Battle of Arsuf, 7 September, 1191

Battle of Arsuf, 7 September, 1191


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Battle of Arsuf

A crusader army led by Richard the Lionheart and Hugh, duke of Burgundy, defeated a Muslim army lead by the great Saladin at Arsuf, a small town near Jaffa (third crusade).

Saladin - Hero of Islam, Geoffrey Hindley. An invaluable, evenly-paced, full length biography of Saladin that spends as much time looking at his activities within the Islamic world as at his better known campaigns against the Crusader Kingdoms and the conquest of Jerusalem. A valuable look at the life of a leader who was respected on both sides of the religious divide in the Holy Land [read full review]

Crusades Subject Index - Books on the Middle Ages


Arsuf, battle of

Arsuf, battle of, 1191. On 22 August 1191 Richard I led the armies of the Third Crusade out of Acre southwards towards Jaffa, whence they would strike inland to Jerusalem. Nothing better demonstrates Richard's tactical sense and generalship than the march and the battle that followed. The army marched close to the sea-shore, its right flank protected by Richard's fleet, which accompanied it and kept it supplied. Saladin's forces harassed the crusaders, but could not break their close formation and Saladin realized that he would have to risk open battle if he were to halt the advance. On 7 September, on the plain to the north of Arsuf (some 12 miles from Jaffa), the two armies met. The day was won when the massed crusader cavalry charged and forced Saladin to withdraw. The march to Jaffa was resumed.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

"Arsuf, battle of ." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Jun. 2021 < https://www.encyclopedia.com > .

"Arsuf, battle of ." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved June 16, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/arsuf-battle

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.


Battle of Arsūf

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Battle of Arsūf, Arsūf also spelled Arsouf, famous victory won by the English king Richard I (Richard the Lion-Heart) during the Third Crusade.

Richard, having taken Acre in July 1191, was marching to Joppa (Jaffa), but the Muslim army under Saladin slowed down the Crusaders’ progress when they advanced from Caesarea, which they had left on September 1. On September 7, after the Crusaders left the forest of Arsūf, the Muslim attacks became more intensive and were concentrated against the Hospitallers, who constituted Richard’s rear guard. Richard tolerated those attacks in the hope of drawing out the main body of the Muslim army. The Hospitallers, having lost many of their mounts to Muslim cavalry, broke ranks and counterattacked. Richard reinforced that effort with a general charge that overwhelmed Saladin’s army and inflicted heavy losses on the forces attacking to the rear. Seven hundred Crusaders and several thousand Muslims were killed.

The victory at Arsūf enabled the Crusaders to occupy Joppa but was not a crushing blow to the Muslims. Saladin was able to regroup his forces, which the Crusaders had not pursued for fear of ambushes. From September 9 the Muslims renewed their harassing tactics, and Richard did not dare to push on to Jerusalem.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Michael Ray, Editor.


Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Arsuf (1191)

As we’ve noted elsewhere, the Third Crusade is harder to assess than most of the other Crusades. The First Crusade was a pretty clear success. The Second Crusade was an unmitigated failure. The Fourth Crusade was completely absurd. And so forth. But the outcome of the Third Crusade is mixed. On the one hand, the objective was to retake Jerusalem and they clearly failed on that score. On the other hand, had Richard the Lionheart and company not shown up when they did, there’s a reasonable chance that the Crusader states would have been wiped out by Saladin. The Third Crusade didn’t recapture Jerusalem but it did preserve the Crusader states, so it can’t be considered a total loss.

This is just a placeholder. If you’d like to read the rest please check out my new home, Foreign Exchanges!


Saladin’s Army

Saladin’s army is mentioned in the Itinerarium to have been “more than 20.000 mailed men”. Some estimations say half of them were mounted.

C-in-C – Saladin – V MC/bow
Sub – V MC/bow
Sub – V MC/bow
Mamluks and other armoured horse archers – 8 bases V MC/bow
Syrian and Arab lancers – 8 bases W MC/-
Turcoman cavalry – 8 bases W LC/bow
Bedouin cavalry – 8 bases W LC/-

Foot archers – 16 bases M LF/bow
Foot javelinmen – 6 bases M LF/-
Ahdath militia – 10 bases M Le/-

Total 20 100 men
Total 67 bases
Maintenance 3


The Battle of Arsuf

The Great Battle of the Great Crusade

After Tours the war between Muslims and Christians quieted down somewhat, but it never really ended. Spanish Christians began chipping away at Moorish domains in the Iberian peninsula. Sicily was taken by the Arabs in in the 9 th century and was retaken by Norman Christians in 1060. The Byzantines and Turks fought each other on-again, off-again for decades, but neither side ever achieved a breakthrough.

