Jerusalem, Kingdom of
JERUSALEM, KINGDOM OF
One of the states founded by the Crusaders in the Holy Land (1099–1291).
History. After the capture of Jerusalem, July 15, 1099, the barons and prelates constituting the ruling council of the First crusade made godfrey of bouil lon protector of the Holy Sepulcher with the rank of advocatus: the overlordship of the Holy City was to belong to the church of the Holy Sepulcher. But Godfrey's brother baldwin had himself crowned king (rex Jerusalem Latinorum ) in 1100, brushing aside the claims of the patriarch to suzerainty.
The state thus founded survived because the crusaders seized the coastal towns (e.g., Tyre in 1124). Ascalon, the key to Egypt, fell to the crusaders in 1153 and served as base for the campaigns of King Amaury in that country. In the north tancred had founded the principality of Galilee and envisaged the conquest of Damascus; but his kingdom extended no further north than the headwaters of the Jordan and eastward to Paneas (Caesarea Philippi). In the south Baldwin I had occupied Transjordania and Arabia Petraea. Numerous fortresses were built to assure the defense of these frontiers and domestic security.
The kingdom of Jerusalem survived the loss even of Jerusalem and the conquests of saladin (1187). The later crusades enabled it to retake little by little the areas lost, and the treaties negotiated with the Muslims in 1229 and 1241 restored to it the Jordan River as a boundary, except in Samaria. The Muslim reconquest began with the recapture of Jerusalem (1244) and ended with the fall of Acre (1291).
Feudal Monarchy. Succession was not by election as has been said; it was hereditary and went to the heirs of Godfrey. His brother Baldwin I took the crown after Godfrey's death and transmitted it to his cousin Baldwin II. The eldest daughter of Baldwin II brought it to her husband Fulk of Anjou, then to his sons, Baldwin III and Amaury. The son of Amaury, Baldwin IV, a leper, named as successor Baldwin V, his sister Sybil's son. At Baldwin V's death, Sybil took the crown for herself and her husband, Guy of Lusignan, despite the opposition of Raymond III of Tripoli. And on Sybil's death the succession passed to her sister Isabel and her successive husbands, Conrad of Montferrat, Henry of Champagne, and Aimery of Lusignan. Conrad's daughter Mary married John of Brienne; their daughter was the wife of Emperor freder ick ii and bore him a son Conrad. But a coup d'état led by the Ibelin family, which had already taken Acre from the king in 1232, postponed the recognition of Conrad as king (1243). The regency was entrusted to Mary's sister, Alice of Champagne, then to her descendants, the kings of Cyprus, who did not assume the royal title till 1268 and were to continue to call themselves kings of Jerusalem after 1291.
The monarchy had by then fallen under the control of the great noble families who expressed in the Assizes of Jerusalem their conception of a monarchy limited in the exercise of its power by the application of the feudal right and above all by the Assise de la ligéce, which permitted the vassals to league themselves against a despotic king. But this would be the outcome of a long evolution: the monarchy was much more powerful in the 12th century.
The Church of the Holy Land. The Latin Church took root in the kingdom of Jerusalem as it had in the other crusader states: bishops, archbishops, and the Latin patriarch installed themselves in the ancient Greek sees that were vacant. But the main emphasis was on the holy places: an archbishop was installed in Nazareth, bishops in Bethlehem and Hebron. To assure adequate service of the sanctuaries, canons were established in the Holy Sepulcher, in the Templum Domini; Benedictines at Josaphat and Thabor. And as pilgrims were arriving in great numbers from East and West, the hospital of St. John under the Hospitallers (see knights of malta), until then a simple dependency of the monastery of St. Mary of the Latins, was enlarged and developed to care for the sick, while the Knights templars associated themselves with this venture as escort for the pilgrims. The two orders finally adopted analogous rules, were given the custody of castles, and became powers restive under the authority of king and patriarch. Frederick II tried to impart importance to the teutonic knights on whom he was counting for support.
Other religious orders were established in the Holy Land: the dominicans of Jerusalem, notably, between 1229 and 1244, established relations with the Oriental Churches and tried to convert the Muslims by preaching. The Latins had not in fact tried to convert the Muslims forcibly and had likewise respected the religious liberty of their Christian subjects.
Trade. Because of the influx of pilgrims, the ports of the kingdom were frequented by Italian ships. The trading cities of Italy had received quarters in the ports that they had helped to conquer, and these became centers of active trading that sent the products of the Orient to French Syria, which thus could compete with Egypt. Acre and Tyre were, together with Tripoli, the principal trading centers. The Italian cities incidentally ended by exercising what amounted to a protectorate over the towns of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and their quarrels contributed to create a climate of anarchy, which was one of the causes of the decline of this kingdom.
See Also: crusaders' states.
Bibliography: w. von heyd, Histoire du commerce du Levant au Moyen-Âge, tr. f. raynaud, 2 v. (Leipzig 1885–86; repr. Amsterdam 1959). r. roehricht, Geschichte des Königreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck 1898). j. l. la monte, Feudal Monarchy in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Cambridge, Mass. 1932). d. c. munro, The Kingdom of the Crusaders (New York 1935). m. w. baldwin, Raymond III of Tripolis and the Fall of Jerusalem (Princeton 1936). philippe of novara, The Wars of Frederick II against the Ibelins in Syria and Cyprus, ed. and tr. j. l. la monte and m. j. hubert (New York 1936). w. hotzelt, Kirchengeschichte Palästinas im Zeitalter der Kreuzzüge, v. 3 of Kirchengeschichte Palästinas (Cologne 1940). j. richard, Le Royaume latin de Jérusalem (Paris 1953). h. e. mayer, Bibliographie zur Geschichte der Kreuzzüge (Hanover 1960).