Post-classical history

Pons of Tripoli (d. 1137)

Count of Tripoli (1112-1137).

The son of Count Bertrand of Tripoli, Pons became count while still a young man. He and his advisors abandoned the policy of hostility to the principality of Antioch that had characterized the reigns of his father and grandfather, a change that was reflected in his marriage (1115) to Cecilia of France, the widow of Tancred, regent of Antioch. Pons attempted to extend Tripolitan control east of the mountains into the valley of the upper Orontes; with the construction of the castle of Montferrand, he was able to blockade and finally capture the strategically important Muslim town of Raphanea (1126), which, however, was retaken by Zangī in 1137. Pons generally cooperated with his overlords, the kings of Jerusalem, although in 1122 he refused homage to King Baldwin II and in 1131 denied passage through his lands to the army of King Fulk, who was attempting to quell a revolt in Antioch. The final years of Pons’s reign saw increasing Muslim incursions into the county, and he was captured and killed after his army was defeated by a raid from Damascus (25 March 1137). He was succeeded by his son Raymond II.

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