Dagobert of Pisa

Last updated
Bohemund and Dagobert, sailing for Apulia, in a ship flying the cross of St George Bohemond daimbert.jpg
Bohemund and Dagobert, sailing for Apulia, in a ship flying the cross of St George

Dagobert (or Daibert or Daimbert) (died 1105) was the first Archbishop of Pisa and the second Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem after the city was captured in the First Crusade.


Early life

Little is known of Dagobert's early life, but he is thought to have originally been ordained by Wezilo, [1] Archbishop of Mainz 1084-88, a leading supporter of the emperor in the Investiture Controversy and of the Antipope Clement III. [2] In 1085, Wezilo was excommunicated for simony by the pro-papal synod of Quedlinburg. Dagobert's own name places his origin in Lombardy/Emilia, site of some staunchly imperial cities. [3]

(Arch)bishop of Pisa

By the late 1080s Dagobert had changed sides, becoming close to Countess Matilda of Tuscany, one of the papacy's staunchest supporters. Pope Urban II cancelled Dagobert's irregular ordination and replaced it with a canonical one, and in 1088 made him Bishop of Pisa. Initially, the appointment of a man with such a controversial past attracted hostility. Peter, Bishop of Pistoia, protested to the pope, and the cathedral chapter opposed it, but Urban's continued support allowed Dagobert to establish his authority. He played an active role in Pisa's civic life, for example joining with other notables in 1090 to regulate the maximum height of houses, and by 1092 the clergy were signing his documents. He seems to have become a well-respected figure in Pisa's political and economic life, adopting a practical approach to the problems he faced both in Pisa and later in his career. He remained close to Urban and Matilda, and in 1092 Urban raised the see to an archbishopric on Matilda's recommendation. [4]

Dagobert spent Christmas of 1094 with Pope Urban, and then accompanied him on his pastoral tour of Italy and France, including the Council of Piacenza, held to reassert the pope's authority after the Investiture Controversy, and the Council of Clermont, at which the pope launched the First Crusade. Dagobert then returned to Pisa to preach the crusade, and received enthusiastic support. [5] In 1098 Urban appointed him legate at the court of King Alfonso VI of Castile, and he proved competent in his organisation of the church in the lands recently conquered from the Moors, although he was rumoured to have kept for himself some treasure sent by King Alfonso to the Pope.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Before the end of 1098 Dagobert set out for the east with a lawless Pisan fleet, which made successful raids on Byzantine owned islands and skirmished with the Byzantine navy, before going on to Syria. [6] One of the Crusader leaders, Bohemond of Antioch, was besieging the Byzantine port of Latakia, and Dagobert and the Pisans agreed to help by blockading the port from the sea. However, the other Crusader leaders, who saw the necessity for cooperation with the Byzantine Emperor and eastern Christians, were horrified and persuaded Dagobert to call off the blockade. Bohemund was forced to abandon the siege, and accompanied Dagobert to Jerusalem, arriving on 21 December 1099. [7]

Dagobert's status when he went east is unclear. Many historians believe that Urban had appointed him apostolic legate to the crusade in succession to Adhemar of Le Puy, who died on 1 August 1098. However, Urban himself died on 29 July 1099, and in a letter to the new pope, Paschal II, in September 1099, Dagobert styles himself simply 'archbishop of Pisa'. [8]

Immediately after Christmas, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Arnulf of Chocques, was deposed on the ground that his election had been uncanonical, and with Bohemund's support, Dagobert was elected in his place. Public opinion had always held that the Holy Land should be the patrimony of the church, but Arnulf had been too weak to establish supremacy. Dagobert's position was stronger, as he was (probably) papal legate and had the support of the Pisan fleet. Immediately after his enthronement, Godfrey of Bouillon knelt before him and was invested with the territory of Jerusalem, and Bohemund did the same for Antioch. Baldwin, the future King of Jerusalem, was at this time Lord of Edessa, but he did not pay homage for it to Dagobert, and their relations do not seem to have been good. [9]

