The woorthy voiage of Richard the first, K. of England into Asia, for the recouerie of Ierusalem out of the hands of the Saracens, drawen out of the booke of Acts and Monuments of the Church of England, written by M. Iohn Foxe.
King Richard the first of that name, for his great valure surnamed Ceur de Lion, the sonne of Henry the second, after the death of his father remembring the rebellions that he had vndutifully raised against him, sought for absolution of his trespasse, and in part of satisfaction for the same, agreed with Philip the French king to take his voiage with him for the recouerie of Christes patrimonie, which they called the Holy land, whereupon the sayd King Richard immediately after his Coronation, to prepare himselfe the better towards his iourney, vsed diuers meanes to take vp summes of money, and exacted a tenth of the whole Realme, the Christians to make three score and ten thousand pounds, and the Iewes which then dwelt in the Realme threescore thousand.
Hauing thus gotten sufficient money for the exploite, he sent certaine Earles and Barons to Philip the French king in the time of his Parliament at S. Denis, to put him in mind of his promise made for the recouerie of Christs holy patrimonie out of the Saracens hands: To whom he sent againe in the moneth of December, that he had bound himselfe by solemne othe, deposing vpon the Euangelists, that he the yeere next following, about the time of Easter, had certainly prefixed to addresse himselfe toward that iourney, requiring him likewise not to faile, but to bee ready at the terme aboue limited, appointing also the place where both the Kings should meete together.
In the yere therfore 1190. King Richard hauing committed the gouernment of this realme in his absence to the bishop of Ely then Chancellor of England, aduanced forward his iourney, and came to Turon to meet with Philip the French king, and after that went to Vizeliac, where the French king and he ioyning together, for the more continuance of their iourney, assured themselues by solemne othe, swearing fidelitie one to the other: the forme of whose oth was this.
The oth of fidelity betwixt King Richard and the French King. That either of them should defend and maintaine the honour of the other, and beare true, fidelitie vnto him, of life, members and worldly honor, and that neither of them should faile one the other in their affaires: but the French King should aide the King of England in defending his land and dominions, as he would himselfe defend his owne Citie of Paris if it were besieged: and that Richard King of England likewise should aide the French King in defending his land and Dominions, no otherwise then he would defend his own Citie of Roan if it were besieged, &c.
Concerning the lawes and ordinances appointed by K. Richard for his Nauie, the forme thereof was this.
The discipline and orders of the King. 1. That who so killed any person on shipboord, should be tied with him that was slaine, and throwen into the sea.
2. And if he killed him on the land, he should in like manner be tied with the partie slaine, and be buried with him in the earth.
3. He that shalbe conuicted by lawfull witnes to draw out his knife or weapon to the intent to strike any man, or that hath striken any to the drawing of blood, shall loose his hand.
4. Also he that striketh any person with his hand without effusion of blood, shall be plunged three times in the sea.
5. Item, who so speaketh any opprobrious or contumelious wordes in reuiling or cursing one another, for so oftentimes as he hath reuiled, shall pay so many ounces of siluer.
6. Item, a thiefe or felon that hath stollen being lawfully conuicted, shall haue his head shorne, and boyling pitch powred vpon his head, and feathers or downe strawed vpon the same, whereby he may be knowen, and so at the first landing place they shall come to, there to be cast vp.
These things thus ordered, king Richard sending his Nauie by the Spanish seas, and by the streights of Gibraltar, betweene Spaine and Africa, to meete him at Marsilia, hee himselfe went as is said to Vizeliac to the French king. Which two kings from thence went to Lions, where the bridge ouer the flood Rhodanus with preasse of people brake, and many both men and women were drowned: by occasion whereof the two kings for the combrance of their traines, were constrained to disseuer themselues for time of their iourney, appointing both to meet together in Sicily: and so Philip the French king tooke his way to Genua, and king Richard to Marsila, where be remained 8. dayes, appointing there his Nauie to meete him. From thence crossing ouer to Genua where the French king was, he passed forward by the coasts of Italy, and entred into Tiber not farre from Rome.
