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RENEE: Food and wine
from Western Australia

are making quite an impression
on the world's top menus.

It's a lot to do with
climate and soils.

But, more than that,

MAN: Come on, head down.
Where's truffle?

Sometimes you wonder whether he's
working, but he's always at it.

He's always at it.

Meet Al Blakers
and his sidekick Latte.

He's telling me there's a truffle
here somewhere. Where is it?

Show me where it is. Good boy.

Oh, wow.
Thank you.

So, he never eats them?
No. There's the truffle there.

But the dogs have actually learnt
not to hurt the truffle.

Wow. Isn't it amazing?

Al and Latte are responsible
for producing

some of the world's finest truffles.

And because they're
Southern Hemisphere truffles,

the Europeans are paying big bucks
in the off-season.

Ooh. Yes, I can smell that.

Oh, yeah.

Well, everybody's got their own
interpretation of the smell.

To me, the smell's just of money.

Al's backstory is a beauty

because, really,
he stumbled onto success.

You see, he was doing some work
for the CSIRO

when he had a brainwave that
truffles would grow in Manjimup

because it's a wine region.

It wasn't very scientific
but he WAS right.

When was the first truffle
that you ate?

Oh, 2004, I think it was. Yeah.

And how'd you know
if it was good or not?

Well, we didn't, really.

But, obviously,
you like truffles now.

Oh, love 'em.
How do you like them?

Uh...I like to keep it simple.

You know, just truffle butters,
and that.

Here you are.
Have a taste like this.

This is one of my favourite ways
to eat it.

Oh, my gosh. OK.
I've never done this before.

Mmm. Oh!
No, you gotta wait.

It will work on you.
The flavour comes afterwards.

Can I have a little bit more?

Now you all want a bit, don't you?

And what is the international
response to your truffles?

Oh, it's phenomenal.

I mean, when you get
a French company coming to you

and saying they're going to sell
your truffles in Paris this year,

and I never even approached them
or anything, I'm rapt.

MAN: Well, looking for
black shadows in the water.

Another WA success story
is Steve Vidovich.

And the food he's bringing to
the international market

is a more traditional WA delicacy.

We're stalking wild marron
in the Donnelly River.

And I'm advised to tread carefully.


That wasn't very good
for the marron.

It's normally about this
time of the night,

someone does end up
in the drink,

so you've gotta be careful of that.

Ooh! What's that?

There we go -
wild Donnelly River marron.

Oh, my gosh. Can I hold it?

Grab him with your whole hand,

OK. Right. Ooh! (LAUGHS)

So, these are native to the area?
Yep, they certainly are.

He's not happy to see us, is he?

The wild marron are protected,

but Steve and his partner own
and run Blue Ridge Marron Farm.

They supply top chefs
around the world

with this delightful crustacean.

So, what do you like
the most about it?

Well, I guess, you know,
obviously marron's a great product

and, doing what we do,
we get to follow it right through

from breeding the small juveniles
right up to, you know,

selling the finished product and
hearing what chefs think about it.

At the end of the day,

if they weren't doing with it what
they do, we'd be out of a job.

I've heard yours is pretty good.
Yeah, it's pretty good.

ALL: Cheers.

Turns out Manjimup is
a small community.

Everyone knows everyone.

And tonight, Al, Steve and local
chef David Coomer have invited me

to sample the famous Manjimup salad.

DAVID: To start the recipe
we just take a nice marron,

we blanch it for about four minutes.

And then shock it in an ice bath
just to cool it down.

And then peel it...

..slice it nicely
into five nice, neat discs

and set it aside.

The next step is
cooking the potatoes.

So, just gently cooked
and then sliced...

..and then set aside.

Finely slice some pancetta,
place it on a tray...

..bake it in the oven
at about 175 degrees

for about 10 minutes,
just till it's nice and crispy.

David then makes
a French vinaigrette

with Al's beautiful truffles,

Dijon mustard,


four parts of oil
to one part of vinegar

and a bit of pepper.

DAVID: Then we just bring it all
together on a plate.

Potatoes down first, marron on top.

A few shavings of truffle
on top of that.

Then with the crispy pancetta

and just some nice herbs -
whatever's available.

And then just finish it with a
little sea salt and the vinaigrette.

The combination of salt
from the pancetta,

the delicate sweetness of the marron

and that incredible,
almost inexplicable
earthiness of the truffle

combined with
those wonderful textures,

well, this really is a masterpiece.

Captions (c) SBS Australia 2012

In July 1192,
Richard the Lionheart...

King of England,
valiant crusader knight...

stood with his holy warriors,
preparing for a strike on Jerusalem.

Inside the Holy City,

Jihadi warrior, unifier of Islam,

readies his troops for the infidels'
inevitable attack.

These two legendary leaders had
fought each other to a standstill

during a year-long campaign
across Palestine.

Thousands had perished.

Appalling atrocities had been
perpetrated by both sides.

