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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Leaves the Middle East “Holy Land,” Ending the “Third Crusade” October 9, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This is the final post 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.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart left the eastern Mediterranean, effectively ending the “Third Crusade.” Saladin had his spies focused on Richard; Saladin was not going to relax until the English king, a lethal and effective warrior for the enemy faith, was confirmed leaving the area. He understood—Richard needed to clear up unresolved debts and issues before leaving, including securing the release of William of Preaux who had saved Richard from capture by pretending to be Richard about a year before. But Saladin was still relieved to get word that Richard was confirmed gone.

Richard departed to a well-crafted ceremony, as anyone who knew him would expect. A red carpet stretched out to the ships in the harbor at Acre. He offered a prayer, and a promise to return. (He would not be able to keep the promise. Both Richard and his celebrated Muslim opponent Saladin would be dead before the end of the decade, Saladin within a year.)

Both Richard and Saladin lamented the results of the conflict and considered their efforts to be failures. But both could claim some success. Richard had not taken Jerusalem, but had left behind a viable western Christian state when western Christians had been holding on by a thin thread before his arrival. Saladin did not expel the western Christians, but he had taken on the onslaughts from three European monarchs and sent them all away without giving up Jerusalem (in the case of Frederick Barbarossa, the German emperor never arrived). And the peace agreement by all reasonable measures, certainly when measured by the tone of the times, was a just and reasonable one, religiously tolerant, perhaps ahead of its time. Did it come about only after both opponents were depleted of energy and resources, so unable to force a battlefield resolution? Yes, certainly. Did the agreement last? No. But considering that “the Crusades” are commonly recalled as a mark against religious harmony, it is worth taking some satisfaction from the fact that arguably the most famous crusade, with the most famous participant/opponents, ended this way. So this is where I will leave the “Third Crusade” 820th anniversary series.

I invite you to read The Swords of Faith, my novel about this period, dramatizing these events and within that drama exploring themes that still have striking relevance today.

There are links to every single one of the 820th anniversary posts concerning the “Third Crusade” here.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

August 20th – Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages

August 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Acre to Move South Toward Jerusalem

September 5th – Richard the Lionheart Meets with Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

September 7th – Christian Forces Win the Battle of Arsuf

September 11th – Saladin Gives the Command to Dismantle Ascalon

Sepember 29th – Saladin’s Troops Nearly Take Richard the Lionheart Prisoner

October 20th – Richard the Lionheart Proposes that His Sister Marry Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

November 1st – Saladin Learns of the Death of his Nephew Taqi al-Din

November 8th – Al-Adil Hosts a Banquet for Richard the Lionheart

November 11th – Saladin’s Council Discusses Recent Negotiations with Western Christian Factions

December 12th – Saladin Falls Back to Jerusalem

December 28th – Richard the Lionheart Moves Into the Judean Hills Unopposed

January 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Moves to Within Twelve Miles of Jerusalem

January 6th – Richard the Lionheart Orders a Retreat

January 20th – Richard the Lionheart Decides to Move on Ascalon

February 20th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives in Acre to Make Peace Between Christian Factions

March 20th – Al-Adil Brings Serious Peace Offer to Richard the Lionheart

April 5th – French Army Leaves the “Crusade” After Easter Feast

April 20th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Designated Undisputed King of Jerusalem

April 28th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Assassinated in Tyre

May 5th – Henry of Champagne Becomes the New King of Jerusalem Designate

May 23rd – Richard the Lionheart Takes Darum

June 7th – Western Christian Forces Start Out from Ascalon for Jerusalem

June 11th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Beit-Nuba; Saladin Waits in Jerusalem

June 24th – Richard the Lionheart’s Forces Take a Huge Caravan Bringing Supplies to Saladin

July 1st – Saladin Holds a War Council in Jerusalem

July 4th – Richard the Lionheart Withdraws a Second Time Before Besieging Jerusalem

July 27th – Saladin Moves from Jerusalem to Attack Jaffa

July 31st – Richard Storms the Beaches at Jaffa with a Minimal Force

August 5th – Richard Defends Saladin’s Counterattack at Jaffa with a Minimal Force

August 28th – Al-Adil’s Courier Brings Saladin’s “Final Offer” for a Peace Agreement

September 2nd – A Peace Agreement Between Christians and Muslims is Signed

September 5th – Saladin Leaves for Latrun After He Meets Hubert Walter (Not Richard the Lionheart) in Jerusalem

