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“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard Storms the Beaches at Jaffa with a Minimal Force July 31, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, Jaffa, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 61st 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.) 

*****

Richard the Lionheart got the word—Saladin was at the walls of Jaffa. Richard abandoned the idea of taking Beirut. He certainly did not want to trade Jaffa for Beirut! He appealed to his Italian marine allies—he needed ships ready to sail down the coast immediately to rescue Jaffa. He assembled a skeleton force that could move quickly. Henry of Champagne, now King of Jerusalem, would bring a larger force down from Acre, a force that would not arrive as quickly. As Richard’s ships approached Jaffa, Richard could not be certain if the position was already lost. But as his ship closed in on the beach, he watched a priest leap from a tower into shallow water and swim to Richard’s ship. The priest brought word that the city had not entirely yielded, that Templar knights remained available to fight, but they needed rescue immediately. In a classic Richard the Lionheart moment, the type of moment that would make him a legendary historical figure, Richard commanded that his ships should sail to the beach. He put armor on the top half of his body. He ordered crossbowmen to provide covering fire. He and a handful of knights attacked Jaffa at the ocean side. Saladin’s men simply hadn’t expected such a quick rescue, and didn’t expect it to come from the water. They were scattered, collecting the fruits of their apparent triumph, not organized to resist the attack. Richard and his men stormed the beach, hacking any enemy soldiers close enough to reach who had not been hit by crossbow bolts. Saladin’s forces now fled back through Jaffa and out of the city, inland. This was embarrassing for Saladin, who was in the process of negotiating the surrender of the city with the newly designated western Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem. Those negotiations broke off as the parties realized Richard’s bold attack had changed the circumstances completely. This was only one half of the extraordinary confrontation between Richard and Saladin at Jaffa. Part Two would play out in less than a week.

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

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

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

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Ascalon, Beirut, crusades, history, Jaffa, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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(This post is the 60th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

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

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

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

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

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

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

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

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

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

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

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

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

September 7th – Christian Forces Win the Battle of Arsuf

September 11th – Saladin Gives the Command to Dismantle Ascalon

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

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

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

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

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

December 12th – Saladin Falls Back to Jerusalem

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

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

January 6th – Richard the Lionheart Orders a Retreat

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

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

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

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

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

April 28th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Assassinated in Tyre

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

May 23rd – Richard the Lionheart Takes Darum

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

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

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

July 1st – Saladin Holds a War Council in Jerusalem

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Withdraws a Second Time Before Besieging Jerusalem July 5, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Ascalon, crusades, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

(This post is the 59th 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.) 

*****

Reports came in from Saladin’s advance guards and spies. On July 3rd, Richard’s forces appeared to have marched out of their camps, but then returned. On July 4th, they unambiguously broke camp. But which way were they going? By July 5th, 820 years ago today, the information was unambiguous. Just like six months before, Richard the Lionheart had decided to leave without making a move to besiege Jerusalem. There was brief concern as to whether Richard would advance immediately on Egypt. But no naval activity to support such a move was reported. Richard appeared to be on his way to Jaffa, then up the coast to Acre. Saladin must have wondered if Richard had any idea of the state of disarray his defenses at Jerusalem were in. Or had Saladin’s tactics of destroying sources of water and shoring up the city’s defenses been enough to discourage the western European king? Maybe Richard had his own troubles of “disarray.” In truth, Richard was not willing to risk a long siege with unreliable sources of water and dwindling forces. He listened again to local advisers who counseled him to go after Egypt, an idea that would be attempted by future Crusaders. Maybe Richard could consider that in the future. But for now, he needed a peace agreement so he could go home. This gave Saladin the advantage in negotiations. Saladin again insisted that Ascalon could not remain in Christian hands. Richard would not agree to this. Ascalon was the deal-breaker for both of them. The military situation could best be described as a stalemate. Richard didn’t have the resources to take Jerusalem, but Saladin didn’t have the forces to defeat Richard decisively, at least enough to send him home. It would take one more flurry of activity to resolve the 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

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

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’s Forces Take a Huge Caravan Bringing Supplies to Saladin June 24, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 57th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart and his forces intercepted a huge caravan carrying significant supplies including livestock and even cash. Richard’s victory was complete—none of the valuables escaped Richard’s possession. Saladin was horrified with this news, received later the same day. It was a double defeat—Richard’s capture of the supplies both deprived Saladin’s forces and added them to Richard’s control and usage. The caravan’s capture could very well push Richard off his indecision. The next move by the Western Christian forces seemed inevitable.

