|Godfrey of Bouillon|
|Ruler of Jerusalem|
|Ruler of Jerusalem|
|Reign||22 July 1099 – 18 July 1100|
|Duke of Lower Lorraine|
Boulogne, County of Flanders
|Died||18 July 1100 (aged 39–40)|
Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem
|House||House of Flanders|
|Father||Eustace II of Boulogne|
|Mother||Ida of Lorraine|
Godfrey of Bouillon (French : Godefroy, Dutch : Godfried, German : Gottfried, Latin : Godefridus Bullionensis; 18 September 1060 – 18 July 1100) was a French nobleman and pre-eminent leader of the First Crusade. First ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1100, he avoided the title of king, preferring that of prince (princeps) and Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, or Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre. Second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, Godfrey became Lord of Bouillon in 1076 and in 1087 Emperor Henry IV confirmed him as Duke of Lower Lorraine, a reward for his support during the Great Saxon Revolt.
Along with his brothers Eustace III and Baldwin of Boulogne, Godfrey joined the First Crusade in 1096. He took part in actions at Nicaea, Dorylaeum and Antioch, before playing a key role during the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. When Raymond IV of Toulouse declined the offer to become ruler of the new kingdom, Godfrey accepted the role and secured his kingdom by defeating the Fatimids at Ascalon a month later, bringing the First Crusade to an end. He died in July 1100 and was succeeded by his brother Baldwin as king of Jerusalem.
Godfrey of Bouillon was born around 1060, second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida, daughter of the Lotharingian duke Godfrey the Bearded and his first wife, Doda.He was probably born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, although one 13th-century chronicler cites Baisy, a town in what is now Walloon Brabant, Belgium. As second son, he had fewer opportunities than his older brother. However his maternal uncle, Godfrey the Hunchback, died childless and named his nephew, Godfrey of Bouillon, as his heir and next in line to his Duchy of Lower Lorraine. This duchy was an important one at the time, serving as a buffer between the kingdom of France and the German lands.
In fact, Lower Lorraine was so important to the Holy Roman Empire that in 1076 Henry IV, then King of the Romans and future emperor (reigned 1084–1105), decided to place it in the hands of his own son and give Godfrey only Bouillon and the Margraviate of Antwerp, allegedly as a test of his loyalty. Godfrey supported Henry even during his struggle with Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy. Godfrey fought alongside Henry and his forces against Rudolf of Swabia and in Italy when Henry captured Rome itself away from the Pope.
A major test of Godfrey's leadership skills was shown in his battles to defend his inheritance against a significant array of enemies. In 1076 he had succeeded as designated heir to the Lotharingian lands of his uncle, Godfrey the Hunchback, and Godfrey was struggling to maintain control over the lands that Henry IV had not taken away from him. Claims were raised by his aunt Margravine Matilda of Tuscany, cousin Count Albert III of Namur, and Count Theoderic of Veluwe. This coalition was joined by Bishop Theoderic of Verdun, and two minor counts attempting to share in the spoils, Waleran I of Limburg and Arnold I of Chiny.
As these enemies tried to take away portions of his land, Godfrey's brothers, Eustace and Baldwin, both came to his aid. Following these long struggles and proving that he was a loyal subject to Henry IV, Godfrey finally won back his duchy of Lower Lorraine in 1087. Still, Godfrey's influence in the German kingdom would have been minimal if it had not been for his major role in the First Crusade.
In 1095 Pope Urban II called for military action in order to liberate Jerusalem and aid the Byzantine Empire, which in the years since 1071 had lost large swathes of territory to the Seljuk Empire. Godfrey either sold or mortgaged most of his estates to the bishops of Liège and Verdun and used the money to recruit an army of Crusaders. He was joined by his older brother, Eustace, and his younger brother, Baldwin, who had no lands in Europe and was seeking them in the Holy Land. Others did the same, the largest being that raised by Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, who at 55 was the oldest and most experienced of the Crusader nobles. As a result, he expected to lead the expedition, a claim boosted by the presence of Adhemar of Le Puy, the papal legate who travelled with him. Significant forces also accompanied Bohemond of Taranto, a Norman knight from southern Italy, and Robert II, Count of Flanders.
