Thursday, February 3, 2011

Richard "Lion Heart" in Sicily

For a few months in the Middle Ages there were three kings in Sicily. Whichever version of the chronicles we accept as accurate, the time was certainly eventful. The most famous of the monarchs was, without a doubt, Richard I of England, the Lion-hearted. Like Alfred before him, he is one of the few English kings remembered by his nickname, even if he didn't often speak English.

French, in one form or another, was the language the three kings spoke to each other. Philip II was King of France - though Richard ruled much of the country - and Tancred was the last King of Sicily, even though he was illegitimate and his reign was brief. Richard's sister, Joanna (or Joan) was married to King William II "the Good" of Sicily. The illustration shown here depicts her with Richard and Philip. Read about Richard Lionheart's Sicilian adventures en route to the Third Crusade.

No comments: