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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 598

 The baneful influence of Agnes is again evident in 1182. In the spring of
that year, Raymond of Tripoli set out for his barony of Tiberias after an
absence of almost two years. Before he had crossed the frontier of his county
he was ordered by the king not to enter the kingdom. In this instance, William
of Tyre clearly explains how certain people, jealous of the count, were able
to persuade the king of Raymond's intent to seize the throne. Among them
were Agnes, Joscelin, and a few others. Evidently the associates of Agnes
and Joscelin enjoyed in i i8z an ascendancy over Baldwin IV which they probably
had established earlier. At this point, however, their designs were frustrated
by a group of the "most experienced" among the barons.who finally prevailed
upon the king to reconsider. Thus peace was made, and although William of
Tyre mentions no names, it seems clear that among the supporters of Raymond
were those native barons, Baldwin of Ramla, Balian of Ibelin, Reginald of
Sidon, and others, who had helped him secure the procuratorship in 1174.
 Therefore, by I 182 two mutually antagonistic parties had appeared within
the kingdom of Jerusalem. One, which might well be called the "court party,"
was composed of the relatives and favorites of Agnes and the Lusignans. Bound
together by blood relationship, marriage, and the pursuit of power, they
sought to establish their ascendancy over the. helpless Baldwin IV. The other
party consisted of the native barons who increasingly looked to Raymond of
Tripoli for leadership. Each group attempted to control policy, either through
the high court, presumably the normal constitutional procedure, or, as the
court party seems to have done, by gaining power over the king and acting
quickly. The latter method worked in 1180; and the remaining barons were
faced with a /ait accompli. It failed in 1182 as the native barons reorganized
their ranks. 
 The year 1183 is important in the annals of Jerusalem for two reasons. First,
Saladin was able by the conquest of Aleppo to complete the encirclement of
the crusaders' states along the coast. Second, an additional crisis in the
internal affairs of Jerusalem weakened the resistance of the kingdom. These
two developments are so closely related as to warrant a somewhat detailed
chronological treatment. 
 As the preceding chapter has described, Reginald of Keraic broke the truce
in the summer of ii8i by attacking a caravan 
joscelin's fief is described by J. L. La Monte, "The Rise and Decline of
a Frankish Seigneury 
in Syria in the Time of the Crusades," Revue du Sud-Est Européen,
5938, nos. .50—52. On Agnes, see Rey-Ducange, Les Families d'ouzre-mer,
pp. 300—301. 

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