Battlefield Where Richard the Lionheart Defeated Saladin Located

Battlefield Where Richard the Lionheart Defeated Saladin Located


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An Israeli archaeologist has identified the long-lost battlefield of Arsuf. This was a battle that took place during the Crusades between the legendary figures of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. The battle of Arsuf (1191 AD) was one of the most important to take place during the Crusades , but its exact location had been lost for centuries.

Dr. Rafael Lewis, during his post-doctoral studies at the University of Tel Aviv, began work on identifying the site of the Battle of Arsuf. According to the Jerusalem Post , the “memory of its exact location had been long lost.” The battle between Muslims and Western European Christians was long believed to have occurred on the Plains of Sharon, near the busy modern city of Tel Aviv. Haaretz reports that it “was known to have taken place near the ancient settlement of Apollonia, aka Arsuf, whose remains today lie on the Israeli coast just north of Tel Aviv.” However, no-one knew where the battle took place despite its immense historic importance.

The archaeologist examined primary sources and discovered that Richard the Lionheart and his army made their way down the coast from Arce. In the image Saladin’s armies can be seen during the Siege of Arce.

Challenges of Battlefield Archaeology

Pinpointing the site of the battle was challenging. Dr. Lewis told the Jerusalem Post that “the area of battlefield archaeology focuses on events that last only a few hours or at most a few days, whose sites are therefore challenging to be investigated archaeologically.” The archaeologist, who now works at Haifa University, decided to adopt an innovative approach to identify the long-lost battlefield.

First, he examined the primary sources from the period, such as medieval maps. He knew that Richard the Lionheart and his army of western European knights and soldiers made their way down the coast from Acre. He also studied the ancient network of roads, which are vastly different from those today.

Using environmental studies, Dr. Lewis found what he believes is the battlefield site where Muslims and Crusaders clashed. (Rafael (Rafi) Lewis)

Lewis told the Jerusalem Post that he employed environmental studies “which usually are not considered but provide a lot of information.” He was able to estimate the humidity and heat of the area in the 12 th century AD and the hours of sunlight and moonlight. He knew from documentary sources that the battle took place in September and this was helpful. The various data points and the sources led him to believe that the battle took place between the modern city of Herzliyya and modern Arsuf.

Dr. Lewis surveyed the proposed battlefield site with a metal detector and turned up arrowheads and other metal objects from the right era. (Rafael (Rafi) Lewis)

Metal Detector Helps Locate Battlefield

Lewis believed that there were also strategic reasons why the battle took place in this area. Richard the Lionheart had wanted the conquer Jerusalem and recapture its holy sites. However, for strategic reasons, he headed for the port of Jaffa. The archaeologist told the Jerusalem Post that “Saladin did not believe that Richard was marching towards Jaffa but that at that point he and his troops were going to turn inland in the direction of Jerusalem.” As a result, Lewis believes that the Muslim and the Christian armies encountered each other at the spot identified by him near Arsuf. In the 13 th century, the battlefield was an oak forest.

It was only in the latter stages of his research that Lewis conducted archaeological research. He surveyed the proposed battlefield site with a metal detector . The Times reports that the “preliminary scan of the site has so far turned up arrowheads and other metal objects of the right date.” These artifacts appear to substantiate Lewis’s theory concerning the battlefield site.

Amongst the artifacts found was a piece of a "violin-key" horseshoe that was used in Western Europe in the Crusader period. Rafael (Rafi) Lewis

Crucial Battle of the Third Crusade

The Battle of Arsuf was the most important military confrontation of the Third Crusade . This was prompted by the defeat of the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem at Hattin by the great Muslim hero Saladin. Later the forces of Saladin captured Jerusalem and the Crusader states in the Levant were on the point of collapse. The Third Crusade was called by the Pope to recapture Jerusalem.

  • Richard the Lionheart – The Crusader King
  • Understanding the Crusades from an Islamic Perspective
  • The Puzzling Death of Sultan Saladin: A 12th Century Medical Mystery Solved?

Richard I of England, popularly known as the Lionheart, captured Acre from the Muslims in 1191. He desperately needed a port and made his way south to Jaffa. As the Crusaders were leaving a forest, they were ambushed by Saladin. Richard the Lionheart’s army withstood the attacks and the military order of Knights Hospitaller counterattacked the Muslims and caught them by surprise. The heavily armored Christians overwhelmed Saladin’s army and inflicted thousands of casualties.

The Battle of Arsuf is famous as the encounter between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.

Crusaders Failure to Capture Jerusalem

However, the Crusaders did not push on to crush the army of Saladin because they feared more ambushes. Lewis is quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that “Richard won the battle, but failed to destroy the Muslim forces.” The Christians did not manage to capture Jerusalem which was their main objective. Many believe that the Battle of Arsuf ensured a Christian presence in the area for more than a century. The Jewish population of the region did not participate in the conflict between Christians and Muslims.

The potential identification of the site of the battle could be a breakthrough in our understanding of the Third Crusade. More research needs to be conducted in the area. In future, the methodology used in the study could help researchers to identify other lost battlefield sites.


Battle of Arsuf

The Battle of Arsuf was a battle during the Third Crusade which took place on 7 September 1191. The battle was a Christian victory, with forces led by Richard I of England defeating a larger Ayyubid army led by Saladin.

The battle occurred just outside the city of Arsuf (Arsur in Latin), when Saladin met Richard's army as it was moving along the Mediterranean coast from Acre to Jaffa, following the capture of Acre. During their march from Acre, Saladin launched a series of harassing attacks on Richard's army, but the Christians successfully resisted these attempts to disrupt their cohesion. As the Crusaders crossed the plain to the north of Arsuf, Saladin committed the whole of his army to a pitched battle. Once again the Crusader army maintained a defensive formation as it marched, with Richard awaiting for the ideal moment to mount a counterattack. However, after the Knights Hospitaller launched a charge at the Ayyubids, Richard was forced to commit his entire force to support the attack. After initial success, Richard was able to regroup his army and achieve victory.

