Raymond III in Jerusalem.
|Count of Tripoli|
|Regent|| Hodierna of Jerusalem (1152–1155)|
Amalric of Jerusalem (1164–1174)
|Died||1187 (aged 46–47)|
|Spouse||Eschiva of Bures|
|House||House of Toulouse|
|Father||Raymond II of Tripoli|
|Mother||Hodierna of Jerusalem|
Raymond III (1140 – September/October 1187) was count of Tripoli from 1152 to 1187. He was a minor when Assassins murdered his father, Raymond II of Tripoli. Baldwin III of Jerusalem, who was staying in Tripoli, made Raymond's mother, Hodierna of Jerusalem, regent. Raymond spent the following years in the royal court at Jerusalem. After he reached the age of majority in 1155, he participated in a series of military campaigns against Nur ad-Din, the Zengid ruler of Damascus. In 1161, he hired pirates to pillage the Byzantine coastline and islands to take vengeance of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos who had refused to marry his sister, Melisende.
The County of Tripoli (1109–1289) was the last of the Crusader states. It was founded in the Levant in the modern-day region of Tripoli, northern Lebanon and parts of western Syria which supported an indigenous population of Christians, Druze and Muslims. When the Christian Crusaders – mostly Frankish forces – captured the region in 1109, Bertrand of Toulouse became the first Count of Tripoli as a vassal of King Baldwin I of Jerusalem. From that time, the rule of the county was decided not strictly by inheritance but by factors such as military force, favour and negotiation. In 1289 the County of Tripoli fell to Sultan Qalawun of the Muslim Mamluks of Cairo. The county was absorbed into Mamluk Egypt.
Baldwin III was King of Jerusalem from 1143 to 1163. He was the eldest son of Melisende and Fulk of Jerusalem. He became king while still a child, and was at first overshadowed by his mother Melisende, whom he eventually defeated in a civil war. During his reign Jerusalem became more closely allied with the Byzantine Empire, and the Second Crusade tried and failed to conquer Damascus. Baldwin captured the important Egyptian fortress of Ascalon, but also had to deal with the increasing power of Nur ad-Din in Syria. He died childless and was succeeded by his brother Amalric.
Hodierna of Jerusalem was a Countess consort of Tripoli through her marriage to Raymond II of Tripoli, and regent of the County of Tripoli during the minority of her son from 1152 until 1155.
Raymond was captured in the Battle of Harim on 10 August 1164. He was held in prison in Aleppo for almost ten years. During his captivity, Amalric I of Jerusalem administered the county of Tripoli on his behalf. Raymond was released for a large ransom, for which he had to borrow money from the Knights Hospitaller and gave hostages to guarantee the payment of the arrears. His marriage to Eschiva of Bures made him prince of Galilee, and thus one of the wealthiest noblemen in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. After Amalric died in 1174, Raymond laid claim to the regency, emphasizing that he was the closest male relative of Amalric's minor son and successor, Baldwin IV. Although all bishops and many influential noblemen supported him, he was elected bailiff (or regent) only after lengthy debates. He remained neutral during the conflicts between Nur ed-Din's successors and his former commander, Saladin, which facilitated the unification of Egypt and a significant part of Syria under Saladin's rule. After Baldwin reached the age of majority in 1176, Raymond returned to Tripoli and launched a series of military campaigns against the Muslim territories, but with little success.
The Battle of Harim (Harenc) was fought on 12 August 1164 near Artah between the forces of Nur ad-Din Zangi and a combined army from the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, the Byzantine Empire and Armenia. Nur ad-Din won a crushing victory, capturing most of the leaders of the opposing army.
Aleppo is a city in Syria, serving as the capital of the Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 4.6 million in 2010, Aleppo was the largest Syrian city before the Syrian Civil War; however, now Aleppo is probably the second-largest city in Syria after the capital Damascus.
The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Order of Malta, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and Saint Petersburg.
Raymond and Bohemond III of Antioch unexpectedly marched to Jerusalem at the head of their armies before Easter 1180. Baldwin IV thought that they came to dethrone him. In fact, they only sought to diminish the influence of the king's mother, Agnes of Courtenay, and her brother, Joscelin III of Edessa, over the government, but their sudden arrival had the opposite effect. The king married her sister and heir, Sibylla, to Guy of Lusignan, who was the Courtenays' supporter. Raymond had to leave the kingdom and he could not return for more than two years. Relationship between Baldwin IV and Guy of Lusignan became tense. The dying king disinherited his sister in favor of her son, Baldwin V. Raymond's partisans also persuaded the king to make him bailiff for the child Baldwin V in 1185. Raymond's authority was limited, because Joscelin III of Edessa was made the child's guardian and all royal fortresses were put into the custody of the military orders.
Bohemond III of Antioch, also known as Bohemond the Child or the Stammerer, was Prince of Antioch from 1163 to 1201. He was the elder son of Constance of Antioch and her first husband, Raymond of Poitiers. Bohemond ascended to the throne after the Antiochene noblemen dethroned his mother with the assistance of Thoros II, Lord of Armenian Cilicia. He fell into captivity in the Battle of Artah in 1164, but the victorious Nur ad-Din, atabeg of Aleppo released him to avoid coming into conflict with the Byzantine Empire. Bohemond went to Constantinople to pay homage to Manuel I Komnenos, who persuaded him to install a Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Antioch. The Latin Patriarch of Antioch, Aimery of Limoges, placed Antioch under interdict. Bohemond restored Aimery only after the Greek patriarch died during an earthquake in 1170.
Agnes of Courtenay was Queen of Jerusalem as the wife of King Amalric I of Jerusalem. She was the daughter of Joscelin II of Courtenay by his wife Beatrice of Saone, and the mother of King Baldwin IV and Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem.
