BALDWIN I., prince of Edessa (1098-1100), and first king of Jerusalem
(1100-1118), was the brother of Godfrey of Bouillon
. He was originally
a clerk in orders, and held several prebends; but in 1096 he joined the
first crusade, and accompanied his brother Godfrey as far as Heraclea in
Asia Minor. When Tancred left the main body of the crusaders at
Heraclea, and marched into Cilicia, Baldwin followed, partly in
jealousy, partly from the same political motives which animated Tancred.
He wrested Tarsus from Tancred's grip (September 1097), and left there a
garrison of his own. After rejoining the main army at Marash, he
received an invitation from an Armenian named Pakrad, and moved
eastwards towards the Euphrates, where he occupied Tell-bashir. Another
invitation followed from Thoros of Edessa; and to Edessa Baldwin came,
first as protector, and then, when Thoros was assassinated, as his
successor (March 1098). For two years he ruled in Edessa (1098-1100),
marrying an Armenian wife, and acting generally as the intermediary
between the crusaders and the Armenians. During these two years he was
successful in maintaining his ground, both against the Mahommedan powers
by which he was surrounded, and from which he won Samosata and Seruj
(Sarorgia), and against a conspiracy of his own subjects in 1098. At the
end of 1099 he visited Jerusalem along with Bohemund I.; but he returned
to Edessa in January 1100. On the death of Godfrey he was summoned by a
party in Jerusalem to succeed to his brother.
A lay reaction against the theocratic pretensions of Dagobert, who
was counting on Norman support, was responsible for the summons; and in
the strength of that reaction Baldwin was able to become the first king
of Jerusalem. He was crowned on Christmas Day, 1100, by the patriarch
himself; but the struggle of church and state was not yet over, and in
the spring of 1101 Baldwin had Dagobert suspended by a papal legate,
while later in the year the two disagreed on the question of the
contribution to be made by the patriarch towards the defence of the Holy
Land. The struggle ended in the deposition of Dagobert and the triumph
of Baldwin (1102).
Continued on page two.
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