This is a study of the balance of power between the monarchy and the nobility in the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. It demonstrates the unprecedented strategic and economic influence wielded by the Knights Templar and the Knights of St John in determining the political future of the region. The shifting balance of power within the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem has been the subject of much scholarly debate. The noble jurists of that time portrayed the King of Jerusalem as merely "primus inter pares", but Dr Tibble demonstrates conclusively that the feudal jurists view of their own world was little more than a fantasy. The king exercised far more control over the baronage and feudal structure, especially in the 12th century, than has hitherto been recognized. Based firmly in the source material, especially in the chronicles of the 12th and 13th century, this study shows that secular power as a whole was on the wane much earlier than has previously been imagined. As early as the third quarter of the 12th century, it is clear that the Military Orders had made major in-roads in terms of their economic and strategic influence.
The key question no longer concerned the balance of power between the king and his nobility; the future of the Kingdom now centred on the strategic balance between the secular authorities and the Military Orders.
`the book successfully challenges some venerable orthodoxies ... this is an important work which makes a valuable contribution to the history of the Latin East.'
EHR Oct 1993
`This is the most original and imaginative study of any aspect of the institutional history of the kingdom of Jerusalem to have appeared for a very long time.'
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
`this is an open-minded and acute piece of research which, ... makes a genuinely original contribution to knowledge'
Journal of Ecclesiastical History
'Tibble is to be congratulated on presenting a challenging case so meticulously.'
C.J. Tyerman, Medium Aenum 1991
`By limiting his work to the lordships, he is able to compile impressive evidence in case after case to show that the monarchy was able to intervene effectively and resume control of some holdings for long periods and carve out new lordships or add lands to the royal domain throughout most of the period under study. Though the work is based exclusively on published materials, most of which have long been known, the author has subjected them to a critical
scrutiny that yields conclusions that in most cases seem destined to endure for a long time. ... His book will serve us well.'
James M. Powell, International Journal of Middle East Studies
Maps; Tables; Abbreviations; Introduction; Royal manipulation of the feudal structure; Other forms of royal control; Seigneurial resources I: the example of Caesarea; Seigneurial resources II: the example of Galilee; Seigneurial resources III: the examples of Sidon and Arsur; Conclusions; References; Index