Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Jerusalem during his reign, is the primary authority for Baldwin's career. There is a monograph on Baldwin by Wolff (König Baldwin I. von Jerusalem), and his reign is sketched in R. Röhricht's Geschichte des Königreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898) C. i.-iv.

 (E. Br.) 

BALDWIN II., count of Edessa (1100-1118), king of Jerusalem (1118-1131), originally known as Baldwin de Burg, was a son of Count Hugh of Rethel, and a nephew of Godfrey of Bouillon and Baldwin I. He appears on the first crusade at Constantinople as one of Godfrey's men; and he helped Tancred to occupy Bethlehem in June 1099. After the capture of Jerusalem he served for a time with Bohemund at Antioch; but when Baldwin of Edessa became king of Jerusalem, he summoned Baldwin de Burg, and left him as count in Edessa. From Edessa Baldwin conducted continual forays against the Mahommedan princes; and in the great foray of 1104, in which he was joined by Bohemund, he was defeated and captured at Balich. Tancred became guardian of Edessa during Baldwin's captivity, and did not trouble himself greatly to procure his release. Baldwin, however, recovered his liberty at the beginning of 1108, and at once entered upon a struggle with Tancred for the recovery of Edessa. In September 1108 he regained his principality; but the struggle with Tancred continued, until it was composed by Baldwin in 1109. For the next ten years Baldwin ruled his principality with success, if not without severity. Planted in the farthest Christian outpost in northern Syria, he had to meet many attacks, especially from Mardin and Mosul, in revenge for the provocation offered by his own forays and those of the restless Tancred. In 1110 he was besieged in Edessa, and relieved by Baldwin I.; in 1114 he repelled an attack by Aksunkur of Mosul; in 1115 he helped to defeat Aksunkur at Danith. At the same time, if Matthew of Edessa may be trusted, he also carried his arms against the Armenians, and plundered in his avarice every Armenian of wealth and position. In 1118 he was on his way to spend Easter at Jerusalem, when he received the news of the death of Baldwin I.; and when he arrived at Jerusalem, he was made king, chiefly by the influence of the patriarch Arnulf. In a reign of thirteen years, Baldwin II. extended the kingdom of Jerusalem to its widest limits. His reign is marked by almost incessant fighting in northern Syria. In 1119, after the defeat and death of Roger of Antioch, he defeated the amirs of Mardin and Damascus at Danith; in subsequent years he extended his sway to the very gates of Aleppo. In 1123 he was captured by Balak of Mardin, and confined in Kharput with Joscelin, his successor in the county of Edessa, who had been captured in the previous year. During his captivity Eustace Graverius became regent of Jerusalem, and succeeded, with the aid of the Venetians, in repelling an Egyptian attack, and even in capturing Tyre, 1124. In 1124 Baldwin II. succeeded in securing his liberty, under conditions which he instantly broke; and he at once embarked on strenuous and not unsuccessful hostilities against Aleppo and Damascus (1124-1127), exacting tribute from both. During his reign he twice acted as regent in Antioch (1119, 1130), and in 1126 he married his daughter Alice to Bohemund II. In 1128 he offered the hand of his eldest daughter, Melisinda, to Fulk of Anjou, who had been recommended to him by Honorius II. In 1129 Fulk came and married Melisinda, and in 1131, on the death of Baldwin, he succeeded to the crown.

Baldwin II. had much of the churchmanship of Godfrey and Baldwin I.; but he appears most decidedly as an incessant warrior, under whom the Latin domination in the East stretched, as Ibn al-Athir writes, in a long line from Mardin in the North to el-Arish on the Red Sea—a line only broken by the Mahommedan powers of Aleppo, Hamah, Homs and Damascus. The Franks controlled the great routes of trade, and took tolls of the traders; and in 1130 their power may be regarded as having reached its height.

Literature.—Fulcher of Chartres narrates the reign of Baldwin II. down to 1127; for the rest of the reign the authority is William of Tyre. R. Röhricht, Geschichte des Königreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898), C. vii.-x., is the chief modern authority.

 (E. Br.) 

BALDWIN III., king of Jerusalem (1143-1162), was the eldest son of Fulk of Jerusalem by his wife Melisinda. He was born in 1130, and became king in 1143, under the regency of his mother, which lasted till 1152. He came to the throne at a time when the attacks of the Greeks in Cilicia, and of Zengi on Edessa, were fatally weakening the position of the Franks in northern Syria; and from the beginning of his reign the power of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem may be said to be slowly declining, though as yet there is little outward trace of its decay to be seen. Edessa was lost, however, in the year after Baldwin's accession, and the conquest by Zengi of this farthest and most important outpost in northern Syria was already a serious blow to the kingdom. Upon it in 1147 there followed the second crusade; and in that crusade Baldwin III., now some eighteen years of age, played his part by the side of Conrad III. and Louis VII. He received them in Jerusalem in 1148; with them he planned the attack on Damascus and with them he signally failed in the attack. In 1149, after the failure of the crusade, Baldwin III. appeared in Antioch, where the fall of Raymund, the husband of the princess Constance, made his presence necessary. He regulated affairs in Antioch, and tried to strengthen the north of Palestine generally against the arm of Zengi's successor, Nureddin, by renewing the old and politic alliance with Damascus interrupted since 1147, and by ceding Tellbashir, the one remnant of the county of Edessa, to Manuel of Constantinople. In 1152 came the inevitable struggle between the young king and his mother, who had ruled with wisdom and vigour during the regency and was unwilling to lay down the reins of power. Baldwin originally planned a solemn coronation, as the signal of his emancipation. Dissuaded from that course, he nevertheless wore his crown publicly in the church of the Sepulchre. A struggle followed: in the issue, Baldwin agreed to leave his mother in possession of Jerusalem and Nablus, while he retained Acre and Tyre for himself. But he repented of the bargain; and a new struggle began, in which Baldwin recovered, after some fighting, the possession of his capital. From these internal dissensions Baldwin was now summoned to the north, to regulate anew the affairs of Antioch and also those of Tripoli, where the death of Count Raymund had thrown on his shoulders the cares of a second regency. On his return to Jerusalem he was successful in repelling an attack by an army of Turcomans; and his success encouraged him to attempt the siege of Ascalon in the spring of 1153. He was successful: the “bride of Syria,” which had all but become the property of the crusaders in 1099, but had since defied the arms of the Franks for half a century, became part of the kingdom of Jerusalem. From 1156 to 1158 Baldwin was occupied in hostilities with Nureddin. In 1156 he had to submit to a treaty which cut short his territories; in the winter of 1157-1158 he besieged and captured Harim, in the territory once belonging to Antioch: in 1158 he defeated Nureddin himself. In the same year Baldwin married Theodora, a near relative of the East Roman emperor Manuel; while in 1159 he received a visit from Manuel himself at Antioch. The Latin king rode behind the Greek emperor, without any of the insignia of his dignity, at the entry into Antioch; but their relations were of the friendliest, and Manuel—as great a physician as he was a hunter—personally attended to Baldwin when the king was thrown from his horse in attempting to equal the emperor's feats of horsemanship. In the same year Baldwin had to undertake the regency in Antioch once more, Raynald of Chatillon, the second husband of Constance, being captured in battle. Three years later he died (1162), without male issue, and was succeeded by his brother Amalric I.

Baldwin III. was the first of the kings of Jerusalem who was a native of the soil of Palestine. His three predecessors had all been emigrants from the West. His reign also marks a new departure from another point of view. His predecessors had been men of a type half military, half clerical—at once hard fighters and sound churchmen. Baldwin was a man of a subtler type—a man capable of dealing with the intrigues of a court and with problems of law, and, as such, suited for guiding the middle age of the kingdom, which the different qualities of his predecessors had been equally suited to found. Like his brother, Amalric I., he was a clerkly and studious king versed