September 29th – Queen Berengeria and Richard’s Sister Joan (Joanna) Leave for Europe

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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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Saladin Moves from Jerusalem to Attack Jaffa July 27, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Ascalon, Beirut, crusades, history, Jaffa, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 60th 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.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Saladin finally had an opportunity to seize the initiative and catch Richard the Lionheart by surprise. He moved on Richard’s position at Jaffa. After breaking off his move toward Jerusalem, and unable to accept Saladin’s peace terms that included yielding Ascalon, Richard decided he would leave the area without a peace agreement. He needed to clear up issues back in Europe, after which he could return to finish what he had started in the eastern Mediterranean. He quickly moved north to Acre, and decided to take Beirut with a lightning strike before he left. This would enable him to leave the entire eastern Mediterranean coast down to Egypt in Christian hands for his nephew Henry, King of Jerusalem. But while Richard was drawing up the details of his plan, Saladin saw an opportunity. Jaffa sat barely protected, not far from Saladin’s position and his army in Jerusalem. He moved quickly and decisively to attack Jaffa. The lightly garrisoned city was overrun, and Saladin found himself involved with negotiations for terms to hand him the entire city.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

August 20th – Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages

August 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Acre to Move South Toward Jerusalem

September 5th – Richard the Lionheart Meets with Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

September 7th – Christian Forces Win the Battle of Arsuf

September 11th – Saladin Gives the Command to Dismantle Ascalon

Sepember 29th – Saladin’s Troops Nearly Take Richard the Lionheart Prisoner

October 20th – Richard the Lionheart Proposes that His Sister Marry Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

November 1st – Saladin Learns of the Death of his Nephew Taqi al-Din

November 8th – Al-Adil Hosts a Banquet for Richard the Lionheart

November 11th – Saladin’s Council Discusses Recent Negotiations with Western Christian Factions

December 12th – Saladin Falls Back to Jerusalem

December 28th – Richard the Lionheart Moves Into the Judean Hills Unopposed

January 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Moves to Within Twelve Miles of Jerusalem

January 6th – Richard the Lionheart Orders a Retreat

January 20th – Richard the Lionheart Decides to Move on Ascalon

February 20th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives in Acre to Make Peace Between Christian Factions

March 20th – Al-Adil Brings Serious Peace Offer to Richard the Lionheart

April 5th – French Army Leaves the “Crusade” After Easter Feast

April 20th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Designated Undisputed King of Jerusalem

April 28th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Assassinated in Tyre

May 5th – Henry of Champagne Becomes the New King of Jerusalem Designate

May 23rd – Richard the Lionheart Takes Darum

June 7th – Western Christian Forces Start Out from Ascalon for Jerusalem

June 11th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Beit-Nuba; Saladin Waits in Jerusalem

June 24th – Richard the Lionheart’s Forces Take a Huge Caravan Bringing Supplies to Saladin

July 1st – Saladin Holds a War Council in Jerusalem

July 4th – Richard the Lionheart Withdraws a Second Time Before Besieging Jerusalem

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Henry of Champagne Becomes the New King of Jerusalem Designate May 5, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Ascalon, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Henry of Champagne, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 53rd 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.) 

*****

The assassination of Conrad of Montferrat raised the question—who would now be King of Jerusalem? Within a month western Christians had gone from two candidates vying for the position to none. 820 years ago today, on May 5, 1192, the question was answered. Henry of Champagne and Conrad’s widow Queen Isabella entered Acre, announcing their betrothal, effectively announcing that Henry of Champagne would be the next King of Jerusalem. As Conrad lay dying the week before, he had told Isabella to bar the door of their premises and only admit Richard the Lionheart or his agents (demonstrating that Conrad did not believe any conspiracy theories involving Richard concerning his assassination). She eventually opened the door for Henry of Champagne. Henry did not immediately embrace the suggestion. He missed France. He never had ambitions of becoming the King of Jerusalem. He wanted Richard’s input. Richard liked the idea. Henry was respected by all the western Christians. Henry could assume the throne with a minimum of controversy and disruption. Richard promised to stay a little longer in Outremer to secure Henry’s kingdom. Henry agreed. He and Isabella by all accounts had a short but affectionate marriage before Henry died in a fluke accident before the end of the decade.

