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The period of forty years or so which followed the death of king Fulk began and ended in defeat. In 1144 Edessa (Urfa) fell. Jerusalem was taken by Saladin in 1187. Yet for the three states, Antioch, Tripoli, and Jerusalem, the intervening years were prosperous and brought to fruition their development as western European "colonies". Western usages, political, religious, economic, and military, modified to suit eastern conditions, were successfully implanted in Palestine and Syria, and the European conquerors reached a modus vivendi with the native population, both Moslem and Christian,

By the middle of the twelfth century the Latin states had reached a point in their development where each could manage its own affairs. There was, as a consequence, a tendency to disregard such feudal ties as had earlier bound the three states together. Rare, for example, were the instances when the counts of Tripoli recognized the suzerainty of Jerusalem. At most, the king of Jerusalem possessed a superior dignity as primus inter pares. His intervention in Tripoli or Antioch — as also the intervention of northern princes in Jerusalem — usually resulted from ties of blood relationship or followed a formal request for aid from the local curia. Common danger was the most important element in uniting the forces of the three states. But even in times of crisis cooperation was disappointingly difficult to secure. Without a common policy the Latin states were at best a loose federation.

The greatest problem confronting the Syrian Latins was military security. They were a minority in an alien land and the number of troops which the various baronies and military orders could provide was limited. Native auxiliaries were occasionally useful but not consistently reliable. Numerical inferiority was in part offset by certain other factors. To natural barriers of mountain, river, and desert, the crusaders added formidable fortresses at critical points along the frontier. In the later years of the twelfth century most of these were garrisoned by Templars and Hospitallers. Command of the sea was maintained by the Italians, and although reinforcements from Europe were never adequate, supplies were assured.

From years of experience the Syrian Latins had learned their own capacities and limitations. Especially had they become familiar with the weaknesses of their opponents. The divisions in Levantine Islam which had facilitated the original conquest were an important element in their continuing security. Judicious alliances with friendly Moslem powers — a procedure never understood by crusaders fresh from Europe — helped to maintain a Levantine balance of power. This advantage was destined to be lost during the second half of the twelfth century as Near Eastern Islam was progressively unified under able leadership.

Partly as a consequence of the military and political successes of Islam, the role of Constantinople in the grand strategy of the Levant became more significant. John Comnenus, it will be recalled, had revived Byzantine power in Cilicia and northern Syria. At his death in 1143 Franco-Byzantine relations were severely strained. Manuel Comnenus (1143-1180) added to his predecessors’ claims over Antioch an ambition to extend Byzantine influence southward and westward in the Mediterranean. In the face of a resurgent Islam the Latins were forced to solicit his aid and make concessions which earlier crusaders had refused. For a number of years Manuel was a kind of arbiter of Near Eastern politics.

Frequent mention will also be made in the following pages of Cilician Armenia. Although there were occasional border conflicts with Antioch, Armenia was generally friendly to the Latins, as the number of prominent intermarriages testifies. The kingdom was formally a vassal state of Byzantium. To maintain some sort of independence against Constantinople and against its Moslem neighbors was its hope. Its efforts to do so form part of the complex pattern of contemporary Near Eastern diplomacy.

When king Fulk died, his son Baldwin was only thirteen years old, and the high court (the Haute Cour of the Assises de Jerusalem) devised a somewhat unusual arrangement for the succession. On Christmas day, 1143, queen Melisend and her son were both crowned. Melisend’s government, therefore, was less a regency than a joint rule. Like most divisions of power, it was not an unqualified success once Baldwin reached an age where he could fend for himself. It was especially unfortunate in the period of crisis following the fall of Edessa. The loss of Edessa, which was described in two previous chapters, was a grievous blow to the Latin orient. Not only was the capital of a Christian principality captured — and the remaining towns cast of the Euphrates could not survive long — but the possibility of menacing communications between Aleppo and Mesopotamia was removed. Christian loss was Moslem gain and the union of Moslem Syria was a step nearer.

Fortunately for the Franks, Zengi was not able to follow up his initial successes and within two years (September 1146) he was assassinated. His lands were partitioned between two of his sons, Saif-ad-Din Ghazi, who took Mosul and the east, and Nur-ad-Din, to whom fell the western territories and Aleppo. It was Nur-ad-Din, therefore, with whom the Latins had to reckon. Although he was deprived of the strength Zengi had derived from Mesopotamia, Nur-ad-Din was also free of many political complications which had plagued his father. Thus he could concentrate on creating a power in Moslem Syria capable of challenging the Latins without help from Mosul. Nur-ad-Din was admired as well as feared by his enemies. William of Tyre generously described him as “a wise and prudent man and according to the superstitious traditions of his people, one who feared God”. The Franks were soon to test his strength in a second and final siege of Edessa.

