BALDWIN II., count of Edessa (Iioo - I118), king of Jerusalem (1118-1131), originally known as Baldwin de Burg, was a son of Count Hugh of Rethel, and a nephew of Godfrey of Bouillon and Baldwin I.
After the capture of Jerusalem he served for a time with Bohemund at Antioch; but when Baldwin of Edessa became king of Jerusalem, he summoned Baldwin de Burg, and left him as count in Edessa.
From Edessa Baldwin conducted continual forays against the Mahommedan princes; and in the great foray of 1104, in which he was joined by Bohemund, he was defeated and captured at Balich.
Tancred became guardian of Edessa during Baldwin's captivity, and did not trouble himself greatly to procure his release.
In [1 [o he was besieged in Edessa, and relieved by Baldwin I.; in 1114 he repelled an attack by Aksunkur of Mosul; in 1115 he helped to defeat Aksunkur at Danith.
At the same time, if Matthew of Edessa may be trusted, he also carried his arms against the Armenians, and plundered in his avarice every Armenian of wealth and position.
In 1123 he was captured by Balak of Mardin, and confined in Kharput with Joscelin, his successor in the county of Edessa, who had been captured in the previous year.
Godfrey of Bouillon, the leader of the expedition and the first king of Jerusalem, was duke of Lower Lorraine, and the names of his brothers Baldwin of Edessa and Eustace of Boulogne, and of Count Robert II.
After some trouble with Joscelin of Edessa, and after joining with Baldwin II.
Here the Belikh (Bilechas) joins the Euphrates, flowing southward through the biblical Aram Naharaim from Urfa (Edessa) and Harran (Carrhae); and from this point to el-IKaim four days' below Deir, the course of the river is south-easterly.
Its main centres were at Edessa and Nisibis, but it was the literary language of practically all the Christian writers in the region east of Antioch, as well as of the Christian subjects of the Persian empire.
Their opportunity came with the disaster which befell the Roman army under Valerian (q.v.) at Edessa, a disaster, says ' The full text, both Greek and Palmyrene, with an English translation, is given in NSI, pp. 313-340.
As early as 970 the recovery of the territories lost to Mahommedanism in the East had been begun by emperors like Nicephoras Phocas and John Zimisces: they had pushed their conquests, if only for a time, as far as Antioch and Edessa, and the temporary occupation of Jerusalem is attributed to the East Roman arms. At the opposite end of the Mediterranean, in Spain, the Omayyad caliphate was verging to its fall: the long Spanish crusade against the Moor had begun; and in 1018 Roger de Toeni was already leading Normans into Catalonia to the aid of the native Spaniard.
Always hostile to the principality, which Bohemund established in spite of his oath, they helped by their hostility to cause the loss of Edessa in 1144, and thus to hasten the disintegration of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem.
At Marash, half way between Caesarea and Antioch, Baldwin, who had meanwhile wrested Tarsus from Tancred, rejoined the ranks; but he soon left the main body again, and struck eastward towards Edessa, to found a principality there.
At the end of the year came Bohemund and Godfrey's brother Baldwin (now count of Edessa) on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Godfrey had died without direct heirs; but in far Edessa there was his brother Baldwin, ready to take his place.
Baldwin was summoned from Edessa; and when he arrived, towards the end of the year, he was crowned king by Dagobert himself.
Of the three Frankish principalities, Edessa, founded in 1098 by Baldwin I.
Baldwin de Burgh, the future Baldwin II., ruled in Edessa as the vassal of Baldwin I.
Lying to the east of the Euphrates, at once in close contact with the Armenians, and in near proximity to the great route of trade which came up the Euphrates to Rakka, and thence diverged to Antioch and Damascus, the county of Edessa had an eventful if brief life.
Meanwhile the principality of Antioch, ruled by Tancred, after the departure of Bohemund (1104-1112), and then by Roger his kinsman (1112-1119), was, during the reign of Baldwin I., busily engaged in disputes both with its Christian neighbours at Edessa and Tripoli, and with the Mahommedan princes of Mardin and Mosul.
The constant pressure of Tancred of Antioch and Baldwin de Burgh of Edessa led to a series of retaliations between 11 io and 1115; Edessa was attacked in 1110, 1111, 1112 and 1114; and in 1113 Maudud of Mosul had even penetrated as far as the vicinity of Acre and Jerusalem.
On the whole, the interference of the Comneni, if it checked Zengi for the moment in 1138, may be said to have ultimately weakened and distracted the Franks, and to have helped to cause the loss of Edessa (1144), which marks the turning-point in the history of the kingdom of Jerusalem.
Before we turn to describe the Second Crusade, which the loss of Edessa provoked, and to trace the fall of the kingdom, which the Second Crusade rather hastened than hindered, we may pause at this point to consider the organization of the Frankish colonies in Syria.
The first question which arises is that of the relation of the kingdom of Jerusalem to the three counties or principalities of Antioch, Tripoli and Edessa, which acknowledged their dependence upon it.
It is his duty to act as regent; it is his duty to compose the dissensions in the principality of Antioch, and to repress the violences of the prince towards his patriarch (1154); it is his duty to reconcile Antioch with Edessa, when the two fall to fighting.
The History of the Kingdom and the Crusades from the Loss of Edessa in 1144 to the Fall of Jerusalem in 1187.
At the same date, however, the decline of the kingdom also begins; the fall of Edessa is the beginning of the end.
Two years later Zengi died; but he left an able successor in his son, Nureddin, and an attempt to recover Edessa was successfully repelled in November 1146.
Of the fall of Edessa, and at the end of the year he had sent an encyclical to France - the natural soil, as we have seen, of crusading zeal.
The literary use of Syriac by Christians had its first centre in Edessa (Syr.
So far we have spoken only of the Christian use of Syriac. Of the pagan Syriac literature which issued mainly from Harran, a city about one day's journey south of Edessa, not a single example appears to have survived.
All our historical sources support the view taken above that Edessa, the capital of the kingdom which the Greeks and Romans called Osrhoene, was the earliest seat of Christianity in Mesopotamia and the cradle of Syriac literature.
The well-known legend of the correspondence of Abgar Ukkama, king of Edessa, with Christ and the mission of Addai to Edessa immediately after the Ascension was accepted as true by the historian Eusebius (f340) on the faith of a Syriac document preserved in the official archives of the city.
This work was probably written at Edessa about the end of the 4th century.
" This is probably a later addition made to the legend at a time when such facts as the capture of Edessa by Lusius Quietus in 116 and its second capture and the destruction of its kingdom by the Romans in 216 had faded from memory.6 4 On the mechanism of Syriac verse, see Duval's admirable section on la poesie syriaque (Litt.
At Edessa was the famous Bardaisan, himself a convert from heathenism, who was of noble birth and a habitué of the Edessene court.
But Christianity must have reached Edessa some thirty to fifty years earlier.
Our oldest native historical document in Syriac - the account of a severe flood which visited Edessa in Nov.
2 Incorporated in the Chronicle of Edessa (Hallier's edition, p. 1 45 sqq.).
Masterful Rabbula, who was bishop of Edessa from 411-412 to 435, a new version or recension of the Gospels was made and incorporated in the Peshitta or Vulgate, the use of the Diatessaron being henceforth proscribed.