Post-classical history

Robert II of Flanders (d. 1111)

Count of Flanders (1093-1111) and one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096-1099).

Robert was born in the third quarter of the eleventh century, the eldest son of Robert I the Frisian, count of Flanders, and Gertrude of Holland. In 1087 he was entrusted with the government of Flanders when his father undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Around that time he married Clementia, daughter of Count William I of Burgundy, and in 1093 he succeeded his father as count of Flanders.

In September 1096 Robert II and a large Flemish contingent joined the armies of Duke Robert Curthose of Normandy and Count Stephen of Blois and journeyed through France, Italy, and the Balkans, arriving at Constantinople (mod. Istanbul, Turkey) in December 1096. On 26 December 1097, during the siege of Antioch (mod. Antakya, Turkey), he commanded a foraging expedition that encountered a Turkish relief army at Albara (mod. al-Bārah, Syria). Facing fearful odds, the crusaders attacked the center of the Turkish army, which was driven away; had the Turks been able to go on, the continuation of the crusade might well have been threatened. At the siege of Jerusalem (June-July 1099) Robert was in charge of logistics. The last time he fought during the crusade was at the victory over the Fātimids at Ascelon (12 August 1099), but before returning he reconciled Godfrey of Bouillon and Raymond of Saint- Gilles and also settled a dispute between Raymond and Bohemund I of Antioch. Robert was back in Flanders by early spring of 1100. He died at Meaux (France) on 5 October 1111, leaving two sons, Baldwin VII (who succeeded him as count) and William.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!