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On July 4, 1187, the levies of the kingdom of Jerusalem, reinforced by members of the military orders, contingents from the county of Tripoli, and itinerant crusaders, were routed at Hattin near Tiberias by Saladin, sultan of Egypt, Damascus and Aleppo. Guy of Lusignan, king of Jerusalem, his brother Aimery, constable of the kingdom; the masters of the Temple and the Hospital; William III, marquis of Mont ferret; Roger de Mowbray, lord of Thirsk in Yorkshire; and many another baron, knight, and sergeant were captured. Large numbers of Christians were slain in the battle, and Saladin slaughtered all the rank and file of the Temple and Hospital who fell into his hands. The True Cross, borne in the midst of the host by a succession of prelates, came into the possession of the "infidels". In mustering his army to meet Saladin’s invasion king Guy had drained his fortresses of their garrisons. Except for Raymond III, count of Tripoli, Reginald, lord of Sidon, and Balian of Ibelin, who had escaped from the field of Hattin, the realm of Jerusalem was leaderless. Acre fell almost at once, and Saladin soon conquered most of the other towns and castles. By the end of 1187 the only important towns still holding out were Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch.

Tyre was saved by a stroke of chance — the fortuitous arrival of an able, vigorous soldier of high rank, Conrad of Montferrat, eldest surviving son of marquis William, and uncle of the young king Baldwin V of Jerusalem, had started for the Holy Land in 1185. Conrad had stopped in Constantinople and entered the service of emperor Isaac II Angelus. When he learned of the threatened invasion of the kingdom of Jerusalem, he obtained the emperor’s leave to go to Palestine. The ship bearing him and his small band arrived at Acre after its capture by Saladin. Fortunately for the Franks Conrad discovered the state of affairs before he landed, and promptly sailed up the coast to Tyre. He found that city about to surrender. The commander of the town, lacking both garrison and supplies, had agreed with Saladin on terms of capitulation. But the citizens took heart from Conrad’s arrival, delivered the city to him, and prepared to defend it under his leadership. Tyre became the refuge for the inhabitants of the places captured by Saladin during the following months, for the sultan’s conquest of the kingdom of Jerusalem was no orgy of bloodshed. Although Saladin was fully capable of savage cruelty, he preferred to be merciful — especially when mercy paid. The towns of the kingdom were leaderless and had almost no soldiers, but they were strongly fortified. The inhabitants were discouraged by the loss of the leaders and troops, and were willing to surrender in exchange for their lives. Saladin’s troops were horsemen who felt at home only in the open field and had no taste for attacking fortifications. Hence it was good policy for the sultan to buy the towns by allowing the inhabitants to go free. Every such displaced person made the food problem more serious in the remaining Christian strongholds.

Conrad, the officials of the Temple and Hospital who had not been captured at Hattin, and the prelates of the kingdom promptly sent appeals for aid to the princes and lords of western Europe. According to a Moslem writer, Conrad sought to arouse crusading enthusiasm by circulating a picture of a Turkish horseman allowing his mount to urinate on the Holy Sepulcher. At some time during the autumn of 1187 Conrad reinforced his letters by dispatching to the west Joscius, archbishop of Tyre, the successor to William, the historian. The archbishop’s first stop was Sicily, where he found a sympathetic listener in king William II. Had it not been for king William, the slow-moving monarchs of the west might well have found no kingdom of Jerusalem to succor. In the spring and summer of 1188 a Sicilian fleet commanded by the famous admiral Margarit saved Tripoli from capture and reinforced and provisioned Antioch and Tyre. Had William II survived, the Sicilian forces would probably have played an important part in the Third Crusade, but he died in 1189, and a disputed succession kept Sicilian energies fully occupied until 1194.

On January 22, 1189, archbishop Joscius found Henry II of England, Philip II Augustus of France, Philip of Alsace, count of Flanders, and many lords and prelates of the two realms engaged in a conference on the Norman frontier. So eloquent was his appeal for aid for the Holy Land that both kings, the count of Flanders, and many other lords took the cross, and agreed to begin preparations for a crusade. The French were to wear red crosses, the English white crosses, and the Flemish green crosses. King Henry soon proceeded to Le Mans, where he ordered the levying of the "Saladin tithe", a tax of a tenth on everyone’s income and movable property, to raise money for the crusade. While archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury and other prelates preached the crusade, Henry vigorously collected the tax throughout his lands. Henry also dispatched letters to the Holy Roman emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa, to king Bela III of Hungary, and to the Byzantine emperor, Isaac Angelus, announcing that he intended to go to the relief of the kingdom of Jerusalem and asking free passage through their realms. But while Henry was industriously preparing for his pious journey, his eldest surviving son, Richard, count of Poitou, became embroiled in a fierce war with his vassals and his neighbor, count Raymond V of Toulouse. The Poitevin rebels were quickly crushed and their leader, Geoffrey of Lusignan, departed for Palestine to join his brothers Guy and Aimery, but the conflict with Toulouse soon involved king Philip. Hence after a very brief respite war raged once more along the Angevin frontiers.

No one who understood the political situation in northwestern Europe in 1188 could have had much hope of any long-term agreement between the kings of France and England. Philip Augustus was determined to develop the power of the French crown. The greatest menace to that power was the Plantagenet lord of England, Ireland, Normandy, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, and Aquitaine. With the king of England in possession of the maritime districts of France from Boulogne to the Pyrenees, the French monarchy was in grave danger. King Louis VII of France had combated his mighty rival by both arms and intrigue, and Philip carried on his father's policy. This basic hostility between the French king and his vassal took various forms at different times. In 1188 the immediate issue was Philip’s sister Alice and her marriage portion. The Norman Vexin with its great fortress of Gisors had long been a bone of contention between the two monarchs. In an attempt to settle this issue Alice had been affianced to Richard and the Vexin assigned to her as a marriage portion. Until the wedding took place, both Alice and the Vexin were to be in Henry's custody. In 1188 Philip was insisting that Richard marry Alice, and Richard was showing no inclination to do so. The men of the day believed that Richard’s unwillingness stemmed from his belief that his father had seduced Alice, an act which would have been unlikely to disturb Henry’s conscience. As Henry wanted to keep the Vexin in his own hands instead of turning it over to his turbulent son, he made no effort to hasten Richard's marriage.

Had Alice been the only issue, Henry and Richard could cheerfully have waged war on Philip. But Henry had never been sympathetic to Richard and preferred his youngest son, John. He was contemplating giving John a large part of his vast domains. Naturally Richard was opposed to this idea. When Richard's disinclination to marry Alice was uppermost in his mind, he was on good terms with his father, but when his fear of John was dominant, he was inclined to negotiate with king Philip. Philip lost no opportunity to take advantage of the difficulties between Henry and Richard. In November 1188 he demanded that Henry require all his vassals to do homage to Richard as his heir. When Henry refused, Richard did homage to Philip for the fiefs held in France by the house of Anjou. Late in May 1189 Philip and Richard demanded that John take the cross. Henry's refusal to agree to this sent Richard into open rebellion. On July 6, 1189, Henry died at Chinon. On July 22 Richard had a conference with Philip and renewed his promise to marry Alice — a promise he clearly had no intention of keeping.

On September 3 Richard was solemnly crowned king of England. In November 1189 king Philip sent Rotrou, count of Perche, to England to inform Richard that he and his barons had agreed to meet at Vézelay on April 1 to set out on the crusade. Richard had taken the cross earlier than had his father and Philip. He delighted in war in all its forms and was an enthusiast for adventure. Hence he willingly accepted Philip's challenge. At a council held in London the count of Perche swore that Philip would keep the rendezvous, and William de Mandeville, earl of Essex and count of Aumale, swore that Richard would join him. On December 30 the two kings met at Nonancourt to complete their arrangements. In a formal document they announced their intention to go on the crusade, Philip promised to treat Richard as his friend and vassal, while Richard was to behave toward Philip as to his lord and friend. All crusaders in the two realms were to join the host unless specifically excused. The property of all crusaders was to be safeguarded. Peace was to reign between the two kingdoms, and the governors of each were to aid the other in case of need. On March 30, 1190, the kings confirmed this agreement but postponed the meeting at Vézelay until July 1.


While the kings of France and England fought, conferred, prepared, and delayed, the effort to restore the kingdom of Jerusalem that is usually known as the Third Crusade gained momentum. The emperor Frederick Barbarossa marched from Regensburg (Ratisbon) on May 11, 1189, with a strong army of mounted men and headed cast through Hungary. After successfully crossing Asia Minor, the emperor was drowned in the "Saleph" river, (Calycadnus) on June 10, 1190. Some ten days later, his army reached Antioch under the command of his son Frederick, duke of Swabia. But the comforts of Antioch were too much for the troops exhausted by long marches and bitter battles. Some died there and most of the rest went home. When Frederick of Swabia advanced into the kingdom of Jerusalem, he had only some three hundred knights.

During May 1189 a series of crusading fleets left the ports of northwestern Europe. They bore Danes, Frisians, North Germans, Flemings, English, Bretons, and men of northern France. There is little definite information about these fleets or their commanders. The Frisians and North Germans were led by Otto, count of Guelders, and Henry, count of Altenburg. The Flemings were under the command of a famous warrior, James of Avesnes. If one may asume that all the barons who arrived in Palestine in September 1189 came in these fleets, their leaders included William dc Ferrers, earl of Derby; Louis, landgrave of Thuringia; count John of Sées; count Henry of Bar; the viscounts of Turenne and Chatellerault; Guy of Dampierre; Robert, count of Dreux; his brother Philip, bishop of Beauvais; Erard, count of Brienne; and his brother Andrew, lord of Ramerupt. It is, however, quite possible that some of these lords went by other routes. One of these fleets sailed from Dartmouth on May 18, and halted in Portugal to aid king Sancho I against his Moslem foes. On September 6 its men captured the town of Silves, turned it over to the Portuguese, and then proceeded on their way to Palestine.