Now they faced each other in a battle
for their final objective,

the sacred city of Jerusalem.

This promised to be the ultimate
clash between two of history's

greatest leaders,

men who, even today, are regarded as
the figureheads of the Crusades.

We think we know these medieval
titans. Saladin, the pious

and just champion of Islam,

Richard, the brutish hothead with
a gift for battle.

But we shouldn't
settle for legend...

because if we look at what Richard
and Saladin actually did,

what they said about themselves,
and how

they were described by the very
people who lived alongside them,

then we can go further.

We can begin to glimpse them both
as men each capable of dark deeds

and stunning acts of genius.

To understand these men
and their epic struggle,

we need first to understand the world
that became their battlefield.

At its heart was Jerusalem...

the holy city prized

by both Christianity and Islam.

In 1099, a crusading army had
seized it from Muslim hands,

wresting it from Islam's control for
the first time in four centuries.

This bloody conquest eventually
ignited two hundred years

of violent Holy War between
Christian West and the Muslim East.

But, surprisingly,

it did not provoke an immediate
response from Islam.

The Muslim world was fractured,
riven by an ancient

feud between Sunni and Shia Muslims,
over the rightful line of succession

to Mohammed, and paralyzed by the
power struggles of rival warlords.

Against this backdrop, the capture
of Jerusalem barely registered.

Near and Middle Eastern Muslims
seem to have had little idea

of who the Crusaders were and why
they'd come to Syria and Palestine.

Most probably thought that they were
Byzantine mercenaries,

engaged in a short-term
military incursion,

not driven warriors
bent upon the conquest

and settlement of the Holy Land.

This dire misconception

helps to blunt Islam's response to
the First Crusade, a costly mistake.

Had the Muslims recognized the true
nature and scale of the Crusades,

they might have put aside their
differences to repel a common enemy.

Instead, Islam's uncoordinated
response allowed

the Christians to strengthen
their foothold here in the East.

With Islam divided, the Christian
invaders, or Franks,

were left to expand and prosper
in their new kingdom in the East.

This realm was known in the
Middle Ages as Outremer,

the Land across the Sea.

It was divided into

four major territories

known collectively

as the crusader states...

Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli

and the Kingdom

of Jerusalem.

As East collided with West,

cities like Jerusalem became
cultural melting pots,

creating a medieval society unique
to the crusader states.

One settler, writing in the 1120s,

'We who were Occidentals have
become Orientals.

'He who was a Roman or a Frank
has in this place become

'a Palestinian or a Galilean.

'He who was a citizen of Rheims
or Chartres is now

'a member of Antioch or Tyre.

'We have forgotten the very places
of our birth.'

But beyond the boundaries
of the cosmopolitan crusader states,

a new force was gaining

prompting Islam to unite and fight
back against the Christian invaders.


Jihad, from the rise of Islam,

was simply spreading the message
of Islam

into non-Muslim territory -

in central Asia, in North Africa,

and most importantly,

into Christian territory,

Byzantine Empire.

But Jihad gained huge momentum
when the Crusaders came to

the Middle East in the
11th and 12th century.

You are not into
the others' territory,

you are defending your own
territory against the others.

So Jihad was a prime responsibility
and duty.

Jihad literally means struggle,

but in the Middle Ages,
this could represent

a fight against internal impurity
or a sacred physical struggle,

a Holy War. And its message
could be spread by poetry.

The Arab poetry from pre-Islamic
time through the Islamic history

was one of the tools to galvanise
society and,

you have thousands of lines
of poetry

urging Muslim communities to defend
and recapture Jerusalem.

Let me read you just few lines.


Here, the poet is reminding the
Muslim community about how important

Jerusalem is, and he's calling
for its recapture, and he says

the only way to recapture it

is through blood
which would purify Jerusalem.

In the 12th century, the torch
of Jihad was taken up by a new,

powerful Turkish dynasty...

The Zangids.

In the name of Islam,
they conquered great

swathes of territory in the East and
brought the promise of a new era.

One in which the Christians might be
driven from the Holy Land.

In 1146, the Sunni warlord
Nur al Din Zangi came to power.

In the course of his career,
he united Aleppo and Damascus,

consolidating the Zangid
hold on Syria,

and pushed their rule further,
into Egypt.

But rising up through the ranks
of his armies was an ambitious

Kurdish soldier.

Born Yusuf son of Ayyub, he's known
to history by the honorific title,

Salah al Din,
Goodness of the Faith.

In the Western tongue, Saladin.

In 1169, Saladin took command of
the Syrian forces

that had seized
Shi'a-controlled Egypt.

Although, officially, the answer
to the Shi'ite caliph,

or spiritual leader of Shi'a Islam,

he began to act with
increasing autonomy.

But as a Sunni Muslim,
Saladin was an isolated outsider,

and his prospects seemed bleak.

The qualities that would mark
Saladin's career soon shone through.

