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313, Lot: 537. Estimate $300.
Sold for $380. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CRUSADERS, County of Tripoli. Raymond III. 1152-1187. AR Denier (17mm, 0.99 g, 8h). Star Type 1b. Struck circa 1173-1187. + RAMVHDVS COMS, cross pattée; pellets around initial cross / + CIVITAS TRIPOLIS, star of eight rays; annulets in angles; pellets around initial cross. Sabine 49 (same rev. die); Metcalf, Crusades 521-2; CCS 9b. Near EF. Rare.

Raymond III came to power in after his father, Raymond II, was assassinated by the Hashshashin in 1152. He was the great-grandson of Raymond IV of Toulouse, who was a leader in the First Crusade. In 1164 Raymond assisted Bohemond III of Antioch in an attempt to lift the siege the Zengid ruler Nur al-Din had placed on Harim. The Muslims were triumphant in the ensuing battle, and both crusaders were taken prisoner along with Jocelin III of Edessa and Hugh VIII de Lusignan. Raymond remained in captivity until 1173, when he was ransomed for 80,000 gold pieces. During his absence, Amalric I of Jerusalem ruled in Tripoli as regent, and relinquished control to Raymond upon the latter's release. From 1174-1176 Raymond served as bailli (regent) of Jerusalem, while King Baldwin IV was in his minority. During this time, Raymond gained control of the fortress of Tiberias by marrying Eschiva of Bures, who was the widow of Walter of Saint-Omer of Tiberias. Over the ensuing decade, dynastic intrigue led to Raymond's reappointment as bailli of Jerusalem, but his attempts to influence the succession following the death of Baldwin IV and V, failed, resulting in the crowning of his rival, Guy de Lusignan, as the new king of Jerusalem. As a result, Raymond returned to Tiberias and made peace with the new Muslim leader, Saladin, in an attempt to unite against Guy. Saladin maintained an army near Tiberias, threatening to invade the Kingdom of Jerusalem, in response to continued assaults on Muslim caravans by an ally of Guy, Raynald of Chatillon. Eventually, a peace embassy from Guy, led by Balian of Ibelin, was sent to meet with Raymond, but was ambushed and defeated by Saladin at the Battle of Cresson in May 1187. In response, Raymond reluctantly came to terms with Guy, and Saladin responded by besieging Tiberias. Raymond, who was not at Tiberias at the time, joined his forces with Guy at Acre and discussed how to proceed. Raymond desired to not force a pitched battle with Saladin, but Guy refused, and his intent on a direct attack resulted in the disastrous Battle of Hattin on July 4. The crusader forces were utterly crushed, but Raymond, who commanded the vanguard, was able to escape after his forces were cut off from the main body of the army. Raymond and the other, very few, survivors, regrouped in Tyre, but decided to disperse to their respective bases. Shortly thereafter, Raymond died of Pleurisy in Tiberias.