Post-classical history

Antioch, Latin Patriarchate of

The hierarchy of the Latin Church as established by the Franks in the states of Antioch, Edessa, and Tripoli after the conquest of Syria by the First Crusade (1096-1099).

When the city of Antioch (mod. Antakya, Turkey) in Syria was captured by the armies of the First Crusade in 1098, Adhemar of Le Puy, Pope Urban II’s legate, recognized the Greek Orthodox patriarch John V of Oxeia as having canonical authority over Latin as well as Orthodox Christians in his territories; but when, after Adhemar’s death, war broke out between the Frankish ruler of Antioch, Bohemund I, and the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos, this settlement could not be sustained. John was exiled in 1100 and replaced by Adhemar’s former chaplain, Bernard of Valence, and Antioch became a Latin patriarchate. The Franks also expelled the other Greek Orthodox bishops from their lands and appropriated their cathedrals and endowments. Pope Paschal II accepted this change of policy, but though Antioch, like Rome, claimed to be a foundation of St. Peter, the popes treated the Latin patriarchs as their subordinates. Only Ralph of Domfront challenged this view, and he was unable to sustain his claim to parity with the papacy for long. Ralph also induced Prince Raymond of Antioch to do liege-homage to him for the principality in 1136, but this attempt to establish a theocracy was unsuccessful, as was the patriarch Peter II’s attempt to make Prince Raymond-Rupen his vassal in 1215.

Diocesan Organization

The territory of the Latin patriarchate was divided between the Frankish states of Antioch, Edessa, and Tripoli. The Franks sited many, though not all, of their bishoprics in former Greek Orthodox sees, but because Latin bishops were expected to assist in the work of secular administration and military organization, those factors largely determined where Latin dioceses were founded.

In the principality of Antioch, in addition to the patriarchal see, the following dioceses existed: (1) Albara (mod. al-Bārah, Syria), founded in 1098 to administer that newly conquered city, and raised in 1111 to an archiepiscopal see and united with the former Orthodox see of Apamea (mod. Afāmiyah, Syria), in order to control a vulnerable frontier region; the archbishoprics of (2) Tarsos (mod. Tarsus, Turkey), established in 1099, and (3) Mamistra (mod. Misis, Turkey) in 1099, which both controlled Cilicia and the main approach roads to Antioch from the west; (4) the bishopric of Artah (mod. ‘Artāh, Syria), founded in 1099, controlling the approach road to Antioch from Aleppo; (5) the bishopric of Marash (mod. Kahramanmaras, Turkey), founded before 1114, the center of a Byzantine lordship annexed by the Franks in 1104; (6) the bishopric of Jabala (mod. Jabalah, Syria), founded before 1115 in a port captured in 1109; (7) the bishopric of Laodikeia in Syria (mod. al-Lādhiqiyah, Syria), founded before 1139, in a city captured in 1108 that formed part of the prince’s domain until around 1135, when it passed to the dowager princess Alice; (8) the bishopric of Valania (mod. Bāniyās, Syria), founded before 1163 in a coastal town conquered in 1109.

Diocesan organization of the Latin Patriarchate of Antioch

Diocesan organization of the Latin Patriarchate of Antioch

In the county of Edessa the following foundations were made: (1) the archbishopric of Edessa (mod. fianliurfa, Turkey) in 1099, initially with jurisdiction over the whole county; (2) the archbishopric of Hierapolis, founded before 1134 to serve the western half of the county (the titular see [mod. Manbij, Syria] remained in Muslim hands, and the archbishops lived at Duluk (mod.Düluk, Turkey); (3) the archbishopric of Coricium (mod. Quris, Syria), founded before 1140, in the former Armenian lordship of Bagrat, annexed by Count Baldwin II of Edessa in 1117/1118; (4) the bishopric of Kesoun (mod. Keysun, Turkey), founded before 1149 in the former Armenian lordship of Dgha Vasil, annexed by Baldwin II of Edessa in 1115.

In the county of Tripoli there were four bishoprics: (1) that of the city of Tripoli (mod. Trâblous, Lebanon) itself, initially serving the whole county from around 1110; (2) Raphanea (mod. Rafaniyah, Syria), a suffragan of Apamea, founded by Count Pons in 1126 as soon as he captured this city, and considered as the key to the defense of Tripoli; (3) Tortosa (mod. Tartūs, Syria), an important fortress, captured in 1102, not a bishopric until 1128; (4) Gibelet (mod. Jubail, Lebanon), a port captured in 1104, not made a bishopric until around 1138.