To secure his nephew’s kingdom, Richard turned again to negotiations. But Saladin was not inclined to soften his position. Ascalon was now an effective position for Richard. Saladin was not going to leave western Christians with Ascalon especially when it is fairly certain he knew how anxious Richard was to leave the area. (Saladin was known for extensive, active spy networks.) Richard would need to stay a little longer to help improve the position of his nephew’s kingdom.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

August 20th – Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages

August 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Acre to Move South Toward Jerusalem

September 5th – Richard the Lionheart Meets with Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

September 7th – Christian Forces Win the Battle of Arsuf

September 11th – Saladin Gives the Command to Dismantle Ascalon

Sepember 29th – Saladin’s Troops Nearly Take Richard the Lionheart Prisoner

October 20th – Richard the Lionheart Proposes that His Sister Marry Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

November 1st – Saladin Learns of the Death of his Nephew Taqi al-Din

November 8th – Al-Adil Hosts a Banquet for Richard the Lionheart

November 11th – Saladin’s Council Discusses Recent Negotiations with Western Christian Factions

December 12th – Saladin Falls Back to Jerusalem

December 28th – Richard the Lionheart Moves Into the Judean Hills Unopposed

January 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Moves to Within Twelve Miles of Jerusalem

January 6th – Richard the Lionheart Orders a Retreat

January 20th – Richard the Lionheart Decides to Move on Ascalon

February 20th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives in Acre to Make Peace Between Christian Factions

March 20th – Al-Adil Brings Serious Peace Offer to Richard the Lionheart

April 5th – French Army Leaves the “Crusade” After Easter Feast

April 20th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Designated Undisputed King of Jerusalem

April 28th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Assassinated in Tyre

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Arrives in Acre to Make Peace Between Christian Factions February 20, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Casal Imbert, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 48th 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.) 

*****

It had been a long time for Richard the Lionheart since Acre and Arsuf. The triumphant general of those victories during the previous year had to feel like the effort to take Jerusalem was coming apart. Negotiations with the Muslims had been ineffective, by some measures bordering on disaster, with a second Christian faction continuing to negotiate separately with Saladin. Richard had come to the doorstep of Jerusalem only to turn back. And now, on February 20, 1192, 820 years ago today, Richard arrived all the way back up at Acre to prevent a civil war between his Italian allies, from Pisa, and Conrad of Montferrat’s Italian allies, from Genoa. Richard was able to bring the parties together and prevent open conflicts between these rivals. But shortly after his visit, he had an unsatisfactory meeting with Conrad of Montferrat between Acre and Tyre at Casal Imbert. Richard appealed for Christian unity. Conrad bluntly and unambiguously rebuffed him. Richard left the meeting considering ways to deprive Conrad of his resources, and convinced he had a major enemy in his own backyard. 

Saladin certainly enjoyed Richard’s problems. But he had problems of his own. With spring, Saladin had serious doubts as to whether he could accumulate the forces and resources necessary to resist Richard’s forces he thought would surely make another attempt at Jerusalem in better weather. Maybe it was time to make a serious offer for a negotiated peace.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

August 20th – Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages

August 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Acre to Move South Toward Jerusalem

September 5th – Richard the Lionheart Meets with Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

September 7th – Christian Forces Win the Battle of Arsuf

September 11th – Saladin Gives the Command to Dismantle Ascalon

Sepember 29th – Saladin’s Troops Nearly Take Richard the Lionheart Prisoner

October 20th – Richard the Lionheart Proposes that His Sister Marry Saladin’s Brother al-Adil

November 1st – Saladin Learns of the Death of his Nephew Taqi al-Din

November 8th – Al-Adil Hosts a Banquet for Richard the Lionheart

November 11th – Saladin’s Council Discusses Recent Negotiations with Western Christian Factions

December 12th – Saladin Falls Back to Jerusalem

December 28th – Richard the Lionheart Moves Into the Judean Hills Unopposed

January 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Moves to Within Twelve Miles of Jerusalem

January 6th – Richard the Lionheart Orders a Retreat

January 20th – Richard the Lionheart Decides to Move on Ascalon

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Leaves Acre to Move South Toward Jerusalem August 22, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 34th 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.) 

