The Leper King and His Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
The reign of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (1174-85) has traditionally been seen as a period of decline when, because of the king's illness, power came to be held by unsuitable men who made the wrong policy decisions. Notably, they ignored the advice of Raymond of Tripoli and attacked Saladin, who was prepared to keep peace with the Franks while uniting the Islamic near east under his rule. This book challenges that view, arguing that peace with Saladin was not a viable option for the Franks; that the young king, despite suffering from lepromatous leprosy (the most deadly form of the disease) was an excellent battle leader who strove with some success to frustrate Saladin's imperial ambitions; that Baldwin had to remain king in order to hold factions in check; but that the society over which he presided was, contrary to what is often said, vigorous and self-confident.
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If you're thinking of reading this book then that is really all the information you need to influence your choice. This book tells just about everything there is to know about Baldwin and the world he ... Read full review
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Agnes of Courtenay Aimery al-Maqrizi Aleppo Antioch appointed army Assassins attack Baha al-Din Baldwin IV Baldwin IV's reign Baldwin of Ibelin became Beirut Bohemond brother Byzantine Cahen Cambridge campaign castle CGOH Christian Chronicle Church Constantinople count crown Crusader Kingdom Damascus death defence disease Edbury Egypt emperor Eracles Ernoul fief Frankish Franks Gesta Guy of Lusignan Hamilton Hattin Heraclius High Court History Holy Land Ibid Ibn Jubayr Islamic John of Ibelin Joscelin Kamal ad-Din Kedar Kerak King Amalric king's Kingdom of Jerusalem knights Latin East Latin Kingdom leper leprosy London lord Lyons and Jackson Manuel marriage married Mayer MGH SS Morgan Mosul Muslim Nur ad-Din Paris patriarch peace Philip Prawer Prince Reynald Raymond of Tripoli regent Reynald of Chatillon RHC Lois Riley-Smith Roger of Howden royal rulers Saladin Sibyl siege sultan Syria Templars truce twelfth century vassals vols western William of Tyre XXII