About Maximapedia


BOHEMUND, the name of a series of princes of Antioch, afterwards counts of Tripoli. Their connexion is shown in the following table: -

Bohemund I. (c. A.D. 1058-1111), prince of Otranto and afterwards of Antioch, whose first name was Marc, was the eldest son of Robert Guiscard, dux Apuliae et Calabriae, by an early marriage contracted before 1059. He served under his father in the great attack on the East Roman empire (1080-1085), and commanded the Normans during Guiscard's absence (1082-1084), penetrating into Thessaly as far as Larissa, but being repulsed by Alexius Comnenus. This early hostility to Alexius had a great influence in determining the course of his future career, and thereby helped to determine the history of the First Crusade, of which Bohemund may be regarded as the leader. On the death of Guiscard in 1085, his younger son Roger, born "in the purple" of a Lombard princess Sicelgaeta, succeeded to the duchy of Apulia and Calabria, and a war arose between Bohemund (whom his father had destined for the throne of Constantinople) and Duke Roger. The war was finally composed by the mediation of Urban II. and the award of Otranto and other possessions to Bohemund. In 1096 Bohemund, along with his uncle the great count of Sicily, was attacking Amalfi, which had revolted against Duke Roger, when bands of crusaders began to pass, on their way through Italy to Constantinople. The zeal of the crusader came upon Bohemund: it is possible, too, that he saw in the First Crusade a chance of realizing his father's policy (which was also an old Norse instinct) of the Drang nach Osten, and hoped from the first to carve for himself an eastern principality. He gathered a fine Norman army (perhaps the finest division in the crusading host), at the head of which he crossed the Adriatic, and penetrated to Constantinople along the route he had tried to follow in 1082-1084. He was careful to observe a "correct" attitude towards Alexius, and when he arrived at Constantinople in April 1097 he did homage to the emperor. He may have negotiated with Alexius about a principality at Antioch; if he did so, he had little encouragement. From Constantinople to Antioch Bohemund was the real leader of the First Crusade; and it says much for his leading that the First Crusade succeeded in crossing Asia Minor, which the Crusades of 1101, 1147 and 1189 failed to accomplish. A politique, Bohemund was resolved to engineer the enthusiasm of the crusaders to his own ends; and when his nephew Tancred left the main army at Heraclea, and attempted to establish a footing in Cilicia, the movement may have been already intended as a preparation for Bohemund's eastern principality. Bohemund was the first to get into position before Antioch (October 1097), and he took a great part in the siege, beating off the Mahommedan attempts at relief from the east, and connecting the besiegers on the west with the port of St Simeon and the Italian ships which lay there. The capture of Antioch was due to his connexion with Firuz, one of the commanders in the city; but he would not bring matters to an issue until the possession of the city was assured him (May 1098), under the terror of the approach of Kerbogha with a great army of relief, and with a reservation in favour of Alexius, if Alexius should fulfil his promise to aid the crusaders. But Bohemund was not secure in the possession of Antioch, even after its surrender and the defeat of Kerbogha; he had to make good his claims against Raymund of Toulouse, who championed the rights of Alexius. He obtained full possession in January 1099, and stayed in the neighbourhood of Antioch to secure his position, while the other crusaders moved southward to the capture of Jerusalem. He came to Jerusalem at Christmas 1099, and had Dagobert of Pisa elected as patriarch, perhaps in order to check the growth of a strong Lotharingian power in the city. It might seem in 1100 that Bohemund was destined to found a great principality in Antioch, which would dwarf Jerusalem; he had a fine territory, a good strategical position and a strong army. But he had to face two great forces - the East Roman empire, which claimed the whole of his territories and was supported in its claim by Raymund of Toulouse, and the strong Mahommedan principalities in the north-east of Syria. Against these two forces he failed. In 1100 he was captured by Danishmend of Sivas, and he languished in prison till 1103. Tancred took his place; but meanwhile Raymund established himself with the aid of Alexius in Tripoli, and was able to check the expansion of Antioch to the south. Ransomed in 1103 by the generosity of an Armenian prince, Bohemund made it his first object to attack the neighbouring Mahommedan powers in order to gain supplies. But in heading an attack on Harran, in 1104, he was severely defeated at Balich, near Rakka on the Euphrates. The defeat was decisive; it made impossible the great eastern principality which Bohemund had contemplated. It was followed by a Greek attack on Cilicia; and despairing of his own resources, Bohemund returned to Europe for reinforcements in order to defend his position. His attractive personality won him the hand of Constance, the daughter of the French king, Philip I., and he collected a large army. Dazzled by his success, he resolved to use his army not to defend Antioch against the Greeks, but to attack Alexius. He did so; but Alexius, aided by the Venetians, proved too strong, and Bohemund had to submit to a humiliating peace (1108), by which he became the vassal of Alexius, consented to receive his pay, with the title of Sebastos, and promised to cede disputed territories and to admit a Greek patriarch into Antioch. Henceforth Bohemund was a broken man. He died without returning to the East, and was buried at Canossa in Apulia, in 1111.

