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“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/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Conrad of Montferrat Is Designated Undisputed King of Jerusalem April 20, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, Henry of Champagne, history, Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 51st 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, Henry of Champagne, a young man liked by both Christian factions in Outremer, nephew to both Richard the Lionheart of England and Philip II of France, arrived at Tyre. He informed Conrad of Montferrat that Richard had agreed with the local nobles—Conrad would become the King of Jerusalem. As part of settling local issues before leaving for Europe, Richard needed the issue of Conrad resolved. He summoned a council of local leaders and asked for their choice. Not a single one spoke out for Guy of Lusignan, the humiliated commander of the disastrous western Christian defeat at the Horns of Hattin on July 4, 1187. Conrad’s coronation was scheduled to take place in Acre. Richard placated his vassal Guy by helping him and his family purchase Cyprus from the Templars. Guy was not well thought of in Outremer. But in Cyprus, he could still command respect as the liberator of Cyprus from the reign of the unpopular usurper Isaac Ducas Comenus. (Guy had been instrumental in helping Richard complete the conquest of the island during the previous year.) Guy only lived two more years, but his family would hold Cyprus for the next few centuries. Conrad expressed unambiguous gratitude, happy to have Richard’s blessing for his assumption of the position he had been pursuing for five years. Richard’s move to secure the Christian position had worked. He could return home, confident that future King Conrad would hold the Christian position until Richard could return to take Jerusalem. But in only eight days, all of this was undone in the early evening on the streets of Tyre.

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

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 Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements June 25, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 28th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

Saladin continued to stave off defeat at Acre with every tactic he could devise to put into operation. Yes, the stalemate had shifted to favor his western Christian enemies, with attacks day after day against his forces. But Saladin had two reasons to hope. First, during the last week of June, reinforcements arrived from Egypt, from Mosul and from northern Syria. This gave Saladin more forces to execute one of his most successful tactics—when western Christians attacked Acre from the front, Muslim soldiers inside Acre pounded kettle drums, signaling Saladin’s forces to attack the Christians from the rear. One of these attacks reached and overran the Christian camp, reducing Philip II of France, in command of the initial western Christian attack, to tears. Second, 820 years ago today, news arrived that Conrad had left Acre and returned to Tyre. This revealed serious dissension among Saladin’s western Christian enemies. Would it be enough dissension to dilute the growing Christian strength? And if these small reasons to hope did not result in a victory for Saladin, perhaps they would result in favorable terms to end the hostilities there. Negotiations for terms between the Muslim Acre garrison and the western Christian attackers continued simultaneously with the fighting. The end of the stalemate seemed in sight—the question was how it would end, and how to manage that ending into the best possible advantage.

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

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 Refused Admittance to Tyre June 6, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Outremer, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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add a comment

(This post is the 25th 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 finally reached the Mediterranan coast, just under a year after leaving from France, over 3 ½ years after taking the vow to dedicate himself to conquering Jerusalem for Christianity, a vow he had taken when he was still a prince. His ultimate destination was Acre, just down the coast, to join the battle between western Christian forces and Muslim forces under the command of Saladin. But he stopped off at Tyre. Much to his surprise, Richard received a message that he would not be permitted to enter the town. The garrison commanders acted on orders from Conrad and Philip II of France, both at the siege at Acre. So Richard got his first direct taste of the intensity of the rivalry between Guy of Lusignan and Conrad of Montferrat for the title of King of Jerusalem. (Richard supported Guy, and Conrad—Philip’s candidate—was in charge at Tyre.) Richard camped outside the walls at Tyre before moving down the coast, but was not permitted the comforts of the city. This rivalry would chronically permeate the Christian side of the “third crusade.” Richard and his fleet moved on toward Acre the next day.

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

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 Marries Queen Isabella November 24, 2010

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the seventh of an occasional series of posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “third crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

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

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

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

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

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

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

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies