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Women and the Crusades

Medieval women participated in the European Crusades into the Middle East in various ways. Most commonly, they stayed home and took over responsibilities left by their husbands and fathers and brothers and sons who went on crusade. Some accompanied the crusading armies. And some were part of the European royalty that tried to establish itself as rulers over conquered lands.
  1. Medieval Women Warriors
  2. Medieval Queens
  3. Medieval Christianity and Women

Adela of Normandy, Countess of Blois
She served as regent when her husband went on Crusade.

Alix of France, Countess of Blois
Daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her first husband, Louis VII of France, Alix served as regent for her husband, Theobald V, Count of Blois, when he left for a crusade.

Blanche of Castile
Blanche's husband, Louis IX of France, died while pursing the Cathari in southern France, while on the Albigensian crusade. Blanche was appointed guardian of their children, including Louis' heir, and "the kingdom." Later, their son, Louis IX, appointed the 60-year-old Blanche as his regent when he went to the Holy Land on crusade. She herself backed a shepherd's crusade.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
One of the most powerful women in the world in her time, Eleanor of Aquitaine accompanied her first husband, Louis VII of France, on the Second Crusade. It seems that during this time, their marriage began to fail. Perhaps, if rumors are true, she had an affair with an uncle along the way.

Elizabeth of Hungary
Her husband's death while on crusade made a considerable difference in Elizabeth's life and fortunes.

Lucienne of Antioch
Lucienne married the prince ruling the crusader state of Antioch, and after he died, served briefly as regent for their son. Her behavior as regent led to her son being recognized as "of age" a bit early.

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