When these fleets reached the Holy Land, they found that the forces of the kingdom of Jerusalem had already begun an offensive campaign. Early in September 1187, Saladin had found Ascalon too strong to take by storm, and to avoid a long siege he had offered to exchange king Guy for the city. Ascalon surrendered on September 4, but Saladin was in no hurry to keep his promise. It was not until the spring of 1188 that Guy, his brother Aimery, and the master of the Temple were freed. Before he released the king, Saladin exacted from him a promise that he would not again bear arms against him. Guy seems to have taken this promise seriously. For over a year he stayed quietly in Antioch and Tripoli while Saladin reduced several of the castles that still held out against him. Then in the summer of 1189 he decided to move toward the recovery of his kingdom. It is not clear whether he simply ignored his promise to Saladin or obtained a release in some way. No Christian prelate would have hesitated to absolve him from such an oath. One source suggests that Saladin released him for fear that his inability to lead the armies of the kingdom would lead to his replacement by a more effective monarch, Guy of Lusignan was a brave soldier, but he was a most incompetent general and an ineffective king.

At any rate Guy mustered a small army and marched to Tyre. When he demanded admission to this city, Conrad of Montferrat refused to open the gates. According to one source, Conrad said that he had saved Tyre and it was his. Another authority states that Conrad declared himself a mere lieutenant of the monarchs of the west and unable to act without their orders. Whatever his arguments may have been, Conrad clearly refused to recognize Guys royal rights in Tyre. He did, however, form an alliance with him against Saladin. Towards the end of August, probably on the 27th, king Guy and his troops occupied a hill near Acre, while the Pisan squadron that had escorted him down the coast blockaded the port. In the Middle Ages all that was required for a "siege" was a force camped near a hostile fortress. Hence contemporaries called this the beginning of the siege of Acre. Actually it was nearly a year before the crusading army could make a serious pretense of blockading the city on the landward side.

Saladin was lying with a small force before the great fortress of Belfort when he learned of Guy’s march toward Acre. The sultan wanted to cut across country to intercept the king, but his emirs insisted on the longer and easier route by the main roads. Hence Guy was in position when Saladin arrived. As the sultan did not have enough troops to attack the royal army in a position of its own choosing, he was obliged to await the arrival of the vassal lords whom he had summoned from the east. It was at this point that the crusading fleets which had left Europe in May began to arrive. Guy’s little body of knights was reinforced by the followers of James of Avesnes, count Otto of Guelders, earl William de Ferrers, Guy of Dampierre, the counts of Dreux and Brienne, and other barons. But far more important than the feudal contingents was the magnificent north European infantry, Danes, Frisians, and Saxons. They were the men who made it possible for Guy to continue operations in the face of Saladin’s host. The Turks were mounted archers used to lighting in broad, open fields. They could not withstand a charge by the heavy feudal cavalry, but they could usually avoid it by rapid maneuvering. Their tactics were to sweep up close to the knights, discharge a rain of arrows, and retire before the knights could reach them. If the knights pursued them and became scattered, the Turks could cut to pieces isolated parties. But the Turkish cavalry had no taste for attacking massed infantry. The crossbows of the crusaders outranged their bows, and the solid line of spears formed an almost impossible obstacle to a cavalry charge.

As soon as his reinforcements arrived, Saladin moved into position near the crusaders’ camp. The last two weeks of September 1189 saw a number of sharp skirmishes. One day Saladin brushed away a thin screen of knights to reinforce and reprovision Acre. But he could not persuade his troops to attempt an attack on the crusading infantry defending the camp. Nevertheless Guy’s position was extremely unpleasant. He was bottled up in his camp and continually harassed by the Turkish cavalry. Late in September Conrad of Montferrat arrived with the Syrian barons who had been with him in Tyre. This addition to his forces encouraged Guy to take the offensive. On October 4 the crusader cavalry emerged from their camp and charged the Turkish line. They easily routed their foes, but they themselves became scattered in the pursuit and were completely unable to withstand a Turkish counterattack. The crusaders were thrown back on their camp in disorder. Many knights were slain including Andrew of Brienne, lord of Ramerupt. Meanwhile the garrison of Acre had made a sortie against the crusaders1 rear. King Guy had foreseen this possibility and had left a force to watch Acre under that most turbulent and war-hardened of Poitevin barons, his brother Geoffrey of Lusignan, who repulsed the sortie successfully. Once more Saladin’s troops showed no inclination to press home their advantage by attacking the infantry. Saladin had won a victory, but discouragement at its indecisiveness combined with the fearful stench from the bodies of those slain in the battle made him retire a dozen or so miles to a hill called al-Kharrubah where he went into winter quarters.

Winter was a time of great hardship for the crusaders lying before Acre, because during that season they could not control the seas, and hence lacked reinforcements and supplies. The kingdom of Jerusalem had always relied heavily on Italian naval forces, and after the battle of Hattin the Christians clinging to the coast of Syria and Palestine were almost entirely dependent on them. We have seen how a Sicilian fleet saved Tripoli, Tyre, and Antioch in the summer of 1188. Although the Sicilians did not appear again, each spring saw the arrival of Genoese, Pisan, and Venetian squadrons. A Pisan fleet covered king Guy's march to Acre in August 1189. These great fleets brought supplies, and their crews were excellent soldiers. During the winter the crusaders had to rely on such vessels as they kept in their own ports, and as a result during that season the Egyptian navy was usually in command of the sea. In this winter of 1189-1190 a fleet from Egypt provisioned and reinforced the garrison of Acre while the crusaders suffered severely from shortage of supplies, but in the spring the Italian ships once again assumed command of the seas. While a determined effort on the part of the Egyptians could usually get a few ships into Acre, in general during the summer it was effectively blockaded on the sea side.

Although Richard and Philip Augustus had postponed the commencement of their crusade from April to July, the most powerful baron of France started at the earlier date. Henry, count of Champagne and count-palatine of Troyes, was master of a large and rich feudal state. As his mother Mary was half-sister to both Richard and Philip, he was the nephew of both kings. He was accompanied by two of his uncles, Theobald, count of Blois, and Stephen, count of Sancerre, together with count Ralph of Clermont, count William of Chalon, count John of Ponthieu, and a number of important barons. According to the ‘Eracles he took with him king Philip’s train of siege engines. This formidable force arrived at Acre near the end of July 1190. As Saladin had already sent part of his forces to watch the movements of Frederick of Swabia, count Henry’s arrival forced him to withdraw his main army from the vicinity of Acre.


A monarch preparing to go on a crusade was faced with both financial and political problems. He had to raise enough money to finance his expedition, and he wanted to secure the safety of his kingdom until his return. The political difficulties faced by Richard were unusually great, and his attempts to solve them were notably incompetent. The king was unmarried, and his heir would be either his brother John or his nephew Arthur. Norman feudal custom favored the uncle against the nephew, English law was not clear, but leaned the other way. John was a grown man, while Arthur was a young boy. Naturally John would try to do all he could to place himself in a strong position in case Richard failed to return. Richard gave John extensive lands in England in addition to the great earldom of Gloucester that he had just obtained by marriage. John received two great honors, Lancaster and Tickhill, and complete control over the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

But Richard gave his brother no place in the government of the rest of the realm. This was placed in the hands of two justiciars. One of these, Hugh de Puiset, bishop of Durham, was a man of noble birth, haughty, turbulent, and grasping. The other, William Longchamp, bishop of Ely, was of lowly origin, arrogant, arbitrary, and stubborn. The two men hated each other cordially. These three men — John, Hugh de Puiset, and William Longchamp — quarreled enthusiastically throughout Richard’s absence. The news of their disputes worried him continuously. While in Sicily he tried to improve the situation by sending to England Walter of Coutances, archbishop of Rouen, with a commission empowering him to take over the government if he saw fit. At the same time Richard made the English situation worse by solemnly declaring Arthur his heir, and hence driving John to desperate measures. John's attempts to strengthen his position in anticipation of his brother’s possible death on the crusade seriously impeded the success of the expedition by hastening, at least to some extent, Richards return to the west.

King Philip's political problems were much simpler. He was a widower with an infant son. He entrusted the regency to his mother Adela and her brother William, archbishop of Rheims. The only serious menaces to this regency were the great vassals of the crown and the two Capetian lords who would be heirs to the throne if Philip’s young son Louis died. Richard, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Philip, count of Flanders, Henry, count of Champagne, and Hugh, duke of Burgundy, went on the crusade, leaving only one peer of France at home — the comparatively harmless count Raymond of Toulouse. The head of the senior cadet line of the Capetians, Robert, count of Dreux, was at Acre before Philip left home. The king took with him the head of the junior branch, Peter of Courtenay, count of Nevers. Thus north of Toulouse, there was no baron left in France powerful enough to give any trouble. Yet, as we shall see, it seems likely that it was primarily the political situation at home that cut short Philip’s stay in Palestine. No medieval monarch could leave his kingdom with a really free mind unless, like Frederick Barbarossa, he left behind a son and heir of full age able to rule the realm.

According to Roger of Hoveden, Richard found 100,000 marks in his father’s treasury. The Itinerarium states that in 1188 Henry II gave the Templars and Hospitallers 30,000 marks which they spent on the defense of Tyre. These figures do not seem unreasonable. In 1207 king John would collect about 90,000 marks from a tax of a thirteenth on the income and movables of the laity alone. As the Saladin tithe was a levy of one tenth on both clerics and laymen, it probably yielded a substantially larger sum. As soon as he came to the throne, Richard proceeded to build up his financial reserves. He exacted large sums for reliefs and fines. Several of his father’s servants paid considerable sums for his good-will, and generous fines were offered for lands, castles, and offices. But it seems unlikely that Richard actually collected very much extra money before he left. In general he must have relied on what Henry had accumulated.

There is little information about the costs of the crusade. Richard spent some £5,000 in acquiring thirty-three ships and giving their crews a year's pay. The chroniclers estimate the fleet that finally sailed at about 100 ships. We have no way of knowing whether we have here the cost of one third of the king's fleet or whether Richard's barons paid for the other ships. The king was not in a penurious mood, for he authorized the expenditure of some £2,800 for improving the fortifications of the Tower of London. Richard liked to be able to spend with a free hand, and we shall find him using every opportunity to replenish his treasury as he journeyed toward Palestine.