The battle resulted in Christian control of the central Palestinian coast, including the port of Jaffa.


Finding the battlefield

Other historians have tried to pinpoint the battle's location, which they knew happened north of modern-day Tel Aviv. But Lewis said he is the first to find the exact location of the Sept. 7, 1191 battle.

The location was described in May in the Monograph Series of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology.

Lewis knew the battle began near the village of Arsuf, "but we didn't know exactly where," so he began "going back in time" by combing through documents such as aerial photography, historical photographs and written records kept by people passing through Arsuf. Lewis also examined the shape of the landscape and archaeological accounts, until he had a good idea of where the battlefield might be. Then, he went there in person to search for battle artifacts.

In a limited metal-detector survey of the site, Lewis found an iron plate (possibly from a helmet), iron horse harness fittings, and a violin key horseshoe nail, a tool used in England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries, he said.

Lewis also found two arrowheads: one designed to pierce armor (in 12th century battles, men wore four layers of protective clothing and armor, Lewis noted) and another that was flatter, like a disc, and designed to target horses, so that the animals would be wounded and rear up, throwing off their riders.

Written sources say the Battle of Arsuf took place near an oak woodland, and detail how the Crusaders stopped at the edge of the forest after the charge. That forest isn't there anymore (it was cut down by the beginning of the 20th century), but after Lewis consulted historical texts, maps and aerial photographs, he estimated the edge of the forest and deduced where the armies had fought, given that each charge covered roughly 820 feet (250 meters) in distance.

The new research "gives us a fairly sound idea of where the battle took place," Adrian Boas, an archaeologist at Haifa University who specializes in the Crusades and was not involved with the study, told Haaretz.

In an interesting historical note, when Richard the Lionheart died in 1199, his heart was preserved in a crystal box containing mercury, mint, frankincense and several sweet-smelling plants, Live Science previously reported. Meanwhile, Saladin died in 1193, possibly of typhoid, according to doctors who retroactively diagnosed him based on historical records, Live Science reported in 2018.


How did Richard the Lionheart die? And where is he buried?

After years of fighting in the Holy Land, the warrior king Richard I would lose his life closer to home. Commonly called ‘the Lionheart’, Richard I has been an enduring figure in both fact and fiction. Son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard was born in England but spent the majority of his life either fighting abroad or living in the duchy of Aquitaine. In 1173, he joined his brothers and mother in a rebellion against his father, and in 1189 they defeated a fatally ill Henry, just days before his death.

Barely able to stay on his horse, Henry reluctantly named Richard as his heir. Within a year of his coronation, Richard had left for the Third Crusade – intended to recapture Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land from the Muslim sultan Saladin. Taxes were raised across England to fund Richard’s escapades. While some now view this as Richard’s disregard for being an active ruler, at the time his people saw him as a chivalrous emblem of Christianity.

Although Jerusalem wasn’t regained, Richard achieved safe passage for Christian pilgrims who visited the city. He had to return to England as his brother, John, was plotting against him by stirring up rebellion and forming an alliance with Philip II of France.

On his journey home, Richard was imprisoned by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI. Remarkably, the enormous ransom of 150,000 marks – roughly three times the income the English Crown – was raised, and Richard was released in 1194. He returned to England, but the visit was short-lived, and within months he was fighting to protect his lands in Normandy against Philip. He would never return to England, and continued fighting on and off in France for five years.

In late March 1199, he laid siege to the castle at Châlus-Chabrol and was shot in the shoulder with an crossbow bolt. The wound turned gangrenous, and he died on 6 April 1199. Legend has it that the bolt was fired by a young boy who sought revenge for his father and brothers, and who was subsequently pardoned by Richard.

The king was buried at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou, where his father – and later his mother – were buried, while his heart was kept at Rouen Cathedral to commemorate his love of Normandy. During his ten-year reign, he is believed to have spent no longer than six months in England, and probably couldn’t speak English. The triumphant appearance he makes in many Robin Hood films is unlikely to have occurred in reality – if indeed the hooded hero existed.


Battle of Jaffa: Lionheart’s Greatest Victory

By the summer of 1192 the Third Crusade had ground to a bitter halt. After a string of early successes King Richard I of England, popularly known as “the Lionheart,” had twice led the Christian army to within sight of Jerusalem only to be turned back by bad weather, strategic concerns and dissension among the Crusaders. The French contingent—long resentful of Richard’s leadership— openly refused to follow him any longer, and even his own men were dissatisfied at how their king had shirked his sacred vow to take the city. Worse yet, disturbing reports from England warned Richard of his brother John’s schemes to seize the throne for himself. With his authority waning on all fronts, the Crusade seemed on the verge of collapse.

In the Muslim camp Saladin, founding sultan of the Ayy¯ubid dynasty, watched events unfold with a mixture of relief and consternation. Though his army still held Jerusalem, the Crusaders controlled a swath of the Holy Land coastline stretching from Acre in the north to Ascalon in the south. The latter foothold was particularly troubling, as it provided a launching point for Crusader operations against Egypt, the sultan’s power base. Seizing the initiative, Saladin formulated a bold plan to split the Crusader territory in two, sever their lines of communication and defeat the Crusaders in detail. To accomplish this he would strike where Richard least expected it—at Jaffa.

The town of Jaffa, famous for its biblical association with Solomon, Jonah and the apostle Peter, lay only 40 miles northwest of Jerusalem along the centuries- old Roman road and served as the holy city’s primary port of entry. Because Saladin had shrewdly demolished the town’s defenses in 1187, Richard was forced to spend considerable time, effort and supplies refortifying it when he arrived with his army in 1191. By the following summer the walls and towers were still only partially rebuilt, leaving the Crusaders to rely on their strongest fortification, a large citadel overlooking the harbor. Its garrison, too, had been largely neglected and comprised only 5,000 sick and wounded men Richard had left behind during his second retreat north from Jerusalem. On the morning of July 26, 1192, the forsaken soldiers awoke to find Saladin’s army arrayed below their walls.