These delays occurred because of the disputed status of the ecclesiastical province of Tyre (mod. Soûr, Lebanon), which included the coastal dioceses from Acre (mod. ‘Akko, Israel) to Tortosa. Under the Greek Orthodox Church it had been subject to the patriarchs of Antioch, but the kings of Jerusalem wished all their lands to be subject to the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem. Popes gave different rulings about this, but political considerations proved paramount. Tyre and its suffragan sees of Acre, Sidon (mod. Saïda, Lebanon), and Beirut remained subject to the patriarchs of Jerusalem, while Gibelet, Tripoli, and Tortosa came directly under the authority of Antioch.

The Secular Church to 1303

From around 1135, the Latin patriarchate began to decline in size. In 1137 the Muslim ruler Zangi captured Raphanea. In 1138 Emperor John II Komnenos restored Byzantine rule in Cilicia and expelled the Latin archbishops of Tarsos and Mamistra. In 1144 Zangi seized Edessa, and in 1147-1151 his son Nūr al-Din captured Artah, Apamea and Albara, and Quris and Duluk. In 1149-1150 the sultan of Rūm took Marash and Kesoun. Only the coastal bishoprics of Gibelet, Tripoli, Tortosa, Valania, Jabala, and Laodikeia remained under Frankish control, though titular archbishops of Apamea also continued to be appointed. In the mid-1180s Latin archbishops were restored in Tarsos and Mamistra. In 1188 Saladin seized Laodikeia, Jabala, and Gibelet, although the Franks recovered the latter in 1197. In 1224 the Armenian rulers expelled the Latin archbishops of Tarsos and Mamistra. The Franks continued to appoint titular archbishops of Mamistra, who lived at Antioch, until 1259, but no more titular archbishops of Apamea were appointed after 1244.

After the murder of Patriarch Peter I in 1208, the papacy took a more active role in Antiochene affairs. Subsequent patriarchs were normally nominated by the popes, who also scrutinized episcopal elections in Frankish Syria. Papal intervention was a mixed blessing: devout and learned members of the mendicant orders were appointed to some Syrian sees from the 1250s; but the popes also provided nonresident Western clergy with Antiochene benefices, particularly with canonries in the churches of Tripoli and Antioch, despite the precarious financial position of the Latin patriarchate. There was a temporary improvement in the affairs of the patriarchate in 1260 when Prince Bohemund VI did homage to the Mongols and received back the lands west of the Orontes lost in 1188, which included Laodikeia and Jabala, where Latin bishops were restored by 1265, but this good fortune proved short-lived. The Mamlūks of Egypt, having driven the Mongols from Syria, turned against their Frankish vassals, capturing Antioch, and probably also Jabala, in 1268. The Latin patriarch, Opizo dei Fieschi, was in Italy when Antioch fell and remained there, appointing Archdeacon Bartholomew, who became bishop of Tortosa in 1272, as his vicar. The Mamlûks captured the castle of Margat (mod. Qal‘at Mar- qab, Syria), where the bishops of Valania had resided since 1188, in 1265, Laodikeia in 1287, and Tripoli in 1289. On 3 August 1291 the Templars surrendered Tortosa to them, and Bishop Bartholomew withdrew to Tarsos. He and the patriarch Opizo both died in 1292, but King Het‘um II of Cilicia allowed a Latin archbishopric to be restored in Tarsos to minister to the large number of Frankish refugees in his kingdom. The Latin see of Tarsos, together with the island of Ruad (mod. Arwād, Syria), held by the Templars until 1303, and the fief of Gibelet (held by the Embriaci lords as vassals of the Mamlûks for some years after 1291) were the last vestiges of the Latin patriarchate of Antioch.