Following advice provided by Pope Urban, most of these armies set out in mid-summer and headed for Constantinople where they could expect assistance from Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.Each travelled separately, since it was impossible for one region to feed and supply such large numbers on their own; the first to leave in spring 1096 was what became known as the People's Crusade, an army of 20,000 low ranking knights and peasants which journeyed through the Rhineland, then headed for Hungary. Most of those from southern and northern France sailed from Brindisi across the Adriatic Sea, while Godfrey and his two brothers, leading an army from Lorraine reportedly 40,000 strong, set out in August 1096 following the route taken by the People's Crusade.
Pope Urban II's call for the crusade spurred a wave of antisemitism across Europe, beginning with Rouen in December 1095. In the spring and early summer of 1096, members of the People's Crusade plundered and massacred Jewish communities during the Rhineland massacres.In reference to Godfrey, a Hebrew text known as the Solomon bar Simson Chronicle, apparently written 50 years later, claims "Duke Godfrey, may his bones be ground to dust, ...vowed...to avenge the blood of the crucified one by shedding Jewish blood and completely eradicating any trace of those bearing the name 'Jew'". After being notified of this threat by the Jewish leader in Mainz, Emperor Henry prohibited Godfrey from carrying it out. Simson records that after the Jewish communities in Mainz and Cologne each paid him 500 marks, Godfrey "assured them of his support and promised them peace".
After the People's Crusade entered Hungary in June, a series of incidents had culminated in a full-scale battle with their hosts and the deaths of over 10,000 Crusaders; as a result, when Godfrey and his troops approached the border in September, it took several days of negotiations before they were allowed in.He finally reached Constantinople in November, shortly after those led by Hugh of Vermandois while others arrived over the next few months. Unlike the limited numbers he had anticipated, by May 1097 Alexios found himself with over 4,000 to 8,000 mounted knights and 25,000 to 55,000 infantry camped on his doorstep. This mattered because the two sides had different goals; Alexius simply wanted help in retaking Byzantine lands lost to the Seljuk Turks, while the Crusaders sought to "liberate" the Holy Land from "infidels" and establish themselves as rulers. When Alexios demanded an oath of loyalty, Godfrey and most of the Crusaders agreed a modified version in which they promised to restore some lands to the Emperor, Raymond of Toulouse being a notable exception.
In February 1097, Godfrey and his army crossed the Bosporus Straits, where he was joined by Bohemund, Robert of Flanders and Hugh of Vermandois.Accompanied by Byzantine soldiers, in early May the Crusaders invested Nicaea, a city close to Constantinople captured by the Turks in 1085. Godfrey and his troops played a minor role, with Bohemond successfully commanding much of the action but as the Crusaders were about to storm the city, they noticed the Byzantine flag flying from the top of the walls. Wanting to minimise damage to what was an important Byzantine city and suspecting the Crusaders would demand a heavy ransom for handing it over, Alexios had made a separate peace with the Turkish garrison. Although the majority of the Crusader leaders accepted Alexios' right to do so, it was an illustration of the level of mutual suspicion between the two sides.
Godfrey continued to play a minor, but important, role in the battles against the Seljuks until the Crusaders finally reached Jerusalem in 1099. At Dorylaeum in July 1097, he helped relieve the vanguard at Dorylaeum which had been pinned down by a Turkish force under Kilij Arslan I, then sacked their camp. After this battle and during the trek through Asia Minor, some sources suggest that Godfrey was attacked by a bear and received a serious wound which incapacitated him for a time.
Godfrey also took part in the Siege of Antioch, which began in October 1097 and did not surrender until June 1098 after long and bitter fighting. During the winter, the crusading army came close to starvation and many returned to Europe, while Alexios assumed all was lost at Antioch and failed to provide them with supplies as promised. When the city finally fell, Bohemond claimed it for himself and refused to hand it over to the Emperor citing the Emperors failure to help the crusaders at Antioch as breaking the oath; after repulsing a Muslim force from Mosul led by Kerbogha, Antioch was secured.
