Talk:Richard I

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Good additions Alan, thanks ;-) Learn together 19:22, 12 May 2007 (EDT)

And thank youAlanE 19:26, 12 May 2007 (EDT)

Alan, do you happen to know sources for Richard's cruelty, especially examples from his life would be good? The Encyclopedia of Military History speaks very highly of him, and I've generally found that to be a very accurate source. Thanks Learn together 20:36, 30 May 2007 (EDT)

G’day. Just found your request. Um....guddling through my books all I can find are books that mention his shortness of temper, his alienation of those around him, etc. but give no details. What I know is from library books I've read, at least one of which should be available, but I have to get to the library and that can’t be until tomorrow. What I think I can find is his conduct after the Siege of Acre when he first arrived in the Holy Land. There was to be some sort of exchange of prisoners. He had a fit of pique when the Saracens were late in handing over certain Christians, and ordered over 2500 Muslim hostage killed. It is a famous episode, but I cannot find it here at home. Ha! Here we go…the following is from:

“The first siege of Acre had taken nearly two years and may have cost more than 100,000 Christian casualties. The tenacity of the opposing armies, coupled with the bloodletting and abominable living conditions, led at least one historian to liken the siege to the terrible Battle of Verdun in 1916. The final savagery of the siege took place after the city had fallen. Perhaps as revenge for Muslim atrocities against Christians-but more likely because a term of surrender involving the return of the true cross (which had been captured by Saladin at Haddin) and payment of 200,400 gold pieces was not being met-Richard I ordered 2,700 of the survivors from Acre's garrison executed.”

And in this site:

“In March 1191, the first corn ship to reach the camp outside Acre arrived. As welcome as the food was the news that Richard I of England and Philip II Augustus of France had finally arrived in the east. Philip arrived at Acre first, on 20 April 1191, but it was the arrival of Richard, eight weeks later on 8 June, that made the difference. Luck played a part in his success. Philip had spent his time building siege engines and pounding the walls, but it needed someone of Richard's military background and ability to energize the attackers. Despite a serious illness, Richard quickly became the effective leader of the crusaders, but every attempt to take the city was foiled by a counter attack from Saladin's forces. However, the newly arrived crusader fleets had regained control of the seas, and the defenders of Acre were close to surrender. A first offer of surrender on 4 July was refused, but after a failed attack by Saladin the next day, and a final battle on 11 July, another surrender offer was accepted the following day. The terms of the surrender were honourable. The most important clauses were that the 2,700 Saracens captured in Acre were to be swapped for 1,600 Christian prisoners and the true cross, captured by Saladin. Richard's reputation is blotted by his actions after the siege. When some of the named Christian prisoners were not turned over, apparently because they had not yet arrived at Acre, he took the chance to rid himself of the Saracen prisoners, and on 20 August they were massacred by the vengeful crusaders.”

This is what I had in mind when I wrote the article….perhaps the “acts” should be singular.

Your source would be good, but it concentrates on his battlecraft etc., This is something else. I have cites on Acre but they concentrate on the siege, not the aftermath. Cheers AlanE 01:02, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, you've certainly done your homework. I seem to recall there was another view for this that I had heard. Basically, Saladin was stalling. He wanted to consolidate his forces and knew that Richard couldn't march forward if he had to look after and feed 2,700 prisoners. He feared Richard's army (and rightly so when you see what happened the few times they directly fought) and wanted do whatever it took to put as many conditions in his favor as possible. Richard was ready to head towards Jerusalem pretty much immediately, especially due to his limited resources, and wasted no time once he killed the prisoners. There wasn't much time to achieve his objective. In the end, Richard signed a treaty without taking Jerusalem for that reason. He didn't have the supplies any longer to make it a reality. Also, usually if someone is cruel and sadistic, it appears throughout their military campaigns. That it occurred once usually means there were other reasons, as noted above. Just my thoughts Learn together 13:33, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

And valid your points are. I didn’t say “sadistic”. To me that is a step or so further and implies enjoyment. (His younger brother was that. I’ll be coming to him shortly, but I’ll do Stephen next). And you may be right – Saladin may have been playing smart. He seemed to be more of a politician than Richard. Look; I am quite happy to change the “cruelty” charge to “ruthless.” I think that in my heart I like Richard. I grew up with Scott, and Robin Hood, and it is difficult to get that romantic chivalric figure out of my perception. So I was not putting a POV (shall we say) with that sentence. But he did order the cold-blooded murder of 2700 prisoners for whatever reason. Then again, I am a great believer in “the context of the age”, so I have to think that most commanders may have done the same. I remember that some time in my innocent teens half a century ago I was upset when I read of this incident in one of those multi-volume histories of the crusades.

I’m waffling, so I’ll stop. I am happy to change the article, as I am for any change in any article that increases the “factuality” and thereby the worth of it. It is how it should be. I will put some points concerning my articles on my user page later today or over the weekend. (It is 6:15 am here!)AlanE 16:20, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

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