When threatened with open
rebellion by a powerful Sudanese

regiment based in Cairo, Saladin was
ruthless, burning their garrison

to the ground with men, women and
children still locked within.

But he also knew
the value of caution,

waiting a full two years before
abolishing the ruling Shi-ite

caliphate and uniting Egypt
under his own rule.

And as Egypt's new lord,
he now possessed a base with huge

economic reserves,

riches provided by the arable lands
of the Nile Delta.

In 1174, Nur al Din died,

leaving his 11-year-old son
to rule in his stead.

But Saladin seized this opportunity
to expand into Syria.

To lend his rule the aura of
legitimacy, he moved to Damascus,

Nur al Din's capital,
and married his widow, Ismat.

Saladin was quickly becoming the
premier Muslim leader in the East.

With the might of Egypt behind him,
Saladin brought Arabia

and Syria under his control.

And before long, he united
the disparate Muslim factions

into a cohesive army and
began styling himself as Sultan.

The Sultan proclaimed his growing
power and status

with massive public building works,
like this citadel here in Cairo.

A towering fortification

that served as his royal residence
and military barracks.

On the gate into the citadel is
an ornate inscription,

commissioned by Saladin
and deliberately placed here,

where ordinary residents of Cairo
could see it.

So what does this inscription
tell us?

Well, on the one hand,

it proclaims Saladin as the builder
of this great citadel,

and it names him with
honorific titles,

Al-malik Al-nasir,
the victorious king,

Salah al-Dunya Wa al-Din,
the goodness of the world

and of the faith.

But the inscription also sets out to
demonstrate that Saladin's

achievements weren't all about
serving his own agenda.

Because it states

that this citadel was built to
protect his people.

And it affirms that he was the one
who had restored orthodox

Sunni faith to Egypt.

This was the image that Saladin
wanted to present to the world.

As a great Sultan, but also a man of
the people and a servant of Islam.

As Saladin's status and kingdom
grew, he presented his gains

as a necessary step on the road
to Jerusalem.

By the mid 1180s,

the Sultan's empire stretched
from the Nile to the Euphrates.

But his grip on this realm
remained fragile and hung

on the question, would he make good
on his promises to wage holy war?

As yet, he had not shown total
dedication to all-out battle

with the Franks.

Did he really aim to annihilate them

and recapture Jerusalem for Islam,
or were they merely a convenient

justification for his meteoric
rise to power?

In December 1185, Saladin fell ill
and retired from the battlefield.

The exact nature of his malady is
unknown, but it involved

severe bouts of fever that left
Saladin racked with pain.

And as the weeks turned to months,
his condition became

increasingly grave.

Emaciated and drifting in
and out of consciousness,

the Sultan was on the edge of death.

Physicians were called and announced
there was no hope.

The Muslim world was gripped with
confusion and fear.

But after three months,
he pulled through.

Saladin's friends and closest
advisers saw this illness,

this brush with mortality,
as a moment of transformation...

sent by God to wake the Sultan from
'the sleep of forgetfulness'.

The experience does seem to have
profoundly deepened Saladin's piety

and spiritual devotion.

Before his illness, Saladin had been
a ruler who spoke about Jihad,

and had spent most of his time
fighting fellow Muslims

and forging an empire.

He now emerged with new drive

and purpose as a man ready to wage
the Holy War in earnest.


SONG: # It's time for giving # And sharing hope
for what the future brings # Scratch and be merry # It's Christmas time
just for happiness... # VOICEOVER:
Make Christmas more Christmassy with the festive range
from Instant Scratch-Its.

The Sultan mustered a huge
force near Damascus,

and prepared for an invasion of the
crusader kingdom of Jerusalem.

His troops were drawn from across
the Near Eastern world,

some 12,000 professional cavalrymen

and 30,000 volunteers,

described by a Muslim eyewitness

as a pack of
'old wolves and rending lions.'

Surveying his own troops, Saladin
observed that a huge dust cloud

darkened the eye of the sun

once the swarming Muslim horde began
to advance.

But victory here wouldn't depend
simply upon military might.

The real key would be water.

To lure the Crusaders into his trap,

Saladin attacked

the Christian-held town of Tiberias.

Sure enough,

on 3rd July 1187,

a massive Latin army set out from
Saffuriya, led by Guy de Lusignan,

the recently-anointed
King of Jerusalem.

In these hot, dry conditions,

dehydration could be
a deadly weapon,

something that Saladin understood
only too well.

The Sultan had carefully
scouted his chosen terrain.

He knew where water could be found

and went to great lengths to ensure
that the Christians were denied it.

The Sultan immediately dispatched
a number of men

to guard the nearest ample spring
in the village of Hattin,

and then filled in all the remaining
wells in the region.

The Christian army,
marching in the height of summer,

was being led into a waterless
killing zone.

On 4th July, the Christian troops
left their camp

and Saladin's cruel and brilliant
strategy was revealed.

Instead of launching
an immediate attack,

the Sultan allowed them to continue
their pitifully slow progress

eastwards, and waited for
the midday sun to take effect.

