Rock was taken down and all signs of 
Christian worship removed, and the mosque of al-Aqsa cleaned 
of all traces of the occupation of the Templars. Both buildings 
were sprinkled with rose-water and dedicated once more to the 
service of Islam. On Friday, 9 October, Saladin was present with 
a vast congregation to give thanks to his God in the Mosque. 2 

With the recovery of Jerusalem Saladin s chief duty to his faith 
had been performed. But there were still some Prankish fortresses 
to be reduced. The Lady Stephanie of Oultrejourdain had been 
among the ransomed captives at Jerusalem, and she had asked 
Saladin for the release of her son Humphrey of Toron. He agreed 
on condition that her two great castles were surrendered to him. 
Humphrey was sent from his prison to join her; but neither at 
Kerak nor at Montreal would the garrison obey her order to give 
themselves up. As she had failed in her bargain she sent her son 
back into captivity. Her honourable action pleased Saladin, who 
gave Humphrey his liberty a few months later. Meanwhile al- 
Adil and the Egyptian army laid siege to Kerak. The siege lasted 

1 For the native Christians fate, see Bar-Hebraeus, trans. Budge, pp. 326-7; 
Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 198-201, reports the exchange of embassies between 
Saladin and the Emperor. Maqrizi, ed. Blochet, p. 33, reports the temporary 
closing of the Holy Sepulchre. For the Jews, see Schwab, Al Harizi , in 
Archives de I Orient Latin, I, p. 236. 

* Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 120; Ibn al-Athir, pp. 704-5; Estoire d Erades, 
n, p. 104; Ernoul, pp. 234-5; De Expugnatione, pp. 250-1; Ibn Khalikan, n, 
pp. 634-41, reports the uplifting sermon preached by the chief cadi of Aleppo 
at the first service in the Mosque of Aqsa. 


: Reynold of Sidoris Diplomacy 

for more than a year. For many months the defenders were near 
to starvation. Their women and children were turned out to fend 
for themselves; some indeed were sold by their men-folk to the 
Bedouin in return for food. Only when the last horse in the 
fortress had been eaten did the castle surrender, at the end of 1188. 
Montreal, less closely pressed, held out for some months longer. 1 

Farther north the Templar castle of Safed surrendered on 
6 December 1188, after a month s heavy bombardment, and the 
Hospitallers at Belvoir, high over the Jordan valley, followed suit 
a month later. The Chateau Neuf at Hunin had been occupied 
some time before. Beaufort, where Reynald of Sidon had taken 
refuge, was saved by his diplomacy. He was a learned man, with 
a passionate interest in Arabic literature. He came to Saladin s 
tent professing himself willing to surrender his castle and retire to 
Damascus, if he were allowed three months to settle his affairs. 
He even hinted that he might embrace Islam. So charming was 
his conversation that Saladin was convinced of his good faith, only 
to find out too late that the truce that he had granted had been 
used to strengthen the castle defences. In the meantime Saladin 
had moved into the territory of Tripoli and Antioch. 2 

Raymond of Tripoli died about the end of 1187. Soon after his 
escape from Hattin he had fallen ill of pleurisy, though men 
thought that his sickness was due to melancholy and shame. 
Many of his contemporaries considered him a traitor whose 
selfishness helped to ruin the kingdom; but William of Tyre and 
Balian of Ibelin both were his friends and defenders. His real 
tragedy was the tragedy of all the Prankish colonists of the second 
and third generation, who by temperament and from policy were 
ready to become part of the Oriental world but were forced by 
the fanaticism of their newly-come western cousins to take sides; 

1 Ernoul, p. 1 87 ; Estoire Bracks, n, p. 122 ; Abu Shama, p. 3 82 ; Bena ed-Din, 

P.T.T.S. pp. 139, 143- 1t , 

2 Belia ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 122-3, 138-41. 142-3- He met Reynald and 
found him charming; Abu Shama, pp. 395-400; Kemal ad-Din, ed. Blochet, 
p. 191. 


