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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years

XIII: The Growth of the Latin States, 1118-1144,   pp. 410-447 PDF (15.6 MB)

Page 411

cluding Joscelin, lord of Tiberias, to choose his successor. Some, apparently
swayed by the late king's request that they select his brother Eustace if
he should come to Jerusalem, urged that they wait for his arrival and not
interfere with the ancient law of hereditary succession. But others, fearful
that an interregnum would imperil the safety of the kingdom, opposed this
view and urged the immediate selection of a king. Joscelin, already apprised
of the patriarch's support, sided with the latter group and argued that Baldwin's
kinsman, Baldwin of Le Bourg, who had recently repaired from his state, the
county of Edessa, to visit the holy places and to confer with the king, be
made the new ruler. The assembly, unaware that Joscelin hoped by this move
to succeed later to the county of Edessa and recalling the harsh treatment
accorded to him by Baldwin of Le Bourg, believed in his sincerity and accordingly
elected Baldwin of Le Bourg to the kingship. Perhaps the alternate suggestion
of the late ruler to the effect that Baldwin of Le Bourg be made his successor
if Eustace were unavailable also recommended Joscelin's pleas to them. The
claim of the new sovereign to his throne was uncontested, since Eustace,
who had reluctantly accepted the offer of a group of nobles to assume the
kingship and had, indeed, proceeded as far as Apulia in quest of it, now
abandoned it rather than provoke civil strife. Accordingly, Baldwin II was
consecrated king of Jerusalem on April 14, iii8.' 
 The new ruler, despite his advanced years, was well suited for his new role,
because of his abundant experience in war and government and pronounced sense
of duty. Events were soon to prove the need of all these political and military
assets, for the Moslems, after long years of disunity, were now slowly beginning
to unite once more.2 Desiring to come to terms with one of his chief antagonists,
Baldwin dispatched envoys to Tughtigin, the emir of Damascus, with terms
of truce. Tughtigin replied that he would accept them on condition that Baldwin
relinquish his share of the revenues of a number of territories east of the
Jordan. Upon the king's refusal and threat to wage war on him, the emir advanced
upon Tiberias and its environs and pillaged them in May ii i8. Meanwhile,
al-Afdal, the ruler of Egypt, invaded the 
 ' William of Tyre, XII, 3; Matthew of Edessa, Chronique (RHC, Arm., I),
p. 119. A. C. Krey, William of Tyre, I, 52!, note ii, and J. L. LaMonte,
Feudal Monarchy, p. 8, differ in their views concerning the time of the sending
of the embassy to Eustace, the former believing that it occurred after, the
latter that it occurred before the selection of Baldwin of Le Bourg. Cf.
Röhricht, Königreich Jerusalem, p. iz6, note 3. 
 2 For further details on Moslem politics at this time, especially the significance
of Aleppo, see below, chapter XIV. 

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