Post-classical history

Bohemund II of Antioch (1108-1130)

Prince of Antioch (1126-1130).

As the son of Prince Bohemund I and Constance of France, Bohemund was Roger of Salerno’s prospective heir when Roger was killed in the battle of the Ager Sanguinis in 1119, but at that time he was only eleven years old and still in France. King Baldwin II of Jerusalem therefore acted as regent during his minority. Bohemund arrived in Antioch (mod. Antakya, Turkey) in the autumn of 1126. He married Baldwin’s second daughter, Alice, early in 1127.

Bohemund II’s rule started promisingly with the siege and recovery of Kafartab in 1127, but this was followed by a quarrel with Joscelin I, count of Edessa, that developed into war and was only reconciled by the intervention of Baldwin II. Both Bohemund and Joscelin tried to take advantage of Turkish dissension to capture Aleppo, but without success. In 1129, however, Bohemund was part of an alliance (with Baldwin and Joscelin) that captured Banyas. It was also recorded by the Arab chronicler Usāma Ibn Munqidh that Bohemund attacked Shaizar during his brief reign.

While campaigning in Cilicia early in 1130, Bohemund was ambushed by the Dānishmendid Turks, who massacred his whole army and beheaded Bohemund. His death was the cue for renewed aggression from Aleppo under the rising Turkish leader Zangī. Antioch was ill equipped to counter this, since Bohemund had left only a two-year-old daughter, Constance. His widow, Alice, seized power without waiting for her father, King Baldwin, as overlord, to appoint a regent.

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