Joscelin II, Count of Edessa

Joscelin II of Edessa (1113 – 1159) was the last ruling count of the county of Edessa. He was the son of Armenian princess Beatrice and Count Joscelin I.

During the battle of Azaz in 1125, Joscelin was taken hostage by Muslims. Soon, through the efforts of the King of Jerusalem Baldwin II, he was released.

In 1131, his father Joscelin I was mortally wounded in a battle against the Danishmends and soon died. After the death of his father, Joscelin II inherited the county of Edessa.

Meanwhile, governor of Aleppo and Mosul Zengi threatened the county of Joscelin. Unfortunately, Joscelin did not pay enough attention to the protection of his county’s borders as he was too busy fighting against Tripoli.

In 1138, Joscelin II along with the army of Emperor of Byzantium John II and the Principality of Antioch attacked Zengi’s troops but suffered a crushing defeat.

In 1144, taking advantage of Joscelin ‘s departure from Edessa, Zengi cordoned the city off. The siege of Edessa lasted under thirty days, and on December 24 of that year, the city fell.

Invading Edessa, the Mohammedans committed a terrible massacre. Joscelin would continue to formally carry the title of Count of Edessa and rule the remnants of his county from the town of Turbessel.

After the death of Zengi in 1146, Joscelin attempted to recover the lost lands. But in November 1146, he suffered a crushing defeat from Nur al-Din and barely avoided being taken hostage. In 1150, however, Joscelin was captured by Muslims. He was imprisoned in Aleppo where he would be held until his death in 1159.

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