Sibylla of Anjou

Sibylla of Anjou (c. 1112–1165) was a countess consort of Flanders. She was the wife of Thierry, Count of Flanders and the regent of Flanders in 1138-1139 and 1147-1149.

Sibylla of Anjou
Countess consort of Flanders
Bornc. 1112
Died1165 (aged c. 53)
Abbey of Sts. Mary and Martha, Bethany (now al-Eizariya, West Bank)
Abbey of St Lazarus
William Clito, Count of Flanders
(m. 1123; annulled 1124)

(m. 1139; died 1165)
Philip, Count of Flanders
Matthew, Count of Boulogne
Margaret I, Countess of Flanders
Gertrude, Countess of Savoy
FatherFulk, King of Jerusalem
MotherErmengarde, Countess of Maine

First marriageEdit

Sybilla was the daughter of Fulk V of Anjou[1] and Ermengarde of Maine,[2] In 1123, she married William Clito, son of the Norman Robert Curthose and future Count of Flanders.[3] Sibylla brought the County of Maine to this marriage, which was annulled, narrowly, in 1124 on grounds of consanguinity.[3] The annulment was made by Pope Calixtus II[4] upon request from Henry I of England, William's uncle;[3] Fulk opposed it and did not consent until Calixtus excommunicated him and placed an interdict over Anjou.[4]

Second marriageEdit

In 1134, Sibylla married Thierry, Count of Flanders.[5] During his absence on the Second Crusade the pregnant Sibylla acted as regent of the county.[6] Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut took the opportunity to attack Flanders,[6] but Sibylla led a counter-attack and pillaged Hainaut. In response Baldwin ravaged Artois. The archbishop of Reims intervened and a truce was signed, but Thierry took vengeance on Baldwin when he returned in 1149.

In 1157 Sibylla travelled with Thierry on his third pilgrimage, but after arriving in Jerusalem she separated from her husband and refused to return home with him.[7] She became a nun at the Convent of Sts. Mary and Martha in Bethany,[8] where her step-aunt, Ioveta of Bethany, was abbess. Ioveta and Sibylla supported Queen Melisende and held some influence over the church, and supported the election of Amalric of Nesle as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem over a number of other candidates. Sibylla died in Bethany in 1165.[9]


Sibylla and Thierry had:


  1. ^ Runciman 1952, p. 227.
  2. ^ Lane-Poole 2002, p. 275.
  3. ^ a b c Hollister 1984, p. 86.
  4. ^ a b Stroll 2004, p. 166-167.
  5. ^ Adair 2003, p. 108.
  6. ^ a b Harwood 2020, p. 96.
  7. ^ Barber 2012, p. 160.
  8. ^ Barber 2012, p. 67.
  9. ^ Runciman 1952, p. 361.
  10. ^ Runciman 1952, p. 414.
  11. ^ a b c d e Gilbert of Mons 2005, p. xvii.


  • Adair, Penelope A. (2003). "Flemish Comital Family and the Crusades". In Semaan, Khalil I. (ed.). The Crusades: Other Experiences, Alternate Perspective. Global Academic Publishing.
  • Barber, Malcolm (2012). The Crusader States. Yale University Press.
  • Gilbert of Mons (2005). Chronicle of Hainaut. Translated by Napran, Laura. The Boydell Press.
  • Harwood, Sophie (2020). Medieval Women and War: Female Roles in the Old French Tradition. Bloomsbury.
  • Hollister, C. Warren (1984). "War and Diplomacy in the Anglo-Norman world: the reign of Henry I". In Brown, Reginald Allen (ed.). Anglo-Norman Studies VI: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1983. Boydell Press.
  • Lane-Poole, Stanley (2002). Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem. Greenhill Books.
  • N. Huyghebaert, Une comtesse de Flandre à Béthanie, in "Les cahiers de Saint -André", 1964, n°2, 15p.
  • Runciman, Steven (1952). A History of the Crusades. Vol. II: The Kingdom of Jerusalem. Cambridge University Press.
  • Stroll, Mary (2004). Calixtus the Second, 1119-1124. Brill.166-167
  • William of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea. E. A. Babcock and A. C. Krey, trans. Columbia University Press, 1943.