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Richard the Lion-Hearted Conquers Cyprus at 1191
translated by James Brundage
page 3

who had been overcome, fleeing. You could hear the sounds of the advancing men, the groans of the fallen, the cries of those who were retreating. When the Greeks had retreated, our men drove them back first to the town and then from the town to the nearby camp on the plains. While the King was pursuing the fleeing Emperor, lie acquired a mount, or horse, with a little bag fixed behind his saddle. He mounted at once into the saddle, which had ropes instead of straps. He hed immediately to the Emperor and said: "My Lord Emperor, come and begin a single combat with me!" The Emperor made as if to obey and then immediately fled. The King then occupied the town of Limassol. He had the Queens brought from Buza and lodged them in a villa. There, after many adventures and discomforts at sea, they refreshed themselves quietly and securely. The King spent that night [May 7-8] in his tents and bad his horses brought out from the transport ships. The Emperor, however, surmised that the King had no horses with him. At nightfall, when he was two leagues away from the King, the Emperor put up for the night in his tent. The next day, about the ninth hour, the King advanced with his horses. He found some Greeks not far away, standing with their splendid banners in an olive grove. The King at once pursued the fugitives. Since our horses, in fact, had been tossed about at sea for a month and had been standing all the while, many of them were upset. Our men, therefore, spared the horses and pursued the enemy rather modestly until, from a vantage point, they spied the Emperor's army, which had spent the night in the next valley. Then, when the Greeks had seen them, our men ceased the pursuit and halted. The Greeks began to make noises. With clamor and tumult they flung horrid sounding insults at our men. The Emperor was roused from his sleep by this. He mounted his horse and with his army he slowly advanced toward us, up to the adjoining hill, to see what he might do about engaging the armies. . . . The King had with him, at this point, only about fifty knights. He, indeed, was emboldened by their fear. Letting his horse go, he charged swiftly at the enemy. He broke up the enemy's crowded battle line by charging through it. He dealt now with this group, now with that one, and in short order, he dispersed them all.... The Emperor reflected upon the courage of our men and the flight of his people. Then, when he saw that he remained alone, he spurred his horse and speedily fled to the mountains. The King struck at the banner which the Emperor bore and ordered the noble and remarkable banner to be reserved for himself. Our knights followed the fleeing Greeks as closely as they could for two miles. Then they returned peacefully to our lines, moderating their speed as they withdrew. The people returned to the loot and they made off with much booty: arms, valuable silk garments, and even the Emperor's tents, together with all that was in them, including gold and silver vessels, the Emperor's bed with its choice appointments, and all his furnishings, his special helmets, breastplates, and swords. They also took a great deal of booty in flocks and beards of oxen and cattle, goats and sheep, noble mares and colts, fat hogs, and hens. They found both choice wines and a great quantity of food and they took captive the army, which consisted of an infinite multitude of men. They took so many, indeed, that the looters were disdainful because of the great multitude of men. What more can be said? Because of the great abundance of loot, desire was satiated and one gave no regard to any gift, no matter how valuable, which might be added to one's own full load. When all these things had been done, the King proclaimed a decree, in a voice like a town crier. He decreed that all poor peace-loving men might come and go without hindrance from his men and that they might rejoice, since their liberty was preserved. Anyone who considered the King an enemy should beware, lest he fall into the hands of him or his men. He professed that he would show himself an enemy to those who were said to be his enemies and that he would be to each of them as they were to him. A great many men afterwards flocked to the King or to his army and the Emperor thereafter took refuge in a very strong castle called Nicosia, where he was confused and sorrowful because he could not make the progress he wished for. . . . [After the rest of Richard's fleet arrived in Cyp, the Emperor and Richard met and agreed upon peace terms. However,] the following night, the Emperor fled swiftly, tting in the darkness of night and riding on his best tawny horse. He fled from that place at the prompting of one of his mendacious knights, a man named Pagan of Haifa. This knight declared that King Richard proposed to set upon the Emperor and to throw him into chains that night. The Emperor was much distressed by this and, leaving his tents, his very good war horses, and all his clothing, he fled early in the night to the city of Famagusta. The King, when he heard this, began to follow him in his galleys, declaring that the Emperor had broken his word and was a perjuror. The King left in the bands of Guido the task of leading the army by the land route to Famagusta. The King himself arrived there on the third day and found it deserted by men. The Emperor was aware that it would not be safe for him to be besieged, since if he were shut up he would be unable to escape. He therefore hid in outoftheway, wooded spots so that he could fall upon our men as they passed by. King Richard, when he had come to Famagusta in his galleys, ordered the seaport to be watched very closely so that if the Emperor were to try to flee he could be caught. While they waited there for three days, the Bishop of Beauvais and Drogo, of Merlo (a famous and noble man from the domains of the King of France) came as messengers to King Richard. They urged him to sail quickly to Acre for, they declared, the King of France was not going to attack the city before Richard's arrival.... The King paid no heed to the messengers and moved his army to Nicosia. Each man brought his own necessary food, for the area was deserted. They proceeded in their spreadout battle formations, for they had learned that the Emperor was going to ambush them as they passed by. The King himself went in the last formation to repel any chance sudden attack. All at once the Emperor and about seventy Greeks leaped suddenly out of a hiding place. Their

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