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Edessa Citadel

Edessa Citadel


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Siege of Edessa (1146)

The Siege of Edessa in October–November 1146 marked the permanent end of the rule of the Frankish Counts of Edessa in the city on the eve of the Second Crusade. It was the second siege the city had suffered in as many years, the first siege having ended in December 1144. In 1146, Count Joscelyn II of Edessa and Baldwin of Marash recaptured the city by stealth but could not take or even properly besiege the citadel. After a brief counter-siege, Turkish governor Nūr al-Dīn took the city. The population was massacred and the walls razed. This victory was pivotal in the rise of Nūr al-Dīn and the decline of the Christian city of Edessa.

  • Crusaders initially captured the city but not its citadel
  • Nūr al-Dīn recaptured the city, and the Christian population was massacred

Edessa Citadel - History

Medieval Sourcebook:
William of Tyre:
The Fall of Edessa

[Introduction from Brundage] So long as the wars of the Latin states were confined to minor conflicts with one or two petty Moslem princes, no grave danger was entailed. But when major combinations of Moslem powers appeared, then the situation could become perilous indeed. On such occasions, the safety of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other principalities absolutely demanded that they cooperate for mutual defense. As has often happened in more modern times, however, the necessity for common action against a common foe was uncommonly difficult for kings and princes to appreciate. And even when the necessity for common action was perceived by the leaders of the Latin East, petty domestic quarrels between them frequently made their combinations with one another tenuous and halfhearted affairs. Thus it was that when the first concerted Moslem attack upon one of the Latin states occurred, the other states were diffident and disinclined to lend assistance to the one attacked.

The occasion arose in 1144, when the easternmost of the Latin states, Edessa, fell prey to Zengi. Zengi, whose rise to power had begun at Mosul in 1127, bad gradually acquired authority through war, intimidation, and treaty over a whole host of Moslem principalities in Syria. When his large and powerful army turned its unwelcome attention upon Edessa in 1144, Zengi found the Latins divided. The count of Edessa, Joscelyn II, was at odds with the prince of Antioch. The count of Tripoli was only vaguely interested in events so far to the east, and in Jerusalem, King Fulk bad just died, leaving the government in the hands of Queen Melisende as regent for their thirteen year old son, Baldwin III.

Consequently, Zengi found his attack opposed only by the negligible forces of Edessa itself.

In that same year, [1144] during the time which elapsed between the death of King Baldwin's father and Baldwin's elevation to the throne, one Zengi, a vicious man, was the most powerful of the Eastern Turks. His city, formerly called Nineveh, but now known as Mosul, is the metropolis of the region which was earlier called Assur. Zengi, its lord and governor, at this time laid siege to the city of Edessa, more commonly called Rohas, the greatest and most splendid city of the Medes. Zengi did this, relying on the numbers and strength of his men and also on the very dangerous strife which had arisen between Prince Raymond of Antioch and Count Joscelyn. of Edessa. The city of Edessa lies beyond the Euphrates, one day's journey from the river. The aforesaid Count of Edessa, contrary to the custom of his predecessors, had ceased to live in the city and made his constant and perpetual abode in a place called Turbessel. He did this both because of the richness of the spot and because of his own laziness. Here, far from the tumult A the enemy and free to pursue his pleasures, the count failed to take proper care of his noble city. The population of Edessa was made up of Chaldeans and Armenians, unwarlike men, scarcely familiar with the use of arms and accustomed only to the acts of trade. The city was only rarely visited by Latins and very few of them lived there. The safekeeping of the city was entrusted solely to mercenaries and these were not paid according to he type of service they performed or the length of time for which they were engaged ­ indeed, they often had to wait a year or more for the payment of their stated wages. Both Baldwin and the elder Joscelyn, when they held the county, made their home permanently and customarily in Edessa and took care to have the city supplied with food, arms, and other necessary items from nearby places. They had thus been able both to maintain themselves in safety and also to overawe the neighboring towns with their strength.

There was, as we have said before, bad feeling between Count Joscelyn and the Prince of Antioch ­ a feeling that was not hidden, but rather had become an open hatred. For this reason, each of them took little or no care if the other were attacked or suffered misfortune. Rather they rejoiced at the other's catastrophes and were made glad by the other's mishaps.

The aforesaid great prince, Zengi, took the opportunity offered by this situation. He gathered innumerable cavalry forces throughout all of the East be even called up the people of the cities neighboring Edessa and brought them with him to lay siege to the day. He blockaded all of the entrances to the city, so that the besieged citizens could not get out and so that those who wished to help them could not get in. The resulting shortage of food aid provisions caused great suffering for the besieged. The city, however, was surrounded by a formidable wall. In the upper town there were high towers and down below there was the lower town where the citizens could take refuge, even if the city itself were taken. All these defenses could be of use against the enemy only if there were men willing to fight for their freedom, men who would resist the foe valiantly. The defenses would be useless, however, if there were none among the besieged who were willing :o serve as defenders. Towers, walls, and earthworks are of little value to a city unless there are defenders to man them. Zengi found the town bereft of defenders and was much encouraged. He encircled the town with his forces, assigned the officers of his legions to appropriate stations, and dug in. The catapults and siege engines weakened the fortifications the continual shooting of arrows tormented the citizens incessantly and the besieged were given no respite. It was announced, meanwhile, and the news was also spread by rumor, that the city of Edessa, a city faithful to God, was suffering the agonies of a siege at the hands of the enemy of the faith and the foe of the Christian name. At this news the hearts of the faithful, far and wide, were touched and zealous men began to take up arms to harass the wicked. The Count, when he beard of it, was stricken with anguish. Energetically he assembled his forces. . . . He went around admonishing his faithful friends. Humbly he besought his lord, the Prince of Antioch and, through messengers, he forcefully urged the prince to assist him in his labors to free Edessa from the yoke of future servitude . Messengers bearing news of this sinister event came even to the kingdom of Jerusalem, bearing witness to the siege of Edessa and to the misfortunes suffered by its citizens. The queen, who had charge of the kingdom's government, on the advice of the council of the nobles which she consulted, sent her kinsman, Manasses, the royal constable, Philip of Nablus, and Elinander of Tiberius, together with a great multitude of soldiers with all speed to Edessa that they might give the Lord Count and the suffering citizens the comfort which they desired.

The Prince of Antioch, however, rejoiced in Edessa's adversity and paid small attention to his duties for the common welfare. He was little concerned that personal hatred ought not cause public harm and made excuses, while he put off giving the aid which bad been requested.

Zengi, meanwhile, pressed continual assaults on the city. He ran the gamut of attacks and left nothing untried which could harass the citizens and aid him in gaining control of the city. He sent sappers through trenches and underground tunnels to undermine the walls. As they dug passages beneath the walls, they buttressed these with posts, which were afterward set on fire. A great part of the wall was thus broken down. This breach in the wall, more than 100 cubits wide, gave the enemy an entrance into the city. The enemy now had the approach they had desired. Their forces rushed together into the city. They slew with their swords the citizens whom they encountered, sparing neither age, condition, nor sex. of them it might be said: "They murder the widow and the stranger, they slay the orphan, the youth, and the virgin, together with the old Man." The city, therefore, was captured and delivered to the swords of the enemy.

The more prudent or more experienced citizens rushed to the citadel which, as we have said, was in the city. This they did so that they might at least preserve their lives, their children, and their wives, if only for a short time. At the gate there was such a crush of people trying to enter that, because of the press of the crowd, many were suffocated and died miserably. Among these was the most reverend Hugh, the Archbishop of the city. He is said to have expired in this fashion together with several of his clerics. Some of those who were present would blame his miserable end on the Archbishop himself, for he is said to have collected a vast sum of money, Had he used this for soldiers, it would have been helpful to the city, but he preferred to heap up his treasure like a miser rather than to consider his dying people. Thus it happened that he received the reward of his greed by perishing with his people.

Thus while the Prince of Antioch, overcome by foolish hatred, delayed rendering the help he owed to his brothers and while the count awaited help from abroad, the ancient city of Edessa, devoted to Christianity since the time of the Apostles and delivered from the superstitions of the infidels through the words and preaching of the Apostle Thaddeus, passed into an undeserved servitude.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall December 1997
[email protected]

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Aftermath [ edit | edit source ]

Map of the Second Crusade

In January 1145 Zengi captured Saruj and besieged Birejik, but the army of Jerusalem had finally arrived and joined with Joscelin. Zengi also heard of trouble in Mosul, and rushed back to take control. There, he was praised throughout Islam as "defender of the faith" and al-Malik al-Mansur, the victorious king. He did not pursue an attack on the remaining territory of Edessa, or the Principality of Antioch, as was feared. Joscelin II continued to rule the remnants of the county to the west of the Euphrates from Turbessel, but little by little the rest of the territory was captured by the Muslims or sold to the Byzantines.

Zengi was assassinated by a slave in 1146 while besieging Qalat Jabar, and was succeeded in Aleppo by his son Nur ad-Din. Joscelin attempted to take back Edessa following Zengi's murder, and recaptured all but the citadel in October 1146. However, he had no help from the other crusader states, and his poorly planned expedition was driven out of Edessa by Nur ad-Din in November. Joscelin, fearing for the safety of the city's Christian Armenians, attempted to break a hole in Nur ad-Din's forces through which the natives could flee to safety. However, Joscelin's attempt failed and his fears came true when Nur al-Din's troops massacred the fleeing Armenians and forced the survivors into slavery. By this time, news of the fall of Edessa reached Europe, and Raymond of Antioch had already sent a delegation including Hugh, Bishop of Jabala, to seek aid from Pope Eugene III. On December 1, 1145 Eugene issued the papal bull Quantum praedecessores calling for the Second Crusade. This crusade was led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, but by 1148 it had ended in disaster, and Edessa was never recovered.


The County of Edessa was the first of the crusader states to be established during and after the First Crusade. It dates from 1098 when Baldwin of Boulogne left the main army of the First Crusade and founded his own principality.

Edessa was the most northerly, the weakest, and the least populated as such, it was subject to frequent attacks from the surrounding Muslim states ruled by the Ortoqids, Danishmends, and Seljuk Turks. Count Baldwin II and future count Joscelin of Courtenay were taken captive after their defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Joscelin was captured a second time in 1122, and although Edessa recovered somewhat after the Battle of Azaz in 1125, Joscelin was killed in battle in 1131. His successor Joscelin II was forced into an alliance with the Byzantine Empire, but in 1143 both the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus and the King of Jerusalem Fulk of Anjou died. John II was succeeded by his son Manuel I Comnenus, who had to deal with consolidating power at home against his elder brothers, while Fulk was succeeded by his wife Melisende and his son Baldwin III. Joscelin had also quarreled with Raymond II of Tripoli and Raymond of Poitiers, leaving Edessa with no powerful allies.

In 1144, Joscelin was able to make an alliance with Kara Arslan, the Ortoqid ruler of Diyarbakır, against the growing power and influence of Zengi. Joscelin marched out of Edessa with almost his entire army to support Kara Aslan against Aleppo. Zengi, already seeking to take advantage of Fulk's death in 1143, hurried north to besiege Edessa, arriving on November 28. The city had been warned of his arrival and was prepared for a siege, but there was little they could do while Joscelin and the army were elsewhere.

