Richard the lion hearted

Born: 8th September 1157 at Beaumont Palace, Oxford

Died: 6th April 1199 at Chalus, Aquitaine

Buried: Fontevrault Abbey, Anjou

Parents: Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine

Siblings: William, Henry, Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan & John

Crowned: 2nd September 1189 at Westminster Abbey, Middlesex

Married: 12th May 1191 at Limassol, Cyprus

Spouse: Berengia daughter of Sancho VI, King of Navarre

Offspring: None

Richard Plantagenet (also known as “Richard the lion hearted”) was born on
September 8th in the year 1157 CE. Although born in Oxfordshire England,
Richard was a child of Aquitaine a part of Southern France. His language was
not English and throughout his life he spoke little of it.


He had four brothers and three sisters, the first of which died at a young
age. Of the remainder, Henry was named heir to the English throne, Richard
was to succeed his mother’s Aquitane and Geoffrey was to inherit Brittany.

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John was the poorest to fair out receiving nothing from his father. It is
this action that gave him the name John Lackland.


At a young age of twelve, Richard pledged homage to the King of France for
lands of his. At the age of fourteen, Richard was named the Duke of Aquitane
in the church of St. Hillaire at Poitiers (one of the lands made homage to
the French King.) Henry’s sons, who had been given lands but no real power
revolted against their King father aided by their mother. In retaliation King
Henry had Eleanor jailed. She remained there for many years.



Richard’s Mother Eleanor
Eleanor was the daughter and heiress of William X, duke of Aquitaine and
count of Poitiers, who possessed one of the largest domains in
France–larger, in fact, than those held by the French king. Upon William’s
death in 1137 she inherited the Duchy of Aquitaine and in July 1137 married
the heir to the French throne, who succeeded his father, Louis VI, the
following month. Eleanor became queen of France, a title she held for the
next 15 years. Beautiful, capricious, and adored by Louis, Eleanor exerted
considerable influence over him, often goading him into undertaking perilous
ventures.


From 1147 to 1149 Eleanor accompanied Louis on the Second Crusade to protect
the fragile Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, founded after the First Crusade only
50 years before, from Turkish assault. Eleanor’s conduct during this
expedition, especially at the court of her Uncle Raymond of Poitiers at
Antioch, aroused Louis’s jealousy and marked the beginning of their
estrangement. After their return to France and a short-lived reconciliation,
their marriage was annulled in March 1152. According to feudal customs,
Eleanor then regained possession of Aquitaine, and two months later she
married the grandson of Henry I of England, Henry Plantagenet, and count of
Anjou and duke of Normandy. In 1154 he became, as Henry II, king of England,
with the result that England, Normandy, and the west of France were united
under his rule. Eleanor had only two daughters by Louis VII; to her new
husband she bore five sons and three daughters. The sons were William, who
died at the age of three; Henry; Richard, the Lion-Heart; Geoffrey, duke of
Brittany; and John, surnamed Lackland until, having outlived all his
brothers, he inherited, in 1199, the crown of England. The daughters were
Matilda, who married Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria; Eleanor, who
married Alfonso VIII, king of Castile; and Joan, who married successively
William II, king of Sicily, and Raymond VI, count of Toulouse. Eleanor would
well have deserved to be named the “grandmother of Europe.”
During her childbearing years, she participated actively in the
administration of the realm and even more actively in the management of her
own domains. She was instrumental in turning the court of Poitiers, then
frequented by the most famous troubadours of the time, into a centre of
poetry and a model of courtly life and manners. She was the great patron of
the two dominant poetic movements of the time. The courtly love tradition,
conveyed in the romantic songs of the troubadours, and the historical matire
de Bretagne, or “legends of Britanny,” which originated in Celtic traditions.

In the Historia regum Britanniae, written by the chronicler Geoffrey of
Monmouth some time between 1135 and 1139.