And then Saladin's archers began
bombarding the Frankish troops.

In desperation,

they headed to higher ground
on the Horns of Hattin,

to make their last stand.

We know that, at a certain point,

the foot soldiers had left the main
body of knights and escaped

and basically ran up towards
the mountain.

Anyone who was seated on a horse was
basically stuck

in the basin between the mountain

and between Salah al Din himself,
who was probably positioned

about 800 metres from here,
on the other side of this valley.

Twice, the Christians launched
driving counter-attacks,

pushing the Muslims back,
but it was no use.

They were annihilated
by Saladin's forces.

Salah ad-Din chose to
lead his army into battle,

he didn't stay aside and let his
emirs plays the role.

At the final moments of the battle,
he was the one there,

he was the one standing
with his people,

close enough to see that everything
turns out

the way that he wanted it to be.

From his vantage point,
the Sultan saw the red tent

of Guy de Lusignan fall, and with it,

the last shreds of
Christian resistance.

For Saladin, the battle of Hattin
was a total victory.

It culminated in the capture of the
Christian King of Jerusalem

and the sacred relic of
the True Cross.

And it left virtually the entire
army of the crusader states

either slain or in captivity.

By day's end, this landscape was
littered with the bodies of the dead.

And a Muslim eyewitness reported that
the perfume of victory

was thick with the stench of them.

As the sun set, Saladin was said to
have looked over

the field of battle like a lion in
the desert.

This was his moment of triumph,
a proclamation to all Islam

that he was a true jihadi warrior.

With the Christian armies
decimated at Hattin, Jerusalem,

Saladin's avowed objective,

stood virtually undefended.

And in September 1187,

he directed the full force of his
army towards the Holy City.

Within ten days, he knocked through
the outer walls.

Christian mothers shaved their
children's heads in atonement

and the clergy led barefoot
processions through the streets.

But in stark contrast to
the Crusaders' sack of Jerusalem
in 1099,

the Sultan took the city
without a bloodbath.

And this episode has been
instrumental in shaping

his reputation.

For centuries,
it's been argued that Saladin,

the wise and just ruler,

willingly agreed terms of surrender
with Jerusalem's Christian citizens.

This notion has become
a cornerstone of his legend.

But I think it's just
a pretty fiction,

because it ignores the evidence drawn
from those closest to the events

and to Saladin himself.

Shockingly, this material suggests

that what Saladin wanted
was not peaceful capitulation,

but a bloody massacre!

Saladin's secretary,
Imad al Din al-Isfahani,

arrived in Jerusalem the day
after its surrender.

An early copy of his written account
is kept

in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

This text is not just important
contemporary testimony,

it offers us the fall of Jerusalem

as Saladin wanted it to be

What's so remarkable
is that Imad al-Din

makes no attempt to present Saladin
as the man of peace.

Instead, what we get is
Saladin the holy warrior.

He is described telling the
Christians inside Jerusalem

in categorical terms,

"You will receive neither amnesty
nor mercy!

"Our sole desire is to inflict
perpetual subjugation upon you.

"And worse still, we will kill
and capture you wholesale,

"spill men's blood and reduce
the poor and the women to slavery."

Saladin only relented and offered
more generous terms

when the Christians responded
that they would fight to the very
last man,

destroy Jerusalem's Islamic
holy places

and execute thousands of Muslim
prisoners still held in the city.

Saladin's primary concern

was not to present himself
as a magnanimous victor.

attack upon his image as a mujahid,

as Islam's perfect champion of
Holy War.

Jerusalem was back in Muslim hands

and Saladin's string of achievements
that year

turned him into an Islamic hero.

News of Saladin's attack
on the crusader states,

his conquest of Jerusalem
and the catastrophe at Hattin,

sent a shockwave of horror and
dismay coursing through the West.

When the first tidings reached
the elderly Pope Urban III,

he promptly died of a heart attack
on the spot.

He was replaced by Pope Gregory VIII,
who immediately issued a new

papal proclamation, Audita Tremendi,

Audita Tremendi's call to crusade was
lent particular force

by two compelling themes.

God's supposed decision to allow
Islam victory in the East

was explained as a punishment
for sin,

the guilt for which was shared by
all Christians.

And for the very first time,
the evil enemy was personified,

Saladin himself was named
and likened to the Devil.

The messages contained within
Audita Tremendi

were soon translated into
popular songs and music,

composed and played
by travelling court singers.


These troubadours toured the courts
of the European aristocracy

to sing about chivalry and love.

Now their words and music became
infused with religious passion,

as they spread the word
about the coming war.

Tens of thousands of
Latin Christians enlisted,

including whole tranches of the
European aristocracy,

princes and monarchs,

among them the King of France.

But even before this crusading
fever had spread,

one leader made an immediate
commitment to the cause,

the man who would emerge as the
driving force behind this crusade.