Dagobert was anxious to establish the patriarch's power, and he demanded that Godfrey hand over Jerusalem to him. Godfrey partly yielded, and at a ceremony on Easter Day, 1 April 1100, he announced that he would retain possession until his death, or until he conquered two great cities from the infidel, but he bequeathed Jerusalem to the Patriarch. However, Godfrey died in July, when Dagobert was accompanying a campaign against Jaffa under Bohemund's nephew, Tancred, Prince of Galilee, and the Jerusalem knights offered the lordship to Baldwin, who was Godfrey's brother. With the support of Tancred, Dagobert wrote offering the lordship of Jerusalem to Bohemund, but the letter was intercepted and Bohemund was captured by the Turks. [10]

Holy Sepulchre Church, Pisa Chiesa del santo sepolcro, pisa, 01.JPG
Holy Sepulchre Church, Pisa

On 11 November, Baldwin assumed the title King of Jerusalem. Dagobert was forced to accept defeat, and Baldwin, bearing in mind his influence over the Pisan fleet, confirmed him in his see. On Christmas Day 1100, Baldwin paid homage to the Patriarch and was crowned as king. [11] The arrival of a Genoese squadron in April 1101 weakened Dagobert's position, as Baldwin no longer depended for sea power on the Pisan fleet. He needed to control the church, as he was always short of money, and pious symphasisers gave their donations to the church. Complaints had been made about the legality of Dagobert's appointment, and when the pope sent a legate, Maurice, Cardinal-Bishop of Porto, to enquire into the situation, Baldwin accused Dagobert of treachery for urging Bohemond to oppose Baldwin's succession. Dagobert bribed Baldwin to drop the complaint. However, in the autumn Dagobert kept the whole of a donation partly intended for the king for his army, and for this the legate deprived him of his position.

Tancred, who now ruled Antioch, welcomed Dagobert to the city, where he put the Church of St George at his disposal. Maurice died in the spring of 1102, and when Baldwin needed Tancred's military help in the autumn, Tancred insisted on Dagobert's restoration as a condition of his assistance. Baldwin agreed, but then a new legate arrived, Cardinal Robert of Paris. Baldwin and Arnulf of Chocques, whom Dagobert had replaced as Patriarch, engineered further charges before a synod under Robert. He was charged with attacking fellow-Christians in his raids on Byzantine islands on his journey to the east, of conspiring to provoke a civil war between Bohemond and Baldwin, and keeping for himself money given for the welfare of pilgrims, and deposed as Patriarch. Tancred again welcomed him to Antioch but did not further press his claim. In Steven Runciman's view, he had shown himself a corrupt and miserly old man, and his departure was not regretted. [12]

Dagobert later went to appeal to Pope Paschal personally. The appeal was successful, and Dagobert was on his way back to reclaim the patriarchate when he died in Messina in Sicily in 1105. [13] [14] Dagobert was replaced during his absence by a priest called Ehremar, [15] and Ghibbelin of Arles succeeded on Dagobert's death. He was succeeded as Archbishop of Pisa by Pietro Moriconi, who may have been elected by the Pisans before Dagobert's death, suggesting that he might have lost support after his long - and pluralistic - absence, but charters in the cathedral archives show that his actions during his tenure were later repeatedly cited and confirmed. [16]


Historians have generally been highly critical of Dagobert's conduct in the Holy Land. Steven Runciman in his history of the First Crusade, describes him as vigorous, but vain, ambitious, dishonest and easily influenced. [17] In a 1998 study Michael Matzke defended Dagobert, arguing that his actions as patriarch were motivated by religious idealism, and that he was trying to carry out the intentions of Pope Urban. Historians have strongly disagreed whether this rehabilitation is convincing. Patricia Skinner, in her survey of Dagobert's career, accepts that he acted against canon law, but argues that in the exceptional circumstances of the time, he had to act pragmatically. [18]

The name of the Holy Sepulchre church in Pisa is a reference to Dagobert's participation to the Crusade.

Related Research Articles

1099 Calendar year

Year 1099 (MXCIX) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar.

