QUEENS OF JERUSALEM: The Women Who Dared to Rule

Book number: 92734 Product format: Hardback Author: KATHERINE PANGONIS

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Bibliophile price £6.50
Published price £20

The American-British historian who specialises in the medieval world of the Mediterranean and the Middle East holds MA degrees from Oxford and University College London and here tells the untold story of the trailblazing dynasty of royal women who dared to rule the Middle East. In 1187, Saladin's armies besieged the Holy City of Jerusalem. He had previously annihilated Jerusalem's army at the Battle of Hattin, and behind the city's high walls, a last-ditch defence was being led by an unlikely trio including Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem. They could not resist Saladin, but if they were lucky they could negotiate terms that would save the lives of the city's inhabitants. Queen Sibylla was the last of a line of formidable female rulers in the Crusader States of Outremer. Yet for all the books written about the Crusades, one aspect is conspicuously absent - the stories of women. Queens and princesses tend to be presented as passive transmitters of land and royal blood but in reality women ruled, conducted diplomatic negotiations, made military decisions, forged allegiances, rebelled and undertook architectural projects. Sibylla's grandmother Queen Melisende was the first queen to seize upon real political agency in Jerusalem and rule in her own right. She outmanoeuvred both her husband and son to seize real power in her kingdom, and was a force to be reckoned with in the politics of the medieval Middle East. The lives of her Armenian mother, her three sisters and their daughters and granddaughters were no less intriguing. This is a rich and fresh history and an impressive feat of research into Crusader history. 250pp, maps and illus., chapters include Morphia and the Four Princesses, Alice, the Rebel Princess of Antioch, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Constance of Antioch and Agnes and Sibylla. 2022 publication.

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ISBN 9781643139241

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