King Baldwin I of Jerusalem Essay

This essay has a total of 1372 words and 6 pages.

King Baldwin I of Jerusalem



Baldwin of Boulogne I, brother to Godfrey of Boullion, Count of Edessa and King of
Jerusalem. Baldwin was one of the eight chief lay leaders of the first Crusade (Setton
21). He died in 1118, which marked an end of an era. Baldwin was the last of the
original leaders of the firs Crusade (Setton 408). He founded the first Latin state in
the east, the county of Edessa. He founded and transformed Jerusalem into a monarchy
state. Helped in the capture of Tripoli. Established the county of Tripoli into the
fourth and last state of the east. With only small means at his disposal he accomplished
many things, like founding the county Edessa with a few knights. Then he took over
Jerusalem after his brother Godfrey, who had left it weak torn by factionalism and
surrounded by enemies. He left Jerusalem a strong and powerful state. He revived and
maintained commerce with the Moslem who he was there to fight in the first place. He
never had a naval fleet but still had coastal conquests and protection. He had sea routes
protected to the west by obtaining the help of the Italian Naval Fleet.

The numbered of troops which Baldwin had can be compared to a modern day battalion, which
would consist roughly of about 1,200 troops. With a small army by his side he was able to
protect his small state and leave it aggressive, helping the Latin states to the north and
extending his own territory (Setton 409). Baldwin was known as a conqueror to the day of
his death. His worst enemies Al-Afdal of Egypt and Tughtigin of Demascus gave up hope of
ever over throwing him.

Before going on the first crusade Baldwin took his time before accepting to go with his
brother Godfrey. Since he was the youngest of the three brothers he had no inheritance
left to him. He saw this as a great opportunity to go out and conqueror his own land.

In 1096 they arrived in Constantinople, Godfrey was asked to the palace to pledge his
alliance to the emperor. Godfrey refused to go and wanted to wait for the rest of the
princes to arrive. The Emperor being annoyed did not give the necessary supplies he had
promised Godfrey. So Baldwin took it upon himself to raid the suburbs till they were
given the supplies that they were promised.

After Constantinople the Crusaders headed to Antioch. On their way to Antioch they found
themselves in a situation, the road forked. One way was a short cut to Antioch, but the
road was rough and it wasn’t suitable for a large army. Baldwin took charge of a small
army, which included his cousin Baldwin of Le Bourg, Reginald of Toul, and Peter of Stenay
and five hundred knights and two thousand infantrymen (Setton 296). Baldwin arrived at
Tarsus a small county part of Cicilia; a fellow crusader Tancred had already conquered it.
Since there was no imperial official to take over the city, Baldwin insisted it be turned
over to him (Setton 300). Tancred had no choice but to do as Baldwin wished because his
army was outnumbered. After some months Baldwin gave up the city to Guynemer of Boulogne,
a pirate who gave naval help to crusaders. Guynemer pledge homage to Baldwin and gave him
over three hundred men.

Baldwin headed eastward and soon rejoined the main body of the army at Marash. When the
main army went off Baldwin did not go with them. The main Army headed southwest to
Antioch, Baldwin headed southeast to Aintab. While he went on southeastward he managed to
get in touch with the Armenians and their princes. Everywhere he went he was welcomed with
as a liberator. Baldwin with the help of two Armenians who had levied to Baldwin captured
two main fortresses between Aintab the Euphraties.

Toros who feared a Turkish army that was on their way to Antioch might come and suppress
him invited Baldwin to Edessa (Setton 302). Torso promised to adopt him as his son and
make him a partner in government. Baldwin headed to Edessa in February of 1098 with only
eighty horsemen. When Baldwin arrived to Edessa he was made co-regent of Edessa. His
first action in Edessa was to attack Balduk of Samosata, whose life endangered life in the
Eddessan countryside (Setton 303). Since Baldwin’s raids were not successful, he took
over a village called St. John near Samosata. The village served as a check for Balduk’s
raids.

With his success Baldwin grew more popular among the people. He was informed that there
was a plot to over through Toros in favor of him. In March of 1098 Toros was over
throughed and Baldwin was instituted as head of government. Baldwin became count of
Edessa, to strengthen his position he married Arda daughter of an Armenian noble. He had
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