Maria of Antioch (pretender)
Maria of Antioch (died after 10 December 1307), daughter of Prince Bohemond IV of Antioch and his second wife Melisende de Lusignan, was the pretender to the throne of Jerusalem from 1269 to 1277. By her mother, she was the granddaughter of Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem, and her fourth husband, King Amalric II of Jerusalem.
Prior to 1268, the principal Pretender to the throne of Jerusalem was Conradin, a great-grandson of Isabella I of Jerusalem. He was executed in 1268 by Charles of Anjou, who had by papal authority seized Conradin's rightful Kingdom of Sicily. At the time of his death, Mary was the only living grandchild of Queen Isabella; this allowed her to claim the throne of Jerusalem on the basis of proximity in blood to the Kings of Jerusalem (in feudal successions, proximity - a form of seniority - was a strong claim). The Haute Cour of Jerusalem passed over her claim, however, and instead chose Hugh III of Cyprus - a great grandson of Queen Isabella - as the next ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Maria then went to Rome and proposed the sale of her rights to Charles of Anjou; with papal blessing and confirmation, these were sold to Charles in 1277. Charles then took the title King of Jerusalem, and conquered Acre, holding it until 1285. Thereafter, the claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem frequently changed hands, being passed down by testament or conquest rather than by direct inheritance.
Maria died, childless, in Castello de Canosa, Apulia, after 10 December 1307.
- Setton, Kenneth M. (ed.) (1985). A History of the Crusades: The Impact of the Crusades on the Near East, p. 201. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-09144-9
- Hindley, Geoffrey (2004). The Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy, p. 269. Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0-7867-1344-5.
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