The Franks and the Syrian Christians

Posted by on Dec 31, 2019 in Articles, Library, Tribute to Dr. Matti Moosa | Comments Off on The Franks and the Syrian Christians

The Franks and the Syrian Christians

Dr. Matti Moosa

The Franks’ interference in the affairs of the Syrian Church seriously weakened their ability to keep the allegiance of the native population in Edessa and elsewhere. This interference was particularly evident in the case of Abu Ghalib bar Sabuni, brother of Bishop Sa’id bar Sabuni, which alienated the Syrians and turned them against the Franks. Abu Ghalib, a monk from the Arnish Monastery near Kesum and Ra’ban, was chosen as bishop of Edessa by Patriarch Abu al-Faraj Athanasius VI in 1101 and took the name Basilius at his ordination. Learned like his brother, but also impetuous and rebellious, he disobeyed both the patriarch and canon law. Forty days after his ordination he became involved in a dispute with the patriarch over some copies of the Gospels deposited at the church in Edessa. The rebellious priest Abdun had sold these Gospels, the property of the patriarchate, to the Syrian congregation of Edessa, using the proceeds to bribe the men in authority to help him keep his position. When the patriarch demanded their return, Abu Ghalib signed a pledge that he would not carry out his religious duties as bishop until he had returned the Gospels. But as soon as he was ordained, he broke his word, claiming that the Syrian dignitaries of Edessa would not allow him to hand over the Gospels. The patriarch sent Abu Ghalib a letter suspending him from service as bishop and denying him the right to style himself as chief priest. Abu Ghalib answered that the patriarch had no right to suspend him from service because the Edessans, not he, refused to deliver the Gospels to him. As a result the Syrian congregation of Edessa was split into two factions, one backing the defiant bishop, the other supporting the patriarch. Abu Ghalib challenged the patriarch’s authority and angered him still further by continuing to ordain priests and deacons. The church in Edessa was thus in a chaotic condition.

What is important, says Michael Rabo, is that the Frankish governor of Edessa, Baldwin II of Le Bourg, supported Bishop Abu Ghalib. Syrian and Frankish delegations asked the patriarch to pardon Abu Ghalib, but even when Bishop Dionysius bar Modyana of Melitene (d. 1120) and seventy Syrian leaders went to the Monastery of Mar Barsoum and prostrated themselves before him, he refused. The patriarch promised to convene a synod to look into Abu Ghalib’s case, but did not keep his word. Worse still, he removed the old and learned Bishop Dionysius from his diocese for supporting Abu Ghalib.[1] As the dispute between himself and Patriarch Athanasius went from bad to worse, Abu Ghalib turned to the Franks to solve his problem. He took his case to Bernard of Valence, the Latin Patriarch of Antioch (1100-1136), making the Orthodox (i.e., Syrian) Church the subject of criticism by outsiders. Patriarch Athanasius, who was then at the Aqshar Monastery near Antioch, was commanded by the Latin patriarch to proceed to Antioch. The Franks took him to St. Peter’s Cathedral (called Cassianus) and asked him to pardon Abu Ghalib bar Sabuni, but again he refused.

The Franks used this refusal as a pretext to act against Patriarch Athanasius and the Syrians. They brought him to their church, treated him with deference and respect, and told him, “Be kind and pray over this bishop (Abu Ghalib) for the sake of our city Edessa.” The patriarch replied, “The bishop has outdone his iniquity.” The interpreter misunderstood him and told the Franks he was asking for money. The Franks said, “This is simony (selling church offices for money) and not in the spirit of St. Peter. It is not worthy of Christians to dismiss a chief priest from his office for money.” As no one who understood the patriarch could be found, the Frankish interpreter said to him, “If you are dealing with money according to your church canons, consider that today you have been offered 10,000 dinars, and therefore you will release this bishop, who resorted to us.” Patriarch Athanasius did not answer (evidently because he did not understand the interpreter), but promised to pray for Bar Sabuni. The Franks gave him a sheet of paper and asked him to absolve the bishop in writing. As he took the paper and started writing, he looked at Bishop Sabuni and said, “Abu Ghalib, look what you have dragged me into.” Abu Ghalib answered insolently, “If I am Abu Ghalib (father of the victorious one), know that you are Abu al-Faraj (father of release from grief and sorrow).” At this the patriarch lost his temper and threw away the paper. He stretched out his neck and said, “Cut off my head; I will not absolve this man.”

The Franks ordered the patriarch and the bishop beaten. A Frankish bishop told the Latin patriarch, “Although these two wretches have acted disgracefully and deserve to be beaten, it is not appropriate to use beating inside the cathedral.” Shortly the Franks’ anger cooled down, and they let the patriarch and those in his company go to the Syrian Church of the Mother of God in Antioch. But they forbade him to leave the city until they had convened a council to decide the case, and invited their bishops to attend the council. Patriarch Athanasius remained in the church, dejected, locked in a cell, permitted to talk to no one. Grief overcame the Syrian clergy and congregation. Five days later the Syrian priests asked the philosopher Abd al-Masih ibn Abi Durra of Edessa, a Chalcedonian who loved the patriarch and admired his piety, to see him. Abd al-Masih visited the patriarch in his cell and, in a friendly conversation, evidently convinced him that if he hoped to be released, he should offer money to Roger of Salerno, then governor of Antioch (1112-1119). The patriarch accepted this advice, and Roger ordered that he be allowed to leave Antioch and return to his monastery, telling the Latin patriarch, “You have no authority over the Syrians.”[2]

The patriarch went soon afterwards to Amid and settled in the Monastery of Qanqart. Because of the controversy over Abu Ghalib, the bishop of Edessa, Patriarch Athanasius VI tightened his grip on the city’s Syrian Christians. He ordered that the Syrian cathedral be closed and its bells stop ringing, with the result that disturbances in the city intensified. The Syrian priests rebelled and attacked one another. Thereafter, the communicants began to baptize their children in the churches of the Franks.[3]

As if the trouble over Abu Ghalib bar Sabuni were not enough, another dispute arose between Al Camra, the patriarch’s family, and the leaders of the Qarya family, who lived in Qanqart, regarding the ownership of certain land and other properties. These dignitaries complained to the governor of Amid against the patriarch, who in response excommunicated one of them, the deacon Ishaq (Isaac) of Qarya. Consequently, the dispute within the church became uncontrollable. Deacon Ishaq urged the governor to let the patriarch leave Amid, since he was old and did not have much longer to live. The governor, anxious to expropriate the patriarch’s possessions and impatient for him to die, visited the Monastery of Qanqart and asked him to pardon Ishaq, but the patriarch refused. The governor became angry, but the patriarch calmed him down by offering him gold. He realized he was a prisoner in Amid and desired freedom of movement. He sent Mikha’il Bar Shumanna, from the Syrian renowned Shumanna family, to appeal to Count Joscelin I to intercede on his behalf with the governor of Amid to let him leave the city. Joscelin responded by threatening to destroy Amid if the patriarch was not permitted to leave, and the governor of Amid reluctantly acquiesced. The grateful patriarch went to see Joscelin in Tall Bashir (Turbessel) and thank him for his support. He stayed there a few days and then returned to the Monastery of Mar Barsoum. On Pentecost Day, as he was performing the Eucharistic Service, just before praying for the Holy Spirit to descend and sanctify the Elements, he suffered a stroke and asked Bishop Timothy of Gargar to finish the service (Bishop Abu Ghalib also attended). Six days later, on June, 8, 1130 he died and was buried in the Monastery of Mar Barsoum.[4]