The Horns ofHattin 

and in the end they could not but take sides with fellow-Christians. 
He had no children; so he bequeathed his county to his godson 
Raymond, son of his nearest male relative, Prince Bohemond of 
Antioch; but he stipulated that should a member of the house of 
Toulouse come to the East the county must be his. Bohemond 
accepted the inheritance for his son, then substituted the boy s 
younger brother, Bohemond, for fear, that Antioch and Tripoli 
together might be more than one man could defend. 1 

Indeed, there was soon little left of the inheritance. On I July 
1188 Saladin swept through the Buqaia, with reinforcements 
newly come from Sinjar. He passed by the Hospitaller fortress at 
Krak, which he thought too strong to attack. He moved towards 
Tripoli; but the arrival there of the King of Sicily s fleet deterred 
him. He turned north. At Tortosa he stormed the town, but the 
Templars castle held out against him. He pressed on, under the 
walls of Marqab, where the Hospitallers tried to dispute his 
passage. Jabak surrendered on Friday, 15 July, Lattakieh on 
Friday the 22nd. Lattakieh had been a lovely city, with its 
churches and palaces dating from Byzantine times. The Moslem 
chronicler, Abu Shama, who was with the army, wept to see it 
pillaged and ruined. From Lattakieh Saladin turned inland to 
Sahyun. The vast castle of the Hospitallers was thought to be 
impregnable; but after a few days of fierce fighting it was taken 
by assault on Friday, 29 July. On Friday, 12 August, the garrison 
of Bakas-Shoqr, well protected though their castle was by 
stupendous ravines, surrendered when no help was forthcoming 
from Antioch. On Friday the ipth the town of Sarminya fell. 
A few days later, on the 23rd, Burzey, the southernmost of the 
Orontes castles, capitukted. Its commander was married to the 
sister of Saladin s secret agent, the Princess of Antioch. He and 
his wife were allowed their liberty. On 16 September the Tempkr 

1 Raymond s death is reported, without an exact date, by Estoire d Eracles, 
p. 72, where the arrangements for the succession are given, by Imad ed-Din 
(in Abu Shama, p. 284) and by Beha ed-Din, P. T. T.S. p. 1 14. The Arab authors 
say that he died of pleurisy. For his conduct at Hatrin, see below, Appendix II. 
Benedict of Peterborough says that he was found dead in his bed (n, p. 21). 


n8?: The Defence of Tyre 

fott of Darbsaq in the Amamis mountains surrendered, and on the 
26th the castle of Baghras, which commanded the road from 
Antioch into Cilicia. 1 But Saladin s army now was weary, and 
the troops from Sinjar wished to go home. When Prince Bohemond 
begged for a truce which recognized all the Moslem conquests, 
Saladin granted it to him. He could, he thought, finish off the task 
whenever he chose. For all that was left to Bohemond and his 
sons were their two capitals of Antioch and Tripoli and the port 
of Saint Symeon, while the Hospitallers kept Marqab and Krak 
and the Templars Tortosa. 2 

But farther south there was one other city that Saladin had not 
taken; and therein he made his great mistake. The refugee barons 
of Palestine were crowded now in Tyre, the strongest city of the 
coast, joined to the mainland only by a narrow sandy pensinsula, 
across which a great wall was built. Had Saladin pressed an 
attack on Tyre as soon as Acre was his, even this wall could not 
have arrested him. But he delayed just too long. Reynald of 
Sidon, who then commanded the city, was negotiating the sur 
render; and Saladin had even sent two of his banners to be dis 
played on the citadel, when on 14 July 1187, ten days after the 
battle of Hattin, a ship sailed into the harbour. On board was 
Conrad, son of the old Marquis of Montferrat and brother of 
Queen Sibylla s first husband. He had been living at Constanti 
nople but had been involved in a murder there; so he sailed 
secretly away with a company of Prankish knights to pay a 
pilgrimage to the Holy Places. He knew nothing of the disasters 
in Palestine and made for Acre. When his ship arrived off the port 
the captain was surprised not to hear the bell that was rung when 
ever a sail was sighted. He felt that something was wrong so did 
not cast anchor. Soon a sloop with a Moslem port-official aboard 

1 Ernoul, pp. 252-3; Estoire d Bracks, n, p. 122; Abu Shama, pp. 356-76; 
Bella ed~Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 125-38; Kemal ad-Din, ei Blochet, pp. 187-90; 
Ibn al-Athir, pp. 726-9; Abu Shama, pp. 361-2, quotes Imad ed-Din s descrip 
tion of Lattakieh and its sack. 