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

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Beit-Nuba; Saladin Waits in Jerusalem June 11, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Beit Nuba, crusades, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 56th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart for the second time brought his forces to Beit Nuba, within twelve miles of Jerusalem. Again, he consolidated his position and contemplated the next step without actually taking it. At one point, while chasing Muslim raiders in the hills near the city, he caught a brief glimpse of the city. Richard shielded his eyes. He vowed not to look at the city sacred to his faith unless he could capture it. But was capture of the city feasible? Didn’t the exact same problems remain? Instead of brutal winter storms and mud, his forces faced the merciless heat of summer. Could supply lines be established to support a siege? And could the forces he would leave behind hold the city after he took it? Indecisiveness plagued him again. While he considered his position, word came to him of a huge Muslim caravan heading from Egypt toward the Muslim positions. This decision was easy. He and his forces would go after the caravan.

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

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: Western Christian Forces Start Out from Ascalon for Jerusalem June 7, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Ascalon, crusades, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, William the Chaplain of Poitiers.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

(This post is the 55th 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.) 

*****

Now that the coast all the way to the eastern edge of Egypt was in western Christian hands, Richard needed to decide on his next move. Richard the Lionheart seemed to stagnate with indecision. It took an encounter between Richard and William the Chaplain from Poitiers, Richard’s childhood home, to inspire a decision. Richard spotted William the Chaplain, in tears. He asked William for an explanation. William offered an impassioned plea that Richard was failing his destiny by not advancing on Jerusalem. William’s tears moved Richard the Lionheart. The western Christian forces would make another move inland to try to take the city sacred to their religion. 820 years ago today, Richard’s forces started out from Ascalon along on the road to Jerusalem. Saladin’s observers got the news to him almost immediately. He had been working for six months shoring up the defense of the city, perhaps wondering if the defenses would ever be tested. He braced himself; that test might be at hand.

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

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

Comments on Pierre’s Fate in THE SWORDS OF FAITH June 4, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in books, books into movies, crusades, historical fiction, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Richard Warren Field, Saladin, the crusades, The Swords of Faith, third crusade.
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I have gotten some static from readers about the fate of Pierre in my novel, The Swords of Faith (2010; Bronze Medal, 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Finalist, USA Book News Award for Best Books of 2010/Historical Fiction Category; Finalist, International Book Awards, Best Books of 2011/Historical Fiction Category). Some readers have expressed annoyance with me as to why this likable character ended up the way he did. And since he is fictional, his fate was up to me, the creator of his story. Why did I have to subject him to the fate I chose for him? (How could I do such a thing!)

Before you read further, if you have not read The Swords of Faith, a caution—I’m going to try to be cagey about what actually happens to Pierre as I write this post, but, there will certainly be clues. So, this is a “spoiler alert”—if you think you will figure this out, read this post after you’ve finished reading The Swords of Faith.

So, on the fate of Pierre—a comment first. I waited until the epilogue. The events that got me in trouble with some readers take place, technically, after the main story is over. I give readers a chance to bask in the warmth of the ending they probably prefer before introducing the ending I believed was the only credible and honest ending possible. Pierre’s ultimate fate occurs in the epilogues (as well as the fates of Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and Pierre’s son Dawud, setting up the sequel/follow-up, The Sultan and the Khan). So, please cut me a little slack, even if you remain upset with me after reading my justification.

Now, for the justification. The character of Pierre, and his interaction with Rashid, are a triumph of religious tolerance over religious fanaticism, a triumph of the idea that there is more than one path to God for people of good will. In their micro-story, Pierre and Rashid triumph and prosper because of their acceptance of these ideas. But their micro-story happens within the macro-story of the Crusades, a time of religious intolerance and fanaticism. Pierre’s fate—not just the event itself, but the full circumstances surrounding, including the person responsible for what happens to him—is an acknowledgment that though these men have become enlightened with ideas that could lead us all to spiritual harmony and peace, in their time and as well as ours, the world at large had not adopted these ideas. Even today, we still struggle with the forces of religious fanaticism opposing the dream of religious tolerance, though as a species, I would argue humanity has progressed. For me to allow Pierre to flourish in the glow of his relationship with Rashid without any apparent consideration of the swirling turbulence around them would be naïve, and would turn The Swords of Faith into a fairy tale. The Swords of Faith also ends with a truce between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin (true to history). But it was only a truce, and the bloody clashes of the Crusades were destined to go on for another century. Worse religious-based atrocities came after the Crusades. Religious clashes go on today. The story of Pierre and Rashid is a hope of what can be achieved when humans of good will, of different faiths, accept each other and their differing approaches to God. It is a story still waiting to be told everywhere, for all of us.