A synod headed by Bishop Dionysius of Kesum selected Yuhanna Modyana (the Confessor) as the new patriarch. The bishops took the patriarch-designate to Tall Bashir to meet with Joscelin, who pledged to support him, and Yuhanna Modyana was ordained on February 17, 1129, at the Great Church of the Franks, in the presence of Joscelin and other prominent men. Through Joscelin’s mediation, the new patriarch issued an order pardoning Abu Ghalib bar Sabuni along with the bishop of Sijistan, whom the former patriarch had excommunicated and expelled from his diocese. In compensation for the loss of his diocese, the bishop was offered the dioceses of Samosata and Samha, but was rejected by their congregations. Eventually, he went to Jerusalem and joined the Friars (Knights Templar). Ironically, he fell into an oven and was burned to death, fulfilling a prophetic warning by Patriarch Athanasius, who had once told him, “If you desert the diocese of Sijistan, you will never deserve to be buried [according to church canons].”[5]
For many centuries, no saint held the love and adoration of the Syrians more than Mar (Saint) Barsoum (d. 458), the chief ascetic Syrian monk of his time. Like his contemporaries, Patriarch Severus of Antioch and Philoxenus of Mabug, he was an avid opponent of the controversial Council of Chalcedon and a defender of the faith of One Incarnate Nature of the Divine Logos. After he died, his right hand was preserved in a gilded coffin; when a monastery bearing his name was founded in 790 near Melitene, the monks kept the hand as a relic. The monastery of Mar Barsoum thrived until Joscelin II ravaged it in 1148 and carried its treasures to Tall Bashir, but then declined until the seventeenth century, when it stood deserted and in ruins.[6]

In the twelfth century, the preserved hand of Mar Barsoum was the cause of controversy for both the Byzantines and the Franks. The Syrians believed it possessed divine power to heal and perform miracles (even today, Syrian Christians are known for their ardent belief in the intercession of saints). The Greeks (Byzantines) scoffed at them, claiming that the miraculous power of the saint’s hand was sheer fiction. The test came in 1134, when swarms of locusts invaded the city of Edessa, leading the Christians to seek Mar Barsoum’s help. They brought out the coffin containing the saint’s hand to ward off the locusts. The Greeks (as was their bad custom, says Michael Rabo) urged the Franks to open the coffin to see whether it contained the saint’s right hand. The monks refused, saying that doing so would cause havoc to the region. The Greeks in turn claimed that the coffin was empty. The monks were forced to take the coffin to the Franks’ church and open it. Immediately a violent sound like thunder shook the place. A dark cloud covered the sky and began to pour down hailstones. The people shouted, “Lord, have mercy! Help, Saint Barsoum!” The Franks, laymen and clergy alike, fell on their faces before the coffin, weeping. The Greeks fled and went into hiding. When the hailstorm subsided, the people conducted prayers for three days. The miracle wrought by the hand of Mar Barsoum astonished even the Muslims. When the Muslims of Harran learned of it, they asked the monks to visit them, but the monks preferred to return to the monastery. Crowds of people of all faiths went out to receive them with prayers and supplications. The locusts did not harm the crops but moved to unplanted grounds, where they devoured grass. Those who saw the miracle glorified God, each in his own tongue.[7]

The Franks’ presence in southern Asia Minor, where there was a large Syrian and Armenian population, clearly irritated the Byzantines, who had lost dominion over their former subjects and for better or worse had to deal with the Franks. The Byzantines, frustrated at losing power and prestige, tried to use doctrinal controversies to drive a wedge between the Franks and the area’s Christians. After the Franks established their own religious hierarchies in Jerusalem and many cities of Asia Minor, a conflict among the Latin dioceses required the intervention of the pope. According to Michael Rabo, the pope sent a legate to Jerusalem to investigate the situation, establish peace and order in the churches and monasteries, and conciliate the clergy. But no sooner did he begin the investigation than he died — by poisoning, some say.[8] After the death of the first legate, the pope sent another, identified as Albéric, bishop of Ostie, to pursue the investigation.[9] The new legate removed the Latin Patriarch Radulf from office in November 1139 and put in place another patriarch, who succeeded in reconciling the clergy and controlling the situation. While the legate carried out his duties, the Byzantines stirred him up against the Syrians and the Armenians, telling him they were “heretics,” i.e., anti-Chalcedonians. The legate went to Duluk (Doliche) and met with the Armenian Catholicos Krikor (Gregory III, 1113-1166), whom he took by force to Jerusalem.[10]

On Whit-Monday in April 1140, Albéric convened a church meeting attended by the Frankish patriarch and clergy and the Armenian Catholicos and clergy. Also present were Ignatius, the Syrian bishop of Jerusalem, Armenian princes, and Joscelin and other Frankish leaders. The council told the Byzantines, “You have accused the Syrians and the Armenians of heresy. Explain this heresy to us.” They answered, “We will never attend a council unless our [emperor] attends it too.” Thus their hypocrisy was exposed, and all those attending the council realized that they were far from the truth. Meanwhile, the Syrians and the Armenians presented tracts containing their doctrines, in their own languages. These were read and translated into Italian, and the council acknowledged the orthodoxy of their doctrines. The Franks asked the Syrians and the Armenians to swear not to change their doctrine, which contradicted that formulated by the Council of Chalcedon. The Syrians agreed, but the Armenians refused to do so and were accused of being Phantasiasts and Simonites.[11]
What Joscelin II said at the council or how he reacted is not known. But shortly afterwards, he again interfered in the affairs of the Syrian Church, this time in connection with the ordination of a new Syrian patriarch. Yeshu Bar Qatra, a pious deacon chosen by a synod of twelve bishops, was ordained in 1139 and took the name Athanasius. Some unnamed people, apparently including the bishop of Jihan, slandered the new patriarch to Joscelin II, claiming his ordination was uncanonical. Joscelin then summoned Timothy, bishop of Gargar, to Samosata to inquire whether the patriarch’s ordination was legal, but Timothy did not support the bishops’ claim. Joscelin, already angry at the patriarch for not having visited him (presumably to pay homage), ordered that his name should not be proclaimed in the region under his influence.