Encouraged by the news of Zengi’s death the Armenian residents of Edessa communicated with its former count, Joscelin II, and plotted the recovery of the city. Sometime in October 1146 Joscelin and Baldwin of Marash appeared before the city, but they were not adequately equipped. Before they could reduce the inner citadel, Nur-ad-Din had surrounded the town with ten thousand men. In a desperate sortie some Christians escaped, among them Joscelin, but Baldwin of Marash fell, and thousands of luckless native Christians were massacred. Thus the second siege of Edessa proved far worse than the first and the city never recovered its former prominence.

An immediate consequence of the fall of Edessa was the added danger to Antioch. Although Raymond of Poitiers, the prince of Antioch, had not assisted his fellow Christians of Edessa, he now realized his predicament and sought a rapprochement with Manuel Comnenus. No Byzantine troops came to his assistance, however, and in the course of the years 1147 and 1148 Nur-ad-Din captured Artah, Mamalah, Basarfut, and Kafarlatha. Most of the principality’s possessions beyond the Orontes, therefore, were lost.

With losses sustained in the north, the security of the Latin Levant depended more than ever on the relations between Jerusalem and those Moslem states, notably Damascus, which still resisted the southward advance of the Aleppans. Earlier chapters have described Frankish relations with Damascus; and it will be recalled that Muin-ad-Din Unur (or Onor), the governor, had allied with king Fulk. On Zengi’s death, Unur had quickly occupied Baalbek and entered into negotiations with the governors of Homs and Hamah. At the same time his astute sense of diplomacy had prompted him to appease Zengi’s successor. In March 1147 Unur's daughter married Nur-ad-Din. But he had ample reason to continue his friendly dispositions toward Jerusalem, which a characteristic loyalty to treaty obligations dictated. It seems obvious too that the most elementary diplomatic and strategic considerations should have led the Latins to avoid any actions which might endanger this Levantine balance of power. Yet this was precisely the error committed by the leaders of the Second Crusade.

Our fifteenth chapter has described in detail the Second Crusade of 1147-1149. To Christian Europe the failure represented a tragic shattering of high hopes. To the Latin east it was more than a military defeat. Christian prestige in the orient had been dangerously weakened. The one thing the Moslems feared most, a powerful expedition from Europe, had arrived and been repulsed. Further, the breach with Damascus, so long well disposed toward Jerusalem, upset the Levantine equilibrium and paved the way for the eventual union of Aleppo and Damascus.

After the Second Crusade, the Moslems, emboldened by success and assisted by continued quarrels in Christian ranks, pressed their advantage and made new gains in northern Syria. Count Raymond II of Tripoli actually sought Moslem assistance in dislodging Bertram, grandson of Raymond of St Gilles, from al-Arimah, the citadel of which was destroyed, and Bertram, along with others, was captured. When Raymond of Antioch advanced to thwart Nur-ad-Din's moves east of the Orontes, a bold attack with a small force won him an initial advantage. But on the night of June 29, 1149, his troops were surrounded, and Raymond with Reginald of Marash perished in the battle. The atabeg then advanced toward Antioch ravaging the countryside as far as the coast where he exultantly bathed in the Mediterranean. The defenders of Antioch, directed by the patriarch Aimery, were accorded a short truce. Moslem troops were kept on guard, however, and Nur-ad-Din returned to complete the capture of Harim.

These Moslem successes and Raymond of Poitiers’ death produced a situation which required intervention from Jerusalem. In Antioch the government had fallen to Raymond's young widow, Constance, who had been left with four children. Although the patriarch Aimery had rallied the discouraged defenders and messages had been sent to Europe, immediate reinforcement was vital. In fact, when Baldwin III arrived to assist Antioch, all the possessions of the principality east of the Orontes had been lost. An attempt to recapture Harim failed, but Nur-ad-Din was for the moment satisfied with his conquests, and a truce provided a much needed respite. It was possible, therefore, to put Antioch's defenses in order.

The king was also able to salvage, at least temporarily, the vestiges of the county of Edessa. The final liquidation of Edessa could not, however, be long delayed. On May 4, 1150, Joscelin was ambushed on the way to Antioch. His Turkoman captors were willing to set him free on payment of ransom, but the atabeg quickly sent a corps of soldiers who brought the count to Aleppo where he died nine years later. Despite threats of injury he refused to abjure his faith and, since he was unable to obtain a Latin priest, received the last rites at the hands of a Jacobite bishop.

On the news of Joscelin’s capture, Masud, Selchukid sultan of Iconium (Konya), advanced into Latin territory and in May 1150 took Kesoun, Behesni, Raban, and other outlying possessions of Edessa. Considerable numbers of the inhabitants made their way to Tell Bashir where Joscelin’s wife, Beatrice, was valiantly holding out. Meanwhile, Nur-ad-Din took Azaz, which with Harim made him master of the hinterland of Antioch.