Sibylla was the Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon from 1176 and Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1190. She was the eldest daughter of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Agnes of Courtenay, sister of Baldwin IV and half-sister of Isabella I of Jerusalem, and mother of Baldwin V of Jerusalem. Her grandmother Melisende had provided an example of successful rule by a queen regnant earlier in the century.
After Baldwin V died in the summer of 1186, Raymond convoked the barons of the realm to an assembly to Nablus, which enabled Sibylla's supporters to take possession of Jerusalem. After Sybilla and Guy of Lusignan were crowned, Raymond tried to persuade her half-sister, Isabella and Isabella's husband, Humphrey IV of Toron, to claim the throne, but Humphrey swore fealty to Sybilla and Guy. Raymond refused to do homage to them and made an alliance with Saladin, allowing the sultan to cross Galilee during his campaigns against the Kingdom of Jerusalem and to place a garrison in Tiberias. Raymond was reconciled with Guy only after Saladin decided to launch a full-scale invasion against the crusaders in the summer of 1187. He was the commander of the vanguard of the crusaders' army in the Battle of Hattin, which ended with their catastrophic defeat. He was one of the few crusader commanders who were not killed or captured. He fled to Tyre, then to Tripoli where he died most probably of pleurisy, after bequeathing Tripoli to his godson, Raymond of Antioch.
Nablus is a city in the northern West Bank, approximately 49 kilometers (30 mi) north of Jerusalem,, with a population of 126,132. Located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center, containing the An-Najah National University, one of the largest Palestinian institutions of higher learning, and the Palestinian stock-exchange.
Isabella I was Queen regnant of Jerusalem from 1190 to her death. She was the daughter of Amalric I of Jerusalem and his second wife Maria Comnena. Her half-brother, Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, engaged her to Humphrey IV of Toron. Her mother's second husband, Balian of Ibelin, and his stepfather, Raynald of Châtillon, were influential members of the two baronial parties. The marriage of Isabella and Humphrey was celebrated in Kerak Castle in autumn 1183. Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt and Syria, laid siege to the fortress during the wedding, but Baldwin IV forced him to lift the siege.
Humphrey IV of Toron was a leading baron in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He inherited the Lordship of Toron from his grandfather, Humphrey II, in 1179. He was also heir to the Lordship of Oultrejourdan through his mother, Stephanie of Milly. In 1180, he renounced Toron on his engagement to Isabella, the half-sister of Baldwin IV of Jerusalem. The king, who had suffered from leprosy, allegedly wanted to prevent Humphrey from uniting two large fiefs. Humphrey married Isabella in Kerak Castle in autumn 1183. Saladin, the Ayyubbid sultan of Egypt and Syria, laid siege to Kerak during the wedding, but Baldwin IV and Raymond III of Tripoli relieved the fortress.
Born in 1140, Raymond was the only son of Raymond II of Tripoli and Hodierna of Jerusalem.He first witnessed a letter of grant of his father in 1151. The same document was also signed by his mother, who was an influential and active "political agent" of her age, similarly to her sisters, Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem, and Alice, Dowager Princess of Antioch. Her husband's jealousy gave rise to a scandalous matrimonial strife in the early 1150s. Melisende of Jerusalem personally came to Tripoli to mediate a reconciliation, but Hodierna decided to leave for Jerusalem. However, shortly after their leave, a band of Assassins attacked and murdered Raymond II at the southern gate of Tripoli.
Melisende was Queen of Jerusalem from 1131 to 1153, and regent for her son between 1153 and 1161 while he was on campaign. She was the eldest daughter of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, and the Armenian princess Morphia of Melitene.
Alice of Jerusalem was a Princess consort of Antioch by marriage to Bohemond II of Antioch. She engaged in a longlasting power struggle during the reign of her daughter Constance of Antioch.
Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometers north of the capital Beirut, it is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Tripoli overlooks the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and it is the northernmost seaport in Lebanon. It holds a string of four small islands offshore, and they are also the only islands in Lebanon. The Palm Islands were declared a protected area because of their status of haven for endangered loggerhead turtles, rare monk seals and migratory birds.
Melisende's son, Baldwin III of Jerusalem, who was staying in Tripoli when Raymond II was murdered, recalled the widowed Hodierna to the town.After the burial, Baldwin held an assembly where the nobles of the County of Tripoli paid homage to both Hodierna and her two minor children, Raymond and Melisende. When appointing Hodierna to administer the county, Baldwin III ignored the instructions of her late husband. Raymond II had ordered that a high-ranking official, the master of the county, was to take care of the administration of Tripoli if an underage count mounted the throne.
Melisende of Tripoli was the daughter of Hodierna of Tripoli and Raymond II, count of Tripoli.
The teenaged Raymond spent several years in the royal court of Jerusalem.The first extant document that he witnessed in the royal capital was issued on 23 September 1152 or 1153. Historian Kevin J. Lewis proposes that Baldwin III most probably supervised Raymond's knightly education personally.
Raymond reached the age of majority in 1155.In his first extant charter, issued on 11 June 1157, he confirmed his father's diploma about the grant of Tortosa (now Tartus in Syria) to the Knights Templar. Eight days later, Nur ad-Din, the Zengid ruler of Damascus, ambushed Baldwin III at Jacob's Fort on the Jordan River. Hundreds of Christian soldiers were captured or killed and the king was forced to flee to Safed. After Nur ad-Din laid siege to Baniyas, Baldwin III sent envoys to Tripoli and Antioch to seek assistance from Raymond and Raynald of Châtillon. They hurried to Chastel Neuf (at present-day Margaliot in Israel) to join the decimated royal army. After their arrival, Nur ad-Din lifted the siege and withdrew his troops without resistance.
An earthquake destroyed Tripoli, Arqa and Krak des Chevaliers in August 1157.Taking advantage of the arrival of Thierry, Count of Flanders at the head of a sizeable army in October, Baldwin III, Raynald of Châtillon and Raymond decided to launch a joint campaign against the Muslim towns of North Syria which had also been ruined during the catastrophe. The crusaders first attacked Chastel Rouge near the borders of the County of Tripoli, but they could not force the defenders into surrender. Neither could they seize Shaizar, because both Thierry of Flanders and Raynald of Châtillon claimed the town even before it was occupied and they could not reach a compromise. The siege of Harenc (now Harem in Syria) was a success, but the crusader leaders finished the campaign after they captured it in January 1158.
Seeking a wife from the crusader states, the widowed Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos sent envoys to Baldwin III in 1160.Manuel stated that he was willing to marry either Maria of Antioch, or Raymond's sister, Melisende, who were both closely related to the king. Baldwin proposed Melisende and the emperor acknowledged his choice. Twelve galleys were built at Raymond's order, because he wanted to set up a magnificent retinue for his sister during his voyage towards Constantinople. Their mother and aunt spent considerable amount of money to buy precious jewelry for the future empress. However, the emperor changed his mind and started negotiations about his marriage to Maria with her mother, Constance of Antioch. Feeling slighted for both himself and his sister, Raymond crewed his newly built fleet with criminals and sent them to raid the Byzantine coasts and islands in August 1161. The pirates captured and plundered sacred places and attacked pilgrims.
Nur ad-Din made a raid against Krak des Chevaliers and laid siege to Harenc in the summer of 1164.Raymond marched out to join the crusaders who were assembling to relieve the fortress, but they were defeated in the ensuing battle on 10 August. Thousands of crusaders fell during the battle, but Raymond, Bohemond III of Antioch, Joscelin III of Edessa, Hugh VIII of Lusignan, and other commanders were captured.
The crusader leaders captured at Harenc were taken to Aleppo where they were imprisoned.William of Tyre recorded that Raymond had spent the time "in beggary and iron", but he also emphasized that Raymond had learnt to read and acquired a high level of education in the prison. Modern historians assume that Raymond also learnt Arabic during his captivity, but without providing any positive evidence. Raymond instructed his "loyal vassals" to acknowledge Amalric of Jerusalem, who had succeeded Baldwin III, as the lawful ruler of Tripoli for the period of his captivity. Amalric hurried to Tripoli and took full responsibility for its government, assuming the title of "administrator of the county of Tripoli". Amalric persuaded Nur ad-Din to release Bohemond III and Thoros II, Prince of Armenia, who had acknowledged the suzerainty of the Byzantine emperor, but Raymond remained imprisoned.
In November 1164, Bertrand de Blanchefort, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, reminded Louis VII of France that Amalric would be unable to defend the crusader states alone.Indeed, Nur ad-Din captured the fortress at al-Munaytira in 1165 or 1166 and destroyed the Templars' castles at Halba, Araima and Safita in the summer of 1167. During the latter campaign, Nur ad-Din allegedly captured Gibelacar, according to Lewis, but the fortress was recaptured in late 1169 or early 1170.
Both the date and the circumstances of Raymond's release are uncertain.According to William of Tyre, Raymond was set free after spending eight (solar) years in captivity, but Ibn Jubayr stated that Raymond had been held in prison for twelve (lunar) years. Ali ibn al-Athir recorded that Raymond was released after Nur ad-Din died on 15 May 1174 , but he was obviously wrong, because Raymond had witnessed a royal charter in Jerusalem already on 18 April 1174. On the other hand, according to Lewis, Ali ibn al-Athir may have been right when claiming that Raymond was released because of the emerging conflict between Nur ad-Din's family and his ambitious commander, Saladin.
William of Tyre stated that Raymond had to pay 80,000 pieces of gold as ransom, but he could only pay 20,000.To guarantee the payment of the arrears, Raymond gave hostages. Muslim authors wrote that Raymond's ransom amounted to 150,000 Syrian dinars. According to a charter of Bohemond III of Antioch, Raymond borrowed money from the Knights Hospitaller to pay at least a part of his ransom.
Walter of Saint Omer, Prince of Galilee, died in early 1174.Amalric of Jerusalem gave Walter's widow, Eschiva of Bures, in marriage to Raymond, enabling him to seize a large fief in the kingdom. Their marriage was childless, but Raymond who loved his wife brought up her children by her first husband as if he were their father, according to William of Tyre. The king died on 11 July 1174. Four days later, his only son, Baldwin, was crowned king, although he was a minor and had suffered from lepromatous leprosy. The senechal Miles of Plancy took charge of the government, but he was unable to persuade the commanders of the army to cooperate with him.
Taking advantage of the senechal's unpopularity, Raymond went to visit the king at Jerusalem and laid claim to the regency in August.He argued that he was both the closest male relative and the most powerful vassal of the child king. He also emphasized that he had appointed the king's father to administer Tripoli during his captivity for which he was entitled to claim the same treatment. Miles of Plancy postponed the decision about Raymond's claim, stating that only the plenary session of the High Court of Jerusalem could hear it.
Raymond returned to Tripoli,but Miles of Plancy was murdered in Acre in October 1174. The most powerful noblemen and clergymen assembled in Jerusalem to decide on the administration of the kingdom. The bishops unanimously supported Raymond's claim to regency. The constable Humphrey II of Toron, Reginald of Sidon and the Ibelin brothers, Baldwin and Balian, also stood by him, but Raymond was elected bailiff (or regent) only after a debate which lasted for two days. Raymond was installed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which had been the traditional venue of royal coronations, during an extravagant ceremony. He allowed the king's mother, Agnes of Courtenay, to return to the royal court, enabling her to strengthen her influence on the young monarch. He made the erudite William of Tyre chancellor, but left the office of senechal vacant.
Saladin had meanwhile expanded his rule over Damascus, Baalbek, Shaizar and Hama, taking advantage of the minority of Nur ed-Din's son, As-Salih Ismail al-Malik.He also occupied Homs in early December 1174, but the garrison at the citadel resisted. Without forcing the garrison into surrender, Nur ed-Din left Homs for Aleppo, which was the seat of the Zengids in Syria. He only left a small army in the lower town at Homs.
Saladin's fierce determination to unite Egypt and Syria threatened the crusader states.Raymond mustered the troops of Jerusalem and Tripoli at Arqa in early 1175, but did not intervene in the conflict between Saladin and the Zengids. The defenders of the Homs citadel offered him to set their Christian prisoners free, if he provided military assistance for them. The prisoners included the hostages who were held as a guarantee for the arrears of Raymond's ransom. Ali ibn al-Athir recorded, the Muslim burghers of Aleppo also urged Raymond to attack Saladin's troops. Raymond was willing to assist the defenders of Homs only if they immediately release their prisoners, but they refused this demand. William of Tyre would later emphasize that the commanders of the crusader army doubted if the defenders of the Homs citadel actually wanted to release their prisoners.
Saladin returned to Homs soon after he was informed about the negotiations between the crusaders and the garrison.Instead of attacking Saladin, the crusader army retrieved to Krak des Chevaliers, enabling Saladin to capture the citadel on 17 March 1175. Saladin sent envoys to the crusaders' camp, because he wanted to secure their neutrality in his conflict with the Zengids. After he agreed to release the hostages standing surety for Raymond's ransom, the crusader army withdrew to Tripoli. William of Tyre blamed Humphrey II of Toron for the crusaders' decision.
Saladin defeated the united armies of Aleppo and Mosul in the Battle of the Horns of Hama on 13 April. —the easternmost territory of the Kingdom of Jerusalem—without resistance during his new campaign against Ghazi II Saif ud-Din of Mosul in the summer of 1176.He concluded a peace treaty with Aleppo which consolidated his rule in South Syria. After he allowed his Egyptian troops to return home, the crusader army was also disbanded in early May. Raymond proposed a truce to Saladin which was signed on 22 July. The truce enabled Saladin to march through Oultrejordain
Baldwin IV came of age at his fifteenth birthday on 15 July 1176.With his regency terminated, Raymond returned to Tripoli. Philip I, Count of Flanders landed at Acre at the head of a considerable army on 1 August 1177. The young king and his advisors made several efforts to persuade him to join a military campaign against the principal base of Saladin's power, Egypt, but Philip kept giving excuses. According to rumours that were spreading among the crusaders, Raymond and Bohemond III jointly convinced the count to resist, because they wanted to "entice him to their own lands, hoping with his help to undertake something which would benefit their states".
Philip came to Tripoli in late October.Roger de Moulins, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers, and more than 100 knights and 2,000 foot soldiers from the Kingdom of Jerusalem joined them in November. They made an assault on Hama, taking advantage of the sickness of its governor. The siege lasted only for four days, because Bohemond persuaded them to join him to attack Harenc. They laid siege to the fortress in early December, but they could not capture it. Bohemond made peace with the Zengid ruler of Aleppo in early next year.
Raymond attacked a group of Turkmens and seized considerable booty from them in 1178 or 1179, but Saladin strengthened border defence to prevent further raids.Saladin also dispatched a group of horsemen to make a raid around Sidon in early June 1179. Baldwin mustered his troops to prevent their retreat. Raymond, who was staying at Tiberias, joined the royal army. They routed the raiders at a ford on the Litani River, but Saladin suddenly marched into Galilee and defeated the crusaders in the Battle of Marj Ayyun on 10 June. Raymond, who had watched the battle from a hill, escaped to Tyre, but one of his stepsons, Hugh of Saint Omer fell into captivity.
According to a story recorded in the Estoire de Eracles, which contains many folkloristic elements, Raymond pledged that he would give the first wealthy heiress in his county in marriage to Gerard of Ridefort, a Flemish knight.However, when William Dorel, Lord of Botrun (now Batroun in Lebanon), died, leaving a daughter as his heir, Raymond gave her hand to Plivain, a wealthy merchant from Pisa, who had promised her weight in gold to him. Raymond's perfidy outraged Ridefort who left Tripoli and settled in the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1179.
Raymond and Bohemond III mustered their troops and marched to Jerusalem in April 1180.They allegedly came to celebrate Easter in the Holy City, but the ailing Baldwin IV feared that they wanted to depose him. He hastily married his sister and heiress, Sibylla, to a knight who had recently arrived from Poitou, Guy of Lusignan, although her hand had been promised to Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy. After studying the controversial reports about the events, historian Bernard Hamilton concluded that Raymond and Bohemond had really wanted to stage a coup, because they felt concerned about the growing influence of the king's mother and her brother, Joscelin III of Edessa. Raymond and Bohemond, Hamilton continues, wanted to persuade the king by force to marry Sibylla to a local candidate of their own choosing, Baldwin of Ibelin, instead of Hugh, who was related to the Courtenays, but Sibylla's marriage to Guy destroyed their plan. Since both Raymond and Bohemond lost the king's favor, they left Jerusalem soon after Easter.
[T]he lord Prince Bohemond of Antioch and the lord Count Raymond of Tripoli, entering the kingdom with an army, terrified the lord king who feared lest they should attempt to organise a revolution by deposing the king and laying claim to the kingdom for themselves. For the king was afflicted more grievously than usual by his illness and day by day the symptoms of leprosy became more and more evident. The sister of the king ... was awaiting the arrival of [Hugh III of Burgundy]... When the king knew that these noblemen had come, although both of them were his kinsmen, he viewed them with suspicion and hastened his sister's marriage. ... [B]ecause certain things had happened, she was unexpectedly married to a certain young man called Guy of Lusignan.
They were crossing Galilee when Saladin invaded the principality, but their arrival forced him to retrieve.Saladin and Baldwin signed a two-year truce. The truce did not cover Tripoli, enabling Saladin to launch a sudden raid into the county. Since the surprise attack prevented Raymond from mustering his troops, he fled to the fortress of Arqa. Saladin's army pillaged the northern plains of the county and his fleet captured the island of Ruad at Tortosa (now Arwad in Lebanon). Saladin withdrew his troops only after Raymond signed a truce. During the following years, Raymond strengthened the defence of the county through granting new territories to the Knights Hospitaller or confirming his vassals' grants to them.
After two years of absence, Raymond decided to again visit Galilee in April 1182.However, Agnes of Courtenay and Joscelin III persuaded Baldwin IV to forbide his entrance to the kingdom, forcing him to turn back at Beirut. Before long, certain "princes and greater men of the realm", whom William of Tyre failed to identify, convinced the king to allow Raymond to come to Jerusalem. At the following general assembly, Raynald of Châtillon, Lord of Oultrejordain, proposed a military expedition across the Jordan River to prevent Saladin's march from Egypt to Syria in May 1182. Raymond opposed Châtillon's plan, because it would have left the Western lands undefended during the campaign, but Châtillon convinced the majority of the barons of the realm to accept his proposal.
Raymond accompanied the royal army to Oultrejordain.During his absence, troops from the nearby Muslim towns invaded Galilee and captured 500 women. The invaders also seized a fortified cave near Tiberias with the assistance of the local Christian garrison. The royal army returned to the central territories of the kingdom, because Baldwin suspected that Saladin was planning further raids. Raymond went to Tiberias where he fell seriously ill. When Saladin laid siege to the castle of Bethsain (now Beit She'an in Israel) on 13 July, Raymond dispatched his stepson, Hugh, to command the troops of Galilee and join the royal army which was assembling near Saffuriya. The royal army forced Saladin to lift the siege and withdraw his troops from the principality.
Raymond made a plundering raid against the region of Bosra in late 1182.Hamilton argues that it was actually "a reconnaissance expedition", because Bosra was an excellent location to discover the southward movements of the army of Damascus. According to Lewis, Raymond must have also participated in the king's unsuccessful campaign against Syria before Christmas, because the royal army had assembled at Tiberias. Saladin seized the Zengids' last important stronghold in Syria, Aleppo, on 12 June 1183. He soon decided to invade the kingdom and bring the crusaders to a pitched battle. At Baldwin's order, more than 1,000 knights and about 15,000 foot soldiers gathered at Saffuriya. Raymond also hurried to the mustering point. Baldwin started running a fever, which forced him to make Guy of Lusignan bailiff. Saladin crossed the Jordan and pillaged Bethsan on 29 September. He continued his campaign for nine years, but the crusaders refrained from attacking his troops. William of Tyre recorded that most common soldiers accused Guy's opponents of refusing to attack the invaders, because they feared that a victory would strengthen Guy's position.
Relationship between the king and Guy became tense during the following months.Baldwin convoked the barons of the realm to an assembly to discuss the future of the administration of the kingdom. Raymond, Bohemond, Reginald of Sidon and the Ibelin brothers easily persuaded him to dismiss Guy. They also convinced the king to make Guy's infant stepson, Baldwin of Montferrat, his heir. The child was crowned on 20 November 1183. William of Tyre recorded that it was "the general wish" that the king should also appoint a regent and most barons said that only Raymond "was suited to hold this office". The assembly was soon dissolved, because news about Saladin's sudden attack against Châtillon's Kerak Castle reached Jerusalem. The king mustered an army, but he could not personally participate in the campaign for long, thus he appointed Raymond to command it before the army crossed the Jordan. On learning of the arrival of the relief army, Saladin lifted the siege on 3 or 4 December.
Heraclius, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the grand masters of the Templars and Hospitallers tried to mediate a reconciliation between Baldwin IV and Guy of Lusignan, but the king did not forgive his brother-in-law.In October 1184, Guy made a plundering raid against the Bedouin tribes who grazed their herds in the royal domain of Deir al-Balah. This action outraged the king who soon convened the barons of the realm to an assembly and handed over "the government of the kingdom and its general administration" to Raymond, according to William of Tyre. However, Ernoul's chronicle and the Estoire de Eracles write that Baldwin IV decided to appoint a regent only after the members of the High Court had warned him that Guy (who was the minor Baldwin's stepfather) was still entitled to govern the kingdom after his death. The dying king requested them to name their candidate and they unanimously nominated Raymond. Baldwin IV accepted their choice and asked Raymond "to act as regent of the kingdom and of the child for ten years until the child came of age", according to Ernoul's chronicle. Most sources failed to mention the date of these events, but a version of the Estoire de Eracles states that Raymond was made regent in 1185.
Both Ernoul and the Estoire de Eracles recorded that the High Court passed specific rules about the regency before Raymond was installed.First of all, the barons of the realm elected Joscelin III the child king's guardian to look after him. The High Court also stipulated that the military orders would hold all royal fortresses during the king's minority, but Beirut was granted to Raymond to compensate him for the expenses of state administration. Finally, the High Court ruled that if the child king died before reaching the age of majority, the pope, the Holy Roman Emperor and the kings of France and England were to be approached to decide whether his mother or her half-sister, Isabella, had the stronger claim to succeed him. Although some versions of the Estoire de Eracles hint that Raymond had persuaded the Hight Court to pass these rules, most of them were clearly adopted to limit the regent's authority.
The date of Baldwin IV's death is unknown, but it is certain that he died before 16 May 1185.The king was still alive when Raymond sent envoys to Saladin to start negotiations about an armistice. Saladin granted a four-year truce, thus "the land was free from external battles" during Raymund's second regency, as a continuator of William of Tyre's chronicle remarked. Saladin agreed to make peace with the crusaders because Izz ad-Din Mas'ud, the Zengid ruler of Mosul, had formed a coalition against him. He made a series of attacks against Mosul, forcing Izz ad-Din to accept his suzerainty in March 1186. Raymond could not strengthen his authority during his regency. Joscelin III of Edessa, Patriarch Heraclius and Peter, Archdeacon of Lydda, who had succeeded William of Tyre as chancellor, were Guy of Lusignan's supporters. The Knights Templar elected his personal enemy, Gerard of Ridefort their grand master.
