Balian of Beirut

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Balian of Ibelin (died 1247) was the Lord of Beirut, the second of his family, from 1236, and a son of the famous "Old Lord" John of Ibelin, by his second wife Melisende of Arsuf. From his father he assumed the leadership of the nobility in the War of the Lombards, fought against the agents of the Emperor Frederick II.

He was a warrior from an early age. At the Battle of Agridi in 1232, though he was supposed to be in the rearguard with his father and the King of Cyprus, he instead went to the front, beside either Hugh of Ibelin and Anceau of Brie, commanders of the first and second battles. At the battle, Balian won fame defending a pass from the Lombards. A story is told in the Gestes des Chiprois that Balian once struck a Lombard knight so hard that he himself was dismounted.

Balian led his family in besieging Tyre in 1242. He also had the support of Philip of Novara and Philip of Montfort and he employed mercenaries and galleys in the endeavour.

His son John succeeded him in Beirut.


  • Marshall, Christopher. Warfare in the Latin East, 1192–1291. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Balian was a direct descendant of Balian of Ibelin.

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