After this victory, the Crusaders were divided over their next course of action. The bishop of Le Puy had died at Antioch. Bohemond decided to remain behind in order to secure his new principality; and Godfrey's younger brother, Baldwin, also decided to stay in the north in the Crusader state he had established at Edessa. Most of the foot soldiers wanted to continue south to Jerusalem, but Raymond IV of Toulouse, by this time the most powerful of the princes, having taken others into his employ, such as Tancred, hesitated to continue the march. After months of waiting, the common people on the crusade forced Raymond to march on to Jerusalem, and Godfrey quickly joined him. As they travelled south into Palestine, the Crusaders faced a new enemy. No longer were the Seljuk Turks the rulers of these lands. Now the Christian army had to deal with armies of North African Muslims called Fatimids, who had adopted the name of the ruling family in Cairo, Egypt. The Fatimids had taken Jerusalem in August 1098. The Crusaders would be battling them for the final prize of the First Crusade in the siege of Jerusalem.
It was in Jerusalem that the legend of Godfrey of Bouillon was born. The army reached the city in June 1099 and built a wooden siege tower (from lumber provided by some Italian sailors who intentionally scrapped their ships) to get over the walls. The major attack took place on July 14 and 15, 1099. Godfrey and some of his knights were the first to take the walls and enter the city. It was an end to three years of fighting by the Crusaders, but they had finally achieved what they had set out to do in 1096—to recapture the Holy Land and, in particular, the city of Jerusalem and its holy sites, such as the Holy Sepulchre, the empty tomb of Jesus Christ. Godfrey endowed the hospital in the Muristan after the First Crusade.
Once the city was returned to Christian rule, some form of government had to be set up. On 22 July 1099, a council was held in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and after Raymond of Toulouse had refused the crown, Godfrey agreed to become ruler.However, he preferred Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre to that of king, allegedly refusing to "wear a crown of gold where his Saviour had worn a crown of thorns. Both the meaning and usage of his title is disputed. Some of the original chroniclers used the more ambiguous term princeps, or his previous rank of duke. Later chroniclers who did not participate in the First Crusade suggest he took the title of rex, or king".
During his short reign, Godfrey had to defend the new kingdom against the Fatimids of Egypt, who were defeated at the Battle of Ascalon in August. He also faced opposition from Dagobert of Pisa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, who was allied with Tancred. Although the Latins came close to capturing Ascalon, Godfrey's attempts to prevent Raymond of St. Gilles from securing the city for himself meant that the town remained in Muslim hands, destined to be a thorn in the new kingdom's side for years to come.
In 1100, Godfrey was unable to directly expand his new territories through conquest. However, his impressive victory in 1099 and his subsequent campaigning in 1100 meant that he was able to force Acre, Ascalon, Arsuf, Jaffa, and Caesarea to become tributaries. Meanwhile, the struggle with Dagobert continued, although the terms of the conflict are difficult to trace. Dagobert may well have envisaged turning Jerusalem into a fiefdom of the pope, but his full intentions are not clear. Much of the evidence for this comes from William of Tyre, whose account of these events is troublesome; it is only William who tells us that Dagobert forced Godfrey to concede Jerusalem and Jaffa, while other writers such as Albert of Aachen and Ralph of Caen suggest that both Dagobert and his ally Tancred had sworn an oath to Godfrey to accept only one of his brothers or blood relations as his successor. Whatever Dagobert's schemes, they were destined to come to naught. Being at Haifa at the time of Godfrey's death, he could do nothing to stop Godfrey's supporters, led by Warner of Grez, from seizing Jerusalem and demanding that Godfrey's brother Baldwin should succeed to the rule. Dagobert was subsequently forced to crown Baldwin as the first Latin king of Jerusalem on 25 December 1100.
The Arab chronicler Ibn al-Qalanisi reported that "In this year , Godfrey, lord of Jerusalem, appeared before the fortified port of 'Akkā [Acre] and made an assault upon it, but was struck by an arrow, which killed him".While this claim is repeated in other Muslim sources, it does not appear in Christian chronicles; Albert of Aix and Ekkehard of Aura suggest Godfrey fell ill while visiting Caesarea in June 1100 and died in Jerusalem on 18 July.
