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Norman crusader; b. probably in the mid-1070s; d. Antioch, 1112. Tancred was a member of the Norman house of Hauteville, which had led the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th century, and the nephew of Bohemund, Prince of Taranto and son of Robert Guiscard; he was born to Bohemund's half sister Emma and a Norman noble. Though without an inheritance, he possessed strong qualities of leadership, as contemporary sources reveal. In 1096 he joined his uncle in leading the Norman contingent from southern Italy on the First cru sade. Like Bohemund, he disliked and mistrusted the Byzantines and early embarked on a course to benefit himself at their expense. He took a leading role in the capture of antioch (June 3, 1098), which his uncle seized and held in his own name. Tancred also participated in the taking of Jerusalem and became Lord of Galilee (1099) and chief lieutenant to godfrey of bouillon, the Defender of the Holy Sepulcher. Tancred's ambition aimed at the throne of the Kingdom of jerusalem for himself and later for his uncle, Bohemund, but without success. The last part of his life was spent at Antioch (see crusaders' states), where he ruled during the absence of Bohemund. Although captured by the Turks, he obtained his release and spent several years defending Antioch and his own domains in Cilicia.

Bibliography: ralph of caen, Gesta Tancredi in expeditione Hierosolymitana (Recueil des historiens des croisades: Historiens occidentaux 3; Paris 1866) 599716. r. l. nicholson, Tancred (Chicago 1940). s. runciman, A History of the Crusades, 3 v. (Cambridge, England 195154) v.1.

[j. m. powell]