All that changed in 1071 when the Seljuk Turks won a crushing victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert . The Turks swept through Asia Minor and the Holy Land, depriving the Byzantines of their prime sources of men, money, and grain. When Pope Urban II heard of the plight of Christians in the newly conquered lands and realized the danger now posed by the Turks, he called the First Crusade in 1096.

The army of the First Crusade reached the Holy Land in 1098. Despite being abandoned by their Byzantine allies and outnumbered by their Muslim enemies, the Crusaders took Jerusalem one year later. They established the Kingdom of Jerusalem and a number of other Crusader States to protect Christian pilgrims. The Sultans of Egypt and the Turks, however, did not respond to this counter-attack by lying down. War raged nearly continuously between the Crusader states and Muslims.

After the unsuccessful Second Crusade in 1145, (meant to recover outlying Crusader territories lost a few years earlier) a new leader rose among the Saracens. His name was Saladin. When rouge knights began attacking his caravans he reopened war with the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187 the Army of Jerusalem made a critical mistake and pursued Saladin too deep into the desert. The exhausted and thirsty crusaders were decimated at the Battle of Hattin . With the bulk of the Christian armies in the Holy Land destroyed, Saladin quickly seized numerous critical cites in the region and pushed the Crusader states to the edge of extinction.

In response, a Third Crusade was called. The army raised was one for the ages: it was composed of the three kings of the three great powers of Christendom and their forces. Frederick I of Germany, Phillip II of France, and Richard the Lionhearted of England all lead forces to fight the Saracens.

However, things soon began to go wrong for the Crusaders. Frederick captured the city of Iconium , capital of the Turks, but he drowned soon afterwards and his leaderless army was picked apart by Turkish horse archers. The unsupported French army did little after landing at the port of Tyre. Richard was delayed, he stopped at Sicily to free his imprisoned sister and was delayed further by uncooperative officials in Cyprus. After the Cypriots reneged on an agreement with Richard, he conquered the island. The great Western counter-punch was disintegrating.

When Richard finally landed in the Holy Land the situation began to improve for the Crusaders. The armies were united under Richard's banner and laid siege to the port of Acre. The port fell in mid-July 1191, giving the Christians a base in the Levant. However, Richard, Phillip, and Duke Leopold of Austria (Frederick's successor) fell victim to political in-fighting. Leopold took his entire army back to Germany. Phillip claimed sickness and returned to France, although he did leave his men and some money to pay them with. Richard would now have to fight Saladin alone.

In September 1191, the Anglo/French Crusader army began marching south along the coast of Israel. Richard aimed to capture to port of Jaffa and use it as a staging area for his drive on Jerusalem. Saladin and his army shadowed the Crusaders, looking for any opportunity to destroy Richard. Richard kept his army in tight defensive formations to deny Saladin any opening. The two armies kept marching, watching and waiting.

Finally, as Richard neared Jaffa , Saladin made his move at Arsuf . He had to destroy the Crusaders before they could build a power base in Israel. Richard had looked to avoid a pitched battle, which was considered to be too risky by Medieval tacticians, but now he had no choice. The fate of the Holy Land now hung in the balance

Crusaders- The army of the Crusaders was composed of Engli sh and French knights, along with supporting spearmen and archers. Richard had also recruited the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar, elite warrior-monks who had been fighting the Saracens for decades. The medieval knight dominated the battlefield in the 12 th Century, and for good reason. They sons of nobles, trained from birth to fight and equipped with the best weapons and armor in the western world. A full charge of mounted knights could defeat even the toughest infantry.

In addition to his western knights, Richard had recruited the Turkoples . These were local Christians who were excellent horse archers and gave Richard a balance of heavy and light cavalry.

Infantry was of secondary importance to the cavalry. Most foot soldiers were peasants and lacked the training and equipment of knights. Historians have estimated the size of Richard's force to be between 12,000 and 20,000 men. Richard would need every last one of them if he had any hope of retaking Jerusalem.

