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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol May 8, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, Cyprus, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the twentieth 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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“Pruht.” This was “Emperor” Isaac’s response to Richard’s demands that the Emperor return the cargo taken as result of the shipwreck at the shores of Cyprus, and that he yield from any further attempts to take custody of his sister and future wife. “Pruht.” Though the translation of the word in the Itinerarium Peregrinorum (a medieval chronicle of the “Third Crusade”) is “phooey,” we can suspect that it was more equivalent to “f— you” in modern speech. 

When Richard got word of this response, his reaction was immediate and decisive. He had waited at the harbor for two days, trying not to lose his temper with the usurper/self-styled “Emperor” Isaac. He had sent envoys to try to resolve issues between them peacefully. But with this response, Richard immediately gave the command that he and his men would storm the beach and take over the entire island if necessary. 820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart led his knights as they stormed the beach at Limassol on the south coast of the island. Subordinates had expressed trepidations; the beach was strewn with obstacles. Richard shrugged off the concerns. It looked like everything movable had been brought out to hamper their pending attack. It was a sign of Isaac’s desperation, of panic. Richard was sure his knights and crossbowmen could take the beach before noon. 

Chronicles describe the men breaking into a chorus of dog-barks as they came off the assault boats into the shallow water and moved on shore. Richard’s confidence was proven. Resistance broke almost immediately. Isaac and his forces fled inland. If Isaac hoped his quick abandonment of the harbor area would send Richard on his way, he would find out otherwise over the next month.

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

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

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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