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Medieval Sourcebook:
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), 181-83
For this text see also The Crusade of Richard the Lionhearted, ed. and trans. John L. LaMonte, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1941)
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.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall December 1997
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