Saracens- Saladin's army was the antithesis of Richard's. The Saracen army was composed of light infantry and light cavalry. The Muslims were faster and more maneuverable, but lacked the durability to survive a head-on confrontation with heavily armed Crusaders. Saracen tactics were to exhaust and demoralize their enemies with hit-and-run cavalry attacks, then swarm in and massacre anyone left.

Saladin's army was probably composed of between 20,000 and 30,000 men. It was an army that destroyed the Kingdom of Jerusalem at Hattin and wreaked havoc across the Holy Land. Saladin and his Arabs were determined to drive the Crusaders into the sea or die trying.

On September 7 th , Saladin began harassing the Knights Hospitaller at the rear of Richard's column. He hoped to pick the Crusaders apart with archers, then finish them with a cavalry attack. The heavily armored Hospitallers lost few men to the arrows, but they lost many horses. The Hospitallers sent numerous requests to Richard for a charge before they lost too many horses. Richard repeatedly denied them their request, as he realized the last thing he needed was for Saladin to isolate and destroy a part of his army. The arrows continued to rain down.

Finally, the Hospitallers could hold themselves back no longer. They charged and drove back the Saracen archers. They also beca me separated from the main army. Richard had hoped to avoid this scenario, but when he saw the Saracens moving to surround the errant knights he had no choice but to launch a general cavalry attack. The English and French knights and infantry flanked the flankers and routed the Saracen army. Richard chased the Saladin's army for short distance, but soon stopped the pursuit and reorganized his forces. He was afraid Saladin would be able to ambush and destroy his troops if he let them become too scattered. The Battle of Arsuf was over. The final casualty figures were 700 Crusaders to 6,700 Saracens.

Aftermath- Richard took Jaffa soon afterwards. However, Saladin switched to a strategy of scorched earth and hit-and-run, which kept Richard from ever being able to retake Jerusalem. Richard's army was too small to protect it's supply lines inland and attack Jerusalem simultaneously. After a year of stalemate, Richard and Saladin signed a truce that left Saladin in charge of Jerusalem but allowed Christian pilgrims access to the city. Richard also retained control of Cyprus, Acre, Jaffa , and the other cities his Crusaders had taken. He gave these territories to a revitalized Kingdom of Jerusalem.


The Battle

The battle was now on. Now Richard I, himself was leading the attack. Saladin was not expecting such a reaction. He didn’t expect that Richard will launch a complete attack.

This sudden attack from Richard made a huge blow to the Muslim Army. Saladin faced heavy losses. Although the exact number of casualties is not known, it is said, this completely destroyed the Muslim army and they were in a very weak position to defend Jerusalem.

Richard took Saladin by surprise and he paid a heavy price. A great number of Saladin’s army fled the battlefield. Saladin himself ordered the army to retreat and run away as soon as possible.

Richard did as much damage as he could before nightfall. One estimate says that the crusader army lost around 700 men and the Muslim army lost more than 7,000 soldiers. One Christian man took ten Muslim men with him.


Battle of Arsuf, 7 September, 1191 - History

Within a week of the Muslim victory at Hattin on July 4, 1187 the port city of Acre had surrendered to Saladin’s army. Within a month Toron, Sidon, Gibelet and Beirut had also capitulated as the famed warrior made his way down the Palestinian coast before marching on Jerusalem, which surrendered on October 2.

Although it had taken the Muslim army a short time to capture Acre, it would take the Christian armies nearly two years to take it back – from August 28, 1189 until July 12, 1191. The victory was finally earned for Christendom by King Richard I (The Lionheart) who had taken control of the campaign a month earlier after arriving from the west.

Both Saladin and Richard were strong willed military men, a point of stubbornness that led to Richard’s execution of 2,700 Muslim prisoners over a ransom dispute.

But the story of the capture of Acre by Richard I is a story for another instalment of this series. What we will be dealing with in this edition is the lesser-known Battle of Arsuf, a conflict that both the Templars and the Hospitallers were involved in alongside the English king.
Two days after the massacre at Acre, Richard set off with his army for Jaffa. His goal was Jerusalem, but it would first be necessary to capture the port city as a base of operations. As the army marched down the coast they stayed close to the shoreline to benefit from the cool breeze and the support of the ships that followed the march down the coastline. The army was divided into three columns. The first was comprised of knights, and kept to the shore, while the remaining two columns, made up of infantrymen, took the landside position. In the vanguard were the Templars, whom King Richard relied on throughout his crusade. In fact it had been through his influence that Robert de Sablé, an Angevin who had travelled east with the king, had been elected to succeed de Ridefort as Master of the Order, despite the fact that de Sablé was not a Templar when he left England.

