Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XIII: The growth of the Latin states, 1118-1144, pp. 410-447 PDF (16.5 MB)
Ch. XIII THE GROWTH OF THE LATIN STATES 4" 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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