11.07.

1174: Leprosy Sufferer Became the Crusader King of Jerusalem

1174: Leprosy Sufferer Became the Crusader King of Jerusalem
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City of Jerusalem

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 11 July 1174
  • King Baldwin’s symptoms of leprosy worsened with time, so he was allegedly barely able to hold a sword. In advanced stages, leprosy patients look deformed, which can be pretty intimidating.

On this day, in 1174, King Baldwin IV from the Anjou dynasty (the dynasty originated from the Counts of Anjou, and it should not be confused with the younger Anjou who ruled Croatia and Hungary in the Middle Ages) came to the throne of Jerusalem.

King Baldwin IV was specific by the fact that he suffered from leprosy back since childhood. When he became king on this day, he was only 13 years old. 

Symptoms of leprosy were not jet serious, but the onset of puberty worsened them. The disease is also known as Hansen’s disease and is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis.

Leprosy usually attacks peripheral nerves, resulting in lesions on the skin and partial sensory loss (pain, cold, heat, etc.). In advanced stages, leprosy patients look deformed, which can be pretty intimidating.

King Baldwin’s symptoms of leprosy worsened with time, so he was allegedly barely able to hold a sword. 

But, he lived relatively long, significantly longer than it was originally expected. In fact, he reined Jerusalem for almost 11 years. 

Baldwin IV was also one of the last crusading kings who truly ruled Jerusalem, because the city fell under Muslim rule only two years after his death (conquered by the famous Saladin).

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