King Richard staying in Marsilia 8. dayes for his Nauie which came not, he there hired 20. Gallies, and ten great barkes to ship ouer his men, and so came to Naples, and so partly by horse and wagon, and partly by the sea, passing to Falernum, came to Calabria, where after that he had heard that his ships were arriued at Messana in Sicilie, he made the more speed, and so the 23. of September entred Messana with such a noyse of Trumpets and Shalmes, with such a rout and shew, that it was to the great wonderment and terror both of the Frenchmen, and of all other that did heare and behold the sight.
To the said towne of Messana the French king was come before the 16. of the same moneth of September, and had taken vp the pallace of Tancredus king of Sicily for his lodging: to whom king Richard after his arriuall eftsoones resorted, and when the two kings had communed together, immediately the French king tooke shipping and entred the seas, thinking to saile towards the land of Ierusalem: but after he was out of the hauen, the winde rising contrary against him, returned him backe againe to Messana. Then king Richard (whose lodging was prepared in the suburbs without the Citie) after he had resorted againe and talked with the French king, and also had sent to Tancredus king of Sicily, for deliuerance of Ioane his sister (who had beene somtimes Queene of Sicily) and had obtained her to be sent vnto him, the last day of September passed ouer the streight del Fare, and there getting a strong hold called de la Baguare, or le Bamare, and there placing his sister with a sufficient garrison, he returned againe to Messana.
The 2. of October king Richard wan another strong hold, called Monasterium Griffonum, situated in the midst of the streight del Fare, betweene Messana and Calabria, from whence the Monks being expulsed, he reposed there all his store and prouision of victuals, which came from England or other places.
The Citizens of Messana seeing that the king of England had wonne the castle and Island de la Baguare, and also the Monasterie of the Griffons, and doubting least the king would extend his power further to inuade their Citie, and get if he could the whole Isle of Sicilie, began to stirre against the Kings armie, and to shut the Englishmen out of the gates, and kept their walles against them. The Englishmen seeing that, made to the gates, and by force would haue broken them open, insomuch that the King riding amongst them with his staffe, and breaking diuers of their heads, could not asswage their fierceness, such was the rage of the Englishmen agaynst the citizens of Messana. The King seeing the furie of his people to be such that hee could not stay them, tooke boate, and went to the pallace of king Tancred, to talke of the matter with the French king, in which meane time the matter was so taken vp by the wise handling of the ancients of the citie, that both parts laying downe their armour, went home in peace.
The fourth day of the sayd moneth of October, came to king Richard the Archbishop of Messana with two other Archbishops also with the French king, and sundry other Earles, Barons, and Bishops, to intreat of peace, who as they were together consulting, and had almost concluded vpon the peace, the Citizens of Messana issuing out of the towne, some went vp vpon the mountains, some with open force inuaded the mansion or lodging of Hugh Brune, an English captaine. The noyse whereof comming to the eares of the King, hee suddenly breaking off talke with the French king and the rest, departed from them, and comming to his men, commanded them forthwith to arme themselues. Who then with certaine of his souldiours making vp to the top of the mountaine (which seemed to passe their power to climbe) there put the Citizens to flight, chasing them downe the mountaines, vnto the very gates of the citie, whom also certaine of the kings seruants pursued into the citie, of whom fiue valiant souldiers and twentie of the kings seruants were slaine, the French King looking vpon, and not once willing to rescue them, contrary to his othe, and league before made with the king of England: for the French king with his men being there present, rode in the midst of them safely, and without any harme too and fro, and might well haue eased the Kings partie, more then he, if it had so liked him.
Messana won by the English. This being knowen to the English hoste how their fellowes were slaine, and the Frenchmen permitted in the citie, and that they were excluded and the gates barred against them, being also stopped from buying of victuall, and other things, they vpon great indignation gathered themselues in armes, brast open the the gates, and scaled the wals, and so winning the citie, set up their flags with the English armes vpon the wals which when the French King did see, he was mightily offended, requiring the King of England that the Armes of France might also be set vp, and ioyned with his: but King Richard to that would in no case agree, notwithstanding to satisfie his minde, he was contented to take downe his Armes, and to commit the custodie of the citie to the Hospitaleries and Templaries of Ierusalem, till the time that Tancred king of Sicily and he should agree together vpon conditions.
