Baldwin I (Jerusalem)

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Coronation of Baldwin I (from: Histoire d'Outremer, 13th century)

Baldwin of Boulogne (* after 1060; † April 2, 1118 in al-ʿArīsch ), French Baudouin de Boulogne, was Count of Verdun , from 1098 to 1100 Count of Edessa and from 1100 to 1118 King of Jerusalem . His county comes from Boulogne-sur-Mer on the English Channel .


He was the third son of Eustach II , Count of Boulogne , and Ida von Lorraine (daughter of Duke Godfrey III the Bearded ), Godfried von Bouillon was his brother. Baldwin married three times: Godehilde (Gontrana), daughter of Raoul II. De Tosny , Orianta from Melitene , daughter of the Armenian prince Taphnuz, and Adelheid , daughter of Margrave Manfred von Savona , widow of Count Rogers I of Sicily .

Originally he was a canon of Reims , where he left in 1086 at the latest, as the church reform forbade the accumulation of benefices . Baldwin then lived in Normandy , where he got his first marriage. Then he returned to Lorraine to take control of the county of Verdun , which his brother Gottfried had previously held.

First crusade and career in the Holy Land

In 1096 he set out on the First Crusade with Gottfried and his wife Godehilde , after he had sold much of his property to the church to cover costs. On the way to the Holy Land , he was held hostage by Koloman , King of Hungary , to make sure that the Crusaders did not pillage the country en route. He accompanied his brother to Heraclea in Asia Minor , where he and Tankred withdrew from the main army in order to march on to Cilicia . It is certain that Tankred intended to establish himself as an independent ruler in the area, and it can be assumed that Baldwin had the same aim.

Establishing your own rule

In September 1097 Baldwin Tarsus took over from Tankred and installed his own garrison there with the help of a pirate fleet from Boulogne . Tankred and Baldwin turned shortly after Mamistra , but the two could not force an open war and finally marched on Antioch . They met the main army again in Marasch and Baldwin learned that his wife Godehilde had since died. With her death, Baldwin also lost the right to inherit the rich lands of his father-in-law. An Armenian named Pakrad invited them to march eastward on the Euphrates . Baldwin occupied the Turbessel fortress here . A second invitation came from Thoros von Edessa , who adopted Baldwin as his son and successor. After Thoros' murder, he was proclaimed the first Count of Edessa on March 10, 1098 , although it is unknown to what extent Baldwin was responsible for the murder.

Count of Edessa

He ruled the county until 1100. He married Orianta (Arda) from Melitene , a daughter of the Armenian prince Taphnuz, and subsequently acted as a mediator between the Crusaders and the Armenians. However, the residents of Edessa were not enthusiastic about their new prince, and Baldwin had to constantly surround himself with a Frankish guard and attended the service himself armed and in full armor. According to Guibert von Nogent, he took the leading citizens of the city prisoner, accused them of treason, had their hands, feet, ears, noses, lips or tongues cut off, and castrated them all and banished them. In the next two years he suppressed a conspiracy of Armenian subjects (1098), conquered Samosata and Seruj ( Sarorgia ). Towards the end of 1099 he and Bohemond of Taranto visited Jerusalem , which had meanwhile been conquered by the main army of the crusade , with which both of them formally fulfilled their crusade vows. He returned to Edessa in January 1100.

King of Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, Baldwin's brother Gottfried had risen as the “protector of the Holy Sepulcher” to regent the Crusader Kingdom established there . After his brother died childless in July 1100, Baldwin was called to Jerusalem by the supporters of a secular monarchy and on Christmas Day (December 25th) 1100 he was crowned the first king of Jerusalem by Daimbert of Pisa , the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem , although he was would have preferred to turn the kingdom into a theocracy . Baldwin left the county of Edessa to his cousin Baldwin of Bourcq , who later became King Baldwin II of Jerusalem . In the spring of 1101 Baldwin Daimbert had an apostolic legate stand by his side; Later that year a dispute broke out between the two of them over the question of what contribution the Patriarch had to make in defending the Holy Land. The dispute ended in 1102 with the removal of Daimbert.

After Baldwin secured the monarchy in Jerusalem, he extended the power of the kingdom over the cities that had not yet been conquered. He was supported by the Italian trading cities, namely Genoa , which supplied siege engines and military support from the seaside, and in return received trading posts in each of the conquered cities.