Baldwin V died unexpectedly in Acre in the summer of 1186.Joscelin III convinced Raymond to go to Tiberias to make preparations for a general assembly and let the Templars deliver the young king's body to Jerusalem. Taking advantage of Raymond's absence, Joscelin took full control of Acre and also seized Beirut. Raymond convened the barons of the realm to Nablus, which was the fief of one of his main supporters, Balian of Ibelin. Arnold of Lübeck and Ali ibn al-Athir claimed that Raymond tried to seize the throne at the general assembly. The reliability of their reports is questionable, because none of them was present at the meeting, and they wrote their works years after the events. Even so, the reports are clear evidence of a "widespread belief" in Raymond's ambitions to seize the crown.
While most barons were assembling at Nablus, Sibylla and Guy of Lusignan attended the king's funeral in Jerusalem.The patriarch of Jerusalem, the grand masters of the Templars and Hospitallers and Raynald of Châtillon were also present. Being Sibylla's staunch supporters, they decided to offer the crown to her, without waiting the decision of the four Western monarchs, as the High Court had stipulated it in early 1185. She invited the barons who were at Nablus to attend her coronation, but they did not acknowledge her right to rule and forbade the ceremony. They sent two Cistercian abbots to Jerusalem to inform her about their veto. Raymond dispatched one of his retainers to accompany the abbots in disguise to spy in the capital.
Sibylla's supporters ignored the barons' opposition and Patriarch Heraclius crowned her before the end of September. —who was Châtillon's stepson—secretly left Nablus for Jerusalem and did homage to Guy, because he did not want to stir up a civil war. Most barons followed Humphrey's example and swore fealty to the royal couple before the end of October. After his former partisans abandoned him, Raymond returned to Tiberias, without doing homage to Sibylla and Guy.She soon put the crown on Guy's head and the patriarch anointed him. In reference to Raymond's betrayal, Ridefort proudly declared that "this crown well worth the marriage of Botrun”, according to the Estoire de Eracles. As soon as learning of the coronation, Raymond and his supporters decided to elect Sibylla's half-sister, Isabella, and her husband, Humphrey IV of Toron, king. Humphrey
Guy accused Raymond of betrayal and invaded Galilee in October.The king also demanded an account for the period of Raymond's regency, but Raymond answered that he had spent all royal income on state administration. Raymond decided to resist and sought assistance from Saladin. The sultan sent troops to Tiberias, forcing Guy to withdraw. Saladin even offered Raymond to make him "an independent king for the Franks one and all", according to Ibn al-Athir's report. Arnold of Lübeck also wrote that Raymond pledged that he would allow Saladin's army to invade the kingdom across Galilee in exchange for the sultan's assistance to seize the throne.
Lewis proposes that the Occitan trubadour, Peire Vidal, visited Raymond's court in Tiberias around the time of the conflict between Raymond and the royal couple.Raymond provided patronage to Vidal who dedicated a eulogy to him in one of his poems. Lewis also says that it was around that time that Raymond offered to appoint a member of the House of Toulouse his heir provided that he was willing to settle in the County of Tripoli. Raymond's offer is only recorded in a version of a late source, the Lignages d'Outremer , thus the story may have only been invented by its author.
But upon Tripoli I rely
Because whereas the other barons
Chase away glory, he retains it
And does not let it depart from him
Saladin decided to launch a full-scale invasion against the kingdom and started mustering his forces from his whole empire in early 1187.The barons of the realm convinced Guy to seek a reconciliation with Raymond. The masters of the two military orders, Joscius, Archbishop of Tyre, Raynald of Sidon and Balian of Ibelin were appointed to start negotiations with Raymond in Tiberias. Saladin's son, Al-Afdal, sent Muzaffar al-Din, lord of Harenc and Edessa, to make a raid against the kingdom. In accordance with his treaty with Saladin, Raymond allowed the Syrian troops a free entry to Galilee. After Al-Afdal began raiding the region of Nazareth, the masters of the military orders, Gerard of Ridefort and Roger des Moulins, attacked the invaders although the enemy forces extremely outnumbered their retinue. The raiders almost annihilated the crusaders at the springs of Cresson on 1 May. Only Ridefort and three knights could escape from the battlefield. The Estoire de Eracles blamed Ridefort for the catastrophe, emphasizing that Raymond's envoys had warned him not to attack the large Syrian army. The invaders rode back to Syria across Galilee, displaying the severed heads of the crusaders who had been killed in the battle on the points of their lances.
Balian of Ibelin and the archbishops of Tyre and Nazareth arrived at Tiberias the following day. —who was present as Ibelin's squire—wrote that the news about the crusaders' catastrophe came as a shock for Raymond. He soon agreed to personally do homage to Guy. He also expelled the Muslim garrison which had been stationing in Tiberias since he made an alliance with Saladin. According to Ali ibn al-Athir, Raymond agreed to come to terms with the king only after his vassals threatened him with disobedience, and the prelates also announced that they were ready to excommunicate him and to declare his marriage void. Raymond and the king met near Jerusalem, at Fort St Job, which was held by the Hospitallers. After they both dismounted, Raymond did homage to the king on his knees. Guy soon lifted him up and expressed regret for his irregular coronation, according to Ernoul.Ernoul
The king ordered the assembly of the troops of the kingdom at Saffuriya.Raymond joined the royal army accompanied by all knights from Galilee, leaving his wife in Tiberias at the head of a small garrison. Knights from the County of Tiberias also came to Saffuriya. On 2 July 1187, Saladin invaded Galilee and laid siege to the town. The number of his troops outnumbered the crusaders by more than 30%. Eschiva sent messengers to the crusaders' camp to inform them about Saladin's attack.