These things being done the fift and sixt day of October, it followed then vpon the eight day of the same, that peace was concluded among the kings. In which peace, first King Richard, and Philip the French king renewed againe their oth and league before made, concerning their mutual aide and societie, during the time of that peregrination.
Secondly, peace also was concluded betweene king Richard and Tancred king of Sicily aforesaide, with conditions, that the daughter of Tancrede in case king Richard should die without issue, should be married to Arthur Duke of Britaine the kings Nephew and next heire to his crowne, whereof a formall charte was drawen, and letters sent thereof to Pope Clement being dated the ninth of Nouember.
From this time vntill Februarie the next yeere these two kings kept still at Messana, either for lacke of winde and weather, or for the repairing of their shippes. And in the aforesayde Februarie, in the yeere 1191. King Richard sent ouer his gallies to Naples, there to meete his mother Elinore, and Berengaria the daughter of Zanctius king of Nauarre, whom he was purposed to marry, who by that time were come to Brundusium, vnder the conduct of Philip Earle of Flanders, and so proceeding vnto Naples, they found the kings shippes wherein they sayled to Messana.
In this meane space, king Richard shewed himselfe exceeding bounteous and liberall to all men: to the French king first he gaue diuers shippes, vpon others likewise he bestowed riche rewardes, and of his treasure and goods he distributed largely to his souldiers and seruants about him, of whom it was reported, that he distributed more in one moneth, than any of his predecessors did in a whole yeere: by reason, whereof he purchased great loue and fauour, which not onely redounded to the aduancements of his fame, but also to his singular vse and profite, as the sequele afterwards prooued.
The first day of March following, he left the citie of Messana, where the French King was, and went to Cathneia, a citie where Tancredus king of Sicily then lay, where he was honorably receiued, and there remained with king Tancredus three dayes and three nights. On the fourth day when he should depart, the aforesaid Tancredus offred him many rich presents in gold and siluer, and precious silkes, whereof king Richard would receiue nothing, but one little ring for a token of his good will: for the which king Richard gaue againe vnto him a riche sworde. At length when king Richard should take his leaue, king Tancred would not let him so depart, but needes would giue 4. great shippes, and 15. gallies, and furthermore hee himselfe would needes accompanie him the space of two dayes iourney, to a place called Tauernium.
Then the next morning when they should take their leaue, Tancredus declared vnto him the message, which the French King a little before had sent vnto him by the Duke of Burgundie, the contents whereof were these: That the King of England was a false Traytour, and would neuer keepe the peace that was betweene them: and if the sayd Tancredus would warre against him, or secretly by night would inuade him, he with all his power would assist him, to the destruction of him and all his armie. To whom Richard the King protested againe, that he was no traytour, nor neuer had bene: and as touching the peace, begun betwixt them, the same should neuer be broken through him; neither could he beleeue that the French King being his good lord, and his sworn Compartner in that voyage, would utter any such wordes by him. Which when Tancredus heard, he bringeth foorth the letters of the French King, sent to him by the Duke of Burgundie, affirming moreouer, that if the Duke of Burgundie would denie the bringing of the said letters, he was readie to trie it with him by any of his Dukes. King Richard receiuing the letters, and musing not a little vpon the same, returneth againe to Messana. The same day that King Richard departed, the French king came to Tauernium to speake with Tancred, and there abode with him that night, and on the morrowe returned to Messana againe.
From that time, King Richard mooued in stomacke against King Philip, neuer shewed any gentle countenance of peace and amitie, as he before was woont: whereat the French king greatly marueiling, and enquiring earnestly what should be the cause thereof, word was sent him againe by Philip earle of Flanders from king Richard, what words he had sent to the King of Sicily, and for testimony thereof the letters were shewed, which he wrote by the duke of Burgundie to the king of Sicily: which when the French king vnderstood, first he held his peace as guilty in his conscience, not knowing well what to answere. At length turning his tale to another matter, he began to quarrell with king Richard, pretending as though he sought causes to breake with him, and to maligne him: and therefore he forged (sayd he) these lies vpon him, and all because he by that meanes would auoid to marry with Alise his sister, according as he had promised. Adding moreouer that if he would so do, and would not marry the said Alise his sister according to his oth, he would be an enemy to him, and to his, while he liued.
