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Re: Bruce's heart

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> (2)   It looks to me from the above story, that these knights stopped in
>Spain before any Moorish threat took place.  But since there were knights
>from many foreign countries there, it was an ongoing seige of some sorts.

Ongoing for seven hundred years.  It was called the Reconquista;
the Reconquest of Spain from the Moors by the Christians.
It was not complete until 1492, when Ferdinand and Isabella
finally conquered Granada.  After expelling the Moors, the other
two noteworthy things they did that year were to expell the Jews
and to commission Columbus to sail the ocean blue (using the money
they kept that formerly belonged to the Moors and the Jews).

>But this story doesn't come right out and say that King Alfonso's invitation
>was the reason they were there???

Probably not, but since they were on the way to the Holy Land anyway,
where there was usually fighting going on between Crusaders and Saracens
(which was one of the names the Crusaders used locally for Muslims, just
as the Spaniards called them Moors), as knights they couldn't resist
doing a little freelance fighting in Spain.  After all, that's what
knights did; they were invited to do so by a king; and the Reconquista
was a kind of crusade.

> Were they there on Templar business.

They were on their way to the Holy Land to bury the heart of Bruce there,
as Bruce had requested on his deathbed.

>The money spent so freely in Flanders could have been Templar money.  And why
>Sluys Flanders?

Because it's on the seacoast where they landed?

> (3)   I have understood that one of the reasons that Robert's exploits were
>so famous and lauded is because he represented this little backward country
>with a tiny army that was able to defeat the great enemy of so many
>countries who had not been too successful against England.  He gave them
>and a vision for defeating their mutual enemy.  So it seems strange to me
>that we hear of English knights who were eager to honor Bruce.

They were probably eager to flatter Douglas so he would join in their fight.
Another knight could make the difference; it just might.  (Sorry.)

> (4)   But one of my biggest questions is:  Why hadn't the Templars or
>returning Crusaders discussed this tactic of the Saracens with the Scotts?

The Crusaders and westerners in general were notorious for crude tactics
compared to the Saracens and Moors.  They weren't too good at science
or medicine, either.

>manner.  I suppose there might be another side to this but it just seems so
>sad that Men's vain sense of HONOR can destroy so much.  We see this in the
>Road Rage of today.  This sense of honor that must not be trampled but

In the Mexican version of road rage, ``death before dishonor!''
you can argue a direct path back through the conquistadors
who were continuing the Reconquista against different infidels on
a different continent to these same Spaniards of Alfonso XI's day.

>Boy, did I get worked up on that one.  Sorry.

It was not a gentle period in history.

John Sinclair Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>
President, Matrix Information and Directory Services (MIDS)
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