Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi
from Brundage] Two days later the Crusading army left Acre and marched
south along the coast, trailed by Saladin's forces. An unsuccessful attempt
at negotiation between Saladin and Richard broke down early in September
and on September 7 battle was joined near Arsuf. The Crusading army, though
hard-pressed, held its ground and at the end of the fray Richard's men
retained control of the battlefield.
army proceeded from Arsuf to Jaffa, which the Crusaders took and fortified
strongly. Jaffa, they hoped, would be the base of operations in a drive
to reconquer Jerusalem itself. As the winter of 11911192 approached,
active campaigning was abandoned and further sporadic negotiations between
Richard and Saladin were taken up, though without any immediate result.
During the winter months Richard's men occupied and refortified Ascalon,
whose fortifications had earlier been razed by Saladin.
spring of 1192 saw continued negotiations and further skirmishing between
the opposing forces. During this period Richard began to receive disturbing
news of the activities of his brother John and of Philip Augustus, and
as the spring gave way to summer it became evident that Richard must soon
return to Europe to safeguard his own interests there. Saladin several
times attacked Jaffa and once was on the point of taking the city during
Richard's absence; the plan, however, was foiled by Richard's unexpected
the summer Richard fell ill and this, added to the news of the rapidly
deteriorating situation in Europe, brought him finally to accept Saladin's
peace terms . The departure of Richard the LionHearted from the Holy
Land in October 1192 ended the third major Western invasion of the East.
On this expedition three great armies had toiled to conquer Jerusalem
and the whole of Palestine for the West. But, in 1192, Jerusalem was still
in Saladin's hands and the deliverance of the East from the Moslems was
still a pious hope. The positive achievement of this Crusade was modest:
it had reestablished a tiny Latin Kingdom on the Palestinian coast. The
major task of the Crusade, however, was left undone.
his illness became very grave, the King despaired of recovering his health.
Because of this he was much afraid, both for the others as well as for
himself. Among the many things which did not pass unnoted by his wise
attention, he chose, as the least inconvenient course, to seek to make
a truce rather than to desert the depopulated land altogether and to leave
the business unfinished as all the others bad done who left the groups
in the ships.
King was puzzled and unaware of anything better that he could do. He demanded
of Saif adDin, Saladin's brother, that he act as gobetween and seek
the best conditions be could get for a truce between them. Saif adDin
was an uncommonly liberal man who bad been brought, in the course of many
disputes, to revere the King for his singular probity. Saif adDin carefully
secured peace terms on these conditions: that Ascalon, which was an object
of fear for Saladin's empire so long as it was standing, be destroyed
and that it be rebuilt by no one during three years beginning at the following
Easter.[March 28, 1193] After three years, however, whoever had the greater,
more flourishing power, might have Ascalon by occupying it. Saladin allowed
Joppa to be restored to the Christians. They were to occupy the city and
its vicinity, including the seacoast and the mountains, freely and quietly.
Saladin agreed to confirm an inviolate peace between Christians and Saracens,
guaranteeing for both free passage and access to the Holy Sepulcher of
the Lord without the exaction of any tribute and with the freedom of bringing
objects for sale through any land whatever and of exercising a free commerce.
these conditions of peace had been reduced to writing and read to him,
King Richard agreed to observe them, for he could not hope for anything
much better, especially since he was sick, relying upon scanty support,
and was not more than two miles from the enemy's station. Whoever contends
that Richard should have felt otherwise about this peace agreement should
know that he thereby marks himself as a perverse liar.
were thus arranged in a moment of necessity. The King, whose goodness
always imitated higher things and who, as the difficulties were greater,
now emulated God himself, sent legates to Saladin. The legates informed
Saladin in the hearing of many of his satraps, that Richard had in fact
sought this truce for a three year period so that he could go back to
visit his country and so that, when he had augmented his money and his
men, he could return and wrest the whole territory of Jerusalem from Saladin's
grasp if, indeed, Saladin were even to consider putting up resistance.
To this Saladin replied through the appointed messengers that, with his
holy law and God almighty as his witnesses, he thought King Richard so
pleasant, upright, magnanimous, and excellent that, if the land were to
be lost in his time, he would rather have it taken into Richard's mighty
power than to have it go into the hands of any other prince whom be had
Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, ed. William Stubbs, Rolls Series,
(London: Longmans, 1864) VI, 27-28 (pp. 427-30), translated by James Brundage,
The Crusades: A Documentary History, (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University
Press, 1962), 185-86
For this text see also The Crusade of Richard the Lionhearted, ed. and
trans. John L. LaMonte, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1941)
Copyright note: Professor Brundage informed the Medieval Sourcebook that
copyright was not renewed on this work. Moreover he gave permission for
use of his translations.
text is part of the Internet
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Paul Halsall December 1997