The defense of the city was led by the Latin Archbishop Hugh, the Armenian Bishop John, and the Jacobite Bishop Basil bar Shumna. John and Basil ensured that none of the native Christians would desert to Zengi. When Joscelin heard of the siege he took the army to Turbessel, knowing that he could never dislodge Zengi without help from the other crusader states. In Jerusalem, Queen Melisende responded to Joscelin's appeal by sending an army led by Manasses of Hierges, Philip of Milly, and Elinand of Bures. Raymond of Poitiers ignored the call for help, as his army was already occupied against the Byzantine Empire in Cilicia.

Zengi surrounded the entire city, realizing that there was no army defending it. He built siege engines and began to mine the walls, while his forces were joined by Kurdish and Turcoman reinforcements. The inhabitants of Edessa resisted as much as they could, but had no experience in siege warfare the city’s numerous towers remained unmanned. They also had no knowledge of counter-mining, and part of the wall near the Gate of the Hours collapsed on December 24. Zengi's troops rushed into the city, killing all those who were unable to flee to the Citadel of Maniaces. Thousands more were suffocated or trampled to death in the panic, including Archbishop Hugh. Zengi ordered his men to stop the massacre, although all the Latin prisoners that he had taken were executed the native Christians were allowed to live freely. The citadel was handed over on December 26. One of Zengi’s commanders, Zayn ad-Din Ali Kutchuk, was appointed governor, while Bishop Basil, apparently willing to give his loyalty to whoever ruled the city, was recognized as leader of the Christian population.

In January 1145 Zengi captured Saruj and besieged Birejik, but the army of Jerusalem had finally arrived and joined with Joscelin. Zengi also heard of trouble in Mosul, and rushed back to take control. There, he was praised throughout Islam as "defender of the faith" and al-Malik al-Mansur, the victorious king. Ibn al-Qaysarani praised his victory in a rhyming panegyric. [1] He did not pursue an attack on the remaining territory of Edessa, or the Principality of Antioch, as was feared. Joscelin II continued to rule the remnants of the county to the west of the Euphrates from Turbessel, but little by little the rest of the territory was captured by the Muslims or sold to the Byzantines.

Zengi was assassinated by a slave in 1146 while besieging Qalat Jabar, and was succeeded in Aleppo by his son Nur ad-Din. Joscelin attempted to take back Edessa following Zengi's murder, and recaptured all but the citadel in October 1146. However, he had no help from the other crusader states, and his poorly planned expedition was driven out of Edessa by Nur ad-Din in November. Joscelin, fearing for the safety of the city's Christian Armenians, attempted to break a hole in Nur ad-Din's forces through which the natives could flee to safety. However, Joscelin's attempt failed and his fears came true when Nur al-Din's troops massacred the fleeing Armenians and forced the survivors into slavery.

By this time, news of the fall of Edessa reached Europe, and Raymond of Poitiers had already sent a delegation including Hugh, Bishop of Jabala, to seek aid from Pope Eugene III. On December 1, 1145, Eugene issued the papal bull Quantum praedecessores calling for the Second Crusade. This crusade was led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, but by 1148 it had ended in disaster, and Edessa was never recovered.

In October 1146, Joscelin retook Edessa, but his victory lasted only a matter of days. Nur ad-Din quickly besieged the city and forced Joscelin to abandon it. The Christian population was massacred, enslaved or exiled and the city lost its importance.


Contents

Born some time after 1060, [4] [5] Baldwin was the third son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida of Lorraine. [6] Being his parents' youngest son, he was intended for a career in the Church. [7] [8] He studied the liberal arts and held prebends in the cathedrals of Cambrai, Rheims and Liège. [9] For reasons that are unknown, and at an unspecified time, he abandoned his church career and became a knight. [10] The historian John France says that Baldwin most probably realised that the Gregorian Reform had diminished his chance to seize rich benefices. [11] Historian Susan B. Edgington, on the other hand, proposes that Baldwin preferred a secular career because his childless brother, Godfrey of Bouillon, duke of Lower Lotharingia, had taken ill suddenly, giving Baldwin a chance to inherit his duchy. [12]

Baldwin married a Norman noblewoman, Godehilde of Tosny, whose family owned land and property in both Normandy and England. [7] [13] Baldwin and his wife most probably settled in the court of his eldest brother, Eustace III of Boulogne. [14] Eustace and Baldwin jointly fought for their brother, Godfrey, against Albert III, Count of Namur, and Theoderic, Bishop of Verdun, at Stenay in 1086. [15] [16] Godfrey mentioned Baldwin in most of his charters of grant, indicating that Baldwin was regarded as his designated heir. [17] [18] Baldwin regularly visited the fortress of his wife's family at Conches-en-Ouche. [14]

Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont on 27 November 1095. [19] [20] Godfrey of Bouillon decided to join the military campaign and sold or mortgaged his inherited domains to raise funds. [21] [22] One of his domains, the County of Verdun, was seized by Richer, Bishop of Verdun, who soon granted it to Baldwin. [23] The dissolution of Godfrey's allodial lands deprived all future dukes of the basis of their authority in Lower Lotharingia, which facilitated Baldwin's decision to take the Cross. [23] [24] Eustace III of Boulogne also joined the crusade. [17] According to a letter from Pope Urban, only the army that Peter the Hermit had mustered for the People's Crusade outnumbered the three brothers' force. [25]

Baldwin departed for the crusade with Godfrey's army on 15 August 1096. [19] His wife and children accompanied him, suggesting that he had decided not to return to his homeland. [26] [24] The crusaders stopped at Tulln an der Donau before reaching the frontier of Hungary in September. [27] [28] Godfrey left Baldwin in charge of his troops during his conference with Coloman, King of Hungary, to discuss the conditions of the crusaders' march across the country. [27] He agreed to hand over Baldwin, along with Baldwin's wife and retainers, as hostages, to ensure their troops' good conduct. [29] [30] [31] Baldwin and Godehilde were released soon after the crusaders left Hungary. They entered the Byzantine Empire near Belgrade in late November. [32] [33]

The crusaders reached Constantinople on 23 December 1096. [34] [35] The Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos demanded an oath of allegiance from their leaders and imposed a blockade on their camp to enforce it. [36] Baldwin made raids against the districts outside the walls of Constantinople, compelling Alexios to lift the blockade. [35] [36] The Emperor also agreed to hand over his son and heir, John II Comnenus, as a hostage, [35] who was entrusted to Baldwin's care. [37]

Since the crusaders continued to resist the emperor's demand, the Byzantines reduced the fodder and food supplied to them. [36] Baldwin again attacked the suburbs and killed or captured dozens of Pecheneg guards. [38] The crusaders realised that they could not defeat the imperial army and so yielded to the emperor's demand. [39] Their commanders (including Godfrey and Baldwin) swore fealty to Alexios and pledged that they would cede all conquered lands that the Seljuq Turks had seized from the Byzantines to the Emperor's representatives. [35] [40] [41] The crusaders were transferred to a camp established on the road between Chalcedon and Nicomedia in Asia Minor, but Godfrey and Baldwin soon returned to Constantinople to be present when the commanders of a new crusader army did homage to Alexios. [42] When a knight sat on the emperor's throne during the ceremony, Baldwin "took him by the hand and made him rise" [43] and severely reprimanded him. [44] [45]

After the crusaders defeated Kilij Arslan, the Seljuq Sultan of Rum, in the Battle of Dorylaeum on 1 July 1097, Baldwin and the Italo-Norman leader Tancred broke away from the main body of the army. [46] They marched as far as Heraclea, where they again joined their fellows around 15 August. [47] The crusaders became exhausted during their long march across Asia Minor and most of their horses died. [48] To secure a supply of food and forage, Baldwin and Tancred were sent to the fertile plains of Cilicia. [47] [49] There they could count on the support of the local Armenians, especially as Baldwin had already been befriended by an Armenian nobleman, Bagrat. [49] [50]

Baldwin and Tancred led two separate contingents. [47] Tancred was the first to leave Heraclea, accompanied by 100–200 troops Baldwin and his 300 knights departed around 15 September. [51] [52] Tancred arrived at Tarsus—an important center of commerce in Cilicia—on 21 September. [52] He persuaded the Seljuq garrison of Tarsus to raise his flag on the citadel, even before his troops were granted access to the town. [53] Baldwin reached Tarsus on the following day. [54] The Turks replaced Tancred's banner with Baldwin's flag and allowed Baldwin to take possession of two towers. [54] Heavily outnumbered by Baldwin's troops, Tancred decided not to fight for the town and rode off. [54] Shortly thereafter, about 300 Norman knights arrived, but Baldwin denied entry to them, which enabled the Turks to attack and murder the Normans during the night. [55] [56] [57] Baldwin's own men blamed him for their fate and massacred the remnants of the Seljuq garrison. [57] [58] Fearful of vengeance, Baldwin took shelter in a tower, but finally convinced his soldiers of his innocence. [57] [58] A pirate captain, Guynemer of Boulogne, sailed up the Berdan River to Tarsus and swore fealty to Baldwin. [59] He hired Guynemer's men to garrison Tarsus and continued his campaign. [59] [60]

Tancred had meanwhile seized the prosperous town of Mamistra. [61] [62] Baldwin reached the town on around 30 September. [61] One of the most prominent Italian Norman crusaders, Richard of Salerno, wanted to take revenge for the Normans who had perished at Tarsus, which caused a skirmish between the soldiers of Baldwin and Tancred. [61] [63] This was the first occasion when crusaders fought against each other. [64] After one or two men were killed and many more were injured or captured on both sides, Baldwin and Tancred made peace and Baldwin left Mamistra. [64] [63] He joined the main army at Marash, but Bagrat persuaded him to launch a campaign towards the River Euphrates across a region densely populated by Armenians. [56] [64] About 80–100 knights accompanied him when he again left the main army on 17 October. [64] [65] [66]

Establishment Edit

The Armenians regarded Baldwin as a liberator. [67] [68] Two Armenian chiefs, Fer and Nicusus, joined him soon after he started his campaign. [69] [70] The local population massacred the Seljuq garrisons and officials, or forced them to flee. [69] The Seljuqs' fear of the crusaders contributed to Baldwin's success. [71] He seized two important fortresses, Ravendel and Turbessel, without a fight before the end of 1097. [69] [71] He made Bagrat the governor of Ravendel, [71] and appointed Fer to administer Turbessel. [69]

The Armenian lord of Edessa, Thoros, sent envoys—the Armenian bishop of Edessa and twelve leading citizens—to Baldwin in early 1098, seeking his assistance against the nearby Seljuq rulers. [65] [71] [72] Being the first town to convert to Christianity, Edessa had played an important role in Christian history. [48] Before departing for Edessa, Baldwin ordered the arrest of Bagrat, whom Fer had accused of secret correspondence with the Seljuqs. [70] [73] Bagrat was tortured and forced to surrender Ravendel. [70] [74] Baldwin left for Edessa in early February, but troops sent by Balduk, the emir of Samosata, [73] or Bagrat [75] prevented him from crossing the Euphrates. His second attempt was successful [75] and he reached Edessa on 20 February. [76] [77] Baldwin did not want to serve Thoros as a mercenary. [78] [79] The Armenian townspeople feared that he was planning to leave the town, so they persuaded Thoros to adopt him. [80] Alone among the contemporary historians of the First Crusade, Albert of Aix claims that the local customs of adoption required Thoros to take Baldwin under his shirt. [81] Strengthened by troops from Edessa, Baldwin raided Balduk's territory and placed a garrison in a small fortress near Samosata. [82]

In the view of the twelve governors' and all their fellow citizens' steadfastness and goodwill towards Baldwin, [Thoros of Edessa] had to grant their request whether he liked it or not, and he made Baldwin his own adopted son according to the custom of that region and people, binding him to his naked chest and clothing him once for all under the garment closest to his own flesh, with pledges given and received by both parties. With the father-and-son relationship thus confirmed on both sides, [Thoros] one day suggested to Baldwin, in his position as son, that he call his men together, all the army and those serving for pay, taking the citizens of Edessa likewise, and set out for the fortification at Samosata which was next to the Euphrates and conquer Balduk, prince of the Turks, who had unjustly seized that same citadel, which belonged to Edessa, and was holding it.

