- Principality of Antioch
Infobox Former Country
conventional_long_name = Principality of Antioch
common_name = Principality of Antioch
continent = moved from Category:Asia to the Middle East
region = the Middle East
country = Palestine
era = High Middle Ages
event_start = First Crusade
year_start = 1098
event_end = Conquered by
year_end = 1268
p1 = Fatimid Caliphate
flag_p1 = Fatimid flag.svg
s1 = Mamluk
flag_s1 = Mameluke_Flag.svg
image_map_caption = The Principality of Antioch in the context of the other states of the
Near Eastin 1135 AD.
Latin, Old French, Italian (also Arabic and Greek)
Roman Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy, Syrian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism
government_type = Monarchy
year_leader1 = 1098-1111
year_leader2 = 1252-1268
title_leader = Prince
The Principality of Antioch, including parts of modern-day
Turkeyand Syria, was one of the crusader statescreated during the First Crusade.
While Baldwin of Boulogne and Tancred headed east from
Asia Minorto set up the County of Edessa, the main army of the First Crusade continued south to besiege Antioch. Bohemond of Taranto led the siege, beginning in October, 1097. With over four hundred towers, the city was almost impenetrable. The siege lasted throughout the winter, with much suffering among the Crusaders, who were often forced to eat their own horses, or, as legend has it, the bodies of their fellow Christians who had not survived.
Siege of Antioch, from a medievalminiature painting.] However, Bohemond convinced a guard in one of the towers, a former Christian named Firouz, to let the Crusaders enter the city. He did so on June 3, 1098, and a massacre of the Musliminhabitants followed. Only four days later, a Muslim army from Mosulled by Kerboghaarrived to besiege the Crusaders themselves. Alexius I Comnenus, the Byzantine emperor, was on his way to assist the Crusaders, but turned back when he heard the city had already been retaken.
However, the Crusaders were withstanding the siege, with help from a mystic named
Peter Bartholomew. Peter claimed he had been visited by St. Andrew, who told him that the Holy Lance, which had pierced Christ's side as he was on the cross, was located in Antioch. The cathedral of St. Peterwas excavated, and the Lance was discovered by Peter himself. Although Peter most likely planted it there himself (even the papal legate Adhemar of Le Puybelieved this to be the case), it helped raise the spirits of the Crusaders. With the newly discovered relic at the head of the army, Bohemond marched out to meet Kerbogha, who was miraculously defeated — miraculously, according to the Crusaders, because an army of saints had appeared to help them on the battlefield.
There was a lengthy dispute over who should control the city. Bohemond and the other Italian Normans eventually won, and Bohemond named himself prince. Bohemond was already prince (allodial lord) of
Tarantoin Italy, and he desired to continue such independence in his new lordship; thus he did not attempt to receive the title of Duke from the Byzantine Emperor (in whose name he had taken an oath to fight), nor any other title with deep feudal obligations, such as count. Meanwhile, an unknown epidemic spread throughout the Crusader camp; Adhemar of Le Puywas one of the victims.
Bohemond was captured in battle with the
Danishmendsin 1100, and his nephew Tancred became regent. Tancred expanded the borders of the Principality, taking the cities of Tarsus and Latakiafrom the Byzantine Empire. Those cities along with other territory were lost after the Battle of Harranwhen Baldwin II was captured. Bohemond was released in 1103, but left Tancred as regent again when he went to Italyto raise more troops in 1105. He used these troops to attack the Byzantines in 1107, and when he was defeated at Dyrrhachium in 1108he was forced by Alexius I to sign the Treaty of Devol, which would make Antioch a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire upon Bohemond's death; Bohemond had actually promised to return any land that was reconquered when the Crusaders passed through Constantinoplein 1097. Bohemond also fought Aleppowith Baldwin and Joscelin of the County of Edessa; when Baldwin and Joscelin were captured, Tancred became regent in Edessa as well. Bohemond left Tancred as regent once more and returned to Italy, where he died in 1111.
