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Argument

We have chosen to talk about King Richard I of England due to his


great importance in both English and French culture, being known as
one of the bravest King that has reigned over England and called by
his people Lionheart, the fearless King that ruled over the British
Isles.
His name was used in the medieval folklore, appearing in the famous
novel Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. His character was portrayed in
many movies and books in the last and current century, and he also
was the protagonist of a very popular current video game Assassins
Creed, game that takes place during the Third Crusade .In all of his
fictional representations, he was depicted as an honorable, brave and
faithful to God man.
In the Third Crusade, 11911192, he obtained victories at Cyprus,
Acre, and Arsuf (against Saladin), but failed to recover for Jerusalem.
Even the Muslims recognized that Richard was a force to be
reckoned with and a great military man. During the crusade he often
sought advice from the Divine, some of his decisions being
influenced by some of his dreams that he had at night, believing that
they were messages from God.
Unlike other kings, Richard the Lionheart did not persecute other
people, helping the Jews that lived in England during the massacre at
York, decreating a royal writ that protected the Jews and punished
those who would not respect this law. Unfortunatelly, his people
could not fully benefit from his kindness, due to the fact that, in his 9
years reign he was in England for no more than 6 months.
In conclusion, Richard I was one of greatest and wisest fighters that
ever became the King of England, leading his army to many victories
and being one of the best military strategist that ever lived.

Prcis

The current project work focuses on King Richard I, an exceptional


ruler of England, gifted with a chivalry character and a brave,
honorable heart. It is divided into three main chapters, as follows:
The first chapter reveals Richards childhood and his life before he
became the King of England. It presents both his moral and
physical character, and his courage in the early battles that earned
him the nickname of Lionheart.
The second chapter presents his life as a righteous Kind and his
Crusade to regain Jerusalem, the holy land, which represents the
most popular campaign he has lead in his life as the King of
England. Moreover, this chapter shows the death of the beloved
King and the place his body was buried.
The last chapter, titled Legacy provides information regarding
the opinions of several historians about Richard the Lionheart, who
considered himself an extremely talented warrior, but a poor
politician and the role he had as an emblematic icon of England
after his death. His influence was extremely strong and he was
adored by his people, and his figure stills represents a popular
theme and idea for books, video games and films even 800 years
after his death.

Chapter I: Early life

Richard was born on 8 September 1157 in


Oxford, England. He was the third son of Henry II and Eleanor of
Aquitaine, thus he was not expected to ascend the throne. Richard
spent his childhood in the city he was born, being an educated young
man, who composed poetry.
Richard showed significant political and military ability from an early
age. During the time his brother, Henry the Young was crowned King
of England he fought against the rebellious nobles, being noticed for
his courage and chivalry in the battle. He inherited the territory of
Aquitaine from his mother and he named the Duke of that province.
Shortly after, King Henry the Young declared rebellion against his
own father, Henry II, so Richard joined his brothers army, seeking the
help of Louis VII. After a very long war, the rebellion surrendered and
a peace treaty was signed in September 1174. However, the terms of
the peace excluded Richard and he went to his fathers court, begging
and weeping for help, receiving the Kings forgiveness and the
legendary kiss of peace.

In his campaign to punish the barons who were still rebels, Richard
sieged the barons castle, where achieved his legendary nickname,
Lionheart. In the following years, Lionheart kept repelling every
acts of rebellion, earning his reputation as a very skilled military
commander. At the death of his brother, Henry the Young, in 1183, the
conflict between Henry II and Richard started again, ending with the
victory of Richard, who took the throne of England.

Chapter II: The Reign and the


Third Crusade
Richard was officially crowned on 3 September 1189 in Westminster
Abbey. Soon after he became King, he joined his army, leading them
in the Third Crusade to regain the holy land, Jerusalem from the
Muslims. Richard saw this Crusade as a very important task for him as
a King and a leader of the Christian troops. He used most of his
resources to equip the crusaders, wanting a fast and successful victory
against Saladin, the Muslims leader at that time. The crusade was set
out in the summer of 1190.

