Godfrey of Bouillon

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Godfrey of Bouillon

Godfrey of Bouillon (bo͞oyôNˈ), c.1058–1100, Crusader, duke of Lower Lorraine. He fought for Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV against Pope Gregory VII and against Rudolf of Swabia and was rewarded (c.1082) with the duchy of Lower Lorraine, which he claimed through his mother. With his brothers Eustace and Baldwin, he was among those who set out (1096) for Jerusalem on the First Crusade. On the way to Constantinople, he allowed his army to pillage the countryside, but after his arrival he made peace (Jan., 1097) with the Byzantine emperor, Alexius I. He played a minor role at Nicaea and Antioch, but achieved prominence in the siege of Jerusalem (1099) and was elected ruler of the city after its capture. Having refused the title of king on religious grounds, he was designated defender of the Holy Sepulcher. He won the battle of Ascalon (1099) and brought several Syrian towns under tribute. Godfrey was distinguished for his piety and simplicity. As the first Latin ruler of Jerusalem, he became the central figure of various legends, and his deeds were glorified in the chansons de geste. His brother, Baldwin I, succeeded him as ruler of Jerusalem and took the title king.


See J. C. Andressohn, The Ancestry and Life of Godfrey of Bouillon (1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Godfrey of Bouillon


(Godefroi de Bouillon). Born c. 1060 in Bouillon; died July 18, 1100, in Jerusalem. One of the leaders of the First Crusade to the East (1096–99).

In 1087, Godfrey of Bouillon became the duke of Lower Lorraine. In 1099 after the conquest of Palestine by the crusaders he became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, taking the title of Defender of the Holy Sepulcher.


Andressohn. J. C. The Ancestry and Life of Godefrey of Bouillon. Bloomington, 1947.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The careers of both Guy of Warwick and Godfrey of Bouillon involve a crusade or pilgrimage to the holy land and violent encounters with Saracen forces in Jerusalem.
Godfrey of Bouillon, like Guy of Warwick, would have been a popular hero familiar to an Elizabethan theatre audience due to Godfrey's reputation as a Christian knight and his inclusion in the list of the Nine Worthies, a group of champions who exemplified the qualities found in great military leaders.
(26) 'Godfrey of Bouillon', Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
More importantly, this particular exemplum illustrates that the deeds of crusaders other than Godfrey of Bouillon circulated in the medieval West and could be used as models for aspiring crusaders.
Using Godfrey of Bouillon as an example of a virtuous crusader, Bromyard states that greed and disunity among the crusaders and clerics after the capture of Jerusalem led, over time, to the city's loss to the Muslims.
Unlike the shorter printed version, the manuscript adds several details that leave no doubt of the tale's familiarity with the historic Godfrey of Bouillon. He is described as "Lord of Provence and Lorraine and Anicho." Godfrey was Duke of Lower Lorraine; Provence was well south and not his domain, but the text may have originally read "the Province (rather than Provence) of Lorraine and Emicho." (Count Emich of Flonheim led the slaughter of the Rhineland Jews in May l096.) [35] Moreover, Godfrey is identified as being of "royal descent" and, indeed, he was descended from Charlemagne on his mother's side.
Godfrey of Bouillon, aged 15, received his claim to Lorraine (but not possession of it) by virtue of being adopted by his uncle, known as Godfrey the Hunchback, who was assassinated in February 1076 at age 35.
Andressohn, The Ancestry and Life of Godfrey of Bouillon (Bloomington: Indiana University Publications, Social Sciences Series, No.
The major armies were commanded by the great prices - Raymond of Toulouse, Godfrey of Bouillon. Robert Duke of Normandy, Robert Count of Flanders, Stephen of Blois, Hugh of Vermandois and Bohemond, son of Robert Guiscard.
Many of Europe's leading lords took part, among them Godfrey of Bouillon, Stephen of Blois and Robert of Normandy.