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Raymond IV of Toulouse

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History

Raymond IV of Toulouse was a powerful count from southern France and one of the first noblemen to take the cross and lead an army in The Crusades.

Biography of Raymond IV of Toulouse

Raymond IV of Toulouse (figure 1) was a powerful count from southern France, who belonged to the House of Toulouse.

House of Toulouse

The name of the dynasty that ruled the County of Toulouse in southern France.

The life of Raymond IV of Toulouse

Raymond IV of Toulouse was born in 1041 or 1042 (the precise date is unknown) in Toulouse, France, as the son of Pons of Toulouse and Almodis de la Marche. In 1094, Raymond became Count of Toulouse and was gifted Saint-Gilles, in southern France, by his father. This gift earned him the nickname Raymond of Saint-Gilles. By making Raymond a count, Philippa of Aquitaine, Raymond’s cousin, was now prevented from inheriting Toulouse. Also in 1094, Raymond became Marquis of Provence.

When Raymond became Count of Toulouse, he began to reassemble his ancestral lands which had been lost to other families over the years. After 30 years he had built up a significant power base in southern France, where he now controlled 13 counties. This made him even more powerful than the king himself!

Spouses and descendants of Raymond IV of Toulouse

Raymond IV of Toulouse was married three times and excommunicated twice for marrying someone he was closely related to by having a common ancestor.

  1. His first wife, of unknown name, was the daughter of Godfrey I, Count of Arles. It is rumoured they were closely related. They married in 1066, but she was disgraced and cast off in 1076. They had one son, Bertrand (born circa 1065), but due to the repudiation of his wife, he became illegitimate.

  2. His second wife was Matilda (Mafalda), daughter of Count Roger I of Sicily. They married in 1080, and Matilda died in 1094.

  3. His third wife was Elvira of Castille, the illegitimate daughter of King Alfonso VI of León. They married in 1094, and Elvira died sometime after 1151. They had one son, Alfonso Jordan (born 1103).

Did you know? Alfonso Jordan got his name for being baptised in the Joran River, which runs along the border between Jordan, the Palestinian West Bank, Israel, and southwestern Syria.

Image of Raymond IV of Toulouse

The Crusades Raymond IV of Toulouse StudySmarterFigure 1: Painting of Raymond IV of Toulouse by Merrie-Joseph Blondel from 1843 - Alonso de Mendoza, Wikimedia Commons.

Raymond IV of Toulouse and the crusaders

Raymond IV played a big part in the First Crusade and was one of its leaders.

Raymond IV of Toulouse and the First Crusade

Raymond IV of Toulouse was a deeply religious man and had previously been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He was no stranger to fighting as he briefly fought the Moors in Spain in 1096. When, in 1095, Pope Urban II made his call for a Crusade, he wanted Raymond to be a leader and the Pope waited for him to finish his fight against the Moors. Raymond was not only the first ruler to take up the cross, but also the most effective, the wealthiest, and oldest, being well in his 50s when the Crusade began! He left his lands in the hands of his son, Bertrand, and went on the journey to the Holy Land with his third wife, Elvira.

Moors

A term used by Christian Europeans for Muslim inhabitants from Northwest Africa.

Raymond initially disliked the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. He never swore an oath of fealty to the emperor, but he did swear an oath of friendship and offered support against their mutual enemy, Frankish Crusader Bohemond I, Prince of Antioch.

Oath of fealty

A promise by a vassal to not harm his lord or to do damage to his property.

Raymond IV of Toulouse’s army

Raymond’s army was one of the first armies to be formed. He left Toulouse in October 1096, taking the land route to the Holy Land. The known members of his army, several thousand, were almost all French.

The army comprised of:

  • The Commander’s (Raymond’s) household, including:- Raymond’s third wife Elvira- The Standard-Bearer (flag-bearer), Heraclius I, Viscount of Polignac- Chamberlain to Raymond, Raymond of Vigeois

  • Clergy (church) members

  • Historians

  • Nobles

  • Knights

  • Soldiers

Which major battles did Raymond IV of Toulouse and his army take part in?

The army took part in most major battles of the First Crusade. Some were successful, and others weren’t.

Emissary

A person sent as a diplomatic representative.

Fatimid

The Fatimid Caliphate existed from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. It spanned a large area of North Africa, from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

Did you know? Godfrey of Bouillon was a French nobleman and one of the most powerful leaders of the First Crusade.

Crusade of 1101

Not every siege and battle that Raymond was a part of was a success. The Crusade of 1101 was a minor Crusade made up of three separate movements, which were organised in 1100 and 1101. Some of the people involved were First Crusaders who had broken their initial vows. For this reason, this Crusade was called the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted, rather than the Second Crusade, which was not for another 45 years.

Raymond was part of this Crusade alongside other crusader armies. They were, however, not successful and eventually, during the Battle of Mersivan, which lasted several days, they were defeated. Raymond managed to escape and he returned to Constantinople by ship.

Raymond IV of Toulouse in the crusader state of Tripoli

In 1102, Raymond travelled from Constantinople to Antioch by sea. Here he was imprisoned by Tancred. Raymond was let go after promising to keep his nose clean and not attempt any conquests. However, Raymond did not keep that promise and he marched on Tripoli with an army of about 300 men. Fakhr al-Mulk, the qadi of Tripoli called for assistance from Damascus and Homs, but once those troops reached Tripoli they switched sides and the qadi was defeated in early April. Raymond could not capture Tripoli itself, but he did capture Tortosa (sometimes also written as Tartus), which became the base of all future undertakings against Tripoli.

Qadi

A magistrate or judge of a Sharia court.

In the following year, Raymond, with the help of Byzantine engineers, constructed the fortress Mons Peregrinus. This fortress was built to help with the siege of Tripoli by blocking Tripoli’s access inland. When Raymond began to conquer Tripoli, he got the title of Raymond I of Tripoli.

In September 1104, Fakhr al-Mulk attacked Mons Peregrinus, resulting in the death of many Franks and one burned-down wing of the fortress.

When did Raymond IV of Toulouse die?

Raymond IV of Toulouse died on 28 February 1105, aged 62 or 63. Raymond was badly injured during the battle on Mons Peregrinus five months earlier, ultimately resulting in his death. On his deathbed, he had reached an agreement with the qadi: if the qadi would stop attacking the fortress, the crusaders would stop interfering with the trade of Tripoli. The qadi accepted. Raymond did not live long enough to see Tripoli being captured.

What happened after the death of Raymond IV of Toulouse?

Elvira, who had accompanied her husband on the First Crusade, had given birth to their son Alfonso Jordan, in 1103, during the siege of Tripoli.

Following Raymond’s death in 1105, his two-year-old son and heir became Count of Tripoli with William II Jordan acting as regent until Alfonso turned five.

In 1109, William II Jordan, with the help of King Baldwin I, finally managed to capture Tripoli and establish the County of Tripoli. In the same year, however, William was removed from his position by Raymond’s eldest son, Bertrand. The county of Tripoli remained in the possession of the counts of Toulouse throughout the twelfth century.

When Bertrand took over as count of Tripoli, Alfonso was taken back to Europe, where he was given the county of Rouergue. When Bertrand died in 1112, Alfonso became Count of Toulouse, alongside a few other titles, until he died in 1148.

Did you know? William II Jordan was the nephew of Raymond IV of Toulouse and one of the leaders of the First Crusade.

Raymond IV of Toulouse - Key takeaways

  • Raymond IV of Toulouse was born in 1041 or 1042 in Toulouse, France.
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse became Count of Toulouse and Marquis of Provence in 1094.
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse was married three times, excommunicated twice and had two children: Bertrand (with his first, unknown, wife) and Alfonso Jordan (with his third wife, Elvira).
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse was the first leader to take up the cross for the First Crusade.
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse took part in some major battles:- Siege of Nicaea- Battle of Dorylaeum- Sieges of Antioch- Battle of Ascalon
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse took part in the capture of Jerusalem on 15 July 1099.
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse was part of the unsuccessful Crusade of 1101, called the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted, named for the First Crusaders who had broken their vows.
  • Raymond IV of Toulouse began the siege of Tripoli in 1102, earning him the title of Raymond I of Tripoli.
  • Raymond IV of Tripoli died on 28 February 1105, five months after being wounded in the attack on Mons Peregrinus.

