Balian I, Lord of Ibelin

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Balian "le Vieux" d'Ibelin, Lord of Ibelin

Also Known As: "Barisan d'Ibelin", "Barisanus d'Ibelin", "Balian of Ibelin", "Balian d'Ibelin. His name was later written as "Balian" and he is sometimes known as Balian the Elder or Balian I."
Birthdate: (50)
Birthplace: Of,Chartres,,France
Death: circa 1150 (42-58)
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugues I Blavons du Puiset, vicomte de Chartres and Alix de Montlhéry
Husband of Hélvis de Ramla
Father of Hugues d'Ibelin, Lord of Ramla; Baldwin z Ar-Ramli (Ibelinu), Baudouin d'Ibelin, seigneur de Mirabel et de Ramla; Balian II, Lord of Ibelin; Stephanie d'Ibelin and Ermengarde d'Ibelin
Brother of Éverard II, vicomte de Chartres; Hugues I du Puiset, comte de Jaffa; Humberge du Puiset; Jean d'Étampes, Seigneur d'Étampes & de Corbeil and Galeran du Puiset

Occupation: Connétable du comté de Jaffa, Sieur, d'Ibelin, Connétable, de Jaffa, Roi, de Jérusalem
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Balian I, Lord of Ibelin

He was Seigneur de Yebna (Ibelin) (1141), and Constable of Jaffa and Askalon. His origin is unknown. His name was originally Barsian. He might have come from northern Italy, perhaps Pisa, Genoa, or perhaps from Sardinia. However, nothing is known of his life before 1115, when he appears as Constable of the County of Jaffa and Askalon.  Some sources suggest his father's name was Barisanus. There is also speculation that his father might have been Hugues du Puiset, 1st Count of Jaffa.

Barisan of Ibelin or Barisan d'Ibelin, later Balian of Ibelin or Balian d'Ibelin (died 1150/1152) was an important figure in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and was the founder of the Ibelin family. His name was later written as "Balian" and he is sometimes known as Balian the Elder or Balian I.

From his name, Barisan was probably from northern Italy (perhaps Pisa or Genoa) or Sardinia. His father was perhaps also a Barisan(us). However, nothing is known of his life before 1115, when he appears as Constable of the County of Jaffa and Askalon. In 1120 he was present at the Council of Nablus, where the first laws of the kingdom were promulgated. Around and before 1122 (probably in 1120), his services were rewarded with a marriage to Helvis of Ramla, daughter of Baldwin I of Ramla. In 1134, when Hugh II of Le Puiset, count of Jaffa, rebelled against King Fulk, Barisan supported the king, and soon became prominent at Fulk's court. In 1141 he was named (some say he inherited it) lord of the newly constructed castle of Yebna, located in the County of Jaffa between Jaffa itself and the fortress of Ascalon, which was at this point still controlled by Fatimid Egypt, and from which his family took the Frenchified name, Ibelin, which also became the Frenchified name of the castle itself. In 1148 Barisan inherited the nearby lordship of Ramla, through his wife Helvis (d. after 1158), daughter of Baudoin I, Lord of Ramla, and wife, whom he married before 1122. That year (1148), Barisan was also present at the council convened at Acre after the arrival of the Second Crusade, at which it was decided to attack Damascus (see Siege of Damascus).

With Helvis, Barisan was the father of:

Hugues d'Ibelin, Lord of Ramla

Baudoin d'Ibelin, Lord of Mirabel and Ramla

Barisan d'Ibelin the Younger (who was known as Balian from the 1160s), Lord of Nablus

Ermengardis d'Ibelin (1160/1167), Lady of Tiberias, unmarried and without issue

Stephanie d'Ibelin (d. after 1167), unmarried and without issue

Barisan died in 1150/1152 and Ibelin was inherited by Hugh. Helvis then married Manasses of Hierges, Constable of Jerusalem.


William of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea. E. A. Babcock and A. C. Krey, trans. Columbia University Press, 1943.

Peter W. Edbury, John of Ibelin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Boydell Press, 1997.

Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol. II: The Kingdom of Jerusalem. Cambridge University Press, 1952.