Patriarch Bar Qatra, unable to challenge Joscelin’s authority, left Melitene for the Monastery of Mar Barsoum. There he learned that Joscelin II had arbitrarily transferred Bishop Basilius Bar Shumanna from Kesum and proclaimed him as bishop of Edessa. Faced with the unpleasant prospect of losing the congregation in Edessa on account of this appointment, the patriarch chose the lesser evil by confirming Basilius bar Shumanna as the new bishop of Edessa. In his place he ordained Iliyya, a learned man, as bishop of Kesum, giving him the name of Iwannis (John) at his ordination. Not until early 1144, when Joscelin II returned from the coronation of Baldwin III at Jerusalem on December 23, 1143, did Patriarch Athanasius visit Joscelin II at Tall Bashir and reconcile with him and with the bishops who opposed him in the case of Bishop Basilius Bar Shumanna.[12]

After Imad al-Din Zangi captured Edessa in late December 1144, Bishop Basilius Bar Shumanna fled to Samosata for safety. Some people from Edessa betrayed him to Joscelin II on the grounds that he was plotting with the Turks. They told Joscelin, “If he (the bishop) slipped from your hand, he will return to the Turks. Therefore, he should die, lest he entice those who fled and bring them back to the Turks.” Joscelin arrested the bishop and imprisoned him alongside Muslim captives in the fortress of Romaita, where he remained for three years. After his release he went about collecting charity to ransom some of his own people who had been taken captive by the Turks. He went to Antioch and then to Jerusalem, where King Baldwin III and the Latin patriarch welcomed him. Next he traveled to Mosul, where he met Zangi’s deputy Zayn al-Din, who showed him compassion and appropriated a stipend for his living expenses. He then went to Amid to see Patriarch Athanasius Bar Qatra, who assigned him the diocese of Sebaberk, then under the authority of the bishop of Edessa. Bishop Basilius died in 1169.[13]

Joscelin II, short of funds, had set his eye on the Monastery of Mar Barsoum, planning to steal its sacred objects and furnishings. In this regard he resembles King Henry VIII of England, who centuries later looted the wealth of the monasteries of his country. Michael Rabo offers two reasons for Joscelin’s plundering of the monastery: first, his action was the wages of the sins of its inmates, who chose the broad path that leads to perdition; second, just as King Solomon of Israel forsook the God of his forefathers and succumbed to pagan worship and abominable lusts, Joscelin likewise hardened his heart and gave himself over to vile action, making light of the great power dwelling in the remains of Saint Barsoum. He did not reveal his evil intent to any of his men, lest they inform the monks that Joscelin was about to loot their monastery. To carry out his devilish scheme, Joscelin gathered his forces and pretended he was marching to pillage the Muslim territory. Three days after reaching Harran in northern Mesopotamia, he climbed the Hura (White) Mountain and camped at the Iza fountain, in northwestern Claudia. When the Muslims learned of his invasion, they fled. Joscelin told his men that since his plan to invade the Muslims’ region had failed, they should offer prayers at the nearest monastery before returning home.

On the fateful morning of Saturday, June 18, 1148, Joscelin II sent a messenger to the Monastery of Mar Barsoum to inform the monks that he wished to visit. The monks were joyful that the Prince of the Christians planned to visit their monastery and offer prayer. They went to the south gate to welcome him, raising the Cross and the Gospels. Joscelin dismounted and prostrated himself before the Cross with seeming humility. He and his men approached, accompanied by some Franks who had just arrived in the East. The monks did not try to prevent them from entering the monastery, even though they were armed. While the monks were hopeful that they had come to donate gold and money to the monastery, however, the miscreant Joscelin actually intended to rob it. The monks decked out the church, brought out the relics of Mar Barsoum, and set them on a stool  before the Franks. Joscelin offered prayers before the relics, placed a piece of paper on the altar, and left to sit on the porch outside the church.

He gathered the monks and said, pointing to a Frank standing nearby, “This is my cousin who has just come from Rome, and he wishes to see the tower in the upper part of the monastery.” The abbot ordered that his wish be granted. When the Frank, who was actually a military commander, entered the tower with his soldiers, Joscelin ordered the infantrymen to shut the gate and position themselves at the tower. He sent five of his men to search the tower for valuables, but they found only an old monk and two attendants. Disappointed, Joscelin gathered the monks and locked them up in the church. He then summoned some of their elders and accused them of informing the Turks of his arrival in the nearby city of Melitene and thus allowing them to escape. The monks assured Joscelin of their innocence. If what they said was true, he said, then they should give him the possessions of the region of Melitene which the Muslims had deposited with them, for he was told that the Muslims had left enormous wealth in their custody: “You have the obligation to give these possessions to the Christians (Franks), to make them more powerful and take revenge on the Muslims who have pillaged the monasteries of the region of Zabar. I am now in need of these possessions.” The monks said that if they did so, they would no longer be able to live safely with the Muslims in the Melitene region. At this point, Joscelin grew angry and asked the elder monks to leave the church. He locked them up in the house of Saba, called Kano. He sent Frankish priests to the church to take all the silver patens, chalices, incense bowls, censors, crosses, candles, fans (rounded, with bells and portraits of Cherubim and Seraphim), Gospels, and books. His men also searched the monks’ cells and took whatever they found, including gold, silver, brass, iron objects, vestments, and church furniture. When some of the Friars (Knights of the Temple) saw what had happened, they told Joscelin, “We joined you to fight the Muslims and help the Christians, not to plunder churches and monasteries.” They left without eating or drinking.[14]

Joscelin and his men spent all Saturday plundering. They searched the monks’ cells and the attendants’ rooms again, seeking more valuables. Joscelin found a golden cross and smashed it into pieces, distributing them to his men. He loaded the booty on twelve mules belonging to the monastery and left, taking fifty monks with him. On the evening of Sunday, June 19, 1148, he came to a place called “The Elephant’s Vineyard,” where he left a garrison of 155 Frank and Armenian thugs. On Monday he released the monks, who arrived at Hisn Mansur the next day. Before doing so, however, he told them not to leave the monastery empty, lest the Muslims return to occupy it, and demanded that they pay him 10,000 dinars to leave the monastery alone. The frightened monks by then had nothing to pay Joscelin with, for he had stolen all they had. In their desperation, they brought him their most precious possession, the coffin containing the hand of Saint Barsoum, along with the vessels of four monasteries (Mar Abhai, Sarjisiyya, Madiq and Harsafta) which had been deposited with them for safekeeping. Joscelin’s henchmen stole quantities of wheat, wine, honey, clothing, and other goods, and carried them with the coffin containing Mar Barsoum’s hand to Tall Bashir, Joscelin’s stronghold.