Literature. - The anonymous Gesta Francorum (edited by H. Hagenmeyer) is written by one of Bohemund's followers; and the Alexiad of Anna Comnena is a primary authority for the whole of his life. His career is discussed by B. von Kügler, Bohemund und Tancred (Tübingen, 1862); while L. von Heinemann, Geschichte der Normannen in Sicilien und Unteritalien (Leipzig, 1894), and R. Röhricht, Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges (Innsbruck, 1901), and Geschichte des Königreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898), may also be consulted for his history.

Bohemund II. (1108-1131), son of the great Bohemund by his marriage with Constance of France, was born in 1108, the year of his father's defeat at Durazzo. In 1126 he came from Apulia to Antioch (which, since the fall of Roger, the successor of Tancred, in 1119, had been under the regency of Baldwin II.); and in 1127 he married Alice, the younger daughter of Baldwin. After some trouble with Joscelin of Edessa, and after joining with Baldwin II. in an attack on Damascus (1127), he was defeated and slain on his northern frontier by a Mahommedan army from Aleppo (1131). He had shown that he had his father's courage: if time had sufficed, he might have shown that he had the other qualities of the first Bohemund.

Bohemund III. was the son of Constance, daughter of Bohemund II., by her first husband, Raymund of Antioch. He succeeded his mother in the principality of Antioch in 1163, and first appears prominently in 1164, as regent of the kingdom of Jerusalem during the expedition of Amalric I. to Egypt. During the absence of Amalric, he was defeated and captured by Nureddin (August 1164) at Harenc, to the east of Antioch. He was at once ransomed by his brother-in-law, the emperor Manuel, and went to Constantinople, whence he returned with a Greek patriarch. In 1180 he deserted his second wife, the princess Orguilleuse, for a certain Sibylla, and he was in consequence excommunicated. By Orguilleuse he had had two sons, Raymund and Bohemund (the future Bohemund IV.), whose relations and actions determined the rest of his life. Raymund married Alice, a daughter of the Armenian prince Rhupen (Rupin), brother of Leo of Armenia, and died in 1197, leaving behind him a son, Raymund Rhupen. Bohemund, the younger brother of Raymund, had succeeded the last count of Tripoli in the possession of that county, 1187; and the problem which occupied the last years of Bohemund III. was to determine whether his grandson, Raymund Rhupen, or his younger son, Bohemund, should succeed him in Antioch. Leo of Armenia was naturally the champion of his great-nephew, Raymund Rhupen; indeed he had already claimed Antioch in his own right, before the marriage of his niece to Raymund, in 1194, when he had captured Bohemund III. at Gastin, and attempted without success to force him to cede Antioch. [1] Bohemund the younger, however, prosecuted his claim with vigour, and even evicted his father from Antioch about 1199: but he was ousted by Leo (now king of Armenia by the grace of the emperor, Henry VI.), and Bohemund III. died in possession of his principality (1201).