Almost nothing is known about the financial affairs of king Philip, but he was undoubtedly poorer than his rival. A guess based on later evidence would place Philip’s annual revenue at about half of what Richard drew from England alone. The Gesta regis Henrici II states that Richard at his accession promised Philip 24,000 marks, and if this was actually paid, it must have formed an important part of the French king's war chest. In addition, a tax similar to the Saladin tithe was levied in France, but it seems unlikely that Philip himself could have received the yield outside his demesne. Such great lords as Philip of Flanders, Henry of Champagne, and Hugh of Burgundy had their own expeditions to finance. As to Philip’s expenses we have only one useful figure — he paid the Genoese 5,850 marks to transport his army and to supply food for men and horses for eight months. Unfortunately the contract does not specify what kind of marks were meant — the mark of Paris was worth about one third as much as a mark sterling. The chroniclers indicate fairly clearly that throughout his crusade Philip was less well supplied with funds than was Richard.

King Richard spent May and early June of 1190 in a rapid survey of his duchy of Aquitaine. On June 18 he arrived at his castle of Chinon for a week’s stay. While there he appointed the commanders of his fleet and issued ordinances for its government. The commanders were Gerard, archbishop of Auch; Bernard, bishop of Bayonne; Robert of Sablé, the most powerful baron of Anjou; William of Fors, a Poitevin lord; and an English knight, Richard de Camville. The ordinances provided punishments for offences committed aboard the fleet. Thus if one man killed another, he was to be tied to the corpse and thrown into the sea. Richard de Camville was at Chinon when these decrees were issued. It seems probable that he and Robert of Sable took ship soon after. William of Fors was still with Richard at Vézelay on July 3. It is quite possible that the archbishop of Auch and the bishop of Bayonne had already started. Certainly an English fleet had sailed in April, and had followed the well established custom of stopping in Portugal to strike a few blows at the Moslems there. In late June or early July Richard dc Camville and Robert of Sablé joined the advance squadron at Lisbon with 63 ships. When king Richard issued his severe, almost savage ordinances for governing his fleet, he judged the nature of his seamen only too well. The sailors invaded Lisbon, raping and plundering at will, and their two commanders had considerable trouble reducing them to order. They finally sailed from Lisbon on July 24. At the mouth of the Tagus river they met William of Fors with 33 ships, and the whole fleet proceeded on its voyage.

On June 24, 1190, king Richard went from Chinon to Tours, where he stayed until the 27th. At Tours he solemnly received the scrip and staff of a pilgrim from the hands of archbishop Bartholomew.From Tours he rode eastward up the valley of the Cher, crossed the Loire at Sancerre, and arrived in Vézelay on July 2. Meanwhile king Philip had received the insignia of a pilgrim from his uncle William, archbishop of Rheims, in the abbey church of St. Denis on June 24. He was also given the standard of the Capetian house, the oriflamme, which he was entitled to bear as the advocate of the great abbey. Philip then proceeded to Vézelay and the two kings set out on their crusade on July 4. They travelled together as far as Lyons. From there Philip headed for Genoa, while Richard marched down the Rhone valley toward Marseilles, which he reached on July 31.

As the reader thinks of Richard and Philip Augustus leading their crusading forces from Vézelay to Lyons, what sort of picture should take shape in his mind? Should he imagine serried ranks of soldiers flowing along the roads or a few small bands of armed men? Should he think in terms of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands? The only truthful answer the historian can give is that he does not know. The bane of all scholars who attempt to deal with the military history of the Middle Ages is the impossibility of giving any reliable estimates of numbers. When a medieval writer had to guess at a number, he did so with lavish generosity. When he was an eye-witness, he made his estimates with dashing casualness. The figures given by contemporary writers are usually magnificently improbable round numbers. Their complete unreliability is shown most clearly on the few occasions when precise numbers are given. They are always extremely low compared to the more usual rounded figures. Ferdinand Lot has made an attempt to estimate the size of important medieval armies by using a wide range of methods, but the results, while more probable than the figures presented by the chroniclers, are far from convincing. In this chapter the practice will be to mention a number occasionally when it seems probable but in general to refrain from numerical estimates. In this particular case, the march across France of Richard and Philip, we have some fairly good evidence. Philip contracted with the Genoese for the passage of 650 knights and 1,300 squires. Lot states that there were probably three or four times that many infantry “according to the custom of the time”. We cannot, however, find any actual evidence that Philip had infantry with him. As Lot himself declares that the emperor Frederick’s crusading host was composed entirely of mounted men, it seems reasonable to suppose that Philip's was too. Lot estimates Richard’s force at 800 from the number of ships he is said to have hired at Marseilles, but we see no reason to rely on the chronicler’s statement about the ships, and we may well entertain some doubt as to how many men Richard’s ships could carry. Certainly if Richard led 800 men, it was a strangely composed army. He had with him five prelates, the archbishops of Canterbury and Rouen and the bishops of Bath, Salisbury, and Evreux, two barons of some position, Andrew of Chauvigny and Garin fitz Gerald, three minor barons, and some dozen important knights. The bulk of the English army was aboard the fleet and Richard’s escort was clearly little more than his mesnie. Hence the estimate of 800 men seems rather high.

King Richard expected to meet his fleet, or at least the advance squadrons of it, at Marseilles. It is inconceivable that the king could have thought that William of Fors, who had been with him at Vézelay on July 3, could have reached the coast, boarded his ship, and brought his squadron to Marseilles by July 31; but the ships that had sailed in April would have been there had they not dallied in Portugal. After waiting some days, Richard hired other ships and sailed from Marseilles sometime between August 7 and 9. On the 13th he reached Genoa, where he found Philip Augustus sick. The English king then proceeded down the Italian coast. It was a leisurely journey. Occasionally he would land to explore the countryside. Sometimes he would travel by land and rejoin his ships farther down the coast. At the mouth of the Tiber he had a conference with Octavian, cardinal-bishop of Ostia, at which the king apparently expressed rather freely his low opinion of the reigning pope, Clement III. He spent ten days in Naples and five more in Salerno. While at the latter place he received the advice of the doctors of that famous medical center about the best methods for preserving his health. He also received word that his fleet, which had arrived at Marseilles on August 22 and left on August 30, was approaching Messina in Sicily. The English fleet reached Messina on September 14 and Philip arrived from Genoa two days later. Richard himself camped outside Messina on September 22 and entered the town the next day.


King Richard did not regard his visit to Sicily as a mere halt to provision his fleet. He had family business to transact, and he hoped that its successful completion would materially increase his resources for the crusade. When king William II of Sicily had died in 1189, Tancred, count of Lecce, had seized the throne. William’s widow Joan was Richard’s sister, and the English king intended to collect her dowry, as well as the legacy which William had left his father Henry II. Tancred was in a difficult political position. His right to the kingdom was disputed by the Hohenstaufen heir, Henry VI, who had married his aunt Constance. In the autumn of 1190 Henry, now Holy Roman emperor, was consolidating his position in central Italy in preparation for a campaign against Tancred. The Capetian kings were traditional friends of the house of Hohenstaufen, and the Plantagenets were their traditional enemies. Hence one might argue that Tancred should quickly have tried to form an alliance with Richard. But Tancred had no great desire to pay Joan’s dowry, and England was a long way off and could be of little actual aid to him. An alliance with Philip Augustus might simultaneously save the dowry and procure an effective friend against Henry VI. Tancred approached king Philip with an offer of a marriage between their children. Philip, however, had no intention of offending Henry VI, especially at a time when he was leaving his kingdom, perhaps forever. He declined the offer. This left Tancred no alternative but to come to terms with Richard.

While Tancred was considering what course he should follow, Richard in his usual high-handed manner was preparing for a long stay in Sicily. About a week after his arrival at Messina he recrossed the straits and seized the Calabrian town of Bagnara. There he placed his sister Joan in the care of an adequate garrison. His next step was to take possession of a monastery, apparently on an island in the strait of Messina, as a warehouse for his supplies. Richard also built a wooden castle which he named "Mategriffons" ("to stop the Greeks") outside the walls of Messina to serve as his own headquarters. Meanwhile, as one might have expected, the English troops and sailors had quarreled with the citizens of Messina and riots had ensued. On October 4 a conference to settle the relations between the army and the town was broken up by further riots. Richard's easily exhausted patience gave way. He took the city by storm, and his troops sacked it thoroughly.

The capture of Messina probably hastened Tancred’s desire to make terms with Richard, He agreed to pay 40,000 ounces of gold—20,000 for Joan's dowry and 20,000 as the marriage portion of his daughter, who was to marry young Arthur of Brittany, Richard’s acknowledged heir. Richard promised to aid Tancred against any foe who attacked him while the English king was in Sicily. After the conclusion of the treaty, the English returned the plunder taken from Messina.

The relations between Richard and Philip Augustus during their stay in Sicily were rather better than one would have expected, and both monarchs showed unusual forbearance. When the people of Messina attacked the English, the French refused to aid their crusading allies; yet once the city was captured Philip insisted that his standard should fly beside Richard’s on its walls. Richard was annoyed, but gave way. A few days later the two kings combined to issue regulations governing the crusading armies. If a man died on the crusade, he could dispose of half the property he had with him by will, so long as he did not leave it to legatees at home, but to fellow-crusaders or to religious foundations in Palestine. The other half was placed in the hands of a committee of prelates and barons for the benefit of the crusade as a whole. No one in the army except knights and clerics was to gamble, and they were forbidden to lose more than 20 shillings in 24 hours. The kings could gamble as much as they pleased, and the servants in their courts could do so if they kept within the 20-shilling limit. No sailor or ordinary soldier was to change masters without permission. Speculation in food was forbidden and mercantile profits were limited to ten per cent. The prices of bread and wine were regulated. Finally, a penny sterling was declared to be worth 4 pennies Angevin.