The Syrians and Armenians of Tall Bashir implored Joscelin to send the monks back to the monastery. He agreed after taking 10,000 dinars as bond from some Edessans who were then at Tall Bashir, keeping five monks and three elders in his custody along with the relics of Mar Barsoum. He let the rest of the monks return to the Monastery of Mar Barsoum in August 1148, accompanied by Iwannis, bishop of Kesum, and the abbot Lazarus. Joscelin’s egregious action against the monks of the monastery must have affected the conscience of some of his men.  In a dream, three of his men saw the monastery glimmering with light and the figure of Mar Barsoum standing majestically at its highest point, asking them to go and tell Joscelin to bring the monks back to the monastery. After they related their dream, Joscelin, whom Michael Rabo calls “the second Pharaoh,” promised to free the monks but then stalled. His heart was softened only when members of his family told him that they had seen the coffin of Mar Barsoum’s hand shining like the sun and a sword of fire issuing from it, and heard a voice saying, “O Joscelin, if you do not let me alone and repatriate the monks to the monastery, I will annihilate this region with the sword.” Upon hearing this, he allowed the two monks, David and Jacob, to return to the monastery on September 5, 1149. But he kept the coffin containing the saint’s hand until the monks of the monastery paid him an additional 5000 dinars.[15]

On returning, the monks and their Bishop Iwwanis immediately expelled the Armenians from the monastery. When they saw that the altar of the church lay in ruins, they wept bitterly all day long. They proceeded to rebuild the altar and the rest of the monastery. The troops Joscelin had left behind asked the monks to swear that they would not bar Joscelin or his son, should either wish to enter the monastery. The monks reluctantly complied. The troops remained at the monastery for seventy days, during which no Divine Eucharist (Holy Communion) or any other service was conducted. Following the patriarch’s orders, Bishop Iwannis rededicated the altar of the church, confirmed Lazarus as abbot, and appointed a sexton and a supervisor for the monastery. The monks and attendants donated whatever they could to save the monastery from Joscelin’s grip. They collected 5000 dinars from the faithful who visited the monastery and brought the money to Joscelin in December 1150. He gave them back the hand of Mar Barsoum, but admonished them to pay the balance. They presented to him a certain person who offered a surety for the payment of the other 5000 dinars. Thus, the monks brought back the holy hand of Mar Barsoum.[16] Sadly, Michael Rabo says the Byzantines rejoiced at Joscelin’s plundering of the monastery.[17]

Ironically Joscelin, a Christian Frankish prince, was rebuked by a Turkish Muslim ruler, Dawla, for violating Christian principles by plundering the Monastery of Mar Barsoum, on which his own father Ghazi, the Turkish governor of Melitene, had imposed heavy taxes. When Dawla heard that Joscelin had invaded the monastery, he thought that the monks had deliberately surrendered it to escape paying the taxes. He told the people of Melitene, “I will take revenge on you because you delivered the fortress (monastery) to the Franks.” Thus the monks, who had already seen their monastery plundered, now had to face Dawla’s vengeance. They were so distressed that they suspended prayer and the pealing of the church’s bell for three days. Relief came when Dawla discovered that the monks had not simply handed the monastery over. His wrath against the Christians of Melitene abated, and he assembled an army to fight the small garrison Joscelin had stationed in the monastery, captured it, and evicted the Franks

Through providence, twelve monks and fifty attendants managed to take some of the oxen and other property belonging to the monastery and went to Melitene to await their destiny. An old monk named Ibrahim, nicknamed “Sorodim,” went to see Dawla.  He told him, “Coming to the region of Melitene will cause you great loss because you cannot occupy the region militarily. Also, the method of robbery will not succeed. Wait a little, and we will draw up a plan for the occupation of the region.” Dawla, appreciating this counsel, lavished gifts on the Monastery of Mar Barsoum and exempted the monks from paying taxes for that year. He asked them to swear to abide by this covenant, and they did. Joscelin asked for peace and sent Dawla this message: “You have plundered the monasteries of the region of Zabar under my authority. But I have taken the Monastery of Mar Barsoum, which is more important than any other. It is like an eagle among the fowls of the air. See, I have returned the monastery to you.” Dawla answered, “We, like you, seek peace. But tell me, how can you affirm your quest for peace while you have proven that you have no faith? The Muslims swear by their Book, and the Christians swear by the Cross and the Gospel. But you yourself have violated the sanctity of the Gospel and have broken the Cross into pieces. You have nothing to do with the Christian faith. Reveal your true faith, whether you are a Jew or a pagan, that we may establish peace with you on the basis of your faith.” Thus, says Michael Rabo, “The barbarous Muslim Turk censured the Christian liar.” Finally Joscelin II was defeated and captured by the Muslims, the monks returned to the Monastery of Mar Barsoum, and through God’s providence things were straightened out between the Muslims and the monks.[18]

Joscelin’s iniquities and barbarous treatment of the Syrians were not unpunished. He was struck with disaster en route to Antioch with 200 horsemen. It is not clear whether he was trying to have a showdown with the Muslims or to escape. Although Michael Rabo says Joscelin thought he could face a thousand Muslims with that small force, Bar Hebraeus says he left Tall Bashir hoping to meet with a ship in the harbor of Antioch, which indicates that he and his men intended to escape by sea.[19] When they reached Azaz (Hazart) at night, they were frightened by a noisy band of Turkomans and fled. As Joscelin ran, he thought he saw a tree in his way and stumbled to the ground. (In fact, the men with him said there was no tree.) A Turkoman saw him lying on the ground, hurt by the fall. He did not recognize him but, knowing that he was probably a Frank, thought he could sell him to the Christians. He carried him to a nearby village and met a Jew who saw him and told the villagers that it was Joscelin. Realizing that he had a fortune in his hands, the Turkoman carried Joscelin to Aleppo, whose governor, Nur al-Din Zangi, bought him for a thousand dinars. Nur al-Din had Joscelin II chained and thrown into prison.[20] While Joscelin was in prison, the Muslims showered him with gifts and coaxed him to recant Christianity and embrace Islam, but he adamantly resisted. Then he was threatened with torture, but he courageously withstood the threats and persisted in his Christian faith, confessing that what had happened to him was because of his sins. Joscelin II sent a message to the monks of the Monastery of Mar Barsoum and to the Christians in that region, asking them to pray God to accept his penance. He spent nine years in prison, from 1150 to 1159. As his end drew near, he asked to be taken from his cell to Ignatius, the Syrian bishop of Aleppo, who received his confession and administered the Holy Communion. After his death the Muslims handed his body over to the Christians, who buried him in the church. A great number of Christians and Muslims attended his funeral, bewildered by all that had taken place.[21]

The Anonymous Edessan offers a slightly different account of Joscelin’s capture and his treatment by Nur al-Din Zangi. He says that when Joscelin heard that the lord of Mar’ash had been killed, he left Azaz and marched with a band of troops to capture Antioch. When he came to Cyrrhus, between Homs and Hama, as he prepared to cross to the village of Shaykh al-Dayr, a group of Turkomans jumped out of the bushes and seized him. Joscelin asked them to take him to Azaz and offered to give them whatever they asked. They took him to Shaykh al-Dayr, not knowing who he was. The Christians of the village, recognizing him, tried to buy him from the Turkomans for sixty dinars. But when a Jew passing through the village, a dyer by trade, told the Turkomans that the man was Joscelin, they took him to Aleppo. Nur al-Din Zangi had his eyes gouged out and cast him into prison, where he remained in heavy chains for nine years until his death.[22] William of Tyre, showing no sympathy for Joscelin, says that while he was in prison, bound with heavy chains, wasted by mental and physical suffering, “He reaped the result of his dissolute ways and came to a wretched end.”[23]