*****

With the issue of the Acre prisoners resolved, lives coldly ended as part of a tactical calculation, Richard the Lionheart was now ready to move his forces south. On August 22nd, 820 years ago today, the western Christian forces started that move. Richard would take the long way, down the coast, and then move inland toward Jerusalem. Taking an inland route would have covered less distance, but Richard’s forces would have been vulnerable to harassing attacks from Saladin’s cavalry. Traveling along the coast allowed constant resupply from Richard’s ships, which enjoyed complete naval superiority along the eastern Mediterranean coast. This was planned as a meticulous march south, organized so effectively that Christians with long histories in the area marveled at Richard’s leadership. Even his Muslim opponents had to admit the effectiveness of the march. But this would be a difficult, slow march, under a brutal desert summer sun, with Saladin’s cavalry hurling attacks at the formation at every opportunity. One infantry column marched next to the sea, with mounted knights and horses in the middle. Another column of infantry marched on the inside toward land. Despite the well-planned and implemented procession, the western Christians took many casualties in men and horses as they moved south toward their objective of Jerusalem. And the further south they got, the more determined Saladin seemed to be to provoke them into battle.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

August 20th – Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Orders the Executions of the Acre Hostages August 20, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Acre hostages, Acre ransom, crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 33rd 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.) 

*****

820 years ago today, on the morning of August 20th, 1191, Richard Lionheart gave the order. The men who would carry out the order were chosen carefully, among them knights whose brethren had been executed at the orders of Saladin after the Battle of Hattin on July 4th, 1187. The execution site was set in plain view of Saladin’s forces—Richard wanted them to see what he was doing. Perhaps he wanted to draw them into self-destructive assaults against a well-defended position. More likely, he wanted to demonstrate he was not to be trifled with, as he felt Saladin was doing with the incomplete fulfillment of the Acre terms of surrender. But on that morning, about 2700 prisoners, roped together, dressed in white, were lead out of Acre to the execution site and killed.

This atrocity is featured when historians speak of Christian abuses during the Crusades. It is not easy to defend supposedly chivalrous Richard the Lionheart for this brutal act. His supporters would say that if Acre had been taken by storm, the inhabitants would have been slaughtered. They would argue that Saladin had bluffed with the Acre hostages’ lives by delaying fulfillment of the surrender terms. They would argue that Saladin set the tone by slaughtering Christian knights of the orders, the Templars and Hospitallers after the Battle of Hattin. (In Saladin’s defense, Templars and Hospitallers were sworn to a never-ending battle with Saladin’s forces. They were men who would be nearly impossible to enslave, or ransom, and certain to be on the battlefield again if ever released from captivity.) But by any standard, this act is hard to excuse. For Richard, this has to be considered a dark hour, an ugly side of an often heroic figure.

The act certainly infuriated Saladin. He had been merciful with captured western Christian soldiers before—this ended after the Acre executions. But in what can only be considered a sign of the times, or a sign of expediency, or both, this barbaric act did not prevent negotiations between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin’s brother, al-Adil. However, before that phase of these events, there would be a major battlefield confrontation, a confrontation that would help create the legend of Richard the Lionheart, and put Muslim forces back on their heels.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

August 11th – Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Date for the First Installment of the Acre Ransom Ends in Stalemate August 11, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Acre hostages, Acre ransom, crusades, history, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 32nd 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.) 

*****

820 ago today, the first installment of the Acre ransom was brought to Richard’s representatives. But specific prisoners of rank were not produced, as Richard’s representatives believed they had negotiated. Saladin’s representatives asked for some of the Acre prisoners to be released, in exchange for the first installment. The Christian envoys declined, as all the terms of the first installment had not been met. They warned Saladin’s representatives that the Acre hostages were in jeopardy if the terms of the first installment were not met completely. Saladin’s representatives suggested some alternative approaches involving partially met terms and exchanges of hostages to assure mutual performances. It is unclear if those suggestions were passed on or not. Both sides left this contact unsatisfied. The first installment of the ransom was not paid. The Acre hostages were not released. The consequences would lead to one of the most controversial events of the “Third Crusade.”

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms August 2, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Acre hostages, Acre ransom, crusades, history, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 31st 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.) 

