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Middle East Kingdoms

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Norman Principality of Antioch
AD 1099 - 1268

The strategically important city of Antioch (modern Antakya in Turkey) was founded near the end of the fourth century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, who made it the capital of his Seleucid empire in ancient Syria. After the fall of the region to the Arab empire in AD 640, it was recovered by the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas in 969. The city was lost again to the Seljuq Turks in 1085.

Thirteen years later, after an eight month siege, it was captured by the Crusaders during the First Crusade, and became the capital of an independent principality of Antioch (despite Bohemond's oath of allegiance to the Byzantine emperor before the Crusaders commenced their journey). The city of Gibelet, or Giblet (ancient Byblos) formed an important military base within the captured territories, which stretched from Iskenderun on the eastern side of the gulf of the same name (now in Turkey) to the region north of Tartus. To the east it was bordered by the atabegs of Aleppo and Damascus.

Antioch and its domains remained in Crusader hands for the better part of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, until the city was captured by the Mameluke Sultan Baybars in 1268. Baybars' destruction of the city was so great that it was never a major city again.

1099 - 1111

Bohemond I of Taranto

Son of Robert Guiscard, duke of Apulia.

1099

Jerusalem is seized from the Seljuq Turks in a bloody fight. An independent Christian kingdom is formed.

1101 - 1103

Tancred

Regent.

1104 - 1112

Tancred

Regent. Re-appointed.

1111 - 1130

Bohemond II

Assumed power in 1126.

1112 - 1119

Roger of Salerno

Regent.

1119 - 1126

Baldwin II of Jerusalem

Regent.

1130 - 1164

Princess Constance

1140 - 1149

Raymond de Poitiers

Personally killed by Shirkuh, uncle of Ayyubid sultan, Saladin.

1149

Prince Raymond is killed by Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, an important military commander under Nur ad-Din of Aleppo and Damascus.

1153 - 1160

Reynald de Châtillon

Personally killed by future Ayyubid sultan, Saladin.

1160

Reynald de Châtillon is killed by Saladin, who is in the service of Nur ad-Din of Aleppo and Damascus. Antioch's territories are greatly reduced by the defeat.

1163 - 1201

Bohemond III the Stammerer

1187

The Christians are defeated by the Ayyubid sultan, Saladin, at the Battle of Hattin. As partially depicted in the film Kingdom of Heaven, 2005, Reynald de Châtillon, the bloodthirsty prince of Antioch (not a Templar), is personally killed by Saladin at the end of the battle.

1201 - 1216

Bohemond IV the One-Eyed

Count of Tripoli (1187-1233).

1216 - 1219

Raymond-Roupen

1219 - 1233

Bohemond IV the One-Eyed

Count of Tripoli (1187-1233).

1233 - 1252

Bohemond V

Count of Tripoli.

1252 - 1268

Bohemond VI

Count of Tripoli (1252-1275).

1268

The Mameluke Sultan Baybars continues his campaigns against the Christian kingdoms, three years after destroying Jerusalem's castle at Arsuf. Antioch, the first major conquest made by the First Crusade in 1099, now falls to Baybars in just a day. Once his troops have access, the city's gates are barred from within so that no one may escape, and the Christian population is massacred. The message is clear. The Crusaders will not be returning to Antioch.

1275 - 1287

Bohemond VII

Count of Tripoli and Titular Prince of Antioch.