The treaty between Richard and Tancred brought up a question that was to be a frequent cause of friction between the two crusading monarchs. Before they had left Vézelay, the two kings had agreed to share all conquests equally, and apparently Philip demanded half the money Richard obtained from Tancred. As it is difficult to see how Philip could reasonably regard this as spoils of conquest, the compromise by which Richard gave Philip one third seems a decided tribute to Richard’s generosity and desire for peace. It is likely that it was this windfall which enabled Philip to make generous gifts of money to his noble followers at Christmas — 1,000 marks to the duke of Burgundy, 600 to the count of Nevers, and lesser sums to many others. Soon it was Philip who needed patience. In a mock tourney fought with reeds Richard fell into a silly quarrel with a Poitevin knight, William of Les Barres. Actually it was probably a flaring up of ancient grievances. William was the most noted French warrior of his day and one of Philip’s most trusted captains. He had commanded French forces raiding Richard’s lands in 1188-1189. Richard insisted that William leave the crusading host, and only long, patient negotiation by Philip and his nobles persuaded him to relent.

Early in 1191 a new cloud appeared to darken the relations between the two kings. Although Richard was still officially affianced to Alice of France, he had entrusted his mother Eleanor with the task of finding him another bride. She had persuaded king Sancho VI of Navarre to give Richard his daughter Berengaria. Early in January Eleanor and Berengaria reached northern Italy on their way to Messina. Apparently they were escorted by a belated French crusader, Philip of Alsace, count of Flanders. The approach of Berengaria made the problem of Alice acute. Late in February Philip of Flanders left his fair companions at Naples and proceeded by ship to Messina. This old and experienced politician seems to have brought the two kings together to clear up the points in dispute between them. As the French and English versions of the treaty concluded differ decidedly, we shall probably never know just what the agreement was, but it is clear that Philip released Richard from his promise to marry Alice, Richard promised Philip 10.000 marks payable in Normandy, and various territorial settlements were made. On March 30 Philip sailed from Messina on his way to Acre.

Queen Eleanor was as unhurried a tourist as her son, and it was the end of March before she reached Reggio in Calabria. There Richard met his mother and fiancée and escorted them to Messina. As early as February the king had been disturbed by reports of the quarrels among the rulers of England and had decided to send home Walter of Coutances, archbishop of Rouen. Early in April the archbishop and the aged queen departed for England. Berengaria was placed in the care of queen Joan of Sicily, who was to accompany her brother to Palestine. On April 10, 1191, Richard’s fleet sailed from Messina.


According to the contemporary chronicles, Richard’s fleet as it sailed from Messina consisted of about 180 ships and 39 galleys ranged in eight divisions. The first line was composed of three very large ships, one of which carried Joan and Berengaria and the other two the royal treasure. Then followed six lines of ships. The last division was made up of the galleys under the king’s personal command. The divisions were ordered to stay near enough so that a trumpet blast could be heard from one to another, and the ships in the divisions were to keep within calling distance of one another. At night Richard placed a great lantern on his galley to guide stragglers. Unfortunately the weather disrupted these careful arrangements. A severe storm struck the fleet, and many ships, including the one carrying the royal ladies, got detached from the main body. On April 17 Richard arrived at Crete, leaving the next day. Rhodes was apparently more attractive or, as one chronicler states, Richard was not feeling well. He reached that island on April 21 and did not leave until May 1.

A week before Richard left Rhodes, some of the ships which had strayed from the fleet during the storm were driven to the coast of Cyprus. Among these were the three great leaders of the fleet bearing the royal ladies and the treasure. Two or three ships, probably including at least one of the treasure ships, were wrecked near the port of Limassol. The vessel carrying Joan and Berengaria cast anchor outside the port. Many of the men on the wrecked ships were drowned, including the keeper of the Great Seal of England, whose body was later found with the seal on it. Others succeeded in making their way to the shore. They were robbed of all their possessions by the Cypriotes, and some were imprisoned. Others seem to have seized a fort of some sort and defended it against their foes. Stephen of Turnham, who was probably the commander of the ladies’ escort, tried to supply these men, but was prevented from doing so by Cypriote troops.

The ruler of Cyprus, who called himself Byzantine emperor, was Isaac Comnenus. In 1184, even before Isaac Angelus had over­thrown Andronicus Comnenus at Constantinople (1185) and seized the imperial throne, Isaac Comnenus, with the aid of his brother-in-law, the great Sicilian admiral Margarit, had seized Cyprus; he naturally refused to recognize the Angeli. The English chroniclers call Isaac Comnenus a thorough villain, who refused to send supplies to the Christians in Palestine, robbed and murdered all pilgrims who came to his shores, and oppressed the people of Cyprus. As Isaac seems to have been friendly with the group of Syrian barons headed by Conrad of Montferrat, some of this may represent enthusiastic political libel. It is, however, clear that the Cypriotes had no deep affection for their ruler, and that he plundered Richard’s men who were cast on his shore. Isaac tried to persuade Joan and Berengaria to land, but they discreetly declined to do so and stayed outside the port. They were rescued from this rather uncomfortable position on May 6 by the arrival of Richard.

The English king promptly demanded that Isaac Comnenus release his prisoners and return all the booty taken from the men and their wrecked ships. When Isaac refused, Richard led his galleys and smaller ships into the port, beached them, and landed with his troops. Although Isaac had drawn up an army on the shore, the Cypriotes, perhaps because of lack of enthusiasm for their cause, offered little resistance to the English, and soon fled. As the English were on foot and did not know the country, they made little effort to pursue their foes. But Richard quickly disembarked some horses, and early the next morning attacked Isaac’s camp some distance inland. Again Isaac and his men fled, leaving a great deal of booty and, more important still, good war-horses in Richard’s hands.

On May 11 three galleys arrived at Limassol bearing Guy of Lusignan, king of Jerusalem; his brother Geoffrey; his ex-brother-in-law Humphrey of Toron; Bohemond III, prince of Antioch; and Bohemond’s son Raymond. This was essentially a political delegation. The king of Jerusalem and his supporters wanted to persuade Richard, before he reached Palestine, to favor their cause in a quarrel over the crown of Jerusalem, which, as we shall see, was now raging between the Lusignans and Conrad of Montferrat. The two Lusignan brothers, who had each in his turn been driven from Poitou for an act of violence against the agents of their lord, might well feel some apprehension concerning Richard’s attitude toward them. But he received them with enthusiasm and gave them rich gifts. Presumably he had already heard that his rival Philip, who had reached Acre on April 20, had espoused the cause of Conrad of Montferrat against the Lusignans.

The next day Richard took the step that he had been avoiding for s0 long. Nicholas, the royal chaplain, married him to Berengaria of Navarre, and she was solemnly crowned queen by John, bishop of Evreux. Thus the neglected fiancée became a neglected wife and started her long and unenviable career as queen and dowager queen of England. She and the priest who married her were to end their days in Le Mans— Berengaria as countess and Nicholas as bishop — under the firm rule of Philip Augustus.

Isaac Comnenus won decided to come to terms with Richard. At a meeting near Limassol he did homage to the English king, promised to pay him a large sum of money, and agreed to lead a body of troops to Palestine. But towards evening Isaac thought better of his bargain and fled into the interior of Cyprus. Richard then divided his galleys into two squadrons. One of these under Robert of Turnham was to sweep the coasts of Cyprus to the west to seize all Isaac’s ships and ports. He himself with the other squadron sailed east to Famagusta. The land forces under the command of king Guy followed along the coast. From Famagusta Richard and Guy went to Nicosia, where Richard rested while Guy reduced Isaac’s fortresses. Actually there was no serious resistance, Famagusta, Nicosia, and the castles surrendered when called upon to do so. In one castle king Guy captured Isaac’s daughter, who was placed in the care of Joan and Berengaria. At last, deserted by all, Isaac surrendered, asking only that he be not put in irons. Richard kindly ordered that he be given silver fetters and sent him off to prison in Tripoli in the care of his chamberlain, Ralph fitz Godfrey.

The conquest of Cyprus was a very profitable venture. In addition to the booty taken in battle and Isaac’s treasures, Richard levied a heavy tax on the island. The English chroniclers state that he took one half the movable property of every inhabitant. But more important was the fact that Cyprus was extremely fertile, and lay not far from the coast of Palestine. Throughout the crusade it was a valuable source of supplies. Richard left a small garrison on the island under the command of two hardy warrior, Richard de Camville and Robert of Turnham, and on June 5, 1191, set sail for Acre .


When king Richard had left Marseilles for his leisurely journey down the Italian coast, a group of his subjects had taken ship for a direct journey to Palestine. This party was headed by two elderly men who had played an important part in the reign of Henry II and who were looked on with suspicion by his successor — Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, and Ranulf de Glanville, who had been Henry II’s justiciar. With them went Ranulf’s nephew and protégé, Hubert Walter, bishop of Salisbury, who was already well liked by Richard and was to become one of his prime favorites. The party also included three Norman barons and two from the north of England. This band of crusaders had arrived at Tyre on September 16 and at Acre on October 12, 1190.

Ralph dc Diceto gives us a panorama of the army besieging Acre shortly after the arrival of archbishop Baldwin. By that time the host was large enough to blockade the city completely. Each end of the line where it rested on the sea was held by men from the fleets — the Genoese on the north and the Pisans on the south. Next to the Genoese came the knights of the Hospital, and there­after Conrad of Montferrat, a number of French bands each commanded by its own lord, the English under bishop Hubert of Salisbury, the Flemings under the seneschal of Flanders, king Guy with his brothers Aimery and Geoffrey, and the barons of the kingdom of Jerusalem who followed his banner. South of Guy’s forces were the knights of the Temple and the band of James of Avesnes. Between them and the Pisans on the coast were the Danes, Frisians, and Germans under duke Frederick of Swabia, landgrave Louis of Thuringia, and count Otto of Guelders. This was a formidable force, but it was less an army than a conglomeration of armed bands, Conrad of Montferrat was important because of his warlike vigor and his popularity with the Palestinian baronage, Guy because of his royal title, Henry of Champagne because of his great feudal power, which made him overlord of many of the French captains, and Frederick of Swabia because of his royal birth, but no one man stood forth as a dominant and effective leader. The army had plenty of generals but no commander-in-chief, while in Sicily there waited not one commander-in-chief but two.