These events brought Baldwin once again to Syria accompanied by Humphrey of Toron and Guy of Beirut. He was joined by Raymond II of Tripoli and his troops. When the royal party reached Antioch, the king found that although Masud had been called away, Nur-ad-Din had invested the entire region of Tell Bashir. Some hope, however, was afforded by the intervention of Manuel Comnenus. He had offered financial support to Beatrice and her children in return for the surrender of the fortresses still in her possession. The matter was referred to king Baldwin, and when Byzantine envoys further explained the emperor's purpose to Baldwin, the latter decided to agree to the transfer. The magnates of both Antioch and Jerusalem who were present were divided in their opinion, but the king sided with those who argued that further delay would be fatal. Moreover, it was evident that with both northern states deprived of their rulers, there was not adequate strength in the Latin east to maintain authority beyond the now shrunken confines of Antioch. And if the territory were eventually lost, the failure would be attributed to the emperor and not to Jerusalem. Therefore, with the consent of the countess and her children, Tell Bashir and the other remaining possessions of the county — Ravendan, Aintab, Duluk, Bira, and Samosata — were surrendered to the Greeks. As many had predicted, the Byzantines were able to maintain their new acquisitions only a few months. The lands of the former county of Edessa were eventually divided among the Selchukids of Iconium, the Artukids, and Nur-ad-Din.

Busy though he was in the north, Baldwin did not neglect the defenses of Jerusalem. Probably during the winter of 1149-1150, Gaza, an important defense position against Ascalon, was rebuilt and assigned to the Templars. Twice, early in 1150 and again in the spring of 1151, Nur-ad-Din's moves on Damascus were checked by Latin troop movements. Thus the king and barons of Jerusalem maintained and even improved the position of the kingdom to counteract the disasters in the north.

Throughout the years following the Second Crusade it was becoming evident to many that Baldwin had attained a political maturity which justified a full assumption of royal authority. Although Melisend had governed well and had firmly upheld the rights of the crown, her interests were too narrowly local, whereas the activities of her son bespoke a wider view of the needs of the Latin orient. For some time Baldwin had cooperated successfully with his mother, but the joint rule had been prolonged well past the customary age of majority, for in 1150 the king was twenty years old. A most unfortunate rift which had grown between the mother and son was widened when Melisend appointed her cousin, Manasses of Hierges, as constable. Manasses was haughty, intolerant, and generally unpopular, but connected by marriage with the important Ibelin family, and so the queen was not without considerable support among the nobility. A number of barons, however, urged Baldwin to take the crown. Some, it is true, and among these was the patriarch Fulcher, counseled the young man to include his mother in the ceremony of coronation. But he preferred the advice of others and, after postponing the ceremony, was crowned alone two days after Easter 1151 (or 1152). Partly as a consequence of his precipitate action, the rift between the supporters of the queen and those of Baldwin degenerated into civil war.

Following the coronation, the king summoned the high court. He then asked his mother to divide the kingdom and concede at least part of his rightful inheritance. This was done. The king received the coastal cities of Tyre and Acre with their dependencies, while Jerusalem and Nablus were left to the queen. Manasses, the queen’s favorite, was deposed, and Humphrey II of Toron appointed constable. The division of authority satisfied no one and was soon followed by hostilities. Manages was successfully besieged in his castle of Mirabel and forced to renounce his lands. Nablus was likewise taken, and Melisend sought refuge in Jerusalem. As Baldwin advanced in force, the queen with a few of her adherents, notably Philip of Nablus, Amalric, count of Jaffa and the king's brother, and Rohard the elder, retired to the citadel. Several days of furious assault followed before either side would accept mediation. Then Melisend agreed to relinquish Jerusalem, and Baldwin took a solemn oath to respect his mother's tenure of Nablus. Thus peace was restored, and the king could proceed with the important affairs of government.

During the years following king Baldwin III’s assumption of full royal responsibility two developments stand out. First, the king frequently found it necessary to intervene in the concerns of Tripoli and Antioch. Sometime in 1152 Raymond II of Tripoli was attacked and killed at the city gates by a band of Assassins. The king was in Tripoli at the time, having come with his mother in an attempt to reconcile the count with his wife, the countess Hodierna. It was under the king's direction that the Tripolitan barons now swore allegiance to the countess and her children, Raymond III, then only twelve, and his younger sister Melisend. In Antioch, Byzantine pressure was still very evident, and Manuel Comnenus sought in various ways to extend his power southward. Both the emperor and king Baldwin had tried to induce the princess Constance of Antioch to remarry, Manuel urged her to accept a Byzantine prince. Baldwin suggested various noblemen whom he thought capable of shouldering the heavy responsibility of defending the exposed frontiers. At a council of notables held at Tripoli, everyone earnestly besought the young woman to take a husband if only for the sake of the principality. But Constance persistently refused. A more romantic solution was soon to present itself, and was perhaps already in her mind. Jerusalem and Constantinople were not, however, always in conflict. There were to be important periods of cooperation. And both were worried about the gradual encirclement of Christian Syria by Nur-ad-Din. The second great concern of Baldwin's reign was the grand strategy of frontier expansion and defense against the menacing advance of Aleppo. Although these two major concerns, the northern states and the frontiers of Jerusalem, were clearly related, it will be convenient to consider first the frontier policy as it affected the kingdom of Jerusalem.

