“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp June 5, 2011Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, Cyprus, Famagusta, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, Isaac Ducas Comnenus, Margat, Marqab, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Templar knights, Templars, the crusades, third crusade.
Tags: Acre, Crusades, Cyprus, Famagusta, Isaac Ducas Comenus, Isaac Ducas Comnenus, medieval history, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Templar knights, Templars, Third Crusade
(This post is the 24rd 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.)
Cyprus was completely under Richard’s control. Isaac Ducas Comnenus was in custody. 820 years ago today, Richard’s fleet left from Famagusta on the east coast of Cyprus, finally bound for the eastern Mediterranean coast. Before his departure, Richard enforced his own brand of justice with a twisted medieval sense of humor on the man he perceived as the duplicitous phony emperor. When Isaac Ducas Comnenus surrendered Cyprus to Richard, a surrender that included his magnificent soon-to-be-legendary horse, Fauvel, he asked only that he not be confined in irons and that his young daughter would be treated mercifully. Richard kept both promises. Isaac’s daughter joined the court of Richard’s sister, Joanna, the former Queen of Sicily. And he shackled the “emperor” in gold and silver chains—not iron—especially fashioned for the occasion by his smith. Isaac himself was conveyed for imprisonment to Marqab/Margat, north of present-day Tripoli in Lebanon. Richard would soon sell Cyprus to the Templar knights, but this arrangement would not work well. Richard would be left to come up with a final, creative disposition of the island that would be intertwined with Outremer politics and rivalries.
On the same day, Saladin had to reposition his camp up from his previous position. The pressure from the constant fighting with a growing western Christian enemy forced Saladin’s forces to regroup in an effort to maintain strong enough positions to continue a viable resistance at Acre.
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/.