Tuesday, July 28, 2015

King Richard I The Lionhearted

8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199
Well, here we have another figure with unusual attributes.  He was ruler of Aquitaine, Normandy, and nearly half of France, England...probably more I do not know, but spent very little time in any of them.  Least of all in England. Yet, he figures in Robin Hood as rather a hero, is revered as the ultimate hero and warrior by many.  He is always portrayed as this Wagnerian character with the clear blue eyes, the body of a weight lifter and the heavy black beard and hair of the most virile of men.  He had, however, red/gold hair and was tall and elegant in appearance.
History and Hollywood are wonderfully at odds.
A great warrior, spending much of his life in battle and traveling to battles and tournaments, crusading in the middle east, taking Sicily and Cypress. He and his brothers and mother were constantly at war with his father including the first two sons who did not survive Henry.  One, Henry the young king, was actually supposed to be a co-king, but even he warred against Henry because the purse strings were too tight in Henry's hands.
 Maybe Berengaria of Navarre was a real dog and he had to get away from home.  Of course there is the widespread opinion that Richard was bisexual in practice.  There were no children, perhaps because of this and perhaps because of his nearly constant absence. 
Richard's coins are widespread and were minted in many countries and provinces.  English coins are not uncommon, and while they are not cheap, do not command the high prices that some of the real villains command.   This one from about 1189 was just under $70.00.

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