In previous years the intermittent skirmishes along the southern frontier, far less serious than in the north and east, had not greatly worried the Franks. But after the retreats in northern Syria, Baldwin wisely sought to counteract Moslem advances there by pushing southward. Moreover, in so doing, he was formulating a strategy which was to continue under his successor. The key to the situation was Ascalon, whose capture, long considered desirable, now seemed a necessity. Ascalon, the “bride of Syria”, was highly prized by the Egyptians and provided a bulwark against the Latins. Hence it had been their policy to send supplies and reinforcements to its already large population four times a year. Situated on a semicircular area sloping toward the sea, it was surrounded by artificial mounds additionally fortified by heavy walls upon winch many towers were mounted. Its four gates were also defended by massive towers. An outer line of solidly constructed fortifications added to the city's strength. Indeed, Ascalon was generally regarded as impregnable.

But although Ascalon itself was strong, the government at Cairo which stood behind it was weakening. The Fatimid caliphs had been largely supplanted by their viziers. Assassinations were not infrequent. In fact, such was the decadence of the Fatimid dynasty that outside intervention seemed inevitable, if not from Christian Jerusalem, then from Moslem Syria. The Christian army which assembled before Ascalon in January 1153, augmented when a full siege was finally decided upon, contained the flower of Latin Syrian knighthood. William of Tyre mentions by name: Hugh of Ibelin, Philip of Nablus, Humphrey of Toron, Simon of Tiberias, Gerard of Sidon, Guy of Beirut, Maurice of Montreal (ash-Shaubak), and Walter of St. Omer, the last-named serving for pay. Bernard of Tremelay, master of the Temple, and Raymond of Le Puy, master of the Hospital, were also present. Five bishops in addition to the patriarch Fulcher of Jerusalem accompanied the troops and escorted the sacred relic of the True Cross. The city was speedily blockaded, and Gerard of Sidon, in command of some fifteen ships, was ordered to prevent exit and all attempts at reinforcement by sea. But such was the vigilance and strength of the defenders that two months passed without progress.

During the spring the Christian army was reinforced by a number of knights and foot-soldiers who had recently arrived on pilgrimage, but this advantage was counterbalanced, toward the end of the fifth month of siege, by the arrival of a powerful Egyptian fleet of seventy large vessels and a number of smaller craft. Gerard of Sidon's squadron was easily routed and substantial reinforcements in both men and supplies were safely delivered, Notwithstanding this change in fortune, the attackers pressed on and succeeded in causing serious losses. They fought from a huge movable tower which they had managed to bring up against the wall in the face of heavy arrow fire. Attempts to burn the tower failed, and with a shift in wind a large fire set between the tower and the wall was blown back against the defenders. As a consequence, a section of the wall collapsed, permitting the master of the Templars, Bernard of Tremelay, and about forty men to enter the breach. They were soon cut off, however, and the breach mended. The corpses of the fallen were suspended over the walls and their heads severed and sent as trophies to the caliph,

Thoroughly discouraged by this new reverse, Baldwin summoned his men to council in the presence of the True Cross. The king and almost all the lay barons were ready to end the siege. But the patriarch, the archbishop of Tyre, the master of the Hospital, and the bulk of the clergy strongly contended that what had been commenced and carried forward so long should not be abandoned. This view prevailed and was ultimately accepted unanimously.

Accordingly, with the fury of desperation — for all must have realized that this was the last chance — the attack was resumed. The defenders suffered such heavy losses that after three days a truce was requested in order that the dead might be exchanged and properly buried. Shortly afterward, a huge stone hurled by a Frankish siege machine killed forty citizens carrying a heavy beam. This seemed to crown the misfortunes of the defenders, for they agreed that envoys be sent to negotiate terms of surrender. Three days were granted the inhabitants to leave, and military escort was promised as far as al-Arish.

The city fell on August 22, 1153, and a considerable booty in the form of money, supplies, and war material was collected, King Baldwin and his retinue entered the city amidst great jubilation. The Cross was born in solemn procession to the principal mosque, a beautiful structure later dedicated to St. Paul, where services of thanksgiving were offered. The government of Ascalon was entrusted to Amalric, count of Jaffa, the king's brother.

Thus it was that a half century after the First Crusade the conquest of the Palestinian sea coast was finally completed. Defeat in the north had apparently been counterbalanced by a great victory and a new southward orientation of policy inaugurated. This was to become especially evident after the new count of Jaffa and Ascalon succeeded his brother as king.

Important as was the strategic advantage won by the Christians at Ascalon it was offset within a few months by Nur-ad-Din’s success at Damascus. In April 1154 he appeared in force, blockaded the city, and began to advance through the outskirts. Once again Damascus appealed to Jerusalem, and in desperation Mujir-ad-Din offered Baalbek and part of the Biqa in return for assistance. But Nur-ad-Din moved first, and took Damascus on April 25 before a Frankish army could swing into action. As a consequence Moslem and Christian Syria now consisted of two long narrow bands of territory lying adjacent to each other. From Cilicia to Ascalon the coast was Christian. The hinterland was for the first time under a single Moslem government.

