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

XVIII: The Kingdom of Cilician Armenia,   pp. 630-659 PDF (12.6 MB)

Page 646

demurred, stating that, since the emperor was dead, they could not act. 19
 Leon participated in the wars of the crusaders; his troops were present
at the siege of Acre, and he joined Richard the Lionhearted in the conquest
of Cyprus. He was intent, at the same time, upon insuring the security of
his own realm, and some of his actions undertaken for this purpose ran counter
to the interests or aspira tions of his neighbors. In 1 191 he captured the
fortress of Baghras, taken from the Templars by Saladin and dismantled after
the arrival of the Third Crusade, and he refused to cede it to the Templars.
This brought to a head the growing antagonism between Leon and Bohemond III,
and the possession of Baghras was to be one of the principal points of contention
in the long struggle between Cilicia and Antioch. For the moment Leon was
the stronger of the two. Annoyed by the fact that Bohemond had signed a separate
peace with Saladin and had complained to him of the seizure of Baghras, annoyed
also by Bohemond's continued delays in repaying the sums lent to him in 1188,
Leon hatched a plot to seize Bohemond and to free himself of the suzerainty
of Antioch. Soon after the death of Saladin he invited Bohemond to Baghras
and seized him, just as several years earlier Bohemond himself had made prisoner
Leon's brother Roupen III.20 His attempt to annex Antioch was unsuccessful;
though many of the nobles were favor able to Leon, the citizens set up a
commune which took an oath of allegiance to Raymond, Bohemond's eldest son,
and messengers were sent to the other son, Bohemond of Tripoli, and to Henry
of Cham pagne, ruler of Jerusalem. Leon took his prisoners to Sis, where
Henry came to negotiate Bohemond's release in the spring of 1 194. Bohemond
renounced his rights as a suzerain, and in return for this was allowed to
go back to Antioch without paying a ransom; Leon retained Baghras and the
surrounding territory. To seal the new friendship, a marriage was arranged
between Leon's niece Alice, the heiress-presumptive, and Bohemond's eldest
son and heir, Raymond. 
 Although Leon had not attained his ultimate purpose, that is, mastery or
at least suzerainty over Antioch, his position was stronger than it had been
before, and he pressed with renewed energy his claims for a royal crown,
seeking the assistance of the two most powerful rulers of the time, the pope
and the German 
 19 Colophon written by Nersës of Lampron at the end of his translation
of the letters of Lucius III and Clement III. Cf. Garegin I Hovsepian, Colophon:,
col. 538. For Frederick Barbarossa, and the situation after his death, see
above, chapter III, pp. 113-1 16. 
 20 For the relations between Leon and Antioch see C. Cahen, La Syrie du
nord, and above, chapter XV, pp. 526-528, 532—541. 

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