Richard I was crowned
King of England,

here in Westminster Abbey
on 3rd September 1189.

He was now ruler of
the Angevin Empire,

a powerful realm that stretched from
Ireland to the Pyrenees.

But by the time he took the throne,

Richard had already committed to
joining the crusade.

The decision had shocked
his family, a volatile dynasty.

Richard's youth was spent variously
scheming against his brothers,

including Prince John,

and then uniting with them
in opposition to their father,

Henry II.

The old King opposed Richard's
decision to enlist in the crusade,

viewing it as an act of
unsanctioned folly.

But for Richard,

the Holy War offered an opportunity
to emerge from his father's shadow.

But this was also the start of
a troubling crisis of identity,

as the Lionheart struggled to
reconcile his roles as a crusader
and as a king.

For now, England would be
entirely dedicated

to the preparations for Holy War

and to footing the bill for the
King's colossal military campaign.

Henry II had already begun to raise
the necessary funds

by imposing a special crusading tax,

the Saladin Tithe,
throughout England.

Enforced by threat
of excommunication,

it proved deeply unpopular.

But the Lionheart pushed these
fundraising efforts even further,

he was said to have
put up for sale...

lordships, earldoms, sheriffdoms,
lands, castles, towns, everything.

And then the Lionheart began spending
on an unprecedented scale.

Thanks to fastidious record-keeping
in medieval England,

details of this immense outlay
can now be recovered

from the pipe rolls of the Exchequer,

kept at the National Archives.

These documents,

the earliest surviving public records
in England,

contain accounts of the royal income,
arranged by county,

for each financial year.

This is the pipe roll for the year

effectively a full financial account
of Richard's reign.

And what's fantastic
about this piece of evidence

is that it shows us an incredibly
precise and detailed record

of what was spent to prepare
for the Third Crusade.

If we look at one example here...

this is for Sudhantescr,
that's Hampshire,

and we can see incredibly
precise details

of what was taken to the Holy Land
and how much it cost.

Here's a listing for 800 baconibus,

that's sides of cured bacon, to be
taken to Jerusalem with the King.

And the cost...

58 pounds 18 shillings and 11 pence.

And the record continues with
20 portions of beans,

an extraordinary 10,000
horse shoes with double nails,

and a hundred weight of cheese.

This pipe roll allows us to see
what was spent in Hampshire,

just one area of England, in
preparation for the Third Crusade.

It allows us to glimpse the furious
activity that was going on

before Richard set out for
the Holy Land.

In total,
Richard spent around £14,000

preparing for his crusade.

This was more than half of England's
entire annual crown revenue.

Not only would Richard be
the best provisioned crusader king,

he also adopted
an entirely new approach to

the problem of reaching
the Holy Land.

His crusade would travel by sea.

This major logistical operation
required detailed

and extensive planning,
and it was not without its dangers

from the likes of shipwreck
and disease.

But if Richard could pull it off,
this new approach would be

quicker and safer than marching his
troops through enemy territory

and would also allow him to transport
the machinery of war to the East,

from weapons and armour to horses.

But success would depend upon
a leader of exceptional strategic

and organisational ability.

Finally, his meticulous
preparations complete,

Richard was ready to depart
from the port of Marseille.

Although familiar to pilgrims
travelling to the Holy Land,

this was the first time
it would be used for such a major

crusading expedition.

The conditions

would've been appalling.

They departed Marseille

on 7th August 1190,

so we can assume the temperatures
hovered around 35 degrees Celsius.

You're talking about 150 men or more

crammed in with provisions and arms
in a vessel

with a shallow keel,

meaning it was susceptible to
anything above mild sea states.

Sea sickness, with certainly the
knights and their attendants,

who weren't used to sea travel,
would have been a real concern,

as would dehydration,

dysentery and any of the maladies

that you would expect among men in
close quarters

for a prolonged period of time.

The fleet would take
the long way round,

avoiding the more treacherous route
straight through the middle of
the Mediterranean.

You needed to go
as close as possible

to the shoreline
in order to navigate,

and this meant that you had to
travel during the day.

Also, water was a severe limitation,
rowing was arduous work,

your oarsmen needed approximately
eight litres a day,

it'd take a metric tonne of water to
keep a whole crew compliment

going for the day.

The horses would have taken as many
as 28 to 35 litres a day,

so you had to put in almost
daily for water

and food replenishment
reasons alone.

In June 1191, Richard the Lionheart
sailed down the coast of Palestine,

at the head of his fearsome
crusading army,

and caught his first glimpse of Acre.

One of the greatest ports of
the Near East,

Acre stood at the gateway
to Palestine.

For the Muslims, it was a bastion

against Christian attack from the
north, whether by land or sea.

Its looming defensive walls rising
from the Mediterranean

would have been visible to Richard
as he approached with his fleet.

And what the Lionheart found
was a city deeply entrenched

in a siege that had already lasted
one and a half years.

The Muslim garrison within the city

was besieged by tens of thousands
of Crusaders.

