Eastern Ambition: An Antioch AAR
"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall".
- Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene I
A Brief History of the Principality of Antioch, to 1187
Of all the great leaders of the First Crusade Bohemond was not the richest, nor the most pious, nor even the leader of the largest army. But he was a Norman, and possessed that same hard headed ruthlessness and drive that had won England and Sicily and would later prove itself in Wales and Ireland. The son of Robert Guiscard set out to carve himself an independent throne - and did so. From Bohemond on the Princes of Antioch paid as little heed to the King in Jerusalem as to the Emperor in Constantinople. At times they might bow to greater force but the submission was never permanent, and always the Prince would shake off any ties of vassaldom. Antioch was no one else's fief.
Bohemond had cheated the Emperor of Antioch in 1098, and often during the next century it was to be the Byzantine Empire rather than the Muslims that was the great enemy of Antioch. When crafty Bohemond overeached himself permanently in his feud with the Emperor, his nephew Tancred gleefully stepped into power as regent, and Roger of Salerno after him. Bohemond II was not the man his father had been and after his death in 1131 the Principality passed to his daughter Constance and her consorts. The Principality had no choice but to accept the authority of the Emperor. Eventually Constance's son, Bohemond (the third of that name) claimed his due and ended up exiling his mother from the city.
Bohemond III ruled one of the great Christian cities, but his patrimony was always on a knife edge. He might succeed in shaking off the grip of the Emperor, but with the Muslims united under a capable and willing leader the future for the Principality - for the entire Frankish East looked in doubt by 1187...
Greetings all. Having been reading my Runciman I decided the time was right to write a (literally) Crusader Kings AAR. Antioch isn't a strong country, but I have high hopes things will at least be entertaining. Well guess we'll see.