Suggestions he was poisoned are unlikely and it is more probable he died from a disease similar to typhoid. Godfrey never married.
According to William of Tyre, the later 12th-century chronicler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Godfrey was "tall of stature, not extremely so, but still taller than the average man. He was strong beyond compare, with solidly-built limbs and a stalwart chest. His features were pleasing, his beard and hair of medium blond."
As the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and one of those who had taken part in its capture, Godfrey was idealized in later accounts. He was depicted as the military leader of the crusade, a legislator who established the assizes of Jerusalem, and in the early 14th century was selected as one of the Nine Worthies, a pantheon of famous warriors thought to epitomise chivalric ideals.In reality, Godfrey was only one of several leaders of the crusade, which also included Raymond IV of Toulouse, Bohemond of Taranto, Robert of Flanders, Stephen of Blois and Baldwin of Boulogne to name a few, along with papal legate Adhemar of Montiel, Bishop of Le Puy. Baldwin I of Jerusalem, Godfrey's younger brother, became the first titled king when he succeeded Godfrey in 1100. The assizes were the result of a gradual development.
Godfrey's role in the crusade was described by various authors, including Raymond of Aguilers and Albert of Aix, anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum . In fiction, he was the hero of the "Crusade cycle", a collection of French chansons de geste dealing with the First Crusade, which connected him to the legend of the Knight of the Swan,most famous today as the storyline of Wagner's opera Lohengrin .
By William of Tyre's time later in the 12th century, Godfrey was already a legend among the descendants of the original crusaders. Godfrey was believed to have possessed immense physical strength; it was said that in Cilicia he wrestled a bear and won, and that he once beheaded a camel with one blow of his sword.
Since the mid-19th century, an equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon has stood in the centre of the Place Royale/Koningsplein in Brussels, Belgium. It was made by Eugène Simonis, and inaugurated on 24 August 1848.
Godfrey is a key figure in the pseudohistorical theories put forth in the books The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code .
In 2005 Godfrey came in 17th place in the French language Le plus grand Belge , a public vote of national heroes in Belgium. He did not make the 100 greatest Belgians, as voted by the Dutch speakers in De Grootste Belg (the Greatest Belgian).
|Godfrey's relation to the rulers of Lorraine, Boulogne, Tuscany, and Rome|
Year 1099 (MXCIX) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar.
Eustace III was the count of Boulogne from 1087 succeeding his father, Eustace II. He joined the First Crusade, being present at Nicaea, Dorylaeum, Antioch, and Jerusalem. After fighting in the battle of Ascalon, he returned home. Initially offered the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Eustace was at Apulia when he received news of Baldwin of Bourcq's election to the throne. On his return to Boulogne, he founded a Cluniac monastery in Rumilly, retired as a monk, and died in 1125.
The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Islamic rule. While Jerusalem had been under Muslim rule for hundreds of years, by the 11th century the Seljuk takeover of the region threatened local Christian populations, pilgrimages from the West, and the Byzantine Empire itself. The earliest initiative for the First Crusade began in 1095 when Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos requested military support from the Council of Piacenza in the 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, also known as Baldwin of Boulogne, was the first count of Edessa from 1098 to 1100, and king of Jerusalem from 1100 to his death. He was the youngest son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida of Lorraine 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.
Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, sometimes called Raymond of Saint-Gilles or Raymond I of Tripoli, was a powerful noble in southern France and one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096–1099). He was the Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne and Margrave of Provence from 1094, and he spent the last five years of his life establishing the County of Tripoli in the Near East.
Bohemond I of Antioch, also known as Bohemond of Taranto, 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, leading a contingent of Normans on the quest eastward. Knowledgable about the Byzantine Empire through earlier campaigns with his father, he was the most experienced military leader of the crusade.
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 his cousins 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.
The Crusader States, also known as Outremer, were four Catholic realms in the Middle East that lasted from 1098 to 1291. These feudal polities were created by the Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade through conquest and political intrigue. The four states were the County of Edessa (1098–1150), the Principality of Antioch (1098–1287), the County of Tripoli (1102–1289), and the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099–1291). The Kingdom of Jerusalem covered what is now Israel and Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and adjacent areas. The other northern states covered what are now Syria, south-eastern Turkey, and Lebanon. The description "Crusader states" can be misleading, as from 1130 very few of the Frankish population were crusaders. The term Outremer, used by medieval and modern writers as a synonym, is derived from the French for overseas.
