Bohemond III "the Stammerer" of Poitiers, prince of Antioch

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Bohemond III "the Stammerer" of Poitiers, prince of Antioch

French: Bohémond III "le Bègue" de Poitiers, prince d'Antioche
Also Known As: "le Bambe", "le Baube"
Birthplace: Antioch, Antakya, Turkey
Death: 1201 (59-60)
Immediate Family:

Son of Raymond de Poitiers, prince of Antioch and Constance of Antioch
Husband of Orgueilleuse d'Harenc and Isabelle N
Ex-husband of Theodora Komnèna, of Lathoumena and Sibylle N
Father of Raymond IV d'Antioche, Count of Tripoli; Bohemond IV "the One-Eyed" de Poitiers, prince of Antioch; Manuel de Poitiers; Constance de Poitiers; Guillaume de Poitiers and 2 others
Brother of Maria de Poitiers, Princess of Antioch; Philippa de Poitiers, princesse d'Antioche and Baldwin, of Antioch
Half brother of Agnes of Antioch and Jeanne de Châtillon, of Antioch

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About Bohemond III "the Stammerer" of Poitiers, prince of Antioch

Bohemond III of Antioch (1144–1201), also known as the Stammerer or the Stutterer, was Prince of Antioch from 1163 to his death. He was a son of Constance of Antioch by her first husband Raymond of Poitiers. His name is sometimes spelled Bohemund.

Early life

Bohemond's father was killed at the Battle of Inab in 1149, and his mother ruled as regent until he was old enough to rule on his own. Constance, however, married a second time, to Raynald of Châtillon, who ruled as Prince of Antioch until being taken captive and imprisoned in Aleppo in 1160 (he remained there until 1176). Bohemond was by now of legal age to succeed, but Constance refused; King Baldwin III of Jerusalem intervened and declared Bohemond ruler of the principality. In 1163 Constance asked the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia for aid in order to maintain her rule; the citizens of Antioch then rioted and exiled her. She died later that year, allowing Bohemond to take full control.

Prince of Antioch

In 1164, Bohemond and Raymond III of Tripoli marched out to relieve Harim, under siege from Nur ad-Din Zengi, but when Nur ad-Din retreated Bohemond led a charge against him. The ensuing battle was a disaster and both Bohemond and Raymond were taken prisoner.

King Amalric I of Jerusalem hastened back from his invasion of Egypt to take control of the regency of Antioch; Bohemond was freed, for a large ransom (150,000 dinars), in 1165 with the intervention of Amalric and Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus, his nominal overlord; Manuel was also his brother-in-law, as he was married to Bohemond's sister Maria of Antioch. Nur ad-Din was always wary of Byzantine intervention in Syria, which may explain his quick release of Bohemond. Bohemond then visited Manuel in Constantinople, where he agreed to re-establish a Greek Patriarch in Antioch, Athanasius II. The Latin Patriarch, Aimery of Limoges, protested this and imposed an interdict on the city. He did not return until Athanasius died in 1170.

In 1166 the future emperor Andronicus Comnenus, then only governor of Cilicia, arrived in Antioch, having heard of the beauty of Bohemond's sister Philippa. Their subsequent affair angered both Bohemond and Manuel, as Philippa was the sister of Manuel's wife and thus the relationship was considered incestuous by the church. Andronicus was forced to flee to Jerusalem, where he also seduced Queen Theodora Comnena, an even closer relative.

In 1172 Bohemond invaded Armenia, in response to Mleh of Armenia's alliance with Nur ad-Din. In 1177, along with Raymond III and Philip, Count of Flanders, who had arrived on pilgrimage, Bohemond besieged Harim, but they could not recapture it and the siege was abandoned.

In 1180 Bohemond and Raymond attempted to intervene in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which was at the time ruled by their kinsman Baldwin IV, a leper. Because Baldwin could have no heirs, it was vital that his sister Sibylla be married to a suitable candidate for the kingship. After the death of her first husband, William of Montferrat, Baldwin had been trying to negotiate another foreign marriage for her. Raymond and Bohemond, both firsts cousin of Baldwin and Sibylla, brought their forces into the kingdom with the intention of marrying her to one of their supporters, Baldwin of Ibelin. The king pre-empted them by marrying her off to Guy of Lusignan.


Around this time Bohemond left his wife Theodora, a niece of the recently-deceased Emperor Manuel, and married a woman named Sibylla, "who had the reputation of practicing evil arts" according to William of Tyre. He was excommunicated by Pope Alexander III, and Antioch was placed under an interdict, but "to this...he paid slight attention. On the contrary, he continued on his wicked course with redoubled energy." He imprisoned Patriarch Aimery and other bishops and looted their churches. Opposition to Bohemond was led by Reynald Masoir. Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem was sent to mediate in 1181, with Raynald of Châtillon, Raymond III of Tripoli, Arnold of Torroja, and Roger des Moulins, but Bohemond refused to acquiesce, and expelled the mediators as well as a number of his own nobles.