To this king Richard sayd againe that he could by no meanes marry that woman, forsomuch as his father had carnal copulation with her, and also had by her a sonne: for proofe whereof he had there presently to bring forth diuers and sundry witnesses to the kings face, to testifie with him.
In conclusion, through counsell and perswasion of diuers about the French king, agreement at last was made, so that king Philip did acquite king Richard from this bond of marrying his sister, and king Richard againe should be bound to pay to him euery yeere for the space of fiue yeeres, two thousand markes, with certaine other conditions besides, not greatly materiall for this place. And thus peace being betweene them concluded the 28 day of the sayd moneth of March, the French king launching out of the hauen of Messana, the 22 day after in the Easter weeke, came with his armie to the siege of Achon.
After the departure of the French king from Messana, king Richard with his armie yet remaining behinde, arriued Queene Alinor the kings mother, bringing with her Berengaria the king of Nauars daughter, to be espoused to king Richard: The Nauie of King Richard. which being done, king Richard in April following, about the 20 day of the sayd moneth, departed from the hauen Messana with 150 great ships, and 53 great gallies well manned and appointed, and tooke his iourney toward Achon: who being vpon the Seas on Good friday about the ninth houre, rose a mighty South winde, with a tempest, which disseuered and scattered all his Nauie, some to one place and some to another. The king with a few ships was driuen to the Ile of Creta, and there before the hauen of Rhodes cast anker. The ships that caried the kings sister, queene of Sicily, and Berengaria the king of Nauars daughter, with two ships were driuen to the Ile of Cyprus.
The king making great mone for the ships of his sister, and Berengaria his wife that should be, not knowing where they were become, after the tempest was ouerblowen, sent forth his gallies diligently to seeke the rest of his Nauie dispersed, but especially the shippe wherein his sister was, and the maiden whom he should marry, who at length were found safe and merry at the port of Lymszem1 in the Ile of Cyprus, notwithstanding the two other ships, which were in their company before in the same hauen, were drowned with diuers of the kings seruants and men of worship, among whom was M. Roger, called Malus Catulus, the kings Vicechancellour, who was found with the kings seale hanging about his necke.
The king of Cyprus was then Isakius2 (called also the Emperour of the Gryffons) who tooke and imprisoned all Englishmen, which by shipwracke were cast vpon his land, also inuegled into his hands the goods and prises of them which were found drowned about his coastes, neither would suffer the ships wherein the two ladies were to enter within the port.
The tidings of this being brought to king Richard, he in great wrath gathering his gallies and ships together, boordeth the land of Cyprus, where he first in gentle wise signifieth to king Isakius, how he with his English men, comming as strangers to the supportation of the holy land, were by distresse of weather driuen vpon his bounds, and therefore with all humble petition besought him in Gods behalfe, and for reuerence of the holy crosse, to let go such prisoners of his as he had in captiuitie, and to restore againe the goods of them that were drowned, which he deteined in his hands, to be employed for the behoofe of their soules. And this the king once, twise, and thrise desired of the Emperour: but he proudly answering againe, sent the king word, that he neither would let the captiues go, nor render the goods of them which were drowned.
When king Richard heard this, how light the emperour Isakius made of his so humble and honest petition, and how that nothing could be gotten without violent force, eftsoones3 giueth commandement thorowout all his hoste to put themselues in armour and follow him, to reuenge the iniuries receiued of that proud and cruell king of Cyprus, willling them to put their trust in God, and not to misdoubt but that the Lord would stand with them, and giue them the victory. The Emperour in the meane time with his people stood warding the Sea coasts, where the English men should arriue, with swords, billes, and lances, and such other weapons as they had, setting boordes, stooles, and chestes, before them as a wall: few of them were harnessed, 4 and for the most part all vnexpert and vnskilfull in the feates of warre.
