Post-classical history


Tiberias (mod. Teverya, Israel) was a major town in the kingdom of Jerusalem, the capital of the lordship of Tiberias.

Situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), Tiberias was occupied by Tancred and his followers after the arrival of the First Crusade (1096-1099) in Palestine. It became the center of the lordship of Tiberias (sometimes known as the principality of Galilee) and the seat of a Latin bishop who was a suffragan of the archbishop of Nazareth. The population included a substantial Jewish community. The town’s walls were in a poor state of repair at the time of the Frankish conquest, but had been improved by 1113. A citadel, erected or fortified on an earlier site at some point during the twelfth century, was situated on the lake shore, occupying an area of some 70 by 50 meters (230 by 165 ft.).

The citadel was surrendered to Saladin in the aftermath of the battle of Hattin in 1187 by Eschiva, lady of Tiberias, who accepted a safe conduct for herself and her men. In 1190 Saladin had the fortifications destroyed. The town was restored to Frankish rule in 1241, and the citadel may have been rebuilt by Odo of Montbéliard, who held the lordship at that time. However, the town was captured by the Ayyûbids on 17 June 1247.

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