Amid the blaring of trumpets and banging of gongs, cymbals and drums the sultan threw his army into the assault. His force was so large that it enveloped the landward side of the town with both flanks reaching the shoreline. The focus of the attack was the eastward-facing Jerusalem gate. While sappers dug beneath the walls, the Muslim arsenal of siege weapons pelted the parapets with a ceaseless stream of deadly stone projectiles freshly cut from the surrounding ravines. Saladin knew it was imperative to take the town quickly before Richard could mount a relief effort.

Despite the overwhelming odds and the fury of the attackers’ onslaught, the defenders managed to hold their ground for a time. The garrison was initially under the command of French baron Alberi of Reims, who early on tried to flee the city only to be dragged back and thrown in irons by his own disgusted troops. The remaining men of the garrison had more discipline than their cowardly commander and organized a spirited defense. Christian sappers dug countermines to collapse the Muslim tunnels, and in the areas where attackers had already breached the walls, the defenders lit huge bonfires, raising an impenetrable curtain of flame. Hand-to-hand combat was fierce, and the attackers could not help but grudgingly admire the tenacious courage of the defenders, whom they had believed to be a rabble of invalids. In his record of the battle Saladin’s biographer Baha¯’ ad-Di ¯n Ibn Shadda¯d recalls watching an isolated pair of Crusaders repel a force of Muslims rushing one particular gap in the wall. When a well-aimed siege stone dispatched one of the men, his comrade unhesitatingly stepped into the breach and kept fighting.

Despite the defenders’ resolve, Saladin’s numbers proved too great to contain. By July 30 his troops had breached the wall in several places, and the Jerusalem gate lay in ruins. As the fighting spilled into Jaffa’s narrow streets, a last stand of determined defenders barricaded themselves in the citadel and prepared for martyrdom. Fortunately for the survivors, the newly elected patriarch of Jerusalem proved a more skillful diplomat than his woeful predecessor. He immediately began a series of deliberately protracted negotiations with Saladin for the lives of the Christians in Jaffa. The sultan ultimately agreed that every Christian man, woman and child could leave the town unharmed, provided they pay a modest ransom. To ensure good faith the patriarch offered a group of important hostages that he made sure included the disgraced Alberi of Reims. The defenders in the citadel, however, remained defiant, hoping against all hope for relief to arrive.

Richard was in Acre, overseeing preparations for an assault on Beirut, when word reached him on July 28 that Jaffa was under attack. “God yet lives,” the Lionheart exclaimed, “and with his guidance I will do what I can!” Saladin’s assault had, as intended, caught Richard completely off guard. The Crusader king had already sent north seven galleys loaded with men, supplies and siege equipment, and the French—busy sampling Acre’s famous taverns and pleasure houses—remained as intransigent as ever. Undaunted, Richard cobbled together a fleet of 35 galleys into which he crammed a motley force comprising his best troops, a contingent of Genoese and Pisan sailors and members of the Templar and Hospitaller orders. While the fleet, led by his own red-hulled flagship Trenchmere, sailed south to relieve the town, he dispatched the rest of his army on a parallel course by land. At first his audacious undertaking seemed doomed, as the contrary winds of the eastern Mediterranean forced the fleet to travel at a frustratingly slow pace, and the overland force bogged down in the face of a much larger Muslim contingent that included members of the deadly Assassin cult from the mountains of southern Syria. Not until late in the evening of July 31 did the king’s flagship arrive off Jaffa.

August 1 happened to mark the Catholic liturgical feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating the apostle’s liberation from prison by an angel. For the exhausted defenders holed up in Jaffa’s citadel that morning it must have seemed God had heard their own prayers for deliverance. Saladin was in his tent negotiating with the patriarch of Jerusalem when one of his officers strode in and discreetly whispered in his ear that Richard’s fleet had arrived. In disbelief the sultan immediately mounted his horse and rode down to the shoreline where he saw for himself the Christian fleet, including the menacing red hull and scarlet sails of Trenchmere. Although shocked by Richard’s sudden appearance, Saladin recognized his 35-ship fleet as a modest force, and he ordered his men to the beach in anticipation of the Crusader landing.

Standing offshore, Richard and his commanders considered their next course of action. The horde of Muslim troops lining the beach, shouting war cries and waving their weapons in defiance, seemed to confirm the Crusader king’s fears that Jaffa was firmly in Saladin’s hands. Just then the relief force spotted a lone figure dropping from the citadel tower to the beach, where, miraculously unhurt, he ran into the surf and began swimming out to the ships. When pulled aboard Richard’s flagship, the exhausted man, a priest, announced between gasps the Crusaders still held the citadel. It was all Richard needed to hear. “God sent us here to die if need be!” he shouted as his men prepared to disembark. “Shame on anyone who holds back now!”

In the tradition of his Norman ancestors, Richard did not wait for his boat to strike shore before leaping into waist-high water with a sword in one hand and a crossbow in the other. Baha¯’ ad-Di ¯n wrote that the sight of the dreaded Melech Ric (King Richard) wading through the surf, heaving with rage, his long red hair blowing wildly in the breeze, was enough to send many of Saladin’s troops fleeing in terror. Showing little concern for the arrows whistling overhead, Richard hurled himself at the enemy, alternately hacking with his heavy blade and firing his crossbow. Behind him his men poured ashore to establish a beachhead. Using planks, barrels and whatever else they could strip from the boats, they erected a crude barricade, behind which archers took position to cover the king’s attack.

Wasting no time, Richard pursued Saladin’s retreating men into Jaffa, raising his banner from the roof of the Templars’ house to alert defenders in the citadel of his arrival. The moment the besieged men spotted the English king’s distinctive trio of stacked gold lions on a red field, they opened the citadel gates and burst into the streets to reap brutal vengeance on their former attackers. So sudden was Richard’s assault, it caught the majority of Saladin’s troops, most of whom were still focused on looting, wholly unprepared. Trapped between the converging Crusader forces, many simply dropped their spoils and fled town as fast as they could, leaving their hard-won prize to Richard the Lionheart.

