From the Court of Jerusalem to the battlefields of the Crusades to the glorious city of Byzantium, here are the pageantry and the danger of twelfth-century Europe's greatest advantage.
Melisende was the oldest daughter of Baldwin of Jerusalem, a princess of the Franks and, since she had no brothers, heir to the Crusader Kingdom. The crown would go to the man who married her, and after to her son.
But Melisende was a strong woman; the law that forced her to marry instead of taking the crown in her own name was a thorn in her side. It was she who ruled the City and who juggled the politics of church and court. The knights of Jerusalem fought in her honor, many of the best sworn to her personal service. She would not submit easily to a husband's rule, nor for long.