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Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Saladin Passes Away March 4, 2013

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This is the final bonus post following the series of 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 the great Muslim Sultan al-Malik al Nasir Salah al-Din Abu ’l Muzaffer Yusuf ibn Ayyub ibn Shadi, commonly known as Saladin, passed away quietly in his bed after just under two weeks of severe illness. He was fifty-five years old. This followed his greeting of returning pilgrims from Mecca (Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: “But for the Lack of a Cloak”). The imam Abu Ja’far was reciting the Koran. Saladin’s faithful adviser al-Fadil was at his side. Reports say that when Abu Ja’far reached the words “there is no God but God and in Him do I put my trust,” Saladin smiled and his life ended.

Saladin’s funeral was modest. He accumulated no personal wealth; all resources that came to him were utilized for the benefit of the empire he ruled and the religion he devoutly followed and fought for.

Saladin is honored by Muslims and Christians. This is not a result of revisionism or rose-colored glasses. Contemporary chroniclers, both Muslim and Christian, offer descriptions of this great man’s compassionate nature. This includes Christians who fought bitter wars against forces under Saladin’s command. Was Saladin perfect? No. Of course not. No human being ever is. Was he always gentle and forgiving? Again, no. But in the context of his times, he was extraordinary, even inspirational. He ruled during a time of vicious religious wars. He brought as much magnanimity to this set of circumstances as he could. He believed in the tenets of his faith as he understood them. No slaughter of defenseless innocents. Look for peace when it is available. He remained true to these ideals during most of his life.

Yes, I find Saladin inspirational and relevant today. We live at a time when these old religious divides have been exploited by much lesser humans than Saladin, with people on both sides of the divides willing to demonize others based on their religious faiths. (I write at length about this in “Demonizing Islam is Both Wrong and Foolish”.) Saladin shows us that Muslim leaders can act with moderation and compassion, and that when they take the Saladin approach, they need not be feared. It is my opinion that Saladin would have been disgusted by the actions of suicide bombers who deliberately set out to kill innocents. They are an affront to Islam, to humanity itself. It is also my opinion that Saladin would have been disgusted with Muslim leaders who use their religion to create scapegoats to mask their own ineffectiveness and greed. Billionaire terrorist Yasir Arafat, his family living in comfort in Europe, stands as a prime example. As a citizen of the United States, aligned by nationality with the Christian point-of-view, I see the Saladin inspiration as a call, a reminder, to reach out to moderate Muslims and enlist them in a righteous fight against religious fanaticism of any group. We need to reach out to honorable people of all faiths to unite against shedding innocent blood as a means to terrorize enemies. I hope one day that a united front against fanaticism can embrace the “more-then-one-path-to-God” concept I have written about before . Until then, Saladin’s life can serve as an inspiration for living together in peace, with compassion and empathy for our fellow humans regardless of what spiritual faiths they choose.

There is an ironic footnote to what history now calls the “third crusade.” Saladin fought fellow Muslims to gain power, and then fought Christians on behalf of Islam to remove Christians from Jerusalem and the eastern Mediterranean. His death shortly after negotiating a truce on this all-consuming conflict meant he never had time to complete one of the five essential pillars of his faith—a pilgrimage to Mecca. His chief Christian opponent in the “Third Crusade,” Richard the Lionheart, also never visited the city most sacred to his faith, Jerusalem. He came within twelve miles, and actually shielded his eyes when he saw Jerusalem in the distance—he vowed not to enter the city or even look upon it unless he had conquered it for Christendom. For those who consider God as a force that directly intervenes in our lives, could it be God had a message for these two warriors of their faiths? Was the fact that neither of these icons of this period reached their holy cities a Divine message that killing in the name of religion is not considered a Divine activity? Yes, there are lessons still available from this history for us today.

This will be the last 820th anniversary post, following the progress of the “Third Crusade,” including the two Saladin epilogue posts. My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells this story through the eyes of Saladin, Richard, and two fictional characters, a Christian and a Muslim.

*****

Links to every single one of the 820th anniversary posts concerning the “Third Crusade”:

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

October 9th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves the Middle East “Holy Land,” Ending the “Third Crusade”

December 25th – Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: The First Christmas After the End of the “Third Crusade” for Richard the Lionheart and Saladin

February 20th – Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: “But for the Lack of a Cloak”

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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Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: “But for the Lack of a Cloak” February 20, 2013

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This is another bonus post following the series of 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 rode out from his palace in Damascus to greet pilgrims returning from the year’s Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims within their lifetimes. Saladin had considered going on this trip. With the truce he had established with Christians the previous year, the time was finally available for the great Muslim sultan to complete the Hajj, an obligation he had not yet fulfilled. But shaky health and instabilities in the realm he ruled, developed over nearly six years of fighting, required to him to put off his own Hajj, hopefully just one more year.