Unlike the majority of the Armenians, Thoros adhered to the Orthodox Church, which made him unpopular among his Monophysite subjects. [80] [84] Shortly after Baldwin's return from campaign, the local nobles started plotting against Thoros, possibly with Baldwin's consent (as is stated by contemporary chronicler Matthew of Edessa). [85] [86] A riot broke out in the town, forcing Thoros to take refuge in the citadel. [82] Baldwin pledged to save his adoptive father, but when the rioters broke into the citadel on 9 March and murdered both Thoros and his wife, he did nothing to help them. [79] [82] [87] On the following day, after the townspeople acknowledged Baldwin as their ruler (or doux), [87] [88] he assumed the title of Count of Edessa, [79] and so established the first crusader state. [89]

The Seljuqs had captured Edessa from the Byzantines in 1087, but Alexios I Komnenos did not demand that Baldwin hand over the town. [90] Historian Christopher MacEvitt argues that the local population did not regard Baldwin's ascension as "a change in regime, but the replacement of one strongman with vague Byzantine ties with another of the same ilk". [86] The acquisition of Ravendel, Turbessel and Edessa strengthened the position of the main crusader army during the siege of Antioch, which was taking place at the same time. [91] The fertile lands along the Euphrates secured a supply of food for the crusaders. [92] The three fortresses also hindered the movement of the Seljuq troops towards Syria and Palestine. [93]

Consolidation Edit

Baldwin had to use his diplomatic skills to secure his rule in Edessa, because his retinue was small. [94] He married the daughter of an Armenian lord named Taftoc, according to William of Tyre, [95] and encouraged his retainers to marry local women. [96] [97] Thoros' rich treasury enabled him to employ mercenaries and to buy Samosata from Balduk. [96] [98] Baldwin and Balduk's treaty about the transfer of Samosata was the first friendly arrangement between a crusader leader and a Muslim ruler. [99] Balduk settled in Edessa. [100] [101]

An Artuqid emir, Balak ibn Bahram, hired Baldwin to suppress a revolt in Saruj. [98] [100] When the Muslim burghers of the town approached Balduk to come to their rescue, [100] Balduk hurried to Saruj, but it soon became apparent that his retinue was too small to resist a siege and both he and the townspeople yielded to Baldwin. [95] [100] Baldwin demanded Balduk's wife and children as hostages, but Balduk refused to hand over them to him, for which Baldwin had him captured and executed. [100] [102]

Baldwin granted the usufruct of Turbessel and Ravendel to his brother Godfrey, to secure his and his retainers' accommodation during the siege of Antioch. [103] [104] Kerbogha, the governor of Mosul, gathered a large army to relieve the town. [89] During his march towards Antioch, Kerbogha did not wish to risk allowing the crusaders to hold Edessa. [89] He besieged Edessa for three weeks in May, but could not capture it. [105] [106] His delay enabled the crusaders to capture Antioch on 3 June 1098. [77] [89] Antioch became the capital of a new crusader state, with Tancred's uncle, Bohemond of Hauteville, as its first prince. [77]

Baldwin levied high taxes, which made him unpopular among his native subjects. [107] [108] He also ignored the local noble's advice and granted property to his retainers and other crusaders who moved to Edessa. [104] [107] A dozen Armenian chiefs plotted against Baldwin in December, [104] [107] and approached the nearby Seljuq emirs for assistance, but Baldwin learnt of the conspiracy and ordered the arrest of the conspirators. [107] [108] The two ringleaders were mutilated in accordance with Byzantine laws, but the others were allowed to redeem themselves for large fees. [104] [107] Nevertheless, Baldwin continued to appoint Armenian noblemen to important offices. [107] He made the Armenian Abu'l-Garib the commander of Bijerik, an important fort controlling the road between Edessa and Turbessel. [107]

The main crusader army captured Jerusalem on 15 July 1099. [109] A week later, Godfrey of Bouillon was elected ruler of the city, but chose not to be crowned king. [109] Baldwin decided to complete his pilgrimage and left Edessa for Jerusalem in November. [91] At Buluniyas, he joined the pilgrims who had departed Antioch with Bohemond I and the papal legate, Daimbert of Pisa. [91] [110] Attacks by Muslim troops, fatigue and diseases caused heavy casualties during the journey, but most of the pilgrims reached Jerusalem on 21 December. [109] [111] Four days later, Daimbert was elected and installed as the new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. [109] [112] The new patriarch confirmed Godfrey and Bohemond in the possession of their lands, but no similar ceremony was recorded in connection with Baldwin. [113] [114] Baldwin and Bohemond left Jerusalem on 1 January 1100. [115] [116] Duqaq, the Seljuq ruler of Damascus, sent forces to attack them, but the crusaders routed the Seljuq troops near Baalbek. [115] [116] Baldwin arrived back in Edessa in February. [115]

Godfrey died unexpectedly on 18 July 1100. [109] He had extracted oaths from Daimbert and other leading crusaders that they "would not confer the throne on anyone except his brothers or one of his blood", [117] according to Albert of Aix. [118] Warner of Grez Godfrey's most influential retainer took possession the Tower of David in Jerusalem to secure control of the city. [119] Although Warner soon died, two other members of Godfrey's court, Geldemar Carpenel and Arnulf of Chocques, sent a delegation to Baldwin, urging him to come to Jerusalem. [119]

To prevent Baldwin from seizing Godfrey's realm, Daimbert and Tancred sought assistance from Bohemond I of Antioch. [119] Daimbert sent a letter to him, stating that Baldwin's rule would "bring about the downfall of the church and the destruction of Christianity itself", according to later chronicler William of Tyre. [119] Bohemond, however, was captured by Danishmend Gazi in the hills near Melitene around 15 August. [109] Baldwin hurried to Melitene and pursued Danishmend for three days, but he was unable to rescue Bohemond. [120] [121] After his return, the Armenian lord of Melitene, Gabriel, swore fealty to him. [120] [121] Baldwin appointed fifty knights to defend the town. [120] [121]

Coronation Edit

News of Godfrey's death reached Edessa shortly after Baldwin's return from Melitene. [122] His chaplain, Fulcher of Chartres, noticed that Baldwin "grieved somewhat over the death of his brother, but rejoiced more over his inheritance". [122] [123] To finance his journey to Jerusalem, Baldwin seized gold and silver from his subjects. [122] He appointed his relative, Baldwin of Le Bourcq, his successor in the county and Le Bourcq swore fealty to him. [122] [124]

About 200 knights and 300–700-foot-soldiers accompanied Baldwin when he left Edessa on 2 October 1100. [122] [125] He spent four days in Antioch, but did not accept the local inhabitants' plea for him to administer the principality during Bohemond's captivity. [122] Duqaq of Damascus wanted to ambush him on the narrow road near the mouth of the Nahr al-Kalb River. [122] The qadi of Tripoli secretly warned Baldwin, which enabled him to defeat the attack and rout the Damascene troops. [126] Tancred hurried to Jerusalem to persuade the garrison to surrender the town to him, but he was barred from the town. [127]

Baldwin reached Jerusalem around 9 November. [128] Daimbert withdrew to a monastery on Mount Zion, and the townspeople stopped Baldwin outside the walls and ceremoniously accompanied him to the Holy Sepulchre. [128] [129] Albert of Aix's sporadic references suggest that Baldwin adopted the title of prince. [130] Baldwin first raided the environs of Ascalon, which was still held by the Egyptians, then launched a punishing expedition against the bandits who had their headquarters in the caves near Jerusalem. [131] He made an incursion across the river Jordan before returning to Jerusalem on 21 December. [131]

Baldwin was reconciled with Daimbert who agreed to anoint and crown him king. [129] [132] The ceremony took place in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Christmas Day. [132] [133] Thereafter Baldwin was most frequently styled king. [130] For instance, a charter of grant in 1104 referred to him as "Baldwin, king of Judea and Jerusalem, and defensor of the Holiest Sepulchre of our Lord, Jesus Christ". [134] In most of his charters, he also emphasised that he was Godfrey's lawful heir. [130]

First successes Edit

When Geldemar Carpenel laid claim to Haifa, stating that Tancred had arbitrarily seized it, [135] Baldwin summoned Tancred to Jerusalem, but Tancred did not recognise him as the lawful monarch. [136] [137] They agreed to meet at a river near Jaffa, but their meeting did not result in compromise. [136] The conflict was resolved when Tancred was invited to Antioch to administer the principality on Bohemond's behalf. [136] [137] Before leaving for Antioch in March, Tancred renounced his domains in Palestine, but also stipulated that the same domains should be granted in fief to him if he were to leave Antioch within fifteen months. [136] [138] Baldwin gave Haifa to Geldemar and the Galilee to Hugh of Fauquembergues. [136] [139]

A new papal legate, Maurice of Porto, came to Jerusalem in early March 1101. [140] After Baldwin accused Daimbert of treachery and convinced Maurice to suspend him on 15 April, Daimbert had to bribe Baldwin with 300 bezants to persuade the legate to restore him to his office. [132] [140] The towns along the coast which were still under Egyptian rule—Arsuf, Caesarea, Acre and Tyre—sent gifts to Baldwin to secure his benevolence. [141] [142]

Always in need of funds, Baldwin concluded an alliance with the commanders of a Genoese fleet, offering commercial privileges and booty to them in the towns that he would capture with their support. [142] [143] They first attacked Arsuf, which surrendered without resistance on 29 April, securing a safe passage for the townspeople to Ascalon. [143] [144] The Egyptian garrison at Caesarea resisted, but the town fell on 17 May. [143] Baldwin's soldiers pillaged Caesarea and massacred the majority of the adult local population. [143] [145] The Genoese received one third of the booty, but Baldwin did not grant areas in the captured towns to them. [146]

Battles at Ramla Edit

While Baldwin and the Genoese were besieging Caesarea, the Egyptian vizier, Al-Afdal Shahanshah, started mustering troops at Ascalon. [141] Baldwin moved his headquarters to nearby Jaffa and fortified Ramla to hinder any attempt at a surprise attack against Jerusalem. [141] He demanded more funds from Daimbert to cover the costs of this defense, but the patriarch refused. [140] During a passionate debate in the presence of the papal legate, Daimbert stated that Baldwin should not "presume to make tributary and servant the holy Church". [140] [147] [148] The legate persuaded Daimbert to promise that he would "maintain thirty soldiers by a money agreement", [149] but the patriarch failed to raise the promised amount. [148] [150]