Then king Richard with his souldiers issuing out of ships, first set his bowemen before, who with their shot made a way for others to folowe. The Englishmen thus winning the land vpon them, so fiercely pressed upon the Gryffons, that after long fighting and many blowes, at last the Emperour was put to flight, whom king Richard valiantly pursued, and slue many, and diuers he tooke aliue, and had gone neere also to take the Emperour, had not the night come on and parted the battell. And thus king Richard with much spoyle, and great victory, returning to the port Towne of Lymszem, which the Townesmen had left for feare, found there great abundance of corne, wine, oyle, and victuals.
The day after the victory gotten, Ioanna the Kings sister, and Berengaria the mayden, entred the Porte and Towne of Lymszem, with 50. great ships, and 14. galliots: so that all the whole Nauie there meeting together, were 254. tall shippes, and aboue threescore galliots. Then Isakius the Emperour, seeing no way for him to escape by Sea, the same night pitched his tentes fiue miles off from the English army, swearing that the third day after, he would surely giue battell to king Richard: but he preuenting him before, suddenly the same morning before the day of battell should be, setteth vpon the tentes of the Gryffons early in the morning, they being vnawares and asleepe, and made of them a great slaughter, insomuch that the Emperour was faine to runne away naked, leauing his tentes and pauilions to the Englishmen, full of horses and rich treasure, also with the Imperial standerd, the lower part whereof with a costly streamer was couered, and wrought all with golde.
King Richard returning with victorie and triumph to his sister and Berengaria, shortly after in the moneth of May next following, and the 12. day of the said moneth, married the said Berengaria daughter of Zanctius, king of Nauarre, in the yle of Cyprus at Lymszem.
The king of Cyprus seeing himselfe ouermatched, was driuen at length to yeelde himselfe with conditions to giue king Richard 20000. markes in golde for amends of such spoyles as he had gotten of them that were drowned, also to restore all the captiues againe to the king: and furthermore, he in his owne person, to attend vpon the king to the lande of Ierusalem, in Gods seruice and his, with 400. horsemen, and 500. footemen: in pledge whereof he would giue to his hands his castles, and his onely daughter, and would hold his kingdome of him.
This done, and the Emperour swearing fidelitie to king Richard before Guido king of Ierusalem, and the prince of Antioche (who were come thither to king Richard a little before) peace was taken, and Isakius committed to the warde of certaine keepers. Notwithstanding shortly after he breaking from his keepers, was againe at defiance with the King: whereupon king Richard besetting the Iland of Cyprus round about with shippes and gallies, did in sucn sort preuaile, that the subiects of the land, were constrained to yeelde themselues to the King, and at last the daughter of the Emperour, and the Emperour himselfe, whom king Richard caused to be kept in fetters of gold and siluer, and to be sent to the citie of Tripolis.
The Lord Chamberlaine of King Richard left gouernour of Cyprus. These things thus done, and all set in order touching the possession of the Ile of Cyprus, the keeping whereof he committed to Radulphe sonne of Godfrey Lord Chamberlaine, being then the first day of Iune upon the fift of the saide moneth, king Richard departed from the Ile of Cyprus,5 with his shippes and gallies toward the seige of Achon, and on the next morrowe came to Tyrus, where by procurement of the French king he was restrained by the Citizens to enter. The next day after, which was the first day of Iune, crossing the seas, he met with a great carak, fraught with souldiers and men of warre to the number of a thousand and fiue hundred, which pretended to be Frenchmen, and setting foorth their flagge with the French armes, were indeede Saracens, A great ship of Saracens taken by king Richard. secretly sent with wilde fire6 and certaine barrels of unknowen serpents to the defence of the towne of Achon, which king Richard at length perceiuing eftsoones set upon them and so vanquished them, of whom the most were drowned and some taken aliue: which being once knowen in the citie of Achon, as it was a great discomfort to them, so it was a great helpe to the Christians for winning the citie.
King Richard arriued at Achon. The next day after which was the seuenth of Iune, king Richard came to Achon, which at that time had bene long besieged by the Christians. After whose comming it was not long, but the Pagans within the citie, seeing their wals to be undermined and towers ouerthrowen, were driuen by composition to escape with life and limme, to surrender the citie to the two kings.