Collapse of Jerusalem

In 1183 Antioch was harassed by Saladin, with whom Bohemond then negotiated a peace treaty. He also sold Tarsus to Ruben III of Armenia, in order to make Antioch more easily defensible. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Baldwin IV was becoming more and more incapacitated, and Raymond III had Sibylla's son from her first marriage, Baldwin V, crowned co-king. He was supported in this by the nobles' party, including Bohemond. However, Baldwin IV died in 1185 and Baldwin V died as a child soon afterwards. Bohemond, Raymond, and the nobles could not prevent Guy and Sibylla from succeeding to the throne in 1186. Their reign was disastrous. The Kingdom of Jerusalem was all but destroyed by Saladin at the Battle of Hattin in 1187; Bohemond was not present, but his son Raymond was in the vanguard and escaped with Raymond of Tripoli. Saladin invaded Antioch afterwards, but Bohemond was able to defend his territory with help from a Sicilian fleet. Raymond of Tripoli died soon after Hattin, and had named Bohemond's elder son Raymond as his successor, but Bohemond ignored this and instead installed his second son, Bohemond IV, as count.

Later life and death

In 1190 Bohemond met the remnants of the German contingent arriving on the Third Crusade; Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, had died on the way and some of his remains were buried in Antioch. He otherwise played little role in the crusade, preferring to remain neutral to avoid provoking Saladin. In 1194 Bohemond was captured by Leo II of Armenia. Leo had seized the castle of Bagras, on the northern border of Antioch, which had been captured by Saladin in 1189. Bohemond and the Knights Templar, its original owners, demanded its return. Leo lured Bohemond to Bagras under pretense of a parley, captured him, and imprisoned him in Sis. Under duress, Bohemond was compelled to cede the Principality to Leo. Bohemond was subsequently released through the mediation of Henry II of Champagne, King of Jerusalem, but was forced to abandon all claims to the suzerainity of Armenia. In addition, the two entered into a marital alliance in 1195: Bohemond's son Raymond married Alice of Armenia, the daughter of Leo's brother Ruben III.

Bohemond died in 1201, and the succession was disputed between his son Bohemond IV and Raymond-Roupen, son of Raymond and Alice.

Family and children

1.Orguilleuse d'Harenc (married 1168/1169/1170, died aft. March 1175, perhaps divorced ca 1175)

 1.Raymond IV of Tripoli (died 1199), who married Alice (daughter of Ruben III of Armenia) and was the father of Raymond-Roupen of Antioch

2.Bohemond IV of Antioch (1172–1233).
2.Theodora Comnena, daughter of John Comnenus Ducas, Duke of Cyprus, and Maria Taronitissa (married 1175/1176/1177, divorced in 1180)

 1.Constance de Poitiers, died young

2.Manuel de Poitiers (1176 – 1211), unmarried and without issue
3.Sibylle N (married 1180/1181, probably divorced ca 1199)

 1.Alix de Poitiers (died 1233), married 1204 Guy I Embriaco, lord of Gibelet (d. ca 1233)

2.Guillaume de Poitiers, fl. 1194
4.Isabelle N (married ca 1199)

 1.Bohemond de Poitiers, Lord Consort of Boutron (died 1244), married N Plivane, the Heiress and Lady of Boutron, and had issue (they adopted their mother's title de Boutron as surname): 

1.Jean de Boutron (d. in prison aft. October 18, 1244
2.Guillaume de Boutron, Lord of Boutron, Constable of Jerusalem, fl. 1262, married Agnes de Sidon-Sagette, daughter of Balian of Sidon, and had issue, one son:
1.Jean de Boutron, Lord of Boutron (d. 1277) (1258–1277), married c. 1258 Lucie Embriaco de Giblet, without issue
3.Jacques de Boutron, married Clarence Hazart, and had:
1.Rostain de Boutron, Lord of Boutron (1282)
2.Guillaume de Boutron
3.Alix de Boutron, married Guillaume de Farabel, Seigneur de Puy, Constable of Tripoli (1282)
4.Isabelle de Boutron, married Meillour de Ravendel, Lord of Makaclee

1. BOHEMOND of Antioch ([1144]-[20 Mar/1 Oct] 1201). The Lignages d'Outremer name "Beymont et Marguerite" as the two children of "Reimont le fill au comte de Poitiers" & his wife[168]. He succeeded his mother in 1163 as BOHEMOND III "le Bègue" Prince of Antioch. - see below.

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