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

XIX: The Decline and Fall of Jerusalem, 1174-1189,   pp. 590-621 PDF (13.0 MB)

Page 592

 There is no simple explanation for the development of these two parties.
To a great extent their existence is attributable to the divergence in viewpoint
between the well established so-called "native barons" and the "newcomers"
from the west. Broadly speaking, the native barons, already in possession
of their fiefs, were devoted to a prudent defensive military policy and anxious
to preserve as far as was still possible the balance of power among Moslem
and Christian states. The newcomers, on the other hand, were likely to be
warlike adventurers, immigrants, anxious to win renown and fortune. But these
labels are not entirely satisfactory. Associated with the newcomers, for
example, were the Templars and the Hospitallers whose dedication to the military
life perhaps accentuated the desire for aggressive action. Finally, purely
personal loyalties and animosities often dictated adherence to one faction
or the other. But whatever their origin, the existence of the two factions
proved disastrous. In the last days of the kingdom, as the parties became
more distinct and their mutual opposition more bitter, there developed a
serious cleavage in the matter of diplomatic and military policy which prevented
unified action and in 1187 directly caused military disaster. In a short
time, therefore, the unified kingdom of Amairic became a realm divided. In
the following pages attention will be centered on the affairs of the kingdom
of Jerusalem, for it was there that the events which determined the fate
of all three states took place. Developments in Tripoli and Antioch will,
therefore, be mentioned only as they bear on the common situation. 
 The early years of Baldwin TV's reign passed without any serious crisis.
They were significant as illustrating, first, the administrative difficulties
created by the young king's precarious health and, second, the beginnings
of Saladin's efforts to control Moslem Syria. The first important regency
after Amairic's death was that of count Raymond III of Tripoli, who took
office late in the autumn of 1174.' Supported by the higher clergy and the
principal native barons, Humphrey of Toron, the constable, Baldwin of Ramla
(sometimes found as Rama) and his brother Balian of Ibelin, and Reginald
of Sidon, Raymond held office until Baldwin IV came of age, presumably in
the fall of 1176. Not only did Raymond possess the proper legal title to
the bailliage as the king's closest male relative, but he was highly esteemed
 1 The administration was temporarily carried on by Miles of Plancy, the
seneschal. He lost support and shortly after Raymond's elevation was murdered.
His wife, Stephanie of Kerak and Montréal, apparently regarded Raymond
as the murderer. 

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