Agnes of Courtenay

Agnes Of Courtenay

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Agnes of Courtenay

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Agnes of Courtenay (c. 1136 – c. 1184) was the daughter of Joscelin II of Courtenay by his wife Beatrice (widow of William, Lord of Saône), and the mother of king Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and queen Sibylla of Jerusalem.


The Courtenay family ruled the County of Edessa, the furthest north of the Crusader states. Joscelin I of Courtenay, an ally of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, was awarded the county in 1118. Joscelin II inherited Edessa and Turbessel in 1131 on the death of his father, and desperately tried to defend his extensive borders against his hostile Muslim neighbours. Agnes grew up in Edessa, until the city was captured by Zengi in 1144. Her father fled to the fortress of Turbessel for safety.

Agnes was an eligible heiress in her own right. Her first marriage was to Reynald of Marash, who was killed at the Battle of Inab in 1149, when she was no more than 15. They had had no children. The following year, 1150, Marash was captured by the Turks, and after attempting to regain Edessa, her father Count Joscelin was captured, blinded, and imprisoned in Aleppo. On hearing of his capture, the Countess of Edessa, unable to secure Turbessel herself, sold the remnant of their domains to the Byzantine Empire and took her children to Saône, the modern Sahyun Qal'at Salah al-Din (which she had inherited from her first husband) in the principality of Antioch. Byzantium lost Turbessel later that year. There is no record of Beatrice, Agnes and young Joscelin in...
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