A Jerusalem Queen and a Holy Gift: An Example of Medieval Queenship

Lane History Corner, Room 307

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Queen Sybil (d.1190) was an incredibly important female figure in Medieval History. She was queen of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem when Saladin conquered the Holy City from the crusaders in 1187. And yet, we know less about Sybil than the kings of Latin Jerusalem, and even other elite women in medieval Europe. The majority of what we do know about Sybil comes from the moralizing lens of twelfth- and thirteenth-century chronicles written by men. This paper discusses new evidence for Sybil’s material patronage: a relic of the True Cross that she sent to a religious community in northern Italy after the death of her first husband. This new evidence not only demonstrates Sybil's involvement in elite male networks of gift exchange, but also her important role in the construction of dynastic memory.

PresenterAna Núñez