Tripoli City Coinage
Tripoli was the last city of conquest, taking almost six years of siege before it was finally brought under the Crusader banner.
Raymond of Toulouse and Bohemond has not gotten along. There were charges that Raymond had betrayed his comrades, and bad blood mixed all around. While Bohemond took Antioch, and Godfrey was content with Jerusalem, Raymond besieged himself with Tripoli. Capturing Tortosa in 1102, and using it for his base of operations, he laid siege to Hisn al-Akrad (later Krak des Chevaliers). He had taken this once before in 1099. He abandoned it again for the rich city of Homs in 1103. That same year, he decided to take the city of Tripoli, and set permanent camp on the outside of the city. He died in 1105, still not realizing his ambition to conquer the city. His cousin, William Jordan, became his successor. He kept the blockade for four more years.
In 1109, Raymond's son, Bertran of St. Gilles, came from France to claim his birthright, equipped with an army of four thousand men. This did not sit well with William Jordan, who had held the territories for the last four years. William appealed to Tancred, who also was not happy with Bertran. Bertran had laid claim to the part of Antioch his father had originally held in 1098. Tancred, in charge of Antioch at this time, ordered Bertran to leave Antioch.
Tancred accepted William Jordans proposal. But Bertran appealed to Baldwin of Jerusalem. Baldwin was eager to accept Bertran, as he saw a possible way of uniting the Crusader States as one under the Crown of Jerusalem.
A meeting was held, and Tancred came to realize he was on the minority side. Tancred left the meeting with territories firmly in hand though, as did William Jordan. William retained Tortosa, and was now a vassal of Tancred. But Bertran received the balance of his fathers estates and became a vassal of Baldwin.
Bertran arrived in the Holy Land March of 1109. Tripoli surrendered in July 1109. It was divided up between Bertran, who received two thirds, and the Genoese, who received one third for their naval help. In additions, Bertran inherited the lands of William Jordan, who was killed before the surrender of Tripoli. Two years later, Tancred seized Tortosa from Bertran.
Bertran and Baldwin worked together to unify the Crusader States. In 1110, Madud campaigned in Edessa, Baldwin LeBurg asked Baldwin for help. Bertran also assisted. Though the Crusaders managed to thwart the Turks this time, Edessa never really recovered. In 1111, the Turks tried again. But again, Tancred and Baldwin of Jerusalem with Joscelin of Tell and Bertran met again. The Turks went home, tired.
That same year Bohemond died in Italy. Alexius demanded Antioch of Tancred. Alexius tried to bribe Bertran and Baldwin to turn against Tancred. They refused. It was the start of the unification of the Crusader States.
Bertran died in 1112. The guardians of his son, Pons, sent him to Antioch to train as a knight under Tancred. Tancred gave Pons four fiefs, including Tortosa. When Tancred died later that year, Pons was given Cecilia of France, Tancred's young wife.
Pons worked with the other Crusader States, sometimes reluctantly, to unite and make strong the new states. He died in 1137. Baldwin had died in 1131, leaving Fulk King of Jerusalem. Joscelin died that same year, leaving his son, Joscelin II in charge of his county.
Raymond II, son of Pons, became Count in Tripoli till 1152. Baldwin III was King in Jerusalem that year. He was in Tripoli at the time that Raymond II was killed by a band of Assassins at the city gates. Baldwin III directed the barons to swear allegiance to Raymonds wife, Hodierna. She was named regent of her son, Raymond III, who was then 12 years old.
Raymond III was taken prisoner by Nur ad-Din in 1164, along with Bohemond III of Antioch and Joscelin III, titular Count of Edessa, at the battle of Artah. Raymond III designated Amalric (son of Fulk) as regent. The King of Jerusalem held bailliage of Tripoli for 10 years, during the Counts captivity. Nur ad-Din died in May of 1174. Raymond had been ransomed by Amalric late in 1173 or early 1174.
Saladin had been moving up the ranks and had presented himself as a capable leader. Nur al-Din, though, had finally started to perceive him as a threat to his own position. Nur al-Din had been poised to do something about the young upstart when he had died.
Saladin took advantage of the following chaos. He had loyal followers and worked his way from Egypt, which he had previously "liberated" from the Fatmids, to Damascus, where he wed the widow of Nur ad-Din.
By a series of conquests, treaties and alliances, Saladin gained the support of the surrounding Arab cities. Where he did not conquer, he made treaties, or force a surrender. It was now time for his assault on the Crusader States.
Early in 1187, Reginald of Kerak made the fatal mistake of attacking a caravan from Cairo bound for Damascus. This violated a truce between Saladin and Raymond made in 1185. Reginald had been involved in many raids and indiscretions. (Reginald is also known as Reginald of Chatillon.) Saladin demanded the return of the caravan and all its goods. Reginald refused. Saladin saw this as the point at which he could now turn upon the Crusaders.
Saladin and his army on one side, the town of Tiberias between and the Crusaders on the other side, led by Guy of Lusignan, now King of Jerusalem. Saladin laid siege to Tiberias, which was held by Raymonds wife.
Guy and his army met Saladin at the Horns of Hattin. They fell, and were captured. It is said that when the captives were brought to Saladin's tent, Saladin offered Guy water and Guy then offered water to Reginald. Saladin slapped the water from Reginald's hand. It is custom that if you drink water in a man's tent, then you are a welcome guest. Saladin was not bound by the law of hospitality. Saladin had Reginald removed and beheaded him by his own hand.
Though it is not sure when Raymond III died, it is assumed that he died late in 1187, after the battle of Hattin. His successor was named Bohemond, the second son of Bohemond III of Antioch, and it is assumed he was in charge of Tripoli when Saladin began his campaign in Syria. A Sicilian fleet was at port in Tripoli, which prevented a siege of that city. Saladin proceeded north, surrounding Antioch in September of 1188. They negotiated a truce. Bohemond agreed that if no help came to him in seven months, he would surrender Antioch to Saladin. The Sicilian fleet was recalled from Tripoli in November of 1189, when their King William died.
Crusaders, under Guy, held Antioch and Tripoli and a few small
towns, under promise to Saladin that he would not bear arms against
him. But by 1189, the remains of the Crusaders were moving to recover
the lost Kingdom. Meantime, the Third Crusade was developing in
Europe. Richard the Lionhearted of England and Philip Augustus II of
France were collecting funds and troops to reclaim the Holy Lands.