The revolt of her sons against her husband in 1173 put her cultural
activities to a brutal end. Since Eleanor, 11 years her husband’s senior, had
long resented his infidelities, the revolt may have been instigated by her;
in any case, she gave her sons considerable military support. The revolt
failed, and Eleanor was captured while seeking refuge in the kingdom of her
first husband, Louis VII. Her semi-imprisonment in England ended only with
the death of Henry II in 1189. On her release, Eleanor played a greater
political role than ever before. She actively prepared for Richard’s
coronation as king, was administrator of the realm during his crusade to the
Holy Land, and, after his capture by the Duke of Austria on Richard’s return
from the east, collected his ransom and went in person to escort him to
England. During Richard’s absence, she succeeded in keeping his kingdom
intact and in thwarting the intrigues of his brother John Lackland and Philip
II Augustus, king of France, against him.


In 1199 Richard died without leaving an heir to the throne, and John was
crowned king. Eleanor, nearly 80 years old, fearing the disintegration of the
Plantagenet domain, crossed the Pyrenees in 1200 in order to fetch her
granddaughter Blanche from the court of Castile and marry her to the son of
the French king. By this marriage she hoped to insure peace between the
Plantagenets of England and the Capetian kings of France. In the same year
she helped to defend Anjou and Aquitaine against her grandson Arthur of
Brittany, thus securing John’s French possessions. In 1202 John was again in
her debt for holding Mirebeau against Arthur, until John, coming to her
relief, was able to take him prisoner. John’s only victories on the
Continent, therefore, were due to Eleanor.


She died in 1204 at the monastery at Fontevrault, Anjou, where she had
retired after the campaign at Mirebeau. Her contribution to England extended
beyond her own lifetime; after the loss of Normandy (1204), it was her own
ancestral lands and not the old Norman territories that remained loyal to
England. Many French historians who have noted only her youthful frivolity,
ignoring the tenacity, political wisdom, and energy that characterized the
years of her maturity have misjudged her. “She was beautiful and just,
imposing and modest, humble and elegant”; and, as the nuns of Fontevrault
wrote in their necrology: a queen “who surpassed almost all the queens of the
world.”
The Crusades



In 1183 the younger Henry died leaving Richard as the heir to the English
throne. Another family dispute occurred when Richard receiving the lands of
his brother. Henry was expected to give his Aquitane to his brother John.

Richard refused to give up the homeland of his mother. While this dispute
over family land raged on, Richard learned of the tragic loss at Hattin,
where the crusaders had lost Jerusalem to the Saracen leader Saladin. Richard
soon took up the cross of the crusades, much against his father’s approval.


In 1189, upon the death of Henry II, Richard was crowned King of England in
Westminster Abbey London. One of his first actions was to free his mother
from prison. His second was to begin to raise funds for his crusade later to
be called the Third Crusade. He imposed a tax on the English people called a
Saladin for the use of aiding his war effort.


A King Imprisoned



After the Third Crusade, Richard began his homeward journey to England.

Put ashore by bad weather he found himself in Austria home of Leopold,
and”their Richard had angered by actions during the crusade. Leopold capture
King Richard and imprisoned him in his castle. Eager for a piece of the
action the Emperor of Germany offered Leopold 75,000 marks for Richard taking
him into custody in Germany.


Rumors ran quickly throughout England over the missing king. There is a
legend that the troubadour Blondel heard his king singing in a castle and
responded with a song that the both of them were sure to know. Whether true
or not the fact remains that two Abbots were soon dispatched to journey for
him through the network of the church. Even Eleanor, Richard’s mother wrote
to the Pope for assistance in the matter. Richard was found and soon a ransom
was set for his return to England. The sum was 150,000 marks and amount equal
to three years of annual income and weighing at three tons in silver.



Return Of the King



Richard returned to England receiving a heroes welcome. He forgave his
brother John, by saying he was manipulated by cunning people and vowed to
punish them and not his brother. Unfortunately for the King he returned to a
land in financial troubles. The cost of the Crusade and his large ransom had
tapped out the finances of the land. This monetary trouble was to destroy him
for his remaining five-year reign. He created a new great seal as a means to
raise funds and made void all documents signed with the old.



