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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

I: The Norman Kingdom of Sicily and the Crusades,   pp. 2-43 PDF (56.8 KB)

Page 10

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. 

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