Outside Jaffa, Saladin was mortified to learn of the Muslim rout and made no effort to hide his disdain for his troops’ shameful lack of discipline. “How can this be?” he asked his cowering commanders. “By what superior disposition have they been able to accomplish this? In infantry and cavalry our army is far superior!” Though he tried to rally his retreating men, by day’s end the sultan was forced to concede defeat and withdraw his army roughly 4 miles east to the village of Yazur. As Richard’s men set about repairing Jaffa’s defenses as best they could, the sultan sent envoys to begin yet another tiresome round of negotiations.

Of all the Crusades, the third stands out for the relationship that developed between Richard and Saladin. Indeed, the campaign was much more than just a clash of faiths—it was a personal duel between two titans of the medieval era. As the opposing armies planned their next moves, the great commanders, once again locked in a military stalemate, engaged instead in a curious battle of wits. “Your sultan is mighty,” Richard jeeringly remarked to one of the envoys racing back and forth between the two camps. “Why then did he make off at my first appearance? By God, I was not even ready to fight! I was still wearing my sea boots.” Not one to lose composure over petty insults, Saladin calmly reminded Richard that with each passing year in the Holy Land the Crusaders grew weaker, while he, on his home turf, could call up innumerable reinforcements. In truth, both sides were exhausted, and each desperately sought a decisive final engagement to end the campaign.

With typical unconcern for his own well being, and perhaps as a further jibe at his rival, Richard camped his army east of Jaffa on the very spot Saladin’s tent had occupied just days earlier. The overland Crusader force still had not arrived, leaving Lionheart just 2,000 men in all, including only about 80 knights and still fewer horses and mules. Saladin and his commanders recognized the vulnerability of this paltry force, and in the predawn hours of August 5 they launched a surprise attack on the Crusader camp. Fortunately for Richard, as Saladin’s scouts crept toward the sleeping Crusaders, a Genoese sentry spotted the silhouettes of their helmets against the night sky and hurriedly sounded the alarm. The king sprang from his tent, pulled his chainmail hauberk over his nightshirt, jumped barelegged onto his horse and roused his men to meet the 7,000 enemy horsemen charging out of the darkness.

Once again Saladin had caught Richard napping, and once again the king would demonstrate his tactical brilliance and unflagging courage. Badly outnumbered, he deployed his small army in a meticulous hedgehog formation, in which his infantrymen knelt shoulder to shoulder behind their shields, their spears anchored firmly in the ground with points bristling outward. Behind them he positioned his crossbowmen, whom he grouped in shooter-and-loader pairs to ensure a continual shower of deadly bolts. Behind the crossbowmen and infantry waited Richard and his mounted knights, ready to charge at a moment’s notice. “There is no chance of flight!” he yelled to his scrambling men. “Hold out then stubbornly, for it is the duty of men to triumph bravely or to die gloriously! Even if martyrdom threatens, we ought to receive it with a thankful mind. But before we die, while life remains, let us take vengeance, yielding God thanks for granting us the martyr’s death we have longed for.”

As his troops steeled themselves, a messenger arrived with word that some of Saladin’s men had forced their way into Jaffa, and that all was lost. After threatening the shaken man with beheading should he repeat the message to anyone, Richard set out for town with a party of knights and crossbowmen to assess the situation. As the king had assumed, the messenger had greatly exaggerated the enemy infiltration, and the knights quickly cleared the streets. Richard then rode down to the beach to round up as many stragglers as he could find before returning to receive the first attack.

Saladin’s horsemen, though “swift as swallows” on their nimble Arabian horses, found the bristling wall of Crusader steel frustratingly difficult to penetrate. And while the Crusader infantry-men’s spears kept Saladin’s cavalry at bay, the Christian cross-bowmen’s rapid, accurate fire wreaked havoc on the Muslims’ lightly armored mounts. As the first wave galloped back to their lines, Richard laughed aloud. “There—what did I tell you?” he jeered to his men. “Now they have done their utmost. We have only to stand firm against every fresh attempt, till by God’s help the victory is ours.” Five times Saladin’s horsemen charged the Crusaders only to be repulsed at each attempt. Finally, sensing the enemy beginning to tire and lose spirit, Richard’s front ranks parted, and he and his knights burst forth in a furious charge.

The ferocity of this small force’s sudden attack caught Saladin’s troops by surprise, and they began to reel. “The king was a very giant in the battle and was everywhere in the field—now here, now there, wherever the attack of the Turks raged the hottest,” wrote one Christian chronicler. At one point Richard led his knights in a furious charge straight through Saladin’s right flank and into the rearguard. Twice he risked his life, first to cover an unhorsed Earl of Leicester, and then to rescue a knight named Ralph de Mauléon, whose lion standard the enemy had mistaken for the king’s. Watching from a distance, Saladin was so impressed by his rival’s prowess that when Richard himself was unhorsed, the sultan, in an unparalleled gesture of battlefield chivalry, sent him two fine Arabian stallions.

Richard graciously accepted Saladin’s generous gift, then threw himself once more into the fray. By midday both he and one of the stallions were splattered in blood, and it appeared as though an entire quiver of arrows was lodged in his armor and shield. As the battle wore on, fewer and fewer of Saladin’s men dared challenge the seemingly invincible Melech Ric. For one emir, however, the prospect of felling the English king proved too tempting, and he spurred his battle horse forward. With one mighty swing of his sword Richard sliced the foolish man in two, taking off not only his head but also his right shoulder and arm. At this horrific sight Saladin’s troops began to retreat, even as Richard rode up and down their lines, goading any man to face him. When Saladin’s son motioned to answer the challenge, his father abruptly ordered him to stay put, clearly not wishing to add a dead heir to the day’s woes. When no one else stepped forward, some sources claim Richard called for food and, in full view of the enemy, sat down to eat. Seeing that his men would not budge, a despondent Saladin once again withdrew to Yazur.

