Bernard of Clairvaux, O. Cist (1090 – August 20, 1153) was a Frankish abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian monastic order. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 km southeast of Bar-sur-Aube.
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France 1137-1152 and queen consort of England 1154-1189. She was the patroness of such literary figures as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-More, and Chrétien de Troyes.
Conrad III (1093 in Bamberg – 15 February 1152 in Bamberg) was the first King of Germany of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. He was the son of Frederick I, Duke of Swabia, and Agnes, a daughter of the Salian Emperor Henry IV.
Melisende (1105 – 11 September 1161) was Queen of Jerusalem from 1131 to 1152, and regent for her son between 1153-1161 while he was on campaign. She was the eldest daughter of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, and the Armenian princess Morphia of Melitene. She was named after her paternal grandmother, Melisende of Montlhery, wife of Hugh I, Count of Rethel. She had three younger sisters: Alice, princess of Antioch; Hodierna, countess of Tripoli; and Ioveta, abbess of St. Lazarus in Bethany.
Manuel I Komnenos, or Comnenus was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who reigned over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and the Mediterranean. Eager to restore his empire to its past glories as the superpower of the Mediterranean world, Manuel pursued an energetic and ambitious foreign policy.
Louis VII, called the Younger or the Young, French: Louis le Jeune (1120 – 18 September 1180), was King of France, the son and successor of Louis VI (hence his nickname). He ruled from 1137 until his death. He was a member of the House of Capet. His reign was dominated by feudal struggles (in particular with the Angevin family), and saw the beginning of the long feud between France and England.
Alfonso VII (1 March 1105 – 21 August 1157), born Alfonso Raimúndez, called the Emperor (el Emperador), became the King of Galicia in 1111 and King of León and Castile in 1126. Alfonso first used the title Emperor of All the Spains, alongside his mother Urraca, once his mother vested him with the direct rule of Toledo in 1116. Alfonso later held another investiture in 1135 in a grand ceremony reasserting his claims to the Imperial title.
Jaufre Rudel was the Prince of Blaye (Princes de Blaia) and a troubadour of the early–mid 12th century, who probably died during the Second Crusade, in or after 1147. He is noted for developing the theme of "love from afar" (amor de lonh or amour de loin) in his songs. Very little is known about his life, but a reference to him in a contemporary song by Marcabru describes him as being oltra mar—across the sea, probably on the Second Crusade in 1147.
Raynald of Châtillon (c. 1125 – July 4, 1187) was a knight who served in the Second Crusade and remained in the Holy Land after its defeat. He ruled as Prince of Antioch from 1153 to 1160 and through his second marriage became Lord of Oultrejordain. He was a controversial character in his own lifetime and beyond.
Raymond Berengar IV or Ramon Berenguer IV (c. 1113 – 6 August 1162), sometimes called the Holy, was the Count of Barcelona who effected the union between the Kingdom of Aragon and the Principality of Catalonia into the Crown of Aragon.
Thierry of Alsace (Dietrich) (c. 1099 – January 17, 1168), in Flanders known as Diederik van den Elzas, was count of Flanders from 1128 to 1168. He was the youngest son of Duke Thierry II of Lorraine and Gertrude of Flanders. With a record of four campaigns in the Levant and Africa (including participation in the Second Crusade, the failed 1157–1158 siege of the Syrian city Shaizar, and the 1164 invasion of Egypt), he had a rare and distinguished record of commitment to crusading.
Henry I of Champagne (died March 17, 1181), known as "the Liberal", was count of Champagne from 1152 to 1181. He was the eldest son of Count Thibaut II of Champagne (who was also Count Thibaut IV of Blois). Henry took part in the Second Crusade under the leadership of Louis VII of France.
Joscelin II of Edessa (died 1159) was the fourth and last ruling count of Edessa. The young Joscelin was taken prisoner at the Battle of Azaz in 1125, but was ransomed by Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem. In 1131, his father Joscelin I was injured in battle with the Danishmends, and Edessa passed to Joscelin II. Joscelin II refused to march the small Edessan army out to meet the Danishmends, so Joscelin I, in his last act, forced the Danishmends to retreat, dying soon after.
William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey (died 1148), was the eldest son of the William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey and Elizabeth de Vermandois. He was generally loyal to king Stephen. He fought at the Battle of Lincoln (1141), and was one of the leaders of the army that pursued the empress Matilda in her flight from Winchester, and which captured Robert of Gloucester.
Robert de Craon (died January 13, 1147) was the second Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from June 1136 until his death. He was born around the turn of the 12th century, the youngest of the three sons of Renaud de Craon. He settled in Aquitaine and was engaged to the daughter of the lord of Angoumois, but gave up his fiancée and travelled to Palestine after learning of the foundation of the Templar Order by Hughes de Payens.
Everard des Barres also Eberhard von Barres or Eberhard De Bären (died 1174) was the third Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1147 to 1151. As Preceptor of the Templars in France from 1143, he was one of the highest dignitaries of the Order when Robert de Craon died in 1147. He was chosen to succeed Robert, and as soon as he was elected, he accompanied Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade, and was among those sent ahead to Constantinople before Louis' arrival there.
William V of Montferrat (occ. /piem. Guilhem, it. Guglielmo) (c. 1115 – 1191), also known as William the Old to distinguish him from his eldest son, William Longsword, was marquess of Montferrat from c. 1136 to his death in 1191. William was the only son of marquess Renier I and his wife Gisela, a daughter of William I, Count of Burgundy and widow of Count Humbert II of Savoy.
Hugh VII the Brown of Lusignan or Hugues II de La Marche or Hugues VII & II le Brun de Lusignan (1065 – 1151), Sire de Lusignan, Couhé and Château-Larcher and Count of La Marche, was the son of Hugh VI of Lusignan. He was one of the many notable Crusaders in the Lusignan family. In 1147 he took the Cross and followed King Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade. Hugh married before 1109 Sarrasine or Saracena de Lezay (1067 – 1144), whose origins are unknown.
Robert I of Dreux, (Robert I Capet) nicknamed the Great (c. 1123 – October 11, 1188), was the fifth son of Louis VI of France and Adélaide de Maurienne. Through his mother he was related to the Carolingians and to the Marquess William V of Montferrat. In 1137 he received the County of Dreux as an appanage from his father. He held this title until 1184 when he granted it to his son Robert II. In 1139 he married Agnes de Garlande. In 1145, he married Hawise of Salisbury.
Reginald I (also called "the One-eyed", Reinald I, Renaud I) was Count of Bar (1105–1149). Barrois, during the Middle Ages, was the territory of the counts and dukes of Bar, in the eastern part of present-day France, bordering Lorraine. He was the son of Thierry de Mousson and Ermentrude of Bourgogne, the daughter of William I the Great, Count of Burgundy. Reginald was one of the leaders of the Second Crusade in 1145.
Manasses of Hierges was an important crusader lord, and constable of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He was the son of Hodierna of Rethel and Héribrand II of Hierges; Hodierna was a sister of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. He arrived in Jerusalem around 1140 and was appointed constable of Jerusalem, the highest office of the kingdom, by his cousin Queen Melisende, after the death of Melisende's husband King Fulk in 1143.
Hermann III of Baden (died January 16, 1160), nicknamed the Great, was Margrave of Verona and Baden. He was the son of Hermann II of Baden and Judit von Hohenberg. He served as regent for the maargravate of Baden from 1130 until 1160. Faithfully devoted to the Staufens, Hermann III came in conflict with his relatives from Zähringen-Swabia. In 1140 he participated in the siege of Weibtreu castle, and received the bailiwick of Selz in Alsace.