2 Ibn al-Athir, pp. 732-3; Beha ed-Din, P.T.T.S. p. 37- The truce was to 
last seven months. 


The Horns ofHattin 

came alongside; and Conrad, pretending to be a merchant, asked 

what was happening, and was told that Saladin had taken the city 

four days before. His horror at the news aroused the Moslem s 

suspicion; but before he could raise an alarm Conrad had sailed 

away up the coast to Tyre. There he was welcomed as a deliverer 

and put in charge of the defence of the city. Saladin s peace-terms 

were rejected, and his banners cast into the moat. Conrad was 

vigorous, ruthless and brave. He saw that the city could be held 

till help came from the West, and he was confident that on the 

news of the fall of Jerusalem help would surely come. When 

Saladin appeared a few days later before Tyre, the vigour of the 

defence was too much for him. He brought down the Marquis of 

Montferrat from Damascus and paraded him before the walls 

threatening his death were the city not given up to him; but 

Conrad s filial piety was not strong enough to deflect him from 

his duty as a Christian warrior. He was unmoved; and Saladin, 

with his usual kindliness, spared the old man s life. He raised the 

siege to march against Ascalon. When next he appeared before 

Tyre, in November 1187, its fortifications had been strengthened, 

some naval and military reinforcements had arrived, and the 

narrow terrain prevented him from using his men and mangonels 

to advantage. Ten Moslem ships were brought up from Acre; but 

on 29 December five of them were captured by the Christians; 

and a simultaneous attack on the walls was driven back. At a 

council of war Saladin listened to those of his emirs who pointed 

out that his troops needed a rest. The winter was wet and cold, 

and there was illness in the camp. On New Year s Day 1188, 

Saladin disbanded half his army and retired to conquer the inland 

castles. Conrad s energy and confidence had saved the city and 

with it the continuance of the Christian kingdom. 1 

Saladin was kter to regret very bitterly his failure to capture 
Tyre. But his achievements had already been tremendous. 

1 Emoul, pp, 179-83, 240-4; Estoire d Eracles, n, pp. 74-8, 104-10; Itiner- 
arium Regis Ricardi, pp. 18-19; Bella ed-Din, P.T.T.S. pp. 120-2; Ibn al-Athir, 
pp. 694-6, 707-12. 


1187: Saladins Honour 

Whether his triumphs were due to the inevitable response of 
Islam to the challenge of the intruder Franks, or to the far-sighted 
policy of his great predecessors, or to the quarrels and the follies 
of the Franks themselves, or to his own personality, he had given 
proof of the force and the spirit of the East. At the Horns of 
Hattin and the gates of Jerusalem he had avenged the humiliation 
of the First Crusade, and he had shown how a man of honour 
celebrates his victory. 





LATIN EAST, 1100-1187 


The Greek historians only deal with the Latins in the East when they 
come into direct contact with Byzantium. Tijl 1118 ANNA COMNENA S 
Alexiad is still the most important Greek source, though die sequence 
of events in her account of Prankish affairs is rather confused. 1 For die 
reigns of John and Manuel Comnenus the two essential sources are the 
The former was the secretary of Manuel Comnenus and wrote his 
work just after Manuel s death. His account of John s reign is a little 
perfunctory; but he deals carefully and authoritatively with Manuel s. 
Apart from mild patriotic prejudices he is a sober historian on whom 
reliance can be placed. 3 NICETAS wrote early in the thirteenth century, 
and covers the period from John s reign till after the Latin capture of 
Constantinople. His history is quite independent of that of Cinnamus. 
From the latter half of Manuel s reign onward he is describing events 
of which he had personal knowledge; and, in spite of an over-rhetorical 
style and a tendency to moralize, he is accurate and reliable. 3 No other 
Greek source is of major importance, 4 except for an interesting but 
rather vague account of a pilgrimage to Palestine in 1178 by a certain 

1 See above, vol. I, pp. 327-8. 
* Published in the Bonn Corpus. 

3 Published in the Bonn Corpus. 

4 Zonaras is still useful for the first years of the century. See above, vol. I, 
p. 328. The verse chronicle of Manasses provides a litde unimportant material 
(published in the Bonn Corpus). The relevant poems of Prodromus are pub 
lished in the Recueil des Historiens des Crusades. 