For a number of years after 1154 Nur-ad-Din was inclined to maintain peaceful relations with the Christian states. He needed time to assimilate his conquests and consolidate an authority still far from perfect. Apparently he was even willing to continue the tribute paid to Jerusalem by the previous regime. Baldwin was also disposed to avoid hostilities. Not only was he then unable to take the initiative, but aggressive moves from Egypt, principally coastal raids by the Egyptian fleet, occupied his attention for a few years. Accordingly in 1156 a truce which had been negotiated in June 1155 by mutual agreement was extended for another year, and Nur-ad-Din bound himself to pay eight thousand Tyrian dinars.

However, the truce was broken in the following year by depredations from Jerusalem in the region around Banyas, where it had been the custom for nomadic Arabs and Turkomans to drive their cattle. Nur-ad-Din replied by attacking Banyas. The outer city was destroyed, and the defenders under Humphrey of Toron forced to take refuge in the citadel. The king arrived in time to force Nur-ad-Din's withdrawal, and the city was restored. But a part of the king's army was ambushed at Jacob's Ford (June 19, 1157). With great difficulty the king escaped to Safad and thence to Acre with a handful of companions. Almost all his knights were captured, among them Hugh of Ibelin, Odo of St Amand, king's marshal, Rohard of Jaffa and his brother Balian, and Bertrand of Blancfort, now master of the Temple.

A second attempt on Banyas was repulsed by king Baldwin with the assistance of Reginald of Châtillon, recently installed, as we shall see, as prince of Antioch, and the young Raymond III of Tripoli. These men joined the king at Noire Garde near Chastel-Neuf (Hunin) whence they could see the besieged city. Nur-ad-Din was unwilling to risk an engagement and withdrew. About a year later (July 15, 1158) a series of movements by the king's army and by Nur-ad-Din in the Sawad east of Lake Tiberias culminated in a brilliant victory for the Christian forces on the plain of al-Bailbah.

In 1158, therefore, the situation between Damascus and Jerusalem remained much as before. None of the actions described amounted to a serious campaign any more than did the raids of the Egyptian fleet at the same period. The really significant developments were in the north where Byzantine intervention profoundly altered an already difficult situation. To these events we must now turn, considering first the king's activities in Syria after the fall of Ascalon.


During the early weeks of the siege of Ascalon, a time when the king was too preoccupied to give proper attention to the affairs of northern Syria, Constance of Antioch finally decided to marry.

Having spurned all the princes who had been suggested and who might have advanced the development of the principality, she chose Reginald of Châtillon, a knight who had recently arrived in the east and entered the kingis service. The choice-was unfortunate, Reginald's lack of standing caused considerable gossip and subsequently complicated his dealings with those whose superior rank was well established. It soon became evident, too, that Reginald was of a turbulent and unruly disposition. An adventurer to the end, he was destined to waste his good qualities and to bring disaster to the Latin east, but he was a brave and dashing warrior and a handsome man. It is not difficult to understand why the young widow preferred him to less attractive men of higher estate.

Although the romantic pair were secretly betrothed, Constance was unwilling to celebrate the marriage publicly without the permission of king Baldwin. Reginald presented his case to the king when he was engaged before Ascalon (January 1153). No doubt Baldwin was too occupied to give the matter much consideration and Antioch would now have a protector. At any rate he consented and the marriage took place in the spring of 1153.

Among those who resented Constance’s marriage was the patriarch of Antioch, Aimery. Not without ambition himself, he may have hoped Constance would prolong a regency which gave him considerable authority. Aimery’s criticism eventually reached Reginald's ears. Aimery also refused Reginald’s demands for money. Unable to control his wrath, the prince had the patriarch seized, brutally humiliated, and thrown into prison. King Baldwin was astounded as well as angered and sent the chancellor, Ralph, bishop of Bethlehem, and bishop Frederick of Acre to reprove and warn Reginald. Reluctantly the prince released Aimery and restored his property. But the patriarch decided to quit Antioch for Jerusalem, where he remained for some years.

Reginald displayed the same truculence in his early dealings with Manuel Comnenus, who was also far from pleased at Reginald’s marriage. In return for campaign expenses, the prince had agreed to suppress a revolt in Cilician Armenia. Toros II, a son of Leon I, who had once been a prisoner at Constantinople, had defeated Andronicus Comnenus and by 1152 had brought under his control the important Cilician cities. In 1155 the region of Alexandretta (Iskenderun) was the scene of hostilities. Although there seems to be some doubt concerning the outcome, Toros ceded areas along the gulf to the Templars in Antioch. Since the campaign benefited Antioch and not Byzantium, Manuel found reasons for postponing the promised payment. Whereupon Reginald turned in anger against the emperor and, apparently accompanied by Toros, raided the island of Cyprus. The Greek governor, John Comnenus, Manuel’s nephew, and his lieutenant, Michael Branas, vainly attempted to oppose the landing. Both were captured and the island so effectively pillaged that it never entirely recovered. An indefensible act, the raid was so much energy wasted in an enterprise of no military significance whatever.

