Phoenicia, Tyre AE Denier Philip of Montfort

Obv: Cross. Rev: Church. Metal:Bronze, 0.6+ Grams, 16 mm diameter. Condition: Fine.


Crusader Castle near Tyre




Philip of Montfort was the son of Guy of Montfort and his wife Helvis. He succeeded to the French seigneuries upon his father’s death in 1228. His first wife was Eleonore de Courtenay daughter of Peter of Courtenay and in 1240 he married his second wife Maria of Antioch – Armenia, who was the elder daughter of Raymond-Roupen of Antioch. Philip joined the party that was against Frederick II. In 1244, he was made Constable of Jerusalem a position below Walter IV of Brienne. At the Battle of La Forbie, Philip was one of the few Christian knights to escape the disaster. In 1246, the Regent of Jerusalem “Henry I of Cyprus” made Philip “Lord of Tyre” as a reward for his services to the baronial party,. however the legality of this grant was somewhat dubious.

Philip joined the seventh Crusade and was employed as the ambassador of Louis IX in negotiations for a truce and retreat from Damietta. In 1256, Philip expelled the Venetians from Tyre, an action which helped to precipitate the War of St. Sabas. During that conflict, he attempted to expel the Genoese from Acre in 1258, but was repulsed, which helped decide the struggle for the Venetians. In 1266, he lost Toron to the Sultan Baibars; but even in Philip's old age, Baibars feared both his energetic leadership and the possible success of his appeals to Europe for aid. Baibas called upon the hashshahim (assassins), one of whom (feigning a desire to convert to Christianity) stabbed Philip as he prayed in his chapel and then fell upon his son John. Mortally wounded, Philip cried out for aid; guards immediately entered and dispatched the assassin. Seeing his son without serious injury, Philip threw up his arms and died on 17 March 1270 in the city of Tyre.