Amalric I of Jerusalem

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Amalric I of Jerusalem (also Amaury or Aimery) (1136 – 11 July 1174) was King of Jerusalem 1162–1174, and Count of Jaffa and Ascalon before his accession. Amalric was the second son of Melisende of Jerusalem and Fulk of Jerusalem. He was the father of three rulers of Jerusalem, the eldest Sibylla, the second Baldwin IV and then Isabella I, who ruled after the Siege. He was also the father of two other children. One, with his first wife Agnes de Courtenay, a child named Alix, who suffered an infant death, and the other with his second wife Maria Comnena, a stillborn.

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After the death of Amalric's father, the throne passed jointly to his mother Melisende and his older brother Baldwin III. Melisende did not step down when Baldwin came of age, and by 1150 the two were becoming increasingly hostile towards each other. In 1152 Baldwin had himself crowned sole king, and civil war broke out, with Melisende retaining Jerusalem while Baldwin held territory further north. Amalric, who had been given the County of Jaffa as an apanage when he reached the age of majority in 1151, remained loyal to Melisende in Jerusalem, and when Baldwin invaded the south, Amalric was besieged in the Tower of David with his mother. Melisende was defeated in this struggle and Baldwin ruled alone thereafter. In 1153 Baldwin captured the Egyptian fortress of Ascalon, which was then added to Amalric's fief of Jaffa (see Battle of Ascalon).

Amalric married Agnes of Courtenay in 1157. Agnes, daughter of Joscelin II of Edessa, had lived in Jerusalem since the western regions of Edessa were lost in 1150. Patriarch Fulcher objected to the marriage on grounds of consanguinity, as the two shared a great-great-grandfather, Guy I of Montlhéry, and it seems that they waited until Fulcher's death to marry. Agnes bore Amalric three children: Sibylla, the future Baldwin IV (both would come to rule the kingdom in their own right), and Alix, who died in childhood.

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