26 April 2020

Baldwin II, Crusader King of Jerusalem

Real Crusades History #154. And don't forget the Real Crusades History website!

Baldwin II (1060, 1118-1131)

Baldwin of Bourcq fought in the army of Godfrey of Bouillon during the First Crusade. After that he ruled the County of Edessa to the north of the Kingdom, until he was crowned King of Jerusalem in 1118 on the death of his cousin, Baldwin I.

Baldwin II had to deal with the disaster of the Battle of the Field of Blood in 1119, in which the army of Antioch was destroyed by the Turkish forces of Ilghazi. King Baldwin II rode north with his troops, secured Antioch, and defeated Ilghazi at the Battle of Hab. The following year, he presided over the Council of Nablus, where he recognized the newly founded Knights Templar, and established the Kingdom’s legal code. Baldwin II spent much of his reign campaigning hard in the northern Crusader states, protecting them from the energetic Ortoqid Turks. This culminated in 1125, when the King delivered a crushing defeat to the Turks at the Battle of Azaz.

Baldwin II was noted for his deep piety, and his close relationship with his Armenian Queen Morphia. He was famously approachable and genial, and physically strong, with a strapping knightly build. Baldwin II is a main character in my historical novel Why Does the Heathen Rage?

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