As the crusader army marched down the coast their movement was shadowed by Saladin’s light mounted archers who launched a series of attacks on the Christians, riding in close enough to shoot and then retreating again as quickly as they had come. Despite the torments of Saladin’s arrows, the army managed to maintain their discipline and the crusader infantry, armed with crossbows, took out a number of the Muslim archers.

Although the knights and their heavy charge often receive the bulk of attention in discussions of medieval conflicts, the discipline of the infantry is every bit as worthy of mention. For while the knights were cooled by the sea breeze and protected by two lines of human targets, the infantrymen in those lines sacrificed their lives to protect their nobly born counterparts and their horses. The medieval war horse was the tank of its day and the loss of even one horse was a great cost to an army. It is for this reason that the Templar Rule went to such lengths to ensure that no harm would come to them.

King Richard the LionHeart leading the Templars to Arsuf

After two weeks of marching, Richard’s army had covered less than half the distance to Jaffa and on September they passed through a wooded area about 10 miles north of Arsuf. Although they had been tormented throughout the march, the Muslims had inflicted little real damage. That would all change the next morning.

On September 7, as the crusaders began their march towards Arsuf, Saladin began his march towards victory. Throughout the morning the Muslims assaulted the Christians using the tactics they had employed throughout the march. However, just before noon they began a fully fledged assault. The crusaders continued to resist their attacks, once again thanks to the discipline of the common foot soldiers. Between the Muslims and the knights were two rows of infantrymen. The front line knelt with spear and shield, while the crossbowmen returned the attack. When the crossbowmen rearmed, the spearman stood with their shields to provide their counterparts with cover.

Meanwhile the knights were aligned in battle formation behind the front line. The Templars were at the southern end of the line forming the right flank along with the Bretons, Angevins and King Guy of Lusignan and his party. King Richard and his English and Normans troops made up the centre assisted by Flemish and French troops. In the rearguard were the Hospitallers. In total the crusader army was made up of approximately twelve hundred knights and ten thousand infantrymen, while the Muslims numbered twenty thousand men equally split between cavalry and infantry.

As the day progressed it became increasingly difficult for the infantrymen to maintain a line. The Muslim attacks came closer and closer, ultimately close enough to replace their bows and arrows with lances and swords. Soon the Christian infantry were falling in increasing numbers.

Hoping to draw the crusaders into an early charge, Saladin’s troops focused their attacks on the Hospitallers’ division. The attacks began to take their toll on the Hospitallers and on several occasions Garnier of Nablus, the Master of the Order, approached King Richard begging him to give the signal to charge, but Richard continued to urge patience. Finally the Muslim assaults proved too much and the Marshal of the Order and one of his knights broke rank and began the charge. Although the signal had not been given, all the Hospitallers assumed it had and charged after their comrades. Within seconds horses were spurred down the Christian line as knight after knight joined the heavy cavalry charge.

Richard, seeing that there was no choice but to join the battle lest those who were already in it be slaughtered, ordered the Templars, as well as the Bretons and Angevins in their line to attack Saladin’s left flank. Finally the Templars were able to release the frustration that the Hospitallers had been unable to contain and their charge drove the Saracens from the field, stunned by the Hospitallers impetuousness and mopped up by the Templars’ discipline. Although the losses had been relatively light on both sides of the field of battle, the Muslims had been repelled and, following so close on the capture of Acre, the battle must have been a morale-boosting victory for the Christians in general and the Templars in particular. It had been the first open battle since the Battle of Hattin four years earlier and the Templars would not have forgotten the role their Order played there.

In October of 1191, King Richard wrote to the Cistercian abbot of Clairvaux informing him of the success of his crusade:

“With God’s guidance we reached Jaffa on 29 September, 1191 and fortified the city with ditches and a wall with the intention of protecting the interests of Christianity to the best of our ability. After his defeat [at Arsuf] Saladin has not dared to face the Christians, but like a lion in his den has been secretly lying in hiding and plotting to kill the friends of the Cross like sheep for slaughter.