Since Reginald had thus far accomplished nothing toward improving the position of his principality, the initiative fell to the king of Jerusalem. Toward the end of the summer of 1157 count Thierry of Alsace had arrived in Jerusalem with a considerable retinue. Moreover, in July and August several Moslem cities had been badly damaged by earthquakes. It was with great expectations, therefore, that Baldwin and the count moved northward and, together with Reginald and Raymond III of Tripoli, assembled a formidable army in the Buqaiah valley in the vicinity of Krak des Chevaliers (Hisn al-Akrad). Thence an advance was made into the Orontes valley. Chastel-Rouge resisted successfully, and on the advice of Reginald the armies moved toward Antioch.

Meanwhile Nur-ad-Din advanced to Inab, probably with the intention of crossing the Orontes and marching against Antioch. At Inab, however, he was taken so ill that his life was despaired of. This was probably in October of 1157. Having arranged for the disposition of his territories if he should die, he was carried on a litter to Aleppo while Shirkuh went to defend Damascus. Sensing a perfect opportunity to strike, Baldwin and the other Christian leaders dispatched a message to Toros urgently requesting his assistance. The Armenian responded promptly and led a considerable force to Antioch. The combined armies then marched on Shaizar. Shaizar was a city which, somewhat after the manner of Damascus, had escaped the full power of the Zengid dynasty. After the death of a pro-Frankish ruler in August 1157 and the destruction of part of the city in the earthquake of the same month, Shaizar had fallen into a sort of anarchy. Thus the situation was highly favorable to the Christians.

Capture of the lower city proved comparatively easy. Tight blockade forced the citizens within the walls, and well placed siege machines battered down the defenses. Not, apparently, war­like folk, the inhabitants abandoned the walls after several days and retreated to the citadel. This presented no great problem, but a most inopportune controversy over the disposition of the newly conquered territory stalled the Latin attack. The king intended to concede Shaizar to count Thierry, knowing that his strength, backed by the resources of a prominent European family, would be more than sufficient to maintain the city. Perhaps he envisaged a new Latin state beyond the Orontes, a buffer state to replace the lost Edessa. At any rate the plan was applauded by everyone except Reginald, who argued that since Shaizar was a former tributary of the principality, anyone who held it must swear fealty to him. But a count of Flanders could hardly be expected to do homage to a minor French baron. Thierry, therefore, refused such a condition. Unfortunately for the Franks this quarrel became so serious that the siege had to be abandoned.

Nur-ad-Din sent an emir to take over the city. Later, when his health was fully restored, he visited Shaizar in person, saw that the damage caused by earthquake and siege was repaired, and had the defenses put in order. Thus Shaizar, the last of the towns of middle Syria to maintain some degree of autonomy, and one which might have become a Christian principality, fell to the all-embracing power of Aleppo. Although Shaizar was lost, it was agreed that the opportunity presented by the atabeg's illness should not be entirely wasted. Accordingly Harim was besieged and taken after a siege of two months (February 1158). The city was returned, this time without dispute, to the jurisdiction of Antioch. The king and the count of Flanders returned to Jerusalem, count Raymond accompanying them as far as Tripoli, Later in the same year Thierry and Baldwin raided the Damascus region, forced Nur-ad-Din to raise the siege of Habis Jaldak, southeast of Lake Tiberias, and soundly defeated his troops. A truce followed.

Not long before the northern campaign an embassy had been sent to Constantinople for the purpose of seeking a consort for king Baldwin. It had been felt for some time that the royal dynasty should be carried on, but the decision to approach Byzantium at this juncture was especially significant. European aid was manifestly inadequate and not to be relied upon. It was, therefore, imperative to seek assistance elsewhere. It was probably shortly after the arrival of count Thierry in the autumn of 1157 that the envoys set out for the Byzantine capital. After some time was consumed in discussion it was agreed that Theodora, Manuel's niece, should be sent as a bride for the king. Though only thirteen she was exceptionally beautiful. A large dowry was provided, a magnificent trousseau, and high-ranking attendants to accompany the bridal party to Jerusalem. On his part Baldwin had sent a written guarantee accepting whatever his envoys arranged and further promising Acre as a marriage portion in the event of his own death. The bridal party landed at Tyre in September 1158 and journeyed directly to Jerusalem where Theodora was married to Baldwin and solemnly crowned. Aimery, patriarch of Antioch, who had sought refuge from Reginald in the holy city, performed the ceremonies. The king was much taken with his young bride and remained a devoted husband.

