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The Crusader States

The Crusader States

Malcolm Barber
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    The Crusader States
    Book Description:

    When the armies of the First Crusade wrested Jerusalem from control of the Fatimids of Egypt in 1099, they believed their victory was an evident sign of God's favor. It was, therefore, incumbent upon them to fulfill what they understood to be God's plan: to re-establish Christian control of Syria and Palestine. This book is devoted to the resulting settlements, the crusader states, that developed around the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and survived until Richard the Lionheart's departure in 1192. Focusing on Jerusalem, Antioch, Tripoli, and Edessa, Malcolm Barber vividly reconstructs the crusaders' arduous process of establishing and protecting their settlements, and the simultaneous struggle of vanquished inhabitants to adapt to life alongside their conquerors.

    Rich with colorful accounts of major military campaigns, the book goes much deeper, exploring in detail the culture of the crusader states-the complex indigenous inheritance, the architecture, the political, legal, and economic institutions, the ecclesiastical framework through which the crusaders perceived the world, the origins of the Knights Templar and the Hospitallers, and more. With the zest of a scholar pursuing a life-long interest, Barber presents a complete narrative and cultural history of the crusader states while setting a new standard for the term "total history."

    eISBN: 978-0-300-18931-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-xi)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xii-xvii)
  5. Plates
    (pp. None)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-3)

    On 18 October 1191, in the course of extended negotiations with Saladin, King Richard I of England instructed his envoy as follows:

    You will greet him and say, ‘The Muslims and the Franks are done for. The land is ruined, ruined utterly at the hands of both sides. Property and lives on both sides are destroyed. This matter has received its due. All we have to talk about is Jerusalem, the Holy Cross and these lands. Now Jerusalem is the centre of our worship which we shall never renounce, even if there were only one of us left. As for...

  7. CHAPTER 1 The Expedition to Jerusalem
    (pp. 4-25)

    Between 18 and 28 November 1095, Pope Urban II held a church council at Clermont in the Auvergne. Its climax was a great speech in which he called upon the Christians of the Latin West to take up arms in order to free their eastern brethren from Muslim oppression. Soon after, as his publicity campaign gathered momentum, he wrote to the faithful of Flanders, explaining the theme of his speech.

    We believe that you, brethren, learned long ago from many reports, the deplorable news that the barbarians in their frenzy have invaded and ravaged the churches of God in the...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Syria and Palestine
    (pp. 26-49)

    ‘So at last our knights came into the valley where stands the royal city of Antioch, capital of Syria, which was granted to blessed Peter, prince of the Apostles, to restore to the holy faith, by Our Lord Jesus who liveth and reigneth with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end.’¹ With these words the author of theGesta Francorumdescribes the emergence of the crusader army from the Amanus mountains into the Orontes valley in mid-October 1097. There is a palpable sense of relief in the text at this point since,...

  9. CHAPTER 3 The First Settlers
    (pp. 50-64)

    If one of the objections to Raymond of Toulouse as ruler of Jerusalem was his age, then it is ironic that he outlived Godfrey of Bouillon, who died only a year after his election, on 18 July 1100. Returning from a campaign in the lands of Duqaq of Damascus, Godfrey had begun to make his way south along the coast, where he was met by the emir of Caesarea, who offered him dinner. The duke, however, says Albert of Aachen, ‘refused food with every polite expression of thanks, tasting only some oranges’. Soon after, he began to feel ill, and...

  10. CHAPTER 4 The Origins of the Latin States
    (pp. 65-97)

    Baldwin’s situation was actually very unpromising. When Geldemar Carpenel complained that he had been unjustly deprived of Haifa by Tancred, the king, in his role as dispenser of justice, summoned Tancred to Jerusalem. Albert of Aachen, the only chronicler to describe this, says that Tancred answered that ‘he was not going to reply concerning these things in Baldwin’s presence, because he would not recognise him as king of the city and judge of the kingdom of Jerusalem’. Given the history of enmity between the two men, particularly arising from their conflict in Cilicia in the autumn of 1097, as well...

  11. CHAPTER 5 The Military, Institutional and Ecclesiastical Framework
    (pp. 98-120)

    Fakhr al-Mulk, emir of Tripoli, set out for Baghdad in March 1108 in order to seek help from Sultan Muhammad, the son of Malik-Shah, but he knew that he was taking a great risk in doing so. Raymond of Toulouse had tried to capture Tripoli six years before and the siege had continued after his death in 1105. Meanwhile, the other Muslim coastal enclaves had crumbled around him: Tortosa and Maraclea in 1102, Botron and Gibelet in 1104. As Ibn al-Qalanisi describes it, by spring 1108, the situation had become critical because of ‘the continued procrastination in sending assistance’. Fakhr...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Antioch and Jerusalem
    (pp. 121-148)

    Najm al-Din Il-Ghazi was the son of Artuq, the leader of the Turcoman tribe of the Oghuz that, in the course of the eleventh century, had joined the Seljuk migration from the region to the north-east of the Caspian Sea into Persia. In 1086, Artuq was made governor of Jerusalem by Tutush, brother of the sultan, Malik-Shah, and when he died, in 1091, the city was left under the control of his sons, Soqman and Il-Ghazi. In July 1098, a year before the arrival of the crusaders, they were besieged by al-Afdal, vizier of Fatimid Egypt, and forced to surrender,...