Among Muslim writers, Ibn al-Athir gives the most detailed account of Joscelin’s end. In 1151, he says, Nur al-Din marched to the country of Joscelin the Frank north of Aleppo, including Tall Bashir, Ayntab, and Azaz, with the intention of besieging and capturing them. Although he praises Joscelin for his courage and prudence and mostly for being “the undisputed Frankish knight,” he says that upon learning Nur al-Din Zangi had assembled an army to fight him, Joscelin went to challenge him. He defeated the Muslims and captured Nur al-Din’s armor-bearer and took him to Mas’ud, sultan of the Seljuks of Rum, telling him, “This is the armor-bearer of your son-in-law; you will face what is much worse.” Nur al-Din, greatly distressed, decided to take revenge. He summoned a group of Turkoman chiefs and promised them a generous bounty if they captured and delivered Joscelin to him, dead or alive. They sent spies to locate him. When Joscelin went out hunting one day, a band of Turkomans captured him. He offered them money to set him free, and they agreed to do so if he delivered the money immediately, whereupon he sent someone to bring it. Meanwhile, a Turkoman went to Abu Bakr Majd al-Din ibn al-Daya, Nur al-Din’s deputy in Aleppo, and told him Joscelin had been taken. Ibn al-Daya sent troops who captured the Turkomans and Joscelin, bringing him to Nur al-Din. Ibn al-Athir gloats over Joscelin’s capture, calling it the greatest victory because he was “a tyrant devil, cruel and too hard on the Muslims; all of Christendom was afflicted by his capture.” Nur al-Din later occupied many of Joscelin’s towns, including Tall Bashir, Ayntab, Duluk (Doliche), Azaz, Cyrrhus, Rawandan (Ravendan), and the fortresses of al-Bara, Tall Khalid, Kafrlatha and many others.[24]

Ibn Wasil gives still another version, as related by the amir Mu’ayyid al-Dawla ibn Munqidh, who says that when Joscelin left Tall Bashir at night and felt the need to sleep, he told some of his men to continue their march; he would follow later with others, whom he ordered to stay with him. As he slept, a band of Turkomans happened to pass by. Seeing them, Joscelin’s companions fled, and the Turkomans captured Joscelin, not knowing who he was. As they marched the next morning, an Armenian who was passing by recognized him. He approached him and kissed his hand. When the Turkomans asked who the man was, the Armenian said he was Joscelin, lord of Tall Bashir. When the news of Joscelin’s capture reached Majd al-Din ibn al-Daya, he summoned the Turkomans and offered them a bounty, raising it until they were satisfied. When Nur al-Din came to Aleppo, he blinded Joscelin and killed him.[25]

Joscelin II was not the only Frankish prince to loot the Christian churches and monasteries. Bohemond III, son of Raymond of Poitiers and prince of Antioch (1163-1201), did so too around 1181, but not on the same scale. He first married the princess Theodora, niece of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, but then divorced her to marry Sybil, “who had a reputation of practicing evil art.”[26] The Latin patriarch of Antioch then excommunicated not only Bohemond and the priest who married him to Sybil, but the whole Christian population of Antioch. He ordered an end to the church bells’ pealing, the celebration of Holy Communion, and even burial of the dead. Ignoring the patriarch’s condemnation, Bohemond compounded his sin by plundering the churches and monasteries. The Frankish princes and judges and the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem interceded on behalf of Bohemond, and he returned his ill-gotten gain to the churches and monasteries. He also expelled from his domain several noblemen who had taken refuge with Roupen (Reuben) III (1175-1185), Armenian ruler of Cilicia, who received them with honor and gave them splendid gifts.[27]

But the actions of Joscelin II and Bohemond III appear to be exceptions rather than the rule. There were many occasions when the Franks showed justice toward their fellow Christians, the Syrian Orthodox (Jacobites). In 1138 a Syrian monk, Michael of Mar’ash (Germanicia), an inmate of the Kasliyud Monastery in the Black Mountain who had gone to Jerusalem to enter the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, wrote a ten-page tract in Syriac about the restoration of the villages of Beth Arif and Adasiyya, which had been usurped by a prominent Frankish prince.[28] Michael says that in 1137 a prince whom he calls Gonfrey (Godfrey), one of the Franks who stormed Jerusalem in 1099 and killed countless Muslims, usurped the two villages, which belonged to the Syrian community. Although he does not identify the prince further, he seems to be Godfrey of Ascha, a companion of Godfrey of Bouillon, the first king of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.[29] Godfrey of Ascha apparently took advantage of the vulnerability of the Syrian church in Jerusalem to claim the villages, but soon he was captured by Muslims and taken to Egypt in chains. Many years later, an Armenian bishop (whom Michael does not identify) visited Egypt and prevailed on the Fatimid Caliph al-Hafiz li Din Allah (1131-1149) to release Godfrey, by then an old man.[30] The Syrian Bishop Athanasius Kaddana, who had built two churches and a monastery and done other renovations in these villages, was unhappy about Godfrey’s release.

When Godfrey returned from captivity, he claimed the two villages as his own. King Fulk of Anjou (1131-1143), then in Beit Jibrin, ordered his deputy in Jerusalem to restore the villages to him. The Malkites, who adhered to the formula of the Council of Chalcedon, rejoiced when the anti-Chalcedonian Syrians lost the two villages. But the Syrians managed to reverse the king’s order through the intervention of his wife Queen Melisend (daughter of Baldwin II).[31] Michael the monk says that Melisend was charitable toward the Syrian church and people, having great compassion for them not only because of their loss of the two villages but because of the hardships, anxieties, and persecution Bishop Ignatius had suffered. She sent a messenger to tell her husband of the Syrians’ suffering and the expenses they had undergone to build churches in the two villages, and explained that Beth Arif and Adasiyya had belonged to the Syrian community since Arab times, i.e., since the Arabs occupied Jerusalem in the seventh century. She beseeched him to assist the Syrians by restoring the villages to them, and she commanded the king’s princes and ministers to aid Bishop Ignatius, assuring them that she would consider their help a great favor. Accordingly, Bishop Ignatius and Godfrey of Ascha appeared before the king in Beit Jibrin. After a few days of deliberation, the king ordered that the two villages be restored to the bishop. Godfrey took an oath before the king and those present that he would not harass the Syrians any more, and the bishop promised to pay Godfrey 200 dinars to compensate for his loss.[32]

