Gervase of Bazoches

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Gervase of Bazoches
Prince of Galilee
Reign 1105/06–1108
Predecessor Hugh of Fauquembergues
Successor Tancred
Died 1108
Religion Roman Catholicism

Gervase of Bazoches, also known as Gervaise (died May 1108), was Prince of Galilee from 1105 or 1106 to his death. He was descended from a French noble family. Baldwin I of Jerusalem made him senechal in the early 1100s and granted him Galilee in 1105 or 1106. He was captured during a raid by Toghtekin, atabeg of Damascus. After Baldwin I refused to cede three important towns to Toghtekin in exchange for Gervase's release, Gervase was executed in Damascus.

Early life[edit]

Ruins of the church of Mont-Notre-Dame
Ruins of the crusaders' castle at Tiberias, the seat of the Principality of Galilee

The contemporaneous Guibert of Nogent described Gervase as a "knight ... of noble blood, from the castle of Basilcas in Soissons".[1][2] Likewise, Albert of Aix referred to him as "a famous and very noble man who was born in the realm of western France".[1] Gervase's brother, Hugh, was lord of Bazoches-sur-Vesles, a village near Soissons, and they were related to the lords of Milly.[1][3] Gervase was the advocate of the church in Mont-Notre-Dame before he settled in the Holy Land.[1]

Prince of Galilee[edit]

Gervase became an important member of the royal court in the Kingdom of Jerusalem before 1104.[1][3] In that year, he witnessed one of the charters of Baldwin I of Jerusalem as Gervasius dapifer (or senechal) in 1104.[1] After Hugh of Fauquembergues, Prince of Galilee, was ambushed and killed during a pillaging raid in late 1105 or early 1106, the king conferred Galilee on Gervase.[4][5] In 1106, the Muslims of Tyre attacked Toron, while Toghtekin, the atabeg of Damascus, raided the region of Tiberias, but they could not do much harm.[6] Baldwin and Toghtekin's envoys signed an armistice, temporarily putting an end to the Muslim raids against Galilee.[6]

Toghtekin again invaded Galilee and captured Gervase and his retainers outside Tiberias in the spring of 1108.[6] He demanded Acre, Haifa, and Tiberias as a suitable ransom from Baldwin, but the king refused and only offered a large sum of money.[1][6][7] Outraged by the king's answer, Toghtekin ordered that Gervase be executed in Damascus.[1][8] Toghtekin's soldiers tied Gervase to a tree and shot arrows at him in May.[9][10] His scalp was put on a pole to be carried before Toghtekin's army and his skull was made into a goblet for the emir.[8][6][11] Baldwin granted the title of Prince of Galilee to Tancred, who had held the principality before Hugh of Fauquembergues, but the principality was administered by royal officials during the following five years.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Murray 2000, p. 201.
  2. ^ Kostick 2008, p. 173.
  3. ^ a b Kostick 2008, p. 174.
  4. ^ Asbridge 2012, p. 127.
  5. ^ Runciman 1989, p. 95.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Runciman 1989, p. 96.
  7. ^ Friedman 2002, pp. 121-122.
  8. ^ a b Morton 2016, p. 92.
  9. ^ Friedman 2002, pp. 119, 121.
  10. ^ Kostick 2008, p. 75.
  11. ^ Friedman 2002, pp. 121, 223.


Gervase of Bazoches
 Died: 1108
Preceded by
Hugh of Fauquembergues
Prince of Galilee
Succeeded by