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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus May 11, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Cyprus, Guy of Lusignan, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 21st of what will be approximately 70 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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820 years ago today, Guy of Lusignan, his brother Geoffrey, along with a contingent of their supporters, arrived at Limassol in Cyprus to find Richard Lionheart and ask what was holding him up. Philip II of France had been at Acre for three weeks, planning attacks, setting up siege engines and asserting his authority. Guy of Lusignan was still the nominal King of Jerusalem, but Philip of France supported Conrad of Montferrat for the throne, and if Philip presided over a successful result in Acre, Philip might gain the power and influence to replace Guy with Conrad. They urged Richard to make his way to Acre as quickly as possible.

Richard understood their concerns. Yes, his sister and future wife were now safe, and Richard had completed an agreement to repossess his lost cargo. He had also appropriated supplies and booty from his mini-campaign on the island. But Richard wasn’t ready to leave just yet. As long as so much food had passed into his possession, he decided this was a great time for a wedding feast. He wasn’t going to wait any longer before taking his bride and getting to the task of siring an heir to the throne. Richard invited these newly arrived dignitaries to join the feast.

And, as long as they were there, Guy of Lusignan and all of those accompanying him to Cyprus might as well help Richard take over the island.

Isaac, the “Emperor of Cyprus” had made an agreement with Richard to return the cargo he had seized, to allow Richard’s men to purchase supplies without paying taxes, and to send one hundred men with Richard to fight Saladin in the eastern Mediterranean. But the minute Isaac had the opportunity he fled again, signaling no inclination to keep the agreement.

Richard wasn’t going to tolerate this sort of insolence. And maybe he was even glad Isaac had responded this way. This gave Richard, who saw the strategic value for western Christian forces of possessing the island, a justification for taking over Cyprus. Acre could wait just a little longer.

What could Guy and his brother do but accept?

Richard, Guy, Conrad and Cyprus would combine in a most unusual and unpredictable way about a year later. But for now, Richard had a wedding to plan and an island to take.

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

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

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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