Bohemund IV., younger son of Bohemund III. by his second wife Orguilleuse, became count of Tripoli in 1187, and succeeded his father in the principality of Antioch, to the exclusion of Raymund Rhupen, in 1201. But the dispute lasted for many years (Leo of Armenia continuing to champion the cause of his great-nephew), and long occupied the attention of Innocent III. Bohemund IV. enjoyed the support of the Templars (who, like the Knights of St John, had estates in Tripoli) and of the Greek inhabitants of Antioch, to whom he granted their own patriarch in 1207, while Leo appealed (1210-1211) both to Innocent III. and the emperor Otto IV., and was supported by the Hospitallers. In 1216 Leo captured Antioch, and established Raymund Rhupen as its prince; but he lost it again in less than four years, and it was once more in the possession of Bohemund IV. when Leo died in 1220. Raymund Rhupen died in 1221; and after the event Bohemund reigned in Antioch and Tripoli till his death, proving himself a determined enemy of the Hospitallers, and thereby incurring excommunication in 1230. He first joined, and then deserted, the emperor Frederick II., during the crusade of 1228-29; and he was excluded from the operation of the treaty of 1229. When he died in 1233, he had just concluded peace with the Hospitallers, and Gregory IX. had released him from the excommunication of 1230.

Bohemund V., son of Bohemund IV. by his wife Plaisance (daughter of Hugh of Gibelet), succeeded his father in 1233. He was prince of Antioch and count of Tripoli, like his father; and like him he enjoyed the alliance of the Templars and experienced the hostility of Armenia, which was not appeased till 1251, when the mediation of St Louis, and the marriage of the future Bohemund VI. to the sister of the Armenian king, finally brought peace. By his first marriage in 1225 with Alice, the widow of Hugh I. of Cyprus, Bohemund V. connected the history of Antioch for a time with that of Cyprus. He died in 1251. He had resided chiefly at Tripoli, and under him Antioch was left to be governed by its bailiff and commune.

Bohemund VI. was the son of Bohemund V. by Luciana, a daughter of the count of Segni, nephew of Innocent III. Born in 1237, Bohemund VI. succeeded his father in 1251, and was knighted by St Louis in 1252. His sister Plaisance had married in 1250 Henry I. of Cyprus, the son of Hugh I.; and the Cypriot connexion of Antioch, originally formed by the marriage of Bohemund V. and Alice, the widow of Hugh I., was thus maintained. In 1252 Bohemund VI. established himself in Antioch, leaving Tripoli to itself, and in 1257 he procured the recognition of his nephew, Hugh II., the son of Henry I. by Plaisance, as king of Jerusalem. He allied himself to the Mongols against the advance of the Egyptian sultan; but in 1268 he lost Antioch to Bibars, and when he died in 1275 he was only count of Tripoli.

Bohemund VII., son of Bohemund VI. by Sibylla, sister of Leo III. of Armenia, succeeded to the county of Tripoli in 1275, with his mother as regent. In his short and troubled reign he had trouble with the Templars who were established in Tripoli; and in the very year of his death (1287) he lost Laodicea to the sultan of Egypt. He died without issue; and as, within two years of his death, Tripoli was captured, the county of Tripoli may be said to have become extinct with him.

Literature. - The history of the Bohemunds is the history of the principality of Antioch, and, after Bohemund IV., of the county of Tripoli also. For Antioch, we possess its Assises (Venice, 1876); and two articles on its history have appeared in the Revue de l'Orient Latin (Paris, 1893, fol.), both by E. Rey ("Resumé chronologique de l'histpire des princes d'Antioche," vol. iv., and "Les dignitaires de la principauté d'Antioche," vol. viii.). R. Röhricht, Geschichte des Königreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898), gives practically all that is known about the history of Antioch and Tripoli.

(E. Br.)

[1] During the captivity of Bohemund III. the patriarch of Antioch helped to found a commune, which persisted, with its mayor and jurats, during the 13th century.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | GDPR