Honor: Never Leave A Poor Crusader Behind as a Muslim Captive

May 8, 2014

Seventh Crusade

During these eight days the legate came to me and said that he did not see how the king could remain overseas; and he besought me, very instantly, to return with him in his ship. And I told him this was not within my power; for I was without means, having, as he knew, lost all my possessions on the water, when I was taken prisoner.


And I gave him this answer, not because I would not very willingly have gone with him, but because of a word which my Lord of Bourlemont, my cousin-german—God rest his soul!—spoke to me when I was going overseas. “You are going overseas,” said he, “now take heed how you come back; for no knight, be he poor or be he rich, can come back without dishonor if he leaves in the hands of the Saracens the meaner folk of Our Lord, in whose company he went forth.” The legate was wroth with me, and told me I should not have refused his proposal.


Geoffroy de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville, Memoirs of the Crusades, trans. Sir Frank Marzials (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., n.d.), 240.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 383


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