Talk:Conrad of Montferrat

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I've always read that Conrad was assassinated after walking home from the Bishop's house, where he had gone to eat because Isabella was in the bath and hadn't made dinner for him. I mean, that story is in actual scholarly works, and popular stuff like Terry Jones' book. But it seems so unusual...would the Queen of Jerusalem really be preparing her own meals? Would she even be taking a bath? :) Anyone know for sure? Adam Bishop 02:29, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Well, not perhaps in usual conditions, but remember the situation they lived in: kingdom almost totally under occupation of others, only a couple of strongholds remaining, there military was given priority, the royal property had next to no significance at such a time. Pople died or dying. Isabella practically only a claimant (succession disputes were very recent), not an established queen with an established court, and servants. It just is possible that making meals was Isabella's task, though I believe that such a lady still would have attracted at least some servants. The story may mean that because of her bath, Isabella had neglected to order her (possibly few) servants to take care of meal preparations. Perhaps she used servants as bath attendants, and no one was available to make dinner. And it is entirely possible that she was angry to Conrad and wanted to make him suffer. 08:01, 27 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's in the main chronicles for the period. She had gone to the bath-house (Frankish nobles in Outremer used the hammams). If you are King, and going to dine formally, you do so with the queen: it doesn't mean that she's doing the cooking, but that her presence is required at the table. She was pregnant, it must be recalled, so perhaps was having a good relax and had lost track of time. So he decided to nip round to his cousin the Bishop of Beauvais's and dine with him, only he'd already had his dinner.
Conrad wasn't walking home, but riding, with 2 armed attendants (presumably on either side). The Assassins struck at a point where the street narrowed and they had gone into single file. The guards acted quickly enough to kill one attacker on the spot, and the second was quickly captured. Unfortunately, it was too late for poor Conrad. Silverwhistle 18:39, 18 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah...there are a lot of things I didn't know two years ago when I first asked this question (and in another two years I'll look back and realize how much I don't know now...). Adam Bishop 03:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hope I might have my book done by then... ;-D I think I owe him it after 25 years of committed intellectual fangirling... Silverwhistle 07:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay ... Augustulus 00:40, 26 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's a quote from John Lawrence Reynold's book "Secret Societies: Inside the World's Most Notorious Organizations," published in 2006:
"In AD 1191 Conrad of Montferrat ascended the throne as King of Jerusalem, appointed to this position by the celebrated hero of the Crusades, Richard the Lion-Hearted. After instructing Conrad to rebuild Christian forces in preparation for his return, Richard departed for home, destined to achieve immortality as a fair-haired idol in tales of Robin Hood and fables of great heroics. Conrad, who had campaigned against Henry, Count of Champagne, for the throne, planned to glorify his reign as King of Jerusalem by driving Muslims from the Holy Land forever, earning a hallowed place in history as a Christian hero, and a seat in heaven near the right hand of God. He had precious little time to do it. Soon after Richard departed the Holy Land, three Christian monks entered Conrad's campsite, bowing and making the sign of the cross to all they encountered. Their pious actions persuaded Conrad and his warriors to let down their guard, a fatal mistake. As soon as the monks were within reach of Conrad, they withdrew daggers from beneath their cloaks and cut him to pieces, slashing and stabbing in a violent display of butchery before the guards could intervene. With Conrad dispatched, the young men, who were not Christian monks but devout Muslims, made no attempt to escape. Surrendering to Conrad's guards, they suffered silently through a ghastly ordeal that included first flaying them alive, then slow-roasting them to death. Such were the penalties in that unforgiving world."
What does this mean? I think a little more research should be done on the assassination, and in the meantime, a sentence or two to be written questioning the credibility of all the versions of the event. That is unless somebody wants to elaborate on how one of these versions is much more likely to have happened than the others. HeatOmen 06:42, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, for one, it means Reynold has a very active imagination. I don't think we can do much more research on the assassination; he was killed and no one knows who ordered it, if anyone. Richard? Humphrey? Simply the Assassins finding a juicy target themselves? There's not much else to say about it. Adam Bishop 07:57, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

De jure, not de facto king[edit]

