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Joscelin I of Edessa

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Joscelin de Courtenay
Joscelin of Courtenay (1068-1131) was the ruler of the County of Edessa from 1118 to 1131, succeeding Baldwin II of Edessa and preceding Joscelin II of Edessa. Joscelin was one of the generals in the failed Crusade of 1101, and he spent all of his crusading days at war, dying in a litter shortly after winning his last battle.

Biography

Joscelin

A picture of Joscelin

Joscelin of Courtenay was born in France in 1068, and he inherited the title of Duke of Courtenay from his father Joscelin I of Courtenay. He was a member of the House of Hauteville, and he arrived in Frankish Outremer in 1101 during the Defense of the Crusader States, where he aided Baldwin II of Edessa (a fellow Hauteville relative) in defending his land from Kilij Arslan I's Danishmends. He became regent of the Principality of Antioch at varioust imes, and was once held as a captive of Balak of Aleppo in 1123 before commanding a combined force from all four Latin principalities in an attempt to free King Baldwin that same year. Until the king's release in 1124, Joscelin was the leading secular figure in Outremer. When Baldwin was released, he continued to play a prominent role, joining with Baldwin II in attacking Aleppo in 1124-5 and Damascus in 1129. This did not prevent him from asserting his rights against fellow [[Christians by force, if necessary, or, as in 1127 during a dispute with the new prince of Antioch, Bohemond II, with the assistance of the Turks. The story of Joscelin's death in 1131 provided Outremer with one of its epic tales. Infuriated by his son's cowardice in the face of an attack from Anatolia, Joscelin, seriously ill and bedridden, insisted on leadinh out his troops borne on a litter. Seeing this, the invaders hurriedly withdrew. On recieving the news, Joscelin, ordering his litter to be put down on the road, died giving thanks to God.

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