Beyond those,
spread out across the plains,

were the tents and trenches of the
Muslim armies,

with Saladin in their midst.

Why was Saladin unable to crush the
Crusaders' siege of Acre

before Richard the Lionheart arrived?

The answer was the sea.

Because this was a coastal port,

the Mediterranean acted as a pulsing,
unstemmable artery,

allowing troops to flow from the west
to the Holy Land.

No matter whether the Sultan would
kill 1,000

Christians on one day,
2,000 more would appear on the next.

For Saladin, Acre quickly became
a military engagement

that was almost impossible to win.

Breaking this siege would take all of
Richard's military genius.

To smash through Acre's mighty walls,
the Christians deployed heavyweight

siege machines capable of unleashing
a terrifying aerial barrage.

And to make them
even more destructive,

they were loaded with huge stones

that Richard had brought from
Western Europe.

The Crusaders' most powerful
trebuchets could propel

a missile into the very heart
of the city. And a single catapult stone

might kill 12 of Acre's
Muslim garrison.

By late July,
the Christians' tactics had worked

and the city's walls
were on the verge of collapse.

The men inside were weak and
exhausted by constant fighting.

One Crusader summarised
the Muslims' predicament.

He wrote, "They were afraid
of the miracle they now beheld,

"how the whole world had come to
annihilate them.

"They saw their walls broken down,
pierced and destroyed,

"they saw their people injured,
killed and cut to pieces.

"Saladin's garrison
could take no more."

The great victor at Hattin,
conqueror of Jerusalem,

Saladin now had to watch in horror
as Acre's shattered garrison

buckled and negotiated peace terms
with King Richard.

According to the deal struck,

the Muslims captured
would only be released

when specific terms were met
by Saladin.

Including the payment
of 200,000 gold dinars,

and the return of the True Cross.

The Third Crusade had achieved
a categorical victory.

Richard wanted the terms
of the surrender settled quickly

so that he could press on with
his Palestinian campaign.

But Saladin played for time,

a dangerous strategy that prompted
Richard to take shockingly

brutal action.

As Saladin's advance guard looked on,
the bulk of Acre's Muslim garrison -

some 2,700 men - were led from
the city, bound in ropes.

Herded onto the open plain,

they huddled together in fear
and confusion.

Some perhaps imagining that they
were about to be released.

A Muslim contemporary
described what followed.

"As one man,
the Crusaders charged them,

"and with stabbings and blows of
swords, they slew them
in cold blood."

This terrible massacre sent
Saladin a stark message.

This would be the ruthless dedication
that the Lionheart would bring

to the Holy War.

This atrocity,

one of the most controversial acts
in Richard's career,

shocked Islam, fuelling the fires
of Jihad,

and left an indelible mark on the
Lionheart's historical reputation.

Richard's task now was to try and
march his army

down the coast of Palestine.

Even for the Lionheart,
actually persuading his troops

to leave Acre
proved no simple matter.

The port had quickly become
a comfortable, even enticing,

refuge from the horrors of Holy War.
A fleshpot,

offering all manner of
illicit pleasures.

One Christian conceded that it was
"delightful, with good wines

"and girls, some of them
very beautiful,"

with whom the Crusaders were
"taking their foolish pleasure."

Richard had to induce
his men's obedience

through a mixture of flattery,
prayer, bribery and force.

Four months after arriving
in the Holy Land,

Richard the Lionheart's
Christian army set off

on a long march down the coast.

His aim was to avoid
a risky confrontation,

and reach the southern staging post
of Jaffa with his armies intact.

His soldiers would be
escorted by a fleet of ships,

sailing along the shoreline.

They would rendez-vous
along the way...

at Haifa, Destroit, Caesarea
and Jaffa.

This meant that the soldiers

could travel light,

while the bulk of the resources

could be carried by the fleet.

Richard's coastline-hugging route
offered his troops

protection from Muslim encirclement.

Wherever possible, the Crusaders
advanced at a measured pace,

the right wing of their
tightly packed ranks
practically wading in the sea.

By these measures, the Lionheart

of marching through enemy territory.

At every stage,
they were shadowed by Saladin.

He launched sporadic attacks and
harassed them with skirmishers,

always looking to provoke
an open battle

and stop Richard in his tracks.

Richard's constant visible presence
in the midst of the Crusaders,

signalled by his massive
dragon banner,

was critical to the morale and
continued discipline of his troops.

And it was the Lionheart's charisma
and sheer force of personality

that drove the crusade forward
through the storm of war.

Richard took great care to conserve
his army's energy,

resting them for two days after every
marching interval.

But by September, with food shortages
starting to bite,

arguments were breaking out.

Ordinary Crusaders apparently swarmed
over the carcasses

of the fattest horses to fall
during each day's march,

brawling over their flesh,

much to the disgust of the
dead animals' knightly owners.

Richard stepped in, promising to
replace any lost mounts

so long as the carrion was freely
offered to "worthy men at arms."

