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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre June 8, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, al-Adil, arnaldia, Ayyubid, crusades, history, medieval period, Outremer, Richard the Lionheart, Safadin, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 26th 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, amidst commotion that could be heard in the Muslim camps, with fanfares and cheering, Richard the Lionheart, as part of what would be twenty-five galleys (with more to come), landed at Acre. His arrival reduced morale among Muslims, though Saladin is reported to have remained calm. Richard arrived with his usual dashing confidence. He wanted to set up negotiations with Saladin as soon as possible. Maybe his arrival, and news of the numbers of forces and resources at his command, would motivate the Muslims to give up the fight. Whether it did or didn’t, Richard saw negotiations as a chance to learn about the enemy, to take the measure of them. But two problems emerged. At almost the moment he arrived, Richard became ill, contracting what the French called “arnaldia,” a fever causing hair loss and nails to fall out. He was in no condition to meet his adversaries for a number of weeks. And second, Saladin, probably suspecting Richard’s call for negotiations was not entirely sincere, was not interested in face-to-face meetings. “Kings do not meet while they are at war,” Saladin replied. He referred Richard to his brother, al-Adil (also sometimes referred to as Safadin). Over the coming months, Richard would forge a remarkable bond with this future sultan of the Ayyubid empire. Richard’s forces got busy bringing their resources into the fight. But except for some operations with Richard trying to command from a stretcher, it would be awhile before Richard would be capable of a direct active role in finally achieving western Christian victory 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

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

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

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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