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José Luis Corral

Richard the Lionheart and the third Crusade URL: http://www.march.es/conferencias/anteriores/voz.aspx?p1=22904&l=2

Richard I, king of England, is one of the most controversial characters from the Middle Age. Prince, knight, troubadour, lover, king and hero, he became the protagonist of one of the most attractive literature legends and deeds of the medieval times. Richard I, better known as "Lionheart", is considered in the collective imagination of Europe as a mythical hero, a fabulous king who left the kingdom to battle in the Crusades, and returned to recover it against the ambition of his brother John Lackland. But how was Richard Lionheart in reality?: the the chivalrous and noble king of strong personality and deep convictions, as drawn by the legends, or the futile, mediocre, inane and fickle monarch that some books of history present? What was his roll in the Third Crusades and his relationship with Saladin, the champion of Islam?

Regardless of the grey areas in his biography, the historiography, and especially the literature, have exalted his figure like few other sovereigns, and most of the chroniclers and English national historians have transformed him into one of the country's great myths, presenting him as brave king who fought the muslims in Holy Land, and as the fair monarch who finished the "foreign control" of the Normans to recover the "national authenticity" of the Anglo-Saxon, this is, the English king par excellence, the moral heir of the legendary Arthur of Britain.

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