Raymond IV of Toulouse

Raymond of Saint-Gilles, mostly known as Raymond IV of Toulouse, led one of the first armies of the crusades, which partook in major battles such as the Siege of Nicaea, the Battle of Doylaeum, the Sieges of Antioch, the Battle of Antioch and the Battle of Ascalon.

The Battle of Dorylaeum was a tense battle between the crusaders and Seljuk Turks. Initially, it looked like the Turks would emerge victoriously but the battle took a significant turn when more crusader reinforcements arrived. The Seljuk army fled and Kilik Arslan had to withdraw from the battlefield.

Raymond of Toulouse was a powerful count from France, who was one of the first noblemen to take the cross and lead an army in the First Crusades.

Raymond IV was badly injured during the battle on Mons Peregrinus and died around five months later.

Following Raymond’s death in 1105, his two-year-old son and heir became Count of Tripoli with William II Jordan acting as regent until Alfonso turned five. 

Final Raymond IV of Toulouse Quiz

Question

When was Raymond IV of Toulouse born?

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Answer

Raymond was born in either 1041 or 1042, the precise date is unknown.

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When did Raymond IV become Count of Toulouse?

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Answer

He became Count of Toulouse in 1094.

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How many times was Raymond IV of Toulouse married?

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Answer

He was married three times.

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Who were the wives of Raymond IV of Toulouse and when did they marry?

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Answer

  1. Unknown name, married in 1066.

  2. Matilda (aka Mafalda), married in 1080.

  3. Elvira of Castille, married in 1094.

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How many children did Raymond have and what were their names?

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Answer

He had two sons, named Bertrand (eldest) and Alfonso Jordan.

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Why was Raymond excommunicated twice?

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Answer

He married someone he was closely related to

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When did Pope Urban II call for a Second Crusade?

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Answer

In 1095

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Why was Raymond IV of Toulouse no stranger to fighting?

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Answer

He was fighting the Moors in Spain in 1096.

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What was so special about Raymond IV of Toulouse in the First Crusade?

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Answer

All of the above

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Who was the Byzantine emperor during the First Crusade?

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Answer

Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.

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Question

Did Raymond IV of Toulouse swear an oath of fealty to emperor Alexios I Komnenos? If not, what did he do?


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Answer

No, he did not swear an oath of fealty. He did swear an oath of friendship.

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What did the army of Raymond IV of Toulouse comprise of?

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Answer

  • The Commander’s (Raymond’s) household

  • Clergy (church) members

  • Historians

  • Nobles

  • Knights

  • Soldiers

Show question

Question

Which major battles did Raymond IV of Toulouse take part in?

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Answer

  • Siege of Nicaea

  • Battle of Dorylaeum

  • Sieges of Antioch

  • Battle of Ascalon

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When did Raymond IV of Toulouse march on Jerusalem and capture the city?

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Answer

On 15 July 1099.

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What did Raymond IV of Toulouse allegedly do after the capture of Jerusalem?

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Answer

He refused the Crusaders’ crown of Jerusalem.

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What was the name of the Crusade that Raymond IV of Toulouse took part in 1101 and why was it called that?

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Answer

The Crusade of 1101 was also known as the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted. It was called this because the First Crusaders had broken their initial vows.

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Question

When did the Siege of Tripoli begin?

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Answer

In 1102

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What title did Raymond IV of Toulouse get when he began his conquest of Tripoli?

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Answer

Raymond I of Tripoli.

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What was the name of the fortress built by Raymond IV of Toulouse and Byzantine engineers?

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Answer

Mons Peregrinus.

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When did Raymond IV of Toulouse die?

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Answer

He died on 28 February 1105, five months after being wounded in the attack on Mons Peregrinus.

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