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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Queen Berengeria and Richard’s Sister Joan (Joanna) Leave for Europe September 29, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the second to the last 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, Queen Berengeria of England, Richard the Lionheart’s wife, left the eastern Mediterranean coast with Richard’s sister Joan. Berengeria had been married to Richard for over a year—no heir. We are given to wonder how often Richard had time to make the attempt to produce an heir, but there were certainly some opportunities. Apparently, Richard did not think there would be opportunities aboard ship, since he sent his wife back ahead of him. Berengeria remains a difficult person to nail down. Not much is available about her. Accounts seem full of descriptions like “pleasant,” adjectives that seem like damning with faint praise. She holds the unique distinction among English queens—she never set foot in England. Richard seems to have nothing to do with her after the fighting pilgrimage to the eastern Mediterranean. Did Berengeria suffer by comparison to Richard’s main parental influence, his mother, the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine? Did Richard quickly determine she was barren? (I personally reject recent theories that Richard the Lionheart was gay. In my guest post at the blog, History Undressed, I address this issue in detail. Chronicles point to at least one illegitimate child fathered by Richard the Lionheart, and serious biographers reject this notion as well.) Whatever the reasons were, Richard and Berengeria seemed to reach the apex of their relationship at their wedding in Cyprus just over sixteen months before. With Queen Berengeria on her way home, Richard was soon to follow.

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.

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

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: Fighting Intensifies at Acre May 30, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, crusades, history, medieval period, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 23rd 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.) 

*****

Saladin needed some help. Philip II of France had already arrived at Acre with more men, more siege engines, giving his western Christian opponents the resources to mount more attacks against Saladin’s forces in and around Acre. Richard the Lionheart was on the way. Taqi al-Din, Saladin’s talented and effective nephew, had left Saladin’s camp earlier in the year on March 5th, against Saladin’s wishes, to establish himself in territories granted to him in the northeast area of Saladin’s empire. Taqi al-Din had grown weary of sacrificing his own ambitions to continue the seemingly never-ending Holy War against western Christian invaders. And his sentiment was shared by many. The Caliph of Baghdad, to Saladin’s surprise and dismay, seemed lukewarm to his efforts to capitalize on his victories in 1187, and to his defense against the western Christian counterattack. Saladin had put out a call for help, and some help was coming, though not enough to match the forces arriving from the West.

820 years ago today, attacks against Muslim positions at Acre intensified. Saladin was required to manage a fourteen mile front for the next week to resist the attacks. He could hope God would intervene on his behalf again, as he believed had occurred when German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had drowned in May of 1190, causing his massive torrent of troops to shrink to a trickle. And Richard’s problems getting across the Mediterranean Sea were certainly reported to Saladin. But Richard was likely to arrive, and soon. Adjustments would need to be made.

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

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 Marries Princess Berengeria May 12, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, Cyprus, history, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, royal wedding, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 22nd 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.) 

*****

Today is Richard the Lionheart’s 820th wedding anniversary. As long as he was on the island of Cyprus with captured booty fit for a king’s wedding (see previous posts 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 ), Richard decided he might as well get married. Initially, the idea had been a wedding in a newly-captured Jerusalem. But after nearly losing his future wife the Princess Berengeria of Navarre on the way across the Mediterranean Sea, he decided they had waited long enough. It was time to start producing an heir.

Berengeria was a Princess from Navarre, a small Basque kingdom at the southwestern edge of Richard’s territories in France. The marriage would create an alliance intended to firm up Richard’s control over this often troublesome area. Richard loved pomp and ceremony. The wedding was a lavish, flashy affair, followed by Berengeria’s coronation as Queen of England. Richard took two or three days for the wedding feasting and honeymoon celebration. Then, before leaving Cyprus for Acre, he would complete the conquest of the island, a conquest not initially sought, but a conquest that would prove to be one of his most important and long-lasting achievements 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

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 and His Troops Storm Limassol May 8, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, Cyprus, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the twentieth of what will be approximately seventy 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.) 

*****

“Pruht.” This was “Emperor” Isaac’s response to Richard’s demands that the Emperor return the cargo taken as result of the shipwreck at the shores of Cyprus, and that he yield from any further attempts to take custody of his sister and future wife. “Pruht.” Though the translation of the word in the Itinerarium Peregrinorum (a medieval chronicle of the “Third Crusade”) is “phooey,” we can suspect that it was more equivalent to “f— you” in modern speech. 

When Richard got word of this response, his reaction was immediate and decisive. He had waited at the harbor for two days, trying not to lose his temper with the usurper/self-styled “Emperor” Isaac. He had sent envoys to try to resolve issues between them peacefully. But with this response, Richard immediately gave the command that he and his men would storm the beach and take over the entire island if necessary. 820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart led his knights as they stormed the beach at Limassol on the south coast of the island. Subordinates had expressed trepidations; the beach was strewn with obstacles. Richard shrugged off the concerns. It looked like everything movable had been brought out to hamper their pending attack. It was a sign of Isaac’s desperation, of panic. Richard was sure his knights and crossbowmen could take the beach before noon. 

Chronicles describe the men breaking into a chorus of dog-barks as they came off the assault boats into the shallow water and moved on shore. Richard’s confidence was proven. Resistance broke almost immediately. Isaac and his forces fled inland. If Isaac hoped his quick abandonment of the harbor area would send Richard on his way, he would find out otherwise over the next month.

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

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 Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée May 1, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, Cyprus, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval period, Rhodes, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the nineteenth of what will be approximately seventy 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.) 

*****

Word had come back to Richard Lionheart, waiting at the island of Rhodes for news of his missing sister and fiancée—good news and bad news. The good news was that Richard’s sister and fiancée were anchored off the coast of Cyprus, safe and unharmed. The bad news was that Isaac Ducas Comenus, the so-called “emperor” of Cyprus, a usurper from the Byzantine royal family (but independent of any affiliation with them), a nominal ally of Saladin, was pressuring Richard’s sister and fiancée to become his “guests.” “Hostages” would have been more accurate. And there was also the matter of some of Richard’s men and a substantial amount of valuable cargo washed up on the shore of Cyprus that “Emperor” Isaac did not seem inclined to release. Richard had recovered enough to put to sea again. He had serious business with this so-called “emperor,” and he was not inclined to be patient about it. 820 years ago today, Richard left Rhodes to take care of that business before joining the fight 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

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 Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters April 22, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, history, medieval period, Mediterranean storm, Rhodes, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the eighteenth of what will be approximately seventy 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.)

*****

Richard the Lionheart, legendary warrior and military tactician, larger-than-life in a fight, was simply not built for sea voyages—the sea was not kind to him at all. As his fleet approached Crete about a week after leaving Sicily, it became evident a storm had separated about twenty-five ships from the main group. His future wife Berengeria and his sister Joan were traveling on one of those ships. Richard moved ahead to the island of Rhodes and waited, worn down and ill from nearly constant seasickness, while sailors under his command searched the area for signs of the missing ships. 820 years ago today, Richard landed at Rhodes and began a stay that would last until May 1st.  Richard rested and recuperated while he waited anxiously for news of the missing ships, and of his missing fiancé and sister. The answer to those uncertainties would delay his arrival at Acre, and add an unanticipated adventure to the enterprise.

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

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 Sicily for “Outremer” April 10, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, history, medieval period, Outremer, Richard the Lionheart, Sicily, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the sixteenth of what will be approximately seventy 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.)

*****

Winter in Sicily was finally over. It was time to complete the last part of the journey to join the western Christian fighting pilgrimage to take back Jerusalem for Christianity. 820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart, along with his huge fleet of over two hundred ships, left Sicily for the eastern Mediterranean coast to join the siege at Acre. He was eleven days behind Philip II of France; he would land at Acre well beyond that eleven day gap, and the consequences of the delay would have lasting effects on the entire area. After the ships cleared the harbor, Richard’s warship vanguard took the lead ahead of the transport ships. On one of those transports, his future wife, Berengeria (whom he planned to marry in the “Holy Land”) and his sister Joan, traveled with their accompanying entourages. The ships communicated by sailing close enough for the men to shout at each other and pass messages and commands from ship to ship. It would not be long before this primitive method of ship-to-ship communication would prove to be dangerously inadequate. Richard hated traveling by sea. Nothing about this journey would give Richard any reason to change that point-of-view!

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 

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 Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives March 30, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Tancred of Sicily, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the fifteenth of what will be approximately seventy 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.) 

*****

Earlier this month, we had the anniversary of Richard the Lionheart and Philip II’s reconciliation over Richard’s broken promise to marry Philip’s sister Alice. We learned they agreed on a new treaty of “friendship.” 820 years ago today, events demonstrated just how shaky, even hollow, that treaty was, and that the Richard-Philip rivalry still hung over the Third Crusade like dark clouds threatening a storm. Just a few hours on March 30th told the story—Philip left Sicily for the eastern Mediterranean, and a few hours later, Berengeria, Richard’s future wife, accompanied by Richard’s legendary mother Eleanor of Aquitaine, arrived. Right after Philip left, with Richard’s galleys accompanying him out of the harbor, as if making sure he was gone, Eleanor and Berengeria arrived. (Richard’s mother would leave for home in just a few days. She had already been on a crusade years before, the unsuccessful “Second Crusade.”) This couldn’t have been a coincidence. Philip escaped Sicily to avoid witnessing Richard joining his bride-to-be. Richard made sure Philip was gone before bringing her in. Friendship? What “friend” leaves just before his “friend’s” fiancé arrives, in a calculated move of avoidance? Allies? For awhile. When it would be necessary, in the coming months. But the western Christian side of the Third Crusade would continue to function in the broad shadow of this conflict.

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

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