Raymund Of Tripoli - Encyclopedia

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RAYMUND OF TRIPOLI, the most famous of the descendants of Raymund of Toulouse, was a great-grandson of his eldest son Bertrand: his mother was Hodierna, a daughter of Baldwin II., and through her he was closely connected with the kings of Jerusalem. He became count of Tripoli in 1152, on the assassination of his father. In 1164 he was captured by Nureddin, and was only released in 1172 after a captivity of eight years. In 1174 he claimed the regency on behalf of Baldwin IV. (at once a minor and a leper), in virtue of his close relationship; and the claim was acknowledged. After two years the regency seems to have passed to Reginald of Chatillon; but Raymund, who had married the heiress of the county of Tiberias, continued to figure in the affairs of the kingdom. His great ability procured him enemies; for two years, 1180-1182, Baldwin IV. was induced by evil advisers to exclude him from his territories. But as Saladin grew more threatening, Raymund grew more indispensable; and in 1184 he became regent for Baldwin V., on condition that, if the king died before his majority, his successor should be determined by the great powers of the West. Raymund conducted the regency with skill, securing a truce from 'For the future history of the county, see under Raymund Of Tripoli and Bohemund Iv.

Saladin in 1185; but when Baldwin V. died, in 1186, all went wrong. Raymund summoned an assembly of the barons to Naplous to deliberate on the situation; but while they deliberated, the supporters of Guy de Lusignan (the husband of Baldwin IV.'s sister, Sibylla) acted, and had him crowned, in defiance of the stipulation under which Raymund had become regent. The rest of the barons came over to Guy; and Raymund, left in isolation, retired to Tiberias and negotiated a truce for himself with Saladin. His ambiguous position led contemporaries to accuse him of treasonable correspondence with Saladin; but his loyalty to the Christian cause was nobly shown in 1187, when he reconciled himself to Guy, and aided him in the battle of Hattin, which was engaged, however, in the teeth of his earnest advice. He escaped from the battle wounded, and ultimately retired to Tripoli, where he died (1187).

In the corrupt society of the latter days of the kingdom of Jerusalem, Raymund showed himself at least as disinterested as any other man, and certainly more capable than the rest of his contemporaries. He might have saved Jerusalem, if Jerusalem could have been saved; but his was the vox clamantis in deserto. " He is worthy of the throne," wrote a contemporary Arabic chronicler: "he seems destined for it by nature, who has given him pre-eminent wisdom and courage." (E. BR.)

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