Richard I (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Although Richard I has not gone down in history as a particularly good king, he was the epitome of the literary medieval knight—brave, skilled, and chivalrous.
Richard I, King of England, was born on September 8, 1157, in Oxford, England. He was the third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, two historical giants of the era. Tall, with blue eyes and golden hair, he inherited from his mother a sensitivity for music and poetry which made him very popular with the troubadours. His real interest, however, was warfare, and it was because of his great valor that he was called “the Lionhearted.” He was plunged into the game of international politics very early, when at the age of three he was betrothed to Louis VII’s daughter Alice. When he was eleven, he rendered homage to Louis for his mother’s duchy of Aquitaine, and in 1172 he was formally installed as Duke at Poitiers. A year later, he joined his brothers, the younger Henry and Geoffrey of Brittany, in a revolt against their father, which ended only after Henry II had invaded Aquitaine twice to subdue his rebellious son. Richard was soon forgiven, however, and reinstated in his duchy.
From 1175 to 1181, Richard’s reputation as a warrior grew steadily as he was forced to crush...
(The entire section is 1733 words.)
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Richard I (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Richard I achieved significant victories over the Muslim warrior Saladin in the Third Crusade; although he never retook Jerusalem, he gained permission for Christians to visit the Holy City.
Richard, the third child of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, became heir to his father’s lands (including major holdings in France) when his older brother, the Young Henry, died in 1183. Six years later, Henry II died, and Richard became king of England and lord of possessions in France. Almost immediately upon ascending the throne, Richard left England on what was to become known as the Third Crusade (1187-1192). On the way to the Holy Land, he joined forces with the French king, Philip II. Richard’s relationship to Philip was complex: The English king was betrothed to Philip’s sister but wanted to marry another. Richard asked Philip to release him from the engagement and was granted his request in return for a large sum of money and certain lands in France. Wary of each other but committed to the crusade, the two kings arranged to meet in the Holy Land. Before that happened however, Richard seized the island of Cyprus from its Byzantine ruler.
Richard’s first victory in the Holy Land was over the coastal city of Acre, which had been seized by the Muslim leader Saladin in 1187. In July, 1191, Richard’s troops combined with Philip’s to besiege the walls of the fortified...
(The entire section is 969 words.)