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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives March 30, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Tancred of Sicily, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the fifteenth of what will be approximately seventy posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “third crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

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Earlier this month, we had the anniversary of Richard the Lionheart and Philip II’s reconciliation over Richard’s broken promise to marry Philip’s sister Alice. We learned they agreed on a new treaty of “friendship.” 820 years ago today, events demonstrated just how shaky, even hollow, that treaty was, and that the Richard-Philip rivalry still hung over the Third Crusade like dark clouds threatening a storm. Just a few hours on March 30th told the story—Philip left Sicily for the eastern Mediterranean, and a few hours later, Berengeria, Richard’s future wife, accompanied by Richard’s legendary mother Eleanor of Aquitaine, arrived. Right after Philip left, with Richard’s galleys accompanying him out of the harbor, as if making sure he was gone, Eleanor and Berengeria arrived. (Richard’s mother would leave for home in just a few days. She had already been on a crusade years before, the unsuccessful “Second Crusade.”) This couldn’t have been a coincidence. Philip escaped Sicily to avoid witnessing Richard joining his bride-to-be. Richard made sure Philip was gone before bringing her in. Friendship? What “friend” leaves just before his “friend’s” fiancé arrives, in a calculated move of avoidance? Allies? For awhile. When it would be necessary, in the coming months. But the western Christian side of the Third Crusade would continue to function in the broad shadow of this conflict.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

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