Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

"The aim of this book is to bring the Queens of Jerusalem, Princesses of Antioch and Countesses of Tripoli and Edessa out of the shadows and into the public eye."
-from Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule
This nuanced examination of the 12th-century Crusades shifts focus from the self-styled kings and counts of the Levant’s crusader kingdoms (Jerusalem, Edessa, Antioch and Tripoli) to the royal women who ruled alongside them only to be relegated to the margins of history. While Morphia of Melitene, Jerusalem’s first crusader queen, was a consort, the Armenian princess’s female descendants, including daughter Melisende and great-granddaughter Sibylla, became powerful countesses, consorts and full-fledged queens regnant of crusader kingdoms, Pangonis, an Oxford-trained historian specializing in the medieval Middle East and Mediterranean, contends. Gifted at palace intrigue, Melisende outmaneuvered her husband and son to rule Jerusalem in her own right. During Sultan Saladin’s 1187-CE siege, the kingdom would fall, but not before Sibylla, its last queen, secured her husband’s release and the lives of its remaining residents. The stories don’t end there. Pangonis has crafted an engrossing crusader history—with women at its center.

Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule
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