“Bit of a stretch on that one, iPal!”

Yeah, well you’re gettin’ it by now…..

Here it is:

824 years ago today (1188), England crowned their new king, Richard I (aka, Richard cœur de lion) at Westminster Abbey.

He was actually French, England being merely part of his portfolio (this goes back to that whole “Norman Invasion thing”).


Check his popular title…..we all need a lil’ heart o’ lion.

Although it seems that history may contain certain biases, there must be an amount of currency to a nick-name that eventually becomes the name of a town…..

Corleone, Sicily, started life as a simple watch tower named, appropriately, Saracena, (ca. late 11th-early 12th c.), and was later developed into the village it is today.


Corleone = cœur de lion = lion heart.

Saracena = saracen (f) = [derogatory Medieval term for a] muslim.

“You’re losing me.”

The same Muslims that Richard I attempted to, unsuccessfully, keep subjugated during the ill-fated Third Crusade (1189-1192), after he inherited the business of managing outremer (modern day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, etc.).

He eventually ended up leaving Jerusalem following a series of mutual communications that he shared with Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (aka, Saladin), effectively ending the 93-year period of rather brutal domination of the “Holy Land” by European knights (secular and sacred, and sponsored by the Greek church [Orthodox] or the Latin church [Catholic], depending on who you asked).

“Thanks, I always wondered.”

It seems as though Richard saw the futility in attempting to re-capture a city that would be only be liberated again, soon after he went back to France…..I mean England.

“You mean he wasn’t the ‘hero’ as he has been portrayed?”

Well, not as such.

By one historian’s account, he was apathetic to sovereignal, familial, and spousal [cough] matters; but he had no problem entering any battle avec billes d’acier; and he was a chivalric knight (hence the moniker).* Interestingly, his journey back to Normandy (did I mention he was actually French?) is far more famous (“the devil is loose!”).

 “Is this even remotely related to this stupid Pilates blog-thing?”

Yes! History repeats itself. Human sensibilities/emotions/thought processes are basically the same now, as they were in the 13th Century (we just have more distractions now).

We can all be “lion-hearted” in our approach to life. We don’t need to be of noble birth to be inspired to greatness…..we simply need better inspiration than preservation of life or defense of country.

“Looking great? Feeling great? Attracting a mate?”


Perhaps a town will be named in your honor too!

Copy/paste (into Google) billes d’acier at this point.

*As ruminated by Sir Steven Runciman in his A History of the Crusades (1955), and in later interviews.