University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

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


Page 597

Ch. XIX THE DECLINE AND FALL OF JERUSALEM 597 
tively offered her hand to Baldwin of Ramla, was completely captivated by
the handsome Poitevin. Apparently Agnes and Baldwin IV were also persuaded
by the Lusignans to agree to the match. Guy's suit for Sibyl's hand, carrying
with it the presumption of regency, possibly even of succession to the throne,
was apparently not favored by most of the barons. It was particularly abhorrent
to Raymond of Tripoli who, presumably on hearing of the projected match,
entered the kingdom in force along with his friend, Bohemond III of Antioch.
Thereupon the king took alarm at their appearance and ordered the marriage
performed at once even though it was still Lent (March 5—April 30,
i i 8o). Raymond and Bohemond then left the kingdom, the former remaining
away for two years.7 In this affair, as in its sequel two years later, there
is ample evidence of personal intrigue on the part of the Lusignans and Agnes,
which was directed toward the stakes of power as well as of love. Agnes seems
to have been an especially sinister influence. Indeed, her accomplishments
as an intriguer were considerable. 
 Agnes had been married four times. Two husbands had died; and two of her
marriages had been annulled. Exercising a powerful influence over her son,
Baldwin IV, especially during his periods of illness, she promoted the cause
of her relatives and favorites. Among the former were Sibyl, her daughter,
and Joscelin III, her brother. To compensate for the loss of his Edessan
inheritance, the latter had built up a considerable fief in the neighborhood
of Acre and was seneschal of the kingdom (i 176—1190). As was mentioned
above, Aimery of Lusignan, and now presumably his brother Guy also, were
numbered among her favorites. In addition, Heraclius, a handsome though incompetent
and immoral cleric, apparently owed to her his appointment as archdeacon
of Jerusalem and then archbishop of Caesarea. Late in ir8o, when Amairic
of Nesle died and Baldwin IV had to choose between William of Tyre and Heraclius
for the patriarchate, Agnes influenced her son to pick the utterly worthless
Heraclius. William of Tyre's defeat undoubtedly strengthened his already
existing antipathy toward this "odious and grasping woman" and all her associates.8
 ~ Bohemond III caused considerable trouble at this time. On the death of
Manuel in ii8o, he repudiated his Greek wife and married a lady of dubious
reputation named Sibyl. The opposition of the patriarch and barons of the
principality nearly caused a civil war which was averted only by a deputation
from Jerusalem. Between i i8z and i 185 Bohemond was also involved with Reuben
(~oupen) of Armenia, Isaac Comnenus, a rebellious governor of Cilicia, and
the Templars. Temporary gains made by Bohemond in Cilicia were ultimately
lost. For further details see Runciman, Crusades, II, 429—430. 
8 William of Tyre, XXII, 9. See also Krey, William of Tyre, I, zz. The building
of 


Go up to Top of Page