Baldwin, King of Jerusalem
BALDWIN, KING OF JERUSALEM
Five kings of the Crusaders' Kingdom of jerusalem bore the name Baldwin.
Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem (1100–18). Born Baldwin of Boulogne, brother of godfrey of bouillon, founder of the first Crusaders' principality in Edessa (see crusaders' states). On his brother's death he was welcomed in Jerusalem by the Lorraine party, and Godfrey's vassals swore allegiance. The Patriarch Daimbert of Pisa was constrained to crown him king (Dec. 25, 1100), and Daimbert's ambition to establish a churchstate were ultimately thwarted. Baldwin inherited a desperate economic and military situation, but within ten years, with the aid of the Genoese, whom he rewarded handsomely, he had occupied the ports of Arsuf, Caesarea, Acre, Beirut, and Sidon, the last-named with assistance from a Norwegian expedition. Meanwhile, he had beaten back Egyptian attacks, resisted pressure from the north and east, and aided in the capture of Tripoli (1109). Castles had been built at Toron in Galilee and Montréal (Shaubak), south of the Dead Sea, and the kingdom's boundaries had been extended to Ailah on the Gulf of Aqaba. Baldwin terrorized his enemies but was tolerant toward his native subjects. He died on April 2, 1118, the real founder of the feudal kingdom of Jerusalem.
Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem (1118–31). Formerly of Le Bourg, cousin of Baldwin I and count of Edessa. After Roger of Antioch's death in the great defeat of June 27, 1119, the new king, already an experienced crusader, was able to stabilize the military situation. Although he was captured in April 1123 and not released until Aug. 29, 1124, Tyre was taken (July 7, 1124) with the aid of a Venetian fleet, which the king had earlier requested. During Baldwin II's reign the feudal structure of the kingdom was further developed, the Knights templar were established, and the Knights of St. John (knights of malta), militarized. An important Church council was held at Nablus in 1120. Under Baldwin II the authority of the King of Jerusalem over the other Crusaders' states reached a point not to be maintained afterward. His suzerainty was recognized, and he frequently acted as regent. In 1128 he took steps to prepare for the succession to the throne by sending to France. Fulk V of Anjou was selected and married the king's daughter, Melisend. Baldwin II was the last of the original crusaders. His death (Aug. 21, 1131) marked the end of an era in the Latin Orient.
Baldwin III, King of Jerusalem (1143–63). Son of King Fulk and Melisend. Since Baldwin was only 13 years old when his father died, the barons decided that he and his mother, Melisend, should be crowned jointly. The young ruler soon proved his courage and skill and grew to be a highly respected king of engaging personality, wide interests, and considerable administrative and diplomatic ability. His early years were troubled by the fall of Edessa (1144), the failure of the Second crusade, in which he participated, and the rise of Nureddin. Since the joint rule with his mother had not worked well, Baldwin, acting on the advice of the barons, was crowned alone in 1151. In 1153 he achieved his greatest success, the capture of Ascalon, the last port still in Muslim hands. This operation foreshadowed a southward orientation of the kingdom's military effort, which coincided with the decline of the Fatimid caliphate in Egypt. The success was, however, somewhat offset by Nureddin's taking of Damascus in the following year and the largely ineffective countermoves on the part of the Crusaders. Another feature of Baldwin III's reign that foreshadowed future policies was the move toward rapprochement with Byzantium. In September of 1158 the king married Theodora, niece of Emperor Manuel I Comnenus. On April 12, 1159, the emperor entered Antioch with great ceremony. Plans for joint action against the Muslims did not materialize as Manuel, to the dismay of the Latins, accepted Nureddin's offer to negotiate. Nevertheless, the emperor did not then press the demands that he had previously made on Antioch or break with the Crusaders. In fact, on Dec. 25, 1161, he married Maria of Antioch. That the Latin kingdom had achieved a status in European affairs seems evident in Pope alexander iii's seeking its declaration against the antipope. When Baldwin III died (Feb. 10, 1163) he was mourned by friend and foe alike. The historian william of tyre eulogized him as the ideal king.
Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem (1174–85), and Baldwin V. Nephew of Baldwin III, son of King Amalric I. He was only 13 years old at the time of his father's death. He had been tutored by William of Tyre, and he possessed a keen intelligence. Despite the affliction of leprosy, he displayed heroic fortitude in carrying on his duties. The state of his health necessitated frequent regencies, and these in turn gave rise to internal dissension just at the time saladin was completing the union of Egypt and Syria. In 1183 he had his five-year old nephew, Baldwin, crowned and shortly afterward arrangements were made for the guardianship in the event of his own death. Baldwin IV died early in 1185. The death of the boy king, Baldwin V, only a few months later in 1186 was the prelude to the fall of the kingdom.
Bibliography: For the early period, especially Baldwin I, consult Historia Hierosolymitana, ed. h. hagenmeyer (Heidelberg 1913). For the later period, especially after 1127, consult william of tyre, Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum (Recueil des historiens des croisades: Historiens occidentaux 1; Paris 1844); Eng. A History of Deeds Done beyond the Sea, ed. and tr. e. a. babcock and a. c. krey, 2 v. (New York 1943). j. l. la monte, Feudal Monarchy in…Jerusalem … (Cambridge, Mass. 1932). s. runciman, A History of the Crusades, 3 v. (Cambridge, Eng. 1951–54). k. m. setton, ed., A History of the Crusades (Philadelphia 1955— ).
[m. w. baldwin]