The news about the siege of Tiberias caused a new conflict among the crusaders, because Raymond and Ridefort proposed adverse strategies.Emphasizing that the town could resist even a prolonged siege, Raymond wanted to avoid a pinched battle. He also proposed that Guy should send envoys to Antioch and ask Bohemond III to send reinforcements. Hearing Raymond’s proposal, Ridefort and Châtillon accused him of cowardice, adding that passivity would cost the king his kingdom. Since the king was obviously willing to accept Raymond's proposal, Ridefort reminded him Raymond's previous alliance with Saladin. Finally, the king decided to attack and ordered his army to march towards Tiberias.
As lord of the region, Raymond was appointed to guide the army across Galilee.After Saladin's troops started attacking the Templars at the rear, the crusaders halted at Maskana, although the local well could not provide enough water to a large army. Ernoul blamed Raymond for this decision, but the anonymous author of the Libellus de expugnatione Terrae Sanctae per Saladinum , who also participated in the campaign, stated that the king decided to stop, ignoring Raymond's advice. Saladin's troops encircled the crusaders' camp and killed all crusaders who left it in searh for water. The following day the army continued the march towards Tiberias, with Raymond commanding the vanguard, but Saladin's troops were continuously attacking them. Suffering from thirst, a group of foot soldiers tried to break through the enemy lines towards the distant Sea of Galilee, but they were massacred. Five of Raymond's own knights voluntarily defected to Saladin's side. In an attempt to reach the springs near Hattin, Raymond led a cavalry charge against the right wing of Saladin's army, forcing the Muslim troops to open a free pass without resistance. Instead of turning back, Raymond and the crusaders who had accompanied him (including Reynald of Sidon, Balian of Ibelin and Joscelin III of Edessa) hurried first to Safed, and later to Tyre.
The rest of the crusader army was annihilated. —Plivain of Botrun, Hugh II Embriaco and Melioret of Maraqiyya—fell into captivity. The nearly defenseless towns could not resist and Saladin captured almost of them during the following month. Eschiva of Bures voluntarily surrendered Tiberias to Saladin and joined Raymond in Tyre. Embriaco surrendered his fief of Jubayl to Saladin in exchange for his release on 4 August. After Saladin occupied Beirut on 6 August, Raymond fled to Tripoli, because he thought that Saladin could also easily capture Tyre. His old allies, Balian of Ibelin and Raynald of Sidon, soon joined him.Raymond's many vassals
Raymond fell seriously ill in Tripoli. —Ernoul, the Estoire de Eracles and Abu'l-Fida —emphasized that Raymond's sorrow for the crusaders' catastrophic defeat at Hattin caused his illness. Having no children, Raymond willed the County of Tripoli to the eldest son of Bohemond III of Antioch, Raymond, who was his godson. The contemporaneous Ralph of Diceto recorded that Raymond died fifteen days after the fall of Jerusalem, that is, on 17 October 1187. Historian Lewis proposes that Raymond most probably died in September.Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad recorded that Raymond suffered from pleurisy. Other sources
William of Tyre, who held Raymond in high regard,described him as a man with "much foresight" in both politics and warfare. Nevertheless, he also made some negative statements about Raymond. For instance, he described his escape from the battlefield at Marjayoun in 1179 as "disgraceful". Although William of Tyre, who was made chancellor and archbishop during Raymond's first regency, cannot be regarded as a neutral observer, his chronicle strongly influenced the works of Steven Runciman, Marshall Baldwin and other 20th-century historians. Baldwin emphasized that William's words of Raymond's political and military talent should be regarded "more a statement of fact than an expression of opinion". Lewis refute Raymond's positive assessment, stating that his "career reads as a veritable litany of inconsequential, misguided, or downright disastrous endeavours". Barber also emphasizes that Raymond's "actions were usually driven by his own personal ambitions and needs".
[Raymond] was a slight-built, thin man. He was not very tall and he had a dark skin. He had straight hair of a medium colour and piercing eyes. He carried himself stiffly. He had an orderly mind, was cautious, but acted with vigour. He was more than averagely abstemious in his eating and drinking habits, and although he was liberal to strangers he was not so affable towards his own men.
Contemporaneous Muslim authors described Raymond as an intelligent and astute politician.For instance, Ali ibn al-Athir stated that the crusaders "had nobody more influential than him, none braver and none more excellent in councel" at the time when Raymond was made regent for the second time. On the other hand, Ali ibn al-Athir also emphasized Raymond's bad reputation among the Muslims, saying that Raymond was "the devil among the Franks and the most unyieldingly hostile to the Muslims". Abu Shama likewise regarded Raymond as one of the principal enemies of the Muslim world and urged Saladin to capture him along with Raynald of Châtillon and shed their blood.
Marshall, Runciman and other historians who based their works primarily on the chronicles of William of Tyre and Ernoul regard Raymond as a leader of the pullani (or natives) who wanted to keep peace with Saladin because they wanted to secure the survival of the crusader states.The same scholars regard the opponents of Raymonds as newcomers whose aggressive policy led to the fall of the kingdom. These scholars accept the positive picture about Saladin in his official biographies which describe him as a trustworthy man who never broke his words. Andrew Ehrenkreutz was the first historian to emphasize that Saladin's bioghraphies should be treated critically, because they are similar to hagiographies of canonized European monarchs. Accepting this critical approach, Hamilton expresses doubts about Saladin's willingness to "live at peace with his Christian neighbors" and to allow them to keep Jerusalem, one of the holiest cities of Islam.