The epic week-long struggle for Jaffa fittingly proved to be the final battle of the Third Crusade, as both sides were now utterly exhausted. Saladin’s army had lost 700 men and 1,500 horses. Morale in the Muslim camp plummeted to such depths that for three days Saladin himself refused to leave his tent. While Richard had lost just 200 men, he and his army were wracked with disease. At one point, sick with fever, the English king wrote his rival asking for fresh fruit, and the chivalrous sultan generously obliged. On Sept. 2, 1192, left with no other recourse, the arch-rivals finally agreed to the Treaty of Jaffa, a three-year truce that left much of the coastline in Crusader hands but Jerusalem firmly in Saladin’s. One month later Richard the Lionheart left the Holy Land, never to return.

Alex Zakrzewski is a Toronto-based writer, editor and frequent contributor to a number of international publications. For further reading he recommends The Life and Times of Richard I, by John Gillingham The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf and Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade, by James Reston Jr.

Originally published in the March 2015 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.


Role [ edit | edit source ]

Fate/strange Fake [ edit | edit source ]

Day 0 [ edit | edit source ]

The Saber-class does not exist in the False Holy Grail War ritual. However, with Faldeus machination to turn the false war into the true holy grail war, he successfully changed the course of the ritual and the summoning of the Saber-class signals the true path of the holy grail war. Originally Cashura intended to summon King Arthur with his catalyst. Before he could complete the summoning, he was murdered by Assassin. With the incomplete summoning, the opera stage was enveloped with light and multiple figures appear. All but Saber disappeared when the light fades. Saber recognizes that Assassin is one of the old men of the mountain. He engages her in battle and he comments that this is the first time he's seen someone more nimble than Loxley. Eventually Saber uses Excalibur, which destroyed parts of the opera house. He ask Ayaka Sajyou whether she is his master, and to his surprise Ayaka rejected the formal contract. Β] Saber disappears feeling dejected. When the police arrive, they noticed the corpse of Cashura and the ruined opera house. Saber reappears again and confesses he did it, even going so far as to prove that he did it by using a weaker version of Excalibur on a falling piece of rubble that would have hit the policemen. Saber was eventually handcuffed by the police. Before he was taken away to the police headquarters, he was broadcast on local television and he says he will make amends for the opera house destruction.

Day 1 [ edit | edit source ]

Ayaka and Saber are taken to police headquarters. The police attempt to interrogate him, but he shocks them by demonstrating that handcuffs and walls cannot hold him by turning into spiritual form. He says he did not resist arrest because he did not wish to endanger Ayaka and he respects the policemen who were only doing their jobs. He declares that once morning comes, he will leave with Ayaka. Assassin breaks into police headquarters to target Saber. However, she was intercepted by Orlando Reeve's Clan Calatin force. Ayaka and Saber make use of this commotion to escape. After escaping they'd be lead to an underground punk hang out where Richard demonstrated his proficiency with an electric guitar despite never using such an instrument prior, playing a tune which drew everyone's attention. After receiving a change of clothes and a brief back and forth of questions from Ayaka, he revealed his True Name. Shortly after exiting the hang out Saber searches for an ally and heads into the woods where he comes across Lancer and proposes the alliance. Lancer decides to test his strength through a duel which Richard did not dissapoint, as well as demonstrate using Excalibur with a mere stick. After the duel, he explains that while escaping the police station he saw what he described as a blood sucking monster and wishes to return the grail war to its proper form after dealing with such a threat. Soon approached Assassin who overheard the conversation, knowing Sabers identity as well as the story of his team up with Saladin and a Hassan during life to stop a dead apostle. He then allies with Lancer and Assassin to stop the mentioned menace. Γ]

Saber, along with Assassin and Ayaka went to confront Sigma, a mage they believed was one of the Masters in the war. What they were not aware of, was that Sigma had not summoned a proper Servant, instead having summoned Watcher. Sigma escapes from Assassin, almost getting away, until noticing Ayaka and, believing that she was a bystander, stops to tell her to run. Seeing his kindness, Saber, and Ayaka decide to ally with Sigma. Sigma tells them that he has summoned the Lancer, Charlie Chaplin, who doesn't want to show himself. Δ]

Day 2 [ edit | edit source ]

Later Ayaka has a dream about Saber's meeting with Saint Germain, though she doesn't tell about it to Saber. Α] Sigma, who is also in contact with Faldeus Dioland, informs them that a number of soldiers have surrounded the house. Saber, though wary, isn't that concerned about them. Sigma later also tells them about the battle between True Archer and his Master against True Berserker and his Master. Saber is enthusiastic about this, wanting to slay True Berserker, who is described as a monster. Faldeus, however, tells him that his real employer will probably handle the situation, as she does. Ε]

After telling Ayaka to take shelter in the church, Saber, Assassin, and Sigma later arrive to the battle between multiple forces at the hospital, where Tsubaki Kuruoka, the young comatose Master of False Rider is residing. True Archer, False Archer, Clan Calatin and False Caster are also present. Ζ]

False Archer becomes offended by Saber's presence and fires a volley of swords from Gate of Babylon at him, but he effortlessly bats them away with his own sword. Saber is amazed by the many high quality swords and asks False Archer if he can borrow a few. Even more offended, False Archer fires more swords, but Saber either bats them away or dodges them. Saber then offers to purchase a few swords, which makes False Archer even angrier. Saber then gets close and almost manages to strike False Archer, who blocks it. False Archer notices him seemingly using Magecraft to increase his agility, but he claims it came from one of his followers.

False Archer notices Saber dodging his swords like he had prior experience and expresses curiosity on how he has it. Saber explains that he sparred with False Lancer earlier, who fights in a similar way, and they became allies. In response, False Archer unleashes more swords and says Saber must pass his trial to see if he is worthy of being his best friend's ally. After hearing "trial", Saber asks if he is a Ruler, but False Archer points out a Ruler is an impartial judge while he is not. Saber then points out False Rider is on the loose infecting people with disease and asks if they can become allies to stop it. False Archer refuses and says he can deal with False Rider on his own. He fires a huge barrage of swords, so Saber dodges and parries them, then fires a blast from his Excalibur to knock several away. Saber boasts that False Archer outclasses him in many ways, but he's more than a match when it comes to speed.