First Crusade Crusade from 1095 to 1099 that captured Jerusalem and established the Crusader States

The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The initial objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Islamic rule. These campaigns were subsequently given the name crusades. The earliest initiative for the First Crusade began in 1095 when the Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I Komnenos, requested military support from the Council of Piacenza in the Byzantine Empire's conflict with the Seljuk-led Turks. This was followed later in the year by the Council of Clermont, during which Pope Urban II supported the Byzantine request for military assistance and also urged faithful Christians to undertake an armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Baldwin I of Jerusalem first count of Edessa (r.1098–1100) and first king of Jerusalem (r. 1100–1118)

Baldwin I also known as Baldwin of Boulogne, was the first count of Edessa from 1098 to 1100, and the first king of Jerusalem from 1100 to his death. Being the youngest son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida of Lorraine, he was destined for a church career, but he abandoned it and married a Norman noblewoman, Godehilde of Tosny. He received the County of Verdun in 1096, but he soon joined the crusader army of his brother Godfrey of Bouillon and became one of the most successful commanders of the First Crusade.

Godfrey of Bouillon French noble, a leader of the First Crusade and first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1060-1100)

Godfrey of Bouillon was a French nobleman and one of the pre-eminent leaders of the First Crusade. He was the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1100. He apparently avoided using the title of king, choosing instead that of princeps. Older scholarship is more fond of another title, that of "advocatus of the Holy Sepulchre", a secondary title probably used by Godfrey, which is still also preferred by the Catholic Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Bohemond I was the Prince of Taranto from 1089 to 1111 and the Prince of Antioch from 1098 to 1111. He was a leader of the First Crusade, which was governed by a committee of nobles. The Norman monarchy he founded in Antioch arguably outlasted those of England and of Sicily.

Bohemond II was Prince of Taranto from 1111 to 1128 and Prince of Antioch from 1111/1119 to 1130. He was the son of Bohemond I, who in 1108 was forced to submit to the authority of the Byzantine Empire in the Treaty of Devol. Three years later, the infant Bohemond inherited the Principality of Taranto under the guardianship of his mother, Constance of France. The Principality of Antioch was administered by his father's nephew, Tancred, until 1111. Tancred's cousin, Roger of Salerno, managed the principality from 1111 to 1119. After Roger died in the Battle of the Field of Blood, Baldwin II of Jerusalem took over the administration of Antioch. However, he did acknowledge Bohemond's right to personally rule the principality upon reaching the age of majority.

Baldwin II of Jerusalem Count of Edessa (r. 1100-1118) and King of Jerusalem (r. 1118-1131)

Baldwin II, also known as Baldwin of Bourcq or Bourg, was Count of Edessa from 1100 to 1118, and King of Jerusalem from 1118 until his death. He accompanied Godfrey of Bouillon, and Baldwin of Boulogne, to the Holy Land during the First Crusade. He succeeded Baldwin of Boulogne as the second count of Edessa when he left the county for Jerusalem following his brother's death. He was captured at the Battle of Harran in 1104. He was held first by Sökmen of Mardin, then by Jikirmish of Mosul, and finally by Jawali Saqawa. During his captivity, Tancred, the Crusader ruler of the Principality of Antioch, and Tancred's cousin, Richard of Salerno, governed Edessa as Baldwin's regents.

Principality of Antioch

The Principality of Antioch was one of the crusader states created during the First Crusade which included parts of modern-day Turkey and Syria. The principality was much smaller than the County of Edessa or the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It extended around the northeastern edge of the Mediterranean, bordering the County of Tripoli to the south, Edessa to the east, and the Byzantine Empire or the Kingdom of Armenia to the northwest, depending on the date.

Arnulf of Chocques was a leading member of the clergy during the First Crusade, being made Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1099 and again from 1112 to 1118. Sometimes referred to as Arnulf of Rœulx, presumably after the village of Rœulx some 70km from his home village of Chocques, he was given the nickname Malecorne, meaning badly tonsured.

Robert II, Count of Flanders Count of Flanders

Robert II was Count of Flanders from 1093 to 1111. He became known as Robert of Jerusalem or Robert the Crusader after his exploits in the First Crusade.

Pons, Count of Tripoli

Pons was count of Tripoli from 1112 to 1137. He was a minor when his father, Bertrand, died in 1112. He swore fealty to the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos in the presence of a Byzantine embassy. His advisors sent him to Antioch to be educated in the court of Tancred of Antioch, ending the hostilities between the two crusader states. Tancred granted four important fortresses to Pons in the Principality of Antioch. Since Pons held his inherited lands in fief of the kings of Jerusalem, Tancred's grant strengthened the autonomy of the County of Tripoli. On his deathbed, Tancred also arranged the marriage of his wife, Cecile of France, to Pons.