5 Translated in the Palestine Pilgrims Text Society, vol. V. 


Appendix I 


For the early history of the Crusading states our main sources are 
historians of die First Crusade, notably FULCHER OF CHARTRES* and 
ALBERT OF Aix 2 and, to a lesser degree, RADULPH OF CAEN,S EKKEHARD 
OF AuRA 4 and CAFFARO.^ I have discussed these in die first volume of this 
history. It should be added that for the period noo to 1119, when it 
comes to an end, Albert s history can be regarded as a thoroughly 
reliable source. Where he obtained his information is unknown, but 
whenever it can be checked from Syrian sources it is confirmed by 

Antiochene history for the period 1115 to 1122 is covered by a short 
work called De Bella Antiochene, by WALTER THE CHANCELLOR, who 
was probably the Chancellor to Prince Roger. It is an unpretentious 
work, full of useful information about the history and institutions of 
Antioch at the time. 6 

From 1127, when Fulcher ends his work, till the last decade before 
Saladin s conquest of Jerusalem our only important Latin source is 
WILLIAM OF TYRE S Historia rerum inpartibus fransmarinis gestarum, which 
covers the period 1095 to 1184.? William was born in the East shordy 
before 1130. He probably learnt Arabic and Greek as a child, then 
went to France to finish his education. Soon after his return to 
Palestine, in about 1 160, he became Archbishop of Tyre and Chancellor 
of the Kingdom from 1170 to 1174. He was also tutor of the future 
Baldwin IV. In 1175 he became Archbishop of Tyre. In 1183, after 
his failure to secure the Patriarchate, he retired to Rome, where he 
died before 1187. He began writing his history in 1169 and had 
finished the first thirteen books by 1173. He took the whole work 
with him to Rome and was still working on it at the time of his death. 
For his account of the First Crusade William relied mainly on Albert 
and to a lesser extent on Raymond of Aguilers, Baudri s version of the 
Gesta, and Fulcher. From noo to 1127 Fulcher is his main source, 

1 See above, vol. I, p. 329. 2 See above, vol. I, p. 331. 

3 See above, vol. i, p. 331. 4 See above, vol. i, p. 330. 

5 See above, vol. I, p. 332. 6 Ed. in the Recueil. 

7 Ed. in the Recueil. See above, vol. i, pp. 321-2, For William s chronology, 
see Stevenson, Crusaders in the East, pp. 361-71, a full and authoritative 

Appendix I 

though he also used Walter the Chancellor. His only additions to them 
are personal anecdotes about the Kings and information about the 
Eastern Churches and about Tyre. For the period 1127 till his return 
to the East, he depended on the archives of the Kingdom and on a lost 
skeleton chronicle of the Kings, In consequence his information about 
northern Syria is sometimes unreliable. From the n6o*s onward he 
had an intimate and shrewd personal knowledge of the events and 
actors that he described. His dates are confused and at times demon- 
strably wrong. It is probable that they were added to his manuscript 
by an early transcriber. William is one of the greatest of medieval 
historians. He had his prejudices, such as his dislike of lay-control of 
the Church, but he is temperate in his words about his personal 
enemies, such as the Patriarch Heraclius and Agnes of Courtenay, who 
both deserved his censure. He makes mistakes where his information 
was inadequate. But he had a broad vision; he understood the signi 
ficance of the great events of his time and the sequence of cause and 
effect in history. His style is straightforward and not without humour. 
, His work leaves the impression that he was himself a wise, honourable 
and likeable man. His other chief work, a History of the East, based 
on the Arabic history of Said ibn Bitriq, is unfortunately lost though it 
was used by historians of the following century, such as Jacques of Vitry. 
A Latin Continuation of William of Tyre s history was written in the 
West in 1194, with later additions. 1 It is a sober, objective work, 
probably based on a lost work which also is the base of the first book 
of die Itinerarium Ricardi, which covers the years from 1184 till the 
Third Crusade. 3 The continuations in Old French present a greater 
problem. Towards die middle of the thirteenth century William s 
History was translated by a subject of the French King. He paraphrased 
some passages and included comments of doubtful value. To it he 
added a continuation which extended well into the thirteenth century. 
From its opening words this work is usually known as the Estoire 
d Erades. About the same time a certain Bernard the Treasurer brought 
out in the East a continuation of the year 1129 attributed to Ernoul, 
who was a squire of Balian of Ibelin. These two translations are closely 
related and are found in a large number of manuscripts, which, how 
ever, contain variations that can be divided into three groups for the 

