Eschiva of Ibelin
|Eschiva of Ibelin|
Eschiva of Ibelin (b. 1159) is the wife of Amalric de Lusignan, the Constable of Jerusalem, though it is well known that her sympathies lie not with her husband but with her blood kin.
The Ties that Bind
Baldwin of Ibelin's elder daughter, she was fifteen at the time of her marriage to Amalric, a newcomer to the Holy Land who seemed as though he might one day attain the greatest heights -- with the aid of the Ibelins, who had in the previous generation pulled off the same trick themselves.
In the event the rise of the Lusignans was meteoric and placed them at odds with their in-laws. Neither Eschiva's husband, nor the family of her birth, has ever fully trusted her again.
She has two daughters, Bourgogne and Helvis, born ten years apart.
A Certain Ascetic Type
In appearance Eschiva is tall and rake-thin, with the olive skin of a Poulaine and hair of an indeterminate brownish-blonde hue. She is neither ugly nor beautiful, but a certain ascetic type, which one either likes or one doesn't. (Her husband doesn't.)
She attends to her duties at home and at court correctly but joylessly, for she has no calling to domesticity; she would far rather be out hawking, or making yet another attempt to storm the Ibelins' inner circle, into which she is rarely invited.
To be Countess of Jaffa seems to her both a punishment and a pride.