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Women in the Crusader States: The Queens of Jerusalem (1100-1190)

  • Bernard Hamilton (a1)
Extract

The important part played by women in the history of the crusader states has been obscured by their exclusion from the battle-field. Since scarcely a year passed in the Frankish east which was free from some major military campaign it is natural that the interest of historians should have centred on the men responsible for the defence of the kingdom. Yet in any society at war considerable power has to be delegated to women while their menfolk are on active service, and the crusader states were no exception to this general rule. Moreover, because the survival rate among girl-children born to Frankish settlers was higher than that among boys, women often provided continuity to the society of Outremer, by inheriting their fathers’ fiefs and transmitting them to husbands many of whom came from the west.

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References
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1 The Autobiography of Ousâma, trans G. R. Potter, (London 1929) p 177.

2 Mayer, [H. E.], [‘Studies in the History of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem’,] DOP 26 (1972) pp 93183.

3 A[lbert of] A[ix, Historia Hierosolymitana,] bk 3, cap 27, RHC Occ 4, p 358; Hagenmeyer, H.. Chronologie de la première Croisade (1094-1100) (Paris 1902) no 196, pp 1012 . compare [Vitalis, Orderic, Historia Ecclesiastica,] bk 5, cap 13, ed Prévost, A. Le, Delisle, L., 5 vols (Paris 1838-55) 2, p 404.

4 Cange, C. [du Fresne] Du, [Les Familles d’Outremer, ed Rey, E. G.] (Paris 1869) p 11.

5 Rüdt-Collenberg, W. H., The Rupenides, Hethumides and Lusignans. The Structure of the Armeno-Cilician Dynasties, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Armenian Library (Paris 1963) table 1 and p 50 no 7.

6 AA bk 3, cap 31, RHC Occ 4, p 361 places the marriage before Baldwin reached Edessa in March 1098; W[illiam of] T[yre, Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum,] bk 10, cap 1, RHC Occ 1, p 402 places it after he came to Edessa.

7 WT bk 10, cap 5, RHC Occ 1, p 407; Guibert [of Nogent, Gesta Dei per Francos,] bk 7, cap 48, RHC Occ 4, p 259.

8 F[ulcher of] C[hartres, Historia Hierosolymitana (1095-1127),] bk 2, cap 8, [ed H. Hagenmeyer] (Heidelberg 1913) pp 393–4.

9 Ibid bk 2, cap 14, p 421.

10 Guibert, bk 7, cap 48, RHC Occ 4, p 259.

11 7,000 of the promised 60,000 bezants, AA bk 3, cap 31. RHC Occ 4, p 361.

12 Orderic bk 9, cap n, 3, p 570.

13 Although this was later a Latin convent it may have been an eastern rite community at this time, since Arda was an Armenian Christian. Hamilton, B., ‘Rebuilding Zion: the Holy Places of Jerusalem in the twelfth century”, SCH 14 (1977) p 111.

14 WT bk 11, cap 1, RHC Occ 1, pp 451–2.

15 She married Roger I in 1089 as a young woman and had probably been born in C1074. Her marriage settlement shows that she was not considered to be above the age of child-bearing in 1113 and there seems no reason for crediting Orderic Vitalis’s report that she was a wrinkled old hag when she married Baldwin, Orderic bk 13, cap 15, 5. P 36.

16 For an account of her regency see Norwich, J.J, The Normans in the South (London 1967) pp 2809.

17 WT bk 11, cap 21, RHC Occ 1, pp 487–9; FC bk 2, cap 51, pp 575–7 relates her arrival but says nothing about her dowry.

18 AA bk 12, cap 13, RHC Occ 4, pp 696–7.

19 WT bk 11, cap 21, RHC Occ 1, p 489.

20 FC bk 2, cap 54, p 591; WT bk 11, cap 26, RHC Occ 1, p 499; Paschal II’s bull of 19 July 1116 in Rozière, [E.] de, [Cartiilaire de l’Église du Saint-Sépulchre de Jérusalem], Collection des documents inédits sur l’histoire de France, 1 ser, 5 (Paris 1849) no 11, pp 1113.

21 AA bk 12, cap 24, RHC Occ 4, p 704.

22 FC bk 2, cap 59, p 601; WT bk 11, cap 29, RHC Occ 1, p 506.

23 AA bk 12, cap 24, RHC Occ 4, p 704.

24 FC bk 2, cap 60, p 602.

25 Delaborde, [H. F.], [Chartes de la Terre Sainte provenant de l’abbaye de Notre-Dame de Josaphat,] B[ibliothéque des] É[coles] Françaises d’] A[thènes et de] R[ome], 19 (Paris 1880) no 20, pp 3840.

