Baldwin I Negotiates Deal With Genoese Merchants for Support Against Political Rivals

Baldwin I Negotiates Deal With Genoese Merchants for Support Against Political Rivals

Baldwin I Entering Edessa
Source: Wikipedia

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Baldwin I negotiates a deal with Genoese merchant similar to that attempted by Godrey de Bouillon with Venetians the previous year: they could take a third of any city they help capture plus trading rights throughout the Kingdom of Jerusalem if they support him against political rivals. With the Genoese aid, Baldwin is able to capture the cities of Arsulf and Caesarea.

The previous year Baldwin had been crowned King of Jerusalem, a title grander in name than in practice. His "kingdom" is four feudal principalities over which Baldwin I has limited control. His power is further checked by an ecclesiastical hierarchy which is subject only to the pope in Rome. Finally, several port cities will soon be controlled by Italian city-states like Venice and Genoa as the price for the naval aid and sea trade upon which the Latin Kingdom depends for survival.

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