On October 21 the chaplain of archbishop Baldwin wrote to the chapter of Canterbury. The army was thoroughly wicked and indulged in all vices. The princes were jealous of one another and quarreled continually. The lesser men were desperately impoverished. Many men had been lost in battle and many more had died; indeed several nobles mentioned in the panorama sketched by Ralph de Diceto were dead. It is doubtful whether the good monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, realized the overwhelming significance of one death reported by the chaplain — that of Sibyl, queen of Jerusalem, elder daughter of king Amalric and wife of Guy of Lusignan. In fact death had taken not only king Guy’s wife, but also his two daughters by her.

The death of queen Sibyl made Guy of Lusignan’s position extremely uncomfortable. Even before this Conrad of Montferrat had refused either to recognize Guy’s rights in Tyre or to obey him as king, and the majority of the barons of the kingdom had followed Conrad’s leadership. Now, Guy’s only claim to the throne was that he had been crowned and anointed, and had done nothing to deserve deposition.

The heir by blood of queen Sibyl was her sister Isabel, who was, however, married to a man thoroughly despised by the barons, Humphrey of Toron, handsome, gay, gentle, and amiable — qualities most unsuitable in a king of Jerusalem. To Conrad of Montferrat the solution seemed simple and obvious. The marriage of Isabel and Humphrey should be annulled, and he should marry the lady. Isabel’s mother, Maria Comnena, was the wife of Balian of Ibelin, one of Conrad’s strongest supporters, and she had never liked Humphrey of Toron. Thus her mother and the barons put all the pressure they could on Isabel to accept Conrad’s suggestion. Unfortunately for all concerned, the very qualities that made Humphrey an unpromising candidate for the crown made him a pleasant husband, and Isabel loved him. Only when the gentle Humphrey had been driven off by his fierce foes was Maria able to prevail over her daughter. Two prelates, archbishop Ubald of Pisa, who was the papal legate, and Philip of Dreux, bishop of Beauvais, were glad to aid. Maria calmly swore that Isabel had been forced to marry Humphrey against her will, and the marriage was solemnly annulled. Only one stumbling block remained. Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury was a stern old prelate with a rigid sense of propriety. His unpopularity with king Richard stemmed from his fruitless prohibition of the marriage of the king's brother John to Isabel, countess of Gloucester. Now he firmly forbade the marriage of Conrad and Isabel of Jerusalem. But Baldwin was old and worn. He died on November 19, 1190, and five days later Conrad and Isabel were married. As far as Conrad was concerned, he was king of Jerusalem.

When Philip Augustus reached Acre on April 20, 1191, he promptly aligned himself with the party supporting Conrad. The reasons for this decision are obvious. Conrad was the husband of the heiress to the kingdom of Jerusalem. He was a vigorous soldier and effective ruler who had the support of the majority of the barons of the kingdom. In taking his part, Philip was clearly following the sensible course. Philip’s decision explains Guy’s trip to Cyprus to meet Richard. With Philip committed to one side of the controversy, even an old foe of the Plantagenet house had hopes that he might persuade Richard to take the other.


The arrival of Philip Augustus before Acre gave the crusading army, for the time being at least, a single commander. Although the French king probably did not bring a very large force, his presence increased the enthusiasm and coordination with which the besiegers pressed their attacks. While masses of crossbowmen made it almost impossible for the garrison to man the walls, artillerymen pounded the fortifications with mangonels and rams housed in "cats", while other troops mined under them. Great towers were built from which missiles could be rained on the walls. The garrison resisted vigorously, and burned many of the towers and engines, but they were in desperate straits. Apparently Saladin had taken advantage of a temporary naval supremacy in the waters of Acre in late January and early February to attempt to replace the exhausted garrison with fresh troops. This process had been interrupted before its completion by the arrival of an Italian squadron, with the result that the new garrison was much smaller than the previous one. Moreover, Saladin himself was extremely short of troops. His nephew Taql-ad-Dm, al-Muzaffar Umar, lord of the region about Hamah in Syria, had started a private war of aggrandizement against his neighbors, and the emirs of the region had hastened home to protect their own lands. Hence at a crucial time Saladin was left with only his household troops and a few contingents from Damascus and Egypt. If Philip had launched a series of major assaults, he could probably have taken Acre before Richard arrived, but he declined to do this.

King Richard sailed from Cyprus, as we have noted, on June 5, 1 191. The next day he landed at Tyre, but the lieutenant of Conrad of Montferrat refused to admit him to the city, and he camped outside the walls. A day or two later the king and his galleys reached Acre, to be followed in a few days by the rest of his fleet. On his journey Richard and his galley's met a great enemy ship laden with reinforcements and supplies for the garrison of Acre. The accounts of this affair differ widely. The estimates of the troops aboard range from 650 to 1,300, with the first figure the more likely. Some accounts have it that the English galleys sank the ship by ramming it, while others insist the crew sank it to avoid capture. At any rate the ship was destroyed, and its loss was a serious blow to the morale of the garrison of Acre.

No sooner had Richard reached Acre than both he and Philip fell sick. They were not, however, too sick to quarrel. King Philip promptly demanded that, in accordance with their agreement to share all acquisitions made during the crusade, Richard should give him half of Cyprus. Since count Philip of Flanders had just been killed at Acre (June 1), and his great fief had come into Philip’s custody, Richard replied by demanding half of Flanders. These were simply unamiable pleasantries. Richard’s behavior was not far from outrageous. Count Henry of Champagne had run out of funds, asked Philip for a loan, and received the answer that he could have the money as a mortgage on Champagne; Richard gave him the funds he needed. As count Henry was Richard’s nephew as well as Philip’s, this may have been pure generosity to a relative. But when Richard offered to pay four bezants a month to all knights who would serve him, in contrast to the three paid by Philip, he was clearly bent on humiliating the French king. Then Richard immediately demonstrated his support of Guy of Lusignan. When the Pisans and Genoese sought to do him homage as a leader of the host, he rebuffed the Genoese because they had supported Conrad. In mid-June king Guy carried before the kings a formal complaint against Conrad as a contumacious vassal, and Geoffrey of Lusignan challenged Conrad to battle. Conrad retired to Tyre in anger. It is hard to believe that Guy took this step without Richard's approval.

About the time of Richard's arrival, Saladin had brought his army close to Acre, so that he could give all possible aid to the garrison. He arranged that, when the crusaders launched a serious attack on the walls, the garrison would beat their drums to notify the Turkish troops, who would then assault the besiegers from the rear. King Philip was the first of the crusading kings to recover his strength, and about July 1 he launched an attack on the city, while Geoffrey of Lusignan held off Saladin’s troops. On July 3 Philip’s miners succeeded in bringing down a section of the city wall, and the king ordered an attack, but the defenders held firm and the besiegers were repulsed with the loss of Aubrey Clement, marshal of France. During this attack on the breach Saladin hurled his cavalry against the crusader's camp. As the camp was well fortified with a deep trench, and firmly held by the crusading infantry, the Turkish attack was repulsed. Once more Saladin discovered that his horsemen could not break a line of infantry, especially when it was protected by a ditch. The next day he withdrew his troops and proceeded to ravage the neighboring countryside so that it could not supply the crusaders after their capture of Acre. On July 6 Richard was well enough to be carried out to direct an attack on the walls by his troops. Each day the crusaders assaulted the walls, and each day they were repulsed, but the garrison of Acre grew steadily weaker from losses and simple exhaustion. On July 11 the garrison repulsed a great assault by the English and Pisans. The next day they asked for terms of surrender.

The contemporary writers agree on the chief items in the terms offered the garrison of Acre, but, as usual, vary widely on the exact figures involved. The lives of the garrison were to be spared. The True Cross was to be returned to the Christians, and a large number of Christian prisoners were to be released. The statements about the number of prisoners to be freed are irreconcilable — the most reliable source seems to be Richard’s own statement that he was to receive 1,500. The sultan was to pay a heavy ransom, probably 200,000 dinars, for the garrison. The troops in Acre were to give hostages to guarantee the carrying out of this agreement..

In accordance with their agreement to share all conquests, Philip and Richard divided Acre between them. Philip took the castle for his residence while Richard reserved for himself the house of the Templars. Each appointed his own commander for his part of the city — Dreux of Mello for Philip and Hugh of Gournay for Richard. The nobles and knights of the crusading host occupied the houses of the city. This led to immediate difficulties. The Christian citizens of Acre who had been expelled by Saladin demanded their property. It was finally agreed that the citizens should have possession of their houses, but must lodge the crusaders as guests. Another important task was the purification of the churches of Acre, which had been defiled by being in the possession of the "infidel". This was carried out on July 16 by the papal legate with the assistance of the prelates of the host.

After the fall of Acre king Philip had but one burning desire — to go home as quickly as possible. In order to understand this wish we need not believe the wild tales of contemporary writers, such as the story that count Philip of Flanders on his deathbed told the king that a group of crusaders planned to murder him, or that when king Philip was extremely sick, Richard tried to shock him to death with a false report of the death of his son Louis. Prince Louis was in fact desperately ill, and the reports of his condition may possibly have reached Philip. Then the death of count Philip of Flanders had created a situation that could easily be too difficult for a regency. The count had no children and his heir was his sister Margaret, the wife of count Baldwin of Hainault. Isabel, Philip's first queen, had been a daughter of Baldwin, and he had been promised Artois after count Philip's death. While as a matter of fact the regents of France had no great difficulty in seeing Artois in the name of prince Louis, Philip may well have feared that Baldwin would repudiate the earlier agreement and seize all Flanders. But not even these fairly serious political considerations are needed to explain Philip’s desire to quit the crusade.

He had been very sick and was far from completely recovered. He was, moreover, a proud young monarch with a jealous sense of the respect that was due to the king of France. Yet his vassal, Richard of England, outshone him and humiliated him. Richard had more money and more troops. He was ten years older than Philip, and was widely famed as a warrior. Richard was arrogant, high-handed, and hot-tempered. In a military expedition from Acre to Jerusalem, Philip could not hope to compete with Richard for military glory, and he would have to suffer from his rival's bumptiousness. One can hardly blame the French king for wanting to depart. Richard seems to have opposed the plan but not very vigorously. He could clearly have more fun without Philip to hamper him, and the French troops were to remain under the duke of Burgundy. Philip cheerfully swore that he would respect Richard’s lands while he was on the crusade. While it is possible that Philip was plotting an attack on Normandy before Richard got home, it is probable that he was sincere at the moment and later yielded to temptation.