26 FC bk 2, cap 63, p 608 and n 14.

27 WT bk 12, cap 29, RHC Occ 1, p 506.

28 Ibid bk 12, cap 2, RHC Occ 1, pp 512–13; FC bk 3, cap 1, p 616.

29 WT bk 10, cap 24, RHC Occ 1, p 437, places this marriage before the arrival of jocelyn Courtenay in the east with the crusade of 1101.

30 Ibid bk 12, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 517.

31 M[atthew of] E[dessa, Chronique d’Arménie,] cap 76, Armenian text with French translation, RHC Arm 1, p 119.

32 FC bk 3, cap 7, p 635.

33 Armenian infiltrators certainly played some part in Baldwin’s escape attempt. WT bk 12, cap 18, RHC Occ 1, pp 538–9; Morphia’s involvement is recorded by Orderic, bk 11, cap 26, 4, pp 250–1.

34 ME cap 91, RHC Ann 1, p 139.

35 Entry in the calendar of queen Melisande’s psalter, ed Buchtal, [H.], [Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem] with liturgical and palaeographical chapters by Wormald, F. (Oxford 1957) pp 1246.

36 Kohler, [C.], [‘Chartes de l’abbaye de Notre-Dame de la vallée de Josaphat en Terre Sainte (1108-1291). Analyse et extraits’], R[evue de l’] O[rient] L[atin], 7 (Paris 1899) no 21, p 128 , which was drawn up before Melisende’s marriage in June 1129. Compare de Rozière no 46, pp 85–6, in which Baldwin II remits some customs charges on pilgrims in the port of Acre for the repose of Morphia’s soul.

37 de Rozière no 44, pp 81–3. This is dated the fourth indiction, March 1128. The indiction has certainly been wrongly transcribed. As the patriarch Stephen was present on this occasion, and only took office in 1128, it seems likely that the new year reckoning employed began on March 25 and that in modern style the document should be dated March 1129.

38 Kohler, ROL 7, no 21, p 128.

39 de Rozière no 43, pp 80–1. The marriage settlement is in WT bk 13, cap 24, RHC Occ 1, p 594: the account of the dying king’s wishes ibid bk 13, cap 28, RHC Occ 1 pp 601–2. See Mayer, DOP 26, pp 99–102.

40 WT bk 14, cap 2, RHC Occ 1, pp 608–9.

41 Ibid bk 14, caps 15-18, RHC Occ 1, pp 627–33; on the dating sec Mayer, DOP 26, pp 104–6.

42 In c1129 Hugh of Le Puiset witnessed a charter of Baldwin II immediately after the princess Melisende, Kohler, ROL 7, no 21, p 128.

43 Mayer DOP 26, pp 102–13. I can find no evidence to support Mayer’s view that Fulk may have wished to repudiate Melisende and set aside the claims of Baldwin III in favour of Elias, the younger son of his first marriage. He seems only to have wished to reduce Melisende to the status of a consort.

44 Amalric was seven when Fulk died in 1143, WT bk 15, cap 27, RHC Occ I, p 702,

45 The first of these relates to the gift of Bethgibelin to the Hospital in 1136. C[artulaire] G[énérale de l’] O[rdre des] Hospitaliers de St.-Jean de Jérualem (1100-1310). ed J. Delaville Le Roulx], 4 vols (Paris 1894-1906) 1, no 116. As Mayer points out, Melisende is not associated with Fulk in documents which he issued as administrator of Antioch, DOP 26, pp 109–10.

46 de Rozière no 33, pp 60–5. Bethany belonged to the canons of the Holy Sepulchre, who were given Thecua in exchange. As Yveta was only about eighteen in 1138 an elderly abbess was appointed on the understanding that the princess would succeed her.

47 Sailer, S. J., Excavations at Bethany (1949-1953), Publications of the Sludium Biblicum Franciscanum 12 (Jerusalem 1957).

48 WT bk 15, cap 26, RHC Occ 1, pp 699–700.

49 For example, de Rozière no 32, pp 58–60; Marsy, [A.] de, [‘Fragment d’un cartulaire de l’Ordre de St.-Lazare en Terre Sainte’,] Archives de l’] O[rient] L[atin], 2 vols (Paris 1884) 2, no 2, p 124.