The lightly armed and undisciplined Egyptian army approached Ramla in early September. [151] The much smaller, but experienced and well-equipped crusader forces were the first to attack, at dawn on 7 September. [152] At least two of the five or six crusader corps were almost annihilated during the first phase of the battle, but Baldwin persuaded the remnants of his army to launch a fresh attack, surprising the Egyptians. [153] [154] After a short resistance, they fled in panic, pursued by the crusaders as far as Ascalon. [152] [155]

Roger Borsa, Duke of Apulia, sent money to Daimbert, partially for the recruitment of soldiers, but Daimbert retained the whole sum. [156] After learning of this embezzlement, Baldwin convinced the papal legate to dismiss Daimbert in late 1101. [157] [158] Daimbert fled first Jaffa, then to Tanced in Antioch. [148] [150] The vacancy enabled Baldwin to freely use the patriarch's rich treasury. [148] [159]

Stephen, Count of Blois, Hugh of Lusignan and other survivors of the catastrophic crusade of the previous year came to celebrate Easter in Jerusalem in 1102. [157] [160] Shortly thereafter, a strong Egyptian army invaded the kingdom. [155] On 17 May, and against all advice, Baldwin and a force of about 500 horsemen that included dozens of new crusaders, rode out to meet the Egyptians. [155] [161] In this second battle fought at Ramla, the Egyptians were the victors, and they forced Baldwin and his men to take refuge in Ramla. [155] Baldwin escaped from the fortress before the Egyptians laid siege to it, leaving his troops to be killed or captured. [162] [163] He fled to Arsuf, after which an English pirate, Godric, took him to Jaffa, although the Egyptian army had blockaded it from the land. [155] [164] He went to Jerusalem to gather new troops and returned to Jaffa with more than 100 horsemen. [165] However, only the arrival of a fleet filled with hundreds of English, French and German pilgrims forced the Egyptians to lift the siege on 27 May. [166] Baldwin wrote to Alexios I Komnenos, urging him not to obstruct their journey. [167]

During the siege of Jaffa, Baldwin had sent envoys to Antioch and Edessa, seeking assistance from Tancred and Baldwin II. [158] They arrived only after the Egyptians' withdrawal. [158] Tancred tried to persuade the new papal legate, Robert of St Eusebio, to restore Daimbert, but Baldwin convinced Robert to discuss the issue with the local bishops and abbots. [158] [168] After the prelates unanimously stated that Daimbert had almost provoked a civil war and had abused his ecclesiastic authority, the legate allowed them to elect a pious priest, Evremar, as patriarch. [169] [170]

Baldwin laid siege to Acre in April 1103, but an Egyptian fleet relieved the town. [171] [172] He launched a raid against the bandits who had settled on Mount Carmel, but he was wounded in the kidneys and did not recover until the end of the year. [171] After a fleet of Genoese and Pisan ships arrived at Haifa in April 1104, Baldwin made an alliance with their commanders and again besieged Acre. [173] [174] [175] The town surrendered on 26 May after Baldwin promised a free passage to those who wanted to move to Ascalon, but the Italian sailors plundered the wealthy emigrants and killed many of them. [176] [177] Baldwin wanted to punish the Genoese, but the patriarch mediated a reconciliation and Baldwin had to grant one-third of the town to them. [173] Acre had always been the most important port of trade between Syria and Europe, and the harbour dues generated significant revenues for him. [178] [173]

Duqaq's death on 14 June led to internal conflict in Damascus. [174] The atabeg (or regent) Toghtekin emerged as the ruler, but faced strong opposition. [179] Baldwin promised to support Duqaq's young brother Irtash against Toghtekin. [179] His intervention brought about a rapprochement between the Sunnite Toghtekin and the Shiite Al-Afdal. [179] [180] After Egyptian horsemen and foot soldiers invaded the kingdom from the south, and Syrian mounted archers from the west in August 1105, Baldwin assembled the largest crusader army since the beginning of his reign. [180] At his request, Patriarch Evremar displayed the True Cross before the army to strengthen the crusaders' self-confidence. [180] [181] They inflicted a decisive defeat on the Egyptian and Syrian armies at Ramla on 27 August. [182]

Expansion Edit

The Egyptians failed to launch any major military campaigns against the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but they did continually raid Baldwin's southern frontier. [182] They massacred hundreds of pilgrims near Jaffa and defeated the governor of the town while Baldwin was fighting against Damascene troops in Galilee in October 1106. [182] In 1107 the Egyptians attacked Hebron, but Baldwin forced them to lift the siege. [183] The Egyptian raids did not prevent Baldwin from pursuing an expansionist policy. [183] He compelled the governor of Sidon to pay a large tribute for a two-year truce in early 1106. [183] Early the following year, he made a raid into Oultrejordain and forced the enemy to destroy a fortress recently built by Damascene troops to control the caravan routes. [184] In August 1108 Baldwin and a band of Italian adventurers laid siege to Sidon, but the arrival of an Egyptian fleet and Turkish horsemen from Damascus forced him to abandon the siege. [183] In late 1108, he concluded a ten-year truce with Toghtekin in exchange for one-third of state revenues from the northern regions of Oultrejordain. [185]

Bertrand, Count of Toulouse came to Syria to claim the lands that his father, Raymond of Saint Gilles, had conquered around Tripoli. [186] Bertrand's cousin, William Jordan, who had ruled these lands since Raymond's death, refused to cede them to him. [186] Bertrand sought Baldwin's assistance, while William Jordan secured Tancred's support. [186] Tancred had already outraged Baldwin II of Edessa through refusing to abandon Turbessel. [187] [188] Baldwin convoked an assembly to put an end to the crusader leaders' conflicts. [189] Since neither Tancred nor Jordan were his vassals, he summoned them in the name of the "whole church of Jerusalem" to the castle of Mount Pilgrim near Tripoli. [188] [190] At the assembly in June 1109, Tancred agreed to abandon Turbessel in return for his restoration to his old domains in the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Galilee, Haifa and the Temple of the Lord). [186] [188] Tancred did not take possession of his old domain, which remained under Baldwin's control. [191] Raymond's inheritance was distributed between Bertrand and Jordan, with Bertrand swearing fealty to Baldwin, and Jordan to Tancred. [189]

The crusader leaders united their forces to complete the conquest of Tripoli begun by Raymond. [186] On 26 June, the Egyptian governor, Sharaf ad-Daulah, offered to surrender the town if a safe passage for those who wanted to leave the town was guaranteed. [190] [192] Baldwin accepted the offer, but he could not prevent the Genoese from killing all those inhabitants whom they could capture. [190] [193] Two-thirds of the town was granted to Bertrand of Toulouse who again took an oath of fealty to Baldwin. [192] Baldwin captured Beirut on 13 May 1110, with the assistance of Bertrand and a Genoese fleet. [194] He was again unable to prevent a general massacre of the townspeople. [195] [196]

Mawdud, the atabeg of Mosul, and his allies invaded the County of Edessa during the siege of Beirut. [197] After the fall of Beirut, Baldwin and Bertrand [198] hurried to Edessa to fight against the invaders. [199] Baldwin II of Edessa accused Tancred of having incited the Muslim rulers to take actions against him. [199] Regarding himself as the leader of all the Crusaders, Baldwin ordered Tancred to join the campaign and make peace with Baldwin II, otherwise he would declare Tancred the enemy of Christianity. [199] Since most crusaders supported the king, Tancred had no choice but to obey. [199] The incident strengthened Baldwin's suzerainty over Edessa. [200] After the new reconciliation, the crusaders pursued Mawdud, but rumours about Muslim attacks against Antioch and Jerusalem forced them to stop the campaign. [201] Before leaving the county, Baldwin suggested that the Christian (mainly Armenian) peasants should be transferred to the lands west of the Euphrates, because the Seljuq rulers had frequently raided the eastern regions. [201] While the peasants were gathering at a ferry on the river, Mawdud made a sudden raid and massacred most of them. [201]

Sigurd I of Norway—the first king to visit the Kingdom of Jerusalem—had meanwhile landed at Acre. [195] Baldwin made an alliance with him and they laid siege to Sidon in October 1110. [195] An Egyptian fleet routed the Norwegians, but the Doge of Venice, Ordelafo Faliero, and his fleet soon joined the crusaders and the town capitulated on 5 December. [194] [195] Baldwin spared the lives of the townspeople and many of them moved to Tyre and Damascus. [196] [202] The following year Baldwin marched to Ascalon: [203] to prevent a siege the Egyptian governor of the town, Shams al-Khalīfa, promised to pay 70,000 dinars as a tribute and allowed crusader troops into the citadel. [203] [204] However, the townspeople rose up against al-Khalīfa in July [204] and his Berber guards joined the rioters, murdering him and the crusader troops. [203]

Mawdud launched a new expedition against the northern crusader states in August. [205] [206] At Tancred's request, Baldwin mustered his troops and hurried to the North. [205] [206] Bertrand of Tripoli, Baldwin II of Edessa and the Armenian rulers also came to fight against Mawdud, who was compelled to return to Mosul in the autumn. [207] Shortly thereafter, Baldwin attacked a caravan that was travelling from Tyre to Damascus, carrying with it the city's most precious possessions, and was able to carry off the rich cargo. [208] In late November, he laid siege to Tyre, although he had no supporting fleet. [208] He was still besieging the town when a Byzantine embassy arrived. [209] The Byzantines tried to persuade him to join a coalition against Tancred, while he wanted to secure their assistance against Tyre. [209] They could not reach a compromise, but Izz al-Mulk, the Egyptian governor of Tyre, persuaded Toghtekin to come to the rescue of the besieged town. [210] Toghtekin compelled Baldwin to lift the siege and withdraw to Acre in April 1112. [211]

Baldwin made an incursion against Damascene territory in 1113. [212] Mawdud and an Artuqid emir, Ayaz, who came to assist Toghtekin against the crusaders, routed Baldwin in the Battle of Al-Sannabra in late June, forcing him to seek assistance from the new rulers of Tripoli and Antioch, Pons and Roger. [206] Toghtekin, Mawdud and Ayaz invaded Galilee, but they did not risk attacking Tiberias after the arrival of the troops from Tripoli and Antioch. [213] Toghtekin and Mawdud returned to Damascus where an Assassin murdered Mawdud in late September. [214] The Seljuq sultan, Muhammad I Tapar, sent a large army to northern Syria in spring 1115. [215] In an attempt to maintain the equilibrium in the region, Toghtekin soon sought reconciliation with the crusaders. [214] He made an alliance with the crusader rulers, and their coalition forced the Seljuq troops to withdraw without a fight. [215]

With the pressure on the northern regions diminished, Baldwin was able to again deal with the Egyptians, who had already approached Jerusalem in 1113, and made a fresh attempt to capture Jaffa in 1115. [214] Baldwin led an expedition across the Jordan and ordered the construction of the castle of Montreal in the autumn 1115. [216] [217] The following year, he returned to the region and marched as far as Akaba on the Red Sea. [217] [218] After the local inhabitants fled from the town, Baldwin constructed castles in the town and on a nearby island and left a garrison in both fortresses. [217] The three strongholds—Montreal, Eilat and Graye—secured the control of the caravan routes between Syria and Egypt. [217] [219] They also enabled Baldwin to continuously survey the movements of the Egyptian troops. [218] From the Red Sea coast, Baldwin hastened to Tyre and began the construction of a new fortress, known as Scandelion Castle, at the Ladder of Tyre, which completed the blockade of the town from the mainland. [220] [221]

Baldwin fell seriously ill in late 1116. [222] Thinking that he was dying, he ordered that all his debts be paid off and he started to distribute his money and goods, but he recovered at the start of the following year. [222] To strengthen the defence of the southern frontier, he launched an expedition against Egypt in March 1118. [223] [224] He seized Farama on the Nile Delta without a fight as the townspeople had fled in panic before he reached the town. [223] [225] [226] The late 12th-century Muslim historian Ibn Zafar al Siqilli wrote that Baldwin ordered the mosques in the town to be levelled. [227] Baldwin's retainers urged him to attack Cairo, but the old wound that he had received in 1103 suddenly re-opened. [223] [228]

Dying, Baldwin was carried back as far as Al-Arish on the frontier of the Fatimid Empire. [228] On his deathbed, he named Eustace III of Boulogne as his successor, but also authorised the barons to offer the throne to Baldwin of Edessa or "someone else who would rule the Christian people and defend the churches", if his brother did not accept the crown. [229] Baldwin died on 2 April 1118. [228] In accordance with his last wishes, his cook, Addo, removed his intestines and preserved his body in salt, so as to secure a burial in Jerusalem. [228] [230] He was buried in the Calvary Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre next to Godfrey of Bouillon five days later, on Palm Sunday. [230]

Fulcher of Chartres described Baldwin as his subjects' "shield, strength and support their right arm the terror of his enemies." [231] The Muslim historian, Ali ibn al-Athir, who completed his chronicle a century after Baldwin's death, thought that "al-Bardawil" had started the First Crusade. [126] Presenting a fictional correspondence between Baldwin and Roger I of Sicily, al-Athir claimed that Baldwin had initially wanted to conquer Ifriqiya, but Roger, who wanted to secure the territory for himself, talked him into attacking Jerusalem. [226]

Among modern historians, Thomas Asbridge states that Baldwin was one of the commanders of the First Crusade "whose skill, ambition and devotion drove the enterprise, and by turns threatened to rip it apart". [232] Christopher Tyerman emphasises that Baldwin was a talented military commander and a clever politician, who "established a stable kingdom with defined and defensible borders". [233] Amin Maalouf also concludes that Baldwin was the "principal architect of the occupation" of the Holy Land by the crusaders. [234] Maalouf attributes Baldwin's success primarily to the "incorrigible fragmentation of the Arab world", which made the crusaders a "genuine regional power". [234] Historian Christopher MacEvitt proposes that Baldwin was "adept at navigating the complexities of a world of competing local warlords", because the "political landscape" of his homeland, with its castellans dominating the countryside, was "not so different". [235]

Baldwin's earliest extant charters were issued in the early 1100s, but the establishment of a chancery took years. [218] [236] Initially, clerics from Baldwin's homeland compiled the royal documents. [218] The first chancellor, Pagan, was appointed only in 1115. [218] Pagan had came to the Holy Land in the entourage of Baldwin's third wife, Adelaide del Vasto. [237]

The Bardawil lagoons are named after Baldwin, who died in nearby El-Arish. [238]

Baldwin's wife Godehilde, the daughter of Raoul II of Tosny and Isabella of Montfort-l'Amaury, [240] died during the First Crusade around 15 October 1097. [240] Historian Malcolm Barber argues that her death "may have been the decisive event that persuaded" Baldwin "to seek out a lordship in the East". [241] According to the historians Steven Runciman and Christopher MacEvitt, Baldwin and Godehilde had children who did not long survive her, [63] [66] but historian Alan V. Murray emphasises that no primary source states that Baldwin fathered children. [240] According to Murray, Runciman was wrong when he translated William of Tyre's words about Baldwin's "familia" as a reference to his family, because William of Tyre was referring to Baldwin's household. [240]

Uncertainty surrounds the name and family of his second wife, whom he married in the summer of 1098. [242] [97] Modern historians call her Arda and associate her father with Tathoul of Marash. [97] [243] Her father promised a dowry of 60,000 bezants and also pledged that she would inherit his lands, but he actually paid off only 7,000 bezants to Baldwin. [97] [244] The marriage was childless. [245] Baldwin banished her to the convent of St Anne in Jerusalem before 1109, but she was soon allowed to move to Constantinople. [97] [246] Although they were separated, the marriage was never annulled. [97]

Baldwin's third wife, Adelaide, was the wealthy widow of Roger I of Sicily. [247] Her first husband died in 1102 and she acted as regent for their minor sons until the end of 1111. [248] She was more than forty years old when the marriage was proposed in 1112. [247] According to William of Tyre, Baldwin wanted to marry her because he had learnt of her wealth, and even agreed to make her son, Roger II of Sicily, his heir in Jerusalem. [247] She landed at Palestine in August 1113, accompanied by hundreds of soldiers and bringing her rich dowry. [249] Their marriage was bigamous, because Baldwin's second wife was still alive. [222] [250] After recovering from a serious illness in late 1116, Baldwin accepted clerical advice and sent an indignant Adelaide home. [216] [222] She sailed for Sicily on 25 April 1117. [222] Her humiliation outraged Roger II so much that he denied all support to the Kingdom of Jerusalem during his lifetime. [222]

Summarising Baldwin's marriages, historian Jonathan Phillips concludes that Baldwin "regarded women as useful sources of financial and political advancement but little else". [250] Decades after Baldwin's death, William of Tyre wrote that Baldwin was "said to have struggled with weakness of the flesh", but only a few of his "body-servants" were aware of this. [251] Historians Hans Eberhard Mayer, Christopher Tyerman and Malcolm Barber agree that William of Tyre most probably referred to Baldwin's homosexuality. [251] [247] [231] Tyerman adds that a converted Muslim was one of Baldwin's lovers, but he betrayed Baldwin during the siege of Sidon. [231] He proposed that the defenders of the town kill the king, but Baldwin was warned in advance. [252] On the other hand, Susan B. Edgington states that there is "little evidence to support" the theories about Baldwin's homosexuality, emphasizing that his contemporaries made no reference to it. [251]


The County of Edessa was the first of the crusader states to be established during and after the First Crusade. It dates from 1098 when Baldwin of Boulogne left the main army of the First Crusade and founded his own principality.

Edessa was the most northerly, the weakest, and the least populated as such, it was subject to frequent attacks from the surrounding Muslim states ruled by the Ortoqids, Danishmends, and Seljuk Turks. Count Baldwin II and future count Joscelin of Courtenay were taken captive after their defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Joscelin was captured a second time in 1122, and although Edessa recovered somewhat after the Battle of Azaz in 1125, Joscelin was killed in battle in 1131. His successor Joscelin II was forced into an alliance with the Byzantine Empire, but in 1143 both the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus and the King of Jerusalem Fulk of Anjou died. John II was succeeded by his son Manuel I Comnenus, who had to deal with consolidating power at home against his elder brothers, while Fulk was succeeded by his wife Melisende and his son Baldwin III. Joscelin had also quarreled with Raymond II of Tripoli and Raymond of Poitiers, leaving Edessa with no powerful allies.

In 1144, Joscelin was able to make an alliance with Kara Arslan, the Ortoqid ruler of Diyarbakır, against the growing power and influence of Zengi. Joscelin marched out of Edessa with almost his entire army to support Kara Aslan against Aleppo. Zengi, already seeking to take advantage of Fulk's death in 1143, hurried north to besiege Edessa, arriving on November 28. The city had been warned of his arrival and was prepared for a siege, but there was little they could do while Joscelin and the army were elsewhere.

The defense of the city was led by the Latin Archbishop Hugh, the Armenian Bishop John, and the Jacobite Bishop Basil bar Shumna. John and Basil ensured that none of the native Christians would desert to Zengi. When Joscelin heard of the siege he took the army to Turbessel, knowing that he could never dislodge Zengi without help from the other crusader states. In Jerusalem, Queen Melisende responded to Joscelin's appeal by sending an army led by Manasses of Hierges, Philip of Milly, and Elinand of Bures. Raymond of Poitiers ignored the call for help, as his army was already occupied against the Byzantine Empire in Cilicia.

Zengi surrounded the entire city, realizing that there was no army defending it. He built siege engines and began to mine the walls, while his forces were joined by Kurdish and Turcoman reinforcements. The inhabitants of Edessa resisted as much as they could, but had no experience in siege warfare the city’s numerous towers remained unmanned. They also had no knowledge of counter-mining, and part of the wall near the Gate of the Hours collapsed on December 24. Zengi's troops rushed into the city, killing all those who were unable to flee to the Citadel of Maniaces. Thousands more were suffocated or trampled to death in the panic, including Archbishop Hugh. Zengi ordered his men to stop the massacre, although all the Latin prisoners that he had taken were executed the native Christians were allowed to live freely. The citadel was handed over on December 26. One of Zengi’s commanders, Zayn ad-Din Ali Kutchuk, was appointed governor, while Bishop Basil, apparently willing to give his loyalty to whoever ruled the city, was recognized as leader of the Christian population.

In January 1145 Zengi captured Saruj and besieged Birejik, but the army of Jerusalem had finally arrived and joined with Joscelin. Zengi also heard of trouble in Mosul, and rushed back to take control. There, he was praised throughout Islam as "defender of the faith" and al-Malik al-Mansur, the victorious king. Ibn al-Qaysarani praised his victory in a rhyming panegyric. [1] He did not pursue an attack on the remaining territory of Edessa, or the Principality of Antioch, as was feared. Joscelin II continued to rule the remnants of the county to the west of the Euphrates from Turbessel, but little by little the rest of the territory was captured by the Muslims or sold to the Byzantines.

Zengi was assassinated by a slave in 1146 while besieging Qalat Jabar, and was succeeded in Aleppo by his son Nur ad-Din. Joscelin attempted to take back Edessa following Zengi's murder, and recaptured all but the citadel in October 1146. However, he had no help from the other crusader states, and his poorly planned expedition was driven out of Edessa by Nur ad-Din in November. Joscelin, fearing for the safety of the city's Christian Armenians, attempted to break a hole in Nur ad-Din's forces through which the natives could flee to safety. However, Joscelin's attempt failed and his fears came true when Nur al-Din's troops massacred the fleeing Armenians and forced the survivors into slavery.

By this time, news of the fall of Edessa reached Europe, and Raymond of Poitiers had already sent a delegation including Hugh, Bishop of Jabala, to seek aid from Pope Eugene III. On December 1, 1145, Eugene issued the papal bull Quantum praedecessores calling for the Second Crusade. This crusade was led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, but by 1148 it had ended in disaster, and Edessa was never recovered.

In October 1146, Joscelin retook Edessa, but his victory lasted only a matter of days. Nur ad-Din quickly besieged the city and forced Joscelin to abandon it. The Christian population was massacred, enslaved or exiled and the city lost its importance.


Şanlıurfa

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Şanlıurfa, formerly Urfa or Edessa, Arabic Al-Ruhā, city, southeastern Turkey. It lies in a fertile plain and is ringed by limestone hills on three sides.

The city, of great age, controls a strategic pass to the south through which runs a road used since antiquity to travel between Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia. The modern name derives from the early Aramaic name Urhai, which was changed to Edessa when the town was refounded as a military settlement in the 3rd century bce . Freeing itself from imposed Hellenism, Edessa, as capital of the principality of Osroëne, was a major centre of Syrian culture it figured prominently in the conflicts between Parthia and Rome.

Christianity reached Edessa about 150 ce , and the city became the seat of what was soon the most important bishopric in Syria. A sizable body of early Christian literature in the Syriac language was produced at Edessa.

After being captured by the Sasanid Persians on more than one occasion, Edessa was taken by the Arabs about 638. Thereafter it saw many changes of rule, including occupation by Crusaders in 1098, until it was annexed to the Ottoman Empire at some point between 1516 and 1637. It then remained Turkish, except for a short occupation by forces of the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Muḥammad ʿAlī Pasha, in the late 1830s.

The city’s monuments include the ruins of an ancient citadel situated on one of the hills overlooking the town, part of the old city walls, flood-prevention works built in the 6th century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, and the 13th-century Halil ür-Rahman (Khalīl al-Raḥmān, also called Döşeme) mosque complex. Modern Şanlıurfa is a local market for the agricultural and livestock products of the surrounding region. The main exports are butter and wool. The city is linked by main roads with Gaziantep to the west, Mardin to the northeast, Adıyaman to the northwest, and northern Syria to the south. Pop. (2000) 385,588 (2019 est.) 577,218.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Zeidan, Assistant Editor.


My review of "The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God" (2016) by Philip E. Dayvault

Philip E. Dayvault's 2016 book, "The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God" [Right: Amazon.com[1].] arrived by mail on 15th April, 2016. Here is my review of it, between the horizontal lines, on which will be the basis of a reader's review that I will submit to Amazon.com. [However, as mentioned in my 10Jul16, I belatedly discovered that, "The ideal length is 75 to 500 words" for an Amazon.com customer review, and this review was already many times that, so I abandoned that Amazon.com review]. I hope this review will be found by some intending buyers of the book before they waste their money on it (unless they are into historical fiction, or rather fantasy). See my previous posts, "`Modern-day 'Indiana Jones' links Shroud to 1st century': Shroud of Turin News - March 2016" and "`Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity': Shroud of Turin News - February 2016." Dayvault's words are in bold and the numbers in square brackets are page numbers in the book.

Leading Shroud scholar, Ian Wilson once began a review of a much better book than this one by Philip E. Dayvault, with:

• "Upon seeing the cloth, King Abgar V was healed of leprosy and gout and converted to Christianity, as soon did the entire city." [viii]. Wrong. While Edessa's King Abgar V (r.13-50) may have been healed of leprosy by Jesus' disciple Thaddeus and then converted to Christianity, along with some of Edessa's citizens, there is no good evidence for, and much evidence against, that Abgar V saw "the cloth," i.e. the Mandylion, which was the Shroud four-doubled (tetradiplon), i.e. folded 4 x2 = 8 times[3]. In the earliest c. 325 record of Abgar V's healing and conversion, that of Eusebius (c. 260�)[4], there is no mention of a cloth[5] or an image[6]. And some (if not most) leading Shroud scholars now regard the story of Abgar V "seeing the cloth" as a "pious fraud"[7] and accept that it was under King Abgar VIII (r. 177-212) that Edessa became a Christian city[8]. Shroud pro-authenticist historian Dan Scavone has shown that it was Abgar VIII who was the originator of the Abgar V legend and had it inserted into Edessa's royal archives[9] (unknown to Eusebius). Even Ian Wilson the leading proponent of the Abgar V theory, now concedes:

• "Also, according to the legend, King Abgar V displayed the cloth and had a tile bearing the same facial image of Jesus Christ placed over a Western Gate of the `City'" . [viii]. Wrong. The 945 "Official History of the Image of Edessa" (Narratio de Imagine Edessena)[11], which is Appendix C, pages 272-290, in Ian Wilson's 1979 book, The Shroud of Turin): 1) does not say "a tile bearing the same facial image of Jesus Christ" was "placed over a Western Gate of the `City'." That "tile" (there were two) which the Official History states, had a "copy of the likeness of the divine face" which "had been transferred to the tile from the cloth" was at "Hierapolis" [Hierapolis, Syria, modern Manbij], not Edessa:

24/25 years after the Mandylion/Shroud had been transferred from Edessa to Constantinople in 944[14].

Nor does the Official History say that the Edessa tile was "placed over" a gate of the city. It states that the "the image," i.e. the image of Jesus on the "towel" (see above), "lay" in a "place" which "had the appearance of a semispherical cylinder" and "a tile," of which nothing is said about it having an image, was "placed . on top" of the image:

". (Citadel), as a memorial to this momentous event. "[viii]. Wrong. As per my previous post, firstly, the Citadel was not the city, but a castle inside the city of Edessa[17] (see photo below). Secondly,

[Above (enlarge): Photo at page 221 of Dayvault's book of Edessa's citadel, with Dayvault's self-evidently false annotation that at the arrowed point is a "Gate" when there is no gate (see further below). But note that even Dayvault has to admit that this is only the Western end of "the Citadel" not of the city!]

the Citadel (which Dayvault on page 60 agrees was called the "Birtha") did not exist in the time of Abgar V (r.13-50) but was built by Abgar VIII (r. 177-212) in 205: "The sixth-century Syriac Chronicle of Edessa announces that `in the year 205 Abgar VIII built the Birtha."[18]. Thirdly, Dayvault is misleading his readers by a fallacious word-play between "city" and "citadel." In his online PDF, Dayvault wrote:

And as can be seen in the photo below from page 220 of Dayvault's book, with his annotation that this is the "Western Gate of the Citadel," on that same page 220 Dayvault wrote that it was "Viewed

[Above (enlarge): Photo at page 220 of Dayvault's book of the Western end of the Citadel, with his self-evidently false (and deluded) annotation that it is the "Western Gate of the Citadel. But as can be seen in the maximum zoom Google Earth photo of the Western end of the Citadel, again there is no gate!]

from across the moat while looking eastward, the westernmost tip of the Citadel in Sanliurfa and its tunnel entrance is pictured above." As can be seen in the Google Earth photo below, that place from where

[Above (enlarge): Google Earth photo of Sanliurfa[23] showing the Western end of Edessa's Citadel. The triangular `island' ( red arrow) is evidently from where Dayvault took his photo above, and the circular structure ( blue arrow) is evidently what he called the "Western Gate Monument." Which is in fact the ruins of a tower/windmill (see below)!]

Dayvault evidently took his page 220 photo above, is on the triangular `island' to the upper left of the western end of the Citadel ( red arrow). And the circular structure on the tip of the western end of the Citadel blue arrow) is evidently what Dayvault called the "Western Gate Monument" in his same photo above. But a photo on a "Rome Art Lover's" website identified this as the remains of a tower/windmill (see below). That is confirmed by an online tourist guide document,

[Above (enlarge): "Remains of a windmill tower at the western end of the citadel . "[24]. See below that this windmill tower is "Byzantine and Islamic," which is 11th-12th century. How could Dayvault go to Sanliurfa, with a Turkish guide/interpreter (page 95ff), and not know that this is the remains of a windmill tower? And that it is 11th-12th century?]

"A Guide to Southeastern Anatolia," which states of "Sanliurfa": "The ruined Byzantine and Islamic structures include a windmill to the west of the citadel" (my emphasis)[25]. Note that this ruined windmill tower is "Byzantine and Islamic," but the Byzantine period in Edessa was from 1031[26] and ended with the Islamic conquest of Edessa in 1144[27]! So this windmill tower dates from between the 11th and 12th centuries, which is about a thousand years too late to be the "public gate of the city" (above) which, according to the 945 Official History (above), the Mandylion/Shroud, tile and lamp had been hidden! And therefore about a thousand years too late to be Dayvault's "Western Gate Entrance" (see below). Indeed by 1031 the Shroud and Keramion had been in Constantinople for

That this is the same structure which Dayvault called the "Western Gate Monument" above, but from a different angle, is confirmed by its inclusion in a triptych photo on page 222 of his book from that different angle (see below).

[Above (enlarge): Triptych photo on page 222 of Dayvault's book, being different views of what he calls, the "Western Gate Monument." The middle photo especially shows that it is in fact the windmill tower ruins in the photo above!]

Thus, all visitors to Edessa would see it and pay homage to the one true God." [viii]. Wrong. First, the Official History does not say that "all visitors to Edessa would see it" the tile "and pay homage to the one true God." It says (see above), that "everyone who intended to come through that gate ["the public gate of the city"], should . pay fitting reverence and due worship and honor to the very wondrous miracle-working image of Christ" which "fasten[ed] . to a board and embellish[ed] .. with . gold," that is, the Mandylion/Shroud. As we saw above, the "tile" at Edessa had no image and its only function was to be "on top" of the Mandylion/Shroud. Why does Dayvault even want to boost this mere plain tile to the detriment of the Shroud?

Second, Dayvault (deludedly), claims that the "tunnel" in these windmill tower (see below) was "the public gate of the city" (see above)

[Above (enlarge): Photo on page 226 of Dayvault's book of the tunnel in this 11th-12th century (see above) windmill tower ruins, which Dayvault (deludedly) calls, "The Western Gate Entrance."]

within which the Mandylion/Shroud, the tile and lamp had supposedly been hidden! So incredible is this that I myself did not realise that is what Dayvault had been claiming. At page 228, Dayvault claims (or implies) that the Edessa tile was on a "single marble block" which had been in a cavity (see below) about "2 feet high by 3.5 feet wide" by "8-12 inches" deep (about 61 cms H x 107 cms W x 25 cms D):

[Above (enlarge): Dayvault's claimed "unique features" of a stone block at what he calls the "Western Gate" of Edessa's Citadel and the underside of the Sanliurfa mosaic[28]. See my previous post where I pointed out that none of Dayvault's claimed "unique features" between the stone block and mosaic tile, match!]

determined the ISA Tile had been . attached to the referenced stone block, thereby making it the original tile and not a copy:"

"Additional evidence was needed to associate the ISA Tile to the cavity and stone which would have been placed over the Western Gate of entranceway to the Citadel, otherwise the tile still might have been a copy of an even earlier mosaic. By examining his available photographic evidence, Dayvault noticed unique features on the large rock directly in front of the Citadel entranceway. The general characteristics were similar in configuration to the backside of the ISA Tile. Using skills from his former years of image analysis experience in the FBI Laboratory and Shroud research, he forensically determined the ISA Tile had been, in fact, at one time in its history, attached to the referenced stone block, thereby making it the original tile and not a copy[29].

1.4 in. photo), presumably because he had since realised that the underside of the mosaic does not match the stone block at this so-called "Western Gate Entrance"!

Dayvault claimed on page 228 that this "tunnel" is a "cylindrical semicircle" which is "the description for the location where the Shroud, Keramion, and lamp were hidden" and "That is exactly what the tunnel entrance depicts!" (his emphasis):

But it is not what the tunnel entrance depicts! The Official History states above that "the place where the image," tile and lamp "lay had the appearance of a semispherical cylinder" (my emphasis). The difference is that a "cylindrical semicircle" would be a cylinder which was flat at each end, and cut in half lengthwise but a "semispherical cylinder" would be a cylinder with one end flat and the other end a half-sphere, and cut in half lengthwise. This does not fit Dayvault's tunnel so he changes the wording of the Official History! And apart from this windmill tower being "Byzantine and Islamic" and therefore 11th- 12th century (see above), as shown by Dayvault's own photo on page 226 [Right (enlarge)] this tunnel is neither a "cylindrical semicircle" nor a "semispherical cylinder," but just brick tunnel (presumably for storage of grain to be milled and flour) with a pointed apex along its length. And as Dayvault's own photo below on page 223 of the opposite side of this tunnel entrance shows, it did not go all the way through. So (apart from

[Above (enlarge): Opposite side of what Dayvault calls the "Western Gate Monument" (which is actually a 11th-12th century windmill tower - see above), showing there is no way through what Dayvault claims was the "public gate of the city" (see above).]

everything else above, this tunnel could not have been what Dayvault claims on page 230 was the Official History's "Edessa city gate," that is "the public gate of the city" (see above).

This tile is historically known as the Keramion." [viii]. Wrong. As pointed out above the only tile the 945 Official History states had an image on it, was the one at Hierapolis, Syria. That tile was never at Edessa, but was transferred from Hierapolis, Syria to Constantinople in 968/969. The Official History says nothing about the tile at Edessa having an image on it. It was therefore this tile which had been at Hierapolis, Syria, that the Official History records had a "likeness of the divine [Jesus'] face" (see above) on it, and was transferred from Hierapolis, Syria, to Constantinople in 968/969, and later became known as The Keramion[30].

Further evidence against this Sanliurfa mosaic (see below) being the Keramion includes: 1) It is a mosaic, and even credulous first century

[Above (enlarge): "Mosaic face of Jesus, sixth century. Fragment from an unidentified location in Sanliurfa"[31]. Guscin and Wilson dated this Sanliurfa mosaic "somewhere between the sixth and seventh centuries"[32]. Dayvault in 2002[280] and Wilson and Guscin in 2008 were independently told by the Director of Sanliurfa Museum that the mosaic had been cut out of the wall of a Sanliurfa house[33]. This is a higher quality photo of the Sanliurfa mosaic, which Guscin found in a Sanliurfa magazine[34], and was first published outside of Turkey in Ian Wilson's 2010 book, "The Shroud" (see reference 31), thus preempting Dayvault who evidently sat on his 2002 discovery of the mosaic for

9 years (2002-11) (see previous). Dayvault was aware that Wilson was the first to publish outside of Turkey an account of finding this mosaic, including the above photo of it, because on page 140 Dayvault refers to what presumably is private communication between him and Wilson about the mosaic:

Hieropolitans would know that a mosaic was not an image but a lot of tiny tiles, none of which has an image, which together form the illusion of an image. So this Sanliurfa mosaic, Dayvault's "ISA tile," has no image, but only an illusion of an image which exists, not on the tile, but in the heads of humans looking at it. So this Sanliurfa mosaic cannot be the Keramion!

2) As pointed out in a previous post, the Greek word "keramion" is derived from keramos, which means "clay," "anything made of clay," and includes "a roofing tile"[35]. This fits with the Official History where the tile upon which the image of Jesus was transferred, which was later named "The Keramion," was one of "a heap of tiles which had been recently prepared," that is, clay roofing tiles. The exact same word keramion" occurs in Mark 14:13 and Luke 22:10 where it is translated "jar," as in a clay jar for carrying water[36]. But Dayvault described the base of the Sanliurfa mosaic, in which the mosaic tiles or tesserae were embedded, as "tufa" which is "a limestone commonly used for artwork" (my emphasis)[285]. So again, this Sanliurfa mosaic cannot be the Keramion!

3) Dayvault needs to plausibly explain how the Keramion, which disappeared during the 1204 sack of Constantinople[37] ended up in the wall of a house in Bireçik, a small town in Sanliurfa Province. He admitted in his PDF that "If his [the man who sold the mosaic to the museum] story were true, the ISA Tile would have been only a copy of an even earlier prototype" (Dayvault's emphasis)[38]. However in his book on page 280, Dayvault wrote that if this were true, it only "potentially could "preclude the possibility of its being the actual Keramion" (my emphasis). That is because Dayvault had since thought of two fantastic (as in fantasy) `explanations' of how what the man told the museum was true, yet the mosaic was the Keramion. Dayvault's first fantasy `explanation' was that because "Bireçik . [is] about 20 miles [actually 35 miles = 56 kms] from Hierapolis, Syria, this Sanliurfa mosaic is the original Hierapolis tile and it was a copy of it which in 968 was taken to Constantinople and became known as the Keramion:

Dayvault's second fantasy `explanation' is that the museum misunderstood what the seller (not "donor" because he sold it to the museum) told them. What the seller really said (according to Dayvault) was that the tile had been "hacked out . of the wall . [of] "the `house . ' of the king . the Citadel"!:

But where the tile had been since 525, how the seller obtained it, and how many thousands (if not millions) of US dollar equivalents he sold it for (since the seller knew it came from the Citadel) Dayvault doesn't say. Perhaps Dayvault imagines the following conversation between the seller and the Sanliurfa Museum Director:

Seller: "This mosaic tile was in AD 57 hacked out of a wall in the King's house, the Citadel, and I want one million US dollars for it."
Museum Director (hard of hearing): "You hacked it out of a wall in your house?"
Seller: "No, out of a wall in The Citadel. One of my ancestors hacked it off a stone block at the entrance of what is today the tunnel of the old windmill. The tile has been passed down through our family for 1447 years, from 525 to 1972. But I have inherited it and I want to sell it for one million dollars."
Museum Director (hearing only "I want to sell it"): "How much do you want for this mosaic tile you hacked out of a wall in your house?"
Seller (exasperated): "As I said, I want one million US dollars for it."
Museum Director (hearing only "one" and "dollar"): "It's a deal."

Dayvault's two contradictory fantasy `explanations' above just show the bankruptcy of his claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is the Keramion. And what's more, it shows that Dayvault, at some level knows that his Keramion claim is false. As one who claims to be a Christian, Dayvault should publicly admit that his claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is the Keramion is false, and offer to refund the money of the publisher and the purchasers of his book. I own over a hundred Shroud-related books and this book by Dayvault is easily the worst, and that includes my anti-authenticist books! If you are thinking about buying this book, I strongly recommend you don't, unless you like historical fiction/fantasy!


ABGAR

ABGAR dynasty of Edessa, 2nd century B.C. to 3rd century A.D.

When the Seleucids withdrew from Mesopotamia in 130-29 B.C., Parthian hegemony there was virtually unchallenged. It was, however, exercised loosely and a small number of principalities were able to acquire a fair degree of autonomy. The most important of these was Edessa.

The list of the kings of the dynasty may be reconstructed as follows (the early names and dates should be regarded with caution): Aryu, 132-127 B.C. ʿAbdu, son of Maẓʿur, 127-120 Frada&scaront, son of Gebaṛʿu, 120-115 Bakru I, son of Frada&scaront, 115-112 Bakru II, son of Bakru, alone, 112-94 Bakru II and Maʿnu I, 94 Bakru II and Abgar I Piqa, 94-92 Abgar I, alone, 92-68 Abgar II, son of Abgar, 68-53 interregnum, 53-52 Maʿnu II, 52-34 Paqor, 34-29 Abgar III, 29-26 Abgar IV Sumaqa, 26-23 Maʿnu III Saflul, 23-4 Abgar V Ukkama, son of Maʿnu, 4 B.C.-A.D. 7 Maʿnu IV, son of Maʿnu, 7-13 Abgar V (second time), 13-50 Maʿnu V, son of Abgar, 50-57 Maʿnu VI, son of Abgar, 57-71 Abgar VI, son of Maʿnu, 71-91 interregnum, 91-109 Abgar VII, son of Ezad, 109-16 interregnum, 116-18 Yalur (or Yalud) and Parthamaspat, 118-22 Parthamaspat alone, 122-23 Maʿnu VII, son of Ezad, 123-39 Maʿnu VIII, son of Maʿnu, 139-63 Waʾel, son of Sahru, 163-65 Maʿnu VIII (second time), 165-77 Abgar VIII the Great, son of Maʿnu, 177-212 Abgar IX Severus, son of Abgar, 212-14 Maʿnu IX, son of Abgar, 214-40 Abgar X Frahad, son of Maʿnu, 240-42.

The term &ldquoAbgar dynasty&rdquo is justified by the frequency of the name Abgar among the kings and by the special importance of the Abgar of the first and second centuries A.D. Armenian writers claim the rulers of Edessa as the Armenian successors of Abgar, son of Ar&scaronam, who transferred his capital to Edessa from Metsbin (Nisibis). There is little onomastic support for this theory. Some of the names are Iranian, others Arab (including Abgar itself Moses of Xorene&rsquos Armenian etymology as awagayr, &ldquogreat man,&rdquo [tr. Da N. Tomaséo, Storia de Mosè Corenese, Venice, 1841, p. 146] is improbable). But most striking are the names terminating in -u these are undoubtedly Nabatean. Many of the dynasty were therefore ethnically Arab, speaking a form of Aramaic (like the rulers of Hatra, Singara, and Mesene at this time).

The area of the kingdom was perhaps roughly coterminous with that of the Roman province of Osrhoene. The great loop of the Euphrates was a natural frontier to the north and west. In the south Batnae was capital of the semi-autonomous principality of Anthemusia until its annexation by Rome in A.D. 115. The eastern boundary is uncertain it may have extended to Nisibis or even to Adiabene in the first century A.D. Ḥarrān, however, only 40 km south of Edessa, always maintained its independent status as a Roman colonia.

Edessa was a fortress of considerable strength, and a staging post both large and nearest to the Euphrates. It was an important road junction an ancient highway, along which caravans carried merchandise from China and India to the West, met there a north-south road connecting the Armenian highlands with Antioch. Inevitably Edessa figured prominently on the international stage.

The first king of Edessa to appear in historical records was Abgar I, an ally of Tigranes of Armenia when he was defeated by the Roman Sextilius in 69 B.C. In Pompey&rsquos settlement of the east, Abgar II was confirmed as ruler of this city. It was the same Abgar whom Roman historians (e.g., Plutarch Crassus 21-22 and Dio Cassius 40.20-23) denounced for his part in guiding Crassus to one of the most crushing defeats ever suffered by Roman arms&mdashat the hands of the Parthians near Ḥarrān in 53 B.C. Whether Abgar was guilty of treachery may be doubted according to a Syriac source, in fact, he lost his throne in the same year (Segal, Edessa, p. 12). This victory of the Parthians secured their supremacy in the region, and for the next two centuries the kings of Edessa were to favor the Parthians rather than Rome.

Abgar V Ukkama, famous in Christendom as the contemporary of Jesus (see below), was a member of a delegation that went to Zeugma in A.D. 49 to welcome Mehrdād, the Roman nominee to the throne of Parthia. The &ldquodishonest&rdquo Abgar, Tacitus relates (Annals 12.12ff.), detained the prince &ldquoday after day in the town of Edessa,&rdquo evidently pandering to the dissipation of the &ldquoinexperienced youth.&rdquo Only when winter had set in did Abgar lead Mehrdād by a circuitous route through the mountains of Armenia. And before his protégé could put his challenge to the test of battle, the king of Edessa had abandoned him to certain defeat and capture by Gōdarz.