Before Philip departed, he and Richard made an honest attempt to settle the affairs of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Conrad of Montferrat, who had been styling himself “king-elect of Jerusalem” since May, was persuaded to return to Acre to plead his cause against king Guy before the two monarchs and the barons of the host. Both claimants swore to accept the decision of the assembly. It was decided that Guy was to hold the royal title for life but without any right to transmit it to his heirs. Conrad should hold Tyre, Sidon, and Beirut as a fief and he or his heir should succeed Guy as king. The revenues of the kingdom should be divided equally between Conrad and Guy. Geoffrey of Lusignan was to become count of Jaffa (Joppa), and hold Jaffa and Ascalon as a hereditary fief. Thus Guy kept the royal dignity, but the only demesne of any importance left to him that was actually in Christian hands was Acre, and this possession became of dubious value when a few days later king Philip handed over his half of the city to Conrad, along with his share of the hostages. Conrad showed his continued lack of enthusiasm for his crusading comrades by returning to Tyre with the hostages. On July 31, 1191, king Philip sailed for Tyre on his way home.


Richard's first concerns after Philip's departure were to repair the fortifications of Acre, and enforce the agreement that had led to its surrender. He immediately put men to work on the walls and towers of the city and sent messengers to Saladin to inform him when he expected the first installments of prisoners and money due under the truce. But before he could carry out his part of the agreement, Richard had to have at his disposal Philip's share of the hostages, whom Conrad had taken to Tyre. Bishop Hubert of Salisbury and count Robert of Dreux were sent to Tyre to direct Conrad to bring the hostages to Acre. Conrad refused to obey, and only when the French commander, duke Hugh of Burgundy, went to Tyre did he give up the hostages. Meanwhile envoys of Richard and Saladin had been carrying on negotiations, but we can get no clear picture of the details. Apparently at least one Christian mission visited the sultan’s prisons at Damascus.

When the time came for the payment of the first installment, something went wrong, but it is impossible to discover just what happened. The Christian writers state simply that Saladin failed to keep his promises. While the Moslem sources differ in detail, their stories are essentially the same. When the first payment came due, Saladin was thought to have on hand the True Cross, 100,000 dinars, and 1,600 prisoners, but he did not have certain captives who had been specifically named in one of the agreements. He offered to turn all these over to Richard and give hostages for completing the transfers if the king would free his hostages from the garrison of Acre. Or Richard could take the Cross, money, and prisoners, and give hostages to guarantee that he would free the hostages from Acre, Richard's envoys insisted that the installment be delivered, and their word accepted for the freeing of the hostages.

When Saladin refused, Richard lost his temper. He selected a few of the hostages who were important enough to be worth large ransoms. The rest he and the duke of Burgundy led outside the city and slaughtered in sight of Saladin’s host. The Moslem writers believed that this had been the king’s intention from the beginning — and Christian references to the murder as vengeance for the crusaders slain before Acre would seem to support their view, but this seems improbable. It is more likely that there was mutual distrust and misunderstanding between Richard and Saladin about the exact arrangements. Richard was by nature arrogant, impulsive, and impatient. He wanted to dear up the business so he could start his campaign. Hence he took what seemed the simplest course. No Christian king would worry much about the lives of two or three thousand Moslems. As to the Christian prisoners left in Saladin's hands, one is forced to conclude that Richard was convinced that few if any were men of importance. A chivalric king would worry little more about low-born Christian sergeants than about Moslems.

As king Richard waited at Acre, he must have considered the general strategic situation very carefully. He knew that, if his crusaders were adequately supplied with food and water and intelligently led, they could defeat any army Saladin was likely to muster. Apparently the sultan's best course was to use his large reserves of manpower to wear down the Christian army by continuous attacks in the field and by determined defense of all fortresses. Richard probably realized, however, that this policy was actually impossible. Saladin’s troops could not be persuaded to sacrifice themselves in fierce assaults on the crusading host in the hope that it would mean victory for their successors. The fall of Acre had completely discouraged the Moslem garrisons. In the purely military sense, Saladin’s one hope lay in a crushing defeat of his foes before his own men lost all their spirit. Richard's chief problem was to keep his troops supplied. The sultan had already ravaged the countryside extensively, and his light horsemen could easily complete the task. The crusading army would have to depend on its fleet for supplies. If it advanced inland, the army’s communications would have to be strongly defended. These considerations left Richard no choice as to his immediate course. An attempt to march direct from Acre to Jerusalem would take the army through very difficult country, the hills of Ephraim, and give it an impossibly long line of communications. The only practicable base for a march on Jerusalem was the port of Jaffa. Hence on August 22 king Richard led his host from Acre and started the journey down the coast.

Few captains in history have been as difficult to understand as Richard the Lion hearted. As a soldier he was little short of mad, incredibly reckless and foolhardy, but as a commander he was intelligent, cautious, and calculating. He would risk his own life with complete nonchalance, but nothing could persuade him to endanger his troops more than was absolutely necessary. His march along the coast was carefully planned. The army was organized in divisions, each of which consisted of both cavalry and infantry. On the inland side of each division marched the infantry — the archers and crossbowmen on the outside with the spearmen beside them ready to form a solid wall of spears if the enemy charged. To the seaward of the infantry rode the cavalry, and along the coast itself moved the baggage train. The daily marches were short, so that the infantry would not become exhausted. At each spot on the coast where ships could be brought up to the shore, Richard rested and supplied his army.

When the crusading army marched south from Acre, Saladin broke up his camp and followed. Keeping his main force concentrated some distance from his enemies, he sent bands of skirmishers to harass their march. The Turks would dash up to the crusaders, rain arrows on them, and ride away. In doing this, they suffered losses from the bolts of the crossbowmen. The armor of the crusading infantry protected them from the Turkish arrows, but the cavalry lost many horses. Saladin hoped that Richard would lose his head and order his cavalry to drive off the skirmishers. If they did this and became scattered, they would be easy prey for Saladin's main squadrons. But the English king kept his army in formation, and only permitted small detached bands of horsemen to attack the skirmishers. Early in the march the Turks had one small success. Two of the crusading divisions got separated far enough so that the enemy could break through, but Richard himself rushed to the scene, drove off the Turks, and closed up the line. The only Christian losses were a few infantry and some baggage animals. In this combat William of Les Barres performed so well that Richard abandoned his hostility to him.

Saladin soon lost hope of being able to tempt the crusaders to break their ranks, and decided that he would have to fight a pitched battle. For several days he and his commanders scouted the country­side in search of a suitable place. They finally chose a section of the route just north of the town of Arsuf. There a forest, lying to the east of the crusaders’ route, would shelter the main Turkish host until it was ready to attack. Apparently Saladin planned to throw the main weight of his assault against the rear-guard, in the hope of slowing it up enough to create a gap between it and the advanced troops. This might well cause the confusion needed to make possible a successful charge by the Turkish cavalry.

King Richard was fully aware that the pass between the forest of Arsuf and the sea was a likely spot for a Turkish attack, and as he approached it he arrayed his troops with particular care. The Templars formed the vanguard. Behind them came Richard's own troops, Bretons, Angevins, Poitevins, Normans, and English. Apparently king Guy commanded the Poitevins as well as the local barons of his party. Then came the French contingents. The Hospitallers formed the rear-guard. Count Henry of Champagne was entrusted with the task of watching the edge of the forest to give warning of a Turkish attack. Richard and duke Hugh of Burgundy as generals in command rode up and down the line to see that the divisions kept close together.

On the night of September 5, Richard camped between the sea and a marsh that covered him from attack. On the morning of the 6th the army set out for Arsuf. Soon its flank and rear were beset by Turkish skirmishers, and Saladin’s main force could be seen issuing from the woods and forming behind the skirmish line. Before long, the crusaders’ rear-guard was under full attack- The crossbowmen took heavy toll of their foes, but they found it difficult to withstand the rain of Turkish arrows, and the Hospitallers began to lose their horses at an alarming rate. They requested permission to charge the enemy cavalry. But king Richard did not want merely to repulse the attack — he hoped for a decisive victory. If he could get the entire Turkish host closely engaged, a cavalry charge could crush it. Hence he ordered the Hospitallers to wait until he gave the order for a general assault. The Hospitallers were soon goaded beyond endurance, however, and shortly before Richard was ready to give the signal for a cavalry charge, they passed through their infantry and rode at the Moslems. This left Richard and Hugh of Burgundy no choice, and they ordered a general attack. The cavalry squadrons rode through the infantry, and charged all along the line. The Turkish horse could not withstand the heavily armed knights. In the rear, where they had been closely engaged, their losses were very heavy. The French also slew many of their foes. The troops of Richard's command and the Templars barely made contact with the rapidly retreating Turks.

Saladin still had a chance for victory. At the battle of Acre the crusaders had routed the Turks, had scattered in the pursuit, and had been cut to pieces when the enemy rallied. Richard, however, had no intention of being caught in that trap. When his cavalry lost contact with the enemy, he halted and reformed his line so that the inevitable Turkish rally met another orderly charge. This process was repeated once more before the Turks finally retired into the forest of Arsuf. The battle was a decided victory for Richard. The enemy had suffered severely while his own losses had been comparatively light. The only crusader of importance to fall was the heroic James of Avesnes, who had probably pressed the pursuit with more enthusiasm than sense. But more important than the actual Turkish losses was the effect on their morale. Saladin’s troops became convinced that they could not win in the open field, and lost all interest in attempting pitched battles. The battle of Arsuf was the last Turkish attempt to destroy king Richard’s host.