The day was rainy and cold. But Saladin went out to greet the returning pilgrims even though he could not find his quilted cloak normally worn on such occasions. Accounts indicate a wardrobe servant failed to have the cloak available for him. The returning pilgrims certainly drew inspiration from Saladin’s greeting, and the sultan wanted to bring that inspiration to these pilgrims, regardless of weather. But sadly, his magnanimous nature leading to this ill-advised greeting in bad weather triggered a fatal exacerbation of his chronic ill health.  By midnight he developed a fever and the news spread—Saladin, the noble defender of Islam, was gravely ill.

Links to every single one of the 820th anniversary posts concerning the “Third Crusade”:

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

October 9th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves the Middle East “Holy Land,” Ending the “Third Crusade”

December 25th – Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: The First Christmas After the End of the “Third Crusade” for Richard the Lionheart and Saladin

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

Book Commentary/Review – THE BURNING CANDLE by Lisa Yarde February 16, 2013

Posted by rwf1954 in book review, books, historical fiction, Lisa Yarde, medieval period.
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The Burning Candle by Lisa Yarde is a compelling historical novel recreating the life of Isabel de Vermandois, a young woman who finds herself thrust into the early days of Norman rule over newly conquered England—just before the era of Ken Follette’s Pillars of the Earth. Yarde brings accurate history and informed speculation together with a mastery of plot and dialogue to offer an entertaining and informative read.

The Burning Candle is historical fiction/biography. We follow Isabel de Vermandois’ life from pre-pubescence to middle age—every event is depicted from her point-of-view. This brings us deeply into her character. We feel her frustration with her parents’ abuse and her frustration as her life seems but a tool for others, with Isabel having no control over what her life will be. Here she is, with regal blood coursing through her veins, with talent and intelligence, but subject to the whims and desires of others, mainly older men. At first her marriage to a man her father’s age seems an improvement in her situation. But it is actually a descent into torment as her husband hides a life-affecting secret, and brutalizes her in ways that make her parents look benign in comparison.

Years later, after giving birth to a number of male heirs for older husband, she finds herself finally with a choice, a choice brought to her with a daring move made by a man she had reviled as nearly evil incarnate. Does Isabel finally make her own choice, or does she succumb to duty? This is the dramatic question at the climax of The Burning Candle.

Lisa Yarde demonstrates a command of her craft as she weaves an entertaining story out of a lesser-known bit of history. The depth of her research is evident in the detailed historical note at the end of The Burning Candle. If you are a reader looking for a slice of history presented in an entertaining way, every bit as worthy as a book by masters like Sharon Kay Penman or Elizabeth Chadwick, The Burning Candle will be a great choice for your next book to read.

Book Commentary/Review – THE CONTESSA’S VENDETTA by Mirella Patzer February 10, 2013

Posted by rwf1954 in book review, books, historical fiction, medieval period, Mirella Patzer.
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The Contessa’s Vendetta by Mirella Sichirollo Patzer is a well-crafted story of love-betrayed, revenge-realized, with twists and turns for readers who will know where they are going, but will not get there along the path they expect. The novel is great escapist entertainment, giving readers a completely convincing immersion into an exotic past time and place.

The main character is the good-hearted but also naïve and gullible Contessa Carlotta Mancini. She is sauntering through her comfortable life when she contracts the plague. In a matter of hours, she is given up for dead and buried in the family crypt. The only problem is—she is not dead! She extricates herself from her internment and returns to her home only to discover that her husband and best friend are not and never have been the loving companions she thought they were. In fact, both of these characters, the closest companions of her life, are quite despicable creatures, who have been betraying the contessa for years with casual malice. This allows readers to enjoy what the countess hatches to right the wrongs.

Two quirks of fate give Countess Carlotta her chance to take her time with her plot to carry out her vendetta. Her ordeal with the plague has changed her appearance enough to disguise her from those who knew her before, and she stumbles onto the resources needed to execute her plan. As Countess Carlotta’s plan evolves, readers will turn pages to find out exactly how she will enforce her revenge. And the unredeeming nature of the countess’s husband and best friend magnifies as the story unfolds, goading readers into wishing for the revenge to pay off. With the craft of a story-teller in command of her art, Patzer masterfully weaves the deeper discovery of the natures of these characters into the approaching moment of the contessa’s final justice.

The Contessa’s Vendetta climaxes with the full blossoming of Contessa Carlotta’s revenge. But the ending leaves us asking if anyone really won, or if Contessa Carlotta simply lost less severely. With this question reverberating, Patzer’s novel concludes with a deeper question—does revenge, even a just one, ever really balance the scales?