Baldwin's most powerful opponent was the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt , whose invasions he repulsed in the battles of Ramla in 1101, 1102 and 1105 , and against whom he attacked from 1115, gaining access to the Red Sea (conquering Akabas 1116), which he secured by building the fortress of Montreal . In the north, he blocked Damascus ' access to the Mediterranean by conquering the cities of Arsuf and Caesarea (1101), Acre (1104), Beirut and Sidon (1110), the latter with the help of Venice and the Norwegian King Sigurd I.

Compared to the other Christian rulers, he was granted nominal supremacy in the county of Tripoli , the principality of Antioch and the county of Edessa, which he supported in return in repelling the Muslim invasions from Syria , in particular Maududs and Aq Sunqurs from Mosul . In 1103 he paid the ransom for Bohemond I of Antioch , who had been captured in a battle: Baldwin preferred Bohemond over Tankred, the prince of Galilee , who acted as regent in Antioch in his absence. In 1109 he was an arbitrator in the council of the great barons outside the walls of Tripoli when he forced Tankred to give up his claims to the city. Shortly thereafter, the city fell to the Crusaders and became the capital of the County of Tripoli, a vassal state of the King of Jerusalem.

Baldwin died of fish poisoning in 1118 on the way back from a campaign against Egypt in which he had advanced as far as the Nile and conquered and dragged Farama . His reign consolidated royal power, and he increased the population of the kingdom through the settlement of Christians across the Jordan . He was buried in the tomb of the Crusader Kings in Jerusalem . The throne was given to his brother Eustach III , who lived in Europe . offered by Boulogne , who refused. His successor in Jerusalem was then his cousin Baldwin von Bourcq , who had already followed him in Edessa.

Way of life

Balduin's way of life was controversial. On her way from Edessa to Jerusalem, his Armenian wife Oriana arrived by ship in St. Simeon, the port of Antioch , where she changed to a faster ship. This was moved to an island that was inhabited by pirates who took the queen prisoner. After it had been triggered in 1108, Baldwin forced it to enter the monastery of St. Anne in Jerusalem because, as Guibert von Nogent puts it, "was understandably suspicious of the unchastity of the barbarians", so he suspected that his wife could enter raped while in captivity. In 1113 he married Adelheid , the widow of Count Roger I of Sicily , who was now traded as the heir to the empire for her son Roger II . But since Oriana was still alive, he was forced in 1117 to give up his third wife. Again according to Guibert von Nogent, he was glad to be able to lead a celibate life, since "his fight was not directed against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of this world".


The Historia Hierosolymitana by Fulcher of Chartres , who accompanied Baldwin to Edessa as a chaplain and who lived in Jerusalem during his reign, is the most important source for Baldwin's life.

Ancestors of Baldwin I.

Balduin II (around 976 - 1032),
Count of Boulogne
Adelheid of Ghent Lambert I († 1015),
Count of Leuven
Gerberga of Lorraine Gotzelo I. (* around 967; † 1044),
Duke of Lower Lorraine
Barbe de Lebarten (* around 965; † 1044) nn nn
Eustach I (around 995 - 1049),
Count of Boulogne
Mathilde von Löwen Gottfried the Bearded († 1069),
Duke of Lower Lorraine
Eustach II (around 1020 - 1085),
Count of Boulogne
Ida of Lorraine († 1113)
Baldwin of Boulogne (around 1065, † 1118),
Count of Edessa , then King of Jerusalem


  • Alain Demurger: The Templars. Rise and fall. 1120-1314. 50–55 Thousand. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-52367-0 .
  • Susan B. Edgington: Baldwin I of Jerusalem 1100-1118 , London: Routledge 2018, ISBN 978-1-4724-3356-5 .
  • Yvonne Friedman: Captivity and ransom: The Experience of Women. In: Susan B. Edgington, Sarah Lambert (Eds.): Gendering the crusades. University of Wales Press, Cardiff 2001, ISBN 0-7083-1698-0 , pp. 121-139.
  • Hans Eberhard Mayer : Mélanges sur l'histoire du royaume Latin de Jérusalem (= Mémoires de l'Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. NS 5, ISSN  0398-3595 ). Imprimerie Nationale, Paris 1983.
  • Robert Levine (Ed.): The deeds of God through the Franks. A translation of Guibert de Nogent's "Gesta Dei per Francos". Boydell Press, Woodbridge 1997, ISBN 0-85115-693-2 .
  • Sylvia appearance: Balduin I . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 1366.

Web links

Commons : Balduin I.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Godfrey of Bouillon King of Jerusalem
Baldwin II
–– Count of Edessa
Baldwin II