Conrad was de jure king - king by legal right - from 24 November 1190, when he married Isabella, who was de jure queen after the death of her half-sister Sibylla that summer. Neither was de facto monarch until Guy was forced to give up his title after the election in April 1192. Silverwhistle 22:48, 30 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Was Conrad as handsome as this article makes him out to be? I've never heard that he was courageous or smart, although I inferred the latter based on his actions at Tyre. Augustulus 00:41, 26 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The sources - Choniates and the Ursberg chroniclers - are mentioned in the article (and I've referenced them). Conrad was a formidably courageous and experienced warrior, having fought in various campaigns in Northern Italy. Niketas Choniates knew him in Constantinople, and considered him one of the few wholly admirable Latins he ever met (in contrast with his low opinion of his brother Boniface). It's Choniates who provides the physical description of him in his mid-30s, in 1180:
...of beautiful appearance and comely in life's springtime, outstanding and exceptional in manly courage and intelligence, and in the flower of his body's strength.[...]
[...]He so excelled in bravery and sagacity that he was far-famed, not only among the Romans [i.e. Byzantines] but also celebrated among his countrymen, and Emperor Manuel was especially fond of him as one graced with good fortune, acute intelligence, and strength of arm.
He was celebrated in Constantinople for defeating and capturing in battle the imperial Chancellor, Christian of Mainz. Choniates also was highly impressed by his combat with Alexios Branas in battle in 1187.
The Brevis Historia Occupationis & Amissionis Terræ Sanctæ (inserted into the Ursberg Chronicle) gives more on his personality (which I've now incorporated into the article). He had been educated at the court of his uncle, the Bishop of Passau, and seems to have had an aptitude for languages (Occitan/Piemontèis was his native language, his mother's family was German, and he also seems to have known Latin, Greek and Northern French). He was also celebrated in songs by Bertran de Born (to which I've added external links): the Monferrine court was one of the great centres of trobador culture.
English-language coverage of Conrad has tended to use sources mainly from the (hostile) Angevin camp in the Third Crusade, and ignored Byzantine, Italian and German sources on him. Silverwhistle 09:39, 26 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks! I do indeed tend to read the English guys. Augustulus 00:33, 28 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alberto of Millioli?[edit]

Alberto of Millioli, chronicler, is too obscure to mention without a disambiguating footnote. Who is Alberto of Millioli? --Wetman (talk) 18:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Please do not move the page again without following the Wikipedia:Requested moves process. Thanks. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:27, 11 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In my opinion, it is ridiculous to illustrate an article about a real person with an imaginary picture. The painting used is just a 19th century phantasy. Not even the clothes are correct. If there is an other picture available, this one should be replaced, if not, it should be deleted because it contains no relevant information about the historical person whatsoever. It only serves to demonstrate an important motive of romantic painting, but that's another article. --Bernardoni (talk) 00:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree totally, and came here to make exactly the same point. Michael of Lucan (talk) 13:13, 24 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seconded. I have removed it to here in case anyone wants it back again. It's peculiar how everyone suddenly gets ticked off with this kind of thing at the same moment! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Imaginary portrait (he was actually blond) of Conrad by François-Édouard Picot, c. 1843, Salles des Croisades, Versailles.

Unless one of you wants to provide a more accurate painting (perhaps a photograph would satisfy you?) of a relatively obscure medieval figure, I really don't see any need to remove this picture from the article. Even in that case, it would be better to simply keep the painting at some other point and note its inconsistencies in a caption. This picture shows the encyclopedia reader a representation of Conrad by a later audience and gives some sense of how his reputation has fared. Objective accuracy is important in an encyclopedia, but we should remember that almost none of the supplementary visual materials used throughout Wikipedia were created with an encyclopedia in mind - true objectivity is in any case impossible. This picture was one of my favorite parts of the article when it was linked on the main page a year or two ago, and it was a lot more interesting with it. I won't unilaterally replace it, but please consider restoring it! Tommy.rousse (talk) 09:58, 24 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First Wife[edit]

I assume that the theory for Conrad's first wife comes from the same source laid out in the "Medieval Lands" page for Conrad here. I believe that the use of this source (Ralph of Coggeshall, Chronicon Anglicanum, 54) is unfortunately defective. To start, looking at the complete sentence, it describes the arrival of Richard the Lionheart's party on mainland Europe, saying "qui omnes in partes Sclavoniae ad quamdam villam nomine Gazaram applicuerunt; statimque nuncium ad proximum castellum dirigunt, pacem et conductum a domino provincia illius, qui nepos extitit marchisii, expetentes." To translate roughly, "They all landed in the region of Slavonia, near a certain village by the name of Görz, and immediately they sent a messenger to the nearest castle, asking for peace and housing from the lord of that province, who was nephew/grandson/descendant of the marquis."

Looking around, a letter (Roger of Hoveden, Chronica, III.195) from Henry VI Hohenstaufen, Holy Roman Emperor to Philip II Augustus, King of France, does state explicitly that Richard was shipwrecked in Istria near Görz; evaded the local count, Meinhard II of Görz; and was finally captured near Vienna by Duke Leopold V of Austria. That much can be confirmed in Ralph of Coggeshall's narrative. However, the "marquis" mentioned by Ralph of Coggeshall is unlikely to be Conrad of Montferrat. At this point in his narrative, it has been many pages since Conrad was mentioned, and it is not for half a dozen pages more that the "marchisii de Monteferrato" is reintroduced with a brief description notably absent from the previous mention. It is much more probable that the "marquis" here is Margrave Berthold I of Istria (probably better known as Count Berthold III of Andechs), who was uncle-in-law to Meinhard. It would even be more plausible to me that Ralph of Coggeshall had briefly erred on the actual relationship between Meinhard and Duke Frederick I of Austria, as well as the latter's title, but no need to reach that far.

Anyway, if there are no obvious flaws with my reasoning, I'll delete the sentences. It would be great to know the identity of Conrad's first wife, but a nonexistent aunt or great-aunt of Meinhard is not her, regrettably. Gormongous (talk) 07:45, 2 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]