Sunday, November 02, 2008

My favorite story about Richard Lionheart

It comes from Steven Runciman's A History of the Crusades Volume 3, pages 37-8. If it comes across as rather Monty Python-esque, so be it:

King Richard decided to travel by land from Marseille. He seems to have disliked sea voyages, perhaps because he suffered from sea-sickness.... he waited until he had heard that his fleet had arrived at Messina and then, it seems, sent most of his escort by ship to Messina to prepare for his arrival. He himself continued on horseback, with only one attendant. When he passed near the little Calabrian town of Mileto he tried to steal a hawk from a peasant's house and was very nearly done to death by the furious villagers. He was therefore in a bad temper when he reached the Straits of Messina a day or two later.

Says a lot, doesn't it?

Image: William of Normandy and Harold of Wessex in happier days.

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