Mary of Antioch

Mary of Antioch

Maria of Antioch (d. after 10 December 1307), daughter of Prince Bohemond IV of Antioch and his second wife Melisende of Cyprus, was the pretender to the throne of Jerusalem from 1269 to 1277. By her mother, she was the granddaughter of Isabella, Queen of Jerusalem, and her fourth husband, Amalric II of Jerusalem.

Prior to 1268, the principal Pretender to the throne of Jerusalem was Conradin, a great-grandson of Isabella of Jerusalem. He was executed in 1268 by Charles of Anjou, who had by papal authority seized Conradin's rightful Kingdom of Sicily. At the time of his death, Mary was the only living grandchild of Queen Isabella; this allowed her to claim the throne of Jerusalem on the basis of proximity in blood to the Kings of Jerusalem [Setton, Kenneth M. (ed.) (1985). "A History of the Crusades: The Impact of the Crusades on the Near East", p. 201. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN:0299091449] (in feudal successions, proximity - a form of seniority - was a strong claim). The "Haute Cour" of Jerusalem ignored her claims, however.

Maria then went to Rome and proposed the sale of her rights to Charles of Anjou; with papal blessing and confirmation, these were sold to Charles in 1277. [Hindley, Geoffrey (2004). "The Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy", p. 269. Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0786713445.] Charles then took the title "King of Jerusalem", and conquered Acre, holding it until 1285. Thereafter, the claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem frequently changed hands, being passed down by testament or conquest rather than by direct inheritance.

Maria died, childless, in Castello de Canosa, Apulia, after 10 December 1307.


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