Alexius wanted Tancred to return the Principality entirely to Byzantium, but Tancred was supported by the
County of Tripoliand the Kingdom of Jerusalem; Tancred, in fact, had been the only Crusade leader who did not swear to return conquered land to Alexius (though none of the other leaders, including Bohemond, kept their oaths anyway). Tancred died in 1112and was succeeded by Bohemond II, under the regency of Tancred's nephew Roger of Salerno, who defeated a Seljuk attack in 1113.
June 27, 1119, Roger was killed at the "Ager Sanguinis" (the Field of Blood), and Antioch became a vassal state of Jerusalem with King Baldwin II as regent until 1126(although Baldwin spent much of this time in captivity in Aleppo). Bohemond II, who married Baldwin's daughter Alice, ruled for only four short years, and the Principality was inherited by his young daughter Constance; Baldwin II acted as regent again until his death in 1131, when Fulk of Jerusalemtook power. In 1136Constance, still only 10 years old, married Raymond of Poitiers, who was 36.
Raymond, like his predecessors, attacked the Byzantine province of
Cilicia. This time, however, Emperor John II Comnenusfought back. He arrived in Antioch in 1138and forced Raymond to swear fealty to him, but a riot instigated by Joscelin II of Edessaforced him to leave. John had plans to reconquer all the Crusader states, but he died in 1143.
Antioch in the Byzantine Empire
After the fall of Edessa in
1144, Antioch was attacked by Nur ad-Dinduring the Second Crusade. Much of the eastern part of the Principality was lost, and Raymond was killed at the battle of Inabin 1149. Baldwin III of Jerusalemwas technically regent for Raymond's widow Constance until 1153when she married Raynald of Chatillon. Raynald, too, immediately found himself in conflict with the Byzantines, this time in Cyprus; he made peace with Manuel I Comnenus, however, in 1158, and the next year Manuel arrived to take personal control of the Principality. Henceforth, the Principality of Antioch was to be a vassal of Byzantiumuntil Manuel's death in 1180. Although this arrangement meant that the Principality had to provide a contingent for the Byzantine Army (troops from Antioch participated in an attack on the Seljuk Turksin 1176), it also safeguarded the City against Nur ad-Dinat a time when it was in serious danger of being overrun.
Raynald was taken prisoner by the Muslims in
1160, and the regency fell to the Patriarch of Antioch (Raynald was not released until 1176, and never returned to Antioch). Meanwhile, Manuel married Constance's daughter Maria, but as Constance was only nominally in charge of Antioch, she was deposed in 1163and replaced by her son Bohemond III. Bohemond was taken captive by Nur ad-Din the following year at the Battle of Harim, and the Orontes Riverbecame the permanent boundary between Antioch and Aleppo. Bohemond returned to Antioch in 1165, and married one of Manuel's nieces; he was also convinced to install a Greek Orthodox patriarch in the city.
The Byzantine alliance came to an end with the death of the Emperor Manuel in
1180. Suddenly, Antioch was deprived of the Empire's protection, which had been enough to frighten Nur ad-Dinaway from intervening in the area for the past twenty years. Nevertheless, with help from the fleets of the Italian city-states Antioch survived Saladin's assault on the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187. Neither Antioch nor Tripoli participated in the Third Crusade, although the remnants of Frederick Barbarossa's army briefly stopped in Antioch in 1190to bury their king. Bohemond III's son, also named Bohemond, had become count of Tripoli after the Battle of Hattin, and Bohemond III's eldest son Raymond married an Armenian princess in 1194. Bohemond III died in 1201.
Bohemond's death resulted in a struggle for control between Antioch, represented by Bohemond of Tripoli, and Armenia, represented by Bohemond III's grandson Raymond-Roupen. Bohemond of Tripoli, as Bohemond IV, took control by
1207, but Raymond briefly ruled as a rival from 1216to 1219. Bohemond died in 1233, and Antioch, ruled by his son Bohemond V, played no important role in the Fifth Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II's struggles to take back Jerusalem in the Sixth Crusade, or Louis IX of France's Seventh Crusade.