If Baldwin’s purpose in seeking a Byzantine alliance is clear, it seems equally evident that Manuel was ready to resume pressure on Antioch. In the fall of 1158 he entered Cilicia with a sizeable army. His first objective, the recovery of Cilicia, he achieved without great difficulty, for Toros was so completely taken by surprise that he had barely time to escape to the mountains. When Reginald learned of the emperor’s approach, he consulted his barons as to how he might justify his recent conduct. He may also have appealed to Baldwin. But Manuel arrived too quickly for the king to intervene. Reginald, therefore, set out for the emperor's camp at Mamistra (Misis). Bishop Gerard of Latakia and a few barons accompanied him.

In the presence of the emperor’s court, where there were to be found not only a number of Byzantine dignitaries, but envoys from various Moslem rulers and from the king of Georgia, Reginald publicly repented his misdeeds. Barefooted and clad in a short-sleeved woolen tonic, he presented his sword to the emperor, holding it by the point. He then prostrated himself on the ground. Restored to favor by this abject submission, Reginald swore allegiance and premised to surrender the citadel of Antioch on demand. He also agreed to admit a Greek patriarch whom the emperor should designate. Thus Manuel amply avenged the pillage of Cyprus and obtained a clear recognition of his suzerainty over Antioch. Further, the installation of a Greek patriarch would symbolize a victory for the Byzantine church.

It was not long before Baldwin arrived at Antioch accompanied by Amalric, his brother, and by several distinguished nobles. An embassy was sent to Manuel, who responded through his chancellor by inviting the king to his presence and by directing that he be met by his nephews, John, the  protosebastos  and Alexius, the chamberlain, and a suitable retinue of nobles. Thus Baldwin was received with considerable ceremony. He was saluted with the kiss of peace and seated by the emperor’s side in a place only slightly lower than that of the emperor himself. For ten days the two rulers held important conversations, and Baldwin won the respect and esteem of the imperial court. Precisely what was decided at these conferences has not been recorded. Presumably some sort of pact was arranged whereby Manuel agreed to participate in a crusade against Islam. Apparently Baldwin was also able to effect a reconciliation between the emperor and Toros. The Armenian agreed to surrender one fortress, was fully restored to favor, and took an oath of fealty. This diplomacy reflected great credit on the king of Jerusalem and won him the gratitude of both Greeks and Armenians.

The imperial entry into Antioch which took place shortly after Easter (April 12, 1159) was a veritable "triumph". Wearing the diadem of the empire, Manuel was welcomed by the king, Reginald, their respective followers, and the city notables. He was escorted first to the cathedral and then to the palace. For eight days the imperial standard floated over the citadel, and gifts were distributed liberally among the population. There were tournaments and hunting expeditions and Manuel distinguished himself in both. When Baldwin was thrown from his horse and broke his arm, the emperor amazed everyone by ministering to the king with his own hands, Manuel prided himself on his medical knowledge and skill. Although these events heralded a period of almost twenty years during which Byzantium was to dominate Syrian politics, the emperor's actual power in Antioch must not be exaggerated. There is no trace during these years of any direct administration in Antioch comparable, for example, to that in Cilician Armenia. Nor did Manuel insist at this time on the installation of a Greek patriarch. Moreover, Baldwin's part in the negotiations should not be underestimated. As a consequence of his marriage and through the use of considerable diplomatic finesse he had secured the Byzantine alliance.

All these celebrations were merely preliminaries to the serious business of planning a joint expedition against Nur-ad-Din. Meanwhile the Moslems began preparations to resist the expected attack. The atabeg ordered all his emirs and governors of fortified places to make their defenses ready. He then moved with the bulk of his forces toward the middle Orontes. If he really expected an attack in the region of Shaizar, Homs, or Hamah, he was deceived. It was the intention of Manuel and the Frankish leaders to strike at Aleppo, the heart of Nur-ad-Din's empire. Machines and engines of war were assembled and the entire army proceeded to the ford of Balana some forty miles northwest of Aleppo.

At this juncture, Nur-ad-Din, evidently concerned at the size of the forces arrayed against him, entered into negotiation with Manuel The result was the liberation of a number of Christian prisoners, including Bertram of Toulouse and the master of the Temple. Since the mere appearance of the Christian armies opened the prison gates, the consequent and expected military operations might have achieved decisive results. But to the disgust of the Franks and for reasons not adequately explained, Manuel returned to Constantinople. There was nothing left for the king to do, except to withdraw likewise and to return to Jerusalem. The great combined Graeco-Latin crusade, from which so much had been expected, thus failed to materialize. To understand this defection on the part of Manuel it is necessary to emphasize that the emperor's journey into Syria had as its purpose the recovery of Cilicia and the reassertion of suzerainty over Antioch. Success in these matters, and particularly in the latter, was in part owing to Nur-ad-Din's pressure against the Franks. Without the atabeg’s recent conquests, Baldwin and Reginald would probably have been unwilling to admit Manuel's claims. The atabeg must, therefore, be restrained but not crushed. Further, peace with Nur-ad-Din fitted in with the emperor's plans for a reckoning with Iconium. Under the command of John Contostephanus troops from Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cilicia — evidently the alliance was still in force — routed a pan of Kilij (or Kilich) Arslan's army in the autumn of 1161. As Manuel moved south the sultan was encircled and sought peace. After restoring certain captured towns and engaging to attack the empire's enemies Kilij Arslan went in person to Constantinople and was received as a vassal and ally. Byzantine diplomacy was grounded on an oriental balance of power in which Moslem states were to be played against each other and against the Franks.

