Later Crusader IV/17: 1128AD- 1303AD

DBA list:
1x 3Kn (General): Baldwin IV 1161– 1185AD
2x 3kn
1x 3Cv or 3Kn
5x 4Sp
2x 3/4 Cb
1x 3Bw

Baldwin IV

Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (1161–16 March 1185), called the Leper or the Leprous, the son of Amalric I of Jerusalem and his first wife, Agnes of Courtenay, was king of Jerusalem from 1174 to 1185. Baldwin IV was educated by the historian William of Tyre, who discovered that the boy was a leper.

Baldwin's father died in 1174 and the boy was crowned at the age of thirteen, on 15 July that year. In his minority the kingdom was ruled by two successive regents, first Miles of Plancy, though unofficially, and then Raymond III of Tripoli, his father's cousin. In 1175, Raymond III, the acting king of Jerusalem, made a treaty with Saladin.

Raymond's regency ended on the second anniversary of Baldwin's coronation: the young king was now of age. He did not ratify Raymond's treaty with Saladin.

In November 1177, Saladin launched his first full-scale invasion of the Latin kingdom.

The Battle of Montgisard was fought between the Ayyubids and the Kingdom of Jerusalem on November 25, 1177. The 16 year old King Baldwin IV, seriously afflicted by leprosy, led an out-numbered Christian force against the army of Saladin. This was a striking achievement - the only defeat in pitched battle that Saladin suffered before the advent of Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade. The sultan's troops were routed, while he himself only narrowly avoided death and was forced to retire to Egypt, his aura of invincibility shattered.

Although the cost in manpower to Baldwin was severe - 1,100 dead and a further 750 injured - he had earned a resounding endorsement of his right to rule, the 'miracle' of his victory appearing as a sign of divine mandate. That same year, Baldwin allowed his stepmother the dowager-queen to marry Balian of Ibelin.

In the summer of 1180, Baldwin IV married Sibylla to Guy of Lusignan, brother of the constable Amalric of Lusignan. It was her second marriage, the first producing the later Baldwin V. Guy had previously allied himself with Raynald of Chatillon, who was by now taking advantage of his position at Kerak to harass the trading caravans travelling between Egypt and Damascus. After which Saladin retaliated for these attacks in the campaign and Battle of Belvoir Castle.

In 1182, Baldwin, now blind and unable to walk, appointed Guy regent of the kingdom. He died in Jerusalem in spring 1185, and was buried at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. As had been decided, Baldwin V succeeded his uncle, with Raymond of Tripoli as regent.

The mask he wears in the Ridley Scott film "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005) is an invention of the scriptwriter William Monahan, and has no basis in contemporary accounts. The director's cut of the film is much superior to the theatrical version, and makes it one of my favorite movies. The story does take many liberties with history, especially concerning the main characters...but it's a good story nontheless!

One oddity of this DBA list is the absence of skirmisher light troops or psiloi. EVERY medieval European contemporary army that contributed Crusaders to fight in the Holy Land have at least one element of such troops on their list. I suggest that the 3Bw should be listed as "3Bw or 2Ps" to cover such troops.

Baldwin IV dies and Baldwin V is crowned. From William of Tyre's Historia and Continuation, 13C manuscript from Acre. Bibliotheque Nationale Française, Richelieu Manuscrits Français 2628 Copyright-free, from Bibliotheque Nationale Française site Gallica


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