“So when he heard that we were swiftly heading for Ascalon, he overthrew it and levelled it to the ground. Likewise he had laid waste and trampled on the land of Syria.”

Soon after writing to the abbot, Richard entered into negotiations with both the Templars and Saladin with the former it was over the purchase of Cyprus, while with the latter it was over the surrender of Jerusalem.


Contents

The city is first recorded under its Greek name Apollonia in the final decades of the Persian period (mid-4th century BCE). In a long-standing suggestion, first proposed by Clermont-Ganneau in 1876, it was assumed that the Greek name was given due to the interpretatio graeca of the Canaanite deity Resheph (ršp) as Apollo (as god of the plague), suggesting that the settlement would originally have been a "Phoenician" foundation. The Semitic name ršp would then have been "restored" in the medieval Arabic toponym of Arsūf. There is indeed no archaeological evidence for a settlement prior to the Persian period, and Izre'el (1999) upholds this identification, suggesting that the Semitic name might have been preserved by the Aramaic-speaking Samaritan community. The Samaritan chronicle of Abu l-Fath (14th century, written in Arabic) records a toponym rʿšfyn (with ayin). Izre'el (1999) considers the possibility of identifying this toponym with the Arabic Arsūf, assuming that the ayin may derive from a mater lectionis used in Samaritan Aramaic orthography. [3]

A tradition connecting the name with the biblical Resheph, a grandson of Ephraim, is spurious. [4]

The name of the nearby Israeli settlement of Rishpon was given in 1936, inspired by a misreading of an inscription of Tiglath-Pileser III, where *rašpūna was read for kašpūna recognition of the misreading rendered void the identification of Arsuf with a supposed Iron Age Phoenician settlement of *Rašpūna. [5]

The renaming of Apollonia "city of Apollo" to Sozusa (Σώζουσα Sōzousa) "city of the Saviour" took place in the Byzantine period, under the influence of Christianity as the state religion, motivated by Soter (Σωτήρ) "savior" being a byname of Apollo as well as of Christ. The renaming is paralleled in at least three other cities called Apollonia: Sozusa in Cyrenaica, Sozopolis in Pisidia and Sozopolis in Thrace. [2] The identification of ancient Apollonia with Byzantine-era Sozusa is due to Stark (1852), [6] that of medieval Arsuf with Apollonia/Sozusa to Clermont-Ganneau (1876). [2]

The site is variously referred to as Apollonia, Arsin, Arsuf, Arsuph, Arsur, Arsuth, Assur, Orsuf and Sozusa in Crusader-era documents, with a large dominance of "Arsur" among the secondary sources discussed by Schmidt. [7]

Antiquity Edit

Although some Chalcolithic and Iron Age remains were uncovered at the site, there is no evidence that there was a settlement prior to the Persian period (ca. 500 BCE). While the importance of the town was overshadowed by both Jaffa and Caesarea, Apollonia developed into a regional center after the decline of its neighbouring site at Tel Michal in the Late Persian period, and was likely the main city and harbour in the southern Sharon Plain by the mid-4th century BCE. It is mentioned in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax. [8]

During the Hellenistic period it was a port town ruled by the Seleucids.

Under Roman rule, the town prospered and grew into the chief commercial and industrial centre of the region between the Poleg and Yarkon rivers. In 113 CE, Apollonia was partially destroyed by an earthquake, but recovered quickly. [ citation needed ]

Apollonia is mentioned by Pliny, Hist. nat., V, 14, and Ptolemy, V, xv, 2, between Cæsarea and Joppa, and by other ancient authors, including Josephus, Ant. jud., XIII, xv, 4, Appianus, Hist. rom. Syr., 57. The Roman proconsul, Gabinius, found it ruined in 57 BCE, and had it rebuilt (Josephus, Bel. jud., I, viii, 4). Apollonia is depicted in the Tabula Peutingeriana, on the coastal highway between Joppa and Caesarea, at the distance of 22 miles from Caesarea, confirming the identification of Arsuf with Apollonia.

There was no coin minting in Apollonia, confirming that the town did not have the role of a Roman provincial center but was rather considered a medium-sized coastal town like Jamnia and Azotus.