  13. CHAPTER 7 The Second Generation
    (pp. 149-173)

    There was no contemporary chronicler present to record the death of Baldwin II in Jerusalem on 21 August 1131. However, according to William of Tyre, he had fallen ill after returning yet again from Antioch, where the death of Bohemond II in Cilicia early in 1130 had obliged him to intervene to prevent a coup by Alice, the king’s second daughter and widow of Bohemond. Realising that his illness was probably fatal, he had himself carried to the patriarch’s palace, to which he summoned Fulk, Melisende and their new son, Baldwin, who must have been less than eighteen months old...

  14. CHAPTER 8 The Zengid Threat
    (pp. 174-199)

    Baldwin III and Melisende were crowned by the patriarch, William of Messines, in the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Christmas 1143 in the presence of the nobles and prelates. As Baldwin II had intended, they were co-rulers, but necessarily the dominant presence in government was the queen, since as a thirteen-year-old Baldwin had not reached his majority, while his mother was a seasoned politician who, even as a young woman, had obliged her much older and more experienced husband to recognise her importance. When she died, in September 1161, she had, as William of Tyre recorded, ruled the kingdom...

  15. CHAPTER 9 The Frankish Imprint
    (pp. 200-230)

    Before he left the Holy Land in May 1241, Richard, earl of Cornwall, had made the rebuilding of the fortifications of Ascalon his greatest priority. Having agreed a truce with as-Salih, the Egyptian sultan, he was anxious to ensure that the town was now as secure as possible. In a letter of July 1241, he describes how at the time of writing ‘it is totally protected by a double wall with high towers and ramparts made of cut stone’, and that it lacked only a fosse for completion. Richard was proud of his efforts because he understood the central importance...

  16. CHAPTER 10 King Amalric
    (pp. 231-261)

    Theodora was seventeen years old when Baldwin died. She had borne him no children, even though they had been married for over four years.¹ Baldwin’s hereditary successor was therefore his brother, Amalric, and, indeed, the chronicle of Ernoul, an Old French version of the events of the 1170s and 1180s emanating from the Ibelin family circle, says that Baldwin had named his brother as his heir.² Even so, he did not command general acceptance. The succession, says William of Tyre, ‘was the occasion of much discord among the barons of the realm, who were variously affected by the change of...

  17. CHAPTER 11 The Disintegration of the Crusader States
    (pp. 262-288)

    According to Ibn al-Athir, Nur al-Din harboured a deep and justified mistrust of Saladin. By late 1171, it had become evident that Saladin was reluctant to commit himself to joint attacks on the Franks because he feared that if they were victorious there would be nothing to prevent Nur al-Din establishing his authority in Egypt. After Saladin’s withdrawal from the siege of Montréal in October 1171, Nur al-Din ‘resolved to enter Egypt and expel him’. When Saladin became aware of this he held a family conference during which his nephew, Taqi al-Din, expressed the view that any such move should...

  18. CHAPTER 12 The Battle of Hattin and its Consequences
    (pp. 289-323)

    When Patriarch Eraclius returned to Jerusalem in July 1185, he cannot have been surprised to learn of the death of Baldwin IV. The exact date is not known, but the king had been dead for at least three months by the time he arrived.¹ According to Roger of Howden, the patriarch had hoped that he would be able to bring back the king of England, or one of his sons, or ‘some other man of great authority’, but he had achieved none of these things, and he had left Vaudreuil ‘grieving and confounded’.²

    In Jerusalem, Eraclius found a new regime...

  19. CHAPTER 13 The Third Crusade
    (pp. 324-355)

    After Saladin had taken Latakia on 22 July 1188, Margaritus of Brindisi, commander of the Sicilian fleet which lay off the coast, requested a safe-conduct. ‘Imad al-Din must have been present when he came ashore.

    Having obtained it, he arrived, presented himself in a humble and suppliant attitude and, after a moment of reflection and meditation, expressed himself as follows. ‘You are a great sultan, a generous king, your justice is known to all, your merit is spread afar, your power is redoubtable, manifest is your goodness. If you pardon the fearful people who live along these shores, if you...

  20. Conclusion
    (pp. 356-357)

    The establishment and maintenance of the crusader states in the littoral of Syria and Palestine and, more briefly, inland beyond the Euphrates was one of the most extraordinary achievements of the high middle ages. Until the battle of Hattin in July 1187, the fall of these states was not inevitable, despite the loss of Edessa in 1144 and the evident internal conflicts and external dangers. The very capable leaders of the first generation of settlers overcame the huge problems that faced them and struggled hard to put down roots in an often hostile environment, and their successors built on their...

  21. Chronology
    (pp. 358-366)
  22. Abbreviations
    (pp. 367-368)
  23. Notes
    (pp. 369-432)
  24. Further Reading
    (pp. 433-433)
  25. Bibliography
    (pp. 434-450)
  26. Index
    (pp. 451-476)