Ignatius Sahdo, a monk from the Monastery of Mary Magdalene (and later the Syrian metropolitan of Jerusalem), tells a similar story, and his eyewitness account should be considered reliable. He says that in 1148, Jerusalem was filled with many poor refugees who had escaped the destruction of Edessa by the Zangids four year earlier. Because the Syrian convents could not afford to provide food for them, many died from hunger. Ignatius Romanus, then the metropolitan of Jerusalem, took compassion on the refugees and tried to help them, but he was in financial difficulty because he had had to purchase the village of Dayr Da Krieh (The Village of the Sick), which belonged to the monastery but had been captured by the Muslims and recaptured by the Franks. He appealed to King Baldwin III and his mother, Queen Melisend, for help in regaining the village. Having great respect for Romanus, they ordered the owner of the village (not identified) to return it to the Monastery of Mary Magdalene. The king asked the metropolitan to compensate the owner, buy the village, and secure a deed, legally witnessed and sealed. Metropolitan Romanus agreed to pay 1000 gold dinars to receive the deed — a large amount for a man who tried to help the poor and needy. But God, who works in mysterious ways, provided an unexpected donor who paid the amount, and the metropolitan was able to use the 1000 dinars to buy food for the poor and needy.[33] After relating this incident, Hans Eberhard Mayer asks whether it could have any connection with the two villages of Beth Arif and Adasiyya.[34] But this is unlikely, for if the incidents were related, Ignatius Sahdo would surely have had some knowledge of the two villages and would have referred to them.

In some instances even the Franks invoked the divine healing power of the Syrian Saint Mar Barsoum. Michael Rabo relates one such incident. After Joscelin II was taken captive and thrown into prison, the only son of a Frankish leader fell from a tree at his home in Antioch and broke his heel. His parents spent an enormous amount of money on his treatment, but to no avail, and grew very distressed. The boy’s mother, Isabel, having heard of the saint’s miraculous healing power, prayed tearfully, asking him to intercede and heal her son. Knowing that a monk of the Monastery of Mar Barsoum, named Saliba, regularly carried a portrait of the saint and visited the homes in Antioch to impart his blessings, the boy’s parents invited the monk to their home. The next day, Saint Barsoum appeared to the boy’s mother dressed as a king. She asked who this king was, and the crowd said that he was Saint Barsoum. The saint asked her to build a church on a space in her house; then he appeared to the monk carrying his portrait and told him to go to the house of Henry the Frank and build a church in its garden, showing him three altars to be contained in it. When his vision recurred, the monk Saliba became alarmed and related it to Bishop Basilius bar Shumanna of Edessa, who was then in Antioch.

The monk and the bishop were skeptical about this vision, but shortly afterwards the boy’s parents came to report the saint’s appearance to the mother. Bishop Basilius and the monk Saliba carried the portrait of Mar Barsoum to the Franks’ house and began to pray for the healing of their son, and the boy’s parents joined them in prayer. The boy, who appeared deep in sleep, instantly cried out in a loud voice and jumped to his feet, to the consternation of his parents and other family members. They saw him look up and stretch out his hand, as if someone were trying to hold him. Meanwhile, the boy’s parents prepared candles and incense. By now a great crowd had gathered at the site. Turning to his parents and the crowd, the boy said, “Mar Barsoum, accompanied by a host of monks, appeared to me carrying a golden cross which shone with bright light that filled the whole house. He held my hand and told me not to be afraid. He said he had come because of the prayers and the faith of my mother.” The boy asked Mar Barsoum how he could stand up while his heel was broken; then Mar Barsoum touched his heel and he was made whole.[35]

The boy’s parents, ecstatic, proceeded immediately to the Great Church, followed by a throng of people. From there they went to see the queen (presumably Melisend of Jerusalem). A huge crowd of Franks, Armenians, and Syrians accompanied the queen to the house where the miracle had taken place. Bowing to the ground, the queen wept as the people took earth from that spot for blessing. The boy’s parents began to build a church under the supervision of Saliba. Michael Rabo, then the abbot of the Monastery of Mar Barsoum, says that he himself, together with the monastery’s elders, attended the dedication ceremony of the new church on Sunday, December 9, 1157, in the time of Reginald of Châtillon, count of Antioch, Baldwin III, king of Jerusalem, Aimery, Latin  patriarch of Antioch, and the Syrian Patriarch Athanasius Bar Qatra. Also at the service were the Armenian Thoros II, lord of Cilicia; Queen Melisend; Henry and his wife Elizabeth (Isabel); and all the Frankish, Armenian, and Syrian leaders, together with a host of Syrian priests and deacons and Frankish and Armenian monks. The Byzantines, who did not participate in the dedication of the church, “died from anger.”[36]

This incident speaks volumes. It shows that even the Franks, who like the Greeks espoused the Council of Chalcedon, were ready to accept the intercession of a Syrian saint and honor him by building a church. They demonstrated tolerance towards the native Syrian Christians — unlike the Greeks, who had been unable to rid themselves of their long-standing doctrinal prejudice, which had weakened Syria and made it a cold prey to the Arabs. From the seventh century on, the Syrians and the Greeks fell victim to the new masters, who held them both in contempt, treating them as dhimmis (protected people) as long as they paid the Jizya (poll-tax). Yet for many years, says Michael Rabo, Muslim Turks and Kurds visited the Monastery of Mar Barsoum to commemorate the saint and seek healing. When Michael Rabo undertook a project to bring water through a duct to the monastery, he was encouraged by both Christians and Muslims. Both groups shared a belief in the divine power of Saint Barsoum to heal the sick, a phenomenon which transcended the religious boundaries between them.[37]

Although some of the Frankish princes committed outrages against the Syrians, Patriarch Michael Rabo enjoyed extremely amicable relations with the leaders of the Latin Church. Shortly after his ordination as patriarch on September 1, 1167, he visited Mardin and then Edessa, where Bishop Basilius Bar Shumanna received him with great honor. Next he went to Jerusalem; the Latin patriarch there welcomed him with great pomp, perhaps, as Bar Hebraeus says, “to spite the Greek Patriarch of Antioch, whom he disliked.”[38] According to the Anonymous Edessan, he then went to Antioch, entering the city with great pageant and honor. The Franks brought him to the Church of St. Peter and seated him on the throne of St. Peter in the Cassianus wing, in the southern part of the church.[39] He spent the winter and celebrated Easter in Antioch and ordained many bishops before leaving at the beginning of June.[40]

Over a decade later, Patriarch Michael Rabo was invited to travel to Rome to help resolve the issue of a heresy that had arisen in Syria. A group of Franks, mostly in the province of Antioch, rejected the doctrine of the Consubstantiation, i.e., that upon the consecration of the Bread and the Wine during the Eucharist, these elements turn into the Real Body and Blood of Christ, a basic belief of the universal church until it was challenged during the Reformation. Moreover, these Franks allowed the abominable practice of the communal use of women. These dissident Franks asserted that true belief is not to uphold such a doctrine, but to excel in charitable work by helping the poor and loving one another. As their numbers increased to several thousands, they established their own bishops, and many governors followed them. Naturally, the leaders of the traditional church considered their rejection of the doctrine of Consubstantiation a heresy. In Rome, their leader convened a universal council in 1178 to restrain them. Michael Rabo, who was then on a visit to Antioch, says that the Pope of Rome, whom Chabot identifies as Pope Alexander III (d. 1181), who called the Third Lateran Council in March 1179, sent a delegation to the Latin patriarch of Antioch and Jerusalem on account of the heresy of the Franks. The patriarch in turn sent the bishop of Tarsus and two priests to ask Michael Rabo to travel to Rome with him to help combat this heresy. Michael Rabo could not go to Rome, but wrote a treatise explaining “when and how Satan created this heresy and how our own church Fathers condemned it.”[41] Inviting a Syrian patriarch to a council convened by a Frankish church leader was an unusual act of tolerance, for the Roman Catholic Church considered the Syrian church “heretical.”

