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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
(1969)

XVII: The Latin states under Baldwin III and Amalric I, 1143-1174,   pp. 528-561 PDF (5.9 MB)


Page 534

534 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES I517. 
called away, Nür-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 Selchükids of Iconium, the Artukids, and Nür-ad-Din.5
 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, Nflr-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 thecustomary
age of majority, for in 1150 the king was twenty years old. A most unfortunate
rift which had grown between the 
~ For a more detailed discussion of Moslem movements see above, chapter XVI,
pp. 516— 


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