It should, however, be added that the basileus evidently had no intention of breaking completely with the Latins. Sometime in 1160 (or 1161) an imperial embassy approached king Baldwin requesting as a future consort for the emperor one of the king's kinswomen, either the sister of the count of Tripoli or Constance of Antioch's daughter. Perhaps in order to avoid strengthening the emperor's claims over Antioch the king and his advisers suggested Melisend, Raymond of Tripoli's sister. The bride-elect was provided with a suitable retinue and expensive adornments. The king and a number of barons assembled at Tripoli to wish her Godspeed. But the Byzantine envoys, constantly in communication with Manuel, delayed a year. At length a messenger was sent to Constantinople who returned with the information that the emperor had decided against Melisend. Count Raymond was so enraged that he ordered a pillaging expedition along the Greek coast. The king was equally disgusted, but important developments at Antioch required the utmost in diplomatic finesse.

In November 1160 (or 1161), perhaps somewhat after the Byzantine embassy had left Constantinople, Reginald was ambushed and captured. Sixteen years’ imprisonment was to be the consequence of a futile marauding foray, sixteen years during which the Latins were at once deprived of a valiant warrior and relieved of the embarrassment of an intemperate adventurer.

Reginald's capture again created a vacancy at Antioch. The barons, apparently fearing Constance's leanings toward Byzantium, appealed to Baldwin, who was then at Tripoli. The king came directly, assumed charge of the principality as bailli and before he returned to Jerusalem rebuilt a fort at the "iron bridge" over the Orontes. The patriarch, Aimery, who had evidently returned, was temporarily placed in charge of the administration.

While he was at Antioch the king was surprised to discover the same imperial envoys with whom he had been negotiating at Tripoli. It had been supposed that they had gone back to Constantinople. Instead, they had commenced discussions with Constance regarding her daughter, Maria. It is also possible that Constance had appealed to the emperor when her husband had been captured. Although the king feared Manuel's designs over Antioch, he gave his consent, being unwilling to break completely with Byzantium. Manuel and Maria were married at Constantinople on December 25, 1161.

Actually the situation in Antioch was not stabilized until 1163, probably shortly after Baldwin's death. At that time the barons of the principality, still suspecting Constance of complicity with Constantinople, solicited the aid of Toros, expelled the princess, and installed her son, Bohemond III, who had come of age.

King Baldwin's days were numbered. He had been saddened by the death of his mother, queen Melisend, on September 11, 1161. While at Antioch he was taken seriously ill and was first removed to Tripoli, where he remained several months. Then, realizing that recovery was not likely, he asked to be transported to Beirut where he summoned the nobles and clergy of the realm. Having confessed his sins he died on February 10, 1163. His body was borne to Jerusalem and buried in the church of the Holy Sepulcher. As the funeral cortege passed from Beirut to Jerusalem, people came from the towns and countryside to pay their last respects. Moslems joined the faithful in grief. Nur-ad-Din, it was reported, indignantly rejected a suggestion that the kingdom be invaded and spoke words of high praise of the departed king. Baldwin III deserved well of his subjects. Faced in the early years with the consequences of two disasters, the loss of Edessa and the failure of the Second Crusade, he had preserved Antioch and pushed the boundaries of Jerusalem southward. At the time of his death there was still reason to hope that the Byzantine alliance, a product of his skillful diplomacy, might bear fruit. He was respected by his contemporaries, Moslem as well as Christian, Greek and Syrian as well as Latin,

To the historian William of Tyre, who probably knew him well, Baldwin was the ideal king. Directly following his account of Fulk's death, William inserted into his history a detailed description which, though it pictures Baldwin as a youth, was composed later and contains many references to the king's more mature years. Apparently he was unusually gifted. Tall and well formed, albeit somewhat heavy, he carried himself with dignity. His features were comely. His manners were perfect, and he was at once affable and vivacious. He was eloquent of speech and possessed of a keen intellect and an accurate memory which were no doubt sharpened by his devotion to reading and to converse with men of learning. His conversation could be witty and he mingled easily with people of varied backgrounds and gave audience whenever requested. Criticism he bestowed freely and publicly, but never with rancor. Moreover, he could listen quietly to sharp words directed at himself. His courage, steadfastness, endurance, his foresight and presence of mind in war have been amply emphasized in the preceding pages. He was well versed in the laws of the kingdom and older men often consulted him. A Godfearing man, he respected the institutions and possessions of the church. Though unusually abstemious in food and drink, he indulged, during his early years, the desires of the flesh and was addicted to gambling. But these failings diminished as he grew older and ceased altogether after his marriage. Baldwin III was one of the great kings of Jerusalem and his reign was a distinguished period in its history.