Almost six decades later, another Syrian patriarch received honored treatment from the Franks. Patriarch Ignatius III (1222-1252), accompanied by several bishops, visited Jerusalem and was received with great honor and pomp by the Frankish Frères (Knights Templar). When they saw that he could hardly walk because of his gout, they carried him by hand through Bab al-Amud (the Pillar Gate), designated for the entrance of kings and patriarchs into the city. They took him and his entourage to the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, which belonged to the patriarch’s community and at the time housed seventy Syrian monks. While the patriarch was there, a problem concerning the application of canon laws arose between him and the Frères. An Ethiopian monk of noble origin named Thomas entreated the patriarch to ordain him a metropolitan for Ethiopia. According to established canon laws, the Syrian patriarch had no authority to ordain a bishop of another church without the approval of the Coptic Pope of Alexandria, who had sole jurisdiction over Ethiopia. But it happened that the Alexandrian Patriarch Cyril Laqlaq (Luqluq) had recently ordained an Egyptian Coptic bishop for Jerusalem without the approval of the Syrian patriarch, who had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the city. Apparently, the number of Copts in Jerusalem and Syria had increased so much that they appealed to their patriarch to ordain a bishop for them. They also complained that they had to attend religious services conducted in the Syriac language, which they did not understand. In retaliation against the Alexandrian patriarch’s action, Patriarch Ignatius III himself violated canon law by ordaining Thomas as metropolitan for Ethiopia, after sending Bishop Dionysius Saliba of Claudia to ask the Frankish Frères their opinion about his plan to do so.

When the Frères learned that the Syrian patriarch had ordained Thomas, they became outraged, but since he was a guest, they tried to avoid any trouble within the Christian communities in Jerusalem. The prior of the Knights of the Temple told the patriarch that he had not purchased Jerusalem or captured it by his sword and pointed out that they had received him with great respect and honor, out of respect for the laws of Christ. He added that when the patriarch sought their opinion, they told him that the ordination of Thomas was against church laws and that he should not do it. “Why then,” the prior asked, “did you hasten to do such a thing, and what was the reason for doing it? Why did you reject our advice?” The stunned patriarch’s face turned pale, and he could not answer. But Bishop Dionysius Saliba came to his rescue. Speaking in Syriac (which the Franks could not understand), he asked the patriarch to tell the Frankish Knights of the Temple that he (the bishop) was to blame for the patriarch’s ordination of Thomas. The patriarch then said that Bishop Dionysius had returned with word that the Frankish prior had approved of Thomas’s ordination. He added that he did not intend to reject their advice or the honor they had bestowed on him. When they asked whether the patriarch was telling the truth, Bishop Dionysius said he was. The Knights of the Temple then were convinced that the prior had misunderstood the patriarch’s message because of the language difference, and they accepted the bishop’s explanation. The grateful patriarch thanked Bishop Dionysius for saving him from an awful predicament and praised his shrewdness and acumen.[42] The action of the Knights of the Temple was more an evidence of respect for canon law than of interference in the affairs of the Syrian Church.

We should not overlook the fact that although the Franks lost Jerusalem in 1187 to Saladin, they managed to regain control of the city according to the ten-year treaty of Jaffa, concluded on February 18, 1229 between the Emperor Frederick II of Sicily and Sultan al-Kamil Muhammad (1218-1238), son of al-Malik al-Adil, brother of Saladin.[43] When Patriarch Ignatius Dawud visited Jerusalem, the city was under Frankish control. The comment by the Roman Catholic priest Ishaq Armala that in 1240 Patriarch Ignatius III sent Pope Innocent IV a letter proclaiming his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, and that he renewed his conversion in 1247 with the Maphrian Yuhanna bar Ma’dani (later patriarch, d. 1263), is historically groundless.[44]

Michael Rabo seems also to have had good relations with King Baldwin IV (“the Leper,” reigned 1174-1185) of Jerusalem, and his father King Amalric before him. In September 1179, Michael Rabo left Antioch and met in Acre (Akka) with young King Baldwin, who received him warmly. The patriarch told the king of his father’s charter regarding the treatment of the Syrians and obtained a similar charter from Baldwin. Unfortunately, Michael Rabo does not disclose the contents of these charters, which must have been for the benefit of the Syrians and their patriarch, since otherwise he would have not bothered to mention them.[45]

[1] Michael Rabo, 592-594 (French, 193, 196-198).

[2] Michael Rabo, 598-600 (French, 207-210). The Anonymous Edessan, 299-300 (Arabic, 235-238), gives a different account of the dispute between Patriarch Athanasius and Bishop Abu Ghalib, and does not describe the patriarch’s appearance before the Latin patriarch in Antioch or his beating in the church. He says only that the patriarch was summoned to Antioch, where Baldwin, count of Edessa, Joscelin I of Courtenay (later count of Edessa), and King Baldwin I of Jerusalem interceded on his behalf, to no avail, after which the patriarch left Antioch and returned to the Monastery of Dowayr (al-Dawa’ir).

[3] Michael Rabo, 602 (French, 212-213).

[4] The Anonymous Edessan, 302 (Arabic, 340-341).

[5] Michael Rabo, 612 (French, 231); Bar Hebraeus, Ecclesiastical History, biography of Yuhanna Modyana; the Anonymous Edessan, 303-304 (Arabic, 341-342).

[6] For a detailed account of the Monastery of Mar Barsoum and its treasures, including his embalmed right hand, see Rev. Bulus Bahnam (later Bishop Gregorius), “Dayr Mar Barsoum Qurb Malatiya” (The Monastery of Mar Barsoum Near Melitene), in Lisan al-Mashriq, Nos. 4-6 (Mosul, Iraq, 1951): 153-208; Bar Hebraeus, Ecclesiastical History, biography of Patriarch Mikha’il (Michael) Rabo.

[7] Michael Rabo, 616-617 (French, 238-239); Bar Hebraeus, Chronography, 90 (English, 257-258).