His grateful troops were said to have
eaten the horseflesh

"as if it were game.

"Flavoured by hunger rather
than sauce,

"they thought it was delicious."

On 6th September,
Richard set up camp,

pausing to rest his starving,
exhausted army.

At that same moment, his enemy's
patience was faltering.

Eyewitness testimony
from within Saladin's camp

tells us that he was
deeply frustrated

by Richard's inexorable advance,

and wrong-footed by the Lionheart's
policy of resting his troops

every two to three days.

What the Sultan needed now was to
engineer a confrontation,

a pitched battle.

In the morning, Richard and his men
set out for Arsuf

and were almost immediately met with
the full strength of Saladin's army.

The Sultan had decided that this was
where the Franks would be stopped.

The Christians marched on, pummeled
by Saladin's incessant onslaught.

The air thick with Muslim howls
and thundering battle drums.

One eyewitness described how the
Crusaders were "now surrounded,

"like a flock of sheep in the jaws
of wolves, so that they could

"see nothing but the sky and their
wicked enemies on every side.

"The tumult was almost unbearable."

King Richard's soldiers begged him
to let them retaliate,

but he refused.

They would keep marching
in formation.

Richard's hand was suddenly forced.

Two knights near the rearguard
unexpectedly broke rank.

Fuelled by anger,
humiliation and bloodlust,

they raced towards the Muslim lines,
screaming the name of St George.

Within moments,

thousands of Crusaders
joined the headlong charge.

With no hope of recalling his men,
the Lionheart immediately

spurred his horse to gallop and led
his remaining forces into battle.

The Muslim armies shattered
under the charge.

Hotly pursued,
they melted into the forests.

It was another damaging
psychological blow for Saladin.

The Sultan had thrown the full force
of his armies into the field,

hoping to stop the crusaders in their
tracks, and yet he'd failed.

Despondent, the Sultan's heart was
said to have been

full of feelings only God could know.

Richard, by contrast, could look back
on Arsuf with some satisfaction.

He may not have set out to confront
Saladin in open battle,

but when the moment of decision came,

he reacted with swift resolution,
scoring a morale-boosting victory.

With the Crusaders' momentum

it now seemed that Richard was primed
to march on to Jerusalem.

His strategy now combined

a forceful military advance inland

with a subtle diplomatic offensive.

This approach

involved a remarkable proposition.

The warrior-king offered
his own sister in marriage to

the Sultan's brother,

Al Adil.

The details of this offer are
recorded in the biography

of Saladin, written by his close
adviser, Baha' al-Din.

A rarely seen,

800-year-old original manuscript
of this account

is held in the library of the
Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

A piercing insight into the Muslim
view of Richard the Lionheart.

They are reaching this deal after
a lot of negotiations have
taken place,

a lot of letters between each other.

But in the end, they're reaching
a point that Al Malik Al Adil,

the brother of Salah al Din,
will marry the sister of Richard.

This wedding offer was
a cunning move by the Lionheart,

designed to sow seeds of doubt
about Al Adil.

After all, he was not just Saladin's
trusted brother,

but also a potential threat to

his son and heir.

Someone who might just

be harbouring personal ambitions.

And Salah al Din
agree about this agreement.

Why they agree? Because everybody
want the coast,

and the, or the city or that city,

but Richard agree to give
all the coast

to his sister after they married.

Reading Baha' al-Din's text, we get a
real sense that Richard was an agile

and cunning negotiator, and that
Saladin was only too aware of this.

The two of them were engaged in
a delicate game.

Saladin almost certainly
only accepted

the idea of a marriage offer

because he thought it would later be
withdrawn, and he was right.

Within a few days, Richard replied
that his sister would be

unable to marry Al Adil
because he was a Muslim.

By December, Richard was ready
to march on his holy prize,


He moved his troops to within
12 miles of the city

and prepared for a strike.

That winter,
conditions were appalling.

One eyewitness described how it was,
"cold and overcast,

"rain and hail battered us,
bringing down our tents.

"Food became water-logged,
armour rusty,

"and even the Crusaders' clothes
began to rot."

And yet in spite of all of this,
morale was high.

The Christians were almost
within reach of their goal

and were said to be filled with,

"an indescribable yearning"
to see Jerusalem,
to complete their pilgrimage.

This was why they had joined
the crusade.

But did Richard share his men's
single-minded devotion?

He was finally within reach
of the Holy City.

Now he faced an agonizing decision,

between his crusader ambition

and the stark reality of war.

The Lionheart announced that
the crusade

was to turn away from Jerusalem.

The fragile supply lines
back to the coast were faltering

amidst the freezing winter rains.

And any attempt to actually
besiege Jerusalem

would be unacceptably dangerous.

In strict military terms,
Richard's decision made sense,

but his announcement
had a catastrophic affect

upon the morale of his men.

One Crusader later recalled,

"Not since God created time was there
ever seen an army so dejected,

"and so depressed, everyone cursed
the day he was born."