1 Ed. by M. Salloch. 

* The Itinerarium is published in die Rolls Series, edited by Stubbs. 


Appendix I 

period 1184 to 1198. It is impossible to say which is the original 
manuscript, as each group contains episodes not found in either of the 
others. The most likely solution is that they all depend for this period 
on a lost work by Ernoul himself. Ernoul certainly supplied the first 
hand account of the events of i May 1187, found in Bernard s Ernoul- 
and the whole group shows an interest in the Ibelins and gives many 
eyewitness descriptions that would fit in with authorship by one of the 
Ibelin household. These continuations are on the whole reliable sources 
though not objective. Ernoul seems to have been a careful recorder in 
so far as his party bias in favour of the Ibelins allowed. The chrono 
logical order of the earlier passages is haphazard. They seem to consist 
of disjointed observations and memories. 1 

Saladin s conquest of Palestine is also described in a short Libellus de 
expugnatione Terrae Sanctaeper Saladinum, sometimes attributed to Ralph 
of Coggeshall and almost certainly written by an Englishman, a few 
years after die event that it describes. The author shows admiration for 
the Military Orders, particularly for the Temple, of whose misdeeds he 
is tactfully silent, but at the same time he is friendly to Raymond of 
Tripoli. He includes an eyewitness account of the siege of Jerusalem 
itself supplied by a soldier who was wounded there. * 

There are some later histories of the Kingdom which give further 
information, notably the HISTORIA RJEGNI HDEROSOLYMITANI, a con 
tinuation of Caffaro, the ANNALES DE LA TERRE SAINTE and a brief 
Crusade is treated fully in the De Ludovid VII profectione in Omnium 
of Odo of Deuil, a vivid and highly prejudiced account by a participant 
of Louis s journey as far as Attalia, and more briefly in the jGesta 
Friderici of Otto of Freisingen, himself also a participant; and the Life 
of Louis VII by SuGER. 4 AMBROSE S poem, L Estoire de la Guerre Sainte, 

1 The Estoire d Erades is edited in the Recueil. Ernoul is edited by Mas 
Latrie. For a discussion of the whole problem, see Mas Latrie s introduction 
to Ernoul and Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, pp. 21-4. 

* Ed. by J. Stevenson in the Rolls Series. 

3 The Historia Regni Bier, is published in M.G.H.Ss., the Annales de la Tern 
Sainte, edited by Rohricht, in the Archives de Y Orient Latin and the Historia 
Regum in Kohler, Melanges. 

4 Odo, or Eudes, of Detail s book has recendy been edited by Waquet, and 
Otto of Freisingen s Gesta by Hofmeister in M.G.H.Ss., new series. There is no 
good edition of Suger s work. 


