Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XII: The foundation of the Latin states, 1099-1118, pp. 368-409 PDF (10.9 MB)
Ch. XII THE FOUNDATION OF THE LATIN STATES 409 had a fleet, yet he found Italian naval help for coastal conquests and for the protection of the vital sea routes to the west. Baldwin rarely had more troops than a modern battalion or regiment. Yet he was able to protect his small state, leave it secure and aggressive, aid the Latin states in the north, and extend his own dominions. He was a conqueror to the day of his death. His powerful enemies a1-Af~al of Egypt and Tughtigin of Damascus early gave up any notion of conquering him. As a king he had very scanty revenues. He relied upon customs duties, upon contributions from pilgrims, upon raids and tribute, and upon the economic prosperity he revived in his kingdom. He fostered this prosperity by conciliating and protecting the natives, both Christian and Moslem, who formed the bulk of the wealth-producing population of his "Latin" kingdom. He induced the Christian peasants of the Transjordan and adjacent districts to migrate to his kingdom and replace the hostile Arabs, in lieu of the potential colonists lost in the disastrous crusade of 1101. King Baldwin had become the leader of the Franks in the Levant although he had no real means with which to coerce the three other Latin princes. It is true that he was suzerain of Tripoli, and had granted Edessa to its lord, yet their feudal rulers could have defied him if they had wished. Baldwin was statesman enough to know that the Franks would stand or fall together. He had sufficient moral authority to unite and lead them, even the reluctant Tancred, against the Turkish peril in the north. When Baldwin died his kingdom was first in dignity, power, and leadership among the Latin states in the east. All, even the exposed county of Edessa, were secure. King Baldwin's passing marks the end of the formative period of these states. It was now the turn of others to maintain what had been won.
Copyright 1969 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the paperback book, see: http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/books/1732.htm