Another great helpe to the Christians in winning the citie, was this. In the said city of Achon there was a secret Christian among the Saracens, who in time of the siege thereof vsed at sundry times to cast ouer the wals into the campe of the Christians, certaine bils written in Hebrue, Greeke, and Latine, wherein he disclosed to the Christians from time to time, the doings and counsels of the enemies, aduertising them how and what way they should worke, and what to beware, and alwayes his letters began thus. In nomine Patris, et Filij, et Spiritus sancti Amen. By reason whereof the Christians were much, aduantaged in their proceedings: but this was a great heauines unto them, that neither he would utter his name, nor when the citie was got did they euer understand who he was.
To make of a long siege a short narration. Vpon the twelfth day of Iuly the yeere aforesaid, the Princes and Captaines of the Pagans, vpon agreement resorted to the tent of the Templaries to commune with the two kings touching peace, and giuing vp of their citie: the forme of which peace was thus.
The forme of peace concluded between the Kings and Princes of Achon. 1 That the Kings should haue the citie of Achon freely and fully deliuered vnto them, with all which was therein.
2 That 500. captiues of the Christians should be restored to them, which were in Achon.
3 That the holy crosse should be to them rendred, and a thousand Christian captiues with two hundreth horsemen, whosoeuer they themselues would chose out of all them which were in the power of the Saladine.
4 That they would giue vnto the Kings two hundreth thousand Bysants, so that they themselues should remaine as pledges in the Kings hands, for the performance hereof, that if in fortie daies, the aforesayd couenants were not accomplished, they should abide the Kings mercie touching life and limme.
These couenants being agreed vpon, the Kings sent their souldiers and seruants into the citie, to take a hundreth of the richest and best of the citie, to close them vp in towers vnder strong keeping, and the residue, they committed to be kept in houses and in streetes, ministring vnto them according to their necessities: to whom notwithstanding this they permitted, that so many of them as would be baptized and receiue the faith of Christ, should be free to goe whither they would: wherupon many there were of the Pagans, which for feare of death pretended to be baptized, but afterward so soone as they could, reuolted againe to the Saladine: for the which it was afterward commanded by the Kings that none of them should be baptized against their wils.
The thirteenth day of the said moneth of Iuly, King Philip of France, and King Richard, after they had obteined the possession of Achon,7 deuided betweene them all things therein conteined as well the people as golde and siluer, with all other furniture whatsoeuer was remaining in the citie: who in diuiding the spoyle, were so good caruers to themselues that the Knights and Barons had but litle to their share, whereupon they began to shew themselues somewhat discontented, which being knowen of the kings, they sent them answere that their wils should be satisfied.
The twentieth day of Iuly, king Richard speaking with the French king, desired him that they two with their armies, would binde themselues by othe to remaine there stil in the land of Ierusalem the space of 3 yeeres, for the winning and recouering againe of those countreys: but he sayd he would sweare no such othe, and so the next day after king Richard, with his wife and sister entred into the citie of Achon, and there placed himselfe in the kings pallace: The French king remayning in the houses of the Templaries, where he continued till the end of the moneth.
The French kings shamefull returne home. About the beginning of the moneth of August, Philip the French king after that he and King Richard had made agreement betweene Guido and Conradus the Marques, about the kingdome of Ierusalem, went from Achon to Tyrus, notwithstanding king Richard and all the Princes of the Christian armie with great intreatie desired him to tary, shewing what a shame it were for him to come so farre, and now to leaue vndone that for which he came, and on the 3. day of August departed from Tyrus, leauing the halfe part of the Citie of Achon in the hands of the aforesayd Conradus Marques.
After his departure the Pagans refused to keepe their couenants made, who neither would restore the holy Crosse nor the money, nor their captiues, sending word to king Richard, that if he beheaded the pledges left with him at Achon, they would choppe off the heads of such captiues of the Christians, as were in their hands.
The captiues of the Saladine slaine by king Richard. Shortly after this the Saladine sending great gifts to king Richard, requested the time limited for beheading of the captiues to be proroged, but the king refused to take his gifts, and to graunt his request, whereupon the Saladine caused all the Christian captiues within his possession forthwith to be beheaded, which was the 28. of August: which albeit king Richard vnderstood, yet would not he preuent the time before limitted for the execution of his prisoners, being the 20. day of August: vpon which day he caused the prisoners of the Saracens openly in the sight of the Saladines armie to loose their heads: the number of whom came to two thousand and fiue hundreth, saue onely that certaine of the principal of them he reserued for purposes and considerations, especially to make exchange for the holy Crosse, and certaine other of the Christian captiues.