[8] Michael Rabo, 626 (French, 254), does not name the papal delegate; Chabot, ed., 255, n. 3 of the French translation, identifies him as Pierre, the archbishop of Lyons, but says he died on May 28, 1139, contradicting Michael Rabo’s assertion that the papal delegation came in 1143.

[9] Michael Rabo, 626; Chabot, ed., 255 of the French translation, n. 4.

[10] Matthew of Edessa, trans. Dostourian, 196 and 338, n. i by the translator.

[11] Michael Rabo, 626 (French, 56). Phantasiasm was the doctrine of Julian, bishop of Halicarnassus in southwest Asia Minor, who asserted the incorruptibility of the Body of Christ and was accused of believing that the Body of Christ was not real but a fantasy. Julian was still living in 536, but nothing is known about him after that date. The controversy over the incorruptibility of the Body of Christ is too detailed to be related here. See T. W. Davids, “Julianus,” in William Smith and Henry Wace, eds., A Dictionary of Christian Biography, 3 (London: John Murray, 1882): 475-476. Simony, the practice of selling church offices for money, is named for Simon Magus, the magician at Samaria who offered money to the Apostles Peter and John if they would grant him the power of the Holy Spirit, which they possessed. See Acts, 8: 14-25.

[12] Michael Rabo, 626, 629 (French, 256, 259); Bar Hebraeus, Ecclesiastical History, biography of Athanasius Yeshu Bar Qatra.

[13] Michael Rabo, 638 (French, 277-278).

[14] Michael Rabo, 242-243 (French, 285-287); the Anonymous Edessan, 151-153 (Arabic, 177-180; English, 300, n. 2).

[15] Michael Rabo,  647 (French, pp. 291-292).

[16] Michael Rabo, 642-643 (French, 283-285); the Anonymous Edessan, 152-153 (Arabic, 178-179).

[17] Michael Rabo, 651 (French, 289).

[18] Michael Rabo, 643-644 (French, 286-288).

[19] Michael Rabo, 649 (French, 295); Bar Hebraeus, 98 (English, 276-277).

[20] Michael Rabo, 648-649 (French, 295); Bar Hebraeus, 98 (English,  276-277); Gregory the Priest, 258, says simply that Joscelin was taken prisoner by “the hideous and ferocious detester of Christ and brought to the city of Aleppo.”

[21] Michael Rabo, 648-649 (French, 295); Bar Hebraeus, 98 (English, 276-277).

[22] The Anonymous Edessan, 154-155 (English, 301; Arabic, 180-181).

[23] William of Tyre, 2: 201; Gregory the Priest, 258, likewise asserts that Joscelin was punished because he acted against the will of God.

[24] Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, 1: 480-481, and al-Tarikh al-Bahir, 101-103; Ibn al-Adim, Zubdat al-Halab, 2: 301-302.

[25] Ibn Wasil, Mufarrij al-Kurub, 1: 124.

[26] William of Tyre, 2: 453.

[27] William of Tyre, 2: 454-457; Röhricht, 392-393; Runciman, 2: 429-430; Baldwin, “The Decline of the Crusades, 1174-1189,” 1: 597, n. 7. Michael Rabo, 725-726 (French, 388-389), says the marriage of Bohemond III to the woman of ill repute was finally legitimized and peace prevailed.

[28] This eyewitness account, which was appended to a church prayer book, was published with commentary by M. L’Abbé Martin as “Les Premieres Princes des Croisades et Les Syriens Jacobites de Jérusalem,” Journal Asiatique, 12 (November-December 1888):  471-491 and 13 (January 1889): 33-79, containing the Syriac text and French translation. See Patriarch Aphram Barsoum, al-Lulu al-Manthur fi Tarikh al-Ulum wa al-Adab al-Suryaniyya , 4th ed. (Holland: Bar Hebraeus Verlag, 1987),.375, trans. Matti Moosa as The History of Syriac Literature and Sciences (Pueblo: Passeggiata Press, 2000), 140.

[29] Gérard Dédéyan, “Les colophons de manuscrits arméniens comme sources pour l’histoire des Croisades,” in John France and William G. Zajac, eds., The Crusades and Their Sources: Essays Presented to Bernard Hamilton, (Ashgate, 1998), 96-97.

[30] L’Abbé Martin, 13: 42-45 of the Syriac text.

[31] See Hans Eberhard Mayer, “Studies in the History of Queen Melisend of Jerusalem,” in Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 26 (1972): 95-182.

[32] L’Abbé Martin, 13: 46-49 of the Syriac text. Joshua Prawer, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle East (London, 1972), 222, mentions Melisend’s favor toward the Syrians in this case.

[33] W. R. Taylor, “A New Syriac Fragment Dealing With Incidents In The Second Crusades,” The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 11 (1929-1930): 124. For elucidation of  this tract, see Barsoum, al-Lulu al-Manthur, trans. Moosa, 34-35; Bar Hebraeus, 142 (English, 398-399).

[34] Mayer, 26: 139, n. 72.

[35] Michael Rabo, 651-653 (French, 300-304).

[36] Michael Rabo, 651-653 (French, 300-304 ).

[37] Michael Rabo, 678 (French, 321); Bulus Bahnam, “Dayr Mar Barsoum,” Lisan al-Mashriq, 4 (Mosul, 1951): 162-163.

[38] Bar Hebraeus, Ecclesiastical History, biography of Mar Mikha’il (Michael) Rabo.

[39] Seating Michael Rabo on the throne suggests that the Franks regarded him as the legitimate Patriarch of Antioch, and provides proof that St. Peter founded the Church of Antioch and its patriarchate before he left for Rome. Indeed, even today the Church of Rome on January 18 commemorates St. Peter as the founder of the Church of Antioch and its first patriarch. See Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th. ed., 13: 696.

[40] The Anonymous Edessan, 307 (Arabic, 346), is somewhat vague about the dates of the patriarch’s ordination and his journeys to various cities. If the patriarch was actually ordained in September 1167, he must have spent Easter of the next year in Antioch. Surprisingly, Michael Rabo does not mention these events, possibly because of his characteristic humility.

[41] Michael Rabo, 700-701, 718 (French, 347-348, 377, esp. 377, n. 1).

[42] Bar Hebraeus, Ecclesiastical History, biography of Ignatius Dawud; Rev. Ishaq Armala, al-Hurub al-Salibiyya fi al-Athar al-Suryaniyya (Beirut: al-Matba’a al-Suryaniyya, 1929), 219-220.

[43] Badr al-Din al-Ayni, Iqd al-Juman, R H C. Or., 2: 187-190, says handing Jerusalem over to the Christians was one of the greatest calamities ever to befall Islam; Thomas C. Van Cleve, “The Crusade of Frederick II,” in Baldwin, ed., A History of the Crusades, 2: 454-455; Runciman, 3: 187.

[44] Armala, p. 220.

[45] Michael Rabo, 720 (French, 379). See Röhricht, 385.

 Please feel free to browse our website: