The history of the lands under the control of Israel and Palestine, including Jerusalem, are ones of conquest and dispute. Jerusalem has long been a religious centre as a capital, with several centuries of intellectual, religious, and cultural exchange taking place amidst ongoing conflicts. In particular, the rise of the crusader states in the High Middle Ages saw a spate of female rulers who have drawn attention in public and historical scholarship. After the end of the crusading period, control of Jerusalem and the surrounding area by Mamluks and Ottomans saw continuous change in the region. The fall of the Ottoman empire in the nineteenth century and a transition to republican rule saw the end of monarchical and thus queenly rule in the area.
This is a brief overview to put the rulers below in context – you can find out more about female rulership, particularly the queens of Jerusalem, below!
- Morphia of Melitene (d. c.1126/1127)
- Melisende of Jerusalem (1105-1161)
- Sybil of Jerusalem (c.1159-1190)
Bregman, Ahron. A History of Israel. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002
Jordan, Erin L. “Women of Antioch: Political Culture and Powerful Women in the Latin East.” In Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100–1400: Moving beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, edited by Heather J. Tanner, 225-246. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018
Lambert, Sarah, “Queen or Consort: Rulership and Politics in the Latin East, 1118–1228.” In Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe, edited by Anne J. Duggan, 153–69. London: King’s College London, 1997.