A notable victorie against the Saladine. After this king Richard purposed to besiege the Citie of Ioppe, where by the way beweene Achon and Ioppe, neere to a towne called Assur, Saladine with a great multitude of his Saracens came fiercely against the kings rereward, but through Gods mercifull grace in the same battell, the kings warriers acquited themselues so well, that the Saladine was put to flight, whom the Christians pursued the space of 3 miles, and he lost that same day many of his Nobles and Captaines, in such sort (as it was thought) that the Saladine was not put to such confusion 40 yeres before, and but one Christian Captaine called James Auernus in that conflict was ouerthrowen.
King Richard in possession of Syria. From thence king Richard proceeding further went to Ioppe, and then to Ascalon, where he found first the citie of Ioppe forsaken of the Saracens, who durst not abide the kings comming: Ascalon the Saladine threw downe to the ground, and likewise forsooke the whole land of Syria, through all which land the king had free passage without resistance: neither durst the Saracene Prince encounter after that with K. Richard. Of all which his atcheuances the sayd K. Richard sent his letters of certificate as well into England, as also to the Abbot of Clara valle8 in France, well hoping that he God willing should be able to make his repaire againe to them by Easter next.
Many other famous acts were done in this voyage by these two Kings, and moe should haue bene, had not they falling into discorde disseuered themselues, by reason whereof Philip the French king returned home againe within short space: who being returned againe eftsoones inuaded the countrey of Normandy, exciting also Iohn the brother of king Richard, to take on him the kingdome of Englande in his brothers absence: 1193. who then made league vpon the same with the French king, and did homage vnto him, which was about the fourth yeere of king Richard. King Richard returneth from Palaestina. Who then being in Syria, and hearing thereof, made peace with the Turkes for three yeeres: and not long after, king Richard the next Spring following returned also, who in his returne driuen by distresse of weather about the parts of Histria, in a towne called Synaca, was there taken by Lympold, Duke of the same countrey, and so solde to the Emperour for sixtie thousand Markes: who for no small ioy thereof, writeth to Philip the French king, these letters here following.
2 Isaac Comnenus who became King in 1184.
3 The Saxon Eft properly means after. It was beginning to be obsolete in 1400 but Spencer frequently uses it. It occurs rarely after his time.
4 Clad in armour.
This apish and unmannerly approach,
This harness’d masque, and unadvised revel.
KING JOHN v. 2.
5 Cyprus, the third largest island of the Mediterranean, situated in the N.E. angle, equidistant about 60 miles from the coasts of Syria and Asia Minor. Its form was compared in ancient times to the skin of a deer. Its length, from Cape Andrea to Cape Epiphanias, the ancient Acamas, is 140 miles. Its greatest breadth, from Cape Gatto on the south coast to Cape Kormakiti on the north, is about 50 miles, but it gradually narrows towards the east, being no more than 5 miles wide near Cape Andrea.
The coast of the island consists of a succession of gulfs and bays, many of which, though not sufficiently land-locked to form natural harbours, would be capable, with the addition of some artificial works, such as breakwaters, &c., of affording safe anchorage in all the preuailing winds. On the north-west and north the principal harbours or roadsteads affording shelter from certain winds are the Bay of Chrysochon and the roads of Pyros and Morpha, the harbour of Kyrenia, and the Bay of Exarkos; on the east and south, the bays and harbours of Salamis and Famagusta, the bay and roads of Larnaka, the roads of Limasol, which latter were greatly improved by the opening of an iron pier in 1882, and the small harbour of Paphos (Kuklia). The great disadvantage of all these harbours and roadsteads is the shallowness of the water for some distance from the land; this has the effect of raising a great deal of surf when the wind blows on shore, and also of compelling vessels of any size to anchor at a considerable distance out, thus making the operations of landing and embarking cargo both tedious and expensiue. It would not, however, be a matter of great expense to construct breakwaters and deepen the old harbours, especially that of Famagusta, which, at the end of the sixteenth century, was sufficiently deep and large to afford safe anchorage to the whole fleet of the Venetian Republic, and when in the outer harbour there is now shelter for about twelve ironclads. Larnaka is the port at present most frequented by trading vessels.
