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Medieval Sourcebook:
An Account of the Goods of a Captured Caravan, 1192

The capture of a caravan by King Richard reveals the variety and quantity of goods transported by camels, dromedaries, horses, and asses from Asia to Europe in the twelfth century, and during all the Crusades.

By this defeat the pride of the Turks was entirely cast down, and their boldness effectually repressed; whilst the caravan, with all its riches, became the spoil of the victors. Its guards surrendered to our soldiers themselves, their beasts of burden, and sumpter horses; and stretching forth their hands in supplication, they im plored for mercy, on condition only that their lives should be spared. They led the yoked horses and camels by the halter, and offered them to our men, and they brought mules loaded with spices of different kinds, and of great value; gold and silver; cloaks of silk; purple and scarlet robes, and variously-ornamented apparel, besides arms and weapons of divers forms; coats of mail, commonly called gasiganz; costly cushions, pavilions, tents, biscuit, bread. barley, grain, meal, and a large quantity of conserves and medicines; basins, bladders, chess-boards; silver dishes and candlesticks; pepper, cinnamon, sugar, and wax; and other valuables of choice and various kinds; an immense sum of money, and an incalculable quantity of goods, such as had never before (as we have said) been taken at one and the same time, in any former battle.


From: Geoffrey de Vinsauf's Itinerary of Richard I and Others, to the Holy Land, translation in Chronicles of the Crusades, ed. H. G. Bohn, (London, 1848), p. 307, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), p. 155.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

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.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, September 1998