Appendix I 

as well as the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, though dealing with the Third 
Crusade, gives retrospective information. 1 

Many western chroniclers contain passages of relevance to the Latin 
East, such as the Englishman William of Malmesbury, Benedict of 
Peterborough and the historians concerned with the Third Crusade; 
the Frenchman Sigebert of Gembloux and his continuators and Robert 
of Torigny ; the Italians Romuald and Sicard of Cremona; and others. 2 
The most important is the Norman Orderic Vitalis, whose chronicle, 
which ends in 1138, is full of information about Outremer, in particular 
about northern Syria. It is probable that Orderic had friends or relatives 
amongst the Normans of Antioch. Many of his stories are obvious 
legends, but much of his matter is convincing and is not found elsewhere. 3 

Of the relevant contemporary letters the most important group is 
contained in die papal correspondence. The correspondence of Louis VII 
and Conrad III throws light on the Second Crusade. 4 A few letters 
written by distinguished Latins in the East have survived. 5 The 
archives of three ecclasiastical establishments in the East have survived, 
those of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Abbeys of Saint Mary Josaphat 
and of Saint Lazarus. The archives of the Order of the Hospital are 
almost complete, but those of the Temple are only known by rare and 
indirect references. There are also a certain number of lay records 
dealing with the transfer of land in the Prankish States. 6 The papal 
archives give some additional information; and information on com 
mercial affairs can be extracted from those of Pisa, Venice and Genoa. 7 
The assises of Jerusalem, which were written later, contain specific 
assises dating from the twelfth century. 8 

1 Ambroise is edited by G. Paris. There is an English translation with useful 
notes by Hubert and La Monte. 

* For editions of these chroniclers, see Bibliography, below, pp. 493-5- 

3 The best edition of Orderic is still that of Le Prevost. 

4 Published in R.H.F. and JafTe, Bibliotheca, Wibaldi Epistolae respectively. 

5 Most are published in R.H.F. Others are found in various chronicles. 

6 See Bibliography, below, p. 494, for the Cartulaires. Most of them are 
summarized in Rohricht s Regesta. 

1 The Papal letters are to be found in M.P.L. The Italian, archives have not 
been completely published. For a summary of existing publications, see Cahen, 
op. cit. pp, 3-4. 

8 The Assises are published in the Recueil For a discussion, see La Monte, 
Feudal Monarchy, and Grandclaude, op. cit. 


Appendix I 

Two travellers to Palestine during the twelfth century, SAEWULF, 
who was probably an Englishman who visited the country in noi, and 
the German JOHN OF WURZBURG, who came in about 1175, both left 
records of interest. 1 


As the twelfth century advances the contemporary Arabic sources grow 
in number. For the first part of the century we are dependent on 
IBN AL-QALANISI* for Damascene affairs, on AL-AziMi 3 for northern 
Syria and on the somewhat muddled work of IBN AL-AzRAQ 4 for the 
Jezireh, apart from citations from lost chronicles given by later writers. 
"We have, however, the invaluable memoirs of USAMA IBN MUNQIDH.S 
Usama was a prince of Shaizar, born in 1095. He was exiled forty-three 
years later, as the result of a family intrigue, and spent the rest of his 
ninety-three years of life mainly in Damascus, with sojourns in Egypt 
and at Diarbekir. Though an utter intriguer to whom personal loyalty 
meant nothing, he was a man of great charm and intelligence, a soldier, 
a sportsman and a man of letters. His reminiscences, called Instruction 
t>y Examples, have no chronological order and are the unverified recol 
lections of an old man, but they give an extraordinarily vivid picture of 
life amongst the Arab and Prankish aristocrats of his time. Almost as 
vivid are the Travels of the Spaniard IBN JUBAYR, who passed through 
the Kingdom of Jerusalem in ii8i. 6 

Saladin s career inspired a whole crop of writers, of whom the most 
important are IMAD ED-DiN 7 of Isfahan, BEHA ED-DIN IBN SHADDAD, 

1 Ed. and translated into English in P.T.T.S. vols. rv and v. 

a See above, vol. I, pp. 332-3. 3 See above, vol. I, p. 334. 

4 Not fully published. Relevant extracts are analysed by Cahen, in. Journal 
Asiatique, 1935. 

5 For Usama I use the translation by Hitti (An Arab-Syrian Gentleman) which 
is based on a more careful study of the original text than that of Derenbourg, pub 
lished in 1 89 5 . The English translation by Potter is based on Derenbourg s version. 

