Saint Louis the King leads the counter-charge against the Saracens

July 29, 2013

St. Louis of France

Then he [the Muslim general] caused the drums called nacaires to be beaten; and then they charged us, foot and horse. And first I will tell you of the King of Sicily—who was then Count of Anjou—because he was first on the side towards Babylon. The foe came against him as men play chess, for they first caused him to be attacked by their foot men, and the foot men assailed him with Greek fire; and the men, mounted and dismounted, pressed upon our people so sore that they discomfited the King of Sicily, who was on foot, among his knights.


And they came to the king [St. Louis IX of France], and told him of the great jeopardy in which his brother stood. And when the king heard this, he rode spurring amidst his brother’s men, with his sword in his fist, and dashed so far among the Turks that they burnt the crupper of his horse with Greek fire. And by this charge that the king made he succored the King of Sicily and his men, and drove the Turks from the camp.


Geoffroy de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville, Memoirs of the Crusades, trans. Sir Frank Marzials (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., n.d.), 202.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 303


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