The Treaty of Devol was an agreement made in 1108 between Bohemond I of Antioch and Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, in the wake of the First Crusade. It is named after the Byzantine fortress of Devol. Although the treaty was not immediately enforced, it was intended to make the Principality of Antioch a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire.

The Battle of Harran took place on May 7, 1104 between the Crusader states of the Principality of Antioch and the County of Edessa, and the Seljuk Turks. It was the first major battle against the newfound Crusader states in the aftermath of the First Crusade, marking a key turning point against Frankish expansion. The battle had a disastrous effect on the Principality of Antioch as the Turks regained territory earlier lost.

Ghibbelin of Sabran was Archbishop of Arles (1080–1112), papal legate (1107–1108), and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (1108–1112).

Manuel Boutoumites or Butumites was a leading Byzantine general and diplomat during the reign of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, and one of the emperor's most trusted aides. He was instrumental in the Byzantine recovery of Nicaea from the Seljuk Turks, in the reconquest of Cilicia, and acted as the emperor's envoy in several missions to Crusader princes.


Ehremar or Ebramar or Evremar was Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1102 to 1105 or 1107, and then Archbishop of Caesarea.

March from Antioch to Jerusalem during the First Crusade

The First Crusade march down the Mediterranean coast, from recently taken Antioch to Jerusalem, started on 13 January 1099. During the march the Crusaders encountered little resistance, as local rulers preferred to make peace with them and furnish them with supplies rather than fight, with a notable exception of the aborted siege of Arqa. On 7 June, the Crusaders reached Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Seljuks by the Fatimids only the year before.

Geldemar Carpenel (Waldemar), of unknown parentage. Lord of Dargoire, Lord of Haifa (Calphas).

The following is an overview of the armies of First Crusade, including the armies of the European noblemen of the "Princes' Crusade", the Byzantine army, a number of independent crusaders as well as the preceding People’s Crusade and the subsequent Crusade of 1101 and other European campaigns prior to the Second Crusade beginning in 1147.

Timeline of the Principality of Antioch

The timeline of the Principality of Antioch is a chronological list of events of the history of the Principality of Antioch.


  1. Skinner (2009) , p. 158
  2. Catholic Encyclopedia, Mainz
  3. Skinner (2009) , pp. 158–159
  4. Skinner (2009) , pp. 157–162
  5. Skinner (2009) , p. 162
  6. Runciman (1951) , pp. 299–300
  7. Runciman (1951) , pp. 300–303
  8. Skinner (2009) , pp. 163–164
  9. Runciman (1951) , pp. 305–307
  10. Runciman (1951) , pp. 311–323
  11. Runciman (1951) , pp. 325–326
  12. Runciman (1952) , pp. 35–36, 42, 73, 81–83
  13. Skinner (2009) , pp. 164–167
  14. Runciman stated that he died in 1107, based on William of Tyre. Rowe, following Emil Hampel and in turn followed by Skinner, argued that the correct date was 1105, based on the Gesta triumphalia per pisanos facta.
  15. Runciman (1952) , pp. 83–84
  16. Skinner (2009) , pp. 167–170
  17. Runciman (1951) , pp. 289, 299
  18. Skinner (2009) , pp. 156–157, 172


  • Rowe, John Gordon (1957). "Paschal II and the Relation between the Spiritual and Temporal Powers in the Kingdom of Jerusalem". Speculum . 32 (3): 470–501. doi:10.2307/2849891. JSTOR   2849891. S2CID   161656999.
  • Runciman, Steven (1951). The First Crusade. A History of the Crusades. 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Runciman, Steven (1952). The Kingdom of Jerusalem. A History of the Crusades. 2. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Skinner, Patricia (2009). "From Pisa to the Patriarchate: chapters in the life of (Arch)bishop Daibert". In Patricia Skinner (ed.). Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter. Brepols. ISBN   978-2-503-52359-0.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Gerard or Gerardus (died 1085)
Bishop of Pisa
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Archbishop of Pisa
Succeeded by
Pietro Moriconi
Preceded by
Arnulf of Chocques
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Succeeded by
Ghibbelin of Arles