Post “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: The First Christmas After the End of the “Third Crusade” for Richard the Lionheart and Saladin December 25, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This is a bonus post following the series of 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 first Christmas after the end of the “Third Crusade,” 820 years ago today, did not deliver pleasant gifts to either or the Christian king or the Muslim sultan who had been leaders of the opposing armies. For Saladin, years of war, almost nonstop since 1187, left his empire, extending from Syria across to Egypt and down the Arabian Peninsula, in disarray. Saladin considered going on a pilgrimage to Mecca—he had not yet fulfilled his religious obligation to complete a pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest location. But deteriorating health and issues of reestablishing control over his empire, including the challenge of replenishing a depleted treasury, forced his decision to hold off on the pilgrimage for at least another year. He settled in at Damascus in November for the winter, trying to recover his health and his authority over the lands he ruled.

Richard the Lionheart would have been grateful to experience just a few challenges within his home realm. The first Christmas after the conclusion of the “Third Crusade” did not deliver him home. Richard had decided on a land route for the return home. He hated sea voyages, and a fall/winter sea voyage was more than he could tolerate. He tried to sneak through areas under the control of his enemies, including Leopold of Austria, whom he had insulted at Acre (described in the blog post on Saladin’s surrender of Acre to Christian forces). But just before Christmas, Richard fell into Leopold’s custody. Richard the Lionheart spent the first Christmas after the end of the “Third Crusade” in chains.

Were these post-crusade troubles the result of divine justice of some sort, for shedding blood in the name of religion? I will not attempt an answer to that question here. We will, however, examine an even greater post-crusade irony for these two celebrated leaders during a blog post coming in March on the 820th anniversary of an occasion with immense post-Third Crusade relevance.

Links to every single one of the 820th anniversary posts concerning the “Third Crusade”:

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

October 9th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves the Middle East “Holy Land,” Ending the “Third Crusade”

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 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/.

“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: Saladin Leaves for Latrun After He Meets Hubert Walter (Not Richard the Lionheart) in Jerusalem September 5, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, Hubert Walter, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the third 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, Saladin left Jerusalem after assuring the peaceful success of the arrival of the first western Christian pilgrims. Some of his more fanatic, militant fighters favored massacres of the Christian knights given safe passage to visit Jerusalem. Saladin would have none of this, and took care to make sure the peace agreement was adhered to by all his forces. The third delegation to visit was led by Richard the Lionheart’s trusted adviser Hubert Walter. Richard the Lionheart declined an invitation to meet Saladin—these two iconic leaders never met face-to-face. Richard would not come to a Jerusalem that he and not captured. Accounts of Hubert Walter’s meeting with Saladin record a cordial, frank encounter, with signs of affection and admiration between the two men. Hubert Walter arrived in pilgrim’s garb and scrupulously maintained the pious behavior of a humble pilgrim. Hubert Walter delivered a message from Richard—Richard promised to come back and take Jerusalem. Saladin answered magnanimously that if he were to lose Jerusalem, he would rather lose the city to Richard than to anyone else. The two men discussed Richard. Saladin found much to admire about Richard the Lionheart, but felt Richard took too many personal risks, particularly in battle. Hubert Walter told Saladin that if Richard had Saladin’s qualities combined with his own, and Saladin had Richard’s qualities combined with his, there could be no finer rulers possible. Saladin offered Hubert Walter any request he wished. Hubert Walter asked that Latin Christian rites be restored to the churches in Jerusalem. Given the possible favors Saladin could have granted, Saladin found this request admirable in its modesty and selflessness. The meeting seemed to confirm that if religion had not separated these men, including Richard, they might all have been friends. With Saladin’s departure for Latrun, he began to think about life after the conflict. He still waited to get confirmation that Richard had actually left the area. But now he could discuss with his advisors the priorities for the governance of Egypt and Syria.

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

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: 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.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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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/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Al-Adil’s Courier Brings Saladin’s “Final Offer” for a Peace Agreement August 28, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in al-Adil, Ascalon, crusades, history, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the fifth 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.) 

*****

After his brilliant triumph at Jaffa, Richard the Lionheart fell deathly ill. He had been ill before while on this mission, but this time his symptoms were so severe that he was giving instructions for his will. Peace negotiations started again, almost out of brutal necessity. Richard was barely surviving, in no condition at all to command any operations. Saladin would have loved to exploit the situation, but his army was utterly war-weary, lacking any sort of resolve needed to finish the fight. Ascalon remained the deal-breaker. Richard was not going to turn over a position he had worked so hard to establish, had expended so much of his time and resources on, to the enemy. And Saladin would not allow a position of such a threat to Egypt to remain in western Christian hands. The regular negotiating teams went back and forth, apparently at an impasse. But through what we would today call “back-channels,” some serious progress was taking place. Saladin was confused. Which position represented Richard’s position? 820 years ago today, a courier for Saladin’s brother al-Adil brought Saladin’s final offer—Ascalon was to be demolished under supervision of Muslim and western Christian engineers. No one would hold the position. If this offer was not accepted, Saladin promised he would fight on—he lived here. Richard had said he would stay until the following Easter. Saladin welcomed him to do so. But the truth is, Richard could not stay any longer. The offer was accepted.

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

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