Sozusa in Palaestina was the name of the city in the late Roman province of Palaestina Prima, [ dubious – discuss ] and its episcopal see was a suffragan of Caesarea, the provincial capital. The name had changed from Apollonia to Sozusa before 449, when Bishop Baruchius signed the acts of the Robber Council of Ephesus with this title. [9] The name Sozusa also occurs in the works of the Byzantine geographers Hierocles and George of Cyprus. Apart from Baruchius of 449, the names of two more of its bishops, Leontius in 518, and Damianus in 553, are also known. [10] The death of patriarch Modestus in 630 in the city is recorded in both Georgian and Arabic texts, the Georgian texts using Sozos (for Sozusa) and the Arabic texts Arsuf, suggesting that both names remained in use for some time in the early medieval period. [11]

During the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, the city surrendered on terms in 614 to Shahrbaraz and was in Sasanian hands until near the end of the war. [12]

Early Muslim period Edit

In 640, the town fell to the Muslims. The Arabic name Arsuf or Ursuf occurs in works of Arab geographers from the 10th century, e.g. Al-Muqaddasi said it was "smaller than Yafah, but strongly fortified and populous There is here a beautiful pulpit, made in the first instance for the Mosque of Ar Ramlah, but which being found too small, was given to Arsuf". [13]

At the time of the Muslim conquest, Sozusa was inhabited by Samaritans. [14] In 809, following the death of Harun al-Rashid, the local Samaritan community was destroyed and their synagogue ruined. [ citation needed ] In 809 the Abbasids violently removed the large group of Samaritans that had been living in the city. [15]

The town's area decreased to about 22 acres (89,000 m 2 ) and, for the first time, it was surrounded by a fortified wall with buttresses, to resist the constant attacks of Byzantine fleets from the sea. [ citation needed ]

Crusader to Mamluk period Edit

Godfrey de Bouillon attempted to capture it, but failed for want of ships (William of Tyre, IX, x). King Baldwin I took it in 1102, after a siege by land and sea, allowing the inhabitants to withdraw to Ascalon. The Crusaders, who called it Arsur, rebuilt the city's walls and created the Lordship of Arsur in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187 Arsuf was recaptured by the Muslims, but fell again to the Crusaders on 7 September 1191 after the Battle of Arsuf, fought between the forces of Richard I of England and Saladin.

John of Ibelin, Lord of Beirut became Lord of Arsuf in 1207 when he married Melisende of Arsuf. Their son John of Arsuf (d. 1258) inherited the title. The title then passed to John of Arsuf's eldest son Balian of Arsuf (d. 1277). He built new walls, the large castle and new harbor in 1241. In 1251 Louis IX of France re-erected its ramparts. From 1261, the city was ruled by the Knights Hospitaller. [16]

In 1225, Yakut wrote: "Arsuf remained in Muslim hands till taken by Kund Furi [Godfrey of Bouillon], lord of Jerusalem, in the year 494 [ AH 494, i.e. 1101 CE], and it is in the hand of the Franks [Crusaders] at the present day." [13]

In 1265, sultan Baibars, ruler of the Mamluks, captured Arsuf after 40 days of siege, [17] after almost getting killed in the moat by a sortie of the defenders. [18] The inhabitants were killed or sold as slaves and the town completely razed. The destruction was so complete that the site was abandoned and never regained its urban character - in the 14th century the geographer Abulfeda said it contained no inhabitants ("Tabula Syriæ", 82).

According to Mujir al-Din (writing c. 1496), the Sidna Ali Mosque just south of Arsuf was dedicated by Baibars at the site of a saint's tomb where he prayed for victory prior to retaking Arsuf. [19]

In the Middle Ages, Sozusa was confused with Antipatris. [ citation needed ] [ dubious – discuss ] The identity of Arsuf with ancient Apollonia was first noted by Clermont-Ganneau in 1876. [2]

Ottoman period Edit

In 1596, Ottoman tax registers recorded a village called Arsuf with 22 families and 4 bachelors, all Muslims. The villagers paid a total of 2,900 akçe in taxes. 1/3 the revenue went to a waqf: Hadrat 'Ali bin 'Ulaym. [20] It appeared, just named "village" on the map that Pierre Jacotin compiled during Napoleon's invasion of 1799. [21]

Catholic titular see until 1965 Edit

Sozusa in Palaestina is listed as a titular see in the 2013 Annuario Pontificio. [22] Due to the confusion with the other ancient city in classical Palestine known as Apollonia, it was also assigned under the name Antipatris. Its last titular bishop of the Latin Church was Francis Joseph McSorley, the Apostolic Vicar of Jolo (d. 1970). It has no longer been assigned since, in accordance with the practice established after the Second Vatican Council regarding all titular sees situated in what were the eastern patriarchates. [23]

British Mandate and Israeli periods Edit

The site was incorporated in Herzliya municipality in 1924. At the time, a village called al-Haram existed adjacent to the ruins, but it was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the area south of the site was built up as the Shikun Olim ( שיכון עולים "immigrant housing") district of Herzeliya in the 1950s.