Continuing to dodge swords, Saber manages to get close to False Archer and slash at him, but he jumps back in time. Saber fires a blast from Excalibur, but False Archer blocks it with several shields. False Archer mocks Saber because his Excalibur is just a replica of the real deal. To False Archer's fury, Saber steals one of the swords that he had fired and uses it to fire an Excalibur blast. False Archer blocks the blast with his shields again, but due to the higher quality sword, the blast is more powerful, so the impact knocks him into the air to his fury. Saber then blasts him again and again, sending him higher and higher into the sky.

False Archer is engulfed in the blast's light, but summons several weapons, links them together with the golden chain Enkidu, and disperses the blast. He then unleashes a rain of weapons on the church where Ayaka is taking shelter. Saber blocks the weapons with his body and is impaled in several places. He crashes through the roof, but manages to stop the church from being destroyed. False Archer enters the church, ignoring the shocked Ayaka, and commends him for being able to stop his attack on the church and survive. The injured Saber scolds him for attacking a church, but he says he doesn't care about any institution for the gods. He says Saber trying to fight without any true desires was foolish, then says he will deliver his verdict and asks if Saber has any final words. Saber points out Ayaka has not done anything to him and asks that he spare her. False Archer says he will only grant her consideration, and if he judges her worthless, he will blow her away with the other rabble. He is about to declare his judgment on Saber, but is interrupted mid-sentence when True Archer attacks him.

While the Archers fight, Saber complains about how he is missing a great battle. Ayaka says they need to get out of there and get him medical attention, and that the church must have some bandages. Saber chuckles that she must really not be a magus if she's trying to heal a Servant with bandages. She says this is not the time for jokes and tries to lift him onto her shoulder, but he complains that being helped by someone he had sworn to protect is a disgrace as both a knight and a king. She says swearing to protect a nobody like her already bemirched his honor, so he says making her disparage herself is a disgrace as a Heroic Spirit. He stands up under his own power and says after getting them into this situation, he won't complain if she says he is not fit to be a Servant. Suddenly, a wave of blackness washes over the street. When it passes, Saber and all the other combatants have vanished, to the shock of those observing.

Day 3 [ edit | edit source ]

Saber pulls a lot of magical energy out of Ayaka, making her fall asleep, to summon one of his companions to heal his injuries. He then watches over her for half a day until she wakes up. He explains why she fell asleep and apologizes, but she yells at him for making her go to the church and trying to shield her from False Archer's attacks with his body, telling him he needs to take care of himself too. She then notices the church is intact and asks if he repaired it, but he points out if he was able to do that, he would have done it to the opera house. She then tells him she had a dream of his childhood where he was talented at everything and saw his mother, embarrassing him. He says he was childish when he said he could do anything and makes her laugh by confessing that although he knew French, Italian, and Persian, he was ironically bad at English despite being the King of England. He then declares that he's a new man and will protect her and defeat False Archer next time.

A bunch of police officers enter the church. Ayaka worries that they are here to arrest them for escaping police custody earlier, but one of them who introduces herself as Vera Levitt says they ask for an alliance. They explain that the city seems empty except for some people whose minds seem to have been seized by something, and trying to leave the city just warps them back into it. Vera and Saber talk and agree they must be in some sort of isolated space, possibly a Reality Marble. Ayaka does not understand what they are saying, but Vera concludes that to escape, they must eliminate whoever is causing it.

Fate/Grand Order [ edit | edit source ]

Sixth Singularity: Camelot [ edit | edit source ]

Richard was mentioned in the "Camelot" Singularity. Romani Archaman thought Richard was the Lion King, though this proved to be wrong. Romani commanded Ritsuka Fujimaru and Mash Kyrielight to ally with Richard and his Crusaders. It is presumed that he perished along with his Crusaders, when the Lion King's knights destroyed them. ΐ]

Before the arrival of Chaldea, a Servant calling himself Richard I, yet who was far different in both appearance and personality, led the False Crusaders, who fought with the Knights of the Lion King. The False Richard was ultimately defeated by a sacrifice of Gareth, who held him down while Gawain dealt the finishing blow.


Israeli Archaeologist Identifies Battlefield Where Crusaders Defeated Saladin

An Israeli archaeologist believes he has pinpointed the site of the Battle of Arsuf, where the Christian forces of the Third Crusade, led by Richard the Lionheart, defeated the Muslim army of Saladin in the 12th century and solidified their foothold in the Holy Land. For a time.

This battle was known to have taken place near the ancient settlement of Apollonia, aka Arsuf, whose remains today lie on the Israeli coast just north of Tel Aviv. But there was debate among experts as to where exactly in the region the fighting took place and why the opposing generals decided to join battle precisely in this area.

Now archaeologist Rafael Lewis has combined evidence from medieval sources with a meticulous reconstruction of the local landscape and environmental conditions at the time, and has zeroed in on an open field just northeast of the ruins of Arsuf.

A brief archaeological survey has backed up the archaeologist’s identification of the battlefield by revealing artifacts from the Crusader period, including arrowheads and pieces of armor. The study, published earlier this month, also gives us clues as to why the English king and the Ayyubid sultan chose this specific spot for their showdown, says Lewis, a lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a researcher at the University of Haifa.

Saved by the forest

Control over the Holy Land has changed time and again over its blood-soaked history. After centuries under the Romans and the Christian Byzantine empire, the Levant was conquered by the Muslim caliphs in the first half of the 7th century. Christian control over parts of the region was reestablished for a time starting at the end of the 11th century, after Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulcher.