Fall of the Principality
1254Bohemond VI married Sibylla, an Armenian princess, ending the power struggle between the two states, although by this point Armenia was the more powerful of the two and Antioch was essentially a vassal state. Both, however, were swept up by the conflict between the Mameluksand the Mongols. In 1260, under the influence of his father-in-law, the Armenian king Hetoum I, Bohemond VIsubmitted to the Mongolsunder Hulagu, making Antioch a tributary state of the Mongol Empire. [Jackson, "Mongols and the West", p. 167] Bohemond and Hetoum fought on the side of the Mongols during the conquests of Muslim Syria, taking together the city of Aleppo, and later Damascus. ["Histoire des Croisades", René Grousset, p581, ISBN 226202569X]
When the Mongols were defeated at the
Battle of Ain Jalutin 1260, Baibarsbegan to threaten Antioch, which (as a vassal of the Armenians) had supported the Mongols. Baibars finally took the city in 1268, and all of northern Syriawas quickly lost; twenty-three years later, Acre was taken, and the Crusader states ceased to exist.
In the colophons of the Malatia Gospel of 1268 (MS No. 10675), Armenian manuscript illuminator
Toros Roslindescribed the brutal sack of Antioch by Baibars: "...at this time great Antioch was captured by the wicked king of Egypt, and many were killed and became his prisoners, and a cause of anguish to the holy and famous temples, houses of God, which are in it; the wonderful elegance of the beauty of those which were destroyed by fire is beyond the power of words." [cite book
last = Hazard
first = Harry W.
coauthors = Setton, Kenneth M.
title = A History of the Crusades, Volume IV: The Art and Architecture of the Crusader States
chapter= III: Ecclesiastical Art in the Crusader States in Palestine and Syria
publisher = University of Wisconsin Press
date = September 15, 1977
edition = 1st
pages = p. 137
isbn = 029906820X ] The empty title of "Prince of Antioch" passed, with the extinction of the Counts of Tripoli, to the Kings of Cyprus, and was sometimes granted as a dignity to junior members of the royal house.
Geography and demographics
The Principality of Antioch was, even at its greatest extent, much smaller than Edessa and Jerusalem. It extended around the northeastern edge of the
Mediterranean Sea, bordering on the County of Tripoli to the south, Edessa to the east, and the Byzantine Empire or the Kingdom of Armenia to the northwest, depending on the date. It probably had about 20,000 inhabitants in the 12th century, most of whom were Armenians and Greek Orthodox Christians, with a few Muslims outside the city itself. Most of the crusaders who settled there were of Norman origin and/or from southern Italy, as were the first rulers of the principality who surrounded themselves with their own loyal subjects. There were few Roman Catholics apart from the Crusaders who set up the Principality, even though the city was turned into a Latin Patriarchate in 1100.
Princes of Antioch, 1098–1268
Tancred, Prince of Galilee, regent, 1100– 1103; 1105– 1112"
Roger of Salerno, regent, 1112– 1119"
Baldwin II of Jerusalem, regent, 1119– 1126; 1130– 1131"
Fulk of Jerusalem, regent, 1131– 1136"
*Raymond of Poitiers
1136– 1149(by marriage)
Raynald of Chatillon 1153– 1160(by marriage)
*Bohemond IV (restored)
Titular Princes of Antioch 1268–1457
*Philip of Toucy c.
*"passes to the Kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem"
*Marguerite de Lusignan, d. 1308, sister of Hugh III, last lady of Tyre
*John I (of Lusignan) bef.
1364– 1375, third son of king Hugh IV
*John II bef.
1432– 1456? as crown prince of king Janus
*John III (of Coimbra) c.
1456– 1457, husband of the future queen Charlotte
Family tree of the Princes of Antioch
Vassals of Antioch
Lords of Saone
The Lordship of Saone was centered on the castle of Saone, but included the towns of
Sarmada(lost in 1134) and Balatanos. Saone was captured by Saladinfrom the last lord, Matthew, in 1188.
* Robert "the Leprous" (d.
* William (1119–
Great Officers of Antioch
:"Main article": "
Officers of the Principality of Antioch"
Like Jerusalem, Antioch had its share of great offices, including
constable, marshal, butler, Chamberlain, and chancellor.
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