Baldwin III, 1130–62, Latin king of Jerusalem (1143–62), son and successor of Fulk. Until 1152 he ruled with his mother, Melisende. In his reign began the decay of Latin power in the East. Edessa fell to the Muslims (1144); the Second Crusade (see Crusades ) failed; and Sultan Nur ad-Din seized (1154) Damascus and N Syria. Baldwin in 1153 took Ashkelon and foolishly directed his policy against the Egyptians rather than the Turks. His brother succeeded as Amalric I.
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