The fall of Jerusalem and almost the whole Holy Land after the Battle of Hattin came as a terrible blow to the Christian world.Raymond's alliance with Saladin and his escape from the battlefield aroused suspicion and many Christian writers regarded him a traitor. About 60 years after the events, Alberic of Trois-Fontaines claimed that Raymond and Saladin sanctioned their alliance through drinking each other's blood. The Minstrel of Reims believed that Saladin reminded Raymond about his oath to persuade him to leave the battlefield at the Horns of Hattin. Robert of Auxerre, William of Nangis and other medieval European historians even accused Raymond of apostasy, insisting that he had been circumcised shortly before God killed him for his betrayal. Muslim historians also knew that the Christians thought that Raymond had converted, or at least wanted to convert to Islam. Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani wrote that Raymond had not convert only because he was afraid of his co-religionists. Modern historians agree that the stories about Raymond's conversion were obviously invented.
|Ancestors of Raymond III of Tripoli|
Baldwin IV, called the Leper, or The Leper King, reigned as King of Jerusalem from 1174 until his death. He was the son of Amalric I of Jerusalem and his first wife, Agnes of Courtenay.
Raynald of Châtillon, also known as Reynald or Reginald of Châtillon, was Prince of Antioch from 1153 to 1160 or 1161, and Lord of Oultrejordain from 1175 until his death. He was born as his father's second son into a French noble family. After losing a part of his patrimony, he joined the Second Crusade in 1147. He settled in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and served in the royal army as a mercenary.
The Battle of Hattin took place on 4 July 1187, between the Crusader states of the Levant and the forces of the Ayyubid sultan Salah ad-Din, known in the West as Saladin.
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 his cousin left the county for Jerusalem. 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.
Raymond II was count of Tripoli from 1137 to 1152. He succeeded his father, Pons, Count of Tripoli, who was killed during a campaign that a commander from Damascus launched against Tripoli. Raymond accused the local Christians of betraying his father and invaded their villages in the Mount Lebanon area. He also had many of them tortured and executed. Raymond was captured during an invasion by Imad ad-Din Zengi, atabeg of Mosul, who gained the two important castles of Montferrand and Rafaniya in exchange for his release in the summer of 1137.
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.
Constance of Hauteville (1128–1163) was the ruling Princess of Antioch from 1130 to 1163. She was the only child of Bohemond II of Antioch by his wife, Alice of Jerusalem. Constance succeeded her father at the age of two, after he fell in battle, although his cousin, Roger II of Sicily, laid claim to Antioch. Her mother assumed the regency, but the Antiochene noblemen replaced her with her father, Baldwin II of Jerusalem. After he died in 1131, Alice again tried to take control of the government, but the Antiochene barons acknowledged the right of her brother-in-law, Fulk of Anjou, to rule as regent for Constance.
Bohemond IV of Antioch, also known as Bohemond the One-Eyed, was Count of Tripoli from 1187 to 1233, and Prince of Antioch from 1201 to 1216 and from 1219 to 1233. He was the younger son of Bohemond III of Antioch. The dying Raymond III of Tripoli offered his county to Bohemond's elder brother, Raymond, but their father sent Bohemond to Tripoli in late 1187. Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt and Syria, conquered the county, save for the capital and two fortresses, in summer 1188.
The Battle of Cresson was a small battle, fought on 1 May 1187 at the springs of Cresson, or 'Ain Gozeh, near Nazareth. It was a prelude to the decisive defeat of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin two months later.
Baldwin of Ibelin, also known as Baldwin II of Ramla, was an important noble of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century. He was the second son of Barisan of Ibelin, and was the younger brother of Hugh of Ibelin and older brother of Balian of Ibelin. He first appears in the historical record as a witness to charters in 1148.
Reginald Grenier was Lord of Sidon and an important noble in the late-12th century Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Joscius was Archbishop of Tyre in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the late 12th century.
William of Bures was Prince of Galilee from 1119 or 1120 to his death. He was descended from a French noble family which held estates near Paris. William and his brother, Godfrey, were listed among the chief vassals of Joscelin of Courtenay, Prince of Galilee, when their presence in the Holy Land was first recorded in 1115. After Joscelin received the County of Edessa from Baldwin II of Jerusalem in 1119, the king granted the Principality of Galilee to William. He succeeded Eustace Grenier as constable and bailiff in 1123. In his latter capacity, he administered the kingdom during the Baldwin II's captivity for more than a year, but his authority was limited.
Hugh II of Saint Omer was a Crusader knight and titular Prince of Galilee and Tiberias.
Plivain, also known as Plivano or Pleban, was the Lord of Botrun in the County of Tripoli from around 1180 to around 1206. He was a merchant from Pisa who settled in the county in the late 1170s. He seized Botrun through his marriage to its heiress, Lucia. According to a late source, he bribed Raymond III of Tripoli into allowing the marriage. He fell into captivity in the Battle of Hattin on 4 July 1187.
Eschiva of Bures, also known as Eschiva II, was Princess of Galilee in the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1158 to 1187.
The timeline of the Kingdom of Jerusalem presents important events of the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem—a crusader state in Palestine—in chronological order. The kingdom was established during the First Crusade. Its first ruler, Godfrey of Bouillon, was not crowned king and swore fealty to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Daimbert in 1099. Godfrey's brother and successor, Baldwin I, who did not acknowledge the patriarchs' sovereignty, was crowned the first king of Jerusalem in 1100. Baldwin I and his successors captured all towns on the coast with the support of Pisan, Genoese and Venetian fleets and also took control of the caravan routes between Egypt and Syria. The kings regularly administered other crusader states—the Counties of Edessa and Tripoli, and the Principality of Antioch—on behalf of their absent or minor rulers.
Raymond III, Count of TripoliBorn: 1140 Died: 1187
| Count of Tripoli |
Walter of Saint Omer
| Prince of Galilee |
Hugh II of Saint Omer
as titular prince