The King dragged his devastated men
away from their holy goal.

Disillusioned, great numbers left
Palestine and returned home.

The Third Crusade was in disarray.

But Saladin's armies
were also faltering.

And as the two forces circled
each other at arm's length,

rumours of insurrection among
Saladin's troops presented

Richard with an opportunity to make
a second advance on Jerusalem.

But his plans were disrupted by
troubling news from Europe.

During Richard's long absence
from home, his brother, John,

had been plotting to take control
of England.

This news deeply disturbed
the Lionheart.

He now had to decide,

should he stay and fight for
the Holy Land, or return home

to try to secure his kingdom?

Richard was paralysed by indecision,

but his men were determined to
strike out for Jerusalem.

The King eventually conceded.

Against his better judgment, the
Lionheart began a second advance,

having effectively lost control of
his crusade.

Richard's lack of resolve had given
Saladin time to regroup.

He was already positioned inside
Jerusalem with his troops,

readying himself for the moment of
decisive confrontation.

But then, the Sultan wavered.

His financial resources were
profoundly overstretched,

and, after four years of campaigning,
men were in short supply,

and their loyalty was waning.

With an attack on Jerusalem imminent,

his remaining troops
threatened mutiny.

Many were fearful of being trapped
in another disastrous siege

like that at Acre.

With the pressure mounting,

long-submerged tensions between
between Turks and Kurds in Saladin's
forces began to

bubble to the surface, threatening
to boil over into open conflict.

In this increasingly
precarious position,

Saladin's closest advisers urged him
to leave the Holy City

while he still could.

It was the Sultan's turn to agonise.

Should he stay to mount a hopeless
defence of Jerusalem,

or do the unthinkable and turn his
back on this most sacred city?

Baha' al-Din was beside Saladin
through a long

and tortuous night and he's left us

an extraordinary record
of the Sultan's state of mind.

He wrote that Saladin felt
a concern for Jerusalem

that could "move mountains",
and that it was

"a night entirely given over to
the concerns of Holy War."

By morning, the Sultan had made
a shocking decision.

He would abandon Jerusalem.

Here, in the Aqsa mosque, on Friday
3rd July 1192, Baha' al-Din watched

the Sultan "prostrate himself
and say some words,

"while his tears fell
on his prayer rug."

Richard was on the brink of victory.

Once Saladin marched from Jerusalem,
the city would be open to attack.

It seemed that the Lionheart was
hours away from achieving

a startling triumph.

But entirely unaware of Saladin's
astonishing decision,

the King's own resolve was weakening.

Richard was said to have looked upon
Jerusalem with its massive,

near impregnable defences
and to have had a change of heart.

He called a meeting
of leading Crusaders
to discuss what should be done.

But according to
Christian eyewitnesses,

his mind was already made up.

Having once again led his men to
within hours of the city,

the attack was called off.

For the Crusaders,
this was an appalling reversal.

After the vast sums raised and spent,

the months campaigning away
from his empire,

all the lives given up
in the name of Jerusalem,

his retreat was utterly shocking.

Richard apparently said that he was
unwilling to lead the crusade

on such a "rash venture" because it
would end in "terrible disgrace"

for which he would be "forever
blamed, shamed and less loved."

At this moment of crisis,
as the fate of Jerusalem

hung in the balance,

Richard refused to risk everything
on a direct assault,

at least in part out of fear
for his reputation.

Had he held his nerve,
the King could have defeated

Saladin's stricken armies
and conquered Jerusalem.

Instead, his crusade was torn apart,

without either side
scoring a victory.

Richard the Lionheart,
the legendary crusader knight,

left the Holy Land without ever
setting foot in Jerusalem.

When he returned to his
Angevin realm,

the kingdom was still his to rule

and he spent the remainder
of that decade

campaigning against his
European enemies,

until he was shot and killed by
a crossbow bolt.

Islam held onto its Holy City,

but despite his undoubted
military genius,

Saladin had been wholly unable to
prevent the Franks

from reconquering the coast.

The story of these two men

has so often been simplified
and manipulated,

cast as emblematic
of the great struggle

between East and West,
Christians and Muslims.

Even today, their images are still
appopriated and twisted.

Richard, the ultimate warrior,
the cruel king, lionhearted,

and Saladin, the clement hero of
Islam, avowed enemy of the West.

Their confrontation during
the Third Crusade

also revealed the complexity
of their characters.

Saladin was not simply
the pious defender of Islam.

He could also be ruthless
and self-serving.

And Richard was not just
the masterful warrior-king,

but a wily and skillful negotiator.

The bloody war for possession
of Jerusalem

had raged for 100 years.

In the century to come,

the final chapter of this
epic struggle

would be played out in Egypt,
as a saintly French King,

afire with crusading zeal,

and the most remarkable Muslim
in the Middle Ages,

fought for ultimate victory
in the East.

Captions by Red Bee Media Ltd


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