Crusades by Elizabeth Laird A fact and fiction story Image from http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/838/5107322.JPG
The Crusades, a story about a holy war, where two boys of opposing faiths are to confront each other in this war. • Salim lived with his merchant family in Acre (a trading port city) on the Mediterranean. • A rumour is heard in the marketplace that a Frankish army is on the way to attack the city, panic set in as people leave before the army arrives. • In England, near the castle of Fortis, lived a boy called Adam who worked as a serf for the Baron Guy de Martel. Adam had just buried his mother and was now alone in the world to fend for himself. He felt under obligation to save his mother’s soul because she died without a priest hearing her confession. He wishes to go to Jerusalem! • He is stopped by the lord and told to report to the castle to work as a ‘dog boy’. • Little does he know he will end up fighting for the Crusades.
Crusades - a call for Christians to leave their homes and join armies to help to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims. • Jews and eastern Christians had lived peacefully in Jerusalem side by side for thousands of year prior to the Crusades. • Crusaders thought Muslims and Jews were evil and should be killed.
Acre a walled city which was a pivotal strategic city on the road to Jerusalem. It was under seige by the Franks ( Richard 1 of England and Philip of France in 1191. • Richard ordered a massacre of the Muslims when the city fell and Saladin did not honour the surrender agreement. • After numerous battles Richard and Saladin reached a three-year truce on 2 September 1192, in which the Christians had to give up a small portion of their gains and Christian pilgrims would be allowed to enter Jerusalem. • Reference: Lawon, Richard 2004-2006 . Richard and Saladin: Warriors of the Third CrusadeShadowed Realm Medieval communityhttp://www.shadowedrealm.com/articles/exclusive/richard_saladin_warriors_third_crusade
Franks were European (Christian) forces, feared by the Muslims because of their barbaric, and primitive ways. • All Jews and Muslims were killed after the First Crusades when Jerusalem was captured and became a Christian kingdom for a hundred years.
A Serf is a person bound to work for a Lord as a servant. They owned nothing and could rarely gain their freedom. Image from www.mrdowling.com/images/703serf.gif
Acre - map of crusades Riley-Smith, Jonathan. "Crusades." World Book Online Reference Center. 2008. [Place of access.] 16 Jan. 2008 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar142340>.
Salim is apprenticed to a Jewish doctor and leaves Acre for Jerusalem, only to be overtaken by Saladin’s army of Saracens and Mamluks in their holy war (Jihad). The doctor saves a young Saracen’s life and is forced to tend Saladin as his personal physician. • Meanwhile Adam is part of the crusader force under Richard 1 camped outside Acre. He learns much and rises in statue as his role changes to eventually become another lord’s squire. • Salim acts as a spy on the crusader army and accidentally meets Adam. Both boys are terrified of each other.
Saladin (Salah ad-Din) and Richard 1 (the Lionheart) were the most dominant figures during this Third Crusade and both considered chivalrous Saladin born in 1137 to a Turkish family in Tikreet, then grew up in Damascas and Baalbek. He was declared Sultan of Egypt and Syria and with combined forces was able to defeat the Franks at the fall of Jerusalem Richard was seen as brave and strong so he was called Lion-heart. He was also very noble and good, but his fierce, passionate temper caused many problems and a lot of harm. References: http://www.shadowedrealm.com/articles/exclusive/richard_saladin_warriors_third_crusade http://www.historychannel.com.au/assets/Education/7%20CrusadesPt4.doc
Saracens were the Mohammedans who held Palestine with Saladin as their leader.
Saladin organises a series of ambushes with the English forces. The two boys meet again when the doctor and his apprentice are requested by Saladin to help the injured Lord Guy after the battle. Saladin seen as honest, fair, ethical and honourable when he admires the fearless quality of the Knight (Lord Guy). A return favour was granted to allow safe passage for Salim’s family from the siege city before it is overtaken (Fall of Acre).
“1189 - the city of Acre had been under siege by the knights and soldiers. • The capture of Acre was to mark… the first stage in a Latin reconquest of the Holy Land. • …after a year and a half of fighting the city still held out. • …the prolonged resistance of Acre and its garrison lay, in part, in the physical situation of the town. …on the coast below Tyre, with an excellent harbor and strong fortifications, Acre was virtually impregnable so long as its defenders had control of the sea, over which food, materials, and reinforcements could be brought to the town. • … Saladin had moved his field army to the vicinity of the city shortly after the siege of Acre had begun, so that the besiegers had both to deal with the garrison of the town and with a field army which continually harassed them and hampered their communications and their supply routes.” • Quote from: Halsall, Paul (December 1997) Medieval Sourcebook: Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi: The Siege and Capture of Acre, 1191http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/source/1191acre.html [16/01/08]
Jennet’s daughter (the illegitimate child of Lord Robert) is kidnapped and sold to slave traders by the pedlar, Jacques, who has followed the warring factions. • Adam deserts his knight to follow the slavers and enlists the help of Salim and the doctor to organise her safe return. • Adam has been recognised by Lord Guy on his death bed as his illegitimate son and will be wealthy and free man on his return to England.