The ancient Olympus, how called Santa Croce, rises in the centre of the island, and two principal ranges of mountains runs in the direction of its length, keeping closer to the north than to the south coast. The highest summit of the range of Santa Croce is mount Troödos, with an elevation of 6590 feet above the sea-level. Here, on the south-east slopes, are the summer quarters of the troops and the summer residence of the high commissioner. The most extensive plain, called Messarea, is in the south-east part of the island, and is watcred by the river Pedæus. The south of the island is watered by several streams, the principal of which is the river Kuris, or Lico, which falls into the sea at Episkopi, the ancient Curium. But these streams, which were once rivers of some importance, had very much decreased, owing to the almost complete denudation, in the plains and lower slopes of the mountains, of the forests which anciently covered them. Since the British occupation greater attention has been paid to the forests, and the beneficial results are already apparent. The Pedæus is the chief river. This and the other streams generally overflow their banks in the rainy season, and flood the land; as the waters subside, they leave behind a fertilizing mud, in the same manner as the Nile, but during the rest of the year they give but little if any help in the way of irrigation. The rainy season, although generally occurring from October to February, is not, however, to be absolutely depended upon; thus it is recorded that in 1330, during the reign of Hugo of Lusignan, the rainfall was so heavy and the rivers flooded to such an extent as to spread desolation far and near; and under Constantine there was no rain for thirty-six years, so that most of the inhabitants left the island. Again, in modern times, there was a disastrously small rainfall in 1869.
The soil is naturally fertile, and formerly maintained a population of nearly 1,000,000 but the number of inhabitants in 1881 was only 185,906, of whom the bulk were Greek Christians. Cotton of the finest quality has been raised from American seed; excellent wine and all kinds of fruit are produced, but agriculture is in a most backward state. Besides the productions already named, madder, opium, oranges, lemons, pomegranates, &c., are grown. The carob-tree abounds in some districts; its succulent pods are exported to Egypt and Syria, while the fruit called St. John’s Bread is used as an article of food. Of all the agricultural products, cereals hold the most important place. Wheat was largely grown until recently, but of late years, it has been in great measure replaced by barley and oats, which ripen earlier; and are not subject to the attacks of locusts.
6 Greek Fire was the name given to a composition which was largely used by the Greeks of the Byzantine Empire in their wars with the Mohammedans. Its nature was kept a profound secret for centuries, but the material is now believed to have been a mixture of nitre, sulphur, and naphtha. It burned with terrible fury wherever it fell, and it possessed the property of being inextinguishable by water. Even when poured upon the sea it would float upon the surface and still burn. It was used in warfare for a considerable time after the discovery of gunpowder, but gradually fell into the disuse as artillery became more effective. The name is still sometimes used to designate the inflammable compounds known to modern chemists which have been designed for use in incendiary shells, and for a composition which has been used by the Fenians to set fire to public buildings.
7 Acre, acca, anciently Ptolemais, in Syria, was taken by the Saracens in 638; by the Crusaders under Baldwin I. in 1104; by Saladin in 1187; and again by Richard I. and other Crusaders 12 July 1191, after a siege of 2 years, with a loss of 6 archbishops, 12 bishops, 40 earls, 500 barons, 300,000 soldiers. It was then named St. Jean d’Acre. It was retaken by the Saracens in 1291, when 60,000 Christians perished, and the nuns, who had mangled their faces to preserue their chastity, were put to death.
8 Clairvaux, a famous Cistercian abbey, founded in 1114 by the celebrated Bernard. It increased so rapidly that before his death, in 1153, it contained 700 monks, and had connected with it seventy-six monasteries in various parts of Europe, partly founded by Bernard and partly induced to join the brotherhood. All sorts of handicraft and agricultural operations were carried on by the brethren. After supplying the wants of their community the surplus was disposed of in the nearest markets. It was suppressed at the Revolution.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09