*****

It became quickly evident that the Acre surrender terms would be difficult to meet within a quick time frame. Envoys met to try to agree to some precise procedures for the terms to be met. Were the terms so overwhelmingly difficult that Saladin was put in an impossible position? Was Saladin deliberately stalling to hold Richard in Acre and delay any moves down the coast toward Jerusalem? The truth was probably somewhere in between. These are questions that arose at the time, and are still asked today. One aspect of the interaction is agreed by all—a mood of mutual suspicion infected the process. With trust lacking, ironing out the complex issues involved in the specifics of meeting the terms became difficult and prone to misunderstandings. 820 years ago today, an important meeting took place among envoys. They addressed details of payments of installments, precise identifications of requested prisoners and that some hostages had been transferred to Tyre. But this was no more than an intermediate step, and serious unresolved issues remained.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

July 31st – Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home July 31, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 30th 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.) 

*****

Capturing Acre was a great victory for the western Christians, an ending to a bitter, ugly struggle. But it was only a first step toward accomplishing the aims of the Christian forces. It was now time to consolidate the victory and move south toward Jerusalem. But Richard the Lionheart would have to contend with a serious problem before moving on. Philip II of France had had enough of fighting in Outremer for Christianity. He announced he was going home. The Duke of Burgundy would stay behind with the large part of the French army not returning with Philip. On the one hand, this was fine with Richard, who would now take unambiguous command of the western Christian forces. But Philip might well decide to nibble away at Richard’s holdings in France after his return. Richard needed to deal with that problem. 820 years ago today, Philip II of France took an oath that he would not attempt to take any of Richard’s territories while Richard was still fighting for Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean. Philip then left Acre, sailing north. Before Philip left, an agreement was reached that Guy of Lusignan would rule as King of Jerusalem, but that Conrad of Montferrat would become king at Guy’s death. This idea was not really acceptable to Conrad, but with Philip leaving, there was not much Conrad could do. We can question if Richard really thought Philip would keep his word. But he had to make the attempt. Philip II of France would leave for France on August 3rd from Tyre.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Acre Surrenders

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Acre Surrenders July 12, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, Leopold of Austria, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 29th 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.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Saladin’s forces at Acre finally surrendered the city to western Christian forces on the basis of terms negotiated between al-Mashtuh inside Acre, and Richard the Lionheart. It was a bitter defeat for Saladin who had fought to hold on to the city for nearly two years. It was not a dramatic victory for Richard, in that his forces did not take the city by storm after many attempts to do so. Events ebbed and flowed over the days leading up to the surrender:

  • July 3rd: French forces breached the wall at Acre but could not take the city.
  • July 4th: Richard rejected surrender terms from the Acre garrison that he thought were too lenient for a surrender after such a long siege.
  • July 5th: Saladin could not get forces under his command to carry out an order to attack the Christian camp. (With Saladin’s fragile coalition, this was not the last time he would face this problem.)
  • July 7th: A swimmer arrived with a last appeal from the defenders; if nothing could be done to relieve them, they would need to negotiate whatever terms were available.
  • July 11th: English/Pisan forces mounted an attack but could not take the city.

Saladin’s first reaction was to disavow the terms of the surrender. He told the swimmer who had brought the news to prepare for a quick return trip through the surrounding waters to the trapped Acre garrison. But the western Christian banners were going up along the walls. And the agreement was made in Saladin’s name.

Saladin cringed at the terms:

  • The city and everything in it including the ships in the harbor were surrendered to the Western Christian forces.
  • 200,000 dinars were to be paid.
  • The Muslims were to release 1500 undesignated prisoners and 100 specifically identified prisoners.
  • 10,000 dinars were to be paid to Conrad of Montferrat, and 4000 to Conrad’s associates.
  • The “True Cross” taken by Saladin’s forces at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 was also to be returned to the western Christians.
  • After the terms were met, Richard would release the 3000 Acre prisoners held by his forces.

Saladin knew these were extreme terms, potentially unfulfillable terms. The money was huge, and some of the requested prisoners were not even under Saladin’s control. But he would need to try to honor these terms. The extremity of the terms would create consequences that would lead to one of the most controversial actions of the “Third Crusade.”

With respect to those banners going up along the walls of Acre, one belonged to Leopold of Austria. He had his banner placed right next to those belonging to King Philip of France and King Richard. By Leopold’s logic, he was a representative of the German Western Empire. Richard had the banner torn down and thrown into the moat. By Richard’s logic, Leopold was a mere duke, offering little contribution to the victory achieved by the English and French kings. This action against Leopold’s banner would result in serious consequences to Richard a few years later when he tried to return from the “Third Crusade” through territory controlled by Leopold of Austria.

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

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.