Three days after the battle of Arsuf, the crusading army arrived at Jaffa. As Saladin had destroyed the fortifications of the town, the first task of the crusaders was to restore them. Meanwhile king Richard considered his future course. There were several possibilities, of which the most obvious was to march on Jerusalem as soon as he had established a firm base at Jaffa. But Richard was too much of a realist to regard this plan with any great optimism. Although he could undoubtedly lead his army to Jerusalem and lay siege to it, there was grave doubt as to whether he had enough men to keep his supply line secure. And if his communications were cut, he might well have difficulty extricating his army even if he captured Jerusalem. However much Jerusalem might be the goal of every enthusiastic crusader, its practical value to the kingdom of Jerusalem was doubtful. If it was to be held against Saladin, the holy city required a strong garrison and a safe route to the sea. The latter could be secured only by garrisoning the castles that lay between Jerusalem and Jaffa. Once they had visited the shrines of the holy city, the crusaders would go home, and the forces of the kingdom would have to hold the conquests. But the kingdom lacked a force adequate for such a purpose. If Richard did not realize this of his own accord, it was certainly pointed out to him by the barons of the kingdom.

A rather more tempting idea was to conclude a peace or a truce with Saladin. Jerusalem or at least access to it by pilgrims might be obtained in this way and the kingdom given time to recover its strength. This possibility appealed to Richard for reasons having nothing to do with the situation in Palestine. He was worried about affairs at home. The idea of having Philip Augustus in Paris while he was in Palestine could not fail to disturb an Angevin prince.

Furthermore, there was a military move that was comparatively safe and easy and would profit the kingdom of Jerusalem more than the recovery of its capital. Far down the coast stood the great fortress of Ascalon. This place and some lesser strongholds near it were of immense strategic importance, Saladin was primarily sultan of Egypt and drew most of his strength from that country. Ascalon was the key to the land route between Egypt and Saladin's Asiatic lands. A strong Christian garrison there could make communications with Egypt extremely difficult.

The possibilities open to Richard were perfectly obvious to Saladin. Immediately after the battle of Arsuf he called a council to decide what he should do. The sultan wanted to place strong garrisons in Jerusalem and Ascalon, strengthen their fortifications as much as possible, and await Richard’s next move. But his emirs insisted that he lacked troops enough to hold both places and must concentrate on the defense of one of them. He chose to defend Jerusalem, but decided to dismantle Ascalon so that Richard could not use it. On the same day that Richard entered Jaffa, Saladin reached Ascalon and began the destruction of its fortifications. Not until the last week of September did he rejoin the covering force that had been left to watch the crusading host at Jaffa.

During October 1191 king Richard made preliminary moves toward all three objectives. Without indicating whether his aim was Jerusalem or Ascalon, he concentrated all the forces he could muster at Jaffa. Many crusaders had quietly wandered back to the fleshpots of Acre. Early in October king Guy was sent to bring them back to the host. When he failed, Richard himself went to Acre. He was more successful, and brought some of them back to Jaffa. He also moved Berengaria and Joan from Acre to Jaffa. As soon as Richard returned from Acre, he entered into active negotiations with Saladin. Apparently he started with a proposition he had made earlier, and one that there was little or no chance that Saladin would accept, the cession to the Christians of all territory west of the Jordan. Then, if we are to believe Baha-ad-Din, Richard advanced a most extraordinary proposal. Queen Joan was to marry Saladin’s brother, al-Adil Saif-ad-Din ("Saphadin"), and they were to rule all the land west of the Jordan, the True Cross was to be returned, and all prisoners were to be freed. Saladin did not take this proposition seriously, but authorized his brother to continue negotiations. Soon Richard said that Joan refused to accept the idea, but might be persuaded if her future husband turned Christian. While it seems almost certain that these negotiations took place, it is difficult to believe that anyone took them very seriously. Yet it is equally difficult to see why Richard should make such a proposition if he had no intention of carrying it out. The only reasonable explanation seems to be that the king was caught for a while in a fog of romantic optimism.

In the last days of October Richard moved his army to the vicinity of Yazur a few miles southeast of Jaffa. There he restored two castles which Saladin had dismantled and which were needed to protect the road to Jerusalem. On November 15 he marched farther southeast along the same road to a place near Ramla, where he remained until December 23, when he moved on to Latrun. This placed the crusading host a little more than halfway along the route from Jaffa to Jerusalem. During these operations there were no major engagements. As the crusaders advanced, Saladin withdrew his main forces. There were many pleasant skirmishes in which the dashing English king and his knights could earn military renown. Sometimes a crusading scouting party on the flanks or in front of the host would meet a detachment of Turks. Other encounters were apparently Turkish attempts to interfere with Richard's supply line to Jaffa. These skirmishes did nothing to alter the conviction of the Turkish emirs that they did not want to fight pitched battles with the crusaders. They must also have strengthened Richard's realization that the Turkish army was still in existence and that a siege of Jerusalem would be a most hazardous venture.

While his army was making this very leisurely progress along the road to Jerusalem, Richard continued to negotiate with Saladin concerning the proposed marriage of Joan to the sultan’s brother. By November 9 he announced that the marriage would require papal approval and that he was seeking it. This effectively stalled the negotiations without actually closing them. Meanwhile Saladin had been in communication with Conrad of Montferrat, who offered to enter into an alliance with Saladin. The sultan was willing if Conrad would agree to enter the field against the crusaders, but the lord of Tyre was hesitant about going as far as that. Saladin believed that in alliance with Conrad he could drive Richard and his crusaders from the land. This prospect did not, however, fill his emirs with enthusiasm. They wanted peace and a treaty with Richard would bring it. Hence Saladin continued his negotiations with both factions.

Early in January 1192 Richard held a council to decide on the best course to pursue. This body came to the conclusion which the king had probably reached some time before — that the wisest plan was to rebuild the demolished fortifications of Ascalon. This would maintain the pressure on Saladin by threatening his communications with Egypt, and yet keep the army in close touch with its fleet. The decision not to lay siege to Jerusalem was immensely unpopular with enthusiastic crusaders. Every contemporary writer felt called upon to throw the blame for it on whatever group or leader he disliked. Hugh of Burgundy and his French followers, the barons of the kingdom, and Richard all stand accused of lack of crusading zeal. Actually it seems unlikely that any of the leaders except possibly Hugh wanted to attack Jerusalem. They realized the hazardous nature of the enterprise and the improbability that the city could be long held even if it were taken. Hugh, however, may have argued for laying siege to Jerusalem. Certainly he refused to join the march to Ascalon. This resulted in a division among the French crusaders. While Hugh and a majority of his followers retired to Jaffa and its vicinity and some went back to Acre, count Henry of Champagne accompanied his uncle Richard to Ascalon.

On January 20 the crusading army reached Ascalon, and set about the enormous task of restoring its extensive fortifications. The host was to remain at Ascalon until early June. For a considerable part of this time it consisted only of Richard’s own troops and those of count Henry. Late in January or early in February duke Hugh and his French forces joined the army at Ascalon. The duke, extremely short of funds, soon quarreled with Richard, who declined to help him. Hugh retired to Acre before the end of February, but a number of other French barons stayed at Ascalon until Easter. Despite several invitations Conrad of Montferrat absolutely refused to bring his forces to Ascalon. During the army’s stay at Ascalon, military activities were confined to a few raids against Saladin’s line of communications to Egypt. On one occasion Richard led a party to Darum, where he found a convoy of Christian prisoners bound for Egypt. Most of the Turkish escort escaped into the castle, but Richard rescued the captives. Other raids captured supplies and prisoners in the same region.

On April 15 an English cleric, Robert, prior of Hereford, arrived at Ascalon with letters for king Richard from his trusted servant William Longchamp, bishop of Ely. William had become involved in a violent quarrel with the king’s brother John and with his bastard half-brother Geoffrey, archbishop of York. When Walter of Coutances, archbishop of Rouen, had left the crusading host in Sicily to return to England, he had carried with him royal letters authorizing him to take over the government of the realm if such a move seemed necessary. In the hope of restoring peace in England, archbishop Walter had exercised these powers, deposed William Longchamp from the justiciarship, and assumed that office himself. While the account given in Longchamp's letters may well have been a highly colored one, Richard cannot have been unduly disturbed by the news. He had foreseen what had arisen; the man he had sent to handle it was firmly in control. What probably worried the king more was what the messenger told him of the activities of Philip Augustus. Philip had appeared at the Norman frontier with his private version of the treaty of Messina. When the seneschal of Normandy refused to honor it, the French king had entered into negotiations with prince John. At any rate the prior of Hereford’s report convinced Richard that he should not long delay his return to England.

King Richard fully realized that the first step required to pave the way for his own departure was to establish an effective government in the kingdom of Jerusalem. The compromise of the previous year had not worked, Conrad of Montferrat had held aloof from the crusade and had been attempting to negotiate a treaty with Saladin, and the chief barons of the kingdom had continued to support him. On April 16 Richard called a council of the prelates and barons of his host and asked them who should be king. Without hesitation they chose Conrad. Richard then displayed the good sense and magnanimity of which he was capable. He accepted the decision, and dispatched count Henry of Champagne to inform Conrad of his election. Count Henry went to Tyre to perform his errand, and went on to Acre. In Tyre preparations were under way for Conrad’s coronation. But it was not to be.

Isabel, marchioness of Montferrat and heiress to the kingdom of Jerusalem, liked to dally in her bath. On April 28, 1192, she was unusually slow, and Conrad, who was very hungry, got tired of waiting for his dinner. He went to the house of Philip of Dreux, bishop of Beauvais, to see if he could dine there. When he found that the prelate had already dined, Conrad started home. As he walked along a narrow street, two men approached him and one of them held out a letter is if he intended to give it to the marquis. As Conrad reached for the letter, both men plunged knives into him. The assassins were quickly seized and slain, Conrad lived long enough to receive the last rites of the church, and to command his wife to deliver Tyre to no one except Richard or a duly chosen king of Jerusalem.

All the contemporary writers agree that the murderers were followers of Rashid-ad-Din Sinan, master of the sect known as the Assassins. But there was a wide variation in the views as to the motives of the Assassin chieftain. Philip of Dreux and his fellow Frenchmen maintained that Richard had arranged the assassination, and informed king Philip of their belief. According to Rigord, Philip sent messengers to ask Sinan if the story was true, and received assurances that it was not. As a matter of fact, Philip must have known Richard well enough to realize that such an act would be impossible for him. The English king might kill a man in a burst of rage, but he would never plan a murder. Nevertheless the English writers were so troubled by the tale that they felt it necessary to invent a letter from Sinan guaranteeing the king’s innocence. A Moslem source asserts that Saladin offered Sinan a large sum to procure the murder of both Richard and Conrad or either one. As Conrad was easier to get at, he was the victim. Far more believable is the story told by the chroniclers who represented the views of the local barons. According to them, Conrad had seized a richly laden ship belonging to the Assassins and had refused to give up the valuable cargo.