6 The full text of Ibn Jubayr, edited by Wright, was published nearly 
100 years ago at Ley den. A translation into French by Gaudefroy-Demonbynes 
is in process of publication, and a translation into English by R. Broadhurst is 
to be published shortly. Extracts are given in the RecueiL 

7 For Imad ed-Din s works, see Cahen, La Syrie du Nord, pp. 50-2. Abu 
Shama (see below), p. 482, gives long extracts from his works. 

8 The Arabic text is edited by Schultens, and in the Recueil. I refer in the 
footnotes above to the English translation published in the P.T.S.S., which is 
made from a correlation of the two editions. 


Appendix I 

and the anonymous author of the Bustan, the General Garden of all the 
Histories of the Ages. 1 Imad ed-Din had been a Seldjuk functionary in 
Iraq who passed into Nur ed-Din s service and was Saladin s secretary 
from 1173 onwards. He wrote a number of works, including a History 
of the Seldjuks and an account of Saladin s wars. The latter was repro 
duced almost in its entirety by Abu Shama and is the most authoritative 
source for Saladin s biography. His language is peculiarly ornate, 
complex and difficult. Beha ed-Din was also a member of Saladin s 
entourage, which he joined in 1188. His life of Saladin, written in 
a simple, concise style, depends mainly on hearsay and some reminis 
cences of Saladin himself till that date. Thenceforward he is as 
authoritative as Imad ed-Din. The Bustan was written at Aleppo in 
1196/7. It is a rather bare and summary history of Islam, dealing mainly 
with Aleppo and Egypt, but contains information only found other 
wise in the later and fuller history of Ibn abi Tayyi. Both may depend 
on a lost Shia source. The other contemporary chroniclers AL-FADIL, 
AS-SHAIBANI and IBN AD-DAHHAN, are known only from quotations. * 

The greatest historical writer of the thirteenth century is IBN 
AL-ATHTR of Mosul, who was born in 1160 and died in 1233. His 
Kamil at-Tawarikh, or Historical Compendium, is a history of the Moslem 
world, for which he made careful and critical selections from earlier 
and contemporary writers. For the First Crusade and the beginning 
of the twelfth century his entries are rather brief. For the end of the 
century he is mainly dependent on the writers of Saladin s entourage, 
though he adds a few personal reminiscences. For the middle of the 
century, which is covered by no important Moslem historian, he seems 
to have used original material. His chronology is deficient; he does 
not name his sources and often transforms their accounts, particularly 
to suit his pro-Zengid prejudices. But like William of Tyre, he is a real 
historian who tried to understand the broad significance of the events 
that he described. His second work, the History of the Atabegs of Mosul, 
is an inferior piece of writing, a somewhat uncritical panegryric, which, 
however, contains some information not found elsewhere. 3 

The Mines of Gold of IBN ABI TAYYI of Aleppo, the only great Shia 
chronicler, born in 1180, is known to us only from the copious if 

1 Ed. by Cahen in the Bulletin de I lnstitut Oriental a Damas. 
* See Cahen, La Syne du Nord, pp. 52-4. 
3 For editions, see above, vol. I, p. 334 n. 2. 

RC 481 3i 

Appendix I 

rather self-conscious use made of it by Sunni chroniclers. It was 
clearly a work of great importance, covering all Moslem history, with 
special reference to Aleppo; and from the surviving quotations it must 
have made a more detailed use of the same source as the Bustan. 1 
KEMAL AD-DiN of Aleppo who lived from 1191 to 1262, the author of 
a probably unfinished biographical encyclopaedia, wrote before 1243 
a Chronicle of Aleppo, a long, clearly and simply written work, largely 
dependent on Al-Azimi, Ibn al-Qalanisi and the contemporaries of 
Saladin, as well as oral traditions and information. Kemal is not very 
careful in correlating his sources and he is prejudiced against the Shia. 3 
SIBT IBN AL-DJAUZI, born at Baghdad in 1186, wrote one of the longest 
of Moslem chronicles, the Mirror of the Times; b