Rishpon was established in 1936 to the immediate north-east of the site. It is part of the Hof HaSharon Regional Council, Central District.

Arsuf is a modern "exclusive clifftop community" named for Arsuf, built in 1995 north of the site, in Hof HaSharon Regional Council. [24]

The site of Apollonia–Arsuf was excavated in the 1990s and opened for visitors as Apollonia National Park in 2002. Excavations were ongoing as of 2015. The excavation report is prepared in three volumes, of which the first was published in 1999. The second and third volume, covering the excavation seasons until 2015, were in preparation as of 2016.

The above-ground remains before the excavations included the medieval city wall and moat, enclosing an area of about 90 dunam, a Crusader castle with a double-wall system with an area of about 4 dunam, a port with built jetties and a sheltered anchorage, protected by a sandstone reef.

Large amounts of pottery were recovered in the area surrounding the city, mostly of the Byzantine and early Islamic period, indicating that the city extended significantly beyond its old walls in the 7th century. A large Roman-era villa maritima was uncovered to the south of the site.


Course of the battle

On September 7, 1191, Saladin's army faced the crusader army north of Jaffa near Arsuf on carefully selected terrain. The way of the crusaders to Jaffa was bordered at Arsuf to the west by the Mediterranean Sea and to the east by a piece of forest, in which Saladin's forces were now hiding in order to stab the crusaders marching past as possible in the back. Richard anticipated an attack by Saladin and had carefully organized his army: the Knights Templar were the vanguard. Behind them followed Richard's contingent of Bretons , Angevinen , Poitevinen , Normans and English . It seems that King Guido of Lusignan commanded the Poitevines and the contingent of the Crusader States . It was followed by Flemings under Jakob von Avesnes and the French contingent under Hugo of Burgundy , with the Order of St. John bringing up the rear. All departments had both infantry and cavalry the former marched on the land side, the latter on the Mediterranean side. The crusaders marched south, Saladin's attack came from the northeast.

The exact composition of Saladin's army is not known, but the chronicler Ambroise mentions in his Estoire de la guerre sainte that the infantry consisted of Sudanese and Bedouins , the light cavalry of Syrians and Turkmens and the heavy cavalry of Mameluks, among others .

Saladin tried to lure the heavily armored knights with his mounted archers to a risky counterattack so that they could be more easily eliminated, disordered and separated from the infantry. Richard had his lancers build a wall of lances in the front row and between his crossbowmen counter the fire. He held back his cavalry behind and forbade them to attack before he had given the signal. Richard intended first to have the entire Saracen army tied up in hand-to-hand combat, and then to order his heavy cavalry to make an attack that was supposed to be devastating. The archers of the Saracens could hardly harm the well-armored European soldiers, but they caused considerable damage to the horses of the Johanniter. Even before Richard gave the signal, they finally broke through the ranks of their own infantry and started a counterattack on the right side of Saladin's army. Richard now had no choice and ordered a major attack. His cavalry broke out in a closed line on the entire front. The Saracen cavalry could not withstand the heavily armored knights. The Johanniter inflicted heavy casualties on their enemies, and the French on their right also killed many. Richard's contingent of Bretons, Angevines, Poitevines, Normans and English as well as the Knights Templar, on the other hand, were only able to catch a few of the rapidly retreating Saracens.

The battle was not lost for Saladin at this point. At the Battle of Acre , his cavalry had successfully counterattacked the opposing knights when they had spread too far in pursuit of their fleeing enemies. Richard was aware of this risk. If the knights lost contact with the persecuted, he made them stop and put them back in order. Saladin's counterattack was met with an orderly counterattack. This process was repeated one more time before Saladin's troops finally withdrew to the forests of Arsuf .

