Eschiva of Ibelin (died 1312)

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Eschive d'Ibelin (1253–1312) was sovereign Lady of Beirut in 1282-1312. She was the daughter of Jean d'Ibelin (died 1264), lord of Beirut, and of Alice de la Roche sur l'Ognon, and a member of the influential Ibelin family.

She became lady of Beirut on the death of her sister Isabelle d'Ibelin in 1282.[1]


Marriages and children[edit]

She first married, in 1274, Humphrey de Montfort, lord of Tyre (died 1284), and they had six children:[1]

  • Three sons and one daughter, all who died young
  • Amaury de Montfort (died 1304)
  • Rupen de Montfort (died 1313)

After Humphrey's death, she remarried in 1291 Guy of Lusignan, constable of Cyprus (died 1302), and they had two children:[1]

  • Hugh IV (1295–1359) king of Cyprus
  • Isabelle de Lusignan (born 1298), who in 1322 married Eudes de Dampierre (died 1330)

Fall of Beirut[edit]

In 1291, Emir al-Shuja'i, a Muslim general under Al-Ashraf Khalil, marched on Beirut, which had only a small garrison. Eschive thought she was secure because she had signed a truce with Qalawun, father of Khalil. Al-Shuja'i summoned the commanders of the garrison and arrested them. Seeing the commanders arrested, the population fled by sea. Beirut was taken by the Muslims on July 31. Al-Shuja'i ordered the razing of its walls and castles and turned its cathedral into a mosque.

Claimant to the Duchy of Athens[edit]

In 1308, Eschive's cousin Guy II de la Roche, Duke of Athens, died without issue, leaving a succession crisis in the duchy. Eschive travelled to Morea in the same year to claim her rights to the duchy of Athens.[2] She was one of the two claimants, as the daughter of Guy's aunt Alice; her rival, Walter V of Brienne, was the son of Guy's aunt Isabella, a younger sister of Alice. Upon her return journey from Morea, Eschive was shipwrecked.[3] Since Athens was a fief of the Principality of Achaea, the decision was in the hands of Philip I of Taranto, Prince of Achaea, and his suzerain and elder brother Robert of Naples. The two referred the question to the High Court of Achaea in 1309, which met at Glarentza and declared Walter the heir on the pragmatic grounds that he was male and an active soldier, better suited to defend the Duchy. The disappointed Eschive thereupon appealed to the Virgin Mary before the altar of St Francis at Glarentza, asking that Walter and the judges die without heirs of the body if they had wrongly judged against her.[4] Eschive in fact outlived Walter, who was killed at the Battle of Halmyros in 1311, but died the following year in Nicosia and was buried there.[1]


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Isabella of Ibelin
Lady of Beirut
with Humphrey of Montfort (1282–1284)
Guy of Cyprus (1291)
Succeeded by
Conquest by Al-Ashraf Khalil
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
New claim
Lady of Beirut
Reason for succession failure:
Conquest by Bahri dynasty in 1291
Succeeded by
Rupen de Montfort


  1. ^ a b c d Cawley, Charles, title-date= JERUSALEM NOBILITY: Echive Ibelin Beiru Check |url= value (help), Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy ,[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ Amadi, p. 294, and Chronique de l'Ile de Chypre par Florio Bustron, Mélanges Historiques (Paris, 1886), Tome V, ("Florio Bustron"), p. 173, cited in Rüdt-Collenberg (1979), p. 137.
  3. ^ Rüdt-Collenberg (1979), p. 138.
  4. ^ Miller, William (1908). The Latins in the Levant: A History of Frankish Greece (1204–1566). London. pp. 220–221. Retrieved 2008-07-18.