The paucity of evidence makes it difficult to reconstruct the history of the patriarchate at a local level. Antioch cathedral was served by eighteen canons and Tripoli by twelve, an indication of how prosperous those cities were, but the other Frankish cathedrals were poorer and had chapters of only four or five canons. In all Frankish cities there were some Latin-rite churches: at Edessa, for example, there were two in addition to the cathedral. In some ports the Italian maritime communes had churches to minister to their own citizens, whose clergy were directly subject to the bishops of the mother churches. Because no systematic study has yet been made of Frankish rural settlement in the northern states, it is impossible to establish how many Latin churches there were in the countryside. All Frankish landowners had at least one domestic chaplain, but chapels of the Latin rite also existed in some of the chief rural settlements in Frankish lordships and at some administrative centers.

Regular Clergy

Some of the shrine churches of Jerusalem possessed endowments in the northern states and established priories to administer them, but comparatively few other Latin monastic foundations were made in the turbulent lands of northern Syria. The Benedictine abbey of St. Paul was established in Antioch by 1108, and a Benedictine convent, St. Crux de Carpita, was also later founded there. By 1140 the community of St. George, a house of Augustinian Canons, existed in the city. In twelfth-century Tripoli there was the priory of St.

Michael, as well as St. James, a house belonging to the canons regular of St. Ruf at Avignon.

In 1157 the first Cistercian house in the Latin East was founded at Belmont in the Lebanon, and in 1214 the order was given the monastery of Jubin in the Black Mountain of Antioch by Patriarch Peter II of Ivrea, himself a Cistercian. The Cistercian monastery of St. Sergius at Gibelet was founded by 1233, and there was also a convent of Cistercian nuns dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene at Tripoli.

During the thirteenth century, the Franciscan Order founded houses at Antioch, Tripoli, and Tortosa, and also at Sis (mod. Kozan, Turkey) in Cilicia, while the Dominicans established communities at Tripoli and Antioch.

The Black Mountain of Antioch, which for centuries had been settled by Eastern-rite monks, attracted large numbers of Latin hermits. Some of them lived in community in the monastery of Machanath, but some were solitaries, and Aimery of Limoges appointed a minister to oversee their spiritual direction.

Military Orders

From the 1140s, the military orders took a major part in the defense of the northern Frankish states. In 1144 Raymond II of Tripoli granted the castle of Krak des Chevaliers, together with the march of Raphanea (much of it in Muslim hands), to the Hospitallers. In 1152 the bishop of Tortosa placed the castle and fief of Tortosa in the hands of the Templars, to whom, in 1154, Prince Reynald of Antioch gave the newly conquered castles in the Amanus Mountains. In 1186 Reynald Mazoir sold the fief of Margat, which included the diocese of Valania, to the Hospitallers. The two orders also owned many lesser properties in Antioch and Tripoli, and in many cases were granted the right to appoint Latin priests to serve the churches on their estates. Because the orders were exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, the powers of the patriarch and his suffragans were diminished. For example, in 1152 the bishop of Tortosa granted the Templars control over all the Latin churches in his fief except those in his cathedral city, while after 1188 the bishops of Valania were normally members of the Order of the Hospital.

Relations with Eastern Christians

Eastern Christians who were not members of the Greek Orthodox Church were granted religious autonomy under their own prelates. Relations between the Latins and the Jacobites (Syrian Orthodox) were, on the whole, very cordial. The Maronites, from around 1182, and the Armenian Orthodox Church, from 1198, were drawn into union with the Latin Church, but retained their corporate identity and were directly subject to the pope, not to the Latin patriarch. Relations with Greek Orthodox Christians, who were found in large numbers in northern Syria, particularly in the cities, were always strained. The Latins regarded them as members of their own confession, and, while allowing them to preserve their own churches, monasteries, liturgy, and canon law, made them subject to the Latin hierarchy. The Byzantine emperors continued to appoint titular Orthodox patriarchs of Antioch, who resided in Constantinople, and whom they periodically tried to restore to power (successfully in the case of Athanasios Manasses, 1165-1170). In 1206, the Orthodox of Antioch elected their own patriarch, Symeon II, and although he was later exiled from the city, many of them remained faithful to him until his death in 1239. This led to a schism between Latins and Orthodox in the patriarchate, which was not healed before Latin rule came to an end.

Bernard of Valence


Ralph of Domfront


Aimery of Limoges


(Athanasios Manasses, Greek patriarch 1165-1170)

Aimery of Limoges


Peter I of Angoulême


Peter II of Ivrea


Peter of Capua (elect)




Albert of Rizzato


Opizo dei Fieschi

1247-1268 (d. 1292)

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