In the same year, Lionheart and his army arrived in Sicily, where they
put an end to a rebellion that started in Messina. He captured the

province in 4 October 1190, setting his camp here until 4 March 1191.
After he left from Sicily, Richard found out that the ship carrying his
sister, Joan, shipwrecked near Cyprus and she was taken prisoner by
the islands ruler, Isaac Komnenos. Being ravaged by anger, Richard
stopped his march to Jerusalem and headed for Cyprus. The Kings
army conquered the whole island by 1 June, ending with Issacs
surrender. Richard left Cyprus on 5 June, continuing his advance
towards the Holy Land.
Lionheart arrived in Acre on 8 June 1191. Despite Richards illness,
who suffered from scurvy, the crusaders managed to capture the land
of Acre. Moving South, towards Jerusalem Richard defeated every
single one of Saladins forces, culminating with the victory of Arsuf.
In November, the army finally reached Jerusalem. However, in spite
of the fact that the Muslim army was weakened, the crusader could not
conquer Jerusalem due to the horrible weather and retreated back to
the coast. In the following year, Richard tried another attack but
whitout prevail, thing that lead to a treaty between Richard and
Saladin, which permitted the Christians the safe access to Jerusalem.

During his long absence, one of Richards brothers, John plotted


against him, wanting the throne for himself. After his arrival in
England, Richard was captured by Leopold V, being kept prisoner in
the castle of Durnstein. While he was imprisoned, Lionheart wrote
numerous songs and poems. The emperor, Leopold V demanded
65,000 pounds of silver before releasing Richard, bounty paid by the
Kings mother, Eleanor.
Nevertheless, John paid a higher bounty of 80,000 pounds of silver,
demanding Leopold to keep Richard imprisoned. The King was set
free only on 4 February 1194. Even though Richard knew about Johns
rebellion, he forgave his brother, making him the next heir to the
throne.
After his return from the campaign in Normandy, Richard the
Lionheart built the Gaillard Castle, about which he claimed it was his
favorite residence. In his last years of life, he spent his time in this
castle and on its domain. The Kings death was extremely
controversial: in the early evening of 25 March 1199 Richard was
walking around the castle, admiring its walls. Suddenly, one of the
crossbowman on the walls struck Richard with an arrow in the left
shoulder near the neck. The wound swiftly became gangrenous, with
no chance of recovering. The crossbowman which wounded the King
was actually a young boy who wanted revenge on Richard because he
claimed that he murdered his father in the war. The boy was expected
to be killed, but Richard the Lionheart let him go, offering him money
and forgiveness, telling him to Live on, and by my bounty behold the
light of day. This was the Kings last act of chivalry.

Richard died on 6 April 1199 in the arms of his mother. The Kings
heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy and the rest of his body at the
Fontevraud Abbey, in Anjou. A 13th-century Bishop of Rochester
wrote that Richard spent 33 years in purgatory as ppunishement for his
sins, eventually ascending to Heaven in March 1232.

Chapter III: Legacy


Richard I of England is without a doubt one of the most iconic figures
in the English culture, being the first man to have both the titles of
knight and king. He was known as a valiant and competent military
leader and individual fighter, courageous and generous.
His knightly manner and his prowess in the Third Crusade made him
a popular king in his own time, as well as the hero of countless
romantic legends. Lionheart has been viewed less kindly by more

recent historians and scholars, receiving negative portrayal.


Furthermore, he was considered an exceptional warrior and knight, but
a poor ruler and King, due to the fact he was always missing from
England, participating in many campaigns and battles outside the
country.
The Great King was accused that the only glory he sought was that of
victory rather than conquest and that he would fight for anything
whatever, but he would sell everything that was worth fighting for.
Despite all the mistakes he has made as a ruler, his people admired
him as a crusader and man of God, erecting an heroic statue of him
outside the Houses of Parliament.
Politically, Richard had no legitimate heir, resulting in his brother
John taking the throne of England. Yet, his French territories initially
rejected John as a successor, preferring his nephew Arthur of Brittany,
the son of their late brother Geoffrey, whose claim was by modern
standards better than John's.
These days, Richard the Lionheart is an iconic name that is used in
different productions of entertainment such as books, movies and
video games. In all this representations of him, he is depicted as a
brave and honorable man, tough as a rock but kind as a mother.