Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
I: The Norman Kingdom of Sicily and the Crusades, pp. 2-43 PDF (16.9 MB)
10 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II 1130 when Bohemond II was killed in battle against the Turks, and to which the Byzantines had never relinquished their claim. If female succession was invalid, then Roger's right to the throne of Antioch as the cousin of Bohemond's father and thus the nearest male relative was presumably incontestable. But in 1135 king Fulk of Jerusalem, at the request of the Latin barons of Antioch, had chosen Raymond of Poitiers as Bohemond's successor and as husband for the heiress Constance. Although Fulk took care to shroud in secrecy the voyage of his messengers to England, where Raymond was living at the time, Roger, who had friends among the English barons, heard the news, and ordered a watch kept for Raymond in all the Adriatic embarkation ports. But Raymond, traveling in disguise, escaped Roger's spies and arrived safely at St. Simeon, the port nearest Antioch. In 1138 Roger tried to exploit a conflict between Raymond and Ralph, the Latin patriarch of Antioch. After a sojourn in Italy, where he was twice exposed to Roger's arguments and bribes, and twice succumbed, the patriarch was de posed, and Raymond, who rightly suspected him of being privy to a Norman conspiracy, threw him into prison, where he died in 1139. 11 But the Byzantine emperor, John II Comnenus, now had sufficient proof of Roger's dangerous aspirations. John himself hoped to secure Antioch for his youngest son Manuel, and to convert it into a center of armed resistance to the Turks. A new offensive in the east could succeed, however, only if his Sicilian neighbor was kept in check. Therefore, he decided to build a new coalition starting with the German king Conrad III, whose rival, Weif of Bavaria, was receiving subsidies from Roger. It was under favorable conditions that John's ambassadors arrived in Germany in 1140 and began negotiations with the king "to renew the ties of an alliance between the two empires of the west and the east because of the arrogance of Roger of Sicily." Conrad agreed to cement the alliance by a marriage between his sister-in-law, Bertha of Sulzbach, and John's son Manuel.12 Conrad also asked the doge of Venice, Peter of Pola, to mediate questions at issue between himself and the basileus, and received a Venetian pledge of naval assistance in the coming war. The coalition was taking shape when suddenly, on "William of Tyre, XIV, XV (RHC, 0cc., I), pp. 6i8, 619, 635, 678, 679. On the back ground, see Grousset, Histoire des croisades, II, chap. VIII; Runciman, Crusades, II, chap. II; Cahen, Syrie du nord, pp. 357, 488-489, 502-503; Chalandon, Domination normande, II, 124-125; and volume I of the present work, chapter XIII, pp. 434-446. Roger also claimed he was entitled to Antioch because he had conquered Bohemond's Italian fiefs ceded to duke William. See Caspar, Roger II, pp. 65, 70, 79, 166. 12 Otto of Freising, Gesta Friderici I (ed. Waitz), pp. 24, 25.
Copyright 1969 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the paperback book, see: http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/books/1733.htm