Apollonia was a Byzantine coastal town, whose name was changed to Arsuf during the early Islamic period upon wresting the region from Muslim forces, the Crusaders built an imposing seaside castle at the site. Just like much of the Levant, this spot would see heavy fighting in the following centuries as Crusaders and Muslims continued to clash over Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

The area around Arsuf was the site of a major battle during the Third Crusade, which was launched by European powers – mainly England, France and the Holy Roman Empire – to reconquer the Holy Land after Saladin had crushed the Christian forces at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and captured Jerusalem.

After landing at Acre and taking this strategic northern port in July 1191, the Crusaders marched south to conquer the ancient town of Jaffa, today part of Tel Aviv, and reestablish their control over the entire Levantine coast.

Led by Richard, the Europeans marched along the coast, shadowed by their fleet, which provided supplies. Wary of the lessons of Hattin, where Saladin had defeated the Christians by cutting them off from water sources and fragmenting their army, Richard marched slowly, keeping his forces in a tight battle formation and planning frequent stops to rest from the summer heat and the almost constant harassment by Muslim troops.

Then, on September 7, 1191, Saladin launched a major attack on the Crusader rearguard, according to Muslim and Christian chroniclers.

Despite Richard’s orders to keep formation and lure more enemy soldiers into the fight, some of his knights broke ranks and launched a premature charge on the enemy. Once committed, the English king ordered two more assaults on the Muslims, ultimately routing Saladin’s forces. The Ayyubid troops fled through a forest which is said to have been just east of the battlefield, and the Crusaders halted their charges at the edge of the tree line, fearing they were being lured into an ambush.

That decision may have saved Saladin’s army from total defeat and may have had far-reaching consequences for the outcome of the Third Crusade.

Historical resurrection

The exact location of the battlefield in what is today known as the Sharon plain has been difficult to pin down, largely because the ancient forest and other landscape features have long disappeared under modern roads, towns and fields, Lewis says.

The archaeologist used medieval texts, maps from 19th-century surveys and early aerial photographs of the area to reconstruct how the landscape would have looked, where the major ancient roads in the area passed and where the forest began. He also looked at logistical and environmental factors: how far inland could Richard feasibly march without losing the ability to signal and rendezvous with his fleet? Where would Saladin likely position his troops so that the morning winds would blow toward the Crusaders, giving his archers greater range, while the sun rising in the east would blind his opponents?

All this pointed to a narrow strip of land in the trough between two ridges that run parallel to Israel’s northern coast, just a few hundred meters from the sea. It was through here that the Crusaders must have passed and where Saladin would have pounced, the archaeologist suspected.

A survey of the area with a metal detector turned up several artifacts that could be connected to the battle: an arrowhead used against horses and one with an armor-piercing tip an iron plate, which may be a fragment of a medieval great helm and a horseshoe nail of a type usually found in France and England during that period, Lewis reports.

The survey was conducted in 2014, but the findings were only published now as part of a broader monograph on archaeological digs in and around Apollonia-Arsuf, edited by Tel Aviv University Professor Oren Tal.

“We did find only a handful of artifacts and this is related to the extremely bad preservation of the battlefield,” he says. “I was very surprised we found anything at all due to the modern development in the area.”

The medieval battlefield is sandwiched between Israel’s coastal highway and the grounds of a former munitions factory, which were used as a testing area. There are also several modern villages and a park nearby, all of which are likely responsible for the relative scarcity of finds.

The identification of the battlefield does however offer us some insight into what was going on in the minds of the opposing leaders ahead of the battle of Arsuf.

“Once we know where the battle occurred we can try and understand strategically why it happened in this place rather than at other locations,” Lewis tells Haaretz.

For Richard it was crucial to destroy the Muslim army before he ventured east toward Jerusalem away from the coast and into the highlands, where his supply lines would be stretched and his forces even more vulnerable to ambushes.

But why would Saladin risk his entire army in an open engagement with the European invaders, instead of just continuing to harass them with hit-and-run attacks as he had done so far?

It turns out, based on Lewis’ findings, that the battle took place just next to a key ancient junction where north-south roads met with routes leading east. Geographically, this would have been the first opportunity for Richard to turn toward Jerusalem, and Saladin may have not known, or believed, that the Crusaders were really heading toward Jaffa. So it is possible that the sultan may have given the order to attack to prevent the Crusaders from taking the crossroads or at least pressure them to continue marching down south, Lewis speculates.

The eternal battlefield

Despite suffering a loss at Arsuf, which ruined his reputation for invincibility, Saladin’s strategy would prove winning in the long run.

Richard took Jaffa, but sustained Muslim harassment, and disagreements among the fractious European leadership meant that the Third Crusade was never able to mount an attack on Jerusalem.

In 1192, Richard and Saladin concluded a peace treaty, which left the holy city in Muslim hands, while allowing Christian pilgrims to visit. The Crusader states would remain in control of the Levantine coast for about a century or so, but their ultimate prize, Jerusalem, would elude them forever more.

The idea that the battle was an attempt by Saladin to preempt a move inland by his enemy makes sense, says Adrian Boas, a professor of Crusader-period archaeology at Haifa University.

Boas, who was not involved in the study, said that Lewis’ method of collecting evidence from every possible source before even digging at the site is groundbreaking and rarely used in battlefield archaeology in Israel. “The study gives us a fairly sound idea of where the battle took place and it’s probably as close we are ever going to get,” he tells Haaretz.

Interestingly enough, the military importance of the sandy fields around Arsuf doesn’t end with the Crusades.

In addition to the few Crusader-period artifacts, Lewis’s metal detector survey also uncovered a large amount of bullets and shell fragments dated to World War I. These were likely linked to the fighting that occurred around Arsuf at the end of the war between Allied and Ottoman forces, the archaeologist says. The Battle of Sharon, which was fought between September 19-25, 1918, was part of the broader final offensive under British general Edmund Allenby, leading Allied forces to break through at the Battle of Megiddo and capture Damascus and the entire northern Levant.

The fact that the offensive involved Arsuf, and the same spot where Saladin and Richard had fought 700 years earlier, shows that the site had maintained its strategic importance for any army wishing to control the Holy Land, whether coming from the north like the Crusaders or the south as Allenby did, Lewis notes.