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.
Dagobert was the first Archbishop of Pisa and the second Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem after the city was captured in the First Crusade.
The siege of Jerusalem was waged by European forces of the First Crusade, resulting in the capture of the Holy City of Jerusalem from the Muslim Fatimid Caliphate, and laying the foundation for the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, which lasted almost two centuries. The capture of Jerusalem was the final major battle of the first of the Crusades to occupy the Holy Land begun in 1095. A number of eyewitness accounts of the siege were recorded, the most quoted being that from the anonymous Gesta Francorum. Upon the declaration of the secular state, Godfrey of Bouillon, prominent among the leaders of the crusades, was elected ruler, eschewing the title "king." The siege led to the mass slaughter of thousands of Muslims and Jews and to the conversion of Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount into Christian shrines.
The siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade in 1097 and 1098, on the crusaders' way to Jerusalem through Syria. Two sieges took place in succession. The first siege, by the crusaders against the city held by the Seljuk Empire, lasted from 20 October 1097 to 3 June 1098. The second siege, of the crusader-held city by a Seljuk relieving army, lasted three weeks in June 1098, leading to the Battle of Antioch in which the crusaders defeated the relieving army led by Kerbogha. The crusaders then established the Principality of Antioch, ruled by Bohemond of Taranto.
The siege of Nicaea was the first major battle of the First Crusade, taking place from 14 May to 19 June 1097. The city was under the control the Seljuk Turks who opted to surrender to the Byzantines in fear of the crusaders breaking into the city. The siege was followed by the Battle of Dorylaeum and the Siege of Antioch, all taking place in modern Turkey.
The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these Crusades are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were intended to recover Jerusalem and its surrounding area from Islamic rule. Beginning with the First Crusade, which resulted in the recovery of Jerusalem in 1099, dozens of Crusades were fought, providing a focal point of European history for centuries.
Hugh of Fauquembergues, also known as Hugh of St Omer, Hugh of Falkenberg, or Hugh of Falchenberg was Prince of Galilee from 1101 to his death. He was Lord of Fauquembergues before joining the First Crusade. Baldwin I of Jerusalem granted him Galilee after its first prince, Tancred, who was Baldwin's opponent, had voluntarily renounced it. Hugh assisted Baldwin against the Fatimids and made raids into Seljuk territories. He established the castles of Toron and Chastel Neuf. He died fighting against Toghtekin, Atabeg of Damascus.
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.
The army of Godfrey of Bouillon, the duke of Lower Lorraine, in response to the call by Pope Urban II to both liberate Jerusalem from Muslim forces and protect the Byzantine Empire from similar attacks. Godfrey and his army, one of several Frankish forces deployed during the First Crusade, was among the first to arrive in Constantinople. The army was unique in that it included among its warriors the first three kings of Jerusalem, although Godfrey preferred the title Defender of the Holy Sepulchre, Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, as he believed that the true King of Jerusalem was Christ. This article focuses on the members of the army rather that its exploits which are described in detail in Godfrey’s biography as well as numerous sources listed below.
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 People’s Crusade and the subsequent Crusade of 1101 and other European campaigns prior to the Second Crusade beginning in 1147.
The timeline of the Principality of Antioch is a chronological list of events of the history of the Principality of Antioch.
The title of Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, or Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre, has been ascribed to Godfrey of Bouillon in his role as the first Latin ruler of Jerusalem. In the aftermath of the First Crusade, there was disagreement among the clergy and secular leaders as the leadership of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. There was opposition to the naming of a king over the Holy City and the wearing of a crown in the city where Christ suffered with a crown of thorns. The original sources differ on the actual title assumed by Godfrey. However, it is generally accepted by most modern historians that, once Godfrey was selected to be leader, he declined to be crowned king instead taking the titles of prince (princeps) and advocate or defender of the Holy Sepulchre.