“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol May 8, 2011Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, Cyprus, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
Tags: Berengeria, Crusades, Cyprus, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval history, Richard the Lionheart, Third Crusade
(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.)
“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:
To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.