Facts about Baldwin IV of Jerusalem

King Baldwin IV took over at the age of 15, after the death of his father, Amalric I. In addition to being very young, the boy still suffered from a terrible incurable disease.

The teenager had leprosy since childhood. Despite all this, the young ruler became famous for saving Jerusalem. Baldwin IV repeatedly defended his Christian kingdom against Saladin, the famous Muslim conqueror who was the sultan of Egypt and Syria.

When Saladin marched on Ascalon in 1177, the young King Baldwin IV rushed there with a small detachment of infantry and several hundred Knights Templar.

Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.
Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.

Besieged within the walls of the city by the superior forces of Saladin, the boy managed to withdraw his army from the fortress. After that, he defeated the Muslims at the Battle of Montjisar. Having concluded a brief peace agreement with Saladin, the teenager returned to Jerusalem as a hero. He continued to fight Muslim forces after the end of the truce.

The king often had to move on a stretcher when leprosy made him too weak to ride a horse. Baldwin IV’s condition deteriorated rapidly over the next several years. When the young man was 23 years old, he died.

Only after the death of the clever and brave king did Saladin win a decisive victory at the Battle of Hattin.

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