50 WT bk 15, cap 27, RHC Occ 1, p 702 dates Fulk’s death 1142, but since he also states that Baldwin III was then thirteen Fulk must have died in 1143. Melisende and Fulk were not married until Pentecost 1129 (Whitsun fell on June 2 in that year), so Baldwin cannot have been born before March 1130.

51 WT bk 16, cap 3, RHC Occ 1, p 707.

52 He was in office by 1144 when he led the royal relief force to Edessa, ibid bk 16, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 710.

53 Mayer DOP 26, pp 114–66.

54 de Marsy, AOL 2, no 8, p 129, no 10, pp 130–1; de Rozière no 49, pp 90–2, no 48, pp 87–9.

55 WT bk 17, cap 13, RHC Occ 1, p 781.

56 Ibid bk 17, cap 14, RHC Occ 1, p 781.

57 DOP 16, pp 166–71.

58 WT bk 17, cap 14, RHC Occ 1, pp 781–3.

59 Ibid bk 17, cap 18, RHC Occ 1, p 790, places this event after his account of the deposition of Melisende, but gives no date. It is in a section of his work which relates to events in north Syria, some of which occurred before 1152. Some scholars have therefore placed the assembly of Tripoli before the civil war, for example, Runciman, [S.], [A History of the Crusades], 3 vols (Cambridge 1951-4) 2, p 333 . I accept the date given by Mayer, because the reasons he gives are convincing in the light of a piece of evidence recently discovered, Riley-Smith, J., ‘The Templars and the Castle of Tortosa in Syria: an unknown document concerning the acquisition of the fortress’, EHR 84 (1969) pp 27888 . Mayer’s date is also convincing because Baldwin would have been in no position to summon a general assembly unless he had been sole ruler, DOP 26, p 160.

60 WT bk 17, caps 18, 19, RHC Occ 1, pp 789–92.

61 DOP 26, pp 172–5.

62 Documenti sulle relazioni delle città toscane coll’Oriente cristiano e coi Turchi fino all’anno 1531, ed G. Müller, Documenti degli archivi toscani 3 (Florence 1879) no 5, pp 6–7.

63 WT bk 18, cap 19, RHC Occ 1, p 851.

64 Ibid bk 18, cap 20, RHC Occ I, p 854; the King’s aunt who is mentioned could also have been Hodierna of Tripoli.

65 de Rozière no 58, pp 115–17.

66 WT bk 18, caps 27, 32, RHC Occ 1, pp 867, 877.

67 de Rozière nos 140, 144, pp 256, 262-8.

68 Holy Sepulchre: de Rozière nos 32, 48, pp 58–60, 87-9; Josaphat: Delaborde, nos 33, 34, 36, pp 80–4; Templum Domini: Chalandon, F., ‘Un diplôme inédit d’Amaury I roi de Jérusalem en faveur de l’Abbaye du Temple-Notre-Seigneur’, ROL 8 (1900-1) pp 31117 ; Hospital: CCOH I, nos 175, 191, 244; Saint Lazarus: de Marsy, AOL 2, nos 10, 16, pp 130–1, 135; Saint Samuel’s: Mayer, H. E., ‘Sankt Samuel auf dem Freudenberge und sein besitz nach einem unbekannten diplom König Balduins V, QFIAB 44 (1964) pp 3571.

69 Sepulta est autem inclytae recordationis domina Milissendis, angelorum choris inferenda, in valle Josaphat’, WT bk 18, cap 32, RHC Occ 1, p 877.

70 Buchtal p 14.

71 WT bk 16, cap 3, RHC Occ 1, p 707.

72 Ibid bk 18, cap 16, RHC Occ 1, p 846.

73 Chalandon, [F.], [Les Comnènes. Études sur l’empire byzantin au XIe et XIIe siècle. I. Essai sur le règne d’Alexis 1er Comnène (1081-1118). II. Jean II Comnène (1118-43) et Manuel Ier Comnène (1143-80)] (Paris 1912) 2, pp 3801.

74 She reached Tyre in September 1158, WT bk 18, cap 22, RHC Occ 1, pp 857–8; Chalandon 2, p 441.

75 Gregory the Priest, Continuation of the Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa, cap 123, RHC Arm 1, p 186.

76 WT bk 18, cap 22, RHC Occ 1, p 858.

77 This is not recorded by William of Tyre but is in Gregory the Priest, cap 125, RHC Arm 1, p 189.

78 WT bk 18, cap 22, RHC Occ 1, p 858.

79 Pauli, S., Codice diplomatico del sacro militare ordine Gerosolimitano, oggi di Malta, 2 vols (Lucca 1733-7) I, no 50. pp 501.

