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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp June 5, 2011

Posted 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.
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(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.) 

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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:

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

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

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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