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Joscelin I of Edessa

Joscelin of Courtenay or Joscelin I ruled over the County of Edessa during its zenith, from 1118 to 1131. He maintained the large and unstable borders through his martial prowess. He was one of the pioneering crusaders from the First Crusade.

In 1104, while still only a companion of Count Baldwin II, he was captured at the Battle of Harran. In 1125 he also participated in the Battle of Azaz, a Crusader victory against the atabeg of Mosul.

In 1131, during the siege of a small castle north-east of Aleppo, a sapper's mine collapsed and Joscelin was gravely injured. Shortly thereafter, he recived word that emir Ghazi of Danishment was marching against the fortress town of Kaisun . When Joscelin's own son refused to aid the town, he commanded that his own army should decamp and Joscelin was borne on a litter before the army. When Ghazi heard of Joscelin's approach, perhaps mistakenly believing him already dead, he lifted the siege and retreated, and thus the warrior prince won a final battle before dying shortly thereafter on the roadside.


  • Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades: Vols. I-II. Cambridge University Press 1951

Preceded by:
Baldwin II
Count of Edessa Succeeded by:
Joscelin II

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45