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Godfrey of Bouillon

The Medieval and Renaissance History Portrait Gallery

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Detail depicting Godfrey of Bouillon from Goffredo Di Buglione and Delfila by Giacomo Jaquerio

Detail of Goffredo Di Buglione and Delfila by Giacomo Jaquerio

Public domain

Tall, fair-haired and good-looking, Godfrey of Bouillon was one of the primary leaders of the First Crusade proper (after the People's Crusade had ended in disaster). He butted heads with another crusade leader, Raymond of Toulouse, as well as with Emperor Alexius Comnenus, and was one of the first to acquire personal territory in the Holy Land. When Raymond passed on the opportunity to become King of Jerusalem, Godfrey accepted governance of the city, without taking the title of king, and thus became the first European ruler in the Holy Land.

Godfrey died young and became the subject of songs and legends, all of which painted him to be a much more mild Christian soldier than he really was.

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