“The same motivation of Saladin and Richard drove the British and Turks later on,” Boas concurs. “History doesn’t exactly repeat itself, but events can be influenced by the same factors over and over again.”

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Battle of Arsūf

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Battle of Arsūf, Arsūf also spelled Arsouf, famous victory won by the English king Richard I (Richard the Lion-Heart) during the Third Crusade.

Richard, having taken Acre in July 1191, was marching to Joppa (Jaffa), but the Muslim army under Saladin slowed down the Crusaders’ progress when they advanced from Caesarea, which they had left on September 1. On September 7, after the Crusaders left the forest of Arsūf, the Muslim attacks became more intensive and were concentrated against the Hospitallers, who constituted Richard’s rear guard. Richard tolerated those attacks in the hope of drawing out the main body of the Muslim army. The Hospitallers, having lost many of their mounts to Muslim cavalry, broke ranks and counterattacked. Richard reinforced that effort with a general charge that overwhelmed Saladin’s army and inflicted heavy losses on the forces attacking to the rear. Seven hundred Crusaders and several thousand Muslims were killed.

The victory at Arsūf enabled the Crusaders to occupy Joppa but was not a crushing blow to the Muslims. Saladin was able to regroup his forces, which the Crusaders had not pursued for fear of ambushes. From September 9 the Muslims renewed their harassing tactics, and Richard did not dare to push on to Jerusalem.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Michael Ray, Editor.


Why is Bardsey Island a Place of Pilgrimage?

Much of the island’s history begins in 516 when Saint Cadfan built a monastery on the island. The area served as a major center of pilgrimage in medieval times, and as a refuge for persecuted Christians. During these times, making three pilgrimages to Bardsey was considered the equivalent of making a single pilgrimage to Rome.

However, navigating the island was quite treacherous due to unpredictable currents in the Bardsey Sound. It was therefore customary for pilgrims to invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary before making the dangerous crossing to the island.


Battlefield Where Richard the Lionheart Defeated Saladin Located - History

I n the year 1187, the Muslim leader Saladin re-conquered the city of Jerusalem [see "The Crusaders Capture Jerusalem"] as well as most of the Crusader strongholds throughout the Holy Land. In response, the kings of Europe including Frederick Babarossa of Germany (who died on route), Phillip of France and Richard I of England (the Lionheart) mounted a campaign to rescue the city. The Third Crusade was underway.

Key to the campaign's success was the capture of the port city of Acre. King Richard arrived on the scene in June 1191 to find the city under siege by a Christian army. In the distance, Saladin threatened - his army too weak to overwhelm the besiegers, but too strong to be dislodged.


Richard's progress through the Holy Land
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Intensifying the bombardment of the city, Richard and the French King, Phillip, slowly broke the city's walls, weakening its defenses while simultaneously starving the occupiers into submission. Finally, on July 12, the Muslim defenders and Crusaders agreed to surrender terms. In exchange for sparing the lives of the defenders, Saladin would pay a ransom of 200,000 gold pieces, release some 1500 Christian prisoners and return the Holy Cross. These actions were to be accomplished within one month after the fall of the city. Richard would hold 2,700 Muslim prisoners as hostage until the terms were met.

Saladin immediately ran into problems meeting his part of the bargain and the deadline came without payment of the terms. As a compromise, Saladin proposed that Richard release his prisoners in return for part of the ransom with the remainder to be paid at a later date. Saladin would provide hostages to Richard to assure payment. Alternatively, he proposed to give Richard what money he had and allow Richard to keep the prisoners in return for Christian hostages to be held until the remainder of the money was raised and the Muslim prisoners released. Richard countered that he would accept the partial payment but Saladin must accept his royal promise to release his prisoners when he received the remainder of the ransom. Neither ruler would accept his opponent's terms. Richard declared the lives of the Muslim defenders of Acre forfeit and set August 20 as the date for their execution.

Beha-ed-Din was a member of Saladin's court and (along with much of the Saracen army who watched from a distance) witnessed the massacre of 2,700 of his comrades:

"Then the king of England, seeing all the delays interposed by the Sultan to the execution of the treaty, acted perfidiously as regards his Musulinan prisoners. On their yielding the town he had engaged to grant their life, adding that if the Sultan carried out the bargain he would give them freedom and suffer them to carry off their children and wives if the Sultan did not fulfill his engagements they were to be made slaves. Now the king broke his promises to them and made open display of what he had till now kept hidden in his heart, by carrying out what he had intended to do after he had received the money and the Frank prisoners. It is thus that people of his nation ultimately admitted.

In the afternoon of Tuesday, 27 Rajab, [August 20] about four o'clock, he came out on horseback with all the Frankish army, knights, footmen, Turcoples, and advanced to the pits at the foot of the hill of Al 'Ayadiyeh, to which place be had already sent on his tents. The Franks, on reaching the middle of the plain that stretches between this hill and that of Keisan, close to which place the sultan's advanced guard had drawn back, ordered all the Musulman


Richard watches the massacre
From a 15th century illustration
prisoners, whose martyrdom God had decreed for this day, to be brought before him. They numbered more than three thousand and were all bound with ropes. The Franks then flung themselves upon them all at once and massacred them with sword and lance in cold blood. Our advanced guard had already told the Sultan of the enemy's movements and he sent it some reinforcements, but only after the massacre. The Musulmans, seeing what was being done to the prisoners, rushed against the Franks and in the combat, which lasted till nightfall, several were slain and wounded on either side. On the morrow morning our people gathered at the spot and found the Musulmans stretched out upon the ground as martyrs for the faith. They even recognised some of the dead, and the sight was a great affliction to them. The enemy had only spared the prisoners of note and such as were strong enough to work.

The motives of this massacre are differently told according to some, the captives were slain by way of reprisal for the death of those Christians whom the Musulmans had slain. Others again say that the king of England, on deciding to attempt the conquest of Ascalon, thought it unwise to leave so many prisoners in the town after his departure. God alone knows what the real reason was. "


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