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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 596

Mosulites continued to resist his northward advance, Saladin could not press
his advantage or follow up fully his minor victories. How energetically and
successfully he strove to eliminate these obstacles, the preceding chapter
has related.5 
 During these critical years the Christians never ceased trying to secure
assistance from outside. The eastern bishops, among whom was William of Tyre,
who attended the Third Lateran Council of 1179 were commissioned to broadcast
word of the danger facing Jerusalem. But although the council attempted to
discourage trade with the Moslems, especially in war materials, no real aid
was organized. Therefore, although a few new crusaders arrived from the west
in 1179, no substantial betterment in the crusaders' position can be noted.
 It is evident from what has already been described of the first six years
of Baldwin TV's reign that the instability of the executive power had seriously
handicapped policy. So long as it was uncertain whether the young king's
health would permit him personally to govern or would force him to shift
the burden of responsibility to another, there was bound to be a certain
feeling of tension within the high court. During the years ii8o—ii8z,
when the foreign danger was temporarily removed, this tension increased markedly.
In fact those years brought the first open division into two hostile factions
of barons. While not all the circumstances attending these fatal quarrels
can be determined, the main outlines are clear. 
 The occasion for the first outburst seems to have been the marriage of Sibyl
to Guy of Lusignan in the spring of i 180.6 Guy of Lusignan, a young Poitevin
noble with an indifferent record, had recently arrived in the Holy Land.
With the help of some advance publicity on the part of his brother Aimery,
a favorite of Agnes of Courtenay, Sibyl's mother, he had won the young lady's
favor. In fact, this fickle widow, who seems already to have tenta 
~ Cf. above, chapter XVIII, pp. 572—580. 
 6 William of Tyre who is the principal authority for these developments
left the Holy Land for Europe in September i 178, attended the Lateran Council
of i 179, and made an 
 visit to Constantinople. He did not return to the east until May i i8o and
did not reach Jerusalem until July i i8o (Röhricht, Konigreich, pp.
381, 390). As a consequence, his narrative at this point (XXII, i, pp. 1062—1063),
lacks details which can be tentatively supplied from the first part of the
chronicle of Ernoul. The first part of this version of the Continuation of
William of Tyre does not appear in most MSS. Unlike those versions which
follow William verbatim, until s 183—I 184, it is a brief summary of
the events of the period up to about i i 8o. From that point it is independent
and contains information not found in William of Tyre. In particular it gives
here the details concerning Aimery of Lusignan, Agnes, and Baldwin of Ramla.
The author, a servant of the Ibelins, was presumably well informed. Cf. A.
C. Krey, "The Making of an Historian in the Middle Ages," Speculum, XVI (1941),
p. i6o, note i. For further details see Baldwin, Raymond 111 of Tripolis,
pp. 3iff. 

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