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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: A Peace Agreement Between Christians and Muslims is Signed September 2, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Ascalon, crusades, history, Kingdom of Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the fourth 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, over two days, September 2nd and September 3rd, peace agreements were signed, first by western Christians, then by Saladin and the Muslims. Richard the Lionheart did not personally sign, indicating he was too ill to do so. But the most important officials of the Kingdom of Jerusalem did sign. The peace agreement had to be a truce for Saladin—no permanent peace treaty was possible for Muslims while western Christians occupied their lands. But it was an equitable truce, with religious tolerance uncharacteristic of the times built into it:

  • Western Christians retained the coastal cities south to Jaffa.
  • Pilgrims could pass safely to visit the holy places in Jerusalem.
  • Christians and Muslims could pass freely and safely through each other’s lands.
  • Ascalon was to be demolished; no one would hold the coastal position.

The term of the agreement was five years.

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

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: Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella November 24, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the seventh of an occasional series of 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.) 

*****

Not one to miss an opportunity, the month of November culminated with Conrad of Montferrat a major step closer to the throne of the so-called Kingdom of Jerusalem (Jerusalem remained in Muslim possession at the time). Opportunity first struck shortly after the disastrous defeat of western Christian forces at the Horns of Hattin in July of 1187. He arrived at Tyre, a coastal stronghold on the verge of surrendering to Saladin. He took charge, refusing to allow the surrender, hurling the sultan’s banners off the wall just as the Muslims were about to take possession of Tyre. Saladin would try again at the end of 1187/beginning of 1188 to take the city, but this was a difficult place logistically to capture, and thanks to Conrad, Saladin had been denied the easy victory, and had to leave this western Christian position available for the arrival of reinforcements and supplies. Conrad had asserted since then that he was the logical man for the throne, that Guy of Lusignan, the blunderer at Hattin, was unfit. With the death of Sibylla, opportunity came to Conrad again. Sibylla’s younger sister Isabella was now available, after events earlier in the month (described in previous posts), and his marriage solidified his claim; in fact, it gave him the better claim. Conrad’s only obstacle now was miles across the sea in Sicily. Despite Conrad’s claim, it was unlikely Richard the Lionheart would support Conrad over his vassal; Guy of Lusignan. So while Richard was spending time in Sicily building siege engines and occupying himself with friendly (sometimes not-so-friendly) combat competitions and an occasional feast, the politics of the western Christian territory in the eastern Mediterranean became a whole lot more complicated, even convoluted.

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Archbishop of Canterbury Dies November 19, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, Guy of Lusignan, history, Humphrey of Toron, medieval period, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the sixth of an occasional series of 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, Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury died. How did the death of an English religious leader affect what history now calls the “third crusade?” As indicated in my November 15th post, Baldwin wasn’t in England at the time—he was in Acre, smack in the middle of a succession controversy involving who would be the King of Jerusalem (king of a city still held by Muslim sultan Saladin.). Baldwin was a dissenting voice against the attempts to remove Queen Isabella’s current husband, Humphrey of Toron, by annulling their marriage, so Conrad of Montferrat could move into his place and marry his way onto the throne. The Archbishop of Pisa had approved the maneuver, and those who wanted Conrad to be king looked the other way concerning rumors Conrad was married to at least one other woman back in Italy. With Baldwin gone, and with him his threats of excommunications for all, the annulment could proceed. His death seems convenient for the Conrad faction. But I saw no word in my source materials that indicate foul play was suspected. Acre was mired in a siege-within-a-siege stalemate—it had become an unhealthy, disease-ridden place. Sudden death was not uncommon. Now Conrad could move ahead with the next step.

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled November 15, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, Guy of Lusignan, history, Humphrey of Toron, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the fifth of an occasional series of 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.)

*****

Humphrey of Toron might have lived happily every after with Princess Isabella if only the late Queen Sibylla, her older sister, had survived. But when Queen Sibylla died (covered in my November 3rd post) Princess Isabella became Queen Isabella of Jerusalem, and Humphrey of Toron now had a claim to the title of King of Jerusalem. By most accounts, Humphrey was not suited to this position at all. Described as effeminate, “more woman than man,” Humphrey was not interested in being a leader thrust into the local conflicts that came with the position. He had been betrothed to Isabella when she was eight, not necessarily unusual for that time, but a good enough pretense to annul the marriage, which would allow someone else to marry her and move into that position. The someone else? Conrad of Montferrat was ready, willing and able (also covered in my November 3rd post). Queen Isabella wasn’t so sure. She liked Humphrey—he was a pleasant man she had developed great affection for, and Isabella was not enthused about marrying a rowdier, older, sterner warrior from across the sea. It took her mother to convince her to go along. So the marriage annulment was ready to go. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Heraclius, was too ill to attend the meeting to finalize the arrangements, and appointed Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury to go in his place. But the Archbishop of Canterbury knew that the annulment would favor Conrad, and hurt the prospects of Richard the Lionheart’s vassal, Guy of Lusignan. So he refused to approve the annulment, threatening everyone involved with excommunication. The Archbishop of Pisa, for trade concessions, favored the annulment. The throne of Jerusalem awaited the result of this tug-of-bride—just who would end up married to Queen Isabella?

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