King Richard the Lionheart of England & the 3rd Crusade

King Richard the Lionheart of England was a military genius. He defeated Saladin 3 times out of 3 encounters, during the 3rd Crusade, circa 1189–1192 AD: Acre, Arsuf and Jaffa. His coat of arms comprises 3 yellow lions emblazoned over a red shield. His legacy: British Forces Cyprus.

While en route to the Levant to recover Jerusalem, King Richard’s fleet of ships was hit by a tempest. Several ships, some with treasure, ran aground on the island of Cyprus, aka Chittim. Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus seized the treasure. This prompted Richard to conquer Cyprus and set it up as a base for his crusade.

“… Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.”
– Isaiah 23:1

Image of a map of the Crusader States in 1190 AD

After Richard’s reconquest of Acre in July 1191 AD, the seat and remnant of the Kingdom of Jerusalem moved to Acre. However, coronations were carried out at Tyre.

“… Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?”
– Isaiah 23:8

In December 1191 AD, Richard’s army advanced to within 12 miles of Jerusalem. Historians say, Richard could easily have taken Jerusalem, because the Muslim defenders were weak and in disarray. But after some consideration, Richard decided against an assault, and retreated his army back to the coast.

To my mind, Richard was convinced by the LORD of hosts not to take Jerusalem because of the presence of Templars among the crusaders.

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