80 Strehike, [E.], [Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici] (Berlin 1869) no 3, pp 35 . Mayer DOP 26, pp 179–80, argues that Baldwin III was punishing Philip for his support of Melisende in 1152. This is not convincing: the fief of Outre-Jordan was greater than Philip’s fief at Nablus. The exchange was to Philip’s advantage and was only of benefit to the king because he could integrate Philip’s lands with his mother’s lands.

81 de Marsy, AOL 2, no 20, pp 138–9. Two Greeks are among the witnesses: Michael Grifo, panetarius, and Dionisius miles, who was presumably a member of Theodora’s bodyguard.

82 William of Tyre dates this 10 February 1162, ‘regni ejus anno vicesimo… aetatis vero tricesimo tertio’, bk 18, cap 34, RHC Occ 1, p 880. The twentieth year of Baldwin’s reign would not have begun until 25 December 1162, his thirty-third birthday cannot have been earlier than March 1163 (see note 50 above). It is therefore generally agreed that he died on 10 February 1163.

83 Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I, 4, The Chronicle of Robert of Torigni, ed R. Howlett, RS 82, 4 (1889) p 194.

84 WT bk 17, cap 9, RHC Occ 1, p 775.

85 Ibid bk 19, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 889.

86 Ibid bk 18, cap 29, RHC Occ 1, p 871.

87 Morgan, M. R., The Chronicle of Ernoui and the Continuations of William of Tyre, Oxford Historical Monographs, (Oxford 1973) pp 416.

88 [L’Estoire d’] Eracles [Empereur et la Conqueste de la Terre d’Outremer], bk 23, cap 3 RHC Occ 2, p 5.

89 WT bk 19, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 889.

90 [La Chronique d’] Ernoul [et de Bernard le Trésorier, ed L. de Mas Latrie] (Paris 1871) p 17.

91 WT bk 19, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, pp 889–90.

92 Ernoul p 17; Eracles bk 23, cap 3, RHC Occ 2, p 5; WT bk 19, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 890.

93 Ernoul pp 17–18.

94 [John] Cinnamus, [Epitome Historiarum], bk 5, cap 13, CHSByz (Bonn 1836) pp 237–8.

95 WT bk 20, cap 1, RHC Occ 1, pp 942–3; Ernoul p 18.

96 For Andronicus’s early life see Diehl, [C], [‘Les romanesques aventures d’Andronic Comnène, Figures byzantines], (5 ed Paris 1918) pp 86106.

97 Cinnamus bk 6, cap 1, p 250.

98 WT bk 20, cap 2, RHC Occ 1, pp 943–4.

99 Choniates, Nicetas, Historia, De Manuele Comneno, bk 4, cap 5, CHSByz (Bonn 1835) p 185.

100 For Andronicus’s subsequent career see Diehl, pp 107–33.

101 Ernoul p 15.

102 Itinerarium [peregrinorttm ei gesta regis Ricardi I, ed W. Stubbs], bk I, cap 46, Chronicles and Memorials of the reign of Richard I, 1, RS 38,1 (1864) p 97.

103 Ernoul p 31.

104 Hugh is last mentioned in a document of 1169 (together with Agnes), de Marsy, AOL 2, no 25, pp 142–3.

105 WT bk 19, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 890.

106 Ernoul pp 59, 82.

107 CGOH 1, no 551.

108 WT bk 21, cap 11. RHC Occ 1, p 1023.

109 Roulx, J. Delaville Le, Les archives, le bibliothèque et le trésor de l’Ordre de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem à Malte, BEFAR 32 (1883) no 53, pp 1445.

110 WT bk 21, cap 2, RHC Occ 1. p 1006.

111 Ibid bk 21, cap 13, RHC Occ 1, pp 1025–6.

112 Ibid bk 21, cap 11, RHC Occ 1, p 1023; details of the ransom in Chronique de Michel le Syrien, patriarche Jacobite d’Antioche (1166-99), bk 20, cap 3, ed with French translation, J. B. Chabot, 4 vols (Paris 1890-1924) 3, pp 365–6.

113 He held that office by 1176, CGOH 1, no 496; Nicholson, R. L., Joscelyn III and the Fall of the Crusader States (1134-1199) (Leiden 1973) p 73, n 173.

