The Second Crusade

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The Second Crusade


Political, Social and Economic Developments in the Latin East in the 1140s


·       After Alexius retreated from the siege at Antioch, the crusaders lost respect for him and were thus not inclined to fulfill their earlier promise to return any recovered land to the Byzantine Empire

·       The kingdom of Jerusalem included three significant feudal dependencies: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli

·       Fulk died in 143 to be replaced by his 13 year old son, Baldwin III, whose mother, Melisende, daughter of Baldwin II, legally ruled in his place, creating a tense situation with a woman and boy being the only rulers of Jerusalem

·       The northern crusader states of Tripoli, Antioch, and Edessa increasingly asserted their independence, and their was no king to impose Jerusalem’s control over the rest of Outremer as Baldwin II and Fulk had done

·       The Byzantine emperor, John Comnenus, appeared with an army at Antioch in 1137-38 and 1142-43 to claim his rights as overlord of the state which had existed before the First Crusade leading to Raymond of Poitiers (husband if Constance, daughter of Bohemund II) swearing homage to him, acknowledging that his lands were under Byzantine lordship, reflecting the lack of unity between the Byzantine Empire and the Latin East


The Rise of Zengi


·       Zengi became atabeg of Mosul in 1127 and Aleppo in 1128, uniting the two cities and was formally invested as their ruler by the Sultan of Great Seljuk Who he had supported against his rival, the caliph of Al-Mustarshid

·       He was named mujahid by the Caliph of Baghdad and also given a string of religious tiles, and encouraged the revival of Jihad among Muslims

·       He allied with the atabeg of Damascus against the crusaders in 1130 but then took his son prisoner and seized Hama from him and, in 1131, agreed to return the son in return for 50,000 dinars which he returned in the end for the delivery of the fled emir of al-Hilla who’s retinue he then attacked, killing some

·       In 1134 he allied with the emir Timurtash against his cousin as a plot to seize Damascus

·       In 1135 the new emir of Damascus, Ismail, who was willing to surrender the city to him in return for peace, which none of his family or advisers agreed with and he was then murdered by his mother

·       Zengi still arrived at Damascus intending to seize it but eventually gave up the siege

·       Zengi made an agreement with Damascus, marrying Ismail’s mother in 1138 and received Homs as her dowry which he had previously failed to capture after leaving Damascus

·       In 1139, Ismail’s surviving brother was killed and again Zengi tried and failed to seize Damascus whose new regent made a treaty with Jerusalem against Zengi

·       Zengi meanwhile campaigned in the


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