The battle ended in a clear victory for Richard and his crusader army , their first significant victory since the Battle of Hattin in 1187. Saladin's forces had suffered numerous losses in the Battle of Arsuf, while those of the opposing side were comparatively small, including Jacob of Avesnes had lost only one important nobleman.


  • September 7, 0070 A Roman army under General Titus occupies and plunders Jerusalem.
  • September 7, 1191 Third Crusade: Battle of Arsuf – Richard I of England defeats Saladin at Arsuf.
  • September 7, 1548 “Catherine Parr, widow of King Henry VIII of England, dies.”
  • September 7, 1714 “Treaty of Baden-French retain Alsace, Austria gets right bank of Rhine”

  • September 7, 1776 World’s first submarine attack: the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.
  • September 7, 1800 Zion AME Church dedicated (NYC)
  • September 7, 1818 “Carl III of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Norway, in Trondheim.”
  • September 7, 1821 “The Republic of Gran Colombia (a federation covering much of present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador) was established, with Simn Bolvar as the founding President and Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president.”
  • September 7, 1822 Brazil declares its independence from Portugal.
  • September 7, 1822 Dom Pedro I declares Brazil independent from Portugal on the shores of the Ipiranga river in So Paulo.
  • September 7, 1860 “Excursion steamer “”Lady Elgin”” drowns 340 in Lake Michigan”
  • September 7, 1860 “Steamship Lady Elgin sinks on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 400 lives.”
  • September 7, 1863 Federal naval expedition arrives off Sabine Pass
  • September 7, 1876 “In Northfield, Minnesota, Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang attempt to rob the town’s bank but are surrounded by an angry mob and are nearly killed.”
  • September 7, 1880 Geo Ligowsky patents device to throw clay pigeons for trapshooters
  • September 7, 1892 James J Corbett kayos John L Sullivan in round 21 at New Orleans
  • September 7, 1893 “The Genoa Cricket & Athletic Club, to become the first Italian football club, is established by British expats.”
  • September 7, 1896 A. H. Whiting won 1st closed-circuit auto race held
  • September 7, 1896 “The first auto race held at a race track takes place today in Cranston, RI.”
  • September 7, 1901 The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ends with the signing of the Boxer Protocol.
  • September 7, 1903 Federation of American Motorcyclists organized in NY
  • September 7, 1907 Sutro’s ornate Cliff House in SF destroyed by fire
  • September 7, 1909 “Eugene Lefebvre (1878-1909), while test piloting a new French-built Wright biplane, crashes at Juvisy France when his controls jam. Lefebvre dies, becoming the first ‘pilot’ in the world to lose his life in a powered-heavier-than-air-craft.”
  • September 7, 1911 French poet Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested and put in jail on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum.
  • September 7, 1914 New York Post Office Building opens to the public
  • September 7, 1915 Former cartoonist Johnny Gruelle is given a patent for his Raggedy Ann doll.
  • September 7, 1921 “The first Miss America Pageant is held at Atlantic City, NJ.”
  • September 7, 1922 “In Aydin, Turkey, independence of Aydin, from Greek occupation.”
  • September 7, 1927 Philo Farnsworth demonstrates 1st use of TV in SF
  • September 7, 1927 The first fully electronic television system is achieved by Philo Taylor Farnsworth.
  • September 7, 1927 “The University of Minas Gerais is founded in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, by GovernorAntnio Carlos.”
  • September 7, 1929 Steamer Kuru capsizes and sinks on Lake Nsijrvi near Tampere in Finland. 136 lives were lost.
  • September 7, 1934 “Luxury liner “”Morro Castle”” burns off NJ, killing 134″
  • September 7, 1936 Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) begins operation
  • September 7, 1936 Hoover (Boulder) Dam begins operation.
  • September 7, 1936 “The last surviving member of the thylacine species, Benjamin, dies alone in her cage at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania.”
  • September 7, 1940 German Air Force blitz London for 1st of 57 consecutive nights
  • September 7, 1940 Treaty of Craiova: Romania loses Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria.
  • September 7, 1940 World War II: The Blitz – Nazi Germany begins to rain bombs on London. This will be the first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing.
  • September 7, 1942 “Holocaust: 8,700 Jews of Kolomyia (western Ukraine) sent by German Gestapo to death camp in Belzec.”