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Baldwin IV
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    (1161-March 16, 1185)
    'The Leper King of Jerusalem'
    Reigned as Christian King of Latin Jerusalem from 1174 to his death, in 1185
    Son of Amalric I of Jerusalem and Lady Agnes of Courtenay
    Student of renowned historian William of Tyre
    Contracted leprosy at an early age from an unknown source
    Led Jerusalem through a perilous period in its history while battling a debilitating illness; repeatedly thwarted attempts by Saladin to capture the Holy City
    Portrayed by Edward Norton in the historical drama, 'Kingdom of Heaven' (2005)
    A rumor was spread in the Royal court that his mother and father were related within prohibited degrees.
    This resulted in his father annulling the marriage on the grounds that he would be able to inherit his father's throne as a result.
    His mother was permitted to return to the palace after the death of Baldwin's father, and it is strongly believed that the she acted as 'shadow ruler' to her afflicted son.
    He and his mother married his sister off to Guy of Lusignan, whom he named his regent.
    Due to a falling out he had with Guy, Baldwin motioned to crown his five-year old nephew in advance in hopes that he could deny his brother-in-law regency (he knew he was dying at this point so it was a joint kingship).
    When his nephew finally did ascend to the throne, his reign barely lasted a year. After the young King's mysterious death, Baldwin's sister and Guy garrisoned the city, and successfully claimed the throne.
    A painting by Charles Philippe Larivière depicting The Battle of Montgisard shows him being carried on a litter and blind, when - at the time of the battle, 1177 - he was still able to ride a horse (only near the end of his life was he that incapacitated).
    Artwork also tends to depict him wearing a mask to conceal his disfigurement, which in all likelihood was never the case (the same art usually depicts him as significantly older than he would have been at the time of his reign).
    He has drawn comparisons to Joan of Arc, Richard the Lionhearted, and King David.
    He kicked Saladin's ass on multiple occasions.
    He has made for some surreally awesome fan art.
    His story provided the basis for the premise of the 'Kingdom of Heaven.'
    He overcame a horrific disfiguring disease to rule a kingdom far longer than any expected he would be able to.
    William of Tyre first noticed his condition when he saw him have no visible reaction to being pinched by other children.
    He taught himself to ride during the early stage of his leprosy by clinging to his horse with both legs and clutching his sword with the left arm (his right was almost completely without feeling).
    By the age of 13, he had led a successful attack on Damascus, effectively drawing the Muslim army away from the city of Aleppo.
    He had a brilliant plan to handicap Saladin's forces by joining forces with the Byzantine Empire to attack Egypt, however the Empire pulled out after he took ill at a crucial moment.
    By the end of his life, he was blind and his hands and feet were disfigured beyond recognition (thus requiring the use of the famous 'litter' depicted in art).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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