Death of A King



For such a brave and noble King Richard’s death came about in a rather
strange way. In Chalus, Aquitane, a peasant plowing his fields came upon a
treasure. This treasure consisted of some gold statues and coins. Richard in
turn claimed the treasure from the lord, who refused. This prompted Richard
to siege the village.


During the siege Richard was riding close to the castle without the
protection of full armor. He spotted an archer with bow in hand on the wall
aiming a shot at him. It is said Richard paused to applaud the Bowman. He was
struck in the shoulder with the arrow and refused treatment for his wound.

Infection set in and Richard the first, the Lionheart died on April the 6th
1199. He was buried in the
Fontvraud Abbey in Anjou France.


Bibliography
Richard I
Bibliography
K. Norgate, Richard the Lion Heart (1924, reprinted 1969),
F.M. Powicke, The Loss of Normandy, 1189-1204, 2nd ed. (1961),
L. Landon, Itinerary of King Richard I (1935),
S. Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol. 3 (1954),
Amy Kelly, Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings (1950),

Richard The Lion Hearted

Richard The Lion Hearted Greek Mythology played a very key role in the lives of the Greeks. Through the many legends about the gods, the Greeks were able to find reasons for all the laws of nature in a supernatural form. These legends were passed down from generation to generation until the spread of Christianity. On top of giving the Greeks reasons for natures action, their religion also gave them a faith that thing were going to be okay, which is something that all humans crave. The Greeks had 13 major gods. They often used these gods in their myths and prayed to them for particular needs.

The head of the gods was Zeus who was also the god of the sky. Whenever Zeus spoke, he was listened to and his word was always final. Zeus had two brothers, Poseidon and Hades. The three brothers drew straws to decide who would control the skies, who would control the seas, and who would control the underworld. Zeus gained control over the skies and became king of the gods. Zeus used his mighty thunderbolts to punish all those who disobeyed him.

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Zeus married Hera, making her the queen of the gods. The sky god was extremely unfaithful to his wife and slept with women from queens all the way down to peasants. Since Zeus was king of the gods Hera could rarely force Zeus to do any penance, so she took out her wrath on the women Zeus slept with. Zeuss symbols were thunderbolts and eagles. When the three brothers drew straws to determine what area they would control Poseidon got the sea. His wife was Amphritrite who was a Nereid.

Like Zeus, Poseidon was not very faithful to his spouse and had many affairs with the nymphs. Poseidon fathered several children who were extremely cruel and wild. Among his children were Orion the giant and the Polyphemus Cyclops. In art, Poseidon is generally featured holding a trident and accompanied by a dolphin. Also, Poseidon was said to have created many animals.

He accidentally created such animals as the zebras while perfecting the horse. Hades was the god of the dead. When he and his three brothers divided up the universe, he ended up with the underworld. Hades rarely came out of the underworld to Mount Olympus, the place where the gods resided, because he was not welcome there. Persephone, whom Hades had abducted in order to get her to the underworld, was Hades queen. Hades was a pitiless god who never paid attention to prayer or sacrifice.

But Hades was not an evil god. He was often referred to as the Lord of the riches because his kingdom was believed to be the reason for precious metals and crops. Hades wore a helmet and a cape that made him invisible. Hera was the queen of the gods. She was both the wife and sister of Zeus.

Hera was a jealous goddess who never forgot an injury and always remembered to retaliate at the source of the injury with vengeance. She was the mother of Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus. Hera was extremely displeased at the way that Zeus often treated children. Hera was the protector of marriage, married women, and children. Many people think that Hera was an ugly god that had no life outside of harassing here husband about his other relationships, because she was always after Zeuss mortal partners, but this is not true for she was thought to be one of the most beautiful gods, and many god were attracted to her.

Demeter was the goddess of harvest. When her daughter, Persephone, was abducted to the underworld, Demeter became depressed. As a result Demeter produced no harvest and caused a famine. Zeus had to step in to correct the situation. Zeus ordered Hades to allow Persephone to be released. Hades obeyed his brother but before he let Persephone go, he forced her to eat pomegranate seeds that would cause her to come back to him for four months each year. So during the months Demeter was with her daughter she produced great crops; during the months Hades was with Persephone there was only death among the crops.

Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and everyday life. She was also Zeuss sister. Most Greek people prayed to Hestia each day. In most homes there was a hearth that was not ever allowed to be put out because the fire was devoted to Hestia. These fires that burned in everyones home created a unity between the people.

Ares was the son of Zeus through Hera and was perhaps the only son they had together. Both Zeus and Hera hated their son. Ares was the combat part of war. Ares is often looked on as an inspiration for people fighting for their life with odds heavily against them. The vulture and dog were the two animals associated with Ares. Both describe his character extremely well. Athena or Athene was the goddess of wisdom and the other god of war.

Role as a war god was to give strategies guidance and wisdom to the warriors. She was Zeuss daughter and had no mother because Zeus had created her from the earth. Athena is often called gray-eyed because of her deep colored eyes. She was by far the favorite child of. Zeus even let her carry his aegis and use his thunderbolts. She created the olive tree, which became known as her tree.

The owl was her bird because they both were thought to have great wisdom. Cecrops was the king of Attica and had plans to build a magnificent city. The gods saw the plans for the building of this city and were greatly interested. The gods foresaw that this city would become a great city, so they had a dispute over which god should be the citys patron. After a many long arguments, it became obvious that either Athena or Poseidon would be the citys patron. A contest was held to end the dispute in which both Athena and Poseidon would give a gift to the city.

Whoevers gift was greater would become the patron of the city. Poseidon created a four-mile salt spring that extended to the city and promised a might navy and great trading vessels. Then gray-eyed Athena planted a small bush that was laughed at by many. She said that it was the olive bush and poor men could flavor their bread and milk, and rich men could feast on oil created from these olives bushes. Many gifts of this oil would be used as a sacrifice to the gods. The judges were so pleased with the olive that they declared the city Athens and built a huge temple in honor of the citys new patron Athena. Apollo was the son of Zeus through Leto.

Many of the gods loved Apollo because he displayed his great musical talents before them. He was the god of healing and archery. It was said that when a mortal got sick it was because Apollo had shot him with one of his arrows. When a mortal healed it was credited to Apollo because he had first taught man how to heal. Apollo was also the god of light (not sun) and truth since he never told a lie.

The animals sacred to him were the crow and dolphin. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and daughter of Zeus. She was like an untamed animal that loved to hunt. Artemis was the goddess of wild women, the moon, and untamed animals. Artemis was the protector (along with Hera) and the hunter of the gods. She seemed to almost have a split personality because at times she could be the most gentle and loving of the gods, usually when she was around children, and at other times she was the most ferocious and angry of all the gods, often when someone killed an animal on her sacred grounds.

The deer was the animal most loved by Artemis. It is unsure whether Aphrodite is another daughter of Zeus or born from the sea. Most stories state that she was born from the sea. Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty and love because she was by far the most beautiful of all the gods. She was in the love triangle between her lame husband Hephaestus and Ares the god of war. The swan and dove were two of the birds sacred to her. Maia was the son of Atlas and a nymph.

The son of Zeus and Maia was Hermes. Hermes was the messenger god and ended up in most all tales of mythology. Hermes ran messages for all the gods, but mainly for Zeus. Hermes was the god of trade and commerce. He was also a master thief and protector of traders.

Hermes stole Apollos herds when he was a day old, but earned his forgiveness by giving Apollo the lyre he had just made. During Hermes last message he was led to the underworld by Hades where he had to stay for eternity much to most of the gods displeasure. Through these gods and the legends surrounding the gods, the Greeks found reasons for everything they did. They were also always able to find a god to motivate them to continue through the day and to use as inspiration. Even though the gods would eventually be nearly forgotten after the spread of Christianity, they would be studied for generations to follow.

End Notes Bibliography Coolidge, Olivia E., Greek Mythology, Mifflin Company, New York, New York, 1977. Graves, Roberts., Greek Myths, Penguin Group, London, England, 1981. Patrick, Richard., All Color Book of Greek Mythology, Octopus Books Limited, London, England, 1972. http://myth.fsn.net.html.

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