The Leper King and his Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem

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The reign of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (1174-85) has traditionally been seen as a period of decline when, because of the king's illness, power came to be held by those who made the wrong policy decisions. Notably, they ignored the advice of Raymond of Tripoli and attacked Saladin. This book challenges that view, arguing that peace with Saladin was not a viable option; and that the young king, despite suffering from lepromatous leprosy, presided over a society that was (contrary to what is often said) vigorous and self-confident.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hamilton (Nottingham, emeritus) offers a thorough reassessment of the reign of Baldwin IV, the leper king whose reign is often interpreted as a period of decline leading to the disaster at Hattin two years after Baldwin's death in 1185. This study belongs in all medieval history collections." Choice

"Hamilton deserves major congratulations for helping us to see what an excellent historian can accomplish by a careful reading of the sources and a catholicity of view that encompasses the whole historical fabric, as well as what he recognizes lies beyond the evidence...Hamilton's account will now provide the basis for a new understanding." Historian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521017473
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue; 1. The sources for Baldwin IV's reign; 2. Baldwin's childhood; 3. The kingdom; 4. The international status of the kingdom; 5. The king's minority; 6. Western aid: William of Montferrat and Philip of Flanders; 7. The victor of mont Gisard; 8. Prince Reynald's initiative; 9. The dying king; 10. The heirs of the leper king; Epilogue; Appendix by Piers Mitchell: an evaluation of the leprosy of king Baldwin IV of Jerusalem in the context of the medieval world; Bibliography.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2005

    A historian's look at the Crusader Kingdom

    I was intrigued by the Leper King after I had seen a movie and purchased this book to learn more about the topic. I found that the historical Baldwin IV was far more interesting than his cinematic counterpart. This was an excellent book to gain insight into the Frankish Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was also an impressive academic work. The author did an excellent job citing and listing his primary and secondary sources. This is the type of book for the critical historian. It is well researched and his conclusions and theories are coherent and logical. My only concern is with the price of the book. I feel that it would reach a far larger audience with a more reasonable price tag. This is a timely and important topic. It should be accessible to as many persons as possible. Now more than ever the public should understand the history behind the world's religious strife.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

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