Pagan the Butler

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Pagan the Butler (Latin: Paganus Pincerna; died around 1149) was lord of Oultrejordain in the Kingdom of Jerusalem from around 1126. He was first mentioned as the butler of Baldwin II of Jerusalem in 1120. He ordered the erection of Kerak Castle which became his seat in 1142.


A castle built of stones on a cliff near a settlements
Kerak Castle (at present-day Al-Karak in Jordan)

Pagan was one of the influential retainers of Baldwin II of Jerusalem.[1] Shortly after mounting the throne in 1118, Baldwin reorganized the royal court and appointed his partisans to the highest offices.[1] Pagan was first mentioned as the king's butler in 1120.[1] He replaced Roman of Le Puy as lord of Oultrejordain by 1126.[2] According to a royal charter which was issued in 1161, Pagan was the first lord of Oultrejordain, which implies that Roman of Le Puy had held only the northern region of the lordship.[3]

Hans Eberhard Mayer argues that Pagan the Butler (who was mentioned in 1120) and Pagan of Montreal (mentioned in 1126) were not identical, but other historians have not accepted Mayer's view.[3] The castle of Montréal was the original seat of Pagan's lordship.[4] He could not prevent a band of Syrian soldiers from crossing the Jordan and making a raid in the lands to the west of the river.[5] He decided to build a new fortress at a triangualar plateau at the Wadi al-Karak which was located closer to the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.[4] He transferred his seat to the newly built Kerak Castle in 1142.[4][6] Pagan died in the late 1140s.[7] He was succeeded by his nephew Maurice.[6][8]


  1. ^ a b c Murray 2000, p. 128.
  2. ^ Murray 2000, p. 228.
  3. ^ a b Milwright 2008, p. 28.
  4. ^ a b c Kennedy 1994, p. 45.
  5. ^ Runciman 1989, p. 230.
  6. ^ a b Barber 2012, p. 163.
  7. ^ Barber 1994, p. 106.
  8. ^ Runciman 1989, p. 335.


Pagan the Butler
 Died: c. 1149
Preceded by
Roman of Le Puy
Lord of Oultrejordain
c. 1126–c. 1149
Succeeded by