114 WT bk 21, caps 14, 15, 18, RHC Occ 1, pp 1027–30, 1034-5; Ernoul p 33.

115 Ernoul p 33 places Philip of Flanders’s arrival before Sibylla’s marriage to William of Montferrat instead of after William’s death: this is certainly wrong. He adds that Baldwin had separated from his first wife in order to be free to marry Sibylla, but that when she married William he married the widow of the lord of Caesaraea, pp 47–8. This also is wrong, since Baldwin had married that lady by 1175, CGOH 1, no 470; Du Cange p 365.

116 WT bk 21, cap 18, RHC Occ 1, p 1035.

117 Itinerarium bk I, cap 63, p 121.

118 Ernoul p 59.

119 Maria Comnena’s influence is implied by Ernoul who relates that Manuel offered to pay Baldwin’s ransom pour l’amour de Balyan son fiere, p 58. See Ernoul pp 56–60.

120 WT bk 22, cap 1, RHC Occ 1, pp 1062–3.

121 Ibid bk 22, cap 5, RHC Occ 1, pp 1068–9.

122 Runciman 2, p 424.

123 WT bk 22, cap 5, RHC Occ 1, p 1069.

124 [The travels of] Ibn Jubayr, [trans R. J. C. Broadhurst] (London 1952) p 316.

125 WT bk 22, cap 9, RHC Occ 1, p 1078.

126 Ibid bk 22, cap 4, RHC Occ 1, p 1068, reports the election without comment. Full detail in Eracles bk 23, cap 38, RHC Occ 2, pp 58–9; Ernoul pp 82–4.

127 Eracles bk 23, cap 39, RHC Occ 2, pp 59–60; Ernoul p 82. Heraclius is first mentioned as archdeacon of Jerusalem in a document of 1169, de Rozière no 167, pp 301–5.

128 She later relented under pressure from members of the high court, WT bk 22, cap 9, RHC Occ 1, pp 1077–9.

129 Ernoul p 103; WT bk 22, cap 28, RHC Occ 1, pp 1124–5.

130 WT bk 22, cap 29, RHC Occ 1, pp 1127–8.

131 Les Gestes des Chiprois, cap 38, RHC Arm 2, p 658, which wrongly date this event 1181.

132 I propose to publish elsewhere ray reasons for supposing that the relief of Kerak was delayed by the deposition of Guy de Lusignan. It is implicit in William of Tyre’s account, bk 22, caps 28-30, RHC Occ 1, pp 1124–30.

133 Eracles bk 25, cap 11, RHC Occ 2, p 152.

134 WT bk 23, cap 1, RHC Occ 1, p 1133.

135 Ibn Jubayr p 316.

136 Strehike no 32, p 20.

137 Ernoul pp 116–17; Eraclcs bk 23, cap 4, RHC Occ 2, pp 6–7.

138 Ernoul pp 130–4; Eracles bk 23, cap 17, RHC Occ 2, pp 26–9.

139 Eracles bk 23, caps 18-21, RHC Occ 2, pp 30–3; Ernoul pp 134–9.

140 Eracles bk 25, cap n, RHC Occ 2, p 152.

141 Strehike nos 20, 21, pp 18–19.

142 Ernoul p 185.

143 Ibid pp 186–7; Eracles bk 23, cap 46, RHC Occ 2, pp 68–71.

144 Ernoul p 252; Eracles bk 24, cap 11, RHC Occ 2, pp 120–1.

145 Eracles bk 24, caps 13, 14, RHC Occ 2, pp 123–5; Ernoul pp 256–7.

146 Sibylla had borne Guy four daughters. It is not clear whether they all died at the same time as their mother or whether two had predeceased her: Ernoul p 267; Eracles bk 25, cap 10, and see also variant readings C and G, RHC Occ 2, pp 151, 154.

147 Eracles bk 25, caps 11, 12, RHC Occ 2, pp 151–4; Itinerarium bk 1, cap 63, pp 119–22; Ernoul pp 267–8 does not mention Maria’s involvement.

148 See note 115 above.

149 He is last recorded in a document of that year, CCOH 1, no 954.

150 Alice was the daughter of Maria’s eldest child, queen Isabella, by her marriage to count Henry of Troyes. Hill, G., A History of Cyprus, 4 vols (Cambridge 1940-52). 2. p 75.

151 Latrie, L. de Mas, Histoire de l’Ile de Chypre sous le règne des princes de la Maison de Lusignan, 3 vols (Paris 1852-61) 3, pp 6089.

152 See the genealogical table at the end of Runciman 3.

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