When count Henry of Champagne, who was still at Acre, learned of Conrad’s death, he immediately set out for Tyre. Meanwhile the duke of Burgundy had demanded that the marchioness deliver the city to him as king Philip’s lieutenant, but she had resolutely refused. Although she was heiress to the kingdom, Tyre was her one concrete asset. The arrival of count Henry offered a simple solution. Here was a gay young bachelor, a competent captain, and the mightiest feudal prince of France. The barons loudly acclaimed him as their new king, and the lady offered her hand. Count Henry was willing to accept the double honor, but he dared not act without Richard’s assent. Needless to say, this was easily obtained. Henry of Champagne, Richard’s nephew, had been inclined to follow his leadership in the crusade. One writer states that Richard advised his nephew not to marry the lady. A possible reason for this attitude would be the fact that, if Henry were elected without marrying the heiress, his right to the throne could not be made dependent on her, and he could avoid the situation which Guy of Lusignan had faced when his wife Sibyl died. It seems unlikely that Richard was disturbed by the thought of the dubious separation of Isabel from Humphrey of Toron. But as a practical matter, if Henry wanted to be accepted as king, he had to marry the heiress of the land. The wedding was promptly celebrated, and Richard gave Henry the cities that were in Christian hands.

Although there is no doubt that Henry of Champagne was the effective ruler of the kingdom of Jerusalem from the time of his marriage in 1192 to his death in 1197, his exact legal status is not entirely clear. He seems never to have assumed the royal title and ordinarily called himself simply count-palatine of Troyes. Until 1194, this restraint might be accounted for by the fact that Guy of Lusignan, the crowned and anointed king, was still alive. In May 1192 Guy had become lord of Cyprus. Richard had sold the island to the Templars, but they had found it too hard to rule and had regretted their purchase. Guy obtained Richard's permission to buy it from them, Guy offered fiefs in Cyprus to those whose lands in Palestine had been conquered by Saladin, and built up a governing feudal class in the island. At his death in 1194, he was succeeded by his brother Aimery, who obtained the title king of Cyprus from emperor Henry VI. When Henry of Champagne died en 1197, Aimery of Lusignan married Isabel, and assumed the title king of Jerusalem and Cyprus.

When Richard heard that Henry of Champagne had married Isabel, he ordered him to bring all the troops in Tyre and Acre to join the host at Ascalon. Without waiting for their arrival, the king led his own forces south to attack Darum, and on May 22 he took the fortress by storm. The next day Henry and the duke of Burgundy arrived, and Richard gave the captured place to the new lord of Jerusalem. For the rest of the month the army moved about the countryside behind Ascalon. On May 29 another messenger, John of Alcençon, archdeacon of Lisieux, arrived from England. He carried further news of John’s negotiations with king Philip. Richard then called a council of his captains, and discovered that there was a strong general demand for an attack on Jerusalem. He finally agreed to stay in Palestine until Easter 1193 and to attack Jerusalem if it seemed feasible. On June 7, the host marched north from Ascalon, and four days later reached Bait Nuba, some thirteen miles from Jerusalem. Meanwhile Henry was sent to Acre to round up the crusaders who were still immersed in its fleshpots.

On June 2o, a spy brought word to Richard’s camp that a great caravan laden with supplies for Saladin’s army was en route from Egypt to Jerusalem, and he decided to attempt to intercept it. With a mixed force of French and English crusaders Richard marched south through the back country, and found the caravan and its escort camped at a watering place about half way between Darum and the Dead Sea. Taken by surprise, the caravan was easily captured. According to Baha-ad-Din the crusaders took 3,000 camels, 3,000 horses, 500 prisoners, and a large amount of supplies. By June 29 Richard was back at Bait Nuba with his booty.

While the crusading army was camped at Bait Nuba, the Turks made a number of attacks on its supply line to Jaffa. If Richard had had any real intention of besieging Jerusalem, these blows at his communications convinced him that it was not feasible. Apparently the king proposed a new alternative, one that was to be used by later crusades — an expedition against Egypt. But the duke of Burgundy and his French followers were completely disgusted with Richard’s caution and refused further cooperation- disappointed, discouraged, and torn by feuds the army retired to Ramla. Most of the French immediately went to Jaffa and on to Acre. Richard with a small detachment rode south to Darum, razed its fortifications, strengthened those of Ascalon, and then rejoined his army. On July 26 he led the remnants of the host into Acre.

During the spring and summer of 1192 Richard’s negotiations with Saladin had never ceased completely. When in mid-June the king realized that there was no hope whatever that he could take Jerusalem, he pressed more seriously his offers for peace or a truce. Although Saladin was fully aware both of Richard’s desire to go home and of the dissension in the crusading army, his own situation was such that he could not afford to ignore these offers. His people and troops were desperately tired of the war. The capture of the caravan from Egypt broke the spirit of the men he trusted most, his mamluks. Only the iron determination of Saladin kept the army together, and by early July the troops were in a mutinous mood. By the time Richard retired from Bait Nuba only one question blocked the reaching of an accord. Saladin insisted that Ascalon, the threat to his communications with Egypt, should be dismantled, but Richard absolutely refused to agree to this.

When Saladin learned that the crusading host had withdrawn to Acre, he decided on a quick stroke that would strengthen his position in future negotiations. On July 27 he pushed his unenthusiastic forces against Jaffa. When the crusaders had occupied the city in the previous autumn, they had hastily and imperfectly repaired the east gate and the adjoining walls. While Saladin’s miners dug under this weak spot in the fortifications, his siege engines battered it with great stones. The garrison of Jaffa defended the city vigorously, returning the fire of the siege engines and digging counter-mines. When a breach was finally made, they filled it with a solid wall of spears and shields. Saladin's troops fought half-heartedly, and only the thought of the booty in the city kept them at the assault. Finally on Friday, July 30, the garrison asked for terms. Saladin agreed to accept a money ransom to allow the Christians in the city to leave with their goods. But he could not control his troops, who had at last broken into the town. The garrison retired to the citadel while the Turks and Kurds pillaged. The disgusted sultan ordered his mamluks to stand at the city gates and take the booty away from the plunderers.

Word of the attack on Jaffa reached Richard at Acre on July 29. He immediately ordered Henry of Champagne to start south with the army while with a picked force of knights and crossbowmen he boarded a squadron of galleys to go by sea. When the king arrived at Jaffa, the Moslems were in full possession of the city, and their banners were flying from the walls. The garrison had just begun to file out of the citadel to surrender. But when they saw Richard's galleys, they took up their arms once more, and one of their number jumped from the walls down to the beach and swam out to the galleys to inform Richard that the citadel was still holding out. This was the sort of situation that delighted Richard. Bringing his galleys as near as possible to the shore, he and his men waded to the land and attacked the enemy on the beach. Supported by a sally from the citadel, the crusaders quickly drove the dispirited enemy from the city, slaying large numbers in the process.

Richard immediately set about repairing the walls of Jaffa. As the stench of dead bodies made the city extremely unpleasant, he and his tiny force camped outside the walls. Except for Henry of Champagne and a few followers who had come to Jaffa by sea after the army had been stopped at Caesarea by the Moslem host, the king had only the troops who had accompanied him in the galleys — perhaps fifty knights and a few hundred crossbowmen. As the knights had no horses they could only fight as spearmen or bow­men. When Saladin learned of this situation, he decided upon an attempt to capture Richard and his men by a surprise attack. After dark on August 4 the squadrons of Moslem horse moved against the camp. But their movement had been noticed, and Richard warned. He drew up his little troop in battle array. Between each two dismounted knights or sergeants stood a crossbowman. When Saladin's troops saw once more the solid line of crusaders, they lost all interest in battle. The mamluks made a few assaults and suffered heavily from the crossbow bolts. The rest of the troops simply refused to attack, and reminded Saladin that he had despoiled them of the booty found in Jaffa.

Soon after this little victory, Richard fell desperately ill. At about the same time duke Hugh of Burgundy died at Acre. Although the news of the duke's death is said to have cheered Richard so much that he began to recover, he realized that the crusade had spent its force. On September 2, a truce for three years was signed by the representatives of the king and the sultan. The Christians were to hold a narrow strip along the coast from Tyre to Jaffa. Ascalon was to have its fortifications demolished before it was turned over to the sultan. Both Christians and Moslems were to have free passage through the whole of Palestine. If the prince of Antioch and the count of Tripoli desired, they were to be included in the treaty. Once peace was concluded, Richard moved north along the coast to nurse his health in some more salubrious spot than death-ridden Jaffa. In order to prevent the French crusaders from using the truce to visit Jerusalem, the king arranged with Saladin to permit the passage only of pilgrims bearing his pass. A number of English pilgrims headed by bishop Hubert of Salisbury made visits to the holy city and its shrines. On October 9, 1192, king Richard set sail from Acre. The Third Crusade was ended.

In considering the accomplishments of the Third Crusade, it is necessary to distinguish between the crusade as a whole and the expedition led by Richard and Philip Augustus. Without the aid of the crusaders who had arrived in the autumn of 1189 Guy of Lusignan's attack on Acre would have been a futile gesture, and it was probably the coming of count Henry of Champagne that made the eventual capture of the city certain. It seems fairly clear that Acre would have fallen without the aid of the French and English kings. In all probability, however, the conquest of the coastal region from Acre to Jaffa could not have been accomplished without the troops of Richard and the duke of Burgundy. In short, the Third Crusade reestablished the kingdom of Jerusalem as a political and military power. Actually it did more — it protected the remnants of the kingdom from Saladin while he was at the height of his power. Before the truce was over, the great sultan was dead, and his heirs were squabbling over his inheritance. Thus the mere presence of Richard and his host through 1191 and 1192 may well have prevented Saladin from reaping the full fruits of his victory at Hattin.