Other posts about The Swords of Faith:

March 7, 2012- Eight Reasons Why THE SWORDS OF FAITH Will Make a Great Movie (or Miniseries) 

July 2, 2011- “Blog Tour” for THE SWORDS OF FAITH

July 2, 2010- Final Thoughts Before THE SWORDS OF FAITH Release

June 16, 2010- What THE SWORDS OF FAITH Says About Our Times

(There is also the entire 820th anniversary series on the “Third Crusade.” The most recent post in this series was on May 23, 2012.)

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Takes Darum May 23, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, Darum, Egypt, history, Jerusalem, John, medieval period, Middle Ages, Prince John, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 54th 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.) 

*****

Richard the Lionheart seemed to be collecting coastal positions along the eastern Mediterranean. 820 years ago today, Richard’s undermanned forces took Darum, even further south down the coast and closer to Egypt. Richard was in a surly mood. He couldn’t get Saladin to agree to terms he found acceptable. His forces had dwindled as French forces went home. He kept receiving reports that his brother John and now his former partner in the conflict, Philip II of France, were both threatening his position in Europe. When he arrived in Darum, the enemy belittled the size of his force. When it came time for terms, Richard was harsh. Muslims complained that Saladin had been magnanimous in 1187 as he collected Christian positions. Why couldn’t Richard show the same mercy? The answer? Different men with different objectives. Richard would not soften his terms. Except for Beirut, the western Christians now held every coastal port from Tyre down to Darum at the edge of Egypt. Resupply from Egypt to Jerusalem would have to be accomplished with large caravans over long desert routes.

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

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

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

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Ascalon, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Henry of Champagne, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 53rd of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

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

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

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

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

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

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

July 12th – Acre Surrenders

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

August 2nd – Envoys Discuss Acre Surrender Terms

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

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

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

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

September 7th – Christian Forces Win the Battle of Arsuf

September 11th – Saladin Gives the Command to Dismantle Ascalon

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

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

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

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

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

December 12th – Saladin Falls Back to Jerusalem

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

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

January 6th – Richard the Lionheart Orders a Retreat

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

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

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

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

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

April 28th – Conrad of Montferrat Is Assassinated in Tyre

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

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Conrad of Montferrat Is Assassinated in Tyre April 28, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Assassins, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, Ismailis, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Sinan, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 52nd 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.) 

*****

Conrad of Montferrat, designated King ofJerusalem, was hungry. His wife had taken a bath, delaying dinner at his household. Conrad had visited the home of the Bishop of Beauvais, but dinner had passed at his home. The future king walked back toward home. 820 years ago today, two servants known to Conrad jumped him and stabbed him. One was killed immediately. The second confessed that these men were sent from Sinan, “the Man in the Mountain,” leader of the Shi’ite set, the Ismai’lis, known to history as “the Assassins.” They had been in position for months, and had even taken baptism to build a cover. This threw the entire leadership situation into question. We think sometimes today we are mired in conspiracy theories. But this event generated 12th Century conspiracy theories. After all, “the assassins” were hired killers. So who hired them? Much suspicion fell on Richard. But this development hurt Richard. No indications of contact between Richard or Richard’s agents and the “Old Man in the Mountain” existed. And Richard would have needed to set the arrangements months earlier, almost just as he arrived in the area. Despite the lack of logic to it, many believed Richard was involved, including Philip II ofFrancewho worried that Richard had hired some “assassins” to come after him back inFrance. Some suspicion fell to Saladin. But Saladin and Sinan were bitter enemies. Sinan had nearly killed Saladin more than once. The idea of these two getting together to kill Conrad at a time when Conrad’s separate negotiations were helping Saladin is absurd. The likely answer was simple. Conrad had appropriated some cargo belonging to Sinan, and had refused to return it. He either took it as the result of the shipwreck, or his forces took and destroyed Sinan’s ship themselves. Sinan was exacting his revenge for Conrad’s transgressions against him.

Conrad’s death threw open all the issues that had just been resolved. Who would be King of Jerusalem now? And would Richard still be able to leave for home?

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

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