Baldwin IV

Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (1161 – March 16, 1185) was the King of Jerusalem, from 1174 to 1185.

In his youth, it was discovered that he had contracted leprosy, and due to his young age, most people thought he would not reign long. He was crowned at the age of 13, and so Jerusalem was ruled by 2 regents, one of whom signed a treaty of peace with Saladin. When Baldwin came of age he not renew the treaty, and instead began a series of wars against him – fighting on horseback despite suffering from leprosy. He had numerous successes in his battles, which led the Muslim population to refer to him as “the pig” (not surprisingly).

Baldwin was courageous in battle and wise in politics – organizing marriages that would fortify the Kingdom and his power. He ended up reigning for 11 years – the last 2 years of which he co-reigned with his 5 year old nephew, King Baldwin V. And unlike the movie Kingdom Of Heaven, Baldwin IV did not wear a mask.

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