A later king of Edessa, Abgar VII, proved an equally unreliable ally of Rome. His envoys came to Trajan at Antioch in A.D. 114 with gifts and protestations of loyalty they excused Abgar&rsquos delay on the grounds of his fear of Parthian reprisals (Dio Cassius 68.18f.). Yet only five years earlier, we are told, he had purchased his throne from Parthia for a large sum of money. Trajan was then entertained at Edessa and received from Abgar 250 horses and mailed horsemen, suits of armor and a store of arrows. Not only was Abgar confirmed in his kingdom but, at his suggestion, the neighboring phylarch of Anthemusia, his rival, was deposed and his territory annexed to Rome. But no sooner had Trajan returned to the west after his capture of Ctesiphon than Edessa joined a general insurrection, massacring or expelling the Roman garrisons. The Romans exacted swift vengeance. Edessa was laid waste by fire and sword, and Abgar seems to have perished in the disorder.

Trajan&rsquos conquests in Mesopotamia were renounced by his successor, Hadrian. To the throne of Edessa, vacant for two years, was appointed a Parthian prince, Parthamaspat, whom the Romans had failed to install as ruler of Parthia. But the former dynasty of Edessa was apparently restored in A.D. 123 in the person of Maʿnu VII. A generation later, early in the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Parthians resumed the offensive against Rome. The king of Edessa, Maʿnu VIII, was replaced by Waʾel, son of Sahru, who struck coins with the portrait of the king of Parthia. When a Roman army besieged Edessa in 165, however, its citizens slaughtered the Parthian garrison and admitted the Romans. In the following year Maʿnu was reinstated as king with the epithet of Philorhomaios.

In 194, at a time of uncertainty over the succession of power at Rome, Abgar VIII (commonly called &ldquothe Great&rdquo) took an independent line in the company of the king of Adiabene, he laid siege to Nisibis. Soon, however, &ldquoAbgar, king of the Persians&rdquo (Life of Severus 18.1) was worsted by Septimus Severus. The Romans first appointed a procurator in Osrhoene then Abgar returned to his throne. The position had now changed, though imperceptibly, for Rome had established a firm control of western Mesopotamia. When the Parthians crossed the Tigris and besieged Nisibis, after the return of Severus to the west, Abgar withheld his support. He had adopted Roman names and he identified himself with the Roman cause, giving his sons as hostages and offering the services of his archers. In return, after the defeat of the Parthians in 197-98, Osrhoene was declared a client state and Rome recognized the status of Abgar as &ldquoking of kings.&rdquo He visited Rome some time after 204 and was accorded the most lavish reception given to a foreign potentate since the days of Nero.

For Edessa, however, the end of independence was near. Rome could no longer be content with indirect control of Osrhoene. Abgar Severus, successor of Abgar the Great, was seized and deposed by Caracalla, probably in 214, and Edessa was declared a colonia. Later rulers of the dynasty must have governed only in name it appears that from 242 there was a Roman resident stationed in the city. The monarchy had ended. The last king of Edessa retired with his wife to Rome.

The king of Edessa had certain prerogatives. He alone was entitled to wear a diadem with the tiara worn by noblemen, possibly also by the priests he also carried a scepter. The local Syriac Chronicle (ed. Guidi, p. 3) describes him as residing in a &ldquogreat and beautiful palace&rdquo (Syr. ʾapadnā Parth. ap(p)adān, OPers. appadāna) &ldquoat the source of the springs&rdquo beside the pools of sacred fish (see below). After the flood of A.D. 201 it was rebuilt as a summer palace a winter palace was then erected on the citadel mount nearby (where two columns still stand). After A.D. 88-89 the kings were buried in a great tomb tower reserved for them.

The regnal year of the king provided the official system of dating, side by side with that of Roman emperors. The king maintained personal control of the military force of the state and of taxation. Abgar the Great&rsquos style of government was direct and paternalistic. He seems to have had his own confidants (Syr. &scaronarrīrē), who included his secretary and keeper of the archives. He supervised personally the measures taken at the flood of 201 he forbade the building of booths near the river and ordered that artisans should not pass the night there in winter time.

The principal officer of the state after the king, the &ldquosecond in the kingdom,&rdquo had the title of paṣgrībā (Parth. pasāgrīw). From the Syriac inscription on a column we learn that Queen &Scaronalmath, wife of Abgar (the Great?), was daughter of a paṣgrībā (Segal, Edessa, pl. 29a and p. 19 his head possibly appears on a coin). The nobleman who governed the marches east of Edessa occupied by the semi-nomad ʿArab was called, both in Greek and Syriac, &ldquogovernor of the ʿArab&rdquo (arabarchos). The nūhadrā (Parth. naxwadhār, noxadhār) was probably of lower rank. In the time of Abgar the Great, the nūhadrā evidently controlled the city administration. Order was maintained in the city by the gezīrāyē, a term possibly of Iranian origin. City officials included surveyors and other experts. The king himself housed the workmen employed on the upkeep of the royal buildings. In the royal archives were preserved records of private transactions as well as of matters of state they had a high reputation for accuracy.

By Roman historians the term phylarch is applied to members of the Abgar dynasty the city was divided into districts allocated to phylae or clans, each administered by an archon. The king ruled through a council of elders. A description of Edessan chiefs as &ldquothose who sit with bended knees&rdquo may reflect the Parthian practice by which nobles squatted at court, but the Syriac text is not certain (G. Phillips, The Doctrine of Addai the Apostle, London, 1876, p. 5 Syr. text, line 15). The nobles of Edessa&mdashcalled &ldquogreat men&rdquo or &ldquofree men&rdquo&mdashlived in mansions in the vicinity of the palace. Artisans formed an important category of the population there is evidence for slaves in the latest period of the kingdom.

Outside the city were villages and farms, dependent economically on the city-dwellers and paying taxes to the royal treasury. In the uncultivated area beyond, like the Tektek mountains east of Edessa, lived the ʿArab governed by the arabarchos. One of his functions was to protect them against the Beduins (Syr. Ṭayyāyē, after the Arab tribe Ṭayy).

iv. Social and Cultural Life Religion

Edessa under the monarchy was influenced by the civilizations of both East and West. The titles of officials, like their political sympathies, were Iranian town planning and architecture were largely Hellenistic. While female costume was similar to that in the West, men&rsquos costume was distinctively Iranian. As in Parthia, elaborate headgear was a sign of rank. Edessan society was highly sophisticated. Clothes were heavily embroidered and gaily colored, and much jewelry was worn. The cave tombs outside the city walls were decorated with reliefs and mosaics. The royal summer palace had statues of the kings, and other statues still survive. There was a hippodrome and a winter bath. The Osrhoenians were celebrated for their archery, and we have a firsthand account of the skill at the sport of the son of Abgar the Great and of the philosopher Bardaiṣan (by Julius Africanus, ed. J. R. Vieillefond, Fragments des Cestes, Paris, 1932, pp. 49-50). The status of women was high, except in legal matters.

Edessans of this period were much interested in music and in literature, especially poetry and philosophy. Their language was Syriac, but a few funerary inscriptions survive written in a form of Palmyrene and in Hebrew and Greek. Toward the end of the second century, Greek began to gain ground among the upper class and children were sent to be educated at Greek academies. The coinage carries legends in Greek. Significantly, however, on the coins of Waʾel, the pro-Parthian usurper (see above), Syriac is used. Bardaiṣan apparently knew no Greek, but his philosophical treatises follow Greek methods of exposition. All the contemporary writings that have reached our time are in Syriac.

Under the Abgar dynasty Edessans worshipped principally the sun, moon, and planets this is reflected in the ritual depicted in reliefs and mosaics and in personal names. The crescent appeared on coins and, accompanied by stars, on the king&rsquos tiara. A central feature of the city were the pools of sacred fish that still survive, probably an emblem of fertility. An anonymous deity, Marilaha (&ldquolord god&rdquo), is mentioned in dedicatory inscriptions at Edessa and at Sumatar Harabesi in the Tektek mountains. These inscriptions at Sumatar Harabesi, dated A.D. 165, refer also to a sacral pillar and stool (found too on coins of Waʾel) and a ceremonial meal the same symbols are alluded to in an Elymaen inscription of the 1st-2nd century A.D. at Tang-e Sarvak (see Bivar and Shaked, &ldquoShimbar,&rdquo pp. 287-90).

Among members of the Jewish community at Edessa were merchants in silk. They were strongly pro-Parthian and resisted Trajan&rsquos army. The fame of Edessa in history rests, however, mainly on its claim to have been the first kingdom to adopt Christianity as its official religion. According to the legend current for centuries throughout the civilized world, Abgar Ukkama wrote to Jesus, inviting him to visit him at Edessa to heal him from sickness. In return he received the blessing of Jesus and subsequently was converted by the evangelist Addai. There is, however, no factual evidence for Christianity at Edessa before the reign of Abgar the Great, 150 years later. Scholars are generally agreed that the legend has confused the two Abgars. It cannot be proved that Abgar the Great adopted Christianity but his friend Bardaiṣan was a heterodox Christian, and there was a church at Edessa in 201. It is testimony to the personality of Abgar the Great that he is credited by tradition with a leading role in the evangelization of Edessa.

There are few primary sources for the history of the Abgar dynasty. Firsthand accounts are the Syriac Chronicle of Edessa, ed. I. Guidi et al., in Chronica Minora (CSCO 1-2 = Scriptores syri 1-2), Louvain, 1955.

For the work of Julius Africanus, see also H. Gelzer, Sextus Julius Africanus und die byzantische Chronographie, Leipzig, 1880-98.

On contemporary inscriptions and other archeological finds, and on the evangelization of Edessa, see the bibliography under Edessa.

Bardaiṣan is treated by H. J. W. Drijvers, Bardaiṣan of Edessa (Studia Semitica Neerlandica 6), Te Assen, 1966.

G. F Hill, Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia in the British Museum, London, 1922, p. 91-118 should be consulted for numismatic material.

The viewpoint of Roman historians will be found in Plutarch Life of Crassus Tacitus Annals 6.44, 12.12f. Dio Cassius Roman History 68, 77-78 Scriptores historiae Augistae: Lives of Septimus Severus and Caracalla.

The Armenian history of Moses of Khorene should be regarded with caution see A. Carrière, &ldquoLa Légende d&rsquoAbgar dans l&rsquoHistoire d&rsquoArménie de Moïse de Khoren,&rdquo Centenaire de l&rsquoÉcole des langues vivantes 1795-1895, Paris, 1895, pp. 357-414.

For a discussion of Iranian inscriptions and Iranian terms, see W. B. Henning, &ldquoThe Monuments and Inscriptions of Tang-i Sarvak,&rdquo Asia Major N.S. 2, 1951-52, p. 151.

Idem, &ldquoA New Parthian Inscription,&rdquo JRAS 1953, p. 124.

A. D. H. Bivar and S. Shaked, &ldquoThe Inscriptions at Shimbar,&rdquo BSOAS 27, 1964, p. 265.

For a general treatment of the Abgar dynasty, see R. Duval, Histoire politique, religieuse et littéraire d&rsquoÉdesse jusqu&rsquoà la première croisade (= JA 8 e Sér., 18-19, 1891-92), 1892.

E. Kirsten, &ldquoEdessa,&rdquo in T. Klauser, ed., Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum IV, Stuttgart, 1959, cols. 552-97.


Watch the video: EDESSA Pool of Sacred Fish - Armenian Mesopotamia Anitour (July 2022).


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