Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi:
Philip Augustus Returns to France, 1191
[Adapted from Brundage] Philip Augustus regarded the capture
of Acre as a personal liberation from the Crusade. Philip had
never been as enthusiastic a Crusader as Richard and he had, moreover,
been in bad health since his arrival in Palestine. With Acre once
more in Christian hands Philip considered that his part in the
Crusade had been accomplished and he began immediately preparing
to return to the West.
When things had thus been arranged after the surrender of the
city, toward the end of the month of July [during which the Turks
had promised to give back the Holy Cross in return for the freeing
of those who were besieged] a rumor circulated all at once through
the army that the King of France, upon whom the people's hopes
rested, wished to go home and earnestly desired to prepare for
his journey. How shameful, bow disgraceful it was for him to wish
to leave while the task was still pending, unfinished. How shameful,
too, for him whose job it was to rule such a multitude of people,
to arouse Christian men to this pious and necessary venture, and
to see to the continuation of this difficult business....
But what could be done about it? The French King professed that
illness had been the cause of his pilgrimage and that be had now
fulfilled his vow insofar as he could. But, especially since he
was well and healthy when he took the Cross with King Henry [Henry
II, Richard's father] between Trier and Gisors, this assertion
of his does not agree with the witnesses.
He was not, in fact, leaving the work wholly undone. The King
of France had done much in the Holy Land, in besieging the city;
he had likewise rendered a great many services and given much
help. By the authority of his presence as the most powerful of
Christian kings and by merit of his most excellent dignity he
had made it necessary to hasten the execution of the work toward
the taking of the city....
When it became known, in fact, that it was the inflexible wish
of the French King to leave and that he would not yield either
to lamentations or to tearful supplications, the French renounced,
if they could, their costly subjection to him and repudiated their
lord. They called down upon the man who was now about to depart
every adversity or misfortune which could happen to any mortal
man in this miserable life. The King nonetheless hurried up his
journey as speedily as he could. He left behind as his replacement
in the Holy Land the Duke of Burgundy with many men. He asked
King Richard to put some galleys at his disposal and Richard graciously
ordered two of the best to be given to him. Philip's ingratitude
for this offer was later sufficiently apparent.
King Richard asked the French King for an agreement for the preservation
of mutual faith and security. They, like their fathers, disliked
keeping up a rivalry and, though they looked for mutual love,
it was never considered sufficient to exclude fear. King Richard
was eager for a pact, for he had been stung by the nettle of fear.
He demanded that the French King take an oath to keep faith and
that he promise that he would not knowingly or maliciously trespass
on King Richard's lands or the lands of his followers while Richard
remained on Crusade. But if King Richard should seem to be incorrigibly
at fault in some particular, he would be called upon by the French
within forty days after he had returned home to correct whatever
grievances there might be and he was to be warned by the French
King before that monarch sought any revenge. The King of France
took an oath and swore to King Richard that be would observe all
of these conditions. The French King gave as hostages the Duke
of Burgundy and Count Henry [Duke Hugh III of Burgundy and Henry
of Troyes, Count of Champagne] and five or more others whose names
are not given. How faithfully the French King stood by this agreement
and oath is known well enough to everyone. For, as soon as he
reentered his homeland, he stirred up the country and threw Normandy
into disorder. What more? The King of France took leave and departed
from the army at Acre. Instead of blessings, everyone had bad
wishes and curses for him..
On the feast of St. Peter in Chains [Thursday, August 1, 1191]
the King of France boarded a ship and sailed toward Tyre. He left
the larger part of his army, however, with King Richard.
Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, ed. William
Stubbs, Rolls Series, (London: Longmans, 1864) III, 21-22 (pp.
236-39), translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary
History, (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1962),
For this text see also The Crusade of Richard the Lionhearted,
ed. and trans. John L. LaMonte, (New York: Columbia University
Copyright note: Professor Brundage informed the Medieval
Sourcebook that copyright was not renewed on this work. Moreover
he gave permission for use of his translations.
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© Paul Halsall December 1997